Centre-Right Triumphs in Irish Elections

The Irish election results (and Guido should caveat this by saying on the basis of RTE’s first preference exit poll) show that left-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough with Labour, Sinn Fein and the Greens combined getting 33% of the vote, less than Fine Gael 36%. Adding the Fianna Fail vote the parties of the centre-right got 51% and can count on support from many of the independents.

This will stiffen the resolve of George Osborne to persevere with spending cuts, Fine Gael ran on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and Lansley style reform of healthcare provision to a more marketised system. Fine Gael are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and promising that income tax will not be increased. The Irish result shows that voters understand the need for spending cuts and deficit reduction.

Irish Election: Vote None of the Above?

Front runners Fine Gael are running on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and reform of healthcare provision based on the Dutch model where money follows the patient. They are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and that income tax will not be increased. Sounds good, but Guido just doesn’t believe ’em, particularly if they end up in coalition with Labour.

Discredited Fianna Fáil are running on “substance” with no new spending commitments, but they’re widely and rightly seen as a bunch of crooks and shysters. The Irish Labour Party are worse than the crooks and shysters – they’re incompetent socialists. Sinn Féin are the only party that are in any way EU-sceptic and opposed the bail-out of bond-holders, at the end of the day they’re just too left-wing to stomach. Unless Fine Gael win outright, they will probably end up in coalition with Labour. Theoretically Fianna Fáil could support a Fine Gael centre-right government, and that might be for the best…

Quote of the Day

Gerry Adams wrote to John Bercow…

“A chara,

I hereby resign as MP for the constituency of west Belfast.

Go raibh maith agat.”

Iceland Shows the Way Forward for Ireland:
Decouple, Default, Devalue and Develop

Iceland’s President, Olafur R. Grimsson, told Bloomberg TV on Friday that his country is better off than Ireland because they allowed the banks to fail two years ago and devalued the krona:

“The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail. These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks.”

The Irish bank bail-out is being foisted on them by the EU and the IMF whereas sovereign Iceland let the banks go bust and restructured the financial sector to keep the commercial sector serviced. As a consequence, “Iceland is faring much better than anybody expected” says Grimsson:

“How far can we ask ordinary people – farmers and fishermen and teachers and doctors and nurses – to shoulder the responsibility of failed private banks… That question, which has been at the core of the Icesave issue, will now be the burning issue in many European countries.”

Under this plan 20 cents of every euro of Irish taxes will go to pay the interest on the bank bail-out debts. The Irish bail-out plan will cost €54,800 per Irish household. Ireland’s future thus looks a lot more bleak than Iceland’s path of debt default and a devaluation of 60% two years ago which has the country rebounding: exports and manufacturing are growing by 20%, tourism is back near all-time highs, real wages are rising, unemployment is declining sharply, interest rates fell from 18% to 5.5% and the stock market has rebounded 50% from its lows. In contrast this euro-banker’s bail-out will only burden the next generation of Irish who don’t flee with crushing debts not of their making…

Britain and europe should keep their bail-out billions rather than foist them on Irish taxpayers to cover the responsibility for bad investments made by their own private banks. They can use the billions to bail-out their own banks directly if they want, without involving the Irish taxpayers…

Feck Off Euro-Socialists

Euro-Socialist and Green MEPs have tabled a motion calling on Ireland to double corporate tax rates as part of a quid pro quo for a bail-out. Not a single Irish MEP has supported the motion. Ireland should just tell them to “feck off”…

Douglas Carswell is right, Ireland should decouple and default. Coupling the Celtic Tiger to the euro was a disaster, it was inevitable that when economic cycles were asynchronous the big core EU countries would set interest rates to suit themselves. The ECB kept rates too low for Ireland’s over-boiling property market, which predictably bubbled over. Exactly as Euro-sceptics from Farage to Redwood predicted would eventually happen.

The Irish property crash has destroyed the banks, none more so than Anglo-Irish Bank, a bank run by corrupt allies of the governing Fianna Fáil party. The state guarantees proffered in the panic of 2008 to Irish banks gave them the backing of the state’s ‘AAA’ credit rating. Those guarantees have now sunk the state’s credit rating.

