Citizen Journalism Ireland: Selection of emails to Government and related. January to March 2011 by Michelle Clarke

Subject: Emailing: Will Bono trouser $540m from Facebook deal Business guardian.co.uk
Date: Wednesday 5th January 2011 18:25:53 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Vincent Browne <vincent.browne@tv3.ie>, Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie <Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie>, markets <sesmarkets@financialregulator.ie>, michelle Clarke

A thought for those tax exiles who are facilitated at present in Ireland…….

There is little talk these days other than doom and gloom and horrendous times ahead.  Yet, look at today’s Guardian newspaper and read the article about Bono and his company or (vehicle – NAMA wording) and the windfall he has gained from his 1+% investment in Facebook.  Then read it again and assimilate the content and contextualise it to the furore in Ireland before Christmas with the IMF, the EU group, the hand-outs from Britain, Denmark and Norway and ask the question about the wealthy people in Ireland who are permitted to keep one footprint here and another in a more favourable tax haven location or country.

Where is their sense of nationality, obligation, even compassion, or more strongly what about their sense of morality?  Have they lost their moral compass and do they equate being born in Ireland as having no other more profound values.  A lot of these people have their say in media here, express their views, call themselves Irish but when it comes down to what their tax advisers suggest and ultimately what they choose to do for financial reasons, they choose to not pay the due taxes to Ireland.

Charlie McCreevy successfully introduced a reduction in Capital Gains Tax from 40% to 20% and similar applies to inheritance tax.  The Celtic Tiger expanding middle class and the wealthy category benefited greatly from this particularly those who invested in stocks and shares and of course in property.  This move without being curtailed fueled the boom experienced.  Now  nobody talks about CGT.  Why?  Is it that the profits have disappeared?  But if so what about the asset appreciation if assets are valued back at the 2002 level?

Back to Bono.  This man has many investments in Ireland – he may even have a residential home in Dalkey?  However, he changed his domicile for tax reasons and yes that was his choice and he had the right to do it based on sound economic principles.  But now that we have to find 6 bn. euros + interest  this year for our budget deficit, surely we need to tackle our wealthy people who choose to hunt with hare and run with the hound!

Quoted of relevance from article in Guardian UK. newspaper
Elevation http://www.elevation.com/ep_it.asp?id=112 has a 1.5% stake in the social networking site, which on paper is now worth a tidy $750m – almost four times the $210m investment in the company.

I know this is ‘bookies money’ i.e. share values change but if Elevation decided to sell on the day that 750 m. would yield a fair percent in terms of Irish tax revenues.

The people who have chosen to be tax exiles, those people who are in receipt of large pensions that originate here, who are involved in the Horse Racing fraternity, who do not pay their taxes here, should not be taken seriously when they speak out about what should be done in Ireland (the names will come quiet easily to you).

I have to say I am a fan of Michael O’Leary because he is upfront, he lives here, he is involved in the Racing industry but most of all he is entitled to have his view about what he regards as an ineffectual government because first and foremost he created Ryanair that yields profits, cut down the elitist prices of Aer Lingus flights in the 1980’s, and yes he is quite frank in his statement – HE PAYS HIS TAXES IN IRELAND.



Subject: Emailing: Gabrielle Giffords http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m65EBd3N2KI to recover in rehab centre: World news guardian.co.uk. The NRH in Ireland is our rehabilitation centre but surely we need more centres of excellence. Daily we hear of car accidents, falls, even shootings and thuds to the head, psycho-neurological and spinal issues. We need beacons to follow and this Gabrielle Giffords near tragedy becomes an identifiable case history in the making
Date: Thursday, 20th January 2011 13:00:13 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: lucelyalma@hotmail.com, ian.robertson@tcd.ie, info@drinkaware.ie, investor.relations@eircom.ie <investor.relations@eircom.ie>

I would like people to read the Guardian newspaper today especially those who work in Rehabs and trauma departments but above all I would like our cosy cartel of consultants to open their minds and eyes, to establish a better way forward to help all people to recover and rehabilitate themselves back into the home environment post traumatic/acquired brain injury.

Congress woman, Gabrielle Gifford is in recovery and it appears to be astonishing; President Obama in his speech last week praised the medical team but also he praised the human will, the human fight, for survival making Gabrielle Giffords efforts for recovery exemplary for others who sustain TBI/ABI.  In Ireland, we have the National Rehab in Dun Laoghaire and I have to say they are a brilliant bunch of people who work there on their limited resources.
Sadly a friend of ours had a horse fall before Christmas – a young mother with two beautiful daughters aged only 7 and 8. Jane has a long road to travel and I believe now that our system i.e. medical, HSE, Co. Council, home help and the rest should be clicking in around her and so many more like Jane to give them their entitlements of a better way of life for themselves and their  families.

It is very annoying to see in the last 13 years the waste of billions of our monies to self indulged manic bankers (gamblers) and developers (speculators).  It is now time that with an incoming government which is one promising change that we impress upon them that we also need to change our sense of morality and in particular the medical profession. It is no secret that some members of the medical profession are there for the high elitist life and this can have a negative output towards the patients.  These consultants should read the memoirs of people like Dr. Maurice Nelligan, a gentle man and a gentle giant in his own field (a true visionary). Ireland now desperately needs more like him (with a particular ability to integrate and create multi-disciplinary approaches and demobilise bureaucrats for the sake of medicine and in certain cases its adjunct Rehabilitation.


Quotation
Rewards
‘The salary of the chief executive of the large corporations is not a market reward for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.
JK Galbraith (born 1908) Canadian-born economist and author of The Affluent Society


Subject: No Responses to:

“Senior Ministers Resign From Cabinet”

Date: Friday 21st January 2011 21:27:51 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: minister@welfare.ie, OKeeffe, Minister <Minister_OKeeffe@education.gov.ie>, minister@finance.gov.ie, Minister@entemp.ie <Minister@entemp.ie>, Alex.White@Oireachtas.ie <Alex.White@Oireachtas.ie>, caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie <caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie>, chris.andrews@oireachtas.ie, editor@sligochampion.ie, editor@sligochampion.ie, editor@penguin.co.uk, editor@examiner.ie, fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie <fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie>, O’Shea, Fergus <fergus.oshea@the-sun.ie>, greg.craig@fas.ie, Hugh Kane <hugh.kane@mhcirl.ie>,

Infowars Ireland

No Responses to “Senior Ministers Resign From Cabinet”

