Whistleblowing and Immunity in Ireland

Immunity from Prosecution is an slightly odd concept – but nowhere is it so odd as it is in Ireland it would seem.

A Prosecution service (such as a Director of Public Prosecution) will occassionally grant Immunity to someone so they can testify against others without what they say being used to implicate themselves in wrong-doing.  The idea is generally to use a small fish to catch a larger one.

The only other kind of immunity I know of is that ‘granted’ by those who are about to be testified against. It usually involves something terminal such a car crash ( Karen Silkwood , Michael Hastings, Paul White: All whistleblowers all died in car crashes), being beaten to death in police custody (Sergei Magnitsky) , unaccountably dropping down dead  (Alexander Perepilichnyy -  A Magnitsky case Whistleblower)  or a simple bullet to the head (Yves Coulon Agip Affair). These are very effective but slightly drastic and can attract unwanted attention,

The Irish it seems may have invented a third possibly better kind.  It’s called the Immunity-so-you-don’t-ever-have-to-testify – against anyone.

Back in 2008 Mr Matt Moran was the Chief Financial Officer at Anglo Irish Bank. He was, therefore, intimately involved in all aspects of the debacle that was and still is Anglo. His various florrid opinions on the parlous state of Anglo’s finances prior to its implosion, how the wealthy of Ireland were removing their money from the bank and from Ireland, and sending it abroad, his considered opinion of Mr Seán Quinn (Ireland’s most notoious property tycoon and sometime Anglo investor and customer)  and how, with just a bit of drink and a beer mat he could get 5 billion euros out of  a British fund manager, are all available to hear in the Anglo tapes or read exceprts from here.

Mr Moran is in some ways the kind of witness for whom immunity was invented – he certainly would know who did what and when.

No surprise then that the Irish DPP granted Mr Moran immunity. But the Irish DPP appears to have taken a novel approach. It turns out the Immunity was granted two years ago though no one at the time was told. The information only came to light when the Irish Times revealed it in September 2013. Why it came to light then I shall come back to.

But what is a little odd is that during that whole two years, no prosecution starring Mr Moran has taken place. No date set, as far as I know for any trial of former Anglo CEO and Mr Moran’s boss, Mr David Drumm. The only trial with a start date is that of

,,, former Anglo directors and executives Seán FitzPatrick, Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan for providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals – 10 long-standing customers of the bank and six members of Seán Quinn’s family – to buy shares in the bank is scheduled to begin in January.

This would be a trial looking at illegal share manipulation only.  Unless the charges were widened, which I doubt will happen, this trial would very carefully avoid looking at any issues of reckless lending, materially misleading clients and regulators as to the real value of assets, of securities or the real nature of collateral accepted for loans granted and most importantly, would avoid any issue lifting the lid on improper dealings between the banks officers and the government of the day such as may have happened in the sale of Anglo’s Austrian subsidiary to Private Austrian bank Valartis. In other words it would be a show trial.

So far all the Irish people have been given by way of justice is a couple of Micky O’Mouse white-wash inquiries which found nothing wrong. And bear in mind that as far back as 2009 when Mr Lenihan the then finance Minister was shedding crocodile tears and expressing his “frustration” at the delays it was already being pointed out,

 …that the scandals at the now-nationalised Anglo Irish Bank emerged at the same time as crooked financier Bernie Madoff was arrested in New York. Madoff has since been jailed for 150 years while not one Irish prosecution has reached the courts.

Funny that.

In the mean time Mr Moran long ago left Anglo and is now handsomely employed at Lombard International Assurance in Luxembourg.

Such a long absense of any prosecution – not even so far as we know any depostion from Mr Moran –  looks to me rather like an immunity granted as a reward for NOT testifying.

It is especially perplexing when you look at what Irish Law says about Immunity. These quotes are taken from the law regarding Immunity in relation to Cartels as laid down in the Competition Acts of 1991 and 1996 . I have used this document simply because it is available, I don’t know under what particular act Mr Moran’s Immunity was granted, but I doubt it makes any difference because generally Immunity is the same no matter which particular law it was granted under.  If I am wrong about this I would be grateful for a lawyer to correct me.

In the section which details the requirements for being considered for immunity Irish law says in pargraph 13 the applicant must have “…terminated its participation in the illegal activity”. Mr Moran left Anglo and the bank iself is no more, so presumably he’s OK on that one.

Paragraph 15 looks more difficult:

15 The applicant… must not have coerced another party to participate in the illegal activity and must not have acted as the instigator or have played the lead role in the illegal activity. The applicant must be able to show this to the satisfaction of the Authority.

So given that Mr Moran has been granted immunity are we to take it that the DPP is quite confident, having looked in to it in detail, that Mr Moran was not the instigator of any ‘illegal activity’, didn’t play a lead role in any and did not coerce others?  And all this while he was number two at the bank? Wow!

That means Mr Drumm must have either acted alone  or coerced Mr Moran and all those below him. Ladies and gentleman are we going to see the world’s first Rogue CEO?  Will we find Drumm was a KGB agent, spent time in Cuba and was a loner with deep psychological problems?  I can hardly wait. Though I suspect I may have to.

But back to poor used, abused and thoroughly innocent Mr Moran. Let’s look at what Mr Moran would have been required to provide in return for his immunity and a free pass out of Ireland to pastures green in Luxembourg.

Section 16 says,

16  Throughout the course of the Authority’s investigation and any subsequent prosecution, the applicant must provide complete and timely co-operation. In particular, the applicant must:

a) Reveal any and all offences … in which it may have been involved;

b) Provide full, frank and truthful disclosure of all the evidence and information known or available to it or under its control, including all documentary and other records, wherever located, relating to the offences under investigation with no misrepresentation of any material facts; and

c) Co-operate fully, on a continuing basis, expeditiously and at its own expense throughout the investigation and with any ensuing prosecutions.

Let me remind you this is all from the Competition Acts but as I said the detail of immunity is unlikely to be very different in any other act. I just want you to be aware.

But taking this law as a likely indicator of the law under which Mr Moran was dealt with, it would seem that the DPP must already have details of all offences Mr Moran was aware of, all the documents and records necessary to detail and prove those offences and a full and frank disclosure of everything he knew about what went on at Anglo. Remember he was number two in the bank.

If the DPP does not have all this, then on what basis was Mr Moran given immunity from the law? If the DPP does have all this and must have had it all for several YEARS already, then what kind of bumbling half wits or conniving lick-spittles run the place that they still haven’t done a thing with it all?

