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New Campaign against Landlordism needed

category national | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Saturday March 22, 2008 15:23author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtach Report this post to the editors

It seems to me that we have well and truly returned to the days of Michael Davitt and the Land League. Where huge numbers of people are being bled dry by a small group of Landlords. And what do these latterday Landlords do with their ill gotten gains? Like the Landlords of old, they take the money out of the country. The Landlord class in Ireland have bought overseas land and buildings to the sum of 1.2 trillion euro - that right 1200 billion euro.

I was just talking to a friend of mine who lives in a tiny two bed house in Dublin with three other people. They pay 1800 euro a month. My friend tells me that this Landlord bought this house for about 5000 free state pounds in the 1980s. The Landlord now has over one hundred houses and apartments in Dublin. It seems to me that we have well and truly returned to the days of Michael Davitt and the Land League. Where huge numbers of people are being bled dry by a small group of Landlords. And what do these latterday Landlords do with their ill gotten gains? Like the Landlords of old, they take the money out of the country. The Landlord class in Ireland have bought overseas land and buildings to the sum of 1.2 trillion euro - that right 1200 billion euro. Imagine what this money could have done if it were used to build up Irish Industry. Instead we remain totally dependent on foreign multi-nationals who are already starting to move to Eastern Europe. How much longer can we endure this abuse, I wonder?

We see that the Landlord class are so confident now that the Irish people are utterly defeated that they feel the can bulldoze Tara and cover it in Gombeen Concrete. This will go down in history are the ultimate victory of Gombeenism, Coruption and Landlordism in Ireland. Politicians have been groomed and bought off with dig-outs, brown envelopes and whip-a-rounds - so that when they are not actually encouraging Landlord attacks on the Irish people, they are turning a blind eye to it and saying "thats just the way it is."

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sat Mar 22, 2008 15:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would recommend people to have a look at this article from IRIS:

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=8652
author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sat Mar 22, 2008 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you dont count the value of peoples homes, then 1% of the population "owns" 36% of the wealth. This 1% have no idea of what to do with it except send it abroad. We have a totally retarded native industry that is starved of capital. Less tha 200 million was made available to Irish industry as venture capital in 2006, while nine billion was spend abroad on foreign land and buildings in the same year. It is complete insanity for the Irish people to allow this situation to continue. The normal profile of an Irish capitalist is not a successful entrapreneur, but a guy who has inherited land. Whatever way its done, it has to be done. The Irish people cant keep pumping money into the accounts of a tiny group of people who have no regard whatsoever for the future of this country, and indeed, really have no idea what to do with the money. In Ireland, the land remains the backbone of the native economy. The Irish people must take control of it and turn it to our benefit and not just leave it as a machine to turn us into money gatherers for a tiny few Landlords.

author by lulupublication date Sat Mar 22, 2008 22:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is an affordable Ireland.........social housing at fair rents & a decent Health Service. Greedy gombeens have only one Fatherland & that's international capital, which is what's eating up the country's heart from Rossport to Tara.

author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Sun Mar 23, 2008 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

lulu, a chara, Im not sure about the word "affordable" it seems to imply that the position of the gombeens would be sustainable if they were less greedy. Im sure thats not what you ment. What the Irish people need is to take back their own Irish land from a tiny group of parasites who have stolen it and used it to turn us all into money gatherers for them, and to turn irish politicians into their paid lapdogs, slobbering over their dig-outs and whip-a-rounds. The natural resourses of Ireland, including the nation's land, belong to the Irish people.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by lulupublication date Sun Mar 23, 2008 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People are struggling to pay for everyday needs, they're in debt, they're told they've never had it so good, they're scared they'll lose the little they have (we had to live in slums in 'the ould days', but we didn't have to buy them), they've little faith in politicians but hope that their houses will keep rising in 'value' (& so will the place they move to next) - they need real hope, & honest leaders & colleagues in order to rise against the bloodsuckers.

author by kintroppublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One can only imagine what would have happened to the country if Davitt succeeded in his dream of the nationalisation of the land of Ireland. unfortunately, the man met massive resistance from other nationalists, such as Matt Harris (a very honourable man, may I add) who said 'the nationalisation of the land would lead to the de nationalisation of Ireland' and lead to the momentum of the land movement just collapsing.

