Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…
Mick Wallace Does #US Imperialism know no shame...?The #USEnvoyYemen is thanking #Saudi for supporting the people of #Yemen ...?… https://t.co/mlEHHPqYFL
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace An Atalanta win over Real Madrid would be seriously good for football... https://t.co/hUfOdNomaO

Dail Diary

Budget 2016 -Anyone who thinks that NAMA are going to solve our Housing Crisis, is living in Cuckoo Land…

Dáil Diary no 56 -14 October 2015

The Present Fine Gael/ Labour Government are in power for over four and a half years, and one of the most glaring examples of their poor governance has to be their failure to properly address the Housing Crisis, of which Homelessness is just one of the symptoms. Their latest version of a plan, to involve NAMA in the construction of Housing, for the private sector, with 10% social, is one more Neo Liberal answer to a problem that requires a totally different response. We have a problem with supply, we have a problem with quality, we have a problem with the cost of housing and we have a problem with the cost of rent  – all of these problems have been exacerbated by NAMA’s fire sale of Residential units and Development land, mostly to US Vulture Funds. The end result is US Vulture Funds 1 – Irish People 0. The goal assist goes to the Irish Government. Here’s my Dáil Budget Speech…

 

“It was not easy to listen to the two Ministers tell us how wonderful and fair the Government had been. It reminded me of listening to Jose Mourinho tell us that Chelsea was still the best team and that he was the best manager, despite the fact that they were still losing football matches.

 

It has been obvious for a while now that the Taoiseach does not want to have an inquiry into the workings of NAMA, despite all the unanswered questions. Looking at the budget, I can see why. Given NAMA's new role as a State-sponsored developer, I do not think the Taoiseach or the Minister for Finance would want NAMA to be investigated. They certainly would not like the answers they would get if there was to be an independent inquiry.

 

NAMA is now going to operate as a developer. It was set up as a bad bank that would hold assets until there was a recovery and it has had fire sales to kingdom come. It has supplied 1,400 social housing units, despite promises to provide more. These are the people who are going to provide a social dividend and it is hard to credit that we are going to trust them to solve the housing crisis. The housing and homelessness crisis is worse now than when the Government parties came to power. What have they done to address it? Their failure to properly deal with the crisis will go down as a disgrace. I do not understand the manner of their approach. NAMA will operate as a developer and given that its allocation of social housing units will be only 10%, these units will be for the private sector. Will NAMA sell them to US vulture funds which, in turn, will rent them to people who, in turn, will have to receive a rent supplement from the Government to pay for them? In that way, the Government will be giving an indirect subsidy to landlords. Is that what will happen? Some 20,000 units will be built at a cost of €4.5 billion, which works out at an average cost of €225,000 each and that is not counting the cost of land which NAMA already possesses. Half of the units included in Project Arrow are residential. I would like to know for how much these residential units will be sold? I will bet with any of the Deputies opposite that NAMA will not get €100,000 each for them. Where is the sense in the Government selling Project Arrow to another US vulture fund that will drive up rental and house prices in this city? The Government will not solve the housing crisis until it organises for the State, through the local authorities, to build social housing. If it does not organise for the building of social housing, it will not deal with the homeless crisis.

If it does not build social housing, rents will continue to be exorbitant and house prices will remain too high. That is at the root of the problem. The Government cannot expect the private sector to solve its problems. Those involved in the sector do not want to build now and the Government is stating NAMA will do it instead. Those involved in the private sector do not want to build because they cannot possibly compete with NAMA's sales and those of the banks, both of which have sold houses for less than half of what it costs to build. There is a value on a property or a house which is at least worth what it costs to build. However, I have seen NAMA sell a lot of properties for less than half of what it costs to build them. Does this represent good governance? The Government has told us how wonderful and fair it is, yet it has allowed this to happen. It is allowing the taxpayer to pick up the tab and the US vulture funds to reap the rewards. Is this a great government? It is not.”

 

Mick Wallace.

