There are people who believe that money has a poisonous impact on human affairs. I don’t. I think that money is what makes the mare go and that you ignore it or downplay it at your peril.
Take Scotland. This morning, the news tells me George Osborne has announced over £500 million in contracts for the Royal Navy’s submarine base in Faslane, in Scotland. He says it will secure 6,700 jobs and create thousands more. Why is he doing this – to make Britain secure militarily? Don’t make the cat laugh. He’s doing it to make sure that lots of Scots dependent on Faslane for their livelihood will vote Tory and not SNP. In short, it’s a bribe.
Money features in the south of Ireland too. What is it that has finally sent the Irish electorate over the edge, to the point where they’re itching to make mincemeat of Fine Gael and Labour at the next elections? The Water Charge. Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, is the message that was sent last Saturday to the quivering ears of Enda (‘Not a Penny’) Kenny.
And up in this contorted corner of Ireland? Well, Mike Nesbitt has gambled that by withdrawing his party from working with Sinn Féin, they’ll get a pay-off at the next elections. They’ll not, of course, leave Stormont as a party. That would be to sacrifice their salaries, which is a bridge too far even for high-minded people such as the Ulster Unionists. Meanwhile the DUP are accusing the UUP of walking away from the problem, no guts for the fight, etc. Which, translated, means that we have our jobs and we’re hanging onto them, because we don’t want the electorate to see us as being led by the nose by the poncy UUP. That way, we show how devoted we are to real politics, how strong we are, how much we like that monthly cheque plopping into our bank accounts. You don’t get a place in Florida for nothing.
Sinn Féin too will be keeping an eye on the money. They can’t rely on corporate donations, such as might flow the way of the DUP, the UUP, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael – in fact, just about every political party in Ireland. So their members take, we’re told, the average industrial wage, with the rest being ploughed back into the party to keep the machinery running. Many unionists would claim that this is supplemented by the £29 million the IRA stole from the Northern Bank; but of course their claim is supported by the same evidence they have that the IRA today is functioning, which is zilch.
So don’t kid yourself that money isn’t integral to the workings of politics here or anywhere else. It’s the fuel that fires the jets.
Trying to deny what is obvious has caused us to get to situation.
Some quick points it was the IRA that carried out the Northern Bank raid and tell me who else is organising fuel smuggling in South Armagh I can assure you it aint loyalists if its in South Armagh the IRA are fully involved in it.
As for loyalists they are involved in murder people smuggling etc etc.
To deny the above brings shame on us we will never move on until we are honest about this and deal with it if you don’t we will have a deadly cancer at the heart of our society
I don’t have evidence for this Nell but I think everyone knows or can at least guess the current relative peace we’re experiencing is a “bought peace”, which was created under Tony Blair.
Everyone knows that certain republican/loyalist groups are allowed to engage in certain money making schemes as long as they don’t engage in murder and mayhem. The blind eye is being turned and though I don’t endorse the breaking of the law, I do see the logic behind turning the blind eye, its all “For the Greater Good”.
I need assistance with my radio. It has started repeating things. I have lost count this morning of the number of times I was informed that Mr Robinson is not going to leave the battlefield until violent republicanism is defeated. I do not use batteries and I do not have any problems with my supply of electricity. I have tried switching channels, however, there appears to be a similar problem with other Irish channels. Help! Just like ‘TheThird Policeman’. “I am completely half afraid to think.”
Neill, to hark back to the Northern Bank robbery which you so confidently allege was committed by the PIRA. How do you know this? Are you repeating what someone has told you? Does the RUC/PSNI know? Why have they not arrested at least thirty or forty men? Have they no evidence? That never stopped them before. If the PIRA carried out this robbery and managed to conceal all the evidence then surely they could have covered up their alleged involvement in THE murder. Maybe you do know something that the Misses Marple in the RIVC/PSNI don’t? Have you passed this on to the “Security Services”? If this is the case, does that not make you an accessory? I know you are delighted to get a chance to make republicans uncomfortable but look at the company you are keeping!
Do you believe the IRA didn’t do the Northern Bank or are involved in fuel smuggling in South Armagh?
Mention of moolah, Esteemed Blogmeister, and the first name of a female persuasion one tends to think of down here in the Free Southern Stateen is, oddly enough, not Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha whose portrait as a youngish woman adorns today’s blog.
But rather one who is a past mistress of the German Queen’s English and one who also manages to fetch a six figure sum from the public purse for a four-hour weekend. And so on and so forth.
Yesterday, the person of interest in question, Dame Dosh Finucane (for it is she !) showed us just precisely why is, erm, earning such a bagful of swag.
But first, by way of a backstory, in 2008. Her Onymus Bosch of Dosh was earning or if one prefers, wheelbarrowing home a grotesque 570,000 euros from the licence-payers’ back pocket to her own private and picturesque Garden of Earthly Delights.
(Some dissident resenters claimed this was TWICE as much moolah as The Most Important Mere Man on the Planet , aka, Mr. President of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was in receipt of at that moment in time. This was but the blatant exaggeration of begrudgery; the actual figure was only, in fact, 1.69 times the amount.)
Yesterday in her two hour show with Sunday Morning dough coming down she had as one of her whipping boys, oops, guests, Councillor Eoin O Broin of Sinn Fein.
This is a Shinner one doesn’t hear too often on RTE, and one soon realised why. The prog turned out to be (gulp) A Slaughter on Malcontent Avenue. At any moment one expected Dan Duryea to sashay into the studio to the sound of the Richard Rodgers’ bullet-riddled ballet music.
