Sunday Independent 29-5-2011, Analysis section, p22.
Eamonn Blaney is emigrating, not by choice but by necessity, because of the economic mess we’re in
MANY times in my youth, while arguing with my late father Neil T Blaney about ineffectual government, he always maintained, much to my confusion at the time, that every government is truly representative of the society and the electorate which put them there.
That being the case, maybe it’s time for each of us to take a long, hard look at ourselves and ask what contribution we have made? What will we do differently and what personal commitment will we make towards building Ireland Version 2.0?
There is nothing that can overrule the will of the people, if they go to the trouble of making it known. The problem as I see it is that most of the people in this country simply want to leave it to somebody else to solve their problems.
As a nation we have to start the discussion of how we resolve the mess we’re in and where we are going after we get through it. We need to make tough, courageous decisions. Remember, this crisis was caused specifically by either incompetent or dishonest bankers. On that fateful night when the Government promised to underwrite the banks, it was because the top brass from the banks promised that they had a ‘liquidity’ problem, and not one of capitalisation. They either lied about the situation or were so incompetent they didn’t know what was going on in their own companies! If either party to a contract withholds material information then that contract would be deemed to be null and void in any court.
As for me and many others, our contract with the State has been terminated by ourselves, due to a lack of trust, and the State’s contract with the banks should be terminated for similar reasons. Leave them to the ECB. They took risks and they lost. Bigtime. Banking is a ‘risk’ business, so get over it guys, you will not be allowed to win them all, with us picking up the bills for your pathetic attempts to pretend you know what you’re doing.
The solutions to our nation’s problems are relatively straightforward and simple in concept but will be difficult to implement unless we, the people, take the time to understand exactly what is required. There have been warnings of a significant drop in our living standards by many of the so-called ‘experts’. I would prefer to call this a drop in consumption (which is long overdue) and it is essential that we now learn to live within our means. No matter what course of action is taken now it is going to be difficult for all of us. However, this period of discomfort will be worthwhile if we take this opportunity to build a nation which prospers and of which we can be proud.
So, here it is. Quietly and behind-the-scenes the Government must decide to show real leadership. The type of leadership that will galvanise the people behind the Government, the type of leadership that inspires and, most importantly, demonstrates that what is right by the many, must come before what is profitable for the few. This leadership will have to make the most difficult decision faced by any government since the founding of the State.
That decision is that they inform the ECB that, due to the illegality of the banks representatives’ behaviour, we must withdraw the bank guarantee and the Irish people cannot be expected to pay for a private company’s losses. Simultaneously, we must withdraw from the euro and return to our own currency which we would devalue by about 20 per cent and, most importantly, peg its exchange rate to sterling.
As a result of the recent visit by Britain’s head of state, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (all at the same time. Coincidence?),it is clear to all Irish men and women, including nationalists such as myself, that our future lies within Europe, but outside of the euro currency. In order for this to succeed we need to
mount a united front when dealing with Europe and this means doing so with our nearest neighbour, Britain. There are a lot of very practical reasons why we should take this approach, primarily because it’s now time to be pragmatic and mature enough to bury the hatchet with Britain and get on with building Ireland Version 2.0, with their help.
Until such time as the majority of the voters in this country come to the same conclusion I have been left with no practical alternative but to emigrate and join the 70,000-plus Irish people who have gone already. Bank of Ireland refused to open a deposit account for either my Enterprise Ireland-backed company or, for that matter, my election expenses account. When I asked why, I was informed that they don’t have to tell me.
Quite simply, AIB and BoI are closed for business. Who does the Government expect to generate the wealth that will pay the pensions of our rapidly ageing society? By 2020 there will be a ‘hole’ in the nation’s pension fund running to €10bn (punts?). And the reason for this is because we gave it to financial institutions who (according to the ECB) must not be allowed to incur any losses. Wake up, Mr Kenny, this problem is not going to disappear as handily as those of us who emigrate.
Meanwhile, the Government keeps bleating on about upskilling the workforce, when the reality is that thousands of highly qualified people have to leave in order to find employment. I’m fortunate as I did not take up a chance to buy a house in 2006 and so am not an economic slave like so many unfortunate people in this country, so I can leave. Nevertheless, I shall go not by choice, but by necessity.
Mind you, when you have collectively started the revolution, give me a ring. I will gladly fight to build a new Ireland, just as soon as the majority of you have decided that that is what you want.
Alternatively, just keep believing your elected ‘leaders’, pay your mortgage, stay in at the weekends and have a big pint of ‘shut the feck up’! www.EamonnBlaney.com Eamonn Blaney, MBA
I have been forced to leave Ireland also, not because of financial reasons, but because I was denied by basic civil rights.
An injunction was issued against me without a court hearing. An injunction to try and stop me telling people about corrupt solicitors and how the government is involved in missappropriating money from Irish bank accounts. I won’t write any more here for various reasons. When telling the germans, where I live now, many reply with one word “Mafia”. Great articles, keep them coming. Michael Maher
Keep my name only to yourself. Will explain…
Love your articles. Keep it up. Hope Oman is keeping you well. When will you be home for a visit.
hmm why wasnt my commenyt published is this blog censored?
