• Apparently the troika are demanding that the Irish Government sell off, privatise, €5bn of Ireland's assets and use the money to reduce Ireland's so-called debt.
The Government wants to sell €2bn of assets and use the money to grow the economy and create jobs. Yes, this might be a better option than the troika demands. However, I think that it is a better idea to keep all these assets in state hands, a) because they can continue to provide jobs and income for the country on a continuous basis, and b) because keeping these assets in the Irish people's hands allows their elected Government to exercise control over these assets when necessary.
Furthermore, I would argue that it is wrong for a government to sell off state assets without the people's approval. If it is wrong, it is diabolical for the IMF and some EU bureaucrats and bankers to demand that these assets be sold off, especially when they are demanding that they be sold to make up for the gambling losses of those who made bad investment decisions.
Indeed, for the troika to make the Government sell off the Irish people's assets is like demanding the Government steal what little money is left in the Irish people's pockets.
The Government should tell the troika that they cannot sell off any of the people's assets without their approval.
I should add that there is something disturbing about the IMF's involvement in this matter. It is this: in the early-1980s, all Keynesian influences were purged from the IMF and the organisation took in neoliberals from Wall Street banks.
Subsequently, as Professor David Harvey said in his book, 'A Brief History of Neoliberalism': "The IMF and the World Bank thereafter became centres for the imposition of free-market fundamentalism and neoliberal orthodoxy." Could this still be the case?
Neoliberal ideology requires client countries to implement cuts in welfare expenditure, create a more flexible labour market, privatise state assets and protect the free market from attempts by governments to control it.
These things support the main objective of neoliberalism, which is to restore class power, in part by shifting wealth from ordinary working people to wealthy elites, which appears to be happening in Ireland and in other countries now.
Ireland is suffering from this destructive neoliberal ideology. Neoliberalism, and neoliberals and their lackeys, caused the disaster. I wonder, is neoliberalism now making the Irish people pay for it?
There is another worrying thing. Following the purge of Keynesian influences from the IMF and its adoption of neoliberalism in the early 1980s, the IMF, whose original mandate was to protect the global economy, gave itself another responsibility, which was to protect global finance.
It has been suggested that these two responsibilities soon clashed with each other, and over time protecting global finance came to dominate. Is this why Ireland and, indeed, other countries are made to cover the losses of banks and bondholders who made bad investments?
Is this what protecting global finance comes down to, protecting a heartless entity and the billionaires who gain most from it, no matter what damage this does to ordinary people, and, indeed, even if it destroys a country?
I don't know. But I suspect this is the case. I say, destroy neoliberalism, sideline the neoliberals, and put shackles on global finance so that it can become possible to create a better country and a better world. In the meantime rebel and don't pay for other people's gambling losses.
'Glencairn', Bishopstown Road, Cork