A World Bank report from back in May 2009What Went Wrong in Ireland? written by Patrick Honohan, Professor of International Financial Economics at Trinity College Dublin, put the blame squarely on joining the euro and having the wrong interest rates:

…the underlying cause of the problem was … too much mortgage lending (financed by heavy foreign borrowing by the banks) into an unsustainable housing price and construction boom. The boom seemed credible to enough borrowers given sharply lower interest rates with adoption of the euro … it was Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) entry that really started the housing price surge by sharply lowering nominal and real interest rates, thereby lifting equilibrium asset prices…

Honohan isn’t some obscure professor, since writing that report Honahan has been made the new governor of the Irish Central Bank. Left-wing British commentators like the Fabian’s Sunder Katawala, the Indy’s Ben Chu and even Polly Toynbee are trying to blame Ireland’s woes on low tax rates and free market reforms. No serious Irish economist attributes Ireland’s crisis to low tax rates. The reason Polly, Sunder and Chu want to present that argument is to stick it to those of us on the right who praised Ireland’s supply-side economic policy reforms, which is why they point the finger at the likes of George Osborne, Dan Hannan, John Redwood and Nigel Farage. It is intellectually dishonest of them to cite derisively the British right’s praise for Ireland’s successful free market micro-economic reforms and ignore warnings from the same about the macro-economic systemic risk of joining the euro. That is exactly what the left-wing commentariat is trying to do.

The micro-economic reforms that led to the Celtic Tiger pre-date Ireland entering the euro and were designed to improve the supply-side potential of the economy, make markets and industries operate more efficiently and thereby contribute to a faster rate of growth of real national output. Low taxes and freer markets achieved that objective – incidentally many of those reforms were championed in the 80s and 90s by the Progressive Democrats – the party of which Guido was a member. After joining the euro in 2000 Ireland had negative real interest rates, sparking an out of control property bubble.

German economic advisers from Frankfurt have been in the Irish finance ministry and central bank for nigh-on a year. Last month the ECB in Frankfurt mandated the Irish government to pay off European holders of Irish bank bonds – the European bail-out of Ireland is really a bail-out of European lenders to Irish banks. In joining the euro Ireland’s economic sovereignty was surrendered by Fianna Fáil with the support of almost the entire political class, consequently the next generation of Irish taxpayers have had their future mortgaged. Guido could cry for what the europhiles have done to his country…

End of an Éire

Thousands died in the transition from being England’s first colony, to an Irish Free State and finally an independent Republic. The ironies arising from the situation in Ireland are many. Joining the Euro, hugging the state tight to the whole European project and Dublin’s politicians slavishly obeying their new masters in Frankfurt has ended in disaster. Why fight the English for 400 years for sovereignty only to surrender it to Germany?

O’Connell, de Valera and Collins must be turning in their graves as the heir to the Baronetcy of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford, contemplates rescuing the Irish Republic with English pounds. The heir normally prefers to go by the name of George…

Quote of the Day

John Redwood blogs

“If Ireland does not wish to take any EU money, the UK should be Ireland’s ally. The stated Irish wish to see their own way through their own deficit problem is wholly admirable.”

Quote of the Day

Fine Gael TD Michael Ring said

“Now look at the mess we’re in and look at the mess this country is in. Next year the Queen is talking about coming to Ireland for a state visit. Maybe we should say to the Queen when she comes ‘you know, we have our own independence now, we’ll hand you back the country and we’ll apologise for the mess that we’re after making of it. Because at least when they were running the country they didn’t put it into the mess and the hock that we are in now.”

Anglo-Irish Bondholders Should Take the Losses
Is the ECB Forcing Ireland to Protect German Investments?

Anglo-Irish Bank did not represent a systemic risk to the Irish economy, it wasn’t a high street bank like AIB or the Bank of Ireland. If it had been allowed to go the way of Lehmans the only losers would […]

+ READ MORE +

10% of Anglo Irish Bank’s Profits Came from Defrauding Customers


Guido has been given documents coming from inside Anglo Irish Bank’s Treasury Department dating back to 1997 which strongly suggest there was a board level approved conspiracy to over-charge corporate customers. The scale of the fraud was massive and it […]

+ READ MORE +

FLASHBACK : Happy Saint Patricks to Irish Dave.

He drinks Guinness you know.  Dave says draught Guinness* in cans “is one of the great inventions of our time “No, really O’Reilly.

According to Debrett’s Peerage, Dave is William IV’s great, great, great, great, great grandson […]

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The Budget Britain Needs Was Delivered in Ireland

By coincidence here in Ireland it was also budget day, the Finance Minister Brian Lenihan delivered a 7% cut in public expenditure to match the 7.5% fall in GDP in 2009.  To equal that Alastair Darling would need to have […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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