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 The Privatisation of Irish Politics

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PostSubject: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:11 am

I'm working on an idea; the privatisation of politics, and Irish politics in particular. On a global scale, we have seen a proliferation of privatisation of government functions, at local, state, and national levels, taking the form of public private partnerships (PPPs). In fact, it is EU policy, to encourage this model of governance, despite the highly questionable results so far.

With the recent upheavals in the financial markets, we have seen unprecedented interventions by Governments in the banking systems and markets, as well as corporations like auto-makers in the US. With regards to the banks, all of the storm has been focused on the public money being used to prop up private profiteers. But there has been very little wind behind efforts to to look into how private entities are reaching into government, and negotiating positions of power, with other peoples money.

But the most striking example of the privatization of politics in Ireland, and Europe, comes in the form of Libertas. Ironically, just when free-market economics have driven us to the precipice, along comes this outfit calling for even less regulation and Government 'interference' with business. Along comes a designer 'political party' out of the blue, which launches itself, and is actually taken seriously by some, despite the fact that it has no candidates and no detailed policies; just a few handy slogans. It can't even be described as a cult of personality, because there are simply no members. There are only employees and players. Yet, the public are being asked for 100 million euros. And that is just the beginning.

The irony is that if we had passed the Lisbon Treaty, that we would have fundamental rights, which would protect us against this type of highly funded attack on Government, and public decision-making. As bad as Irish law has proven, in terms of protecting us from the privatisation of politics, the EU is even weaker. In fact, as far as I know, it funded the Libertas campaign, along with what currently appears to be a single donor. The traditional democratic checks and balances have failed citizens on many fronts, simultaneously. Only an inspiring vision of political integrity can save us now, which is the one thing our government and our new 'Liberator', sorely lack.

The People's Movement seems to be a political response to the current trend, with Patricia McKenna, Aengus O Snodaigh and others teaming up, in an NGO or third party type front. And while I respect the integrity of the members, I remain completely unmoved. So, what now?
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:28 am

Do you realise that we have not had a free market economy for about 100 years
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:31 am

youngdan wrote:
Do you realise that we have not had a free market economy for about 100 years

Oh right. It was the Governments fault that the markets collapsed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:53 am

You appear clueless about the markets
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:55 am

Anticoalition wrote:
youngdan wrote:
Do you realise that we have not had a free market economy for about 100 years

Oh right. It was the Governments fault that the markets collapsed.

youngdan is a libertarian. Any regulation = not a free market. However, this thread is not intended to be a discussion of whether the market in Europe is a free market in youngdan's terms - we will take it for read that it is not.

As far as I can tell, the EU had no part in funding Libertas in the referenndum campaign, and would have had no basis on which to do so. Only if Libertas can qualify as a European party will they attract EU funding. I'd be interested in what the relevant SIPO-style legislation is there. It's worth noting that the Libertas Party has been set up as a separate company from the original Institute. Amongst other things, this will presumably mean that any EU funding will not be going towards paying back Declan's loans to the Institute.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:19 pm

ibis wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
youngdan wrote:
Do you realise that we have not had a free market economy for about 100 years

Oh right. It was the Governments fault that the markets collapsed.

youngdan is a libertarian. Any regulation = not a free market. However, this thread is not intended to be a discussion of whether the market in Europe is a free market in youngdan's terms - we will take it for read that it is not.

As far as I can tell, the EU had no part in funding Libertas in the referenndum campaign, and would have had no basis on which to do so. Only if Libertas can qualify as a European party will they attract EU funding. I'd be interested in what the relevant SIPO-style legislation is there. It's worth noting that the Libertas Party has been set up as a separate company from the original Institute. Amongst other things, this will presumably mean that any EU funding will not be going towards paying back Declan's loans to the Institute.

