And all without a shot being fired or a vote taken.
Author Archives: Ronan Gallagher
And all without a shot being fired or a vote taken.
Listening to Ger Colleran (unbiased editor of the star) and Vincent Browne attacking Martin McGuinness in the post debate ‘debate’ one gets the feeling that both these gentlemen have a rather selective view on recent Irish history. It seems now that Martin McGuinness single-handedly killed everyone who died in the conflict, tortured every torture victim and robbed every bank. Despite all this a poll run on TV3 which had 200,000 participants put McGuinness as most popular and winning the debate outright at 34% Norris at 19% and poor Gay Mitchell (who had an apparently terrible upbringing) with a measly 8%. As to any embarrassment at Prince Charles meeting McGuinness one should be aware that Prince Charles heads up the military outfit that killed hundreds in NI including the Bloody Sunday slaughter, and the countless dead civilians in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But no mention of that on the VB show. Vincent did say he was overwhelmed at the Queens visit earlier this year, now we know how much. Maybe he’ll prostrate himself at her feet as he did with that other Prince Charles ‘Charlie Haughey’ all those years ago when he was looking for a ‘dig out’ from him to save his business. No questions asked at that time where Charlie got his money from and it seems no questions now about Prince Charles or HRM’s responsibility for any deaths in NI or beyond. I guess we all have a history we’d rather not go into, eh Vincent?
There was an old joke told in the seventies about an Irishman who saves a child from a marauding bear. Having physically wrestled the bear to the ground and despite receiving horrific injuries the Irishman eventually vanquishes the bear. By pure coincidence a journalist from a British tabloid happens to witness the incident. He walks up to the man and takes his photograph with the dead and bloodied bear beside him and congratulating him tells him that he will make the front page of the paper as a great British hero. The Irishman informs the journalist that he is Irish, not British and would like this to be corrected. The journalist eyes him up coldly and saying nothing, leaves. The following morning the Irishman opens his paper to see the picture of himself standing over the bear, the child crying in her mothers arms, and a headline reading:
‘Irish Terrorist Butchers Child’s Pet Bear!’
The manipulative and intrusive way in which editors and journalists at the News of the World conducted their business will leave very few (except those same well paid journalists) shedding any tears at the demise of that paper. The practise of rummaging around in the rubbish of others to generate sales of a newspaper is not one solely confined to the News of the World. Apparently this method of news gathering has become standard practise for many tabloids and perhaps some broadsheets too. The editors and journalists who engaged in this method of journalism saw the hacking of peoples phones as a logical extension of the practise and paid little attention to the rights of those whose private lives and tragedies they sought to monetise in the form of newspaper sales. They showed little sympathy or care for the grieving families who had lost loved ones through murder, war, and misfortune and ruthlessly exploited their grief to make money. Time and time again these journalists and editors held themselves up as pillars of the community hell bent on outing corruption and crime, yet all they exposed was the grubby and seedy business which modern day journalism has become and the hypocrisy of those same newspaper editors and hacks who felt that they could break the law and engage in criminal activity in order to make a few shillings. Apart from a few notable exceptions one has to further question organisations like the National Union of Journalists, the Press Council and other editors and journalists in the more respectable newspapers who allowed these criminal journalists and editors to act in the main without any criticism or calling to account. For evil to triumph it takes good people to do nothing.
Last Sunday’s closure of the News of the World was a good day for those interested in truth and justice and a bad day for those grubby and greedy hacks who never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
I for one, feel that the end of the world has made the world a better place.
The recent claim by Mr Frank Feighan that death threats were made to him over his stance on the Roscommon Hospital issue is in my opinion a clever distraction from the issue and was made in an attempt to gain sympathy for himself and alienate the law abiding citizens of Roscommon who have done nothing more than believe the promises he and his fellow Fine Gael colleagues made during the election on retaining services at Roscommon hospital. Indeed Mr Feighan himself said on RTE’s Drivetime that evening that he himself did not take the threat seriously and did not want anything done about it. If this is the case then why did he release it to the media in the first place?
