Vultures, Eagles & Turkeys

There’s a famous (or should that be infamous) episode of barbarity carried out against the Roman Empire in 88bce, known as the Asiatic Vespers. The people of Asia Minor, fed up of Roman rules, Roman taxes and Roman hegemony, rose up violently. In just one day the Roman population across Asia Minor was slaughtered; it’s estimated between 80,000 – 150,000 people were killed. This was a scrupulously prepared and viciously executed plan.

The fallout of which led to a series of wars that would last decades and pile countless more bodies on to the fire. Nonetheless, the Asiatic Vespers stand as a ruthless warning from history. A government (Rome was still a Republic) that has lost its legitimacy, has lost its mandate to govern.

This week we’ve seen, for the first time in it’s history, the Public Accounts Committee have submitted findings supported by the Majority and not Unanimously. This is a significant break of protocol and not just because the disagreement was over the wording about Michael Noonan and his handling (or alleged mishandling) of the Project Eagle case.

It was significant because it was part of another underlying trend at the hypocritical heart of Irish Politics. A secret 11th Commandment, not included in the Bible; Thou shalt do as we say, but thou shalt not do as we do.

You see, we’ve been lectured for weeks, whether by Pat Kenny calling us thick, or Alan Kelly calling us Populists, or Simon Coveney saying something. I can never remember what Simon says…

Anyway, apparently we have to pay water charges or we risk EU fines. We had to have austerity because we all partied. We have to have accept families in hotels because the banks balance sheets are still vulnerable. So on and so forth.

In the financial world there are rules, lots of them and contrary to popular opinion these rules are overseen by a Regulator. Many of these rules are arbitrary, some are helpful and then there are a handful of ones that are plain old common sense. One such common sense rule relates to Financial Dealings with Politically Exposed Persons, or PEP’s.

In dealing with the EU Anti Money Laundering Directive there are different criteria, based on the individual/entity and the service provided. They roughly fall under three headings: Simplified Due Diligence, Standard Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence. A voucher for a Macari’s Snack Box to the first person who correctly guesses which category Politicians fall into.

Michael Noonan made a bad judgement call in meeting Cerberus the day BEFORE the sale of Project Eagle. This sale has resulted in a loss to the state in the range of €220 million. I’m not going to rake over the coals of this toxic fire sale. You can do that here and here.

I am going to point out that a Department of Finance, that is doing it’s job, might look into the EU Anti Money Laundering Act. I’m going to guess that they’d discover that a meeting with the Minister for Finance is a meeting with a Politically Exposed Person. I’d then be fairly certain that they would see this same meeting is covered under the Enhanced Due Diligence Regulations. Finally, I’d hope they might realise that breaches (if discovered) of these regulations can be punished with sanctions and or fines. The fines can be of “up to €5 million in the case of natural persons, and fines of up to twice the amount of any profits gained or losses avoided.”

I’m a banker, so my sums aren’t great, but I reckon fines of up to twice the loss (as confirmed by the Comptroller & Auditor General) could amount to €440 million. Do I think a Department of Finance that has it’s head buried in the sand is looking into this? Probably not. Do I believe a Government that is busy trying to delegitimise even the wording of a mildly critical report into this debacle, is going to look for our money back? I’m not holding my breath.

It does make me think of the Asiatic Vespers and how fed up people were of hearing “Do as we say, don’t do as we do”. I’m fed up too.

 

Tony Groves

 

 

 

Mea Cúpla Focail…

There’s a story, perhaps apocryphal, that while preparing for the biggest court case of his nascent career, Cicero spent his time practising only oration and voice projection. When asked if he would not be better off spending his time learning the legal arguments for the case he is said to have replied “Only a bad orator need learn to be a lawyer”.

Now this story is most likely baseless, but I couldn’t help thinking about it while watching the Garda Whistleblower controversy evolve. Thirty Six times Clare Daly, Luke Ming Flanagan and Mick Wallace raised concerns to the Dail, but it was only when RTE broadcast the widely known slurs that the “government” deigned to actually address the issue.

When I say address it, I mean speak around it, throw shapes of indignation and then search for a vehicle to park it in, while they can get back to the business of making announcements and issuing plans that hope to lead to future announcements of updated plans. There has arguably never been a more inefficient government, nor have we ever had a more unambitious opposition.