Now we have come full circle again, with ruthless landlords exploiting desperate people, struggling to make a living. The landlords of yore were accused of being part of the British imperialist yoke, the landlords of today are part of the Irish gombeen yoke. These gombeen mens' only interest is squeezing as much money out of their tenants and doing as little as possible to maintain their properties.

The country is now awash with have finished housing estates, with many builders saying that they have no plans on resuming construction for the foreseeable futre. These monstrosities will become eyesores and skeletla remains of our 'boom' (outlandish greed is the more operative phrase i believe)and they rub their hands with glee as we pour concrete over our national heritage and rape the hill of tara of its innocence and beauty. We truly are a nation of philistines with no discernable appreciation of our culture or heritage. We embrace these men and women who have made a fortune through the exploitation of others, yet our ancestors fought against the very same people during the land war, whom they believed were responsible for creating massive poverty in the countryside. the risk is that history is about to repeat itself, and if it does, lets see if Davitt's dream of land nationalisation will come true.

author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree fully with what you write, a chara. The manopoly of the Landlord class on Ireland's capital has had a detrimental effect on Ireland's development. The spectacle of a native industry languishing in a totally retarded state, starved of capital has been mentioned above. The human cost is that those lucky enough to have good jobs are paying three times too much in mortgages and rents (remember this is a country 4% urbanised - there is no shortage of land), many years of their lives are poured down the drain of an artificial property bubble. For those not so lucky, 20% of households in the 26 counties have incomes below the standard poverty level, i.e. €11,400 for a single person or €24,400 for a household of four. 750,000 Irish citizens in the 26 are living below the poverty line, including 20% of all children. Figures released by CORI show that in the ten years of unprecedented global boom which have just come to an end, only 120,000 Irish people managed to escape from this poverty trap. The Gombeens managed this by bypassing the marginalised Irish completely - by importing cheap, non-unionised, labour from overseas. Now the Gombeens are shipping their ill gotten gains abroad at a phenominal rate. 1200 billion euro on foreign land and buildings so far. If you are paying a mortgage or rent, then bear in mind that your are paying for all this foreign spending spree - but you wont be reaping any of the rewards. CORI also reports that 30% of those households living in poverty are headed by a person with a job....

Another little tit bit that is reported by the 26 county revenue comissioners is that 400 of Ireland's richest men are big landowners on EU social welfare via the common agricultural policy. Unlike those counting their dole in twenty euro notes, these individuals count their dole in the hundreds of thousands of euro.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A list of the top dole recipients under the "Single Payment Scheme" is as follows;

Irish Agricultural Development co. Euros, 508,390.30

Kepak Farm Euros, 346,118.20

John O Shea Euros, 304,382.76

Patrick Reynolds Euros,284,834,47

Cyril Goode Euros,257,060.79

Richard Cope Euros,229,814.76.

Simon Mangan Euros,224,421.07

Patrick Howard Euros,212,358.49

Desmond Conroy Euros,207,104.37.

Michael Smith Euros,201,798.78

John Pearson Euros,186,091.08

Denis Feighery Euros,177,258.40.

Richard H.Bourns Euros,173,051.67.

John OMeara Euros171,040.64.

author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 16:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that a tax loophole that allows property developers to avoid paying stamp duty is costing the 26 county exchequer more than a quarter of a billion euro a year, and is being used in 40 per cent of all 26 county land deals.

The Irish economy desperately needs the price of land to drop but Brian Cowen has reversed a decision to close the loophole, saying that it would negatively affect the property market.

Here we see Fianna Fáil acting nakedly as a mere front organisation for the Landlord class. To keep up the staggering profits of the Gombeens, FF is willing to sacrifice any chance Ireland has of ever developing a sustainable economy.

Cowen made his decision after commissioning Goodbody Economic Consultants to review a proposed new law, which would end certain tax planning techniques, including a practice known as ‘‘resting on contract’’.

Goodbody reported that the loophole cost the taxpayer €251 million in 2006 alone.

The report says that more than 40% of all land deals exploit the loophole, which allows developers to avoid paying stamp duty on land purchases.

