“How much more money do any one of you actually really need? Why would you ever consider taking something away from people that means so much to them? This isn’t a game. Football isn’t just a game. It’s one of those amazing things in life that can make you feel shit one moment and then like it’s Christmas morning the next. It has the ability to make heroes and villains out of ordinary men. People love this game. My father used to love this game. You all used to love this game, I’m sure of it…Just because we own these teams doesn’t mean they belong to us. And I don’t want to be part of something that could possibly destroy this beautiful game. Because I would hate for all those little kids and grown-ups out there to ever lose access to that beautiful passionate part of themselves.”
Rebecca Welton [played by Hannah Waddingham] from S3 E10 of Ted Lasso
She may be talking to the owners of the richest football clubs about the formation of a “Super League” but in reality this speech would be suitable for just about any board of any corporation that produces any product needed or enjoyed by the masses.
Over on my rugby site I recently saw a link on Twitter to an article I wanted to read and to read it I had to get a free subscription to the publication so I signed up with a view to cancelling once the money was about to kick in.
Well, that time is approaching so I thought I’d share this “article” with you because I thought the headline was hilarious.
“BUYBACKS AREN’T BAD”???????????
One of the reasons they ARE bad is that corportions used govt handouts after COVID to buy back their own shares rather than to help their customers by lowering prices. This article tells us it’s a good thing because it helps provide a good dividend for investors. Well DUH!!!! That’s like a bank robber saying the theft was good because it helped him buy a Rolls Royce!!!!
The argument laid out in this argument is essentially “trickle down economics” which is all I need to know that I should NEVER pay for subscription, Shame, because they do have quite a few rugby articles, although if anything that fact helps underline the contradiction of a Progressive following rugby union! Might as well move into golf and Polo as well while I’m at it!!!
I have copied a bit of the article just to show I’m willing to let the author make his own argument, while respecting the firewall by not publishing the whole lot.
When companies buy back their shares, as AIB did two weeks ago, it’s common for them get stick for it. You’d expect criticism of the practice from The Guardian, but even the Harvard Business Review is piling on.
Their argument goes like this: it’s bad when companies buy their own shares back because it’s money that could have been used for wages or investment. The argument is that buybacks reduce wages and investment, so they’re bad for society.
But buybacks are good for investors. And more importantly, they’re good for society.
A company is doing a good job when it’s maximising its value. Obviously that’s true from the perspective of the company’s shareholders. But it’s true for society too.
When a company is maximising its value, it’s combining a bunch of inputs like land, labour and machinery in such a way that the whole is more useful than the sum of its parts. Society gets more value from a bakery than it does from flour, workers, vans, ovens and land. The extra value created for society is reflected in the value of the combined entity, relative to the value of the separate inputs.
Before I get on with the subject matter, apols for not posting since July 2022, the simple reason is that I completely revamped the rugby site around that time and once the season kicked off there wasn’t a lot of online time for anything else. I have tons of things I’d like to do with FPP going forward but little or no opportunity to do it but at very least I’m hoping to get to a stage where I can at least produce one piece of content per week. We’ll see how that goes in a Rugby World Cup year….
No, I don’t actually condone the action being taken above, nor do I condone the Van Gogh soup thing, nor anything similar. No matter how strongly I felt about a particular issue, it’s very unlikely I’d ever go to those lengths.
That said, I do think a bit of perspective is required. Is anyone at least ASKING why people were driven to plan incidents like this? I mean nothing is black or white, nor is it pink, blue, brown, green, yellow or even orange despite this guy’s best efforts.
So what I’ve done is have a quick Google, found a press release from the Just Stop Oil site and copy/pasted it here.
Yes, I know that makes it look like their stunt “worked”, but the ere’s the thing…between the jigs and the reels, damage to a baize cloth or a bit of Campbells chucked on a glass pane in front of a painting doesn’t QUITE match up to the damage being done by the fossil fuel industry and those world leaders it has bought.
So great cause, shame about their methods, but still here’s to faster progress towards better public ownership of valuable resources. JLP
Two supporters of Just Stop Oil have disrupted the World Snooker Championship, climbing onto the snooker tables and throwing paint over one. They are demanding that the government stop all new UK fossil fuel projects and are calling on UK sporting institutions to join in civil resistance against the government’s genocidal policies.
At around 7:20pm, two Just Stop Oil supporters stormed onto the snooker tables at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, interrupting play. The pair proceeded to cover one of the tables in orange powder paint, before being removed by security and arrested.