All of which leads me to the vehicle of a public inquiry and back to Cicero.

Up and down the country Lawyers, Barristers and Public Relations Gurus are practising their oration and vocal projection. Headline writers can today file their copy for the upcoming Charleton Inquiry. Words like Defiant, Refute and Rebut will be thrown around like mea culpa’s at a Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting.

Phrases like “unaware of”, “not privy to”, “had no knowledge of” and “in the strongest possible terms” will be deemed acceptable answers to the most important questions.

All the while we will be placated with fluff pieces that assure the public that the Judge has the “power to compel” and “ask the hard questions” that will “bring closure”. Those responsible will point at the next person up in a vicious blame circle. Sincere expressions of sincere regret will be made that would make the Banking Inquiry blush.

There will be individual embarrassing moments and several more mea culpa’s before we arrive at a consensus that a good man was done down by a system and that because the system is to blame, nobody is to blame. Sure we all partied, on his good name.

Cicero won his case, he rose in esteem by defeating his rival orator (Hortensius)and climbed the rungs of power. The guilty party (Gaius Verres, Governor of Sicily) was sentenced to exile and was given the traditional nine days to squirrel away as much plunder to feather his retirement nest.

Our guilty parties will also be “exiled” and in the words of Oliver Callan subject to the full rigours of a massive pension. Cicero said we must “let the welfare of the people be the ultimate law”. Ultimately, I predict the conspirators and and participants in this sinister plot will fare out very well. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Tony Groves February 2016

Grand Centrist Station

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Centrists, the lads who say they are without ideology and the journalists who say they are “fair and balanced”. I heard Stephen Donnelly, he of the reverse Damascene Conversion, repeat the oft trotted out bastardised W.B Yeats, line that “the centre must hold” and I nearly spat my coffee on the screen.

The line is actually “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” The anarchy the poet was writing of was “The Second Coming“.  Sadly, I don’t think any saviour is coming to save us.

These self-proclaimed Centrists are in denial about the world we currently occupy. Their motivations for self-delusion vary. Some, aware that Right Wing evil is on the march, claim to be newly Centrist in order to distance themselves from their more radical brethren.

I’m thinking of the “Tory Boy” formerly known as Leo Varadkar (or have I got that the wrong way around?). He of the Far Right Centre “proposal of offering only three months dole to migrant workers as an incentive to leave” and of “privatising up to 20 Dublin Bus routes”. Leo the Centrist is Leo the Liar. He’s the leader of a core of Right Wing Fine Gael, that is soon to inherit the party.

Enda Kenny, while a lot of things (and many of those Right Wing led) is not like Leo. His ideology can be summed up as Power for Powers sake.

Which also got me thinking. So many of the new Centrists are declaring their (recently discovered) Social Democratic roots that RTE might consider doing a political version of: Who Do You Think You Are?  They could call it: Who Do You Think The Public Should Think You Are?

Imagine it, we could have Alan Kelly retelling his “spay them with sewage” story and say the sewage was a metaphor for the dirty world of Centrist Politics. I’d post a link to his despicable actions, but Alan (classless man that he is) has had them removed from Google Searches.

We could have Fianna Fail do a retrofitted retrospective half hour about their “populist” roots, saying that populist is actually the Irish word for Centrist. Us plebeians would be none the wiser. Sure if it was on RTE, we’d say, it must be true.

Finally, we could have the alphabet soup AAA/PBP tell us they’re opposed. “To what exactly are you opposed?” the narrator could ask. “We don’t have to engage with you, you’re part of the machine” they could yell back. At least you know where they stand. Full Marx, indeed.

Despite what you hear so often, the so called Hard Left are not the biggest threat to Irish Politics. At least not in the sense of a threat to a progressive Irish Politics. No, that distinction lies firmly with the Centrists. They are the advocates for nothing. They are the Minister for Health Simon Harris, getting genuinely upset that nobody is doing anything about 50,000 people hidden from Hospital Waiting Lists.

The Centrists are Simon Coveney asking what more can NGOs like Focus Ireland and the Simon Community do, to enable him to do less. Centrists do not exist. Those who have no political ideology have no business being in politics. Those who bleat that the “centre must hold”, are saying their hold on the levers of power must remain.

Nothing will improve under this Centrism. In fact, I can think of only one man who was a true Centrist. In 1967 Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world title over refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.

