Statement by Des Dalton, President of Republican Sinn Féin
Republican Sinn Féin called for a fully independent, comprehensive and public inquiry into the banking system on June 27. Such an inquiry should also look at the role played by the then 26-County administration as well, along with their neo-liberal economic cheerleaders on the opposition benches of the Leinster House Assembly.
The contempt displayed by senior executives of the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank – as revealed in the so-called “Anglo tapes” - merely serves to illustrate the contempt in which the political and financial elite hold the mass of the Irish people. The subsequent decision of the 26-County State to bail out the banking system heralded the beginning of a vicious war of economic attrition waged against ordinary people throughout the 26 Counties. The very fact that the Leinster House political class think even now they should have a role in investigating what occurred within the banking system underlines their disconnect from the public mood.
The same political elite who are proposing to hold an in-house inquiry into the banking, championed the very concept of so-called “light-touch” regulation. This was of course just code for the free-for-all that was not only tolerated but encouraged by the political establishment that took place within the financial sector. When this pyramid scheme economic system collapsed it was the Irish people who were expected to foot the bill.
All of this reinforces our argument for a banking system which first and foremost serves a social function, serving as an economic driver for the essentials of a just and civilised society capable of providing truly national health programme accessible to all at the point of need, equal access to education at all levels and a system of real social protection for our old, young and those on the margins of society. As we point out in our social and economic programme Saol Nua (A New Way of Life), social control of capital is essential to ensure capital serves people rather than people being the slaves of capital.
By doing so you ensure balanced development and equitable distribution of wealth. Money must be regarded, not as a commodity, but as an accounting system in which all participate.