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By David Vance On June 7th, 2011 at 7:57 am

Cronyism and politics are like hand in glove; Consider the new Irish Parliament…

A swathe of government ministers and TDs are employing family members as staff despite pre-election promises to end cronyism. And two ministers have hired two family members each in their departmental staff, the Irish Independent has learned. A survey by this paper found that at least 25 TDs — out of 166 in the Dail — had hired family members.

Despite a Fine Gael pledge to end cronyism, Training and Skills Minister Ciaran Cannon has hired his wife as his secretary and his brother-in-law as one of his drivers. The job of personal secretary to the minister, held by Mr Cannon’s wife Niamh Lawless, comes with a salary of between €23,000 and €47,000. The civilian driver’s post comes with a ¿35,000 salary, and junior ministers are allowed to hire two drivers each. Mr Cannon did not return calls, but during the election campaign he said Fine Gael would “fix our political system and sweep away the culture of cronyism”.

Well, people VOTED for these clowns so they really can’t complain, can they? Here comes the new boss, as crooked as the old boss.


By David Vance On May 26th, 2011 at 8:50 am

I note that the Irish  Government has been told that it should cut the dole for the long-term unemployed to encourage them to go back to work.

Ireland is one of the few countries not to reduce unemployment benefits when people fail to find employment, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said. In a wide-ranging attack on the Government’s employment schemes, it warned that unemployment benefit and jobseekers’ allowances here — as well as the likes of rent relief — were disincentives to finding work.

Ireland has the third highest unemployment rate among the OECD countries. And half of the 440,000 getting employment benefits here are classified as long-term jobless. Those who have not worked for a year are paid jobseeker’s allowance of €188 a week which is means tested. But they do not have their payments reduced as time goes on.

Yet the Irish Government INSISTS it will not cut the monies paid to those who are long term unemployed. I suspect this is political calculation rather than for economic reasons.

So, is it not fair to say that just for once the OECD has a point and that the policy of the Irish  Government encourages unemployment state of mind? There is also the small detail that the Irish Government is mired in BILLIONS of debt and cannot afford the largesse it insists it must extend to those without a job for a year or more. Being kind with other people’s money is a luxury some would say that Joan Burton cannot afford.


By David Vance On May 25th, 2011 at 8:36 am

Enda Kenny, the new Irish PM, is proving as useless as Brian Cowen, the former Irish PM. Get this;

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night admitted he didn’t raise key economic issues with US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Kenny was also embarrassed when it emerged he had lifted a passage of Mr Obama’s own celebrated election night speech without crediting the US president.

However more damagingly, despite Mr Obama’s offering to “do everything we can to help on the path to recovery”, Mr Kenny didn’t ask him if the US government had actually blocked an attempt by the previous Irish government to burn €30bn worth of bondholders. And when he met Mr Cameron last week, he didn’t discuss the interest rate on the British loans in the international aid package.

Mr Kenny did not ask President Obama about a claim that US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner vetoed the previous government’s attempt to force a €30bn haircut on unguaranteed bondholders. “No I didn’t raise it with him. We discussed a whole range of issues,” he said. Mr Kenny said he was not aware of Mr Geithner’s view on the bondholders, even though he met with the treasury secretary in Washington in March.

Wonder what issues were more important than the Irish economy, Mr Kenny? Thus far, you have shown yourself to be every bit as incompetent as Cowen and it seems that you


By David Vance On May 20th, 2011 at 10:16 am

This is pretty good….


By Pete Moore On May 17th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

The red carpet, all the quality out in their finest, the 21-gun salute and a guard of honour at the splendid Georgian Áras an Uachtaráin.

Gosh they do like their old world pomp and ceremony over there, eh?





By David Vance On May 16th, 2011 at 9:10 am

Quite simply, the decision by the Irish and British Governments to invite loyalist terrorist godfathers to meet the Queen in Dublin is nauseating and yet another triumph for the terrorist class. It is good to know I am not alone in feeling like this;

“As loyalist paramilitary leaders prepare to attend a ceremony for the Queen’s visit to Ireland, a victims campaigner has said they should be visiting graveyards instead. UDA leader Jackie McDonald is among several prominent loyalists who have been invited to Islandbridge. There, the Queen will remember Irish soldiers who died in two World Wars.

But Jude Whyte, whose mother died in a loyalist bomb, said it was important to acknowledge the damage done in NI. Peggy Whyte was 52 years old when she was killed in a bomb, thought to have been left by the UVF, at the front of her home in University Street, Belfast in April, 1984. Her son said: “It would be far more important in terms of peace and reconciliation that they perhaps visited the graveyards and looked at the damage their organisation did,” he said. “Their casualties and victims were unarmed civilians who were no harm to anybody. “Try to understand the damage that the civilian population suffered here. “You broke a lot of hearts and you maimed and murdered a lot of people. It is time to say sorry to them.”

I agree with this lady. However, what does Peter Robinson’s parrot Rev Gibson have to say?

However, Reverend Mervyn Gibson who sits on the Loyalist Commission, defended those loyalists who had made “a significant contribution towards peace”.

Oh, by not killing too many more people? By being allowed to indulge in their criminal racketeering? By dealing drugs and ruining young lives? By spreading their toxic poison everywhere they infest?