There are two separate companies I think - party and Foundation.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:58 pm

There are three:

1) The Libertas Foundation Limited
2) The Libertas Institute Limited
3) The Libertas Party Limited
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:11 pm

ibis wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
youngdan wrote:
Do you realise that we have not had a free market economy for about 100 years

Oh right. It was the Governments fault that the markets collapsed.

youngdan is a libertarian. Any regulation = not a free market. However, this thread is not intended to be a discussion of whether the market in Europe is a free market in youngdan's terms - we will take it for read that it is not.

As far as I can tell, the EU had no part in funding Libertas in the referenndum campaign, and would have had no basis on which to do so. Only if Libertas can qualify as a European party will they attract EU funding. I'd be interested in what the relevant SIPO-style legislation is there. It's worth noting that the Libertas Party has been set up as a separate company from the original Institute. Amongst other things, this will presumably mean that any EU funding will not be going towards paying back Declan's loans to the Institute.

[mod] snipped in line with point three of the Libertas posting guidelines available here and sentence 2 of paragaph 5 of the Machine Nation Charter available here [/mod]It is a pity that all the Libertas employees seem to have fled machine nation, although getting a straight answer from them is never easy anyway.

As for the markets, I certainly don't claim to be an expert in them, and would be interested in knowing more about how a more liberal system of regulation would have prevented the current situation.

I think we have to begin to look at what is happening from a broader perspective, and that is why I didn't just post this as a comment, on one of the other Libertas threads. Libertas seems to be operating like an investment fund, rather than a political party. If they were to get into power, it is beginning to look like we would cease to be citizens, and become more in the way of investors or stock holders. Our rights would be dependent on the rating and amount of our shares.

Should we just all go ahead and incorporate ourselves, and begin building a consortium of companies, to wage corporate warfare with our politically-styled corporate raider?
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:27 pm

Sorry about duplication above. I hit Quote instead of Edit by accident, and don't see a delete button.

I am a little confused about the moderation snip of the post. Perhaps I can rephrase, in the form of a question?

Is there any way of checking if Libertas received or is still receiving EU funding for the No campaign, as opposed funding for the political party, which they are applying for also?
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:30 pm

Yes absolutely you can rephrase it as a question. We don't intend to limit debate or anything like that. It is just in the present circumstances we need to avoid, in so far as possible, any comment which leaves the site and its members open to litigation. For that reason we ask that unless there is verifiable proof of anything regarding such organisations that it is not posted. If you check your private messages (there's a link at the top of the page) I have sent you a message on the subject as well as the snipped part so that you can edit it and put it back into your post in line with the guidelines. You can remove my moderator snip and comment on your post in the process or you can just post it as a new post.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:37 pm

johnfás wrote:
Yes absolutely you can rephrase it as a question. We don't intend to limit debate or anything like that. It is just in the present circumstances we need to avoid, in so far as possible, any comment which leaves the site and its members open to litigation. For that reason we ask that unless there is verifiable proof of anything regarding such organisations that it is not posted. If you check your private messages (there's a link at the top of the page) I have sent you a message on the subject as well as the snipped part so that you can edit it and put it back into your post in line with the guidelines. You can remove my moderator snip and comment on your post in the process or you can just post it as a new post.

Thanks johnfas. I will just leave the mod comments and snip, so the context of these comments is clearly visible, but would appreciate it if you would delete the duplicate post, as I can't see how to do it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:38 pm

Done.

You click the x on your post... I think everyone can do it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:36 pm

Anticoalition starts his thread by talking about free market economies. This on the very day that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to .25%.

This sort of lack of understanding takes the biscuit
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:25 pm

youngdan wrote:
Anticoalition starts his thread by talking about free market economies. This on the very day that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to .25%.

This sort of lack of understanding takes the biscuit

Fair enough - but that's not what the thread is about. If you want to argue that a party (like Libertas) that argues for less regulation is a good thing, go ahead, although I doubt AC will argue much. However, we have threads about the markets.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:35 pm

youngdan wrote:
Anticoalition starts his thread by talking about free market economies. This on the very day that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to .25%.