The whole idea of Immunity is to use a small fish to catch a larger one. Mr Moran however was the number two at Anglo. As the Chief Financial Officer he really only reported to one man above him, the CEO, Mr David Drumm. Both of them would have been technically answerable to the board, but the dysfunction or rather non-functioning of Anglo’s board is now common knowledge. Thus by granting Immunity to Mr Moran the DPP has contrived to put one of the two TOP architects of the entire Anglo catastrophe forever beyond the reach of justice and the law.  (It remains to be seen if Mr Moran was granted partial or complete Immunity. Partial means he can’t be prosecuted using his own testimony or evidence gained because of it. But he could be prosectured if other independently acquired evidence came to light. Complete Immunity means just that. Both are common in the U.S.A but have rarely been granted in Ireland.)

Whichever turns out to be the case for Mr Moran, what remains unchanged is that, if he ever is called to testify, most of those he could implicate will be junior to him. The lovely Sean FitzPatrick is so far only on trail for share price manipulation.

It is unusual, to say the least, to grant immunity to the largest suspect in order to help secure evidence against lesser suspects. Was there no one, not one person, lower down the food chain at Anglo who would have gladly accepted Immunity and testified against the two top suspects? Personally I find that hard to believe.

Which brings us back to wondering why was Mr Moran given immunity and why are we learning about it now?

A few weeks ago The Village Magazine wrote an open letter to the Irish DPP saying if no case was brought against UniCredit various other banks and a rogues gallery of neer-do-well bankers then the Village would. I wonder if the Village is going to make good on this threat? I do sincerely hope so.

It is interesting however that it is after the threat was made that we find out about Mr Moran and, as the web site “Public Inquiry” notes, that the DDP, Claire Loftus seems to have fired a warning shot at The Village, its owner Michael Smith and the UniCredit whistleblower Mr Sugarman.

In the preface to the DPP annual report Ms Loftus wrote,

I want to take this opportunity to say something generally about the risks of pre-trial publicity interfering with the right of an accused person to a fair trial.

The media and commentators have a high degree of responsibility to ensure that not only do they not commit a contempt of court by publishing or broadcasting prejudicial material but also that such publicity is not the cause of a trial being postponed for a long period, or even indefinitely.

These risks increase as any trial date approaches.

As Public Inquiry then asked,

Could it be that her warning is aimed at the editor of Village magazine, Michael Smith, who issued the … challenge to Ms. Loftus and her office in the August/September issue?

A warning from the Irish DPP not to say or write anything that might prejudice a future prosecution – after so many years when even Madoff has already been goaled – seems to be taking the piss.  What are we all to wait for, the next Ice Age?! I have seen glaciers melt and mountain ranges erode faster than justice moves in ireland. It is even slower than it is in England and THAT is saying something.

The Irish authorities seized two MILLION documents from Anglo. They have had several very senior bankers trawling through the debris making sense of it all sufficient to wind it up. There are people who can piece together a great deal of who did what and when including the involvement of senior political figures.  U.S. Vulture funds connected with Elliott Associates have recently made it clear they think such documents exist and have gone to court to be allowed to find them.

Other documents relating the the infamous sale of Anglo’s Austrian subsidiary to the private bank Valartis, using money lent to Valartis by Anglo! – which spirited away hundreds of millions from any possible bail-in which would confiscated those millions, and also protected the identity of the owners of those millions from curious Irish eyes, plus the connection of that sale to a knot of allegations of high level corruption among the political elite of Austria – there are anwers to all these questions in the documents at Anglo, at Dame Street and in the heads of the who worked  at Anglo. To give any of them immunity and then never get round to making them testify is … what?

An immunity from prosecution is given when a proscutor wants to strike a deal with a witness so they can speak freely and in so doing bring about larger prosecutions. But if an immunity is given and no prosecution ever results then what is it? What was it given for really?

I would argue is is a kind of silk gag. The person doesn’t have to say a word – they’ve been given immunity.  They are free to get on with life knowing they are not going to face prosecution.  It amounts to a seal on everything they know.

The warning from the DPP about not prejudicing is a sad joke. One that reveals what justice is about in Ireland.

Bear in mind one last thing. Mr Moran never stood up and said, ‘ask me, I know who the guilty people are, I know what they did.’ Yet two years ago he was quietly given immunity and he has said not a word, not a murmur of a deposition since.  Mr Jonathan Sugarman did stand up and say, ‘help me please I know of wrong doing at the bank where I hold a senior position.’ He went to the regulator and asked for help. He told them in a letter what his conerns were. He got others to independently verify his concerns.

He was ignored. He approached senior people in every Irish political party. They ignored him took, no action and some even tried to deny they had ever heard of him.

He was not offered Immunity. He was threatened with prosecution if he revealed what he knew.

Compare Mr Moran’s and Mr Sugarman’s treatment and you tell me what being granted Immunity looks like it’s for.

 

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66 Responses to Whistleblowing and Immunity in Ireland

  1. Michael Fish September 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Excellent article, thanks for your good work.

    The continuing unwinding of this story
    is another example of the blanket control
    of wealthy well-connected people
    across every border of every state
    for whom laws,
    and even common decency
    do not apply.
    And it seems that there is nobody
    powerful enough, numerous enough,
    to police what they do,
    what they plan to do, what they have done.
    When one reads about the origins
    of the French Revolution years ago,
    one is astounded at the dysfunctions
    which characterized almost every aspect
    of that society:
    of government, of morality,
    of individual responsibility,
    courts, border controls, interior and exterior,
    privileges, taxation, contracts,
    everything.
    It is said that it had to blow up,
    and it did.
    I don’t see that happening
    in today’s interconnected world.
    And with the state of the media,
    the courts, even the laws
    which have gradually
    loosed any restrictions
    that might have made a difference,
    all now controlled by the abusers of
    what should be an impartial system,
    and with highly organized
    armed protectors of the abusers,
    all knowing, through data mining
    of all communications,
    for pity’s sake,
    I see a very bleak future for the planet
    and everything in it,
    including the beauty
    of truth, love, art, nature, life itself.
    1984 would seem to have arrived
    twenty-nine years late.
    But it is here.

    Michael Fish

    • desmond September 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      thank you again Golem and my feeling entirely Michael Fish. But maybe 1984 has always been here.. and it just becomes clearer at times.. i find its time for the ‘serenity to accept the things i can’t change, the courage to change the things i can and the wisdom to know the difference.’

  2. Jonathan Sugarman September 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    David,

    As always, thank you for all the support & encouragement.

