Saturday, February 26, 2011


Today’s General Election in our Republic will not produce any revolution but, there will be significant  changes in the type of representation making up the 31st Dáil Éireann. Against the odds, even a few years ago it would not have been thinkable, the Fianna Fáil party will be replaced by Fine Gael as the leading conservative force in Irish politics. It will be also the occasion of the election of the largest number of Left TD’s since the state was founded in 1921. Labour and other left are no longer “waiting” as described in DeValera’s dismissive phrase at that time. It is his party, Fianna Fáil, who must wait to get into government again, if ever. A Labour –Fine Gael coalition will be undoubtedly proposed but, it remains to be seen whether the party membership will support this. The opportunity arises now to confront the conservative forces in this country with the truth of their activities without the previous political scam of pretence that FG and FF were essentially different from each other.

The Fine Gael  leadership, buoyed up by public display of their arrogance in this election campaign, seek to effect a massive deception on the Irish people. Their so-called recovery “plan” is based on optimistic predictions for export growth and “green economy” developments  plus recipes for “competitiveness” not apparent in the current reality of the global financial crisis. Fine Gael proposes to invest €7bn in “infrastructure” to stimulate the economy but, has also committed itself to three more budgets of severe reductions in public spending easily offsetting their promised “investment” , never mind the €5bn interest bill on state debt for each of these years. The proposals for public financing are characterised by an absence of any intent to increase state revenues by rebalancing the taxation policy of the state towards obtaining increased revenue from accumulated wealth and assets but, instead placing the entire burden on earned incomes of both “middle class” and lower paid employees. Deficit reduction by restriction of demand will not work as has been proven by history. This one-sided operation makes the Fine Gael “Plan” about as tenable as morning mist on the Offaly bogs.

Those who think themselves as “middle class” in this country, and might be relying on Fine Gael to save their bank deposits, will soon realise that they are targets for impoverishment just like the rest further down the ladder. The 60% of farmers stated to be backing Fine Gael by the IFA will also find out that the main forces wanting to dismantle the CAP are led by Mr Kenny’s tea-party hosts in Berlin and Paris, Merkel and Sarkozy. The ideological feathers of the Fine Gael bird are definitely of the neo-liberal variety; the same damnable pseudo-religion which authored the global financial crisis. Fine Gael, openly boasting their associations with Merkel and the EPP, support the austerity hysteria being mounted by these parties across the EU being part of an agenda to abolish the very idea of a social state, undermine trade unions and workers’ rights, increase military spending and involve the EU in wars of resources across the globe.

Fine Gael proposes to abandon Ireland’s traditional neutrality in international conflicts, a concept dating back to Wolfe Tone in the 1790’s and not debated in this election due to deliberate media exclusion.  Fine Gael wants our state to join NATO, the largest criminal organisation in the world; having been responsible for the deaths of upwards of 5 million people in the past twelve years and the creation of more than 7 million refugees in continuing illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and military interventions elsewhere. NATO is also the only international organisation which advances a “first-strike” nuclear weapons policy recently confirmed by NATO leaders at their summit in Lisbon last November. Some contradiction here with public statements by Sean Barret that Fine Gael was “totally opposed” to nuclear weapons.

Fine Gael spokespeople are adept at the jargon of the Harvard Business School and other sources of the language of obfuscation. When they speak of “economy” and “debt” they leave out the proper, and objective, qualifiers ; “exploitation” and “slavery”. Economic exploitation and debt slavery are the foundations of the mode of production favoured by Fine Gael and its EU/NATO allies. This mode of production has arrived at a historic juncture where it is no longer capable of maintaining civilised life on this planet. Endless growth backed by endless consumerism are fantasies which will eventually collide with the reality of a finite Earth. This is the subject of the real debate missing from this election campaign and the general discourse of a capitalist world headed by a deluded and self-aggrandising elite. The Irish electorate need to watch very carefully a Fine Gael led government  that will determine their future and that of generations to come while at the same time being the local messenger boys of this elite.

Fine Gael’s connections with Wall Street: Sutherland and Regan:

The leading personage in this regard is Peter Sutherland; he is non-executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (a registered UK broker-dealer, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs(USA).

At the 1973 Irish general election, he stood as a Fine Gael candidate in the Dublin North West constituency but, was not elected. In 1981, aged 34, he became the youngest Attorney General of Ireland. He served in the two Governments led by Garret FitzGerald.