I agree so whole heartily with your sentiments, and I am so raging with anger.
Not by choice but by necessity, 13 people, ( 4 children + 4 spouse,+ 5grandchildren) nearest and dearest to myself and kay, are gone. All adults 3 level educated. They vary from London, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Sydney. Unfortunately they are not as luckly as you,. Eamonn, as 3 of the families are in negative equity, yes economic slavery.
Yes “this crisis was caused specifically either by incompetent and or dishonest bankers” aided and abetted by inept and mostly arrogant politicians. Both the Bankers and politicians have not alone destroyed families, -those gone and those left, – but they have destroyed a nation. Did the basic business principals, of honesty , integrity and trust, ever cross their minds. Remember these people were the unquestionable experts. What they did was, unethical, immoral, totally unprincipled, and absolutely dishonourable, they will have to live with this for many decades, will this upset them ? or will they loose a blink of sleep over their behaviour and the destruction caused ?
Nobody should be under any illusion that either the Bankers or politicians give a sh*t. they got amply rewarded for the devastation caused, and their failure is met with lump sums + pensions. Then they have the audacity to tell us the they know how we feel, that they understand where we are coming from, that they feel our pain, and offer other such pious platitudes that are meant to make us feel better. I do not want that from them.They are so forever blemished, it is pathetic to listen to their pontifications, and they knowing full well, that they will never be punished, or have to pay for their crimes.
Sorry you left, but you are correct. Hopefully the revolution will start, but do hold your breath?
Hope you are enjoying life wherever you are.
I am still so angry.
I am sad to hear that you have left the country ,like so many others have done before you and all the new crop that are coming out of school/college this summer will have to go after you!!
Its a real shame. I remember when i had to make that choice in the 1980s. I ended up in New York illegally and stayed for a number of years until things at home got better, I never thought that it would all happen again so quickly,my wife(who also emigrated,to Bahrain as it happens) and I are relatively lucky in that we have both got work and that our kids (2) are in primary school but we have no faith in the future mainly because we are both employed in the private sector???
Eamonn I will be reading your blog with interest in the future and hope that you can keep stirring the pot with the establishment here in Ireland as they don’t seem to be able to grab the thorn and wrench out the roots to pave a way forward for this little country of ours, that has so much potential but is held back by all the vested interests that have a deep hold on it ie;public service,unions,legal profession etc etc including the very politicians we rely on. The list is endless.
By the way i never heard how many votes you got,i was one of the ones who did vote for you in the last election and would do so again. All the best for now.David Boylan, Portmarnock,Co Dublin.
Eamonn it has occurred to me that I may have been a little harsh on you. You must be going through a great personal trauma at the moment. I hope that if you understand these points you can move on to great things. I want to explain to you, why I think you’re ire is being misdirected and thus ineffectual.
The entire western (if not the world) economic system is in crisis, some areas have been hit worse than others like Ireland. The property bubble was our first speculative collapse. Most other countries have suffered speculative collapses in the past, for example Tulip mania in the Netherlands, the dot com burst, the 1980s property crash in England ad inf.
Most countries in the western world are not run by politicians they are run by oligarchs who surreptitiously pull the strings of politicians. (Think about it!) No politician, no matter how dictatorial, can stand up to the pressure. Furthermore when a neighbouring country deregulates and a boom in business and employment follows, it is realistically impossible for politicians to resist the pressure not to follow suit and deregulate their banks, financial services and industry. Politicians inclined towards sensible resistance will stand accused of stifling jobs, economic growth and prosperity for the nation. As each nation thus falls, the race to the bottom accelerates and always leads to bust. Academia cheered on the madness with crazy mathematical formulae and frankly economic theories worthy of nothing more than ridicule. The only area academic of study that correctly predicted the bust was history because boom and bust cycles have been a feature of western economies for hundreds of years. We can conclude that academic degrees, master degrees and PhDs are no inoculation against the virus they call stupidity.
Each young generation has forgotten that the previous generations learned hard lessons. In an effort to ensure that such events are never repeated they introduced regulations. Regan and Thatcher started the deregulation cycle that caused the current bust.
Irish people are not faulty; the Irish electorate is not to blame. Turkeys given a choice, will not vote for Christmas. Humans will not vote themselves poor. They will take a chance and hope for the best. Understand these points and you might be able to analyse the problems, apportion the blame where it really lies and advocate a course of action that is likely to bring about positive change.
We all know what went wrong, the time for recrimination is past; it is time to rebuild by each of us pulling together and helping one another out. I have visions of you doing what many Irish people have done before you, going to live in London where they write articles for Irish newspapers with a poison pen. Regrets and recriminations only hurt your soul and the souls of those wronged by them.
thanks for forwading your informative article. Can I see you before you leave the country?