Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

Occupy Cork, €700 Million and The Secret Millionaire

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A couple of weeks back, RTE‘s inane series The Secret Millionaire came to Cork.  In the programme the so-called ‘secret millionaire’ traversed the northside of the city and reviewed different charities operating there.   Local newspaper, The Cork Independent, reported:

The marketing millionaire, Nadim Sadek, who lives on his private island Inish Turk Beg in Co. Mayo, visited Cois Tine, the Knocknaheeney Music Project, Rebel Rollers and the Penny Dinners during his eight days living off Shandon Street.

Eventually Nadim handed out about €40,000 to a number of groups – one operating a musical group for youngsters in the area; another providing basketball facilities and club organization for kids with disabilities.  The €40 K was divied up into two €5k lots and the remainder amount of €30 K went to  the ‘winner’.

The lucky local charities were uniformly over the moon with their windfalls.  Indeed in a number of cases the recipients – invariably the organisers of these groups and clubs – were personally overwhelmed by their good fortune.  Some were openly tearful about what they would be able to do with these sums of money – the doors that the monies would open for their clubs and members.  It was a salutary lesson – if one ever needed one – about how little money can sometimes make a real difference in the lives of people in this country in this year of 2011.

CONTRAST the sum of money involved above [€40K] with the fact that in the next few days, on Nov 1st to be precise, the Irish Government intends to pay over the sum of 700 million euros (OR 700,000,000 euros) to unsecured bondholders associated with the zombie Anglo Irish Bank.

This sum of money – the latest round of ‘debt re-payments’ – is gargantuan compared to the €40 K involved in The Secret Millionaire programme.  It puts into perspective  perfectly the scale of the wealth (and resource) transfer that is now being undertaken in this country under the guise of the present crisis.

 This wealth transfer is being conducted in your name and at your expense but did you agree to it happening? Were you even asked your opinion? [I recall the Government parties making vague promises in the election about this – do you? But then those promises are long ago forgotten, right?]

This is one reason – but there are many others – why we all need to take a good look at the Occupy movement.  It is a diverse movement and it incorporates many different hopes and proposals – but it is spreading and has taken up positions right around the world about this key question: who owns the wealth of the world and who should control it.

What is important is that in Cork, in Dublin and across the globe indignant groups have taken action and stood up.  They are attempting to draw attention to this daylight robbery from the public purse. They are also speaking out about this robbery on a grand scale that will take place here in Ireland on noon on November 1st – when the above monies are transferred from Government funds to the bond holders.

The question for you is do you support Occupy Cork and Occupy Dublin?  If not, then what is the alternative?  Throw our hands up in the air and say what can I do?

If you do nothing now be assured of this much: they (the Government) will come back for more money (in the next budget and the next round of cuts) and they will transfer even more wealth to these millionaire bankers and bond holders.

Then – in a time not so far from now – you will see some of those very same millionaires on some new inane RTE programme dropping coins and crumbs to local community groups and being applauded for it.  And, yes, people will be crying with gratitude too, and it will all be filmed for your enjoyment too.  That’s the future if we do nothing now ….

Don’t participate any longer in this soap opera.  Stand up and fight back!

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