The false promises on Roscommon hospital it seems were made with the sole objective of gaining power, and have further diminished the body politic and increased the disconnect between the people and those who we elected to Govern our country. There is no doubt that these promises were made by Dr Reilly in an open letter to many local papers during the election campaign and were backed by both Roscommon candidates Messrs Feighan and Naughten, who were subsequently elected to the Dail with very sizeable votes. The Government tells us there is no money for Roscommon Hospital yet only days ago they paid out billions to unsubordinated and unguaranteed bondholders despite there being no requirement on them to do so by either the IMF or ECB and despite them having promised to unilaterally burn the bondholders in their election manifesto a few months back. Add to that the recent Wikileaks revelations about Eamon Gilmore’s two sided approach to the vote on the Lisbon Treaty when he told the Irish electorate that their democratic decision to reject Lisbon would be respected and no further referendum would be held, yet within weeks was telling the US Ambassador that he supported holding another referendum on Lisbon, and the duplicitous nature of our politicians becomes all too apparent.
When lies and deceit become ‘overt’ as opposed to ‘covert’ you know that our democracy is in big trouble.
Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789, stated that
‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
While not wanting to speak ill of the dead, for the late Brian Lenihan the certainty of death is now is all too apparent, yet because of his calamitous decision to give a blanket guarantee to our banks when the financial crisis came to a head in September 2008, for the rest of us, the certainty of taxes will remain for a very long time indeed. Taxes on our homes, taxes on our wages, taxes on our water, taxes on our fuel, taxes on generations to come, and all as a result of a decision taken in in secret, without consultation or accountability, by a small group of bankers, economists and political leaders.
The recent outpouring of grief and the media love-in over the death of Mr Lenihan concentrated on the man’s personal courage in the face of death, and his affability and generous personal nature. He was, we were told, a man of the people. Though I did not know him, I am sure that all of this is most likely true. However HSE statistics show that on the same day as Mr Lenihan passed away, close on one hundred people in total died in Ireland. I am sure that much could be said of the personal courage and affability of many of those people also, but they will have died in relative quiet in comparison to the huge coverage afforded to Mr Lenihan, for they were ordinary people, perhaps not as important to society as one such as Mr Lenihan. Nonetheless, history will record that Mr Lenihan, along with a select few politicians, economists, civil servants and bankers, is unique among us as being the only person who signed away our nations future by lumbering us with the debts of reckless and criminal bankers, a future which, had he listened to the advice given at the time by Merrill Lynch a consultancy company whom the Government hired and paid 6 million to for a few days work and who advised him against a blanket guarantee, might have lead us to a much different place today. So while we can mourn the passing of Brian Lenihan the man, we must also face the fact that Brian Lenihan the politician, due to his actions on that fateful September night, played a huge personal part in the destruction of our economy and our society and ensured that whatever about the certainty of death, the certainty of taxes will remain with the rest of us ordinary mortals for generations to come.
For Mr Lenihan at least, these certainty’s are no longer a worry.
Somewhere in the world a butterfly flaps its wings. This seemingly insignificant action causes a tiny fluctuation in the earth’s atmosphere which sets off a train of events that over a period of time, results in a massive tornado occurring somewhere on the other side of the planet.
‘The Butterfly Effect’ is an elegant explanation of ‘Chaos Theory’ a strange and complex mathematical equation which essentially says that everything on the planet is interconnected and even the smallest fluctuation in the system can have far reaching, unforeseen, and sometimes devastating consequences.
It is a theory that our leaders here in Ireland and in Europe would be wise to take cognisance of as the current path which Irish and European citizens are being forced down by largely unelected and unaccountable mandarins, is of far more significance than a butterfly’s wing flaps, and if the Chaos Theory equation is applied to our economic and political system you can be sure that the resulting hurricane will have hugely devastating and as yet, unforeseen consequences.
One such consequence could be the break up of Europe and a reversion to insular nationalism which could put us right back to Europe pre 1939. Am I being ‘alarmistic’, as an unfortunate former Minister once put it? Should we be stocking up on our iodine tablets? Well, let’s see how such a scenario might play out.