    A curious twist in the Dublin taletoday. A statement from the Central Bank of Ireland re Anglo Tapes:
    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/09/24/just-banter/

    Jonathan Sugarman

  3. steviefinn September 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Aw c’mon fellas, they are not really repulsive leechs whose sole purpose is to try & satisfy their insatiable appetites by sucking the lifeblood from the rest of us, by any means legal or otherwise. Harry Binswanker reckons we should all thank our lucky stars for the efforts these noble creatures have made to enrich our lives.

    Ireland is indeed fortunate to have such misunderstood persons in great number, who go to any lengths necessary in order to keep slogging away making our world, a much better place :

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/99-owe-debt-gratitude-1-harry-binswanger-153327379.html?l=1

  4. Buck Turgidson September 25, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    Looks like Mr Moran is scheduled to testify against three bankers next year. So maybe that answers your question about his immunity deal.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/anglo-executive-given-immunity-deal-by-the-dpp-1.1521627

  5. John Souter September 25, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    The Irish need to sack their government and replace it with a government with some cojones and at least some commitment to the people it serves. (same applies to most of the Western world.)

    In this instance immunity from prosecution is a euphemism for damage control – a corner stone strategy for the protection of establishment inner temple’s of all hues and purpose.

    On this issue the first step in my opinion would be to challenge the validity of the immunity and the grounds on which it was granted.

    • Golem XIV September 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      I think you’re right.

      I think there could be a successful challenge on those grounds IF the DPP could be forced to make those details known to any other office let alone the public. Looking at the law which governs the DPP that office seems to be a law unto itself and above almost any other law. No other office seems to have any rigtht of review over it.

  6. M_T_Wallet September 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Prevaricate long enough in the hope that people will forget.

    I hate all of those disgusting leeches who have reaped financial carnage on the many.

  7. Mike Hall September 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Just how f%^ing bad does it get among the economic ‘authorities’ of the EU?

    Try…..”…..the “natural” rate of unemployment in Spain—if the economy were operating at full potential—is 23%….”

    (As in, the assumption required under the ‘structural deficit’ rules of the EU/Euro area, as applied to Spain.)

    Yes, really, not 2.3%, twenty three percent.

    See here:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304213904579095481787193644.html

    Intellectually f^&ing bankrupt tossers cum neo liberal apologists.

    (This utterly bogus “…natural rate of unemployment…” stems in part from the required assumption in mainstream macro modelling that all unemployment is purely a voluntary ‘preference for leisure’.)

    Irish Minister Michael Noonan was quoted talking about a ‘natural rate’ earlier this year. He hasn’t enough between the ears to have got this idea himself, so we can assume it reflects ‘advise’ he’s getting from civil servants.

    Any Irish Journos out there care to press our Minister about what figure is implied by the EU Commission’s ‘calculations’ for Ireland?

    • John G September 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      Ah yes, the vaunted NAIRU. They can just redefine full employment to whatever they see fit.

    • Golem XIV September 26, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      I hadn’t seen that article Mike. Thank you.

      It’s so twisted and so utterly lacking in any empathy it truely does make me wonder if the wealthy and their apologist intellectuals have any care whatsoever for real flesh and blood people.

      I just cannot fathom what kind of moral world these people inhabit.

      • Joe Taylor September 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        Hi David

        Just watched High Anxieties again. You produced that five years ago I think, and what a brilliant documentary.

        When you say “I just cannot fathom what kind of moral world these people inhabit” it’s certainly different from the one most of us inhabit.

        I’m about two thirds through Political Ponerology by Andrzej Lobaczewski (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes), which is a serious attempt to expose the psychology of such people and the methodology by which they attain power.

        It’s making me see things from another perspective.

        Here’s a couple of quotes from the book:

        “For centuries, moralists have been advising us to develop ethics and human values; they have been searching for the proper intellectual criteria. They have also respected correctness of reasoning, whose value in this area is unquestionable. In spite of all their efforts, however, they have been unable to overcome the many kinds of evil that have scourged humanity for ages and that are presently taking on unheard-of proportions.”

        “In any society in this world, psychopathic individuals and some of the other deviant types create a ponerogenically active network of common collusions, partially estranged from the community of normal people.”

        “When a ponerogenic process encompasses a society’s entire ruling class, or nation, or when opposition from normal people is stifled – as a result of the mass character of the phenomenon, or by using spellbinding means and physical compulsion, including censorship – we are dealing with a macro-social ponerologic phenomenon.”

        More selected quotes here: http://bit.ly/1eoOYwZ

        • Hawkeye September 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

          Hi Joe

          Thanks for the book tip. I also recommend this book by Norbert Haring:

          http://www.amazon.com/Economists-Powerful-Convenient-Distorted-Economics/dp/0857284592/ref=la_B003DK64IQ_1_1/175-4639372-6658042?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380211716&sr=1-1

          This Amazon reviewer sums it up:

          “this book makes one simple point: economists are the sluts of the social sciences, in the pay of the wealthy, and they have prostituted their profession in the most indecent obscene manner possible. Others have made similar points, what we really have here are two forms of crime — petty crime — economists kneeling for hand-outs — and master crime — financiers looting entire national economies just because they can — because government has no integrity, the media (once capable of investigative journalism) has no integrity, and the academy (economists and everyone else) has no integrity.”

          • Joe Taylor September 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

            Thanks Hawkeye, that one is going on my reading list

  8. allcoppedout September 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    I wonder what the statistical chance of 3 tower blocks on the same site collapsing as they would under purposive demolition in accidental circumstances are?

    • richard in norway September 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      911 might well be connected to everything but I don’t get why you drop it into conversation here

      • allcoppedout September 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

        I was thinking of the general mess of information-disinformation situations now generally in front of us on which leave us speculating without facts. This feels the same. We end up with competing fictions rather than any attempt at genuine public scrutiny with reasonable rules on disclosure. Generally we are shafted as soon as we question the ethics of the establishment and there is a waiting crank-pool to throw real whistleblowers in. I tend to see banksterism whistleblowing as akin to 9/11 speculation and complaints against authority generally. We are up against very complex machines of denial designed to prevent open investigation through ‘regulatory authorities’.

        Pretty much every area of our non-modern society is struggling with honest review. We rarely examine the wide context in which ‘we’ are being defeated and the roles ‘we’ play.

  9. gerry parker September 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Yes indeed John G, and how soon will they find it convenient to quote unemployment as being 2% above the NAIRU to pour more smoke into the smoke and mirrors.

