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NOW they're all concerned.

by Colman Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 03:32:04 AM EST

The European Parliament are concerned about where the anti-Lisbon, anti-Europe group Libertas got its funding from and the newspapers are finally picking up the story properly:

The 2007 acccounts show no income or expenditure for the year but, according to the Irish Times there's a bit of a problem with that:

The public indications of expenditure during 2007 are as follows: a statement after the referendum by former Libertas spokesman John McGuirk, that a room was hired in the Davenport Hotel in August to discuss strategy; a press conference held in a hired room in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin, in December 2007; the fact that Ganley and the second, lesser public face of Libertas, Naoise Nunn, held a photocall outside the Merrion where they posed in front of a large Libertas billboard mounted on the back of a truck; and the fact that during December McGuirk was working for a PR firm, Bracken PR, which had in turn been hired by Libertas.

When asked during the campaign how all this was funded when the accounts stated there was no income or expenditure during 2007, McGuirk said: "Directors' loans." When asked why this wasn't reflected in the Libertas accounts, McGuirk said none of the expenditure he was referring to had occurred during 2007. He then refused to confirm that there had been loans from directors, but instead said Libertas was, since January 1st, 2008, receiving donations.

When Ganley, after the campaign, was asked how these activities in 2007 were funded, he said: "I don't know." He said it was not the case that other directors' loans existed besides his own.

The two issues - the loans from Ganley and others, and the 2007 accounts - are interlinked.

Overall, of course, there is the question of credibility but there is also the issue that on the basis of the accounts, it appears that at least one substantial loan was given to a body in early 2008 that up to the end of 2007 last year had no money at all.

Under Irish electoral law, bodies such as Libertas can only receive loans if they are bona fide loans, with terms and conditions and interest rates equivalent to that available in the market generally.

Libertas's only answer to these questions has been to respond that it was funded by donations in accordance with Irish law.

Wouldn't it have been nice if this was addressed properly during the campaign?


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During the campaign you were a looney for pointing this stuff out. I guess Libertas is done spending now so its safe to annoy them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 03:35:53 AM EST
It's bad to be right too early.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 03:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A cynical view of communications would say that it's always easier to tell lies than the truth.

So sell your lies; when the truth starts catching up with you, you've moved the window to a new set of plausible lies, and the truth looks oh so yesterday.

Though we'll see if Ganley & Co are ready with that.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it have been nice if this was addressed properly during the campaign?
That would have been so unfair and unpatriotic to boot!  Add to that: USELESS.  Just as in Watergate only partisans can take such charges seriously until a major case of buyers remorse sets in.  

Most major facts in Watergate came out during the '72 election and dropped into the news cycles without so much as a ripple. Hey, could this be the reason?  So many of my and other Americans ancestors were Irish or Scots-Irish?  Is that the common thread?           ;-/

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 09:34:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're very bright and chirpy about it, kind of "so what?". Which probably means they know they can't provide even laboriously part-faked accounts, so why not just wing it?

Let's hope there's a sniff of blood in the air and the hounds will get after them.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:26:21 AM EST
Poor Libertas, who gave a voice to the no campaign, being bullied by the Eurocrats and their Irish minions in Dublin...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:28:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my comment above. Yes, victimisation is always a good ploy, even if temporary.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm just saying the no voters have a number of rationalisations available to them, especially if there's a revote.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering if attacks on libertas on grounds of being dishonnest can actually have an effect against Libertas. I believe that it might reinforce them, on the usual victimisation basis.

Nevertheless, a long and protracted and misunderstood scandal on the use and source of money could be effective, if some simple lies are put on the front page, and huge amounts changing hands put to scene... because the man on the street would usually be hostile to the well off guy who transfers bags of money by the back door, it being legal or not.

by Xavier in Paris on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 06:33:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends: if they're actually punished (prosecuted?) by the Standards in Public Office crowd then it's not going to be good for them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 09:22:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, Eurocrats with sour grapes, to boot.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 05:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried several times to have LTEs published in the Irish Times, without success.  They later used some of the material I provided in an article by one of heir journalists, but generally it was impossible to raise the issue.

Dick Roche asked me to keep raising the issue as it was difficult for him, as a Government Minister to do so.  However without a "public persona" or organisation behind me I had no chance of doing so.  Pretty pathetic taht a Government minister would look to a private citizen to do his work for him.

There is almost no resources devoted to true investigative journalism in Irish papers, and the Irish Times, in particular, is so establishment and anti-populist they simply don't entertain criticism of the establishment unless  you have some authoritative backing.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 08:24:03 AM EST
Wow.

So many ETers are so competent and so well connected... I'm way out of my league here, I should in all fairness get my trusted user status removed anytime soon.

Seriously, it is a useful reminder against my sometime tendency to state my point of view too bluntly. Anytime I write, I know there is someone SERIOUSLY knowledgeable who will probably read.
Maybe that's why we don't see the kind of silliness that can happen in many comments in other blogs or tribunes.

It also means that we sometimes can really act as a think tank (an unpaid one alas, but still), as what we develop may be picked by someone who can act.

"It failed because Nacy Pelosi said some unkind things about George Bush in her speech"

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Ireland, its not a big deal to know your local members of Parliament, and mine happens to be the Minister for European affairs.  They are all great talkers, but action is sometimes more difficult.  Don't assume great knowledge comes from having a few connections!  And as for wisdom....

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 02:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In your case, I don't need to "assume" great knowkedge and wisdom. I have had the opportunity to acknowledge them.

On the other hand, I would welcome the situation where knowing members of parliement and ministers in particular would be reasonably easy.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 04:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  Ireland is a small country...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 08:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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