The report also says that up to 16 public private partnership (PPPs) agreements between local authorities and private companies used the loophole. PPPs involving the NRA also exploit this tax avoidance loophole.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by Scepticpublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The solution to the loophole is to elect a government which will close the loophole not a "new campaign against landlordism." The efforts to draw parallels with the circumstances of Davitt’s time is spurious as is the canard repeated here again that native industry is "starved of capital". It's not. Its that some are starved of reality in approaching economic and political questions and are so preoccupied with past victimhood and hatreds that can only see the present as a rerun of the past. Also "solutions" of past ideologies - militant nationalism not excluding political terrorism and ancient Anglophobia, full state ownership of industry, of retail and the rest of the economy, a high taxation burden for its own sake, ignoring or suppression of market mechanism to be replaced by decision making by nomenclatura fiat, withdrawal from the EU as an exercise in a equally outdated 1930s style “national sovereignty”, withdrawing from trade in favour of self sufficiency and nativism as if this was not tried for decades and led only to impoverishment. Also as if no insights whatever have been gained or hard lessons learned since the publication of Das Kapital or since the Fenians were bombing the London Tube.

author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sceptic, a chara, when you are criticising my posts please stick to what I actually wrote. I never recommended full state ownership of industry. What I said was that the state should make venture capital available to Irish industry and should buy equity in these firms with that VC. Like any good VC company, State VC companies should also provide some form of mentoring, particularly for start ups.

I never suggested that the state should get involved in retail at all. I personally dont see any merit in such an idea. (Actually, I dont like the word "state" either - it has far too many bad associations. I would prefer to say the Republic.)

I never suggested withdrawal from the EU. Helping to free the people of the EU from the plague of neoliberalism would be a much better idea. We have an excellent opportunity to benefit the ordinary decent people of the EU when we reject the Lisbon Treaty and demand a democratic EU. Tens of millions of Europeans will thank us. It will be the biggest Irish contribution to Europe since our monks went to the European mainland a thousand years ago.

The tax loophole is only costing us 250 million a year. So its merely a small manifestation of the power of the Landlord class in Ireland. Nothing compared to the hundreds of billions we are pumping into this tiny group's bank accounts every year - and that they are shipping abroad. However, it was worth mentioning, as it clearly shows how Fianna Fáil are willing to stab the Irish people in the back for the sake of their Landlord dig-out men. The Gombeen men plied Bertie and Co. with cash in the early nineties, and Bertie and his boys cleared the way for the Great Land Swindle of the last ten years.

You keep saying that Irish industry is not starved of capital, but is small and retarded just because Irish industrialists like it that way. You said before that bank loans are good enough for them if they want to expand, and that they dont need or want venture capital. I will merely suggest that the facts are not on your side.

We can be quite sure that the 26 county state will never take on the Landlord class - as they own it (see the use of the Special Branch to intimidate Rossport conservationists). So who will do it? If its not done by someone, then God help us all.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by iosaf mac dpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 22:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Without throwing myself into a rant or bargey with anyone on this thread, I just want to bring more attention to the emergence of the Irish absentee owner class thanks to yet another weakness of the European Union (& its predecessor's) approach to the freedom of capital & lifting of blocks on trade. Cael cites 1.2 trillion euros as the value of overseas holdings registered to Irish citizens. That's not far off the 1 trillion sterling at which the total mortgage debt of the UK was estimated last year. The freedoms of the EU and the rise of one Irish company ("Ryanair") has offered the Irish new freedom to visit and enjoy their relatively high purchasing power in many other European states. Like the colonial and imperialist Britons through whose abuse they were formed (& I would believe Cael the author of this article would maintain they are still scourged), the Irish seemed remarkably quick off the mark to move through weekend breaks in pretty places to opening Irish bars in pretty places to buying up whole blocks of residential property in pretty places.

The worst housing crises in Europe is generally recognised to be in the Spanish state where even more exasperatingly the constitution guarantees a right to the citizen to be housed with dignity. That crises results from many different factors not all of which are the responsibilty of the Spanish state & its governed regions' house building policies alone. There is the boom in building which always sweetens & offers visual proof of the bitter longterm consequences of rapid economic growth in the late capitalist western model. That boom is always accompanied by massive move of liquid capital to non-taxable assets, black market transactions, the need for precarious (often migrant) workers fetered by the chains of subcontraction, corruption and bribery of local authorities & environmentally catestrophic rezoning of lands. The Irish input in real estate speculation and acquisition on the mediterranean coast when compared demographically with that of the British or German is rapacious.