Utterly hypocritical. Northern Ireland has embraced honouring terrorists – I haven’t. I remain opposed to all this depravity.


By David Vance On May 15th, 2011 at 9:38 am

I read that the  British and Irish governments have snubbed prominent anti-terrorist figures who fearlessly campaigned against the Provisional IRA.

The guest list includes such celebrity personalities as Amanda Brunker and Lorraine Keane, as well as television presenter Terry Wogan, chef Rachel Allen, Nama developer Harry Crosbie and model Erin O’Connor. In marked contrast, leading peace campaigners such as Chris Hudson MBE and Barbara Fitzgerald CBE, and media figures such as Kevin Myers, Eoghan Harris and Ruth Dudley Edwards, have not been invited to any official events relative to the visit this week of Queen Elizabeth.

Whilst I have no problem with the Queen going to Ireland, I am very uncomfortable with the paying OF tribute to those who murdered her own subjects. To add further shame, the two governments are clearly and wilfully now vanquishing those who to their credit stood against the IRA. It’s a farce – and I will not be watching it.


By David Vance On May 14th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I remember someone telling me back in 2007 that you could NOT lose money on property. I begged to differ. That particular person went and bought a property in the autumn of that year for some £300k.  It is now valued at <£180k. The market always win and the same dynamic is in place south of the border. Just think about what this means;

HOUSE prices are likely to continue to fall for another two years, analysts predicted yesterday. It came as a new, official index of residential property prices from the Central Statistics Office showed a 12pc fall in the past year.

It also found that the pace of decrease has picked up in the past two months

Prices are down 40pc from their peak level in 2007. Dublin has suffered much higher losses in value, with the crash cutting prices almost in half. In the rest of the country they are down by a third. The fall of 47pc in the capital contrasts with a plunge of 35pc elsewhere.

Sharp drops in prices were recorded in February and March. The fall of 1.7pc in each month was the highest since July 2009.

Ireland is mired in the aftermath of economic collapse and those property prices that were the emblem of the Celtic tiger are now the headstones of a country that has gone bankrupt.  It is against this background that tonight sees Ireland hype up the prospects of the ludicrous Jedward in the European Song Contest – I think the term is bread and circuses!

 					Jedward during a press confrence after they qualifed for the Final in Dusseldorf at the Eurovision Song Contest




By David Vance On May 13th, 2011 at 8:22 am

Terrorism and Ireland – two words you often see in the one sentence. Irish Special Branch detectives were last night questioning a 44-year-old Muslim (wow, who would have seen that one coming?) from Dublin in connection with threats to kill US President Barack Obama during this month’s visit to the Republic if Ireland.

The suspect, Khalid Kelly (!!!!) who is a converted Muslim, made the alleged remarks in a Sunday newspaper article. Mr Kelly was arrested at his home in Dublin’s north inner city early yesterday and taken to a police station for questioning. He can be held in custody for up to three days without charge.

Born Terry Kelly, from the Liberties area of Dublin, he converted to Islam while serving a jail sentence in Saudi Arabia for illegally distilling and selling alcohol. He later travelled to Pakistan, where he claimed he trained with tribal warlords with the intention of going to Afghanistan.

While in Britain he associated with radicals and became a member of the now banned British group al Muhajiroun, and during several TV and newspaper appearances defended attacks on New York and London.

His arrest yesterday arose from an article published last weekend in which he allegedly said al-Qaida had chosen Ireland as a perfect place to launch an attack on Mr Obama, and that the terrorists would pay up to €1m (£0.9m) to anybody prepared to kill Mr Obama.

Like all sane people, I wish Obama a safe visit to the Republic as he pretends to be Irish in time honoured pre-election tradition. But Ireland suffers from the same problem as most other countries – namely a swamp of militant Islamists who savour the prospect of killing those they disagree with. I’m glad Mr Kelly has been arrested – but he can’t exactly be deported so what happens him? And are there others similar minded? And what happens AFTER O’bama departs?


By Pete Moore On May 11th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Having so mismanaged its finances, Dublin now chooses loot private pensions.

There are a few problems with this, and not just the towering monstrosity of taxing already taxed income.

Apparently the move is to fuel government job creation schemes. Pension funds are invested to give a projected rate of return. A by-product of such investment is that jobs are created for others. In reducing the capital available for investment, job creation in response to natural and entrepreneurial demand will be stifled. In its place will be even more central planning and government distortion of economic calculation. As always with government job-creation schemes, much more will be destroyed than is created.

The temporary tax, it’s reported, will last for four years and be levied at 0.6%. No-one should believe this. It will not be temporary and the levy will increase over time. In the end the economic damage will enormous.

The very root of economic growth is saved capital. In denying ourselves consumption today for a return tomorrow we supply the kindling by which it can spark. Government attacks this very mechanism always, taxing from our tomorrow what is can consume today. Some of Ireland’s future unemployed will never know that measures such as these are those which kill employment prospects. To socialise the private debts of banks today and keep the government spending machine working, many will pay tomorrow.

The beast is always hungry. Where the rest of us must drastically reduce our consumption when in deep debt, governments will tax and spend. This is the case over much of the Western world. To change from such a disastrous course this fundamental fact of modern government must be realised by most people. Unless and until this happens governments will loot without end and real recovery will not happen.