August 24, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

Posted in International Economy · 68 comments ·
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Russia’s forceful return to the global stage means that the Pope’s grandchildren face a more uncertain future than their parents did.

The Pope’s Children are reproducing. The Irish birth rate has, for the first time, surpassed that of 1980,whenwe responded to Pope John Paul’s message on chastity with an orgy of fornication.

More than 72,000 babies were born in the country over the past 12 months. It has taken us nearly three decades, but we are now back to late-1970s birth rates.

The fact that the birth rate has soared 28 years after the last baby boom should not come as a surprise to anyone. Today’s babies are the demographic echo of the Pope’s Children; they are the Pope’s grandchildren. The average age for an Irishwoman to have her first child is 27, so it’s hardly a revelation that we are now seeing the baby boomers of the early 1980s having their own kids.

The real question is: given the changes we have seen in this generation, what sort of world will the Pope’s grandchildren be born into? With emigration on the rise, economic growth slowing, inflation on the up and firms closing, one could be forgiven for thinking we are back to where we started in 1980. However, we know that such comparisons are wrong.

Back then, our government was one of the most indebted in the world; now that accolade goes to us – the plain people of Ireland. Back then, our current account deficit was 6 per cent of GDP, today it is also 6 per cent. Back then, our budget was in significant deficit, as it is today. Back then, house prices, which had risen dramatically in the 1970s, were about to go into a ten-year decline. Okay, let’s stop before we get a little depressed.

There is a significant difference between the Pope’s Children and the baby boom of 2008.Today, Ireland is a rich country going backward. Back then, it was a poor country going, hesitantly, forward. More importantly, back then the world was beginning to open up, as was Ireland.

Ideologically, the 1980s was the era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. The era of globalization was about to begin and, most significantly, the Pope’s Children grew up in a world free of communism. The Pope and Bin Laden’s mujahedin led the charge against the Soviet Union and, with its collapse in 1989, the world changed profoundly.

More importantly for us, these global changes constituted the background noise for Ireland’s recovery in the 1990s. Without argument, had the 1990s not belonged to the Americans (who dominated an emasculated EU and a dramatically weakened Russia), Ireland would not have seen such huge US investment. The Pope’s Children were born into an American hegemony and they profited substantially from the Pax Americana.

In contrast, their children are born into a dramatically altered world. The main reason is that Russia – after 20 years in the doldrums – is back. The sight of columns of Russian tanks rolling into a country which the Russians classify as part of their ‘‘near abroad’’ is a new one for the Pope’s Children, but an eerily familiar one for those old enough to have lived through the Cold War.

Yet, whether the reaction to the invasion of Georgia was one of déjà vu, shock or even denial, at the end of the day, it is clear that the world order has changed.

That has implications for pretty much everyone, everywhere. All over the world, people are beginning to realise that there is an alternative to the US. Not the USSR, but rather Russia: a revisionist-imperialist entity with aggressive intentions, but without the communist ideological pretensions of the USSR, ready to block, thwart and undermine the US at every turn.

This will probably be most notable in the Middle East, where America’s enemies – Iran and Syria in particular – will welcome the resurgent Russia. Russia is their main supplier of sophisticated weapons and, increasingly, their main diplomatic protector. For other countries in the region, the return of Russia to the global and regional arena offers the prospect of an alternative to American support and protection, which have been tied to ‘subversive’ notions such as democracy and human rights.

For everyone, the period of American supremacy that stemmed from the collapse of the Soviet Union has ended. Any number of scenarios are on offer as to how the new round of rivalry might play out in Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East and beyond, but the bottom line in all of them is that every area of ethnic, national or religious tension, from Kosovo to Kashmir, will become more problematic and less amenable to diplomatic resolution.

China and India – fresh from their scuppering of the WTO – will also realise that Russia, in its crudest form, is back and will thwart the US wherever it can. This will greatly change the balance of global power, because a renewed Russia will embolden others.

Who knows? This might be a good thing. However, for Ireland, the end of the era of unchallenged US power is not a positive prospect. The US is our largest trading partner and is the biggest foreign investor in the country.

Close to 80 per cent of Irish exports come from US multinationals and, for those who doubt the significance of the US in Ireland, consider the following: the combined output in Ireland of Dell, Microsoft and Intel amounts to 20 per cent of Irish GDP.

Ireland benefits hugely from a strong US. When the US is confident, it invests abroad and we get a disproportionate amount of this loot. For example, since the end of the Cold War, Ireland has received twice as much US investment as India and China combined.