But no-one has been seen to flock to buy flats on the pretty Polish Baltic riviera especially since its last regime arrested topless sunbathers. The only people keen to build houses in the Carpathian mountains of Romania are those Romanians who find black market work in, as I wrote in the fetters of sub-contraction, in the building booms of western Europe and survive the appalling lack of training, worker protection etc., to return and buy their breeze blocks & be seen "to make it good". To justify my use of the word "survive" let me just cite as example the death of one construction worker every 20km of Europe's latest high speed rail-link from Madrid to Barcelona. Of whom the vast majority were either North African or Romanians on the fifth shell of a subcontract.

I believe that under ancient Brehon law & to a great extent applied in Ireland to as late a stage as the final Lords Palitinate, there were 3 classes of rent known. That allowed to kin, kith & foreigner. The first two were morally kept as low as possible the last being immortalised in much later times by its English translation (& title of Mary Edgesworth's novel) :- rackrent. The Irish experienced rackrent long after their first tastes of genocide and ethnic cleansing, clearances and plantations. In our struggle to break rackrent and absentee land ownership it might be argued that the spirit of the nation given first utterence by the republicanism of Wolfe Tone found its first communality (so quickly & perversely lost) of purpose.

Thanks to the rapaciousness of the Irish absentee class combined with the EU's oversight of a right to housing & the cheap travel of Ryanair - millions, yes millions of young south Europeans can't leave home, (Spain average age is 32) - can't start families, (a family of 2 parents, one grandparent and two fertile children in a two or three bed apartment find it stressful to accomodate grandchildren in two seperate directions whilst such intensified density of population strains school and health services) & they have no realistic hope of a national or local state solution. Meanwhile in Barcelona alone (where I live), which is found in the Monopoly global edition on the same yellow strip as Dublin and Tokyo, the price of rent an mortgage has risen 600% in less than 8 years.
Neither Catalonia nor Madrid can solve this. Yes they can do much more but EU freedom of capital and disparity in earnings between the north and south will then take advantage of any new houses built to ethnically cleans the pretty cities and move the "native population" to the suburbs. As has already been seen to occur.

The scourge of the Irish absentee class & its rapicity will be felt long into the future. Which is why, yesterday we saw yet another little action in this city "Tourist you are the Terrorist".


Oh jayzhus I've just waxed oratorical (& ranted) on an RSF thread. There you go. we're all in the assembly listening to each other singing off the same hymn sheet if not exactly the same refrains, rhymes and choruses.Thanks for the article Cael. I hope you see the irony I was hoping to bring to your piece........... back to you.

author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 23:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi iosaf, thanks for the above, very well written post. I never regarded this as an RSF thread, this is a matter that concerns every Irish person no matter what their political viewpoint - unless they happen to be a Landlord, or a Landlord's lacky in Leinster House, in which case they will be hoping no-one reads this thread.

Yes, in some ways its surprising to see how the native Irish have taken to this repulsive form of anti-social behaviour, particularly given our history, but in other ways its not surprising at all. Im afraid the Irish have grown too accostomed to being abused by some Landlord parasite - be they native or foreign, and seem to consider it the natural human state. This tolerance breeds these creatures.

I would like to reiterate a point you made in regard to these parasites stopping young people setting up homes and starting families. There is certainly a conflict of young and old here. We have seen a whole generation of Irish youth having the life blood drained out of them by middle aged and old people, who are no longer biologically productive. Older people see buying a house to rent out as a sort of pension fund. They couldnt care less that their pension fund is driving up the price of land (in fact, thats exactly what they hope for) and housing and draining the hard earned money away from young people. The social effects of this anti-social behaviour are catastrophic. We see child bearing put off far too long - to the point were 33% of all births in the 26 are premature. The medical afflictions connected with premature births are found in every GP's clinic, up and down the country, on a daily basis. We see children who's parents simply dont have time for them with the hours they must work to keep paying off the Gombeen Landlords and the "pension funds." And we hear these same old and middle aged people complaining about violent crime??? What else do they expect? I have no doubt that land and housing speculation in Ireland has caused far more social devastation than the Drug Pushers ever could.