The Exodus, not Tunisian style but Irish Republic style.
We thought we had stalwarts but instead we have cowards. Having emigrated in the 1980′s recession and returned, I am astounded to read today’s Irish Independent and read about the severance pay packages available to people who are just above half way through their working life. Packages for Noel Dempsey at 313,000 (e) euros, to Mary Harney 285,000 (e) euros, 310,000 (e) euros for Dermot Ahern, Michael Martin 95,000 (e) euros, to name but only a few. Add to this the tax breaks they are open to if they decide to write their ‘narratives’, not to mention appointments to State boards and quangos.
The headline of another article on Infowars Ireland  http://www.infowars.com/ highlights that
‘Tunisia’s state coffers are missing 1.5 tonnes of gold, according to an industry group, amid reports that the ousted president and his wife had collected the ingots before fleeing the country’.
To put the Irish situation in context….our politicians have no need to flee because we the plain people of Ireland seem to endorse their blatant self motivated actions ie their ability to feather their own nests.
The 1980′s reporting in the media was often about redundancy packages from work and yes there was a wide two tier gap about inequality but nothing to what we have endorsed in Ireland of today. Then redundancy amounted to a half weeks pay for every year of service, provided you were working with the company for two years and if you were over the age of 40 it was one years pay. You were allowed to receive an amount of £6,000 and after that you were subject to tax i.e. at your top rate. 
Based on the above, surely the people ought to be seeking explanations. These politicians are no different to employees of a company who in volatile economic times are made redundant or who choose to leave. If so, then should we not be questioning the amounts paid to them for termination of employment and applying tax rules. If the above equation applied then it would mean that there would be a tax amount payable by each of these members leaving government.
Do we really know how their payments have reached such high levels over the period of 30 years?  The universal charge is in this month so for those who have abdicated their positions of power, how much will be their take home pay? This is a good start towards being part of the knowledge economy, encouraged by the EU. Surely, they ought to be the first to merit this deduction and then let statutory redundancy rules apply and let them pay the tax on the balance at their top rate. This may not be possible but at least let people contextualise what privilege is for those in the ‘established classes’. 
If the US are reviewing pensions and “double dipping” pensions then we too in Ireland ought to be reviewing same and where best to start but now with those politicians who are choosing to step aside. Again pension funds and tax breaks have provided for some adequately while others who may have worked to the statutory retirement age have been the fall guys. Yes, the elderly who have already been out marching in protest.
Crisis….emergency powers….the absence of the IMF-EU group. I find it hard to grasp why the IMF-EU group appear to be vacant. Perhaps it is because the people of Ireland have become so passive resistant.  How much sovereignty have we in fact forfeited? 
Revolutionaries

‘The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution’

Hannah Arendt (1906-75) German-born political philosopher. A refugee from the Nazis, she is best known for her analyses of fascism and totalitarianism.

 


Subject: Reply to Infowars Ireland article: Asia’s richest man eyeing up Irish state assets January 24th 2011. Tthe Finance Bill is the focus of attention to the exclusion of other matters. We await the election date … let us use the time to focus on our hopes for our beleaguered nation
Date: Monday 24th January 2011 20:54:25 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed address list

‘…while you go lower and lower’. But surely this is about human nature factor of attitude.

We have moved from the egocentric narcissists to the negative attitudinal blame merchants and what is the cost; we are sinking in an abyss while the media stir the ‘dirt’. We need hope surely.

Irish Financial Services Centre provided the vision for the Celtic Tiger and now visionless we have four Cabinet members fighting internally to become leader of FF.   For me it is too much like ‘Et tu Brute…’.

We need hope but we also need a sense of worth otherwise Ireland Inc could become the ideal location for take-over merchants be they Corporates or in the case of this article countries like China. Recently it was reported that former FG Leader Mr. John Bruton now Chief Executive IFSC was on a trade mission to the Middle East with a focus on selling our ‘banks’. People behind the scenes are working within the global spectrum that they have experienced and there is nothing like a bargain for people like the Chinese, those from the Middle East and those from Russia, even from Irish tax exiles deciding to return. We the plain people of Ireland must embrace the knowledge economy which EU membership dictated our destiny to be. Education and creativity need to be fostered along side the promotion of an ethical life long learning ethos.

We need to stand tall, realise that we have a small population that are deemed to be educated; demographics that are more about youth than old age, we have an open economy; we are an Island surrounded by seas with wealth potential yet not discovered. Yes, this is not the time of the famine….we have potential; we just need to divest ourselves of corruption. We need to conclude the Tribunals e.g. the Mahon Tribunals and set a code of standards to encourage people to adhere to.

We need a leader with constancy, vision, ability, a team leader. It is interesting to read in the above article about Mr. Cowen and Department of Finance and Department of Enterprise meeting this Cantonese delegation expressing interest in our state sector businesses. We must not forget that Mr. Cowen, albeit shunned presently, did try to ‘keep his head while around him in his party, all seemed to be losing theirs’. Too much blame is bad for our nation.



Subject: Common sense medicine and the view of the patient/user as distinct from bureaucratic attempts to make life difficult for people who have illnesses who need services and social care
Date: Wednesday 26th January 2011 13:08:17
From: Michelle Clarke <michelleclarke@upcmail.ie>
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, brendan riesebeck <brendanriesebeck@eircom.net>, barrybrennan@compuserve.com, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, chris.andrews@oireachtas.ie, BarryQuirke@Courts.ie <BarryQuirke@Courts.ie>, DE BRÚN Bairbre <bairbre.debrun@europarl.europa.eu>, caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie <caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie>, Dermot Lacey <dermot.lacey@labour.ie>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, DE BRÚN Bairbre <bairbre.debrun@europarl.europa.eu>, daniel.neville@oireachtas.ie <daniel.neville@oireachtas.ie>

The services provided by pharmacies for people with queries about health prove to be excellent provided you live near a chemist, as I do. Now they have on their premises a private room where they can check your blood pressure, give you a flu jab or answer the little worries that often fly around in your head when you have a certain medical diagnosis.It is a view by now that people who are part of the public medical health service i.e. community system of medicine and care can be pawned off with nonproductive or strategic mis-use of their time – you see they don’t count.

An example: There was a time you could go to your doctor and you would either have your bloods taken by the doctor or referred to phlebotomy in the local community hospital. Okay, this is about two destinations and effort. Baggot Street Community Hospital was my centre of “nonexcellence”. First you made an appointment, then they changed the rules and you could wait one morning a week. Then there were more changes and all those in need of bloods now have to go to St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Merrion, Dublin 4. Yes,this was about a queue but there was a great advantage in that the service was available 5 days a week 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You might have to wait up to 2 hours but there was a flow and the fact that three nurses took blood, it was efficient. As of December this has changed: It is back to making appointments.  This is a nonsense. There are times when the hospital is on alert for viruses, flus etc. and you just have to put off getting bloods for a period of time. The people who get bloods include people with mental health problems and it is important for lithium levels to be maintained otherwise you can have admissions to A&E, and this applies to others whoh ave different illnesses that require bloods.
There is an interesting News broadcast from the World Bank :’The Graying Revolution reaches low – and middle income countries : check it out: http://www.worldbank.org/WEBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS and take a look at their recommendations for Policy Reforms.  With advice such as this from the World Bank, why is there such bureaucratic nonsense in our department of health.  As you can see from this document the work has been done for the health service in policy recommendations but for some reason Ireland just sits on its hands.  Note with particular emphasis what the OECD countries suggest in their several broad directions for future policy reforms:
Back to St Vincent’s University Hospital: Each time I have gone for bloods I have written in my diary the following: ‘Missed appointments are a staggering cost : 3,940,314.80 euros for the year 2008 i.e. 26,878 failed to cancel appointments and yet they propose an appointment system for people needing bloods on a regular basis. What is systemic about the health system? You need nearly a 35 hour week to be ‘sick’ in this country i.e. if your are a public patient.  And again as a person with disabilities the cut backs in tax and the universal tax discriminate.  Add to this people who each month of the year get prescriptions of a variety of medicines and the charges involved – yes 10 euro.  Can someone explain about why a prescription for Vitamin B12 injection is also subject to a charge for a patient with medical card?  This is further discrimination or is it marketing because there are rumours that Vitamin B12 has resulted in positive findings re. dementia.
Keep an eye out for TILDA. Here is some Philanthropy input and if you were a person selected, you leave your assessment knowing that a near complete health check plus bloods can in fact be done and in2 hours with all confirmed in writing.

Michelle Clarke



Subject: Doctor’s surgery becomes legal advice centre – Ministry of Justice. Time of invocation as politicians go door to door for votes. Let us promote inclusiveness and innovation. Here is an idea for the near desolate Royal City of Dublin hospital in Baggot Street and yes add Village and create the location which is historic to say the least Time to stop Stigma and such a hostile approach neuro-psychiatric umbrella of labels!
Date: Wednesday 2nd February 2011 16:51:19
From: Michelle Clarke

Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Let us create a community around Upper Baggot Street Village.  We need an umbrella to gather together the strands from addiction to health to legal affairs to entrepreneurs to science.