 

Good health is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are varied. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment version for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may turn on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

It’s time the Irish Government started promoting Peace, rather than War…

Dáil Diary no 55 – 9 October 2015

There is a European Council meeting next week, so there was speaking time allotted in the Dáil chamber, this week, giving members an opportunity to challenge the Government on issues which are likely to be discussed. I addressed the ongoing refugee crisis, and the causes of same, which our Government have a strong tendency to ignore. No rational person is going to believe that the Government really care about the refugees, as long as we continue to allow the US Military use Shannon airport as a Military air base, to facilitate their endless wars, bombing the homes and villages of innocent civilians, making refugees of them. The arms business is now one of the biggest industries in the world, and it has developed into a self-perpetuating business, which cares nothing for the lives and communities they destroy, as long as they continue to improve their profit margins. And sadly, the Irish Government is complicit. Here’s my short 3 minute Dáil contribution + video of same. -

 

“When the Minister of State, Deputy Dara Murphy, and his colleagues are in Europe, they might remind the various European leaders that things are getting worse rather than better. I have seldom seen as little opposition in Europe to the militarisation of the Middle East and beyond. All of them seem almost to have bought into the philosophy that this is the way things are done now. France and Britain were initially pretty reluctant to take in refugees. Obviously, they and many others, including ourselves, have been shamed into it by Germany at this stage. They actually want to bomb Syria now, as if that is going to improve things. It is bad enough that the Russians have started. The whole thing is getting worse. They are all engaged in mindless nonsense. The devastation is incredible. George Monbiot described it accurately in The Guardian today:

 

There are no simple solutions to the chaos and complexities western firepower has helped to unleash, though a good start would be to stop making them worse. But a vast intelligence and military establishment that no president since Jimmy Carter has sought to control, the tremendous profits to be made by weapons companies and military contractors, portrayals of these conflicts in the media that serve only to confuse and bamboozle: they all help to ensure that armed escalation, however pointless and counter-productive, appears unstoppable.

He also refers to NATO's description of the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz:

 

"The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility." This is how an anonymous Nato spokesperson described Saturday’s disaster in Afghanistan. Let's translate it into English. "We bombed a hospital, killing 22 people." But "people", "hospital" and "bomb", let alone "we": all such words are banned from Nato's lexicon.

The plane came back repeatedly to bomb the people trying to escape from the building. We are sitting at the table with these people. We have troops from our Defence Forces over there. Seven Irish defence personnel are working with these fellows in Afghanistan. What is wrong with us? This is a war crime. We have been told that the Americans are going to do an internal investigation. I suggest that is like getting the fox to investigate a raid on the chicken house. Can the Minister of State and his colleagues start calling the truth the truth and challenging war crime when they see it?"

 

 

Mick Wallace.

Good soundness is a result of proper food and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to remember about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may turn on erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Dáil Diary no 54 – 2 October 2015

If we really care about Refugees, we'll stop allowing Shannon to be used to bomb their homes…

 

Here’s my ten minute piece on the current Refugee Crisis, in the Dáil yesterday -

 

“I too welcome the motion and, even though I speak only for myself, because I am an Independent Deputy, I will be supporting it. Unfortunately, our approach last winter was not quite so positive. We argued about the cancellation of the Mare Nostrum programme and protested to the Europeans that it was not a good idea. When programme was brought to an end, the refugees were never going to stop trying to come across the sea, they were just going to drown and that is what happened to many of them. People were also drowning when the Mare Nostrum programme was working but it was, at least, a big help at the time.

 

There is no doubt that this is an incredible crisis. On the issue of the refugees coming in, I support Deputy Mac Lochlainn's point about the importance of getting these people into a work situation as quickly as possible. Surely, it would be rational to do this. The manner in which we have dealt with that issue in the past has left too much to be desired.

 

I still worry about this situation. If we consider what has happened in the past 20 years, the statistics are frightening.