This sort of lack of understanding takes the biscuit

Tea with them? Barrys is great.

This thread is not about free market economies. But while we are on the topic, why dont you just explain yourself instead of just tossing your biscuits? Why is the Government responsible for the current crisis? The Federal Government is also pumping hundreds of billions taxpayers money into banks, because they made a series of bad decisions. It feels like the Republicans are taking flight from the US and setting up shop here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:40 pm

Anticoalition is unknown to me and I look forward to hear what he has to say. Starting his point on an incorrect foundation detracts from it so let him fire ahead.

What is you point anticoalition. Is it that groups like Libertas should not evolve and only established parties should exist
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:20 pm

youngdan wrote:
Anticoalition is unknown to me and I look forward to hear what he has to say. Starting his point on an incorrect foundation detracts from it so let him fire ahead.

What is you point anticoalition. Is it that groups like Libertas should not evolve and only established parties should exist

Why don't you please explain why my assertions are incorrect. The Republicans took away the limits on banks, and that was a direct cause of them becoming overextended. If you want to have a debate about macroeconomics over the last few centuries, then I don't think this is the thread, but I fail to see how my point about recent events is off-base.

With regards to Libertas, it is not a party. Its means of trying to become a party are highly questionable, as there is no grass-roots evolution. It is built instead on a privately funded act of sabotage on a democratic decision being taken by Irish citizens, perpetrated by one single individual, with funds of questionable origins.

But we need more than an anti-Libertas campaign, or a mirror reaction to it. I am no fan of any of the current parties in Ireland, but I do believe in the system and think there is a need for a new party, capable of entering Government without having to go into coalition. It would be a great waste if Libertas manages to hijack the unrest in this country, and steer us even further off course.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:01 pm

Your assertations of it being a free market are incorrect because there is nothing free about it. The Federal Reserve decides the amount of money in the system. In a free market you would not have a fed, or FDIC or any of the other regulatory bodies either. You would not have bailout of anyone. You would not have government backing of Freddy/Fannie debt and indeed you would not have Freddy/Fannie themselves. The entire thing was overextended because there was nothing to lose and everything to gain by extending to the limit.

Getting back to Libetas. You think he is coattailing on the anti-Lisbon feeling to hoist a new party with him at top on the people. If he has no grassroots is he not pissing against the wind. Is it not how any party would form by taking a stand on an important issue.

Do you want a new right wing party with someone else at the head or do you want a left wing party. There is a good chance of FF dissappearing altogether and maybe FG and Labour. Is this the basis of th fear of Libetas. Posters are saying it has no support but yet they seem terrified of some monster
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:28 pm

youngdan wrote:
Your assertations of it being a free market are incorrect because there is nothing free about it. The Federal Reserve decides the amount of money in the system. In a free market you would not have a fed, or FDIC or any of the other regulatory bodies either. You would not have bailout of anyone. You would not have government backing of Freddy/Fannie debt and indeed you would not have Freddy/Fannie themselves. The entire thing was overextended because there was nothing to lose and everything to gain by extending to the limit.

I never said we live in a totally free market, and I agree that there have been interventions time and time again over the last century, even by Republicans, which have curtailed the markets from self-correction. What I was saying was that under the recent Republicans, who advocate a small government approach, we saw deregulation (with the exception of Fanny and Freddy). That deregulation led directly to over-extensions across the sector, which now threatens Irish banks. The point I was making was that it is ironic then that a free-market approach is being advocated, when the immediate result of that approach recently led to the crisis.

Quote :

Getting back to Libetas. You think he is coattailing on the anti-Lisbon feeling to hoist a new party with him at top on the people. If he has no grassroots is he not pissing against the wind. Is it not how any party would form by taking a stand on an important issue.

He is coattailing on the anti-Government feeling, and Lisbon is just a springboard. I don't think he cares about Lisbon at all, or even understands it, but is making a simple grab for power, because it is there for the taking.