Housed in this area already are HRB, the Mental Health Commission, FAS, TESCO, Royal City of Dublin Hospital, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, IBEC, a number of pubs, coffee shops….all contribute to making a centre of excellence related to Mental Health or wellness linked to neurology a possibility.  The motto of the European Union in 2000 ‘Unity of Diversity’ makes a good start for a draw-down on EU funds and a Centre of Excellence ie Royal City of Dublin hospital, most likely to be sold in the near future.

Baggot Street Village – let the politicians in the making innovate and recreate this area.  Transport 21 evidently has something in mind because now the 39A has replaced the No. 10 and you can travel to beyond the Blanchardstown shopping centre, through Baggot Street and to UCD.  The No 37 which is from Castleknock goes to Waterloo Road.  What is the plan for the Georgian streets with doorways of such reputation?  Milan has plans and our planners need to read the Financial Times weekend supplement re. Davos and the imagination and creations envisaged for that city of note.

Quotation:
‘Unemployment seems to take away opportunity to make a useful contribution’
Bishop David Sheppard



Subject: Corporate Crime: 3 year jail term for banker in UK for insider dealing; while another party is extradited, sentenced two years and an order of Stg£640,000 IN CONFISCATION?
Date: Sunday 6th February 2011 18:38:20 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed List

Sunday 6th February 2011

Fair dues to Enda Kenny when he recently took a question from the floor about Cloud Computing. Basically, data management has moved beyond the piece of hardware in situ i.e. the lap-top – mobile, at home, on holiday, in the office.

 

Drumm, former CEO Anglo Irish Bank, is in the US seeking to be declared bankrupt; his manipulation of position and choice, while we in Ireland are left on the outside track re. access to information that we are entitled to and yet deprived of. (the Purcell Report).

Nikhil Kumar, wrote an interesting article in the Independent (UK) newspaper during the week – ‘banker gets record three-year jail term for insider dealing’.  In the past, we in Ireland have had problems with Insider Trading breaches, but the fact is the Irish Stock Exchange is really only a sub-station to the UK FTSE and preparing the case is more difficult for us to establish and prove.
However, the law in the UK is carving a path for us in Ireland and hopefully the likes of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide personnel will be ‘burnt’ for their breaches of the law i.e. once our Regulators, Fraud Squad, CAB and DPP can put together sufficient evidence.

Reported 3rd February 2011: ‘A former City banker, his wife and a friend have been sentenced in a £2.15 m insider trading scheme uncovered by the FSA (Financial Services Authority)’. Now here is a scenario that hopefully will prepare the way to seek out the pathways of money patterns through the global financial system. This is one of a number of successes by the Financial Services Authority in the UK.   Similarities exist, I would suggest, to some cases pending or even with the DPP and other regulatory forces in Ireland presently.

The three people, in the case cited, pleaded guilty to 8 counts of insider trading in a number of listed shares between the years 2000-2008. Interestingly, the ‘insider dealing’ only came to the fore after Mr. Sa’aid made suspicious share purchases in advance of the Highway Insurance takeover in 2008. Investigation yielded details of his trading records and the FSA noticed other suspicious trades connected to as many as 21 deal announcements. In fact, the FSA trawled through large amounts of data, including a floppy disk found in Mr. Littlewood’s garden shed which showed how the profits of the deal were divided.  Coincidence or whatever, investigators spotted that Mr. Littlewood, a Shore Capital banker on the Highway deal, used to work at the German firm. The inquiry progressed: ‘The FSA took a closer look at movements of money between Mr. Sa’aid and an individual names Siew Yoon Lew (Mrs Littlewood). This link proved crucial and yielded to the unravelling of patterns that established insider trading.

We need to take heart that ultimately corporate crime by bankers and others, maybe even extgended to Auditors will appear before the courts and some redress and compensation will be granted. What is interesting about this case viz a viz Mr. Drumm is that Mr. Sa’aid was extradited from the Comoros Islands in March 2010, he pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to two years in prison AND ORDERED TO PAY £640,000 IN CONFISCATION. Do we have in place this legislation!

 

Quotation:
Order
‘Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order!
Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control’
Denis Diderot (1713-84) French Philosopher.



Subject: Financial Times: The Cluster Boom:

Dublin and World Heritage Georgian City: Creativity, lateral thought and vision.

Date: Monday 7th February 2011 13:39:30 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: barry.andrews@oireachtas.ie, bobby@insomnia.ie, Dymphna Moore <D.Moore@ria.ie>, director@architecturefoundation.ie, envirocentre@enterprise-ireland.com, filming@tcd.ie

Irish Architectural Foundation website is worth a visit for those interested in Georgian Dublin.  A study exists to say that there are no more than 250 people living in inner core housing e.g. Fitzwilliam Square, Merrion Square and around St. Stephen’s Green.

What is happening to our inheritance?  It’s narrative in the 1800’s and 1900’s may have been about extremities of poverty i.e. poor living accommodation and the vestiges of wealth not forgetting the minority of those who remained behind after 1921 but this does not mean we allow it fall to further decay.

Excerpt from IAF website:

Dublin is in the process of seeking UNESCO approval for the designation of Dublin as a World Heritage Georgian city. In ReDrawing Dublin, Kearns and Ruimy argue that “to designate an essentially suburban two-storey city.. as a World Heritage Georgian city, however, is a muddled misunderstanding of Dublin’s present built geography and a potentially destructive limitation on the possibilities of its urban future.”

Who knows about this?  I live on Wellington Road and I sure didn’t.  I feel passionately about this area and consider it to be substantially undersold for its potential.

There is an interesting article in the House and Home Section (Property Architecture Interiors Gardens) section of this week’s Saturday Financial Times.

There appears to be action over in London with the establishment of ‘new fiefdoms in London, New York and Hong Kong’.  It is about the creation of inner-city estates.  Something similar was reported in last weeks supplement re Davos and the inspiration for the city quarters in Milan.

Unesco and Tourism surely go hand in hand.  We marketed the Georgian doorways decades gone by but now shame faced per consequence of our negative interaction with property, we fail to see markets that may exist in the future.  We need vision.  We need to work in line with Unesco Heritage.  We (Dublin) are promoted as the City of Literature as Derry is endorsed as the City of Culture.  We need to interact North and South  We need to look to other markets as in the UK.  This new found market is called the high-end micro-market….we might even challenge those tax exiles to return with a similar initiative and to start living in clusters in nominated heritage areas.

I hope politicians while on their election campaign do not ignore ‘Upper Baggot Street Village’.  It is an area of historic importance and needs the so-called retro-fit that is being marketed elsewhere but not for our Georgian heritage houses.  This may mean tax incentives but then who knows the EU might give us some funds viz a viz potential tourism and inner infra-structure which would rehabilitate urban destruction areas especially where there is a strong historical heritage.

It is time for us to get up off our knees and starting looking ahead.  Egypt is a tragedy in the making but look to the headlines in the Financial Times….insecure markets and funds flow out of the Egypt and their neighbours and back to safer locations.  This is the mystery that keeps markets alert and mobile.

Quote:
‘The majority of these people have several homes and will travel between them.
They might leave a few people behind, but often they will take apartments in a building
which is well equipped with its own guards and a good range of services’
…….Global markets dictate their lifestyles of choice.