 

The militarisation of the planet has continued to increase, especially since 2001. In the past five years, there has been a 16% increase in the proliferation of arms in comparison to the previous five years, a frightening development. Of the 60 million people currently displaced, it is estimated 33 million of them are displaced because of war.

 

  What will we do about this? Ireland is a small country but I believe we can play a positive role in this regard. Several weeks ago, Annette Groth, a member of the German Parliament who had been in Hungary watching the plight of the refugees there, told the German Parliament:

 

Germany is the third biggest weapons exporter in Europe and has good relations with, for instance, Saudi Arabia and Qatar ... Our government is still delivering arms to Saudi Arabia which happens to be supporting ISIS, the jihadists.

  We all realise the whole Middle East region has gone crazy but we cannot stay silent on the reason for it. The number of refugees will actually increase, not decrease, unless there is a serious examination of the root causes of it all. For example, Deputy Mac Lochlainn made the point some countries are prepared to help more than others. Two countries not prepared to take in refugees are Saudi Arabia and America, yet the part they are playing in the destruction of this region is unbelievable. Yemen is being destroyed, with refugees being created every hour there, but no one has said a word about it.

 

  Shannonwatch, through freedom of information requests, got the statistics on the planes coming through Shannon Airport last year. There are planes going through the airport from America to Saudi Arabia with all kinds of arms and most likely cluster bombs, which are being used in Yemen. We are allowing Shannon Airport to be used by the American Government and the arms industry to bring arms to the Middle East region to cause havoc. Bombs are falling on innocent people's homes and they are being driven out of them but we are not stopping it. It is great we sent two boats to the Mediterranean and it is to be commended that we are prepared to take in refugees but how can we continue to allow Shannon to be used for as a US military base? If the Minister for Justice and Equality did nothing else for the rest of her time in government before the election, it would be wonderful if she took a positive decision on this issue, as it would mean so much. We cannot possibly defend our facilitation with what is happening.

 

  Those fleeing to Europe now are fleeing to countries which sold the arms that caused the havoc and displacement in the first place. The Russians have now started to bomb Syria, making them as culpable as the Americans. Bombs do not solve problems; they create them. The French and British cannot wait to get in there more. The region is a minefield now. They have been training rebel groups to fight Bashar al-Assad. While I would not defend Assad for one minute, the alternative is worse. The ISIS crowd are flourishing because of what is happening. It is crazy what they are like. Bad as Assad is, his is one of the last multicultural governments in the region. His biggest crime is that he is independent of America and Israel. I accept he is guilty of many crimes against his own people over the past five years. He should be tried for war crimes, the same as the likes of Blair, Bush and Obama for what they have been involved in.

 

  I make no excuses for Assad or the Russians but Ireland has an opportunity to play a positive role. We are an island, a small country, but it does not stop us from having a real and strong neutral voice for peace. We cannot start talking about peace, however, while we continue to allow Shannon Airport to be used as a US military base. That is the height of hypocrisy. Up to 2.5 million US troops have gone through Shannon since 2001. The amount of arms that we allow through with permits on civilian planes is astronomical. We refuse to search military planes that land at the airport. When people are in opposition, they say we should search the military planes in Shannon. When they get into government, however, they say they have assurances from America that all is well. All is not well.

 

  Deputy Clare Daly and I had three days in court in Ennis recently. Witnesses came forward who were working in Shannon to testify they saw arms on military planes which is illegal. Still our Government does not want to look into this. The judge accepted the bona fides of the testimonies of these individuals. He ended up fining us in the end, which was irrational given his own arguments but that is a different issue.

 

  Will we look at the Shannon issue and stop helping one country bomb another? It would mean so much. Can one imagine visiting people in the Middle East region and watching bombs falling on the houses beside them, looking to kill someone involved military activity but wiping out women and children? Can one imagine sitting there knowing the bombs could have come through Shannon before they were dropped? What does it say about us that we can tolerate this?