His lawyer, Hayden C. Covington when asked why he was risking his career “by getting in the middle” of this case said “I want to be at the centre of this, because only by getting to the centre of it can I bring about change.” Our current Centrist Cohort only want to sit in one place, of no use to those who elected them.

I remember Tolstoy telling Chekhov that his centrist writing needed a world view; a perspective in order to inspire people.

I remember Lord Acton’s warning about Centrist’s. “Political atheism: End justifies the means. This is the most widespread of all the opinions hostile to liberty.”

And I’ll let Muhammad Ali himself have the last word. When under pressure to join the herd and stay in the Centrist Flock he replied “I don’t have to be what you want me to be”.

 

Tony Groves February 2017 Muhammad Ali Vietnam

 

 

But, But, But…

So many outrages, so little time. Where to start?

Kellyanne Conway (the campaign manager of the regime) went on Seth Meyers CNN Show and said that the briefing about the Intelligence Briefing regarding Trumps Russian indiscretions didn’t happen, before saying BUT “he received that intelligence briefing “. The immediate contradiction went unchecked.In fairness to Meyers, it’s nearly impossible to separate all the lies, contradictions and alternative facts from the occasional truths.

Back home the Rule of But is in full effect. In Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) the Rule of But can be roughly defined as “everything before But was a lie”.

For example, Right Wing Paul Williams (doing a poor Ivan Yates impersonation) has opened the Newstalk Breakfast show twice this week with rants that go: “Firstly let me say that Trump is repugnant and abhorrent. BUT, I take great satisfaction from the angst he is causing for Leftie Lovies”.

Neuro-linguistic Programming tells you that Paul doesn’t really think Trump is repugnant or abhorrent. At the very least he feels he’s less repugnant than Paul Murphy or Richard Boyd Barrett. Paul reveals himself in his chosen outrage, and the face he shows is a deeply unpleasant one.

The Left aren’t helping themselves either. Apart from the continual infighting, they need to realise that you don’t fight isolationism with isolationism. You fight it with openness. We don’t need to damage relations with America to make a statement about Trump. We need to do right by refugees and become an example for how immigration is a positive thing for society.

Beating chests and pulling out hair plays into the narrative of “The Left have some great aspirations BUT they’re to erratic to elect. 

We need to tackle our established racist practice of Direct Provision and honour the Right of Safe Refuge, while ripping down the current industry of inhumane profiting from human misery. We need to show how it’s a Right Wing Government that turned misery into a market.

I’m not going to go on too much here. Mark Malone has written extensively on Direct Provision and I’d suggest you read his piece here.

I’m going back to BUT. It’s becoming more important than ever that we challenge the BUT. The Trump is bad, BUT Saudia Arabia, ISIS, FGM etc etc. This whataboutery doesn’t give us the right to do nothing. It doesn’t excuse either of the two evils. It multiplies the evil. 

We are left with the Big Bad Evil, the Lesser of 2 Evils and the Evil of doing nothing about it. 

So listen out for the BUT. Remember everything before the BUT was bullshit. Like so…

…I’m worried Paul Williams will be offended by this short piece, BUT I don’t care.
Tony Groves January 2017 

Bubble Bobble

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There’s a myth doing the rounds, a tale that WE are living in dangerous times. Fascism is on the rise, hard won human rights are under threat and that the relative benign accords that brought peace to the Western World are under threat. Don’t get me wrong, all of this is true. The myth is that the challenges of our time are unique to our time. They are not.

Cicero warned, “The only thing we learn from history, is that we never learn anything from history”.

In 1861, the American Civil War kicked off. The beleaguered Native American Indian population felt sure they would get some respite, while Bluecoat fought Graycoat. They were sadly mistaken.

By the time the war had started there was probably less than 300,000 Native Americans left. There numbers had been “culled” by about two thirds since the European settlers arrived in Virginia and New England, around 1607.

The White Man had come and he had come in Yuuuge numbers, more than 30 million of them by the this period. No pesky war was going to slow their march and no call to arms would slake their thirst for what they needed above all else, Land.

The Indians were driven from area to area, denied access to hunting grounds and forced into reservations. These reservations were little better than open air prisons. Even some of the Soldiers, paid to make sure the Indians didn’t leave, wrote letters beseeching Washington for better conditions. One put it; “The cost to us will be no more than $1 million per year. Which seems high, but is very little when you consider the wealth we have attained from the lands they have given up”. Such honest entreaties fell on deaf ears.