It is, indeed, sickening to see the Irish Gombeens exporting their plague to places like Spain and drawing the blood of young Spanish people.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Mar 31, 2008 00:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If we think about the Monopoly board analogy, we know you don't get a hotel until you've four houses and run around the board at least more than once, relying on chance, dodging gaol & avoiding community chest. Our old foe big swinging mickey McDowell brought attention once to his holiday home in Roscommon alledging someone had fired at the windows with a shotgun, (odd how the PD's atttract such threats). & it got me thinking about the owner-occupation thing in modern Ireland. We need at European level to register property sales, discourage non-owner occupation, cap rents, offer grants to young people leaving home (as in Spain) & if possible prohibit or impede non-resident or foreign speculaiton (meaning originating from other European states) on residential space in certain cities & regions. Donegal took its steps in February of this year to protect the Gaeltacht as much as keep Dun na nGall ironically less "gall". But none of that is easy & even the Donegal proposals might fail.

"V de vivienda" ( http://www.vdevivienda.net/ ) the Spanish state campaign wanted a law of compulsory sale on vacant property. We got it in Barcelona, a city which between sea and mountains & a national park can't expand more or sprawl out. That reform was then lost by a challenge from the right wing upholding citizen's rights (to dispose of and profit from their assets as they choose within law & not be subject to confiscation of property). It's a massive battle on many fronts which I ethically believe is best solved at end by removing some "assets" at present subject to free market capitalism from that system.

But our class enemies, whose non-declared wealth, black market 500€ notes, hard to trace rent profits or accomodation holiday rentals in "second homes" in other European states represent as you've told us - more than a thousand billion euro, fight us primarily not on a legal rights based front, nor European level, but at local community political level & the promotion of a general cultural value systems. It was in contemplation of that value system that I made reference in my comment above to the "visual evidence" of economic growth (& thus feelgood factor or prosperity perception) which building booms & real estate speculation give any society. Even the "have littles" join in the farce by imaging each next rung on the ladder to buying that Hotel on the blue square.

The least line of resistance at present of the complex of European estate agents, hereditary landed class, muncipal or city council property managers, burly men with baseball bats who hound pensioners in my neighbourhood out of their homes (introducing the word "mobing" into Catalan & Castillian alike), rapacious Irish, British, German & other carpetbaggers, seems to be allowing increased regulation of the estate agents as a popularly perceived solution to mortgage lending bank instability. Not the proper and logical solution, though, becuase the "least line of resistance doesn't always offer the most advantagous gain". which I consistently suggest arguing campaigns on the most simple level - the enshrined universal right to a home.

Though frankly my solution is not without the supposedly undesirable consequence of making a minority of European who feel nouveau riche or ever emergently on the piggy's back - feel utterly shite & properly like the descendents of who they really are. History has taught us that they are generally nicer people anyway when they're not on the piggy's back. But perhaps they're addicted to money. It is always about class & power; how their perpetual interest groups manipulate one portion of any population set (who always believe they are the majority) to continue their ultimate parasitic existence though the structures and institutions of life at any level of human existence change in time. But we're going to win. There is no other alternative. Every shapeshiftin reptile has to shed its skin some century or so & then the qualified people will emerge out of the woodwork like a fresh batch of magic mushrooms to nail the fucker.

Cael, I've no more to offer you. Build your non-party campaign to stop the Irish absentee landlord class (for their own & the general good).

Good night!

author by ecpublication date Mon Mar 31, 2008 03:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Herald Tribune reports from Florida. “The crowd filed in to the large white tent behind the Bahia Mar resort for Friday’s real estate auction organized by Sotheby’s and Daniel DeCaro Auctions as a four-piece jazz band played a peppy rendition of ‘I Feel Good.’ Only a handful of the properties would be selling absolute, where any bid would be accepted. The rest carried a non-disclosed reserve, or minimum bid. The auction, which was anticipated to take four to five hours, wound up clocking in at barely two.”