Quote :

Do you want a new right wing party with someone else at the head or do you want a left wing party. There is a good chance of FF dissappearing altogether and maybe FG and Labour. Is this the basis of th fear of Libetas. Posters are saying it has no support but yet they seem terrified of some monster

Political parties, perhaps unfortunately, are not founded a liberal/conservative sliding scale here in Ireland. In fact, it is hard to grasp most of their ideology at all, since most have evolved from civil war divisions, long moot. I think getting bogged down in left/right arguments is futile, and it is time to create something that addresses the problems at hand, and comes up with some viable answers. But mostly, I think that those answers need to come from a place of honesty, modesty and integrity. Not avoidance, ego and greed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:32 pm

Anticoalition wrote:

But we need more than an anti-Libertas campaign, or a mirror reaction to it. I am no fan of any of the current parties in Ireland, but I do believe in the system and think there is a need for a new party, capable of entering Government without having to go into coalition. It would be a great waste if Libertas manages to hijack the unrest in this country, and steer us even further off course.

I don't know what is wrong with you, but you seem either unwilling or unable to accept or understand the fact that Libertas has no interest in national politics. It has no intention on running a national party or seeking representation in Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann. It's intention is to create a Pan-European political party and to focus on European issues, not to exclusively impact, promote or effect politics in Ireland, rather across all countries in Europe.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:32 pm

Youngdan is correct, lip service is paid to the 'free market', as it is to 'free trade', but they're not 'free'. There is complete hypocrisy in relation to both (don't get me started on 'free trade', it's an abominable joke). Youngdan would no doubt prefer that regulation didn't exist, I'd prefer that the markets were regulated up to their eyeballs, but his point is correct.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:44 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
Youngdan is correct, lip service is paid to the 'free market', as it is to 'free trade', but they're not 'free'. There is complete hypocrisy in relation to both (don't get me started on 'free trade', it's an abominable joke). Youngdan would no doubt prefer that regulation didn't exist, I'd prefer that the markets were regulated up to their eyeballs, but his point is correct.

I'd much prefer that they were lightly regulated but regulated by good regulation and dynamic regulation being created by smart people, with a balance of those who create and worth within said regulation on both sides rather than lots of regulation by mediocre people being exploited by exceptionally bright and well paid people on the opposite side.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:49 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
Youngdan is correct, lip service is paid to the 'free market', as it is to 'free trade', but they're not 'free'. There is complete hypocrisy in relation to both (don't get me started on 'free trade', it's an abominable joke). Youngdan would no doubt prefer that regulation didn't exist, I'd prefer that the markets were regulated up to their eyeballs, but his point is correct.

I prefer minimal but clear regulation, rigorously enforced. A zero-tolerance approach to transgressors with heavy penalties. But definitely minimal regulation.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:55 pm

I'm in agreement with cookie, youngdan and slim buddha even though I'm a big leftie according to the test. Clear, simple, meaningful regulation, perhaps with an intuitive, transparent mechanism for update and adjustment.
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:06 pm

Cookie would be an expert in exploitation, by highly paid people, wouldn't he?

It is bad faith, and bad politics, to suggest that Libertas does not want to meddle in national politics in Ireland or any EU country, and is only interested in a pan-European Party.

Libertas was founded on meddling in an Irish constitutional referendum. And we are all being held accountable for it.

Hiring a load of smart people, with no principles, is not how to run a government, in Ireland, or anywhere else.

What about education Cookie? Doesn't that count for something? The reality is that we now have some mediocre businessman, with no third level education, prancing around telling everyone what to do, when he has no idea what he is talking about. And anything that does come out of his mouth is contradicted by fact and logic.

Speaking of facts, does this look like a very inspiring set of denials to you?
http://libertas.eu/facts


Last edited by Anticoalition on Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Privatisation of Irish Politics   Today at 6:59 pm

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