Fast forward to 1891 and we discover that the White Settlers have become the dispossessed. Farmers in the South are losing their land to banks, big business and rail-roads. Workers in the East are exploited by super-rich businessmen. Wealth is created at a faster rate than at any time before in American history, yet as Henry Georges Progress & Poverty explained, the majority of people are getting poorer. The key driver of the inequality, Land.

It was a result of this inequality that the first Populist Party (The People’s Party) was born. Populist’s allied themselves with workers, joined with trade union movements and sought to tackle the inequality endemic in American Society.

It failed. But not before scaring the life out of banks, elites and the Democratic Party.

Today our media commentators throw the term Populist around like confetti at a wedding. Dare to speak about growing inequality and you’re quickly bracketed with the mad Populist, Donald Trump. The fact that they also scream “Populist” every time Paul Murphy opens a packet of Tayto should be the end of it. I mean, if  we are told that Trumps a Populist AND that his ideological opposite Paul Murphy is a Populist, then how dare they get their collective knickers in a twist when report after report shows that trust of the media is at an all time low.

Back to the Land.

Today I received an 84 page document entitled: The 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2017. Rating Middle-Income Housing Affordability. A riveting title, it’s sure to be a bestseller. Only it should be. It should be compulsory reading for our Politician’s, our Planners and anyone who gives a damn about inequality.

What this body of real experts (as opposed to the experts who brought us Irish Water) do is work out how affordable is a house, based on dividing the average price by the average wage.

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The good news for Ireland is that we currently have zero Severely Unaffordable housing markets. Great news, right…

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The bad news for Ireland is that we are fast on our way to getting there

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Look at the warning above. Dublin has gone from Moderately Unaffordable 3.3, to a Seriously Unaffordable 4.7, in less than 5 years. As I type we are probably tipping over into the Severely Unaffordable zone of 5.1 or over. Think this is only a Dublin problem, think again. Galway and Cork are rapidly climbing the charts.

Without denigrating Cicero, I refuse to believe that we cant’t learn anything from history. History teaches us that a malfunctioning Land market breeds inequality. Inequality means doom. Blame becomes the currency and it’s spent on creating division and fear. Elites, deriding the rise of Populism, can have only themselves to blame.But they use their resources to deflect blame. So it manifests itself in uglier, Trumpian ways.

Ireland has a chance to avoid this “fear of the other” and blame-throwing culture. We had an Unaffordable Score of 6 at the top of the Celtic Tiger insanity. If we don’t act urgently, we will return to that level.

Remember these facts when you hear developers aren’t building because of low profits. How can profits be too low and Unaffordability so high?

Remember these facts when trying to reconcile the the Governments Housing Plan has less ambition towards building Social Houses than we had in the darkest days of the Irish Economy.

These are facts, don’t listen to the alternative facts, post-truths or fake news. A lie is a lie is a lie.

We don’t have a deficit of Land. We have a deficit of vision.

When the American Indians were driven to the edge of extinction, the American Settlers knew what riches they had acquired, calling it a land “whose value can hardly be estimated…a princely realm.”

Dublin has over 60 hectares of vacant land, a princely realm indeed. We don’t need incentives for developers, the only incentive for building we need is the FACT that we are rapidly headed back to Property Bubble Land. And Bubbles Burst.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. If we farcically allow this to happen again, then the joke will be on all of us.

Tony Groves January 2017

Pride In Prejudices

It’s been a tough year for the “liberal elite”. What with the Brexit vote, the Trump election and the death of many of our musical heroes. 2016 has not been a good year for those of us who hope for a more progressive and inclusive society.

Let me put on record that “liberal elite” is the dumbest smear I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I’ve been called Populist, Lefty Loony, Open Borders Lunatic and many more colourful and nasty things, but calling someone “elite” as a smear is the most (oxy)moronic thing yet.

“Hey you, you’re better informed than me, up yours!” is not really a put down. It’s more a declaration that the disenfranchised have decided that they reason for their disenfranchisement is self-important liberals. They have a very valid point, up to a point. Liberals are guilty in thinking that just because their own circle of influence (echo chamber) thinks the same as they do, then the rest of the world does to.

