Above: Political Moose served up this slice of satirical ink for #rabble13.
With monstrous cranes leering over the Dublin cityscape, we can hear echoes of “the boom is back” in every back arsed bar in the country. As far as us rabblers see it it, it’s not so much an economic recovery as a feeding ground for scavenging bastards like those real estate investment trusts. So, we decided to take a look at five nasty ways these vulture fund parasites are tearing the flesh from our bones and making a hames of the place.
1. Shit Student Ghettos
Since 2015, the planning process has been rammed with thousands of beds mooted for the North Inner city. One crowd calling itself Global Student Accommodation is set to deliver 4,000 new beds for Dublin’s students by 2020 alone. Mooted rents are daft with talk of €245 per week for a Standard En-suite room to €345 per week for a Deluxe Studio room.
There are many other operations on the go too. Privatised student housing is a boom industry in Dublin right now. It’s one where the poor unfortunates pay through the nose – getting themselves into spiralling debt like some sort of 21st century millennium serf with property management companies exercising contractual chicanery to deny them basic tenant rights.
If you thought that old prick of a farmer that kicked you out for being six months late on rent in 1987 was bad enough, wait til you hear about the pepped up private security dicks evicting students for daring to bring someone over for the ride.
Instead of having a chance to integrate themselves in an area through the traditional means of vomiting up Buckfast on their neighbour’s door steps, they are kept ghettoised seven stories up and then flung out during the summer high season so the same vulture funds can rip off rich yanks and European types here to block up foot paths and queue for the Book Of Kells.
2. Told You Bloody So
Oh if there’s one thing us Irish love, it’s the sensation of fearlessly paying no heed to dire warnings from all sides and relentlessly rushing ahead like fools. And so it was, those bastards perched above our heads licking their razor sharp beaks were in fact invited vampire like across the threshold by ourselves.
As the Debt and Development Coalition point out, NAMA’s top dog Brendan McDonagh, championed the fact that “NAMA’s market activity and deleveraging have contributed to the strong inflows of foreign capital”. While the damn Department of Finance met with vulture funds no less than 65 times in 2013 and 2014. They only met with groups advocating on behalf of mortgage holders five times!
Vulture funds managed to pay less than €20,000 tax, despite controlling assets of almost €20 billion. You’d think Noonan would be red faced at this madness. Instead he was having tea with some of the main players involved right before the loophole was closed while the the State was losing €350 million in tax for the past three years. Sure as he said himself they “carry out a very good service in the ecology. They clean up dead animals that are littered across the landscape.”
It’s only when the last of the marrow is sucked dry that we’ll realise our elites fucked us up again despite staunch warnings along the way.
3. Shoebox Apartments
Cast your mind back to December 2015, and then Minister for Environment Alan “Power is a drug and it suits me” Kelly’s introduction of a guideline of 45m2 for new apartments. When questioned on the fact that the people living in Ireland are on average 5” 7 and generally ten times larger than his action man toys, Kelly’s response was that developers were not building “as it is not financially viable.”
Despite the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland arguing that such guidelines were not fit for purpose, human habitation in other words, Alan Kelly agreed with the whispers in his ear from Property Developers and Vulture Funds that the most efficient way to make profit out of space was to squeeze as many poor bastards into a place as humanly possible and call it luxury living.
No doubt as big developer capital sets down in the city it’ll bring with it a colourful cast of characters like Ching Chiat Kwon – the Singaporean property developer who made his $420m fortune hawking apartments of 25 sqm in size.
Already active in development down in the docklands SDZ, who knows what could happen if the likes of the “shoebox king” and others of his ilk started throwing his weight around and lobbying our own gombeens drunk at the steering wheel of power..
4. To Rental Hell Or To…
“Are you still in the same gaff? No, where are you now so?” We all know the answer to that, either back with the parents or eyeing anywhere within 70 million miles of the Red Cow. We can blame vulture funds for the spiraling cost of accommodation too. Take Ires Reit for instance. It’s now the state’s biggest landlord. This demonic entity was spawned and called into being through a stoopid legislative change that allowed the setting up of Real Estate Investment Trusts in Ireland.
With a hungry hippo approach to gobbling up housing it’s reported as owning nearly 2,400 apartments and having plans to build 600 more. You can blame NAMA for losing its marbles on this one. In 2016 alone these particular bastards upped their rents by 12% in Dublin.
“I truly feel badly for the Irish people,” said Bossman David Ehrlich late last year.
In their rush to satisfy investors, these entities take a drug fiend like approach to pushing up their rental roll over and sure if they can get away with it, then is it any surprise that other wanker smaller landlords don’t ape them and get in on the act leading to a ripple effect in the cost of rooming up.
We’re entering an era of wholesale population clearances, with the vicious Goldman Sachs-owned vulture fund Beltany Property Finance trying to evict dozens of families from Tyrrelstown in west Dublin last year. The people of Tyrrelstown may have won their battle, but the rest of us mightn’t be so lucky.
5. Down the Swally
After a century of standing proud at the corner of Capel Street, popular haunt Jack Nealon’s served its last pint because NAMA sold on distressed loans to US private equity firm Oaktree. Nealons was that prime example of a daycent boozer, morphing over the years into something of an overspill bar for Panti – it was exactly the type of place you could pull up a chair and talk shite with folk of all stripes and predilections. Gay, straight, who gives a fuck?
The Sackville Lounge closed its doors recently too. Whatever about old pubs passing, nothing symbolizes the scorched earth approach of these vulture funds than locally held places names being wiped out in favor of ones dreamed up in the marketing departments of regeneration schemes like Sobo in the Docklands.
The future their brochures visually declare will be a brave melange of stock bearded hipsters clutching their fixie bikes, mingling with a tribe of far less individuated suits. This personality devoid “airspace” of miserable over priced flat white culture is the aesthetic choice now of rampant global capitalism.