Subject: Two comments re. Sunday Times newspaper. Always: ‘Delay, NEGOTIATE, Default’ route surely
Date: Monday 14th February 2011 13:33:00 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, Dermot Lacey <dermot.lacey@labour.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, Eamon Gilmore <eamon.gilmore@labour.ie>, Eugene.Regan@Oireachtas.ie <Eugene.Regan@Oireachtas.ie>, fincom@oireachtas.ie, Liam Carey <failteisteach@thirdagefoundation.ie>, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie <caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie>, Constantin Gurdgiev <gurdgiev@gmail.com>, KT Hawklett <kthawklett@gmail.com>, ian.robertson@tcd.ie, James.Reilly@Oireachtas.ie <James.Reilly@Oireachtas.ie>, joan.burton@oireachtas.ie <joan.burton@oireachtas.ie>, jwickham@tcd.ie, KT Hawklett <kthawklett@gmail.com>, Leo.Varadkar@Oireachtas.ie <Leo.Varadkar@Oireachtas.ie>, Liam-IPRT <LHerrick@iprt.ie>, Michelle Clarke <michelleclarke@upcmail.ie>, martin.ferris@oireachtas.ie <martin.ferris@oireachtas.ie>, Nigel Dodds <ndodds@dup-belfast.co.uk>, Nigel Dodds <ndodds@dup-belfast.co.uk>, olivia.mitchell@oireachtas.ie <olivia.mitchell@oireachtas.ie>, Pearse et al

14th February 2011

A thought perhaps and then maybe some questions.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times has a brief article about the ‘Hunt’ for Mubarak’s millions.  I thought this is quick, he is just deposed or so we are led to believe.  But money markets act fast and in the UK the Senior Fraud Squad (yes the same SFO that operated in the North of Ireland) and which is similar in operation to our Criminal Assets Bureau, have acted.

The SFO or so the report goes has launched its hunt for millions of pounds of cash and assets ‘believed to have been secretly stashed in Britain by Hosni-Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian president, and his family.  Meantime, last Friday, Switzerland became the first country to freeze assets ….. those that they believe belong to Mubarak and his regime.  Sovereignty no longer applies to this dictator and his assets are up for grab…and hopefully return in some format to the people of Egypt.  The next surprise is the amount of his family fortune  is estimated at £1.5 billion or 1.8 billion euros.  It is believed that it is held in British and Swiss Bank accounts and tied up in property in Britain, New York and Los Angeles.

Where are the CAB (Criminal Assets Bureau) in Ireland re. solicitors like Lynn, bankers like Drumm, and developers, and also negligent politicians?  Yes  too many to name and their tracking network  is limited to find where the money actually is invested?  How is it that a country like Egypt has a leader for 30 years and his ‘takings’ are only 1.8 billion euros when Ireland appears to be in debt for over 100 billion?  The accounting is proving bizarre to say the least.  It makes one think of pawn brokers, ‘Jew debt collectors’ in the hard times of the early State and the penal rates of interests that applied to people

Yes:  Enda Kenny.  Well done for not side stepping any more than necessary and meeting Angela Merkel.  We need more transparency.  Noughts are appearing without justification.  It is similar to taking out a car loan in the 1980’s for say three years at a fixed interest rate.  Then you get a job promotion and you have a bonus and you go to pay off for your car.  You go to the bank and you are told no….you are signed in and you pay right up to the last payment….no negotiation allowed.  This can be changed by people power.

The Sunday Times again:  another consideration worth thinking about.

‘Anglo is on brink of the Quinn deal’.  The question is that investment bankers are in the business of creating opportunities for investors willing to take risks and invest funds and particularly insurance companies.

It announces a joint venture between Anglo Irish Bank and Liberty Mutual (the large American insurer)….This is a significant move and surely a positive one for both Quinn and Anglo and by consequences re. values its debt downwards?

Quotation
Margaret Mead (1901-1978) US anthropologist,
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has’



Subject: well written
Date: Wednesday 16th February 2011 23:43:09
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Jimmy Deenihan <jimmy.deenihan@oireachtas.ie>, Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie <Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie>, Shane Clarke <shane.clarke9@mail.dcu.ie>,

Wednesday 16th February 2011

 

Yes. Cities are so very important. Georgian Dublin is being forsaken and we need to revitalise it urgently. The politicians are canvassing, the time is now to petition them. They talk about retro-fitting but what about re-generating inner city lifestyles. As regards the ghost estates in far away places … demolition is possibly the best route and provide alternative accommodation for those who have been caught in ‘negative equity’…
People may be skeptical about nation branding in the context of branding and globalisation but at least the Germans appear to be focused on the importance of Tourism which sadly we appear to have lost sight of in Ireland.  One may consider the terminology nation branding is cold but the idea of structuring an identity as a people, a nation, a country is surely sensible at this point in time when we are now labelled a ‘bankrupt state’ and what this conjures up is the picture of nothing other than a despotic nation and a pretty useless people.  Thankfully we are not yet so and there are jewels in our Crown which if people focus on, identify them, value them, endorse them – there is hope for the Irish Nation to buy themselves out of this hideous economic and financial crisis that reckless banks and certain personnel have caused.
Already in the UK there are signs of improvement. The bankers are seeking and receiving their bonuses again which means they must be identifying markets that will yield profits and in turn dividends. We must realise that we are linked to the hip of capitalism and our banking is part of the globalised conundrum.
Back to our balance sheet: What can we do? Well, let us leave aside branding the term that Tourism or relying on the word ‘culture’. What about re-inventing the concept of communities and in our cities re-creating communities and working on more interconnection  using the computer as a tool that helps us partially communicate with people, but importantly that it does not replace people power and communication.  An idea: Take areas like Rathmines, Ranelagh, Baggot Street. Local freebie paper refer to Ranelagh Village and this has the feeling of same. Rathmines which once was known as a village is now just open ended without any sense of history. Then you have Upper Baggot Street, it too has lost its sense of identity.
To create a community we ought to focus on an area as an experiment and see how we can create a new community using all the potential therein:e now approach 2016 and let us not forget that much of Irish history started over the centuries in Dublin 4. The time has come to exploit this while people still live in the area and have first hand experience….we need to tap this before it is confined to boxes in archives. Genealogy and tourism has great potential. The Americans, the English, the Scottish, …so many people have connections and so much is possible now to revive, review and maybe even learn.

I would suggest Baggot Street as a model. I would start by referring to it as Upper Baggot Street Village and would then add in all the strands that relate to it from the canal via Mespil Road, to the hospital that once was a place of renown, to the Irish Architectural Foundation and what it wants to do to revive Georgian Dublin.

by Michelle Clarke



Subject: Pessimism will not persuade the IMF-EU group
Date: Thursday 17th February 2011 21:42:26
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie <Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie>, Moloney, Ruth <ruth.moloney@grandcanaltheatre.ie>, ownersforum@dublincity.ie <ownersforum@dublincity.ie>, osullivansolutions1@gmail.com

17th February 2011

Pessimism will not persuade the IMF-EU group

Initiative and a good place to start – Motivation Ireland and Tourism


Back to regeneration and vision.

Yesterday Tourism Ireland launched their plans for St. Patrick’s Day. The targets are the UK, Europe and USA. What about China and Japan? The Japanese have lost out to the Chinese as world leaders in productivity, financial and economic success. The Japanese faltered in and are struggling with deflation; we the Irish could do likewise. The people were frightened by the 1980’s recession and they stopped spending i.e. the people who lived and worked the economy and no doubt relating to the fears compounded by the World Wars started to save money. The outcome now in Japan is that people save and there is so much money invested in accounts that yield no interest return or loans for new business ventures or homes, holidays etc. OK this sounds simplistic but it a fabric to work on.