  10. Phil (Mcr) September 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Guess who has gone to work for JP Morgan? Stephanie ”it’s a liquidity crisis” Flanders…

    http://insights.jpmorgan.co.uk/adviser/commentary-and-analysis/j-p-morgan-asset-management-hires-bbc-economics-editor-stephanie-flanders-as-chief-market-strategist-for-the-uk-and-europe/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=adviser

    I’ve complained to the BBC about their coverage of the crash in the light of this obvious conflict of interest (Flanders has long been known as a protege of Larry Summers, the architect of financial deregulation). This study by Cardiff University reveals that the Today Programme had more representatives from the City than any other group of commentators during the crisis:

    http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=1326

    I’ve also written to my MP and MEP – time to get this into the public debate I think.

    • Mike Hall September 28, 2013 at 12:43 am #

      I thought this smelled funny Phil – always thought Flanders an utterly mediocre mainstream mouthpiece.

      Didn’t know about the Summers connection tho’, that’s interesting esp in light of Greg Palast’s recent articles.

      Thanks for the Mike Berry link. Confirms my observations, and despite occasional appearances by Ann Petifor, Newsnight seems to mirror ‘Today’s’ guest policy.
      (F&%ing ‘Peterson Institute’ on recently.)

      As no one else has done it, have to link Matt Taibbi’s must read piece:

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926

      I’ve long considered the pension funds as a key part, or channel, for the looting of the real economy. The rigged casino requires a channel of hidden losing gamblers from main street. The pension scam is it.

      As MMT explains, there is never any constraint in (fiat currency) governments providing an adequate retirement pension without any need to ‘save’ the currency it issues. A universal public pension provision would remove a major looting channel from the finance sector.

  11. Phil (Mcr) September 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    You can see the rap sheet of Ms Flanders’ new employer here:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/david-dayen-out-of-control-new-report-exposes-jpmorgan-chase-as-mostly-a-criminal-enterprise.html

    It includes:

    Bank Secrecy Act violations;
    Money laundering for drug cartels;
    Violations of sanction orders against Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor;
    Violations related to the Vatican Bank scandal (get on this, Pope Francis!);
    Violations of the Commodities Exchange Act;
    Failure to segregate customer funds (including one CFTC case where the bank failed to segregate $725 million of its own money from a $9.6 billion account) in the US and UK;
    Knowingly executing fictitious trades where the customer, with full knowledge of the bank, was on both sides of the deal;
    Various SEC enforcement actions for misrepresentations of CDOs and mortgage-backed securities;
    The AG settlement on foreclosure fraud;
    The OCC settlement on foreclosure fraud;
    Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;
    Illegal flood insurance commissions;
    Fraudulent sale of unregistered securities;
    Auto-finance ripoffs;
    Illegal increases of overdraft penalties;
    Violations of federal ERISA laws as well as those of the state of New York;
    Municipal bond market manipulations and acts of bid-rigging, including violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;
    Filing of unverified affidavits for credit card debt collections (“as a result of internal control failures that sound eerily similar to the industry’s mortgage servicing failures and foreclosure abuses”);
    Energy market manipulation that triggered FERC lawsuits;
    “Artificial market making” at Japanese affiliates;
    Shifting trading losses on a currency trade to a customer account;
    Fraudulent sales of derivatives to the city of Milan, Italy;
    Obstruction of justice (including refusing the release of documents in the Bernie Madoff case as well as the case of Peregrine Financial).

  12. steviefinn September 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Kinda sums it up :

    Five years after the blanket bank guarantee which led to a €69 billion bank bailout being foisted on the people, the Irish haven’t come out in mass protest to demand justice. Jasmin Marston, through a series of interviews with Irish people which was undertaken as part of her research for a Master of Science in International Relations, tries to find out why. – See more at: http://www.irishleftreview.org/2013/09/27/years-bank-guarantee/#sthash.3bklNuR8.dpuf

    http://www.irishleftreview.org/2013/09/27/years-bank-guarantee/

    • Phil (Mcr) October 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      From that article:

      “It’s not what is said. It is what is not said. What does not exist in the media does not exist in the society.” (Castells, 2011)

      Sounds like the £1.2 trillion poured into the banks.

  13. Mike Hall September 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    Christ, you poor UK dwellers, cruelty & ignorance by economic policy is personified in Osborne’s speech today.

    What a piece of warmed up Thatcherite Tory shit.

    http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/09/george-osborne-promises-surplus.html

    As if the Gulag treatment of the jobless wasn’t bad enough, the budget surplus plan will all but ensure that the ranks of long term unemployed will continue to swell. I expect many will simply give up & live rough on the streets.

    A simple Sectoral Balance analysis (a la MMT) will show why. Government can only move into surplus by taking financial assets from the non-Government sector. It’s unlikely exports will change much, so guess who’s left? And being Tories, guess which group will be coughing up the most? Looks like the rich are set to get richer & poor poorer to a whole new level.

    Are the Tories planning a whole new privatised industry of orchestrated mental & physical torture on the poor? I suppose if people turn to crime in desperation they’ll end up in the privatised prisons (like the US), so it’ll be a win-win either way.

    And guess which twats, as if by some evil Pavlovian manipulation, parroted the same moronic drivel that the government’s goal must be ‘balance’ or ‘surplus’ ?

    Channel 4 News’ Jon (economic ignorant dickhead) Snow interviewing Labour’s shadow Treasury spokesman Chris Imacluelesswankertoo.

    Sorry for the colourful language, but this crap is just getting too surreal.

  14. Hawkeye October 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Woah. Karl Denninger woke up on the wrong side of bed on Saturday and is hanging up his boots in protest:

    “If and when things change I will reconsider my position and lower my middle finger.”

    http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=224712

    • Phil (Mcr) October 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      What I don’t understand about Libertarians is the blind spot for class power. There is a group of people and they go to the same schools and universities, they may take up different careers in different sectors but they all understand what is in their interests as a class. They move between business, government, regulation, politics and think tanks.

      It’s not the state, it’s not business – it’s power and wealth and the pursuit thereof.

  15. Just me October 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    “Metropolitan Police ‘stockpiling’ plastic bullets”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17925477

  16. Mike Hall October 2, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Love this:

    Poll results: What Americans think about wealth inequality…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9HdmzY4KLY#t=120

    …and what it says about public information media & discourse.

    It’s definitely annual surreal week.

  17. Robin Smith October 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Whistle blowing starts at home. How so?

    Do you own property in land and do you keep the unearned increase in its selling price?

    Do have a mortgage, gambling with the future of our children in that giant legal Ponzi scheme? No one forced anyone to take out a mortgage.

    Help to Buy – A Ponzi scheme masterminded by home owners and Government
    http://www.meltfund.com/2013/10/help-to-buy-ponzi-scheme-masterminded.html

    Do you rent property and if so what exactly did you do to earn the increase in rents over time?

