Paul Murphy declares: It’s time to nationalise Facebook

If the wisdom of our politicians was measured by the amount of time that RTÉ gives them to promote their views to the nation, one would have to conclude that Paul Murphy was the greatest mind since Marcus Aurelius himself. If, on the other hand, it was measured by the actual policies they promote, well, Paul Murphy would fall into an entirely different category:

It’s interesting that in those two tweets he contradicts himself. In the first, he says he wants to “nationalise” facebook. In the second, he says he wants to “expropriate” them. It’s not hard to see why he changed his tune in a matter of less than a day: Nationalisation would involve paying for the shares to take the companies into public ownership. Even on a very bad day, like yesterday, Facebook’s market value was close to a trillion dollars.

Expropriation, on the other hand, would simply involve seizing their assets without paying for them. Or, to use a more traditional phrase: stealing the company from its owners and putting it under the control of the Government. Certainly, with a few constitutional changes, this might be possible in Ireland. But how do you expropriate Facebook headquarters in California? Are we supposed to invade?

Of course, we’re giving Murphy too much credit by trying to analyse his policies. They are, after all, not really policies. They are just statements of blather, intended to provide a talking point in any given debate: “Housing? We’d make that free. Taxes? We’d cut them on working people and raise them on the rich”. By themselves, they sound just fine. It’s when you put them all together that the full breadth of the nonsense becomes apparent. The voters who elect him probably don’t actually know what his policies are, since he is never challenged on them by any broadcaster.

For the record, these are his policies, from the RISE (the party he founded) website. They are available right here, under the “what we stand for” tab on that site. No journalist, it seems, has ever bothered to read them:

He would introduce a four day week, with no loss of pay: Effectively a 20% pay rise for everybody, while reducing productivity by 20% at the same time.

He would “repudiate the bankers debt”. What that means is that he would refuse to pay the portion of the national debt incurred to repay bank debts in 2008. In other words, he would default on Ireland’s debts. Which would, according to every economic expert, cause a crisis.

He would nationalise the banks and “core sections of the economy controlled by major corporations”, including supermarkets. No more Tesco or Dunnes or Lidl – just the Paul Murphy superstore. He would fund most of this by raising taxes on corporations.

Yes, the exact same corporations he would also nationalise. How this would work would be anybody’s guess. After all, if you nationalise a company, and tax it, you are taxing yourself.

But taxing corporations at the same time as nationalising them is also his solution to climate change. And workers rights. And, well, just about everything else.

Paul Murphy is not a serious politician. He does not have any serious ideas. He has no plans, ever, to enter Government, or achieve anything meaningful for the people who elect him.

It is the voters who elect him who are losing out.

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