Saint or Satan

Got the following text from a friend today.

“All mass cards for Charles Haughey are to be sent in brown envelopes”

It was a very welcome relief from the saturation coverage that portrays Haughey as a serious contender for sainthood.

Personally, I’m not superstitious but today’s date – 16/06/06 should provide some food for thought for all the Satanists out there.

Vincent Browne becomes a Haugheyite

There can be no doubt that Haughey went to his grave a happy man. Apart from the fact that he was never brought to justice for his corruption, it has now emerged that Vincent Browne, for years one of Haughey’s strongest critics has become a Haugheyite.

Browne was one of the first to be interviewed after Haughey’s death was first announced on the The Tubridy Show last Tuesday. Obviously very upset, Browne made a tearful and emotional defence of his new found ‘hero’.

Last night,(Wed.) on his radio show Vincent demonstrated in the clearest possible manner how much he has been taken in by Ireland’s most corrupt politician. I strongly urge anyone who is interested in how the cancer of corruption, and the role played by Haughey in spreading that cancer, has warped even the most objective and professional of journalists, to listen to this show.

On the show, Vincent had Haughey’s former personal assistant, Catherine Butler. Haughey may be a hero to Browne but to Butler he is a god. She describes him as a cultured, intelligent, dedicated and patriotic man.

She blames the media (don’t they all), the Progressive Democrats (she describes them disparagingly as the ‘Perfect Democrats’), Fine Gael and the gullibility of the Irish people for believing all the ‘media lies’ for all the ills that befell Haughey.

Butler is not, however, media savvy so Vincent took it upon himself to guide, lead, prompt and manipulate her views in an obvious effort to present Haughey as an ‘innocent victim’ of cruel circumstances.

There is so much in this broadcast that it will be necessary to come back for further analysis.

Silly questions

When media people are involved in saturation coverage of events they sometimes slip into asking really silly/humorous questions. RTE are a particularly good source for this kind of thing.

For example, it wasn’t unusual to hear Unionist politicians being asked – Are you happy that this IRA man is behind bars? Or Irish politicians being asked – Are you pleased that you have been elected?

The coverage of Haughey’s death is no different. Here’s an exchange between RTE’s Fran McNulty and a former constituent of Haughey’s, on today’s News at One.

Fran: How do you think he looked today?

Constituent: (In a puzzled voice) Well, what can you say, the man was dead?

RTE in mourning for corrupt Haughey?

Was it my imagination or did RTE television news and current affairs staff go into mourning for Haughey yesterday?

On all the major news and current affairs programmes including Prime Time, the presenters wore a sombre and respectful black.

In effect, they were not just professionally reporting and analysing a national event, they were also making their own personal statement of respect for this corrupt politician.

Haughey's demise

I think it is worth analysing the comments of President McAleese during an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTE’s News at One yesterday.

Speaking of Haughey’s illness, she said that

“he had borne his long illness with great dignity and considerable grace”.

She had nothing to say about the many thousands of Irish citizens who continue to suffer great indignity, pain and humiliation on hospital trolleys because of the savage cuts in health spending that Haughey initiated in the 1980’s.

She mentioned the International Financial Service’s Centre (IFSC) as one of his great achievements. The IFSC stands at the centre of Irish financial culture, a culture that the New York Times recently described as the ‘Wild West of European finance”.

She claimed that Haughey was “a man who wanted to see Ireland flourish”, but as we know his top priority was to see himself flourish first, usually at the expense of those he claimed to represent.

The President rounded on O’Rourke when he questioned the appropriateness of providing a state funeral for a man like Haughey. In an angry tone she emphasized to O’Rourke and the Irish people how much she admires the criminal Haughey

“I’ll be home for Mr. Haughey’s state funeral on Friday. I would have thought there’s a fairly strong view in that, wouldn’t you?”

Enough said.

Haughey dies

Charles Haughey is dead – let the frenzy of denial begin. The campaign to rehabilitate Haughey, the most ruthless, hypocritical, corrupt politician in Irish history has been underway for some time now.

Recently, Ahern described Haughey as a ‘wonderful man’. His former assistant, Catherine Butler, called him a cultured, intelligent, dedicated and patriotic man. And just now I am listening, with almost sickening disgust, to our President, Mary McAleese, who, in theory is supposed to represent all the people of this corrupt Republic, waffling on about the great Haughey.

She has actually announced that she is cutting short her visit to Africa to return for the funeral of this criminal. She is a disgrace to all the Irish citizens who have suffered and continue to suffer from the actions of this greedy and ruthless politician.

Ireland – The Wild West of European finance

The on-going criminal action in the US against those involved in the General Re Reinsurance fraud case continues to throw some light on the ‘Wild West’ activities of the Irish financial sector.

In Monday’s Irish Times, it was reported that General Re’s Irish subsidiary Cologne Re, was seen as an ideal location for the fraud because

Dublin “did not report to anyone” and so avoided the “North American problem” of financial regulation.”

That Ireland does not ‘suffer from the problem’ of financial regulation is becoming more obvious every day.

The reason for this is simple – The so called Irish Financial Regulator is more of a facilitator than a regulator.

For example in 2004, over two hundred cases of overcharging (theft) by financial institutions were identified. Not one of these institutions was punished in any way; they were simply asked to hand back the €60.9 million ‘overcharged’.

Incredibly, the regulator insists that it is in the public interest that the identities of these institutions remain a State secret.

In recent times, the New York Times reported that Dublin was fast becoming the “Wild West of European finance”. It’s a well deserved tag.

