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Posts tagged ‘Shane Ross’

Shane Ross calling for a No vote in the referendum.

Independent Dublin South TD Shane Ross has ended weeks of silence by declaring he will be calling for a No vote in the referendum.

Mr Ross used the pages of his former employer The Sunday Independent to announce his decision today.
In a column, he claimed that he was “passionately pro-European” but said he could not vote yes because “we are being compelled to vote in a twilight zone”.
“The full package is shrouded in uncertainty. Little light will be shed on it until long after the polls close on Thursday,” he said.
The normally outspoken Mr Ross had until today refused to state publicly his voting intentions. He had been one of six parliamentarians who had called for the referendum to be postponed and had unsuccessfully tried to introduce legislation in the Dail that would have the effect of delaying the poll.


photo machholz

By Laura Noonan (Irish Independent)

THEY came to yesterday’s meetings already defeated, but it quickly became
clear that AIB‘s ordinary shareholders weren’t going to let a small matter like
virtual nationalisation stop them from telling bank bosses exactly what they
thought of them.

Former AIB staffer Niall Murphy was first up and quickly set the tone for the
day: “You’re smiling now,” he told AIB’s executive chairman David Hodgkinson,
“but I don’t think you’ll be smiling when I’ve finished.”

Mr Murphy swiftly launched into a 10-minute tirade against the bank’s demise
and the “unforgivable” plans to “squander” billions from the National Pension
Reserve Fund on the latest bailout.

The theme was quickly picked up by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd
Barrett, who called on shareholders to reject the bailout they were gathered
together to vote on.

How exactly private shareholders, who own less than 7pc of the bank, were
supposed to vote down a proposal supported by the Government, which owns the
other 93pc, was anybody’s guess, but Mr Boyd Barrett drew applause all the

This was a room were reason played second-fiddle to emotion, as one
shareholder summed up the mood by dubbing AIB “Arrogant Incompetent

And so it continued, as shareholder after
shareholder took up arms to air grievances old and new, all of them savouring
their moment in the sun, all of them apparently unmoved by Mr Hodgkinson’s claim
that the bank was changing and would be a force for good in Ireland.

It took Independent TD Shane Ross to
point out the obvious: “This motion (on accepting the bailout) is a stitch-up
… this is a theatre.”


The board went into the EGM with enough votes from the Government to win the
bailout motion, the deal was done long before shareholders were asked for their
tuppence worth.

With zero prospect of changing the outcome of the bailout vote, the
shareholders sought their victories elsewhere.

Mr Hodgkinson came under fire for his “absurd” €500,000-a-year pay packet,
and for his efforts to be allowed to breach the banking pay cap to win AIB a new
chief executive of international pedigree.

The bonfire of the bosses expanded to include former AIB chiefs Eugene Sheehy
and Colm Doherty, with shareholders demanding that Mr Hodgkinson write to the
duo and ask them to “share the pain” by returning some of their multi-million
euro pay-offs.

Mr Hodgkinson and a handful of his fellow directors were also lashed for
failing to buy any shares in the bank, a charge he deftly side-stepped by
claiming he had been in possession of market sensitive information since he
joined AIB and was therefore prohibited from buying shares.

It certainly sounded better than admitting the obvious — no one in their
right mind would have forked out money for AIB shares after the nationalisation
bell tolled in December.

AIB’s “fire sale” of stockbroker Goodbody’s for just €24m also came in for
some shareholder attention, with Breda O’Byrne reacting with fury to the
“unbelievable” admission that the bank has indemnified purchasers Fexco for
future lawsuits.

“What country would put up with that?” she demanded. “It’s time for us to

And revolt they did, with the overwhelming majority of ordinary shareholders
voting down the bailout. It was still passed by a measure of well over 90pc.

source :http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/arrogant-incompetent-bankers-given-a-grilling-2831857.html


This is what democracy looks like in Ireland  to day  .The big boys have everything stitched up with
the help of the vested interests in the state media and the unions ,we the
ordinary citizens only have the illusion that we are free .Having robbed us of
our shares in the Banks, plundered our pensions ,they are now forcing us to pay
a tax (levy)  on the  overprices houses we were sold and in a few
weeks we will get another call to pay for the very water we are drinking .This
is the work of politicians who promised change .Most people who went to the AIB
AGM voted the government into office. All we got was more of the same ,jobs for
the well connected  like Sticky Dick
Spring who is been well looked after with his state pensions and his well paid
gig on the AIB board “looking after the taxpayers interests “ has never been so
profitable.  I suppose name calling will change
nothing! How many of the disgruntled shareholders came out to demonstrate
against the closures of local A&E services, how many will vote the same
codgers back into office again in the next election? Until we have a total change
of the cronyism, and of the self promoting political system, where the likes of
Spring and his band of champagne lefties in the labour party are exposed for
the sell-outs there are, where the double talk of the “vote for change” Fine
Gael is finally exposed maybe then the people of Ireland will rise up from
their collective knees and challenge these political leaches .Maybe then we
might as a people come together in the spirit of our Celtic heritage and build
a nation that we can truly be proud of. But until the people who go to AGM’s
and the people who go to demonstrations in support of local health services and
local schools, the people who demonstrate against social welfare cuts come together,
we are going to be easy pickings for the conmen who have made a living on the
backs of the ordinary people of Ireland .We must unite and stop this mad march
into the Austerity asylum that is been created for us by the IMF and our own political
gangsters in the Dail.