We in Ireland need to ask where did the 111 BILLION euros that was in Anglo Irish Bank and similar amounts in other financial institutions in 2008 go to. We know some people were very quick to get their money out of Ireland but other people moved more slowly and some remain. Before the bank is no more…let us tap into where the money went and re-direct it out into the community and small businesses. There has to be away. There is a law in the UK of confiscation so why cannot it not apply here. Politicians stop the squabbling and start focusing on what really happened in banks like Anglo Irish yes insider trading and look to similar outcomes in court cases in the UK, US and France.

Meantime re. Tourism. Yes….we need the brand (I stand corrected as the concept is already in motion) but we also need to start kicking into play with the right hemisphere of our brain and becoming creative and become lateral thought functioning. We need to make sure that when tourists arrive in Ireland that it is not the stale Celtic Tiger culture we are promoting and that we have tapped into something new and enlightening. Vision is required amidst this time of political assassination of characters who deserve nothing other than conclusion of the Mahon Tribunal and whatever outcome it produces.

Upper Baggot Street Village. Let us form a virtual community that can be replicated. Look to what you can see before you and start applying the power of one and the impact of any one person to contribute to forming a community. Let us ask the Irish Architectural Foundation to contribute their ideas. There is a rather unique and splendid architecture in the area.

News on the street is about rents. Businesses are suffering under the pressure of excessive rents and Landlords who are just too greedy to reduce the rents. It is not fair. It impacts on the community. Coffee shops, print shops, hairdressers are all vital contributors yet if they are put out of business all we will have is hideous vacant premises and an emptiness that does the opposite of promoting our country.

Grafton Street: Let us take heed and follow the example promptly. Two retailers have succeeded in getting a 53% reduction THROUGH THE COURTS (and we know how expensive this is).  They were not bound by leases that apply upward only rent reviews. Dublin City traders are starting to take things into their own hands and rightly so. Places should consolidate into groupings e.g. Upper Baggot Street Village and discussion should lead to similar impact via a court settlement and drive rents substantially down to promote business.

Rents and their reduction is vital. It has happened in relation to housing/apartments and rents that were circa 1,000 per month are now about 800 euros. The outcome of this is that the State could reduce the rent allowance. This puts in play the power of negotiation.

Businesses need to heed who their landlords are: If it is a case that a property, as many are have been in the hands of a family for say several generations, then it is only equitable for such landlords to reduce the rents with a clause of reversion when markets change.

Quotation
Freedom
Albert Camus (1930-1960) French Writer
‘The only conception of freedom I can have is that of the prisoner or the individual in the midst of the State. 

The only thing I know is freedom of thought and action’




Subject: Banker Sir Fred Goodwin, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, once the fifth-largest bank in the world.
Date: Friday 18th February 2011 17:26:59 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: webmaster@imf.org; undisclosed list

Royal Bank of Scotland lest we forget entered the Irish market buying out old ESB (Electricity Supply Board) premises giving them ideal locations throughout Ireland.  They had a target market of loans that would undercut the big banks and set in place those heady days of ensuring that almost anyone would be eligible for a mortgage.  This was the real reckless lending associated with de-regulation yet RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland – Phil Flynn connection) was welcomed and probably in another two years or so we will face something similar as a foreign bank sees potential for lending in Ireland again and to introduce cheap mortgages…

We talk about faults in regulation but let us not forget globalisation was about deregulation.  Let us not forget that regulation existed prior to the Euro.  Then Central Bank had two critical mechanisms i.e. exchange rates (IR£ mainly centred around the German mark) and deposit rates.  Anglo Irish Bank was the bank that kept the Irish banks in a competitive advantage cycle…many of us benefited from their competitive deposit rates and currency deals. Soon market forces will see a reduction in the capacity for people to get loans to buy homes.  Will there be a change in attitude – maybe people will choose to rent houses instead?  Could it be true that the main category for mortgages now are in the 40-60 age category?  Does this infer second relationships and what is the impact here going forward?

Personally wary of the need for cash to be spent in the economy and particularly at grassroots and not owning a car anymore, I try to take a taxi every so often because we all know they are having a particularly hard time in this exhausted economy.  I can recommend it – it is a good way to get another perspective.  A taxi driver told me that a statistician told him about the 40-60 age group and the mortgages.

Quotation
Experience
‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious’
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German born physicist



Subject: Citizen Journalism site:  Response to Opus D: Ireland Inc. what assets have we to work with going forward?
Date: Wedneday 23rd February 2011 12:47:54
From: KT Hawklett <kthawklett@gmail.com>
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, Dermot Lacey <dermot.lacey@labour.ie>, DE BRÚN Bairbre <bairbre.debrun@europarl.europa.eu>, “enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie” <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, Eamon Gilmore <eamon.gilmore@labour.ie>, editor@examiner.ie, “Eugene.Regan@Oireachtas.ie” <Eugene.Regan@Oireachtas.ie>, Liam Carey <failteisteach@thirdagefoundation.ie>, fincom@oireachtas.ie, “finian.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie” <finian.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie>, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, Constantin Gurdgiev et al

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Community reactivation locally and countrywide on the Island of Ireland

Opus D

Enjoyed your cynical but realistic view. To the contrary we need a fragment or fragments of the Pollyanna optimism to make us opportunistic enough to regain some growth in our economy from the factors that add to economic growth and ultimately to a distribution of resources to ensure a fairer society. The economic hiccup, the depression, the default, the scorching of the bond holders, the election ahead of time – all these comprise the boulders that could sink this Island of Ireland.

I hear what you are saying … your comments about our wrecked system of hospitality tourism that is both industrialised and commodified which has lost its sense of direction. This in itself creates one advantage at election time for the like of you and me who enjoy narrative and writing…yes, we can inject motivation into others who can in turn challenge the politicians to make changes in line with those written about in books like ‘The Spirit Level’. Now more than ever, after such economic, social and political flux – not alone on the Island of Ireland but overseas, we can look to the balance sheet of FF rein and state the assets versus the liabilities and make an assessment. We then must seek a ‘truth’ as you referred to and apply the lens and become the initiators of a fairer and more equal society.

You speak of industrialised hospitality. What does this exactly mean? The cut to the minimum wage is unacceptable but then we must realise that this is an outcome of being on the verge of bankruptcy and being forced to make a deal to get funds to keep Ireland Inc. literally FLOATING. Services are vital but as history tells us those who provide same always put in excessive hours, doing menial work for exceptionally low wages. Europe driven by France and Germany in particular want services to remain low wage sectors and Ireland is out of synch with their goals. People in Ireland need to express that they place a higher value on services than their European counterparts mainly for one good reason … we were the servants for 800 years.

Industrialisation – maybe you are referring to Ireland and Tourism being discussed as a Brand of Tourism. Well up and coming shortly is the recognition of Dublin as the City of Literature (Unesco nomination) or take this week – walking past the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street there is a banner ‘National Employment Week’. Further revelations reveal that a conference was scheduled for the Monday with a conference given by  Careers and Trinity College. Yes, you may be right because the strange thing about this is that there is no mention in the newspaper about same, nor more interestingly at the FAS office in Baggot Street Upper Village (as I like to call it) or anywhere of note for that matter. Yet, people must be attending and people from abroad also. What linkage is this information on?  In a way it is about tourism – that of the ‘intellectual kind’ perhaps.

