The Daily Wire

Power in power at the UN and the "austerity junkies" in power over here

Conor Pope Fri, Aug 2
 
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  • 08:49
    Testing. Testing. Is this thing on? Hello? Is there anyone there? Can you hear me???
  • 08:51
    Good morning. It's Friday. And as if that wasn't good enough it is the start of a bank holiday weekend. And the sun is shining. Well, it is shining in Dublin and as you know when it comes to the meeja, that's all that matters. I am Conor Pope and I will be parsing the news - or something like that - for most of today.

  • 08:56
    The people who heeded Joe Higgins' pleas to boycott the property tax will start to realise the futility of their protest by the end of the month as the Revenue moves to take the money from them anyway, as it has long said it would do.

    Around 50,000 people who have not paid the tax have been warned they have one week to pay or face having the fee deducted from their wages or pension.

    A Revenue Commissioner statement issued today pointed out that people in arrears have been sent a final reminder letter and recipients have seven working days to make the payment.

    If they fail to do so the Revenue will issue instructions to their employer or pension provider to deduct the property tax from their salary or occupational pension.

    To date, over 1.58 million property tax returns have been filed and over €175 million has been collected.
  • 09:03
    Where better for the parties of Government to sort out their differences than on the letters page of The Irish Times.

    That is what is happening.

    Earlier this week, a bunch of Fine Gael TDs wrote to us urging restraint and still more cuts.

    Now a group of five Labour TDs have had a letter published by this paper in which they rail against “austerity junkies” .

    “We will do as much austerity as is needed to secure the recovery. Not a cent more,” say Labour TDs Derek Nolan, Michael McCarthy, Kevin Humphreys, Arthur Spring and John Lyons.

    Here's the letter in full.

    Sir, – The voices of Government backbenchers are rarely heard. In that context The Irish Times has done a service by allowing eight Fine Gael backbenchers to set out their view of budget options (Opinion, July 31st).

    The message from the eight is forthright, but incomplete. They want more cuts in public spending, even if that is more than is necessary to meet the target agreed with our lenders, the troika. That much is clear.

    What is not clear is where our Fine Gael colleagues want the cuts to fall. The bulk of public spending is on health, education and social protection. Would they cancel the recruitment of gardaí? Would they cut pensions? Would they reduce the number of people on medical cards? Would our Fine Gael colleagues have us sack public servants or cut their pay even further? Don’t they think that public servants have taken enough?

    And, would they have us believe that any of the above could be done without adversely affecting patients, school children or pensioners?

    In fairness to the Fine Gael TDs, they say that the scope acquired through additional cuts should be used for stimulus. This is a false choice. It ignores the fact that taking more than is needed out of the economy will itself have a deflationary effect. Moreover, the Government is already committed to a capital programme of €10 billion over the next three years. In addition, the €2.25 billion stimulus announced by Brendan Howlin in July 2012 will start to bear fruit next year. More stimulus will be made possible from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and proceeds from the sale of non-strategic state assets.

    As Labour backbenchers we have signed up to a Programme for Government to save the country from bankruptcy. This programme entails increases in tax and cuts in spending. We signed up to those in order to get our country out of a serious mess – not because we are against spending on public services.

    Tough decisions have been necessary to get the country to where it now is. Recovery is in sight, though not yet secure. But we are not austerity junkies. We will do as much austerity as is needed to secure the recovery. Not a cent more. – Yours, etc,
  • 09:13
    Sanjeev Chada was charged last night with the murders of his sons Eoghan (10) and Ruairí (5) at a special sitting of Swinford District Court, Co Mayo.

    Det Sgt Gary Walsh of Castlebar Garda station told the court that when he arrested Mr Chada at Westport Garda station at 7.15pm yesterday and put the two murder charges to him, Mr Chada replied: “I am so sorry, I really wish I hadn’t done it.”

    He was remanded in custody to Castlerea Prison, Co Roscommon, and is due to appear at Harristown District Court this morning where the need for a psychiatric assessment is likely to be raised by his solicitor James Hanley.

  • 09:19
    "As a long-time champion of human rights and dignity, she will be a fierce advocate for universal rights, fundamental freedoms and U.S. national interests," Barack Obama after Samantha Power was approved by the US senate as US ambassador to the UN by 87 votes to 10. .
  • 09:22
    What would you do if you weren't afraid.
  • 09:39
    Would you like a brain challenge? 

    You would?

    Great.

    apparently only 12 pe rcent of people can say the opposite of these words in less than 30 seconds.

    Go. 

    1. always
    2. coming
    3. from
    4. take
    5. me
    6. down 

    Mind you Hugh Lenihan just did the test for me and managed all six in just over 10 seconds. So either he is a genius or the test is bogus.