    Have you ever received large assets in an estate and kept that unearned windfall even after paying the tax?

    By what rights do these unearned windfalls belong to you that are sustainable? That is, how much work did you actually do for that part of your earnings?

    All of these activities combined amount to way more than the problems you talk about. Banks and politicians may be bad. But people in general are worse.

    And with your help these realities are kept out of sight and out of mind, so that we don’t have consider them.

    “you have the key, dont use it well yourself, and keep others from using it”

    Will you be blowing the whistle on yourself soon? Or will you keep helping the people to blame others.

    We can provide guidance on all this. We hear you, its an extraordinary commitment for anyone to make.

    • Roger October 11, 2013 at 6:41 am #

      Hi Robin,

      This is a very thought provoking post and challenges one to really think about how in the midst of our individual existences we act as well as are acted upon.
      Acting and being acted upon is an old philosophical concept of course giving rise to Descartes Mind Body Dualism and Bishop Berkeley’s tree falling in the wood.

      Dualism is of course very destructive to our own sense of purpose if an appreciation is given to the I and Thou aspects of self and Ego. The modern world I believe encourages us to live up to Ego and leave our selves neglected.

      I have thought about this post of yours a great deal the past few days as it relates to my own experiences. I have had the luxury of spending 10 years on a Sabbatical from mainstream life and the past 3 years here in Sweden has been something of a meditation for me. This dislocation allows me to admit quite freely that for my own case alone and in my own life you are absolutely right. If I might say though Ghandi puts it best when he says ´´Be the change you want to see in the world´´

      In an imperfect world as well as addressing ourselves it is equally valid to make objections to that which is causing harm in a pragmatic way we must all allow hypocrisy and contradiction as any process of change in our selves and the system
      is linear and quantum leaps exist in Science fiction and not our present world.

      I have found Integral Philosophy quite good at dealing with an approach that can deal with multiple paradigms. This Paper particularly is a great introduction to the concepts articulated By Ken Wilber. I worry about the aspects of Integral Theory that appear cultivistic and religious but as with Austrian Economic Analysis one can agree with the diagnosis of the symptoms if not with the prescriptions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory

      Integral theory is a philosophy promoted by Ken Wilber that seeks a synthesis of the best of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern reality.[1] It is portrayed as a “theory of everything,”[2] and offers an approach “to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching.”[1] It has been applied by scholar-practitioners in 35 distinct academic and professional domains as varied as organisational management, art, and feminism.[1]

      http://www.dialogue4health.org/pdfs/3_18_09/E_H_Overview-IT.pdf

      In another of Davids posts here the Praetorian Guard was discussed and Gibbons Decline and Fall. I did some reading on Gibbon the other day and found this quote from Wikipedia very interesting.

      Christianity as a contributor to the fall and to stability[edit]
      “As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers’ pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition, kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny; and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country. Yet party-spirit, however pernicious or absurd, is a principle of union as well as of dissension. The bishops, from eighteen hundred pulpits, inculcated the duty of passive obedience to a lawful and orthodox sovereign; their frequent assemblies and perpetual correspondence maintained the communion of distant churches; and the benevolent temper of the Gospel was strengthened, though confirmed, by the spiritual alliance of the Catholics. The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and effeminate age; but if superstition had not afforded a decent retreat, the same vices would have tempted the unworthy Romans to desert, from baser motives, the standard of the republic. Religious precepts are easily obeyed which indulge and sanctify the natural inclinations of their votaries; but the pure and genuine influence of Christianity may be traced in its beneficial, though imperfect, effects on the barbarian proselytes of the North. If the decline of the Roman empire was hastened by the conversion of Constantine, his victorious religion broke the violence of the fall, and mollified the ferocious temper of the conquerors.” (chap. 39).[15]

      The Religious aspects of Capitalism ( Which is an ideological belief System)are quite startling, to a certain extent we all seem to make allegiance to particular sects within the over arching Capitalist God. The Money System providing the pennies from heaven.

      The Money System is corrupt and is not impartial in its machinations its tightly held central control sees to that. Simply put I have concluded that the Custodians of the FIAT money system protect the structure of the system by destroying claims against itself which are in the hands of un aligned threats and also of the insignificant. As with so much else some are very much more equal than others in the supposedly indifferent Capitalist Market guided by ´´The Invisible Hand´´

      I think Robin that you are right and we all make a difference individually and collectively. Collectively we can make a visible difference in our lifetimes what that difference is and what we individually wish to make a change in the world about is another question. Depending on how divided we are on that question will determine how long we subject ourselves to the present Tyranny.

      • CArratiaM October 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

        Dear Roger,

        I had disregarded Robin’s comment first as being somewhat unfair/cynical/hypocritical or something else I can’t properly describe, given that he was putting regular people that may look for some security at a level worse than that of the banksters and corrupt politicians (“Banks and politicians may be bad. But people in general are worse.”).

        But since I have a good opinion of you from many of your contributions, reading your last post has sent my attention back to Robin’s post in search for more depth. What I’ve found through his link, however, is so despicable that it almost makes me regret having dug it out… but it is perhaps good to find such a bold and shameless expression of the disdain for the people and selfishness of the unboundedly greedy. A few samples:

        http://www.meltfund.com/2013/06/what-is-meltfund.html
        http://www.meltfund.com/2013/06/the-law-of-monopoly.html
        http://www.meltfund.com/2013/05/the-monstrous-doctrine-of-green-movement.html (note slide 12)

        … I hesitate putting the links thinking that it might be better to not give it publicity and ignore it, but then I think that it’s better to show it out broadly. I hope they are very few the immoral who would like to consciously participate in that villainy, and that it’s uncovering at large would help, if not to stop it, at least to make it less smooth.

        Cheers.

        • Pat October 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

          @ CArratiaM

          The Melt Fund website appears to be satirical, describing common processes that are fundamental to our economic system (enclosure, privatisation, rent-seeking) under the guise of a brazen prospectus or manifesto. It is surely arguable that anyone who has happily gained from property speculation or who buys a property to rent out to others in the hope of gaining some advantage or financial security for themselves is complicit to some degree in the general malaise, even if on a different scale from the ‘captains of finance’.

          The ordinary, small-fry rent-seekers acquiesce and participate in this behaviour because they believe what they are told, that ‘there is no alternative’. Here in Ireland, I know many people who incurred massive debts when the bubble was near to bursting in order to buy over-priced property, and who now have to pay mortgages on houses with massive negative equity. Yet even with hindsight they will tell you quite seriously that they had no alternative but to ‘get on the ladder’, that rent is ‘dead money’ etc. The indoctrination goes deep and dissidents will likely remain a minority.

