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Mary Hanafin Creates Stasi for Welfare Recipients

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Monday December 14, 2009 17:55author by Fred Johnston Report this post to the editors

Stasi-like policing powers up the stakes in class war

Mary Hanafin seems proud of the creation of new laws which put those in receipt of welfare under checkpoint security
Mary leaves no stone unturned: Stasi camera in fake rock
Mary leaves no stone unturned: Stasi camera in fake rock

Mary Hanafin is proud of a tranche of new regulations which in effect create Stasi-like powers for the State and further undermine the working-class. New powers just announced permit the investigation of any bank accounts held by people in receipt of social welfare, and social welfare inspectors, working with customs officers, can mount checkpoints and question the occupants of a vehicle as to whether they are claiming social welfare while also working. With no shame whatever, let alone a sense of irony, Hanafin says (Irish Independent, December 14th) that: ". . .we will do whatever is necessary to work with agencies in this and other jurisdictions to combat fraud because, after all, taxpayers' money is at stake."

For Hanafin, there seems to be no memory of how many millions where syphoned into foreign accounts by rich and protected individuals in Ireland throughout the 1980s and how tax-dodging was a commonplace among the rich; nor how much of this was facilitated by banks and financial institutions and those working in them. Only the poor - and the blind - cheat, in her book. Only welfare recipients become 'fraudsters.'

No mention that taxpayers' money is baling out banks ruined by the wheeling and dealing and simple bog-standard greed of bankers who ruined Anglo-Irish Bank and others and who still walk the streets unhindered by the law and continue to dine out lavishly. No mention of establishing a surveillance unit that could question the proprietors of expensive eating house as to how often these chancers dined in their establishments, and how much their bills came to. No mention of vehicles driven by ex-bankers being stopped and questions asked.

The idea of imposing further psychological pressure and bland fear upon the unemployed is a cute one: the idea is to make absolutely sure that the unemployed are beaten into submissiveness and made to feel utterly powerless in front of a government which makes up its rules as it goes along, with no regard to fairness, equity or even decent human rights. Hanafin and others will be aware that the unemployment situation will continue to get worse. Unrest must be avoided, dissent diluted. powerlessness must be injected into the masses on the dole queue. Orwellian and simple, the plan appears to be to create an underclass grateful to have a loaf of bread on their tables and utterly oblivious to politics, let alone their place in society. At the same time it is important to divert attention from the real fraudsters who brought this country to its knees. Imagine what some of them might utter from the dock of a court or tribunal about how they and their rogue banks were protected.

Without a blink of an eye, a new Stasi has been created in this country. Fear has been aroused, paranoia induced into a class of people already ignored by government. The very people who would protest in any other European country have been bludgeoned slowly into submission by a ruthless Right-wing government.

{http://leahjoelle.blogspot.com - acknowledged for photo of rock}

author by V for vendettapublication date Mon Dec 14, 2009 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All the money the state has recouped in this budget from the poor and disadvantaged and welfare recipients will be used up in recapitalising Anglo Irish bank next year. About 2 billion. This bank will not loan one cent to small struggling businesses. Meanwhile nobody does a day in prison for what happened there. But if you are on social welfare, you are tracked and harassed and treated like a common criminal. Disgusting. People died in 1916 for this shit??

author by Cecil Rpublication date Mon Dec 14, 2009 21:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fraud prevention measures even with the recent improvements will still be very weak in Ireland – it is not possible to tell who is cohabiting for instance as there is no surveillance of people’s homes. Its ludicrous to compare the system to the that of Stasi – there is no comparison whatever. The existence of large scale fraud undermines the whole concept of the welfare system. Bringing 1916 into it is not useful. The welfare state in Ireland predated independence in 1922 – it goes back to the People’s Budget of 1909. In fact the UK system was considerably more generous than the Irish until the 1970s. The poor in Ireland lost out with independence at least in welfare terms for the first fifty years or so.