Unfortunately, our new babies will be born into a world where Russia will contest America’s hegemony all over Europe. By implication, the EU – which could expand into the east under the unchallenged umbrella of America’s Nato – will be hampered. (Ironically, the Lisbon Treaty’s biggest enemy is Moscow, not Dublin.)

As a result, the 72,300 babies born in Ireland in the past 12 months face a much more uncertain global (and domestic) future than their parents, the Pope’s Children.


  1. I don’t know Dave. I don’t think its quite a given yet that the next twenty years will be dominated by Moscow Washington rivalry. Is it not very possibly that the fall out from Georgia will blow over in the near future. Russia has just roared to the west, we have security interests, respect them. Relations between the two will have to deteriorate significantly more before we reach, “new cold war” status.

  2. Johnny Dunne

    “More than 72,000 babies were born in the country over the past 12 months.” I’m a parent also of kids which won’t be joining the ‘workforce’ for another 15/20 years, it’s scary to think after all our ‘prosperity’ over the past few years we haven’t laid the ‘foundations’ to ensure employment continues to increase…

    “the combined output in Ireland of Dell, Microsoft and Intel amounts to 20 per cent of Irish GDP” Where is the contingency plan if these ‘few’ companies don’tr keep using ireland to sell through their product/servcies to all the European, Meddle Eastern and African markets. We already account for in our GDP all the revneus from Russia for these multinationals. We should be getting Indian, Chinese and know Russian multinationals trading through Ireland. Maybe we already are with petroleum exports ?

    We need policies to ensure we sustain the level of exports and grow so their is a future for our children?

  3. sara chalke

    Having lived through the nightmare eighties’ can somebody explain the crazy logic that encourages people to reproduce at such an alarming rate?.70,000 school leavers’ each year entering a stagnant labour market each year was a disaster and with more work being outsourced as well as increased automation the potetial welfare bill will be enormous.Ireland has had a labour surplus for most of the past 200 years and having grown up in a council estate in Dublin I have never fathomed why parents’ felt it necessay to have 8 or more children.Most ended up in prison, dead or on the dole.Abolish subsidies such as childrens’ allowance and force people to bear the cost of their simple mindedness.Durex anyone ?.

  4. Stephen Kenny

    Come on Sara, these kids were conceived in 2006, when the world was awash with bouncy castles and a media trumpeting the great and glorious future of the Celtic Tiger, stretching out forever. People were happy, wealthy, and successful. They strutted around, so to speak, brimming with confidence, admiring their home, their cars, and all that was missing was the family. A glowing, rosy, vision of the grown-up children – now a senior project manager, and a divisional director – visiting the proud parents at their summer residence out in the west somewhere. Grandchildren bouncing happily on knees. Add to that the proportion of immigrants who felt confident and accepted enough to “settle down” – the vast majority of immigrants are of reproductive age.
    Just consider how much of the media was/is dedicated to issues revolving around children – work life balance, state funded childcare, the ‘our children will pay our pensions’ argument, and the whole endless story of ‘working mums’. Any questioning of this was virtually treason.

  5. Malcolm McClure

    David: “Credit has been a great liberator. delicious, reasonably equitable credit has shifted some of the most tight-assed, rigid social structures and has allowed a degree of social mobility, aspiration and freedom unfathomable only a few years ago. Credit has allowed business to flourish which otherwise would have been squeezed by deficient cash flow. Jobs, incomes, good fun, late wild nights, one-night stands, great weekends and all sorts of other goodies have stemmed directly from our new cash–and this should be celebrated.”….”Credit has created the New Ireland– an Ireland that lives in the future rather than the past–an Ireland enthralled by the New Irish Dream. Credit, contrary to so much commentary on the vapidity and vacuousness of our society, makes people happy. Blurrily so.” –from The Pope’s Children pp116 & 120. copyright D. McW October 2005, –not in 1980, but less than three years ago.
    Its not much wonder that you want to move on from the Pope’s children to his grandchildren. Anyone who then subscribed to your bankerish enthusiasm for credit has quickly come to regret it. Shifting the focus to the re-emergence of Russia as a world power doesn’t alleviate your partial responsibility for our present problems.

  6. B

    Jesus Christ McClure you really lost it now.

    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS!!!!