 

  The manner in which the world operates has never been as disappointing. The arms industry, along with the pharmaceutical industry, is one of the two largest industries in the world. One cannot get elected President of America without the support of the arms industry. It will cost Hillary Clinton $2 billion just to run for president, which is a lot of money. One needs the arms industry’s support to run for President of America in a serious manner. The end result is payback. Bombs have to be dropped on people to support the arms industry and keep it thriving. We are complicit because we choose to turn a blind eye to Shannon Airport being used as a US military base. We should be ashamed of ourselves.”

 

Mick Wallace.

 

 

Good soundness is a result of proper supply and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment edition for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to keep in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile malfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may switch on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Dáil Diary no 53 – 28th September 2015

Will we ever have a Government that’s interested in Public Transport…

Last week I got speaking time on the issue of Public Transport in Ireland or should I say, the lack of it. Successive Governments have failed to adequately invest in public transport, which leaves the citizens with a poor service, and an environmental headache as well. We still don’t have a Government who are seriously interested in addressing this problem, as outlined in my speech -.

“I realise that what is before us is technical legislation, but I welcome the occasion to address the issue it raises of public transport. There has been a serious lack of discussion of the Government's transport strategy. In response to one of my written questions last April, the Minister stated that the framework, Investing In Our Transport Future; A Strategic Framework for Investment in Land Transport, would address the need for a new rail policy and that a public consultation process would take place in the coming weeks on the current and future role of rail in Ireland. That was April. Now, the final version of the framework has been published and the only mention of the much-needed rail policy is simply repeated references throughout the 36 page document to the fact that we need a new rail policy, that we have historically low levels of spending on public transport infrastructure, that just to maintain the existing infrastructure we will need to spend a lot more and that if we are to meet our 2020 obligations on carbon emissions and renewable energy targets in the transport sector, we must spend more again. However, because we are living under the dictates of a neoliberal Government that is still shoving austerity down our necks, this much-needed funding is unlikely to materialise. Instead, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is letting our transport infrastructure go to rot while making plans for the privatisation of our public transport system.

This is just another case of the Fine Gael-Labour Government putting the interests of business above all else, including the principle of democracy itself. To quote UCD's Julian Mercile:

'Privatisation decreases democratic input into economic decisions and planning as ownership of key economic sectors and provision of significant services is taken away from the public. In short, privatisation is a neoliberal policy par excellence as it contributes to the increasing business power over the economy.'

That this much-needed rail policy is unlikely to materialise during the life of this Government is a strong illustration of the Government's poor performance on the issue of climate change mitigation. Such a policy should have as its guiding light the following principle - high-speed rail powered only by renewables and affordable public transit which can unite every community in the country. Instead of anything as progressive and forward-thinking as this, the Government has overseen a whole series of cuts to Irish Rail staff and services and only responds to rising demand in the public rail system in a piecemeal fashion when crisis levels of overcrowding are reached.

 

  The only remarkable expansion has been on the Luas network which happens to be privately owned by the French company Veolia. While the Government plans to privatise the public transport sector, municipalities in Europe are bringing public transport back into the public sector. The French town of Saumur remunicipalised its public transport which had been outsourced to Veolia and a number of departments are planning to do the same. As a result of eliminating Veolia's profit margin, Saumur, which has a population of only 30,000, is expected to achieve significant annual savings of between €400,000 and €800,000. In this country, the cost of public transport has risen by over 60% in the past five years at the same time as services have been drastically cut. Clearly, the Government has no plans to make public transport affordable, especially in light of the move towards the idea of bringing in the for-profit private sector.

 

  Transport is not to the forefront of the renewable energy discussion to anything like the extent it should be. As Gavin Daly pointed out recently on the "Ireland After NAMA" blog, transport accounts for one third of Ireland's energy demands and is growing rapidly, yet it barely ever registers in the energy debate. In fact, instead of transport demand growth being seen as an area of concern, the Government encourages it and trumpets it as evidence of a recovering economy. It happened again this morning when the Minister boasted that the increase in the number of cars on the road was a tribute to the Government's achievements in the economic sector and not, in fact, a testament to its failure to provide adequate public transport, protect the environment or tackle climate change. It is shocking that since the Government came to power, not once has a Minister of his or her own volition linked rail to climate change mitigation. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport was forced to acknowledge the connection three times in response to written questions from Deputy Broughan and me. The Minister can check the record. Transport energy demand, which was responsible for a third of total energy use in Ireland, grew by 2.9% in 2013.