Liberals have championed change quicker than many people have wanted. Liberals have lost sight of getting buy in and THEN ushering in progressive changes. Liberals have exuded a sense of knowing what’s best and not taken time to consider the fears, real or imagined, by large parts of the population.

You might imagine the Trump election has obliterated that Liberal world view and sense of intellectual smugness . But you’d be wrong. Despite calling every major event/election wrong over the past year the Liberal Ideology, rather than look at its flaws, has decided to blame everyone else for being stupid.

Worse, they are still pretending they were right in their wrongs. Less than a week after the Trump victory, we are hearing “liberals” saying idiotic things like “Trump is moderating“, “He’s rolling back on his election promises” and only this morning I was told “He’s moving back toward the political middle ground”.

Pardon me for one second, but are you insane?

President Elect Trump, has appointed Steve Bannon, Anti-Semite and CEO of Breitbart (the thinking Klansman’s favourite new source) as his chief strategist. He has a Vice President elect in Mike Pence, who believes homosexuality can be cured with “conversion therapy. Trump is already looking to appoint a Conservative Judge to the Supreme Court, in order to repeal Roe vs Wade. Yet, our “Liberal Elite” are reassuring us (and perhaps more themselves) with assertions that the Trump Presidency won’t be that bad after all.

Huh?

Mike Pence thinks “evolution is a theory” and that the “fundamental truth” is “that God created the heavens and the Earth, the seas and all that’s in them.” Donald Trump thinks “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Moderating modernity maybe…

As someone who has correctly been called a Liberal, but has constantly called out the effects of the The Age of Austerity on people, I accept how wrong I was. I was wrong in thinking Trump could not win. I underestimated the depths of anti-establishment feelings (even as someone who has anti-establishment sympathies myself) and listened too much to my own echo chamber of Liberal reassurance. If this acknowledgement of how wrong I was proves anything, it proves the Liberal Elite smear is a myth.

BUT, if the commentariat/media/social media/academia etc continue to normalise Trumps outrageous views and preach tolerance of his intolerance, then it also proves that echo chambers are more dangerous than ever imagined. Locked away in our comfort-zone bubbles, ignoring reality, is not helping create a world of inclusion. Sending a tweet is not activism. By the time we wake up to our shortcomings and peek outside, it might be too late to stop the march of illiberal immorality.

 

Tony Groves November 2016 Image result for planet of the apes

June -22nd- 2016: The UK will vote Remain 

November -8th- 2016: The US will vote Clinton

May 2018: There’s no way President Trump will fire those Nukes!

October 2028: I’m not doing what that monkey tells me!

What’s In A Name?

Something has been itching at me for a few weeks and I hadn’t been able to put it into words until now. Even now the best words aren’t my own, they belong to David Crosby (he of the Byrd’s and Crosby, Stills and Nash) when he told Marc Maron recently: “I have no respect for labels at all; because they are generally a way to not think about a thing”. Boom!

Labels are a lazy way for us to explain away, dismiss or belittle something that challenges our inherent biased world view. They are nothing more than a convenient way to reinforce confirmation biases and give the labeller a sense of superiority.

How often do you hear dehumanising labels such as “economic migrants”, “so called refugees”, “left wing loony” and “far right fascist”? These are some of the more common ones, but I’m sure we all hear and use some every day. My own personal weakness is to label “the centrists” as “I’m alright Jacks”.

It’s trite and lazy; many of the middle have valid concerns about the polarisation of politics and societal change. Just because I don’t share those fears, does not mean they are not real! An interesting thing happens when you stop using the comforting crutch of labels; a new self-awareness allows you to enter an open dialogue with those who you ideologically oppose.

I’ve read horrendous pieces this week, one that even put the word children in inverted commas, because the children in question were foreigners? We’ve seen refugees reclassified as “mobs” and “a plague of feral humans”. In echo’s of recent dark history we’ve heard calls for dental checks on Children from Calais. Never mind the economic fact that net migration always results in net growth for the country of resettlement.

 

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I’ve seen this weekend factions on the Left squabbling over whom has the highest of high moral ground over refusing or reusing the pay rises for politicians. This infighting feeds into the label of the Left as divisive and disorganised. He said, she said politics belongs in the school yard.

There are several labels bandied about on a daily basis, but there is one that is so ubiquitous, so pervasive as to be perverted that I must once more address. That of course is the much loved by the commentariat “Populist”.