          • CArratiaM October 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

            Thanks Pat for your reply.

            And yeah the Meltfund site is perhaps satirical, at first I thought it could be so but then as I kept reading on and on I found no indication that it actually was satirical but more on the opposite and I got convinced it wasn’t. At this point I’m not really sure anymore what it is…

            About the common/small rent seekers, I agree that they are also part of the problem! But sure I would not point at them in the first place.

  18. desmond October 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    i’ve never met a person in general who is anywhere near as rotten as investment in debt bankers and their rent boy politicians. Sure people in general are not saintly but those others are most scurrilous..

    • steviefinn October 16, 2013 at 6:34 am #

      Conversation yesterday at work : Hard working young lad thrilled at moving into an apartment after spending quite some time saving up £20,000 for a deposit on an £100,000 apartment, greeted by other other youngsters delight at him having managed this feat. He works in the film industry probably managing to work a few months a year at a pretty high pay rate. The mortgage was possible due to the fact that he had worked for one stretch for more than 3 months which made it possible to provide the bank with 3 months worth of pay slips.

      More delight that the government was going to make it possible to do the same with a 5% deposit rather than 10%. My party poop would not have been appreciated – These hard working, somehow optimistic young people deserve better.

  19. Phil T. October 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Slightly OT …

    ” … There are only five problems with America’s growth imperative:

    1. Growth doesn’t work. It doesn’t deliver the claimed social and economic benefits.
    2 .Our measure of growth — gross domestic product or GDP — is fundamentally flawed.
    3. The focus on growing GDP deflects us away from growing the many things that do need to grow.
    4. The over-riding imperative to grow gives over-riding power to those, mainly the corporations, which have the capital and technology to deliver that growth, and, much the same thing, it undermines the case for a long list of public policies that would improve national well-being but are said to “slow growth” and to “hurt the economy.”
    5. Economic activity and its growth are the principal drivers of massive environmental decline. …”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-gustave-speth/growth-fetish-five-reason_b_4018166.html

    • JCC October 7, 2013 at 2:15 am #

      Lest we forget, the recently departed Dr Albert Bartlett famously stated, “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

  20. Hawkeye October 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Just came across some videos of Ben Gilroy in Ireland standing up to unlawful implementation of repossession:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpUjl4LvQM8

  21. backwardsevolution October 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Glenn Greenwald destroys Pauline Neville Jones re Edward Snowden, NSA, GCHQ and spying. Greenwald is absolutely spectacular, and he emphasizes what journalism should be, shining a bright light on what government is doing.

    14 minutes long, but well worth your time.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36423.htm

    • Phil T. October 10, 2013 at 2:07 am #

      When was Pauline Neville Jones’s lobotomy actually performed ? …

      … kudos to Greenwald for not just walking away early on in this frustrating segment … he certainly deserves an interviewer worthy of the topic and capable of sensibly querying his contribution to it …

    • Phil (Mcr) October 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      It was Kirsty Wark he demolished : )

      And yes, she is a bell-end.

  22. allcoppedout October 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Interesting to speculate whether lobotomy is required before chairing the JIC or done afterwards for reasons of national security. Was Kirsty was exposed as never having been a journalist or does 30 years with the BBC have the same effect?

    • old dog October 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      She was taking such an extended pasting i was wondering if she was taking one for the team or being hung out to dry, amazing.

      • Phil T. October 11, 2013 at 2:09 am #

        Perhaps she was trying to get the attention of executives at Fox News in New York for a position with a network more commensurate with lobotomized employees ! Ludicrous certainly is not a strong enough word; Mr. Greenwald was obviously being very polite…

        • allcoppedout October 13, 2013 at 12:32 am #

          Slavoj Zizek could have been given a corner talk-over slot in the Greenwald interview “explaining” Glenn was calling her as ‘useless c**t’ for the brain dead in the audience. Instead he got on at the end of the show to plug his film. He plays the role of an undergraduate trained freudian-marxist covering up lack of knowledge with waving arms and a foreign accent in that.

  23. steviefinn October 12, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    ” Curiouser and curiouser: “Two funds linked to US billionaire hedge fund owner Paul Singer have dropped their objection to the former Anglo Irish Bank’s application for bankruptcy protection in the United States. The funds, associated with Mr Singer’s Elliott Management, withdrew their challenge to the petition yesterday after the Delaware bankruptcy court blocked their request for access to official records revealing the Government’s decision-making behind the emergency liquidation of the bank in February. Elliott’s decision to drop its objection to IBRC’s action is out of character with the company’s aggressive track record in the pursuit of distressed debt.
    Controlled by Mr Singer, a major donor to the US Republican Party, the hedge fund has developed a reputation for doggedly chasing debts, famously suing Argentina for a default a decade ago.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/hedge-funds-drop-objection-to-ibrc-s-us-bankruptcy-move-1.1557489

  24. allcoppedout October 13, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Elliots’ discovery action failed, so what chance any of us finding out what kind of looting fest IRBC is a cover for?

  25. Just me October 14, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    “Exclusive: Red Cross launches emergency food aid plan for UK’s hungry”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/exclusive-red-cross-launches-emergency-food-aid-plan-for-uks-hungry-8872496.html

    “IMF explains “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” tax avoidance”

    http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1026675.shtml

  26. Just me October 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    “For example, all of the Royal Mail’s real estate is being transferred to the new private owners for less than the value of the Royal Mail’s London real estate alone. Neil Clark reports that one Royal Mail London depot is worth about one billion British pounds; but the entire real estate assets of the Royal Mail–public property–is being transferred to the new private owners for about three-quarters of one billion British pounds. The deal was so loaded in favor of the private purchasers that the share price rose almost 40 percent on the first day of trading. (This might have been some sort of nominal trading as the deal possibly has not been finalized.)”

    http://paulcraigroberts.org/2013/10/14/whatever-became-western-civilization-paul-craig-roberts/

  27. 24K October 15, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    The U.S. Postal Service has defaulted on a $5.6 billion payment for retiree health benefits that was due on Monday, just as the Postmaster General had warned it would.

    he said the Postal Service was “in the midst of a financial disaster” and that it is “burdened by an outdated and inflexible business model” that prevents it from making payments.

    Postal Service hit its debt limit last year, which means that it cannot borrow any more money from the U.S. Treasury.