Ireland wake up and unite against the austerity asylum cheerleaders
in the Dail


Kenny tries to reverse last minute FF ‘jobs for the boys’

By Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Thursday March 24 2011

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is seeking legal advice about reversing the state board appointments made by Fianna Fail ministers during their last day in office.

Former ministers Mary Hanafin and Pat Carey appointed several Fianna Fail members to state boards just before Fine Gael and the Labour Party came to power.

In the Dail yesterday, Mr Kenny said the appointments were disgraceful and that he was getting advice from the Attorney General on whether it was possible to reverse them.

“I am interested in putting an end to the blatant cronyism,” he said. “It is a disgrace. . .”

The Government is pledging to end the right of ministers to automatically appoint people to state boards — by setting up an oversight committee where people who wished to serve would put forward their qualifications.

But a legal source said it could be extremely difficult for the new Government to reverse recent appointments, given that they were made by ministers exercising their legal powers.


Mr Kenny had been responding to Independent Dublin South TD Shane Ross, who said the outgoing Fianna Fail Government had appointed people on a blatantly political basis to the boards of semi-state organisations on its last day in office.

“Those appointments, and others like them, should be reversed immediately and the Taoiseach should make no apology for doing so,” Mr Ross said.

One of the Fianna Fail councillors appointed by Mr Carey to the board of An Post said yesterday he had simply sent his CV into the Department of the Taoiseach to be kept on file if any state board positions became available.

Cllr Peter Ormonde, based in Birr in Offaly, said he had not given any thought to stepping down from the board of An Post because he had just heard about Mr Kenny’s remarks.

But he pointed to his qualifications for the job, saying he had a degree in business management and had the experience of serving on the Eduction Finance Board — for which he received only travel expenses.

“I didn’t go around lobbying and looking for it,” he said.

Mr Ormonde was appointed by the communications minister Pat Carey on March 8– the previous Government’s last full day in office.

A Fianna Fail spokesman said the party had no comment to make as the appointments were made in accordance with proper procedures.

– Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Irish Independent


Turfing these Fianna Fail cronies out of the plumb jobs and putting Fine Gael and labour cronies in  is not going to solve the problem of cronyism.

Has the Left missed another opportunity to address the questions of equality and social justice in Ireland?

 sent is this afternoon

Author: Pirooz Daneshmandi of Irish Left Review

Published: February 21st, 2011

by Pirooz Daneshmandi

There is no doubt that the current crisis in Ireland, and internationally, has major implications not just for the economy but socially and politically as well. However, in Ireland at least, there are no signs that policy makers have grasped the full extent of the problem yet.

It appears that the main pre-occupation is still how to preserve the status quo, or as much of it as possible, rather than a serious look at the fundamental problems inherent in the system and their consequences for society. This is to be expected from those on the Right.

What is surprising is that some of the more radical alternative solutions on the economy are being proposed by sources considered on the Right. They include the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the International Monetary Fund.

Similarly, commentators such as David McWilliams, Peter Mathews, Paul Somerville, Jim Power, George Soros, Senator Shane Ross, Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev, Professor Patrick Honohan, Professor Morgan Kelly, Professor Karl Whelan and Professor Brian Lucy could hardly be described as the “raving, loony Left” and yet they have, during the last decade, repeatedly come up with analysis and alternatives that would go far beyond what the Irish Congress of Trade Unions or the Irish Labour Party have offered.

Indeed, the lack of any alternative proposals on the part of the bigger Trade Unions and Political Parties at a time of an unprecedented crisis in capitalism is conspicuous for its absence. The almost complete agreement, with minor differences, on the strategy forward from political parties on the Right and the Left is quite a remarkable accomplishment on the part of the establishment.

Despite ample research pointing to the fact that societies that address social inequality do better on almost every indicator, one would be hard pressed to find any mention of it in the political discourse of all the major parties, Left or Right. Instead, all the attention is focused on ensuring that there are no radical or fundamental changes offered.