One of those taking action, Margaret Reid, 52, a former museum professional from Kendal, said:
“I did not take this action lightly, but I cannot remain a passive spectator while our government knowingly pushes us down a path to destruction. They are giving handouts of £236 million per week of our money, to the most profitable industry on earth, during a cost of living crisis. I can no longer justify watching from the side lines.”
“I am angry and heartbroken that I have found myself in a position where taking this sort of disruptive action is the only way to get heard.”
Another of those taking action Eddie Whittingham, 25, a student at Exeter university said:
“I don’t want to be disrupting something that people enjoy, but we’re facing an extremely grave situation. Europe is experiencing its worst drought in 500 years. We’re seeing mass crop failure right now. We’re facing mass starvation, billions of refugees and civilisational collapse if this continues.”
“We can’t continue to sit back and act as if everything’s OK. If you want to do something to prevent the greatest crisis we’ve ever faced, go to juststopoil.org and sign up for a slow march from April 24th in London.”
In moments of emergency, we must stand up and be brave, we must stand up for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong. Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to pick a side. Either you are actively supporting civil resistance, fighting for life, or you are complicit with genocide.
The time is now. Join us and slow march, while you still can. Our indefinite campaign of civil resistance begins on April 24th and will not end until our government ends new oil and gas.
“The most frustrating part is that we know how to solve this problem: increase staffing and bed capacity, expand community care, and get going with the Sláintecare reforms. Instead, the HSE continues to enforce its rigid recruitment controls, starving hospitals and community services of the staff they need. Our members are rightly appalled by the conditions they are forced to work and care for patients in.”
To be clear from the outset, this is not a post about the Irish health service. I will do them from time to time on this site, but what I m more interested in is the coverage by the Irish Media, and that is my focus today, specifically that of RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock News on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
And before I get to that particular episode, I should probably make my feelings known about RTÉ in general. Of course I don’t have a problem with the existence of public service broadcaster, but I do believe that the Irish one is, shall we say, far from a shining example of how one should be organised. I am opposed to the continued charging of a license fee and I feel RTÉ tends to approach broadcasting from a perspective of what I call “elitist group-think”.
But all of that said, even I can’t complain about their lead story on their primetime (lower case ‘p’ so as not to be confused with their current affairs programme with an upper case) news show leading off with news of the untimely passing of Marian Finucane. She was well respected both inside and outside Montrose and this was definitely news to be leading off with even if wasn’t on RTÉ.
That said, I still have issues with the sequencing of stories on this particular half-hour broadcast. After an extensive report which chronicled Finucane’s career, there then followed coverage the Australian bush fires, talks in the north on the resumption of the Stormont Assembly, and the appointment of Hillary Clinton as ambassador of Queen’s University, all before the commercial break.
When they returned, there then followed a further segment on Finucane where anchor Eileen Dunne interviewed a former colleague. Personally I feel this was unnecessary. There will no doubt be several tributes on the network in the coming weeks and that would be the time for such interviews.
I feel that time could have been allotted to a more intensive discussion on a report released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation which offered alarming statistics. Instead when they did get to the issue all they could fit in were brief quotes from representatives from the INMO and the Irish Patient’s Association (essentially saying “the numbers are bad”) as well as one from Minister for Health Simon Harris (essentially saying “when you look at it another way, the numbers aren’t so bad”).
Normally I am annoyed when an important topic such as this is covered with soundbytes from politicians representing just the government and the “opposition”, which these days is technically Fianna Fáil even though they are in what I call a “virtual coalition” with Fine Gael. But this report didn’t even have that.
In an ideal world, the Progressive viewpoint should always be heard when the topic is the public health service, as this is one of the movement’s main priorities. But even talking points from one of the so-called “principle left-wing” parties such as Sinn Féin and Labour would have done in my opinion. For the record, the piece on the RTÉ website follows a similar vein.
Maybe I’m alone in wanting the full range of debate on key national issues when it comes to our national broadcaster? But I think not.
“We continue to expand our macroprudential framework to ensure we have the right tools to manage potential risks to financial stability and the addition of the Systemic Risk Buffer will be an important tool for us in building a resilient banking system with sufficient capital buffers to absorb these structural shocks.”
[translation : “We want you to forget this mess is partly our fault by pointing to Brexit and using intentionally complicated economic jargon”]
Apologies once more for the gap in posts – financial realities mean we have had to prioritise our monetised site in recent weeks as it has been a busy time for content over there.