Ireland has become two tier. Leo Varadkar recently spoke about ill-health and poverty…my grasp is that if you suffer from ill-health on a long-term basis you can nearly be assured that ultimately (without winning the lotto) you have drawn the short straw and you will be far removed from wealth…in fact you will be relying on wealth to be benevolent to give to charities for the causes that apply to you to give you a basic life. We need to address this and in order to do this we need to examine the pros and the cons of the outgoing FF government and take what is good and add to this initiative, education, equality of opportunity, consensus, we need to look to what will make a better society in this Island of Ireland and it is only we the people who can effect change with the assistance and diligence of our Politicians.

My last point is that the time has come to demand the outcome of the Mahon Tribunals and seek the closure of all with reports. We need to know that those who breached the law are dealt with efficiently and effectively. This has happened in countries like Iceland, Britain, France, Germany, America. This is important from the point of you of re-branding the Ireland now referred to as a corrupt state in favour of an Ireland that can lead the way in the Eurozone because it is capable of Reform and Rehabilitation. Again it is quite incredible to realise that Mubarak from Egypt only a few weeks ago, is deposed and already the Senior Fraud Office in the UK are seeking out his assets in England while in Switzerland his accounts are frozen. Surely, we must be able to ring fence those who played such a significant role in the banking crisis causing banking debt that now has become known as our sovereign debt….

By Michelle Clarke



Subject: Published article: ‘Stretching to new limits ‘One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions’ Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) US writer. We need dimensions…...
Date: Monday 28th February 2011 17:19:16 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, Eamon Gilmore <eamon.gilmore@labour.ie>, Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie <Shane.Ross@oireachtas.ie>, Shane Clarke <shane.clarke9@mail.dcu.ie>, Ariana Ball <ariana@thirdagefoundation.ie>, arthur.morgan@oireachtas.ie <arthur.morgan@oireachtas.ie>, blucey@tcd.ie, brendan riesebeck <brendanriesebeck@eircom.net>, barrybrennan@compuserve.com, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, Constantin Gurdgiev <gurdgiev@gmail.com>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>,

Monday 28th February 2011

Rent Allowance – Keep Town’s Tidy work
by Michelle Clarke (Eleanor)

There the idea of reviving a village culture in Dublin city particular is a strong contender.

Living near the canal – what could be better than reviving the Upper Baggot Street Village mode of thought to action. Ruairi Quinn, Oisin and other family members may be able to put us back on the map again. A sense of community is vital and match this to the history of the area and there is real potential.

For the young population who are doing their Leaving Certificate this year, let there be some lateral thought and rather than rote learn the poetry of say Patrick Kavanagh, or William Butler Yeats, hire out a bicycle and geographically pace their movements in areas around Raglan Road, Elgin Road, Waterloo Road, Clyde Road, Upper Baggot Street Village (the pubs they frequented), Fitzwillam Square, Merrion Square. Try creating a geographic map (similar to the creative thinking methods of Tony Buzan). Parsons used to be the hang-out in Baggot Street for writers, politicians, artists, historians in the decades gone by. The big market type book shops are being phased out by market forces and there is a revival now in the small, people centred book shops again i.e. in England and the US, so ultimately the same applies in Ireland. People say that the new machines will take the place of books but not necessarily…access to books may differ but the costs are less buying books in print and then there is the power of the second hand book.  There is nothing as refreshing as finding books in second hand shops and so cheap.

2016 is the centenary of the 1916 Rising and back in power is either FG solo (!) or Fine-Gael/Labour or Fine Gael/United Left/ or what about Sinn Fein. We will know in a few days and then the race to the commemoration is in place. Ironically, it is Sinn Fein who must seal its identity and strategically Adams made his most embracing chess move…now it is for the people of Ireland to create the history of a Centenary by determining what the Island of Ireland represents in terms of Republicanism and Democracy and how it works. Thankfully the Good Friday Agreement is a chess move made so now we need to capitalise on this significant achievement in favour of Peace on the Island of Ireland.

Rent Allowance is the topic. This may have side tracked the topic but the idea is to go back to our cities and re-create the environment that produces opportunities for growth, interaction, re-generation. This is not about drawing people from our suburbs in favour of inner city smart urban but it is putting forward the serious challenge to put in place the concept of market factors and the supply demand theory. Some hard decisions are required now. The developers houses that are but half built mansions with no real opportunity of being sold should be ‘knocked to the ground’. It happened after 1916 and again in the 1950’s, it can happen now. The ghost estates ought to have a demolition outcome where the surplus is nothing other than hazardous to the residents living there. Also housing estates like Moyross where dereliction is embedded in terraces must stop. The psychological impact on the community is immense with boarded up houses and graffiti can only weaken morale. This need not happen if there is proper oversight and enforcement.

Mean time…..we must note that Green representation has been wiped out…but let us not wipe out the whole value of what ‘Green’ is meant to be. It has been suggested to review the Irish Architectural Foundation site about the Georgian Squares and houses of our inner city. We are looking now to preserve this history. Previously we sold many postcards and photos of the famous Georgian doorways. IAF informs us that Unesco are looking promotion our Georgian architecture. The Green’s spoke readily of retro-fit and tax incentives. However, they never seem to have mentioned about our inner city Georgian houses. Why? These are marketable for a diverse number of reasons including major infra-structure advantages. The idea is good surely. We do not want these houses to become the slums of our city as has happened in other capitals like London, Paris…the time is now to stop this and revitalise our cities with people, people who own houses, people who rent houses, people who rent out houses (given FF govt. policy to get people rather than Dublin Corporation, co. councils to be responsible for social housing). Let the suburbanites review their life culture.

There is a house (4,500 sq ft) for sale in Ely place (Irish Independent). Basement is a business rental so therefore a serious rent potential. It is approx. 2 million euros to buy but given the market it will sell for considerably less and taking account that at the peak of the market, the value would have been about 5 million euros, this could introduce a new dimension approach to family living.  The 4,000 sq. house with some clever retro-fitting (given as a tax break, with solar panels on the roof for heating and water), could promote a business in the basement, a ground floor apartment at ground level going upwards. Just imagine if those parents who complain of their children not leaving the family home were lateral enough to think ahead…considered a proposition of reducing their living space and providing apartments for say dependent older children under the one roof but with independence. This is all about ‘Diversity in Unity’ John Hume)…this would impact on banks and mortgages in a practical sort of way.

Richard Bruton said that means testing involved as many as 1500 offices in Ireland. There is no need for this. Reform is on the way so let it be efficient and effective. Social housing is a must in society but too often people and their needs fall between stools and degradation is the outcome. If the landlord is to be the State or an individual who gains a tax incentive to encourage him/her to spend their capital providing a house for rent, let there be proper controls in place to ensure a proper standard of housing for whoever is the tenant…we want equitable distribution of assets. Transparency, Ethics, Accountability are the buzz words of this new adventure for a country that is on the brink of bankruptcy.

By Michelle Clarke



Subject: Reply to Opus Citizen Journalism site … we all have a vested interested in finding a source of income for Ireland Inc. (Bankrupt)
Date: Wednesday 2nd March 2011 16:55:49
From: Michelle Clarke
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie <caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie>, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, Constantin Gurdgiev <gurdgiev@gmail.com>, CIC Mailbox <CIC@swedishtrade.se>, caitriona.curtis@tcd.ie, cdaly@socialistparty.net, Chris Murray <dotliath@gmail.com>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, Dermot Lacey <dermot.lacey@labour.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, eamon Gilmore <eamon.gilmore@labour.ie>

Wednesday March 2nd, 2011

Opus … we all have a vested interested in finding a source of income for Ireland Inc. (Bankrupt)
 by Michelle Clarke

 

No. I have not got a vested interest. I am just a right brainer hoping against a stark reality that we don’t have to experience a depression that makes our small country the servant yet again. We have only just removed ourselves from the shackles of serfdom and are once again on the brink of savage IMF-EU group corrective practices.

