Clinton tells rich they are the problem at 2500 a head event in Dublin

Bill Clinton30 September in Dublin former US president Bill Clinton told an invited gathering of 575 of the richest 1% of Ireland's population that they were the greatest problem facing the world. They paid over 2500 a head to hear this as they chomped down on "Atlantic salmon, Connemara lamb and lemon posset, washed down with Chablis Domaine de la Mandeliere 2007 and Chateau Les Roches Gaby 2001."

The Irish Times reported on the event, organised by Business and Finance (the in house journal of the richest 1% and their underlings). According to the Times among the three problems facing the world Clinton started with the "“enormous, staggering” amount of inequality within and between countries." He has a point, in Ireland the top 1% own 34% of the wealth, globally the top 1% own 40% of the wealth. But last year in Canada Clinton charged 125,000 euro for another speaking appearance, it is not known what he charged last night but if we presume he spoke for two hours he could well have earned 7,000 time what the workers serving the meals and pouring the wine did as he lectured about the dangers of inequality.

A number of others spoke including Denis O'Brien, the 4th richest person in the whole of Ireland. According to the Times he "called for an end to 'the blame game'" presumably concerned that attention might focus on his 2.55 billion fortune and the fact that if he paid tax in Ireland (he is a tax exile in Malta) that might go a long way to sorting out some of the inequality Clinton was so concerned with. But as Clinton himself noted the problem with 'developed society' is that those at the top are more interested in "preserving the present than creating the future, and more interested in preserving the power and position of the people at the top of institutions.."

It's rather hard to know what to make of such an event coming as it did on the very day that the Irish government announced the probable true cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank, most of whose loans went to just 20 developers, all part of the 1%. And they announced the intention to further slash the pay and services of the other 99% of the Irish population. The same day that IBEC, the lbby group for the 1% demanded a wage freeze until 2013! The death of irony has been declared before but last night certainly hammered another nail into that coffin.

Next Saturday a political walking tour of Dublin 2 & 4 will take in the private clubs, mansions, secret meeting spots and banks of some of the 1% whose speculation mean the rest of us are looking at a decade of ever increasing poverty. The 1% Network sees this as the start of the process of doing something about the inequality Clinton is apparently so concerned with, they are not convinced the Denis O'Brien's of the world are going to do anything about it, in fact they probably need to organize against them. For more details see the 1% Network's website.

Originally written for WSM.ie

  


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