However, even if we managed to post every day since we kicked off FPP in August 2016 we wouldn’t have been able to express our core beliefs more than this one and a half hour long video of the recent town hall hosted by Bernie Sanders. Please check it out if you haven’t already. It’s a shame it was only covered online.
“Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke has said the restriction of water supply in the capital could make some companies looking to invest in Ireland reconsider their options.”
For full disclosure, I took part in #RightToWater marches and did not pay my charges so it’s pretty clear where I stand on the issue. But this particular post is more about media coverage than it is the water issue.
Check out the linked article on Fora.ie, a business site which is part of the Journal.ie network.
While I understand that the focus of this site is what is going on in the business community, does that mean it should only ever offer their point of view on particular issues?
This is an article in which the Dublin Chamber of Commerce is effectively being given free reign to offer it’s own take on the restrictions recently put in place by Irish Water. Forgive us for assuming a like-minded approach among the Chamber, the Government which took such a bad beating over water, and the jobs-for-the-boys private company which it created.
While they don’t actually state that water charges need to be reinstated, it’s not exactly well hidden between the lines. If there’s not enough money to fix the water infrastructure, they claim, then there won’t be investment which in turn means no more jobs. The implication is very clear.
All I want to do in this article is present a viewpoint from the other side, which I believe Killian Woods could have done. And he wouldn’t even need to ask for a quote either…he could have copy/pasted from the Facebook page of any anti-austerity TD such as Paul Murphy :
The water shortages we’re experiencing are a consequence of long-term under-investment in infrastructure. The predictable attempts to use them as a new argument for charges have to deal with fact that London, which has meters and charges, has the exact same problem. The solution is investment, which should be funded by progressive taxation of profits, high income and wealth.
No prizes for guessing which side I’m on, but at least I have presented you with more than one viewpoint in my article. JLP
None of the rules we have in place that redistribute upward were given to us by the market. They were the result of deliberate economic policy.
When legislation is passed that cuts corporate taxes it is chiselled into concrete, yet when it redistributes wealth among the lower classes it is written on tissue paper.
The reason that quote is rather clunky is that it’s mine, and I’m far from a qualified economist, but FWIW I reckon the #AppleTax issue and way the Irish government protects its corporate tax rate are at the forefront of a status quo that is generally accepted as ‘untouchable’ and similar thinking exists in other western countries.
For that reason Baker’s quote from his article is what inspired me to write this post, but the wider point is that when it comes to economics we have to look beyond what the ‘experts’ put forward by the mainstream media say, and that is where the internet comes in.
I’m not saying we have to agree with the thoughts of people like Richard Wolf, but if we are to have a full discussion on any topic it seems a no-brainer to at least discuss the alternatives and even a massive crash like that we experienced ten years ago wasn’t enough to have us wondering if allowing the top corporate players to run the economy wasn’t the best idea. Since then elected representatives who dare to oppose austerity are virtual outcasts both in the Dáil and in media coverage of same.
So that’s my point…but if you’re on for getting more specific, check out this Op-ed in the NYT and then read Baker’s reply.
While Economics is an academic field in its own right, there’s no reason why we the voters can’t educate ourselves to a decent standard on it once we know where to look, and more importantly, where to be sceptical. JLP
President Trump wants us to stop focusing on anything negative to do with his administration and instead heap praise on him for the success of the US economy since he took office.
YouTube clip by CNN on 29 Jan 2018
Trump[in clip from campaign speech]: “When you hear 4.9 and 5% unemployment the number is probably 28 and 29, as high as 35…”
Cuomo [in CNN studio]: “You know what? I agree with the President!”
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
For me, the health of an economy is far from the only yardstick by which we should be judging our government. But even if we accept that it is, CNN’s Chris Cuomo has done a great job putting the figures Trump has been crowing about into context.
At best, the economic reports under Trump are basically continuing the success that Obama had after inheriting a disastrous crash of the market. But as Cuomo points out, in some areas the figures aren’t even that great in themselves.
But the best evidence he has comes from ‘candidate Trump’ who’s words are often found to be in direct opposition to those of ‘President Trump’.
Let’s be clear…all politicians play fast and loose with economic figures to big themselves up, it’s just that in Trump’s case he has taken it to a whole new level by selectively ignoring his own words from the not-to-distant past. JLP