Much as it grieves Perkie’s flabbergasted inner feminist to admit this but for once the Liberty Hall-tall Gliberator of Ladies’ Liberation on Liffeyside was,truly out of her depth. From a very early stage it was clear to all, except the most devout of Marianatics, that she was floundering in the Ocean of Intellect. And so on and so forth.
And when her whipping boy, oops, guest calmly explained to her for the umpteenth time that she was misinterpreting the words he was saying, she snottily retorted that ‘this is not a speech-making platform’. And so on and so forth.
Even one with a basic take on the German Queen’s English could tell Dame Dosh was a tad muddled as to the difference between ‘infer’ and ‘imply’. But this is a shortcoming, it has been statistically attested, which seems to particularly inflict folk who are also confused by the concepts of ‘take’ and ‘give’.
Mine Hostess ‘s inner sit-down comedienne then went on the offensive: in the comical Jo Brand style of offensiveness:
-But, you see the photographs in the papers of these dead people. (Pause). Hello, they’re dead, you know.
And so on and so forth.
Later on, when the elected Councillor O’Broin calmly requested of his hostess to accord him the courtesy of permitting him to finish even one sentence, she reminded her loyal listenership once more that her Recruiting Sergeant into RTE in 1974 was none other than Pommer Harris. Which august name translates into the leprechaun as: Eoghainin na n-Aontachtaithe.
It was the combination of those two c-words – calm and courtesy – which eventually prompted her to throw the ultimate despairing haymaker of the highly-financed under-talented hackette, in vain. (See below).
In pugilistic terms, Perkie’s inner dabbler in the Sock Exchange,was vividly reminded of the title bout between Mike Tyson and Two Tall Tony Tubbs in Tokyo.
Those with a passion for serious trivia will recall that in the second round Too Tall Tony Tubbs, having been landed on his derriere by a combination of right body shot – left hook to the jaw, somehow struggled to his feet.
And then staggered across the ring while attempting to connect with the equivalent of the following futile arm-heavy haymaker:
-And finally, Councillor O Broin, but it seems to be de rigeur for all broad-casters these days to pose this question – (pause here to permit the exhalation of a long, weary sigh of tetchy resignation from the intellectually sophisticated hostess) – but can you tell us if, in fact, Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA?
Even the intervention of the referee (who just happened to be, erm, one Eamon O Mallie) with his humantiarian and Her Onymus-conscious arms outstretched) could not save her from one final, perfectly placed piledriver from her polished opponent,oops, guest..
And as Her Onymus Bosch crashed to the canvas for the last time she could be heard by those at ringside to utter this last delightful piece of retro-platitude:
-Sure even the dogs in the s. know that folk on this side of the border couldn’t give (gulp) Two Continentals about what goes on up there in the North.
Two Continentals !
And so on and so forth.
On the subject of the lure of lucre, I would also remind you of how it has motivated the DUP in relation to the Nama debacle in N Ireland.
But when is Mick Wallace going to name names? I would like to make a suggestion or two but I’m sure it wouldn’t pass the censor.
Neill seems positive that the IRA did the Northern Bank job, but like him, I cannot prove who actually did it.
He should ask Special Branch – they won’t tell him, but they know who did it!
Money is what is keeping the relative peace here, or as most call it: the “Gravy Train”. I remember back to the Haass talks when US Diplomat Richard Haass couldn’t get an agreement. Mr Haass later made reference to the fact it was Unionism that was unwilling to compromise. Now, imagine if the British Government had stepped in and warned the politicians, both Republican and Unionist, that failure to reach an agreement = no salaries. Something tells me Richard Haass would’ve got an agreement between both parties in that scenario.
Sinn Fein is the richest political party, by a large margin, here in the north east corner of Ireland. (I haven’t checked to see if they are the richest party all over Ireland but I’m confident they might be). They receive millions in donations from around the World, mostly from the USA. There are “Friends of Sinn Fein” groups in the USA, Canada, Britain and Australia which all fund raise. As Jude mentioned all SF politicians receive the average industrial wage (around £24,000 per year), the rest of the money goes to the Party.
Now, I haven’t evidence for this but a lot of people, from across the community, believe that certain Republican and Loyalist groups are allowed to engage in illegal money making schemes, with the PSNI turning the blind eye, in order to keep the peace here. Schemes such as fuel smuggling, drug dealing?, money laundering, extortion, etc. The logic here it seems to me is: Its for the Greater Good. If it stops Republicans/Loyalists engaging in murder and mayhem, and it keeps the peace then its a price worth paying. And if that’s the case, then it has worked to an extent.
Even when it comes to Welfare reform here, Martin McGuinness has said cuts to our public services here and welfare would destabilize everything and put the peace process at risk. Tony Blair was willing to pour money into our wee corner of Ireland in order to keep the peace. David Cameron obviously isn’t willing. Would the peace process REALLY be at risk with tory cuts? Short answer is: Yes. Its common knowledge that people with a job, decent pay and who see a future for themselves are far less likely to get involved with paramilitaries or extremists. On the other hand, people, especially young people here, are much more likely to be attracted to paramilitaries when they have no job, are on cut benefits, etc David Cameron, of course, doesn’t give a toss about here and is putting a lot of risk.
So you see, Money plays a massive role here and has been an important tool since 1998 in making our society a lot more peaceful.
The only money that has turned up that was definitely stolen from the Northern Bank was found behind the tiles in the toilets at the well-guarded PSNI playing fields. Is Neil seriously suggesting that the IRA robbed the Bank and then broke into the PSNI pavilion to spend an hour or so hiding some of the new notes just for a bit of a lark?