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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas!



Late, but I hope my readers had a Happy and Holy Christmas this year

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The President's Christmas Address

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc_-V9NWd94&feature=share

Forsaking the obvious political undertones in what he is saying, and forgiving the fact that he is also rather obviously reading off of cue cards, (Which I can forgive because his delivery, annunciation and pacing was spot on so he had obviously practised the speech before hand and he is talented enough a writer that I can very well imagine he wrote it himself anyway), that I have to say I approve of much of what he is saying in this address, especially as he appeals to the Nation's sense of identity and extending solidarity to Irishmen and our extended family in the diaspora who will be less then joyful this Christmas season. Something I very much appreciate as I myself know a few families who are not going to have a joyful Christmas with the loss of loved ones.

The tone of the message was positive and encouraging trying to reassure the population of the economy will recover safely while acknowledging it has fallen. This is good statesmanship and I am glad to see it in our President even if I firmly oppose him politically and socially, and I can well imagine Higgens being remarked upon fondly even if his presidency does end up reigning over a dark time of Ireland's existence, (its not like he'll be responsible for our Government's failings to begin with unless he makes some kind of diplomatic faux pas that damages our prestige, but his party is doing that already so we cant really blame him for such a thing), one of the benefits a Politician in Ireland enjoys in such a figurehead position.

I will judge him more viciously however, in the coming months. What with this abortion debate seemingly trying to crop up, such as that ludicrous claim made in newspapers recently that over 50% of Irish Gynaecologists supported Abortion, which was thoroughly and rightfully dashed by an outcry from the public and members of medical professions. The secularist push for acceptance of Abortion will be hard in Ireland, because while the Irish public is becoming increasingly apathetic when it comes to lifestyle choices, there is a stringent anti-abortion streak in the Irish consciousness that will be hard to crack, (doubly so in the North as it is one of the view topics that will unite the two traditions here so vigorously that any and every cultural, political, social and historical difference and grievances are completely pushed to the side so that unity in pro-life opinions will shine through). How higgens responds, or what his opinion will be on this matter if it does become a constitutional issue (the Europhiles want Ireland to legalize abortion and the secularists desperately want to oblige), will be key in determining my final opinion on the man, even a socialist can do the right thing every now and again, when the moon is blue and the goats walk the opposite direction around a mountainside, lets hope he is such a man.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Friday: Operation Unthinkable

I hate blathering on about the eurozone criss precisely because it is an incredibly depressing mess and it is literally only getting worse day to day. And nothing represents that more so then the panicked course of Action Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are taking their countries: Into a new reform treaty that gives more direct control and stricter regulation of Eurozone nations' economic policies.

With, I might add, a stated goal of denying possible referendums against the new treaty, (and we all know they are talking about Ireland when they say this). They are openly flouting countless rules of the Union in order to save what is clearly a failed project in the single currency, and they're so desperate to do it that they do not care if this means they will effectively create a 'two-tiered' Europe. With stark differences between those in the Eurozone and those outside of it.

Also it should be noted that this panicked week leading up to the summit on friday was kick started by an American company warning that many countries in the Eurozone will lose their Triple A credit status if they do not take drastic measures to restore confidence in European Markets. Ireland wasn't in the list I believe, but then again Ireland's problem was its banks not its spending policies, we're the most stable of the 'danger countries' in the Eurozone and can't really be compared to Italy or Greece, or Spain for that matter but that wont stop German politicians from deciding our budget now will it?

Back to the topic at hand however, it should be stated that should a new treaty come to pass and in the 'best case scenario' as far as saving the eurozone goes, it'll mean a substantial submission of national sovereignty, again, to the EU with regards to econemy and finance. I have no doubt something like this would occur had things continued on honky-dory for a good while, with the obvious preference of europhiles being all the countries of the EU becoming Eurozone nations to make centralization much more effective. (It always got on my nerves how they railed against 'right-whingers' and 'cave dwelling nationalist throwback reactionaries' about complaining about sovereignty being lost and how this was a stupid concern and how they celebrate when the sovereignty is actually lost)

The wild card, now more than ever, is Britain, with Cameron facing a very real, and very threatening Tory rebellion in Parliament, who want a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU and demanding clawing back national sovereingty. Forcing the Premier to reiterate Britain's interest to Germany and France meaning that one of the most powerful econemies in Europe that is not in the Eurozone effectively won't 'play ball' according to the Franco-German rulebook. And of course there is of course the chance that Germany itself will rebel against its Chancellor and vote against her wishes at the summit. The German people long since becoming sick to death of being Europe's Paymaster, and God only knows what the other nations will pull.

The problem of course is the threat of a very real economic apocalypse. And the best case scenario, effective vassalization of the Eurozone, at most postpones this armeggedon. Lets put this in context, should the summit fail, the markets will panic, confidence will be shot, investments pulling out, companies winding up en masse, countries losing their Triple A status, Greece and Italy become unsalvageable messes, the Eurozone will literally fall apart and and the Eurobond becomes utterly utterly worthless, a collapse in the Eurozone will spread crisis and panic in the non-eurozone nations who may not be as economically devastated, but who will no longer seek to remain in the Eurozone to protect their own market interests and we will likely see the vigorous, and dangerous re-establishment of armed borders regardless of the schenglen agreement to prevent 'economic refugees' and God knows how that will spiral from there.

But wait there's more! America trades heavily with Europe and Obama made the mistake of reaffirming that 'If the eurozone fails, it will affect America' and because he said that, thanks to how markets actually work, it means it more then likely will and not in a small way. With the economic armeggedon in Europe potentially spreading to America and reaping a mighty toll upon the belagured superpower, we could see America falling to its own knees struglling to cope and should it collapse, so too will the north and potentially south American Markets, meaning China will be essentially left alone holding 'the happy fun ball' of an economic super-apocalypse. And we don't want to know what happens should China hit a speedbump while holding that thing.

Happy Christmas.