As the debt contagion spreads throughout Europe, more and more of her people are being burdened with the debts of the banks and the bond holders who invested in them. Whatever one’s position is on this, there is absolutely no doubt that these debts were incurred through reckless, negligent, and possibly criminal behaviour by those banks and an abject failure on the part of bond holders, auditors, regulators, Governments, and the ECB to recognise the dangers of ‘bubble economics’ and take action to correct it. Having failed in their duty to the citizens of their countries, and the citizens of the wider Europe, these same leaders guarantee to pay these private bank and bond holder debts and place the burden on the shoulders of their citizens. In an attempt to ensure that these debts are paid and to further certain right wing ideologies, these elite groups inflict austerity measures that bite deep into the pockets of citizens and further contract already shrinking economies resulting in rising unemployment and unsustainable personal debt with devastating social, political, and economic results.
Already we are seeing these ripples of unrest spreading throughout Europe. In Spain a social network revolution not unlike the ‘Arab Spring’ managed to bring thousands into the capital Madrid’s Puerto del Sol square to camp out in protest at Spain’s rising unemployment and growing economic crisis. In Greece there is rising political and social unrest and increased defiance of the imposition by the Greek Government of IMF/EMU austerity measures and the forced sale of strategically important state assets. Portugal has just negotiated its own bail out with austerity measures to follow and Spain and Italy, both on extremely shaky ground, could be next. How will the citizens of these countries react to their loss of sovereignty when unavoidable austerity measures are imposed on them to pay for the debts of the banks, and the failures of their own Governments and European leaders? And what about Germany whose people have been told (wrongly in my opinion) that their taxes are being used to bail out countries such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal? Notwithstanding the fact that German taxes are ultimately being used to bail out German banks who recklessly gambled on Irish banks such as Anglo Irish, a fact which is not being made clear to them, people in Germany cannot be best pleased if they believe that they are being asked to pay for the excesses of others in what now seems like a failed European experiment.
There are those who will say that my above description of what is being done to the citizens of Ireland, Greece, Portugal and what will be done to other European countries whose economies also fail is too simplistic, that it’s too black and white with no allowance for grey areas, but no matter what nuance or spin you put on it, the core effect of what is happening with the IMF/EMU bailout deals is that private commercial debt is being burdened on the shoulders of the citizens of Europe at the same time as we are going through the worst recession since…well, since 1939.
The current recession with its crushing and unsustainable burden of debt, with no growth, no hope, rampant unemployment, economic uncertainty, and the social and political unrest which all that brings with it, is fertile ground for an upsurge in nationalism. The perceived injustices of pouring huge debts on the citizens of Europe to pay for the excesses and failures of others disconnects its citizens from the political system and enhances the growing view that Europe is more interested in serving the interests of big business and less and less in serving the interests of its citizens. This disconnect serves only to foment growing resentment among Europe’s citizens, erode the union’s authority and leadership, and diminish its relevance to its citizens thereby creating a void in European politics. Who knows, perhaps as in the 1930’s, under such circumstances a ‘charismatic’ leader or leaders, swept to power on a nationalist anti European agenda, might rise up from the ashes of an economically ruined Europe to fill that void. The reason given for Europe taking the path it has chosen to take during this economic crisis is to hold the union together; however as the chaos theory equation demonstrates, the possibility of the exact opposite happening is equally as likely.
And we all know where that led to in 1939.
‘I was just frightened,very very frightened’.
A trailer from my documentary ‘Loving The Alien’ with music from Eclectic Turkey.
Watch the entire film at
‘Loving The Alien’ (26min: 30Sec) is a documentary type film inspired by and shot around the 2nd Irish International UFO Conference which was held in Ireland late August 2005 at The Bush Hotel, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim. The area around nearby Boyle in Co Roscommon has become a hotspot for alleged UFO activity and has attracted a lot of interest from the media, UFO Researchers, and ordinary people. Whether one is sceptical of such accounts or a total believer, the fact is, that these UFO sightings are relatively common.
Loving the Alien is not about proving or disproving anyone’s theories, or about mocking or ridiculing people or disrespecting their strongly held beliefs, it is hopefully more about being informative, imaginative, and above all, entertaining.