30 July 2009 Edition

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Mála Poist

Bring the banks to account

I support the call from SIPTU’s Jack O’Connor for the bank guarantee to be withdrawn from financial institutions who are fleecing the very taxpayers who are paying the price of the banks’ reckless behaviour.
The blank cheque guarantee should never have been awarded to these anti-social organisations without radical reform and very strict conditions.
Rather than being given the ‘perp walk’ (as seen only this week in the USA with mass arrests in New Jersey), the perpetrators are being rewarded for bad behaviour.
In the USA, Bernie Madoff got 150 years for ripping off ordinary people. Poor Bernie. In Ireland, he would have been put in charge of ‘Bord Slash’.
We need to get rid of open-ended guarantees, NAMA and other ‘socialism for the rich’ measures and establish a new, clean, state bank capitalised by the billions now being wasted on the toxic banks and developers.
Let them fight out their rows in the bankruptcy courts and let the rest of us get on with rebuilding the economy from the ruins they have bequeathed us.
Finglas, Dublin


Bord Slash’s missing bits

I SAW Dr Colm McCarthy on RTÉ saying that ALL areas of public spending were targeted in his ‘Bord Slash’ report. I have perused all two volumes but I seem to have missed the bit where cuts to large fees to private, right-wing economic consultants (many of whom cheer-led the boom and bust economics that caused our current plight) for producing dry reports recommending further impoverishment of the least well-off (who had a minimal role in getting us ‘where we are’).
Perhaps Dr McCarthy or his well-paid colleagues could guide me?


Slán Abhaile to British Army based in Ballykinnlar

LAST WEEK’S story in the Mourne Observer regarding the possible closure of Abercorn British Army barracks in Ballykinnlar will, I am sure, be welcomed by the majority of residents living across south Down, most of whom are eager to see the removal of occupying armed forces from their country.
The British Army have no place on Irish soil, and while they remain here there will always be strong opposition to their presence. Also, the existence of an army base in a community leaves people vulnerable to attack and those who may wish to carry out such actions should not be given the excuse to do so.
Ballykinlar is plagued by this monstrosity and the sooner that land is made available for the community the better. The British Ministry of Defence needs to return the land they have occupied to its rightful owners — the people of Ballykinlar. As revolutionary republican James Connolly once said:”Our demands most moderate are — We only want the earth!”
Ógra Shinn Féin


Debate in Sinn Féin

DECLAN KEARNEY (An Phoblacht last week) writes of the challenge that our party faces in becoming politically relevant in the South. As Declan notes there existed few arenas for internal debate in the early stages of the Peace Process but argues that this was necessary and that now “many arenas for discussion” exist. While there may be new arenas for discussion, facilitated discussion that leads to no organisational or policy change is just chatter.
I do believe Declan when he writes that he wants new leaders to emerge. But for that to happen the current leadership of the party needs to reflect on the way in which they manage the party. Sinn Féin needs to become a meritocratic organisation that relishes discussion, political tension and a constant battle of ideas.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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