“The first property out of the gate was not a good omen: auctioneer Daniel DeCaro tried opening the bidding for 1850 South Treasure Drive in Miami Beach, a waterfront lot, at $1 million. There was no response.” “He then tried to get something started at $500,000, but again, no dice. $250,000? Still dead air. $100,000? Silence. At that point, DeCaro threw in the towel and passed the property by.” “‘Please come see us afterwards,’ he told the crowd.”

“By the time it was over, 67 of the 99 properties on the block had no bids. ‘This was a disaster,’ said Fort Lauderdale broker Paul Merlesena following the auction. ‘They’re basically going to have to give them away now.’”

Related Link: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3784#comments
author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sat Apr 12, 2008 21:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Finfacts.ie reports that only €4.2 million euro was invested as VC in new Irish ventures in Q1 2007. To put this figure in perspective, nine billion euro was spent on foreign commercial property by our Landlord class in 2006 alone (this money being supplied by the Irish rent-slaves and mortgage-slaves).

The good news is that in the European VC league we are just ahead of Romania:

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?p=49289#49289
author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sat Apr 12, 2008 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ive just been looking at the free state VC section of the so called National Development Plan. It seems that the only things the free staters think are worth supporting are toll roads and private hospitals and clinics. God help us!

For those who have absolutely nothing better to do you can have a look at this joke yourself at:

http://www.ndp.ie

For anyone interested, Ive started a thread on the idea of a People's Venture Capital Fund on the IRBB economics forum at the related link:

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author by Cael - Sinnn Féinpublication date Mon Apr 21, 2008 21:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Has anyone been watching the Channell 4 Dispaches program tonight? It made for very informative viewing. The English working class were being told by the presenter not to worry about the millions of foreign workers coming in taking their jobs and lowering their conditions, because they could go abroad as well if they wanted a decent job. Viewers were presented with the spectacle of this vast nomadic workforce traveling all over Europe, working cheap, living four to a room or, as was shown, sleeping in tea huts on building sites, with no job security, no pensions and many with no social security at all. Nobody was allowed, on this program, to say, just a minute, this is not "just the way things are" but its the way the wealthy Landlord elite want them to be. It seems the English working class are so subjugated and so dejected that they simply cant defend themselves any more. Of course, the Irish working class are not far behind. Its like the Highland clearances all over again - but instead of Scottish people being cleared out of Scotland to make way for sheep, this program showed us the English working class being cleared out of England to make way for cheap, non unionised, foreign labour, willing to rent houses and flats are rack rents because they live two and three families to a flat. What is it in the human race that makes us so sheep-like?

author by Cael - Sinn Feinpublication date Fri Apr 25, 2008 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that Fianna Fáil's Conor Lenihan has said that Ireland is going to have to fight hard for "her immigrants" against competition from other countries. Here is a clear admission of how the ruling elite see immigrants - as a way to keep their rent and land prices sky high and to keep wages down. As most immigrants are non unionised, they also serve to subvert the power of Irish workers to negotiate better pay and conditions. Im not criticising the immigrants, but the scurrilous use the Irish Landlord class are making of them. As I mentioned above, Channel 4's dispaches program, last week, felt confident enough to tell the English working class to get on an easyjet and leave England if they wanted a reasonable job - how long till the Irish elite are telling us the same?

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author by Cael - Sinn Féin Poblachtachpublication date Thu May 08, 2008 22:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've just been reading an essay from Raymond Crotty from the early eighties, which says that 1% of the population own 50% of the land. Im sure that figure has got more chronic sinse as thousands of small farmers have been driven off the land and millionaire farmers have used massive EU subsidies to buy up their land. Zoned building land is concentrated in the hands of a few very large developers.

The follwing paragraph is worth quoting. The policy refered to reached psychotic levels during the reign of Bertie Ahern:

The character of a state is to be judged not by any founding declaration; nor by its constitution; nor by the statements of its politicians. The character of a state, like that of a person, is to be judged by what it does. The achievements of the Irish state in its sixty years' existence make perfectly clear its bourgeois character. The value of the property that Irish law and order protect has increased, since the state's foundation, by 150 times at current prices. More realistically in an age of inflation, the value of property in Ireland, which in 1922 was worth less than twice current Gross National Product, is now worth five times current GNP.[15] The value of property in relation to GNP is more than twice as great in Ireland as in any other country.[16]

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