The main pre-occupation of all the major political parties appears to be not to offend the wealthy and the powerful by suggesting that they pay their fair share of the cost of this fiasco caused by their rapacious behaviour.

The need to ensure a minimal corporation tax rate is considered sacrosanct, almost worth going to war with “friends” but no such consideration for protecting the poor, the weak and the vulnerable in society, they can be sacrificed with disdain. Of course, this is nothing new to any student of history, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable.

Furthermore, the lack of any proposals to avoid the same predicament in future is also lamentable. We are supposed to be satisfied with the fact that there is a different regulator and Governor of Central Bank, never mind that the policies and the guiding principles remain largely the same as those responsible for this crisis.

Indeed, any mention of the need for a significant change of mindset is ridiculed with scorn by “respected” commentators and “experts” as impractical, childish and generally not worthy of consideration. This is despite many serious problems with regard to equality and fairness and their impact on poverty, housing, healthcare, education, transport and energy over many decades and the need to address them as a matter of urgency.

It is often claimed that the majority of the population do not want radical and significant changes. If this is true, is it not due to the fact that any alternative is condemned to the margins and hardly ever discussed seriously? Is it not because the true costs of the existing situation are usually minimised and framed in a manner that distracts attention away from the root causes? Is it not because of the relentless promotion of a skewed set of values and the subliminal assumptions propping up the status quo?

It appears that far from playing a role in helping to bring about the required changes, the leadership of the Left is often a hindrance to it and any significant change is only possible as a result of popular action.

source: http://www.irishleftreview.org/2011/02/21/left-missed-opportunity-address-questions-equality-social-justice-ireland/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+irishleftreview%2Ffeed+%28Irish+Left+Review%29

People need hope for a better tomorrow:(David Mc Williams)

David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘People need hope for a better

Once we create a system that allows the person to start again, we facilitate the
return of hope.

On Monday night I went for a pint with an old friend who was distressed. His
wife had just lost her job and that meant there was now no way they could pay
the mortgage. There wasn’t enough […]

You may view the full article and add your own comments at

Independent Senator Shane Ross

Independent Senator Shane Ross is to contest this year’s general election in the constituency of Dublin South as a non-party candidate after turning down an approach from Fine Gael.

“To my own surprise I’ve decided that I’m going to run for the Dáil as an independent candidate for Dublin South in the forthcoming election,” he said.

Mr Ross confirmed Fine Gael had attempted to recruit him but he called them last week and told them he would only run as an independent. He said he did not intend to be an “insignificant backbencher” and hoped a large number of people would “take the same line as me”.

He said he had talked last week and would be talking this week to around six groups who were thinking of running candidates.

“I think you’re going to see in this election a huge number of similar independents who want to put an end to cronyism, who want to see a change in the political system, who want to put an end to Civil War politics in Ireland, who want to see an end to the kind of tribal politics we’ve got, who are going to stand in the election as well,” he told The Saturday Night Show  on RTÉ Television.

In February of last year, former Fine Gael TD George Lee resigned the seat he won in the Dublin South byelection brought about by the death of former Fianna Fáil minister Séamus Brennan.

Fine Gael has two sitting TDs in Dublin South, Olivia Mitchell and Alan Shatter, have been selected in the five-seater. Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan holds a seat in the constituency, while Fianna Fáil deputy Tom Kitt is stepping down.

source : http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0116/breaking16.html



Shane Ross: Bankers who peddled the poison – Shane Ross, Columnists – Independent.ie

WILL our European masters or the IMF czars ever inflict the same penury on Spain as they did on Ireland? Or will they ever put Italy on the same rack?

What do you think?

Europe has ganged up with the IMF to squeeze Ireland and protect its own bankers. First, our external saviours force-fed Ireland with a juicy loan. Then, they squeezed us dry.

Europe was hell-bent on lending us the money, even keener than we were on borrowing it. They desperately desired a deal. Europe’s big players feared the consequences of an Irish default. The default disease could spread from the island on to the mainland. Unchecked , it could travel not just to Portugal and Spain, but even as far as the mighty Italy. Hence the force-feeding.

Ireland was a pushover. The Irish negotiating team , led by the gentle trio of Brian Lenihan, Patrick Honohan and Matthew Elderfield, was stuffed with conventional apparatchiks deeply deferential to the European ethos. The nuts and bolts of the deal were agreed by lesser civil servants, intent on staying on the right side of the big nations.

Ireland was humbled for its pains. The mandarins allowed little Ireland to act as a firewall to defend big Portugal, bigger Spain and even bigger Italy.

Would the IMF and European leaders have treated Spanish prime minister Zapatero or even Europe’s most unlovable lover, Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, with the same disdain as they dished out to Ireland?