Political crisis

There was widespread panic today among politicians when it was learned that a child rapist had being released from prison on foot of last week’s Supreme Court decision striking down the law on statutory rape.

The panic was not caused by the potential danger to the children of the nation but rather by Bertie Ahern’s threat to recall the Dail next week in order to pass legislation to plug this gaping hole in the law.

A spokesman for the body politic said it was outrageous that such drastic action would be considered to resolve a problem that was only brought to the attention of politicians a mere sixteen years ago.

He went on to say that recalling the Dail could have major consequences for TDs and their families. Holidays had been booked, sun tan lotion purchased and civil servants briefed on keeping constituents happy until the long, long, long weekend was over.

In any case, recalling the Dail should only be considered when something really important needs afixin. Like for example when Fianna Fail’s friend, Larry Goodman, needed help some years back to prevent his business going down the tubes.

Meanwhile, that great defender of Irish democracy, Michael (I know what I know) McDowell was busy denying any knowledge of all this unsavory business.

I know nothing, my staff knows nothing, the Attorney General knows nothing, his staff may know something but you’ll have to wait until we come back from our well deserved holidays to find out. Byeeeee

Usual idiot talk

“If the legislature here are discussing the possibility of changes in order to legalise and regularise their position, well, you know, they’re entitled to be here from that point of view. But in a strict sense, I suppose, they’re illegal,”

This is part of what the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said in the US recently in defence of illegal Irish immigrants in that country.
Hypocritical Irish politicians are of the opinion that the illegal Irish in America suffer more because they are unable to come home to attend Uncle Pat’s funeral or little Mary’s First Holy Communion than the average Afghan being sent back to one of the poorest and most violent countries in the world.
Speaking such idiot talk outside Ireland is not easy for Irish politicians. They are used to operating in a corrupt state where any old guff passes for intelligent analysis.

Here’s a letter from Friday’s Irish Times that gives a good idea of the respect our politicians have earned for their profession

Madam, – Dermot Ahern is beginning to speak the same incomprehensible garbage as his namesake. How can “illegal Irish immigrants” be “entitled to be in America”?

That elected representatives of this country can spout this kind of rubbish is shameful. – Yours, etc,

DERMOT SWEENEY, Viking Harbour, Dublin 8.

The sheriff is not for the good guys

BANKING Rottweiler Liam O’Reilly still doesn’t trust the banking sector not to get up to mischief again. “There’s an old saying. Trust . . . and verify,” he smiles.

The above quote is from an interview with the Financial Regulator’s chief executive, Liam O’Reilly in last Sunday’s Independent .

Anyone unfamiliar with the fact that Ireland is a corrupt state might get the impression that O’Reilly is an Eliot Ness type figure relentlessly pursuing the corrupt and protecting the interests of honest citizens.

An analysis of the article will clear up any such misconceptions.

AIB will have more reason than most to cheer O’Reilly’s impending retirement from the Financial Regulator’s office, having been hit for €34m after the forex rip off

AIB were not hit for €34m. They were not hit for anything. The €34m in question was the amount they stole from their customers and that’s all they were required to pay back.

At the time the Financial regulator did not have the power (even if it wanted to) to impose any punishment on AIB because the civil servants who established the organisation did not provide for any such power. This is like a car manufacturer designing a car with no petrol tank – in other words, gross incompetence.

There was always a very clear determination by (AIB chairman) Dermot Gleeson and the board to sort it out. It’s not to say that in this room that there weren’t some very hard and tough conversations. But it was always businesslike. It was never personal,” he says. “A bit like the mafia.

Unwittingly, O’Reilly hits the nail on the head here. ‘A bit like the Mafia’ Can you imagine the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) the American equivalent of our Financial Regulator, inviting Enron into the office to “sort out” allegations of very serious corruption? All done in private with no police involvement.

In the US, the police and SEC were involved from the start. Everything was done in public and through the courts, in other words justice was seen to be done. Our Financial Regulator operates, for the most part, in secrecy. This policy benefits the corrupt and damages the interests of ordinary citizens.

On the Cologne Re corruption, O’Reilly is quoted as follows.

“We were on top of that from day one…”We were quietly moving on it.’

Quietly is the operative word here. The Australians and the Americans immediately initiated legal action, keeping their public (customers) fully informed of events while our Financial Regulator kept things quiet preferring to merely “monitor” the situation. This is despite the fact that the corruption originated in Dublin’s IFSC centre. No wonder the New York Times labeled the IFSC “the financial wild west”.

‘Up until May of this year the regulator had secured over €69m in refunds for consumers’

‘In refunds’?? The consumer, somehow, is supposed to be grateful that the regulator managed to get refunds for stolen money. No fines, no police involvement, just quietly refund the stolen money.

‘Some 32 institutions have been nailed for 259 cases of overcharging since May 2004.’

What does O’Reilly mean by “nailed’?? None of these institutions were punished in any way whatsoever for their corruption. All of them are protected by the regulator through a policy of secrecy. This secrecy puts the ordinary citizen at a serious disadvantage in that he is unaware that he may be dealing with an organisation that has a record of stealing from its customers.

‘Perhaps AIB won’t be the only bank who’ll be happy to see the sheriff leave town.’

AIB were never afraid of O’Reilly nor do they care who replaces him. They are safe in the knowledge that his successor will maintain the policies that have always protected the financial institutions at the expense of ordinary citizens.

That’s how things are done in the financial ‘wild west’ sector in Ireland