Related Link: http://www.liberalhistory.org.uk/item_single.php?item_id=46&item=history
author by V for vendettapublication date Tue Dec 15, 2009 00:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Bringing 1916 into it is not useful. The welfare state in Ireland predated independence in 1922 – it goes back to the People’s Budget of 1909. In fact the UK system was considerably more generous than the Irish until the 1970s. The poor in Ireland lost out with independence at least in welfare terms for the first fifty years or so."

I mention that people died in 1916 for this shit, you pretend I am talking about the before and after welfare rates, then you attack that straw man. I'm not. I'm talking about the type of society those people believed they were fighting for. Not one where the landlords just had a different accent. One which cared for it's people. It didn't happen. Instead we got a capitalist wet dream which scores higher on the neo-liberal freedoms scale than the US and doesn't give a shit for the weaker in society.

"The fraud prevention measures even with the recent improvements will still be very weak in Ireland – it is not possible to tell who is cohabiting for instance as there is no surveillance of people’s homes."

I get the feeling you are almost disappointed about that Cecil.

"The existence of large scale fraud undermines the whole concept of the welfare system."

Yes, Nice little softening up expose on RTE the other night. Reminded me of Orwells 2 minute hate. A little more subtle though. I guess we're a bit more sophisticated these days so they can't be quite so obvious can they?

I presume you are equally upset about Anglo Irish bank subventions by the taxpayer which are a clear multiple of any social welfare fraud in any given year and will absorb all these cuts rendering them useless. I notice you didn't mention that point at all, yet it was the main point I was making. Had a few shares there did you perhaps?

Perhaps you might comment on that particular point. I'd like to hear your opinions on the proposed billions that the government said will be pumped into Anglo next year, completely wiping out any benefit from welfare cuts in this budget, with no benefit to small business whatsoever. Good idea do you think? Is white collar fraud somehow "different"? Did the evil dole scroungers and defrauders get the country into the mess it is in? Any thoughts about Ray Burkes little "white collar" evisceration of our offshore exploration terms? How many years of dole fraud would that little stroke cover? Who are the real criminals on this Island Cecil do you think?

author by P. Ranoiapublication date Tue Dec 15, 2009 03:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take the points that gombeen landlords with non-English accents took over the exploitation of tenants after the struggles of 1916-23, and that Anglo-Irish Bank got those massive bailout funds while major managerial bods took their dividends and bonuses.

I am wary of the use of Stasi with regard to police powers. List some of the Stasi methods in the former DDR and compare them with Garda and Department of Social Welfare investigative methods.

author by Tatiana - ABCpublication date Tue Dec 15, 2009 13:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe it's time to react radically. What should we wait for? More cuts and restrictions?The truth is they're not able to do anything if we - the people - won't let them do to it. Simple as that. Show them the rage of the people!

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by pissed off - none thank fuckpublication date Tue Dec 15, 2009 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

this is typical of the 26 county state who always feared the working class,hence the reason for targeting them,especially at a time like this.
i agree,it is like the stasi,of course we've had the special branch for years,its a bit like a social welfare special branch,i wonder in the future will they send us to portlaoise on 'membership' of the dole queque.fucking scum,we'll take it for awhile and then the anger in the country will eventually find direction,to paraphrase tom barry 'we'll have to go down into the mire after them'..........

author by Patrick - nonepublication date Wed Dec 16, 2009 18:22author email psliney at gmail dot comauthor address author phone 0851639841Report this post to the editors

With unemployment set to continue to rise it is time to organize. Its no good complaining we need to
mobilize and take to the streets. This goverment is the best representives of their class. At one level we should thank them for driving home to many who did ent accept that a class war exists. When Paul G
of the greens said "fuck you" to Stagg he was really saying fuck you to the working class of this state as he then voted for cuts. Alas not to worry we shall have water meters soon who cares if you can keep a roof over your head. So those interested is there enough out there who would like to try and organize.
Contact me 0851639841

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