Greek Default: A game of Euro-Chicken?


Grekk riot police covered in red paint - photo By endiaferon on flckrThe big bad ECB wolf is a-huffing and a-puffing but the first of the three little pigs is showing no signs of surrendering just yet. And behind the spectacle of the Greek populace standing up against its government and the core EU powers, lurks a recent historical shadow - a spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Yugoslavia.

Today Greece is the target of pressure and brinkmanship by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who are holding back the next installment in the so-called "bailout" agreed last year. The payment of €12 billion was originally scheduled for this month and without it Greece will default on repaying its existing bonds due for redemption on Jul 15.

What Recession? – World’s Wealthiest Individuals increase their Wealth


The “World Wealth Report 2011”, published by finance conglomerates Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, has shown that the amount of wealth held by the world’s wealthiest elite increased by almost 10% in 2010.  The number of ‘High Net Worth Individuals’ (i.e. those with investable assets of over $1million) also rose last year – to 10.9 million.

Denis O’Brien shows that for Ireland’s elite the good times still roll


Denis O'Brien image Some rights reserved by Pat2001 via flickrJust 12 weeks after the Moriarty Tribunal found that he made corrupt payments to Michael Lowry TD in order to influence the granting of a mobile phone licence, Denis O’Brien has shown that for Ireland’s elite the good times still roll.  Digicel, the mobile phone company wholly owned by O’Brien, has announced that its net profit for the year ending March 2011 increased by €120million.  In keeping with the true lack of transparency so beloved by our super-wealthy however, Digicel refused to divulge the actual net profit figure.  What was announced was that O’Brien’s own personal income from Digicel last year was €28million, plus of course whatever income he has from his various other companies and investments.

Lower Corporation tax for the North?


Our rulers at Stormont are living in fantasy land if they believe a reduction in corporation tax will results in thousands of jobs being created. It will open the floodgates to profit driven bosses resulting  in workers rights and conditions being further eroded with a further escalation in cuts in essential public services such as health and education. 

Spanish Revolution in Cork...


Workers and students from the areas of Spain living here in Cork protested today on the Grand Parade in support and solidarity with the movement for ‘Real Democracy’ in their homeland.   Over a hundred turned up in pouring rain to voice and sing their anger at the failure of capitalism and lack of hope and possibilities that is offered to us under the present ‘free market’ regime.  

Obama + Internet + Money = HOPE


The electoral system in the United States is notoriously conservative.  Two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, dominate.  To be a Presidential hopeful, you need to have stacks of money – to pay for advertising and campaign teams and so on and so forth.  Usually this means courting big business and corporate interests in return for campaign donations.

As a former senator Obama was well aware of this situation and how things worked.  Ultimately, however, his success lay in the fact that he mobilised in two distinct constituencies - among the business community but also amongst the grassroots voters.  This latter aspect – his grassroots mobilisation - received considerable prominence because it was ‘news’ and noteworthy.  His clear and unambiguous business friendly comments received less attention, but were nonetheless important.

Dublin - march on the banquet of the British and Irish elite in Dublin castle


Some 30 million euro is being wasted between the visits of the US President & the British Queen to Ireland. One of the grosser occasions of the visit of the British Queen will be tonight (Wed 18 May) when the royal parasite will be sitting down to stuff her face with our local wealthy 1% at Dublin Castle.  The WSM is planning to join the eirigi organised March on the Castle from 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 18th at St Catherine’s Church on Thomas Street, Dublin 8. The march will depart for Dublin Castle at roughly 6.30pm. The protest which will include speeches, music and street theatre is expected to last until at least 8.30pm.

We will be carrying a large new banner reading "Old Ruler, New Rulers : Class Struggle Continues .." highlighting the common purpose of the Irish and British elites in keeping Ireland safe for capital. If your feeling a little outraged by this and all the disruption of the visits we'll see you there, on the streets. 

Windsor and Obama visits: Good for Tourism?


At the moment, the predominant view in the Government , the media and in business circles is that the two large, high-profile state visits by the British Queen and the US President will give a massive boost to Ireland, both in terms of increasing tourism and in terms of improving Ireland's current image of a bankrupt and disfunctional isle in the eye's of the world's media.

However, is this viewpoint accurate? It seems to me to be a naive and ill-thought out endeavour, without thinking seriously about the facts and implications.

Teachers’ Union unanimously votes to take Natural Resources into public ownership - update


A motion at the annual Congress of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) today calling for the “setting up of a policy study group” within the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to “conduct an urgent enquiry into …. the feasibility of the Irish state re-taking into public ownership” Ireland’s Natural Resources has been passed by a unanimous vote - a level of support that took even those who strongly supported the motion by surprize.

Fighting the ‘Bailout’ – why a referendum is not the answer


Approximately 300 people attended a meeting in the Gresham Hotel in early April which “endorsed the formation of a campaign, called "Enough!" to resist the IMF EU deal and to demand a referendum.”[i] At first thought it seems to be a campaign which should be enthusiastically supported by anarchists and libertarians.  After all we’re always going on about grassroots democracy and about involving people in decisions about things that affect them. And didn’t the people of Iceland have not one but two referenda on their ‘bailout’ in the last 13 months?  If they can have two, why shouldn’t we have at least one!

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