    The Postal Service plans to cut 150,000 workers.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/01/news/economy/postal-service-default/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

  28. 24K October 15, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Eight universities have now been closed for five weeks after workers went on strike to oppose the dismissal of 1,349 administrative staff. Four of the eight university directors have refused to submit to the Education Ministry lists of employees with the information necessary to implement their sackings. The remaining four submitted lists of names without including any further details

    The government plans are part of the latest attacks on the Greek public sector, which aim at placing a total of 25,000 public sector workers in “mobility” by the end of December. By the end of 2014, the government aims to have eliminated 150,000 positions in the public sector.

    Ministry has drafted legislation foreseeing the suspension of all the universities’ administrative staff unless all eight institutions submit lists of their employees along with the additional information necessary for authorities to evaluate them.

    The union for the private sector, the GSEE, has called another 24-hour general strike for November 6. The strike is directed at plans to increase the country’s property tax. The tax applies in Greece to many workers who often have small apartments or houses.

    Improvements in other parts are also clear:

    Greek hospital workers are also opposing the dismissal of employees and the closure and merger of hospitals. Eight hospitals began strike action this week that will initially continue over the weekend.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/14/gree-o14.html

  29. orville October 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Hello Golem,

    Off topic, and probably already said (and maybe even done – if so please send me links), but have you made any film about the same subjects as your blog here? The comprehensibility of the way quite complex subjects are articulated would be very translatable to video, and good to share with friends.

    Anywho, many thanks for your articles and space for contributions.

    Cheers

    • Golem XIV October 16, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Hello orville,

      The two films I can offer you are Icon Earth shown in 1996 and High anxieties shown in early 2008.

      Both are available under their titles on YouTube.

      Icon was about the threat of globalization. High Anxieties was about the roots of the global debt crisis and global climate change.

      I would be interested to hear your thoughts if you happen to watch them.

      Sorry for my recent long silence. Life has its ups and downs.

  30. Just me October 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    “Police are requesting “on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service” that magazine vendors refrain from selling today’s edition of Private Eye.”

    http://dwpexamination.org/forum/political-soap-box/police-trying-to-remove-private-eye-from-shops/#p114828