Renewable energy in transport reached 2.8% in the same year. This is an abysmal situation. Advancements in renewable energy in the transport sector are being outrun by the increase in overall transport energy consumption. We are not even running to stand still - we are going backwards.

The Minister's transport blueprint repeatedly laments the lack of funding that his Department gets. This morning, he asked Deputy Catherine Murphy where we would get the funds from to create a joined-up rail transport system. I have an idea for raising some money for investing in renewable public rail while helping to slash global carbon emissions by 20%. According to recent IMF figures, Ireland will subsidise fossil fuel companies to the tune of $1.22 billion this year, $262 per head, increased from $1.09 billion in 2013. The Government has managed to increase corporate welfare to the fossil fuel industry by $130 million in just two years.

The vast fossil fuel subsidies estimated by the IMF for this year include payments, tax breaks and cut-price fuel. The largest part of such subsidies is the cost left unpaid by polluters and picked up by governments, including the heavy impact of the local air pollution, floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change. We can stop this corporate welfare by endorsing the polluter pays principle and invest the saved money by removing carbon from the public transport sector.

We are on course for serious fines for failing to meet our climate change mitigation targets. According to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the cost to the Exchequer of purchasing compliance will be billions of euro by 2030 in a "business as usual" scenario, that is, if we continue with a neoliberal government committed to enforcing austerity no matter what the cost to people or the environment.

In reply to a written parliamentary question in March, the Minister was clear that public transport had a crucial role to play in alleviating the consequences of climate change. Rail is among the most efficient and climate-friendly forms of transport. In the draft "Investing in our Transport Future" document, however, rail was talked about as being dead weight. The discussion was framed around the question of what extent of the rail network it was appropriate to retain. The document went on to make the mad suggestion that, unlike car ownership and use, public transport usage was generally adversely impacted by increasing incomes. The report contains no footnotes or references about from where this claim comes. Irrespective of whether it is true, the Minister should fight for the betterment of Ireland's public transport sector and not act as a lobbyist for the National Roads Authority, NRA.

In his address to the UN Secretary General's climate change summit last year, the Taoiseach stated: "Leaders must show conviction, clarity, courage and consistency in their actions." I am sure that he said that with a straight face, maybe with a fake expression of concern, but it beggared belief that he could say such, given the policies that the Government has been prepared to implement. The climate change Bill is disappointing. It will be before the House again next week, but it leaves much to be desired. That our Governments are reluctant to tackle climate change because it is never an election issue is a major problem. We work from election to election in five-year cycles, but climate change requires a long-term strategy. We are not taking that point on board. Someone will have to do it some time. The longer it is left, the more work someone will have to do.

The Minister has the gist of my points. I would love to be able to get on a train to or from Wexford at weekends instead of driving in traffic that can be soul destroying. Rail is a beautiful way to travel. We must upgrade the system. It requires a great deal of investment. I have often stated how wrong it is that the EU does not have an arrangement under which governments can borrow money on the books at less than 2% to invest in infrastructure instead of being driven into public-private partnerships, PPPs, under which money can cost up to 15%. It does not stack up. It is another form of corporate welfare. The Government should be fighting tooth and nail for such an EU arrangement. This country needs major infrastructural investment not just in public transport, but also in social housing, as everyone knows. Money does not grow on trees, but the EU should play a more positive role in allowing the Government to borrow money at proper rates for investing in infrastructure, that is, 1.7% instead of 15%."

 

Mick Wallace

 

Good health is a result of proper food and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to keep in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

namaleaks

THE TRUTH IS COMING....

Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.

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