The Guardian today talks about the Police in the UK and cuts to pay…this is what lies ahead for us in the Republic of Irleand but not at our own core with Ireland’s sovereignty in control but that of the IMF-EU team and we are the one’s who will be the example of how to achieve fiscal rectitude for the remainder of the PIGS (“Portugal Italy Greece Spain) in Europe. If this is to be the case, let the people understand what the debt really entails and at least take the lead as to how we agree to tackle the debt and how we repay it. Then and then alone if there is to be a default … our politicians, consultants and ultimately the people of Ireland who voted in so many independents this time around, have some level of input and most importantly comprehension.

We approach 2016 and our forefathers of mythology to revolution and the Proclamation await our Contribution. We can sit on the fence and blame but this only reflects our own dependency culture … a culture based on self pity, blame and negativity. We are now part of Europe and we need to be aware of the mindset of our new masters…Yes Opus I think I get your point about the diaspora but let us extend the meaning a little further. We the Irish benefited significantly always from the diaspora… evidence and history states that at the time of the Famine and thereafter these people sent money home; in the 1950’s again they sent money home and again in the 1980’s they brought tourists home.

What are we going to do now. We need to start thinking, acting and taking on a new mindset related to creativity?

Olli Rehn visited this country … a dour man from Finland. Yet Finland has been where we are …. it has turned the corner as it appears so as Iceland (only considering whether or not it will join the EU). The Irish Times had a neat little piece about how the Finnish have focused on education since the 1980’s. Unlike Ireland they have moved up the league while we have moved significantly down. Like Tourism, an educated people is part of the portfolio we need to be marketing and why not start with the plain people of Ireland at grassroots level and calling on our diaspora to visit and connect. Did you see the programme about the history of Ireland and the very special perspective of Fergal Keane recently. This is a source of great inspiration I would suggest both on the grounds of education and the potential for Tourism.

Opus: You are right talking about blame sounds like the war cry of management but that does not mean we cannot oust said management mentalities in favour of a more equitable and motivated type of people. Again the Spirit Level book argues a good point that the more equal the society the better.

The sun shines today…and we are not Tripoli….Annie Basset is trying to be a diamond in those dark mines in Africa…those mines that exploit people. We in Ireland have the power to make a change and move forward from the position we have been dumped in by the Banks and their reckless approach to making more dosh for themselves….and their cohorts.

Patrick Honohan, Central Bank – last night: One point…things are very bad but we can contribute to the EU-IMF conundrum. We have something we can sell, it is argument, assets i.e. our territorial waters which are under utilised and explored, and ability to rise up and be counted – we after all have negotiated the Peace Process.



Subject: Citizen Journalism site: Roddy Doyle: Dublin’s UNESCO City of Literature designation; the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade; have especially commissioned a short story by Roddy.. Yes, the concept is the ‘blackdog’ Churchill ‘s name for ‘depression’
Date: Friday 4th March 2011 22:52:55 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Undisclosed list;

4th March 2011

What a Theme?  Roddy Doyle gave the outline on the Late Late show.   ‘Brilliant’ is such a common response for people in Ireland – but what is meant by it is really an unknown.

The outline goes:  two children from West Dublin are eavesdropping under the table and they hear their parents talk about a ‘black dog’ and a person.  Children being children, they contextualise and create and a story or myth unfurls.

In case anyone knows intimately of the really ‘black dog’, there is an excellent website about depression www.blackdog.ie.


Quotation:
Imagination
‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world’
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German born physicist

Subject: Brain Awareness Week. Citizen Journalism
Date: Sunday 6th March 20:26:46 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Toni Burton <toni.burton@briireland.ie>, “Patricia.REILLY@ec.europa.eu” <Patricia.REILLY@ec.europa.eu>, Fiona McKeon <mckeonf@headway.ie>, Kieran Loughran <LoughranK@headway.ie>, The Ireland Funds <Ireland_Funds@xmr3.com>, David Newton <editor@meresearch.org.uk>

Brain Awareness Week (7th to 11th March 2011) 

March 2007 was the first of the Brain Awareness Week programmes. Having received notification on the email from the Neurological Association of Ireland, Headway, and others, it is perhaps prudent to remind Citizen Journalism readers of their input to keeping the powers that be aware of the impact of Head Injury, neurological conditions, the impact of mental health issues associated with head injury, in the hope that future contributions can be made.

We need to get reassurance from those who plan to reform the Public Sector that people with disabilities will not suffer.

‘Funding is needed in particular for areas of rehabilitation. Let us look in earnest to the Government, to socially and ethically responsible public companies, to philanthropy  and to Minister ‘Cowen’s’ ability to set up a fund whereby families can get tax benefits and give donations to their own family members, when badly affected by brain injury. It is a life sentence but there is always a nugget – the experience gained suggests, seek the inherent talent and then nurture it. It is after all okay to be different….’

To add to the advice already stated over the years and for those unable to visit the lectures and events being held, I highly recommend this book: The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. This takes the neuro into the psychiatric to the philosophical to those with left brain dimensions versus those with right hemisphere emphasis.



 

Subject: First written in 2005 and the theme then was corruption. At last the Moriarty Tribunal Report and revelations is published
Date: Tuesday 22nd March 2011 17:22:01 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke

Tuesday 22nd March 2011

The Moriarty Report is published; one report in excess of 1900 pages

From 1997 to 2011, March 23rd and finally the cupboard of corruption is laid bare and like rats off the sinking ship, too many are now running for cover.

The names have been reported and are now documented with Judge Moriarty’s (Moriarty Tribunal) findings. What happens next? Are there grounds for the Criminal Assets Bureau to proffer charges to the DPP and seek redress and if so can there be a confiscation of monies gained by illegal methods?

This is the new area of crime called Corporate Crime and what we need now is an approach similar to that in the US where people who engage in such deception, breach of trust, and corruption (e.g. Madoff, executives from Enron including their auditors Arthur Anderson, the US and others) being brought before the criminal courts in Ireland and let there be some plea bargaining to facilitate confiscation of funds gained from illegal transactions to help alleviate our Bail Out status which if the Moriarty report is comprehensive enough, will indicate that there are inroads to that theory of ‘follow the money’. We need to get serious about finding out where investments in deposit accounts have flown to.

Now it is time for the people to ‘follow the money’. There is a distinct loss in confidence by the ordinary decent person (as distinct from the ODC) who has funds, about investing in our banks. Today, the Bank of Ireland is again losing ground because of lack of confidence. The time has come to draw a line and place a stake in the heart of corruption and again I say that time is now. We need to ask how we can restore the confidence in our banking system and get money back from the more secure foreign banks who pay higher interest and give greater security.

Now all we need is the outcome of the Mahon Tribunal. Then the approach to serious government can begin with a new balance sheet albeit it will contain a mighty high value of debt for the diminished Celtic Tiger contingent of gangsters.

The Joe Duffy show today makes interesting a report that to many may be waffle but its translation to ordinary speak is essential.

To those exiles who form part of a group who call themselves a platform for reform – amazing that you waited until after the election to put out your stall. I hope you have a clean bill of conscience now.

Urgently we need funds in our banks on the Island of Ireland. We need economic growth. We need to support Google Ideas and other start up initiatives. Now is the time to get focused.

by Michelle Clarke



Subject: Revitalisation of urban villages

http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org

Date: Thursday 24th March 2011 20:26:22 +0000
From: Michelle Clarke
To: Vincent Browne <vincent.browne@tv3.ie>, UK INFO – Customer Care Inbox <UKInfo@starbucks.com>, Bill Martin <thecollins22society@gmail.com>

Opus (Response to contributor to citizen journalism site).