He was appointed to the European Commission in 1985 and had responsibility for competition policy and, later, also for education. He was the youngest ever European Commissioner and served in the first Delors Commission, where he played a crucial role in opening up competition across Europe, particularly the airline, telecoms, and energy sectors. Subsequently he was Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organisation).  Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Secretary, credited him with being the “father of globalization” and said that without him there would have been no WTO. The Uruguay round of global trade talks, concluded in 1994 with Sutherland as chair of GATT, produced the biggest trade agreement in history and established the World Trade Organisation.
Until June 2009 he was non-executive chairman of BP. Sutherland was a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group until he was asked to leave the board when it had to be taken over by the UK government to avoid bankruptcy. He also formerly served on the board of ABB.
He is on the steering committee of the secretive Bilderberg Group  a chairman of the Trilateral Commission currently headed by David Rockefeller and vice chairman of the European Round Table of IndustrialistsHe is a member of the Comite d'Honneur of the Institute of European Affairs, and an Honorary President of the European Movement Ireland.On 5 December 2006, he was appointed as Consultor of the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (a financial advisor to Vatican City).

Goldman Sachs(USA) has been accused of defrauding investors by America's financial regulator, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that Goldman failed to disclose conflicts of interest The claims concern Goldman's marketing of sub-prime mortgage investments just as the US housing market collapsed. Goldman rejected the SEC's allegations, saying that it would "vigorously" defend its reputation. News that the SEC was pressing civil fraud charges against Goldman and one of its London-based vice presidents, Fabrice Tourre, sent shares in the investment bank tumbling 12%.

The SEC states that Goldman failed to disclose "vital information" that one of its clients, Paulson & Co, helped choose which securities were packaged into the mortgage portfolio. These securities were sold to investors in 2007.  Goldman failed to disclose that Paulson, one of the world's largest hedge funds, had bet that the value of the securities would fall. The SEC stated: "Unbeknownst to investors, Paulson... which was posed to benefit if the [securities] defaulted, played a significant role in selecting which [securities] should make up the portfolio." "In sum, Goldman Sachs arranged a transaction at Paulson's request in which Paulson heavily influenced the selection of the portfolio to suit its economic interests," said the Commission.

The SEC alleges that investors in the mortgage securities, packaged into a vehicle called Abacus, lost more than $1bn (£650m) in the US housing collapse. Mr Tourre was the executive  principally behind the creation of Abacus, which agreed its deal with Paulson in April 2007, the SEC said. The Commission alleges that Mr Tourre knew the market in mortgage-backed securities was about to be hit well before this date. The SEC's court document quotes an email from Mr Tourre to a friend in January 2007

"More and more leverage in the system. Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab[rice Tourre]... standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!"

Goldman Sachs has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a brief statement: "The SEC's charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation." The SEC indictment, it can be safely predicted, will result either in a white-wash of Goldman and its executives or, at the most, a financial slap on the wrist.

The SEC’s civil case lets senior Goldman executives off the hook. The sole individual named as defendant, alongside the bank, is a 31-year-old who was a junior trader in 2007. In 2007, Goldman CEO Blankfein, who is not named in the indictment, received, according to Reuters, $100 million in pay and stock. Paulson, exonerated by the SEC, pocketed $3.7 billion in 2007 and another $2 billion in 2008.The worst Goldman will suffer is a multi-million-dollar fine, a drop in the bucket compared to the financial giant’s profits.The Obama administration, loaded with executives from Goldman and other Wall Street firms, will do nothing to stop the banks and hedge funds from continuing their fleecing operations now and in the future, and none of those chiefly responsible will be held to account. Mr Paulson has not been charged.

Less well-known is Senator Eugene Regan:

Senator Eugene Regan is a Fine Gael senator. He is also a non-executive director at Goldman Sachs and a lawyer.

When Regan contested the general election in 2007, Garret FitzGerald - as Regan said himself -- made the "rare gesture" of endorsing his candidacy: so did Alan Dukes, now chairman of Anglo Irish Bank. Two former Fine Gael leaders, then, declaring for a relatively unknown politician. At the time Regan was a councillor in Dun Laoghaire. He was elected to that council in 2004. He personally spent €45,000 to help get himself elected to the council, four times the money that, on average, other candidates spent in his electoral area.

As a barrister, given the largesse available to those employed in the Four Goldmines, Regan could possibly afford to spend €45,000. In any event, three years later, he failed to convince voters of Dun Laoghaire to elect him to the Dail in 2007.His connections, however, helped get him elected to the Seanad shortly thereafter. His connections are  true-blue Fine Gael and law library. FitzGerald, Dukes and Sutherland.

"Peter Sutherland personally canvassed for Eugene in the local elections of 2004," Regan says on his website, showing the close relationship between the two. During his career, Regan served in the cabinet of Sutherland when Sutherland was EU Commissioner for Social Affairs and Competition. Regan is non-executive director of Goldman Sachs (Dublin and Luxembourg). In fact, he is a non-executive director of 27 separate Goldman Sachs funds, as well as retaining interest in a number of asset management companies, one of which is based in the Cayman Islands. Regan has indicated he is not contesting the next Seanad Elections; other prospects in mind if Enda Kenny becomes Taoiseach next week?

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 25 Feabhra, February, 2011.

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