    You decide.
  • 09:42
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  • 10:34
    A one-month toll holiday for heavy goods vehicles in November has been proposed by the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar in an attempt to entice hauliers away from local roads .

    The State will cover the estimated €3 million cost of the tolls forgone on the seven routes in what is one of the busiest months for haulage traffic in the run-up to Christmas. The M50 and the East-Link are excluded.

    “The M1 outside Drogheda is a good example, where large numbers of HGVs avoid the toll but have to pass through Slane in order to do so, which is hugely inconvenient to both the truck drivers and local residents,” the Minister siad. 
  • 10:38
    Praise be to the heavens. The banking crisis is over. 

    And we are in a pleasant place now.

    At least according to the Bank of Ireland 

    This morning it declared itself a normal bank  after four pretty abnormal years.

    Chief executive Richie Boucher said his bank was  firmly on the mend as it more than halved its pretax losses and charges for bad loans fell in the first six months of the year.

    “It’s been a hard four years,” Mr Boucher said. Really, Richie? 
     
    “But we now have a normalised bank which has strong momentum towards profitability... We are in the more pleasant place of having the challenges of ordinary businessmen and women.”

  • 12:03
    Oh dear. That is quite the row that is brewing in Japan rignt now. Japanese finance minister Taro Aso is refusing  to resign or apologise over remarks he made which suggested his country should follow the Nazi example of how to change the country’s constitution stealthily and without public debate.

    “I have no intention to step down” as Cabinet minister or MP, Mr Aso, who is also deputy prime minister, told reporters today. Mr Aso said yesterday he was misunderstood and only meant to say that loud debate over whether Japan should change its postwar constitution, and other issues is not helpful.
  • 12:08
  • 12:31
    Police have arrested a loyalist Belfast city councillor at the centre of a row over a disputed parade. Ruth Patterson is a member of the DUP was held  today in relation to offences concerning the sending of grossly offensive communications and other serious criminal offences in relation to intimidation and encouraging criminal acts, according to the police. Earlier, she had to apologise after saying that a fictional terrorist attack on a republican parade in which senior Sinn Fein members would be killed would provide “a great service to Northern Ireland”.
  • 12:36
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  • 13:06
    Still reeling over the Bank of Ireland news that everything is fine. 

  • 13:42
    If you are walking through Temple Bar this afternoon you will notice something different about the place. There is a McDonald's there. Yes, indeed. A McDonalds. The cultural heart of Dublin (ahem) has been sullied by a fast food restaurant. What's next a Tesco?

    Oh.
  • 13:53
    Fiona Muldoon of the Central Bank thinks the Government's  policy of austerity is the only game in town.  Speaking at the McGill Summer School this morning she said the "real choices to be made are whether some areas should be cut more than others or in how much we cut and whether we get value for money in what we spend. That is a matter for democratically elected government and its electorate.”
    We;re taking down the Happy Days Are Here Again bunting now.
  • 14:26
    John Waters is writing about the internet and Twitter and the like again today.

    And I don't disagree with him.  

    I think I need to lie down.
  • 14:35
  • 15:46
    What would happen if China tried to build a replica of Paris?

    This.
  • 16:17
    Like many people, I have found stories about the tragic deaths of Eoghan and Ruairi Chada almost imossible to read. The two boys were buried this afternoon.   

     Parish priest Father Declan Foley said the pair had achieved so much in their short few years and lived with such energy and intensity that they brought joy and happiness to their parents and local community.

    “The sudden and tragic death of the boys is beyond comprehension and almost impossible to put into words, but to remain silent would do Eoghan and Ruairi a disservice,” he said in his homily.

    “Their deaths have stunned the whole community but particularly the parents of their classmates, and their big concern was how they were going to tell their own children this sad news,” he said.

    Fr Foley said Ruairi never saw himself as the little brother and Eoghan could never say no to him. He revealed the eldest brother loved experimenting in the kitchen and that his latest ambition was to be a chef, but kept his options open after he recently bought a calf with his communion money.

    “Little Ruairi loved nothing more than helping Poppy, as granddad Billy is called, around the farm,” he continued. “He was going to be a tractor driver when he grew up.

    “He was also looking forward to making his First Holy Communion and making some money. If Eoghan could buy a calf, he was going to buy a combine harvester,” he added.

    The brothers were buried together in a small cemetery in the church grounds.
    Inside the church some of the boys’ 14 cousins and best friends carried a procession of symbols of their lives: a hurley, a football, toy tractor, cook book, golf club, bicycle and photograph.
     
  • 16:52
  • 17:47
    And we're off.... The long weekend starts now.