I’ve written before about how whenever you read or hear Populist used, you should substitute in the word Democracy and see what effect this would have on the sentence. For example, consider when the Lame Duck Taoiseach enda kenny told the Super-duper World Economic Forum in Davos that “It’s very easy to lose all that hard-won gain and recovery by drifting towards a sense of populism (democracy) without clarity about what that might deliver”.

Now apart from enda trotting out his favourite buzzwords, recovery and clarity,  what he said is that all the indicators are that growth is back and that tinkering with the democratic blueprint now would put that at risk. In summary, democratic calls for change risk changing things.

But he has, not for the first time, missed the point entirely. He has mistaken Growth for Progress, or to simplify it, he has mistaken Economic Progress for Poverty Eradication.

What is actually happening is economic growth that is exacerbating poverty.This is not unique in history, in fact, it is a well documented, often repeated mistake of Government. Most famously it was exposed by Henry George’s Progress & Poverty.

At the end of the nineteenth century industrialisation had dramatically changed the face of America. New technologies were opening up new frontiers and global trade meant access to the best bits of the wider world. Wealth mushroomed and luxury items from foreign lands arrived in US ports several times a day. But, not unlike today, something counter-intuitive was also happening.  People were getting poorer.

You see, as George explains, the relationship between progress and poverty is not symbiotic, in fact it can be very parasitic. The three factors of production are Land, Labour and Capital.

The person with productive/valuable land (land here includes all forms of natural resources) is worth a fortune, the Labourers (wealth producers) get only a small fraction of what they produce and the owner can suppress the wages in line with the high demand for these jobs.

The labour works efficiently at the land/resource/company to where productivity increases. This drives demand that results in rent also increasing and thus actual wealth of the labour falls.

Think about it, a large employer, paying low Corporation Taxes, with its pick of the labour market, uses its natural resources/wealth/share of a market to garner higher productivity, that in turn leads to higher (low taxed) profits, higher rents for the workforce and lower standards of living for the wider community.

Most of the benefits (low taxation, free infrastructure and favourable enterprise deals) are done in order to help the land owner. These they use to raise higher profits while driving down wages in real terms. The inevitable next step is industrial unrest. Workers, finding themselves left behind, see the large profits, hear talk about economic “recovery” and naturally want some of this growth for themselves. It was true in the late nineteenth century and it is very true today.

What is more, the solutions offered back then are as simple and relevant as they are today. George maintained that all men and women of this earth are equal and should be allowed access to the “land”. He points out that it was not nobility or human superiority that gave land, but possession of land that gave humans nobility and a sense of superiority.

Now I know in a global market we cannot go around ripping up trade deals, grabbing natural resources from those who control them or forcing Multinational’s to distribute all of their stateless profits. But we can use the laws, taxation and legal, to decrease the gap over time. We can lessen taxes on productive industries that will agree to make strategic choices that mean labourers share in the successes.  We can incentivise production by taxing unused land/resources, eliminating speculators and thus creating more opportunity for more people to benefit.

Over time, such strategies will lead to land/resources changing hands more often. We’d have more people able to partake in new industries we haven’t even created yet. We would see a more motivated labour force, one that sees a more equal society. Wealth would still increase, but it would do so in such a way as to be of a wider benefit.

There’s no such thing as equality of opportunity, it’s a myth. But there can be such a thing as opportunity of achievement. Enda and the populist bashers are miles away from the types of policies that could lead us to this system. They’re still stuck in the loop of boom/bust and in trusting in trickle-down economics.

We are seeing advances in technology that will automate many jobs in the near future. We will need to have a real and serious debate on the basic income model within the next ten years. These ideas are not Populist, they are facts that have yet to materialise.

Besides, Populist is a just a disrespectful label, used as a way to not have to address democratic and economic realities. Today’s reality is that a Recovery is not a Recovery if the people are left behind and if thinking there’s a better way to build a better society labels me a populist, then so be it.

Anybody can call names. I’ve yet to hear a lazy commentator offer workable solutions. At least  populism comes with progressive ideas.At least populism gives pause to the growing inequality. At least populism is about inclusiveness.

A funny thing about Henry George and his late nineteenth century realignment cohorts, they were also labelled Populists. So I’m in good company.

 

Tony Groves October 2016 fullsizerender

Image stolen once more from the excellent @Feckthelottom