  31. Rita Cahill December 16, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    More Corruption and more lies here this Email i stumbled upon, read it why would these TD Councils want the Email deleted after
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    1. Legislative Background
    The Leitrim County Development Plan was adopted on 26th January 2009 and takes effect from the 23rd February 2009. This report has been prepared in accordance with Article 13 (i) 1 of the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment) Regulations 2004 as set out below.
    Article 13 (I) (1) of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations 2004 states; In addition to the requirement of section 12(12)(b) of the Act, a notice under section 12(12)(a) of the Act shall state that a statement is also available, summarising—
    (a) how environmental considerations have been integrated into the plan, (b) how
    (i) the environmental report prepared pursuant to article 13C,
    (ii) submissions and observations made to the planning authority in response to a notice under section 12(1) or (7) of the Act, and (iii) any consultations under article 13F.
    have been taken into account during the preparation of the plan. (c) the reasons for choosing the plan, as adopted, in the light of the other reasonable alternatives dealt with, and
    (d) the measures decided upon to monitor, in accordance with article 13J, the significant environmental effects of implementation of the plan.
    2.
    integrated into the making of the Plan
    How environmental Considerations have been taken into account and
    A decision was taken at the outset by the Executive and supported by the Elected Members that the Development Plan, Strategic Environmental Assessment and related documents would be prepared in-house. The work involved was lead by a team of professionals who have a good working knowledge of planning and environmental matters within the County. It was considered that such an approach would lead to a more bespoke plan. Also, and importantly, it would lead to efficiencies whereby economic, social and environmental concerns would be transposed more directly into the Draft Plan than would have happened had these documents been prepared through a combination of in-house and out-of-house workings.
    As part of the Plan making process a significant level of consultation was undertaken in addition to the statutory requirements. This included; the preparation of Background Issues Paper and Position Papers, Area based Public meetings,
    Manned Public Information Displays, Radio and Newspaper advertising, Notices in local parish newsletters, Flyers being posted at key locations in towns and villages, Area based Workshops/Meetings were held with the elected representatives and inter- Departmental Consultations were undertaken. A significant amount of information on
    3
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    the plan making process (including at different stages the Plan itself and the Strategic Environmental Report) was made available to the public on an ongoing basis on the Council web site. Environmental issues featured strongly in the making of the Plan and whereas the individual issues raised were fully considered, most notably in the Managers Report, many have therefore not appeared in the Environmental Report. The ‘Directions’ given by the Elected Members lead to the preparation of three position papers in respect to one-off housing in the countryside, sight distance requirements and carparking. It can be said that the considerations of the environmental issues raised during the consultation period featured strongly in the making of the Plan and have had a significant influence on the outcome of the Plan. Of particular significance was the use of GIS environmental based data-sets in the formulation of policy eg in relation to one-off housing in the countryside, windfarms, afforestation and visual amenity. A significant amount of data in relation to the environment has been generated as a result of the making of the Plan and ready access to this information will be of particular assistance in the implementation of the Plan.
    As a result of complying with the requirements of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive (43/92/EU) in respect to an Appropriate Assessment, a number of amendments were made to the Plan in order to clarify and strengthen policy on protecting sites of significant ecological importance
    The consideration of environmental concerns cannot be exhaustive, generally the significant impact on the environment of implementing the plan have been given due consideration. Those environmental issues that may be more appropriately dealt with at a different level of assessment, have accordingly not been dealt with in detail in the SEA.
    The SEA process was carried out as an iterative ongoing process. For the most part the team charged with preparing the report met on a regular basis to discuss progress and make decisions. An outline of the approach to the preparation of the SEA Report is given in Table 1 over.
    4
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    Action
    Comments
    1. Screening
    An Environmental Report is mandatory for a County Development Plan, therefore no Screening was undertaken
    2. Scoping Report
    Scoping Report was prepared setting out the policy context and baseline environmental data
    3. Consultation with the Environmental Authorities
    The three Environmental Authorities; Environmental Protection Authority, the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government were consulted in respect to the Scoping Report and the Draft Strategic Environmental Report.
    4. Preparation of Environmental Report and Draft County Development Plan
    5. Formulation and Assessment of Alternatives
    6. Mitigation 7. Monitoring
    8. Ongoing consideration of the Plan making process
    9. Assessment of aims, policies and objectives including amendments to Draft Plan.
    The current development plan and relevent International, National, Regional and Local Plans and Guidelines were considered as appropriate. A key part of the plan making process was the consideration of the outcome of workshops held with the elected members, the pre draft submissions and Interdepartmental consultations. Position papers on key issues raised by the elected members were prepared and informed the making of the Plan.
    Alternative approaches to the making of the Plan were considered and the most appropriate option selected.
    Mitigation was considered and suitable measures were formulated
    Environmental objectives, Indicators and targets were formulated against which the implementation of the Plan could be assessed. The submissions from notified bodies, the public and other interested parties were considered as well as the outcomes from the public meetings and workshops/meetings held with the elected representatives. Also the plan making process was informed by internal consultations and generally by unfolding considerations. All of the foregoing considerations gave rise to significant proposal in terms of formulating and thereafter amending the Draft Plan. During each stage of the plan making
    process environmental issues featured strongly.
    Strategic Envionmental Objectives were developed against which the environmental impacts of each of the aims, policies and objectives of the Plan have been assessed.
    Table 1
    3. Scoping
    A scoping report was prepared in order to identify the relevant environmental issues so that they can be given proper consideration in the Environmental Report. Also as part of the scoping process, consultation was undertaken with the three statutory bodies – the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Environmental,
    5
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
    4. Directions from the Elected Members
    Following the “Directions” from the Elected Members, Position Papers in respect to; the accommodation of housing in the countryside, sight distance and carparking were prepared and the papers were presented to the Strategic Policy Committee and subsequently posted on the Extranet for viewing by the Elected Members. The outcomes from the position papers have been incorporated into the Draft Plan.
    5. Submissions from Environmental Authorities
    List of Environmental Authorities notified under Article 13D (1) of the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment) Regulations 2004
    1 Environmental Protection Agency
    2 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
    3 Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources Two submissions were received from the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government as outlined below; Submission 1 from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
    This submission makes reference to international conventions, national plans, programmes and policies and also refers to the need to refer Drafts of County Development Plan and Local Area Plans to the Department for comment. The submission refers to the need to consider;
    • the Record of Monuments and Places,
    • Urban Archaeological Survey
    • the Archaeological Inventory for County Leitrim
    • National Monuments
    • Increased pressure on the archaeological resource
    • The need to liaise with the National Monuments Section
    In relation to Nature Conservation the submission refers to a list of information to be included in the Environmental Report that accompanies the Development Plan. The Department mentions that it may make recommendations from an architectural heritage perspective.
    Submission 2 from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
    The submission from the Development Applications Unit of the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government makes recommendations in respect to Architectural Heritage. The submission considers that Architectural Heritage is a material asset which is to be taken into account in Strategic Environmental Assessment. Guidance is given by the Department and references are made to a
    6
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    number of Guidelines including; the Guidelines for Regional Authorities, Strategic Environmental Assessment Guidelines, the Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 2004. The Department give advice in respect to the level of detail and data to be included during the Strategic Environmental Assessment Process.
    Submission 3 from Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
    The submission from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources recommends that consideration should be given to the potential for significant impacts on:
    - Water quality by surface water drainage and effluent discharges.
    - Interference with Inland or Marine waters morphology and aquatic habitats by watercourse diversions, channel diversions and alteration or removal of
    bank vegetation.
    - Reduction or diversion of water flows by alterations of land use patterns
    (leading to alterations in flow regimes).
    - The effects of the policy proposal on land use patterns and its potential
    disturbance of biodiversity.
    - For tourist based developments on or in close proximity to the coastline,
    their potential impact on coastal protection and marine biodiversity.
    - Potential increased flood risk resulting from changed land use patterns.
    The department also recommends that the following legislation may need to be considered:
    - Water Framework Directive
    - Habitat Regulations
    - Fisheries Acts
    - Foreshore Acts (1933-1998) (this may apply to any proposed marine based
    tourism development on Foreshore)
    - Urban Waste Water Regulations
    - Floods Directive (when adopted)
    - Arterial Drainage Act 1945
    Suggested Consultees include:
    - Northern and North western Regional Fisheries Boards
    - Office of Public works
    - North western, Shannon and Western River Basin Districts
    The Northern Fisheries Board indicated in their submission that they had no comments to make at this stage in respect to the environmental report.
    The issues raised by the environmental authorities have been taken into consideration throughout the making of the Draft Plan.
    6. Transboundary Environmental Effects
    Under section 13 F(1) requires that a copy of the draft development plan and associated environmental report be forwarded to a member state where the planning
    7
    Leitrim County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 Environmental Statement
    authority considers that implementation of the plan is likely to have significant effects on the environment of a member state. In terms of transbounary environmental effects it is considered that the implementation of the plan would not have a significant positive or negative environmental effect. The requirement to notify the Northern Ireland State Authority does not therefore arise. Never-the-less, Fermanagh District Council was consulted. 7. Selecting Alternative Approaches to the making of the Plan Alternative approaches to the preparation of the Draft Plan were formulated and considered at an early stage of the process. The “Sustainable Development Plan Led Approach” was selected as the preferred alternative as this approach takes full account of the three central tenants of sustainable development which are
    based on social, economic and environmental considerations. This approach is best placed to achieve a proper balance between economic, environmental and social considerations. Leitrim is predominantly a rural county and it is the primary aim of the council to protect and reinforce the population base that underpins the important social, cultural and economic fabric that defines the county.
    8. Monitoring
    Monitoring and review were considered to be key elements in the effective implementation of the County Plan. It ensures that social, economic and physical objectives are fulfilled and that quality of life issues can be assessed.
    In order to facilitate the identification, evaluation and monitoring of the impacts of the Plan, baseline data focused on relevant aspects of the environment that are likely to be significantly affected, is presented in the Environmental Report.
    There is a statutory requirement under Section 15 (2) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 – 2006 to prepare a Managers Progress Report two years after the adoption of the County Development Plan. The Progress Report ‘shall include information in relation to progress on, and the results of monitoring the significant environmental effects of implementation of the development plan.’ In this regard the environmental indicators and targets presented in Chapter 13 of the Environmental Report may be used to monitor the predicted environmental impacts of implementing the Plan. Monitoring will be based around the objectives, indicators and targets. Monitoring at an early stage will help identify unforeseen adverse effects and the undertaking of appropriate remedial action. Monitoring measures over the Development Plan period can be geared towards addressing any gaps (where practicable) which are identified in the Environmental Report. It will also enable an assessment of whether the Development Plan is achieving its environmental objectives and targets and identify issues that be need to be revisited.
    The list of environmental objectives are indicated in Table 17. The table is based on Table 4B of the DOEHLG Guidelines (2004). The list includes: biodiversity, population, human health, geology/soil, water, air/ climatic factors, material assets, cultural heritage/ landscape and the interrelationship between these factors.

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