Now there is an idea for the GPO if it is to become another Museum! As for Larkin – why not make him a tourist attraction, no better time – a walk around the environs of Dublin 4 is the source of historical perspective i.e. the 1913 Lock out, the 1916 Rising, the Civil War, the Eucharistic Congress 1932 to the heyday of Lemass………all the way up to the Celtic Tiger and its destruction and add to this all the white elephants created along side the commentary from the locals.

Opus, you have been busy today and seem to have quite a globalised view on different situations. However, it is the cynicism that causes my reaction. Your last posting shows that you have hidden talents with just that nugget of character to give a view in words as distinct from pictures on facebook and this shows commitment.

20 years and the monies left this haven. Yes but if we are realistic the monies only left when the crisis happened in 2008. The most disgraced of all banks had funds in the region of 110 Billion (yes billion) in 2008 and investors slowly but surely have facilitated the decline to safer havens as the powers that be politically dabbled and procrastinated. What we need now is to regain confidence in the economy and to tap the conscience of people who safely harbored their money abroad to re-invest it in our banks. The guarantee will be up shortly and we need to act before the last of the money leaves this country. We must not forget how easy it is to make transfers of funds – it is about the ‘wire’.

The issue for Ireland now is that Balance Sheet similar to the brown envelope the good old working class English people used to keep. We have the debits but what about building up the credits. We can crib all we like about the debts but there is one way of moving ahead and that is a consensus among the people to push for economic growth at every level from grassroots up. So Opus I come back to this website:

Contact:
www.culturaldiplomacy.org
info@culturaldiplomacy.org
Related Link: http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/index.php?en_c…c2011

The list of events is impressive and the one in November is about Breaking Down Walls i.e. Berlin and the theme of Peace. Ireland has a lot to add here and we need to tap this as a source of gain, particularly if it is our plan to keep aligned to the Germans and French within the context of the Eurozone.

Dublin is a great city. Ask a taxi-driver and with luck you will find one who used to work in the Merchant Navy and who has visited most capitals around the world.

Walk our city and you will be surprised at who you can meet just by chance and go so far as to have a chat with them. Of recent days I have bumped into Gerry Adams, Brendan Kennelly, John Hume, John Bruton, Pearce Doherty… how refreshing it is to meet these ambassadors for tourism just by chance in the every day thrust of Irish life.

2016: The plan starts now. We are not talking about re-writing history but we may be talking about embracing changes and facing up to mistakes (using the James Joyce interpretation of mis-take or portals of discovery).

Opus: there is money in people interaction and contact and we need to encourage all to become involved in negating the losses to the Balance Sheet of the Island of Ireland.

by Michelle Clarke


Subject: Private landlords nominated as social housing suppliers.  Rental Allowance and Social Housing
Date: Tuesday 29th March 2011 16:51:03 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Contact <contact@tascnet.ie>, caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie <caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie>, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, Dermot Lacey <dermot.lacey@labour.ie>, Derek Toner <dtoner@bitc.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, editor@examiner.ie, Eamon Gilmore <eamon.gilmore@labour.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, Liam Carey <failteisteach@thirdagefoundation.ie>, fincom@oireachtas.ie, finance@ise.ie, Constantin Gurdgiev <gurdgiev@gmail.com>, Paddy Healy <paddy.healy@eircom.net>, Hanna, Rosemary <Rosemary.Hanna@ise.ie>

Tuesday 29th March 2011

Private landlords nominated as social housing suppliers

Rental Allowance and Social Housing


Let’s be honest, if at all possible.

The tax breaks i.e. section 23 etc. were not purely for the advantage of speculators. FF had motivation. They wanted to divest the public housing stock to general public ownership saving money on government side and placing the onus on the private landlord.

All have been burnt with the 2008 recession.

We have been hit at the level by lack of supply and downward valuation/negative equity so all we have show for market economics is a supply demand pendulum effect and a sad outcome of people without housing supply who are in need of it. Then you need to add to this those who are in negative equity and the banks  who have them in the courts facing eviction charges.

We need some serious cost benefit analysis in social housing need and provision via the housing associations for our vulnerable people including people released from mental hospitals into the community.

Liveline – Joe duffy (now) today is talking about rent allowances. The Department of Social Welfare and Protection may at last wake up to the amount of scamming that has gone on regarding rent allowances. Earlier postings (Citizen Journalism site) highlight the specific plight on both sides, the landlord who doesn’t receive the allowance when it is paid to the tenant and the landlord who chooses to be prejudiced against people who receive rent allowance.  (Let us also take account of the poor standard of accommodation provided by some landlords).

Parameters have changed for government and Joan Burton has the enormous task of assessing this rental allowance market and ensuring the supply/demand equation is operated in an equitable way. This has not been the case. There is scope for Government to make money by proper enforcement and at the same time ensure people have adequate living standards without exceptional financial pressure. This is a must. Negative equity has occurred in other countries and no research I suggest, details the human cost of loss of job, negative equity, high mortgage payments, interest added to capital. There is a huge social cost e.g. ill-health of a permanent nature, divorce, poverty, children and loss of family connections and so on.

The system must work in an equitable way. We need a vision and a sense of trust and the tax benefit driven FF stand of the last 14 years which has created a monster that needs to be dismantled.

Rachman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rachman (this man in the 1960’s saw a market in the Georgian/Victorian/Edwardian houses in an area in London and out of it he created slums adjacent to a central London location). We had slums like this before and at a huge human cost factor. We do not want to re-create this do we? Retrofitting was the buzz word of the Greens – well we need to look at our housing stock and re-assess our priorities.

 

Quotation:
Wings to soar
‘The person who has no imagination has no wings’
Muhammed Ali/Cassius Clay (1942)  US Boxer



Subject: DEALTALK-Cleaned-up Swiss private banks see M&A targets according to Reuters. Worth reading because reality is that Irish banks face due diligence and preparation to entice M&A activity in Irish banking albeit for different reasons to the Swiss banks attracting same.
Date: Thursday 31st March 2011 12:10:03 +0100
From: Michelle Clarke
To: alan.shatter@oireachtas.ie, blucey@tcd.ie, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, colm.mccarthy@ucd.ie, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, Dearbhail McDonald <dmcdonald@independent.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie <enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie>, Paddy Healy <paddy.healy@eircom.net>, pat.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie, gerry.adams@oireachtas.ie, Pearse.Doherty@Oireachtas.ie <Pearse.Doherty@Oireachtas.ie>, Liam Carey et al

Thursday 31st March 2011

In every takeover there’s the problem of undeclared assets. Do we want to subject ourselves to that? Hardly,” Bank Sarasin (BSAN.S) Chief Executive Joachim Straehle said when the bank reported 2010 results in February’.  Due Diligence – we have had so many tests, in Ireland’s case, surely the facts will be a clear No.

Ireland – the day of the stress test results:  our problem is about the fact that with the loss of trust in the markets, people lost confidence in our Nation and as they are entitled to do sought more favorable places/countries to invest their money….just recall that Anglo Irish in 2008 had over 100 bn. in deposits.  Where did the money go to?  Yes, we can understand the share loss of value to nothing – those are hard losses to people who invest in shares that may be offset against other profits in shares…..yes these investors lost out but funds in deposits are about an investment of a different kind i.e. interest rates and who pays the most and provides the best security.  We need to stabilise the banking industry, rebuild trust and encourage depositors to invest.  People who have funds in excess of the 100,000 euro guarantee face another threat shortly – we do not know will their be a further extension to the Guarantee … this level of doubt creates a most insecure core set of investors who remained patriotic albeit possibly foolish.

by Michelle Clarke



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