Not a hope, although we will soon find out as the non-believers move in for the euro- kill. Berlusconi is a wild card, amorous, vain and volatile, a scoundrel in charge of a major nation with a troubled economy — a pretty handy perch from which to negotiate.

Berlusconi is living proof that it is better to be a taxpayer in a large state run by a blackguard than in a small state guided by fallible, but honest, individuals like Lenihan, Honohan and Elderfield.

Last week the normally dry Lex column in the Financial Times summed up Berlusconi. Referring to the sensational Wikileaks documents, Lex highlighted their salacious claims that Silvio’s “frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest”. Salivating at the prospect of a Berlusconi defeat in the approaching Italian elections, the po-faced Lex suggested that “on the upside, a reverse for Silvio could see the end of Mr Berlusconi, who could then spend more time in the bedroom where, arguably, he can do less damage”.

Wow. Colourful language for the Financial Times. But on reflection, perhaps Brian, Patrick, Matthew and the mandarins should have spent more time popping Viagra pills in the bedroom.

We badly needed testosterone-filled negotiators, people prepared to threaten the only card feared by the toxic lenders bearing gifts: the poison pill. They should have shaped up to torpedo the talks. Their opening position should have been that the European banks (or taxpayers) must share the pain.

It is crystal clear from the leaks at the negotiations that this key issue of burning the senior bondholders was never countenanced. It was a no-go area. Ireland accepted that the top table in Merrion Street was a default-free zone. Our heroes never even put up a fight to discuss the default option.

The very least we could have expected from our cornered team was a dramatic walkout, a few tantrums, and the prospect of a nasty day on the markets for every European bondholder the day after the deal was dumped. That would have concentrated the minds of our overseas masters and their shielded banks.

What would such inspired insanity have achieved?

Plenty, maybe.

There is a strong, logical — not moral — argument for forcing the German, French, British, Swiss and other banks to pay a proportionate price for the Irish disaster.


Well, Ireland’s bankers are rightly vilified as the villains of the economic collapse; they were reckless lenders, they were greedy, they feathered their own nests and they were unaccountable. They went out into the global markets and borrowed buckets of money which they will never repay.

Worse still, they destroyed the Irish economy by lending on the loot to Irish property developers who will never repay them either. Their banking model was demented.

No argument there.

But where did Ireland’s bankers source all that money that they lent on?

Who were the morons allowing Irish banks this largesse?

Do they too not have a shared responsibility for the Irish bankruptcy?

What stress checks did they carry out on the credit worthiness of Ireland’s banks? Or did these overseas lenders, with almost equal recklessness, throw the money at Ireland’s lunatic fringe?

Anyone lending money to Anglo Irish Bank during Ireland’s property frenzy was half bonkers. Admittedly, the Irish establishment was insisting that neither Anglo, Bank of Ireland nor Allied Irish Banks was undercapitalised, but shrewder heads in the markets were barking their disbelief of the official line and their distrust of Irish banks.

On March 17, 2007, hedge funds launched attacks on weaker quoted banks, like HBOS and Anglo Irish Bank. They had spotted fatal flaws in the balance sheets. The share prices of Ireland’s financial shares plunged as opportunists in the market exploited the folly of a few bankers living a lie. They could read fantasy balance sheets. And yet European banks kept shovelling money at the guys who had gone walkabout.

A stockbroker’s report at the same time described Anglo as “a building society on crack”; even the normally sanguine NTMA boss Michael Somers admitted that he had limited his agency’s exposure to Anglo. The warnings were everywhere, if the overseas bankers were looking for them.

Yet all the while, the untouchable senior bondholders were confidently clinging to their Anglo bonds. Overseas banks were lending billions to Anglo, AIB and Bank of Ireland in the money markets. European bankers were among the cheerleaders.

Today the Irish taxpayer is being asked to pick up the tab for the sins of Europe. Just as Anglo was culpable, so too were the originators of the funds that Anglo passed on to Ireland’s property developers: German , French , Dutch and other European financial institutions .

These guys peddled the poison to Irish bankers, who in turn injected it into the Irish economy. Today Ireland’s taxpayers are landed with the entire bill.

Many of the terms of the crippling deal with the IMF and Europe will be contained in the Budget on Tuesday. There is a clear duty on Fine Gael and Labour to reject the deal and renegotiate if they come to power in February. The least they could do is hold an instant referendum.

There is no shame in defaulting. As no one — bar our tormentors in the IMF and Europe — will any longer lend to us, we are de facto defaulters already. But part of the blame lies with those bankers who funded us when we were already flashing amber lights.

We are paying a price that neither Berlusconi nor Zapatero will ever have to face.

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