    If you take your ‘advice’ from a generalised snapshot of the economy more fool you. David McWilliams is no more responsible for the reckless spending than the man on the moon. He was just saying what his interpretation of the events was.

    Its time people like you GREW UP and took responsilbility for your own debt. Nobody forced you and you are an adult and I therefore assume capable of being responsible for your own actions. Or do you want to be treated like the five year old you come across as in this forum? Give me a break. Blaming a man off the telly for your own woes is utterly stupid and childish.

    Credit does ease things but you do know you have to pay it back at some stage? Did you sleep in that morning?

    If you turn around to your bank and say I overspent because David McWilliams told me to you would be laughed out of the bank. You borrowed the money. You signed the contract and tough shit if its hard to pay back. You are an adult. SORT IT OUT.

  7. Garry

    David, Good to see the penny dropping…. Now take the next step, where is Ireland’s place in this new world?

    The “no” man of Europe, annoying everyone but ultimately neither pissing or getting off the pot, just getting a reputation as a nation thats too much hassle to deal with ………. Lets stop making losing friends needlessly and start figuring out joint approaches to the challenges facing Europe this century…. climate change, food security and energy security.
    Baby, its cold outside. Well, just take a look at how much gas we need, where it comes from and who is at either end of the pipeline.

  8. John Burges

    David

    Just a matter of interest do you subscribe to the notion that Lenin and the others were right , that capitalism should be otherthrown and replaced with a better world order ?

    there definately are sounds of pro- russian tones in you articles

    John

  9. Stephen Kenny

    John

    While we wait for David’s answer to your interesting question: Do you subscribe to such a notion? and how would you defend your answer?

  10. Malcolm McClure

    Mither o’ gawd, Mr.B. I was just pointing out that David McW was one of the D4 types selling tickets for a ride on the runaway bus. – Shure there’s divil the harm in that, at all, at all.

  11. Time to tax property, or maybe too late for the Popes children, but better late than never.

    I know most people are tired of the “GREED DEBATE”
    I myself tend to get washed out and weary talking about money and the way of the world.
    Time and again the same old question: why want more and more?
    The answer invariably finds them guilty of greed, and stupidity.

    In reality – these people are far from short of the full shilling – surely it can’t be as simple as that. Then in the last couple of years the stupidity began to reach crazy epidemic proportions; alarm bells rang with the sub-prime mortgage crisis; banks falling almost like a domino effect in the grand revelation of the worlds biggest – pyramid (property) sales – scam in history.
    I’m still absolutely amazed how easily people have accepted it, almost as if it never really happened. Greed had made its way to the upper echelons of finance/high society, feeding on the bottom rung: the tried and trusted pillars of our society feedin on the basic need of people.

    This was all much too much to be about stupid greed. This was unadulterated madness, but the development from stupidity to madness only highlighted the question more, and stopped me from heaping the usual “stupid” clichéd cynicism upon it which does little to help understand it.
    Now if you gather together a group of financial think tanks to give their analysis they’ll talk till the cows come home about – Roosevelt – investment banking regulation, (whether or not) the need to ensure liquidity under all reasonable conditions. (whatever they are) You’re bound to end up with an even bigger headache than you would in a debate/chat over a pint with friends. After a while you might form an opinion and go with the safe bet: Regulation, but the argument will go on, and you‘ve little chance arguing against the banking experience (some banks with) a hundred years old/in business.

    No, the banking/financial system is not simple, but maybe the reason for the greed
    is – staring us in the face. All we have to do is look in the mirror.)
    The non sustainability of our planet goes back eons, but – I think – never so prevalent than today. That too is a pain in the head, but undeniably linked to – our financial – progress. (progress seems to be our catch 22)
    So between – greed and the environment – the rock and a hard place, a dooms day looms, and though it (may or) may not be the stereotypical “end is neigh,“ it very much feels like the end as we know it. (and that’s also what we’ve been hearing)

    The biggest looming problem in – our – my personal life is the future and providing for the family. Most of my friends are alarmingly concerned about job instability, pensions, kids education, (do you have to be a rocket scientist to get a job in McDonalds) and health. (the one everybody knows you really can’t afford. Losing your health is – can be – a one way ticket to cardboard city these days. (this is progress) Put modern life into one word: STRESSFUL I imagined life to develop beyond the workhouse society; to provide adequate support for the dignity of all mankind. Well there you go: foolish me.

    So the end of life as we know would appear to be no permanent work, forget about the silly notion of finding a suitable career, in fact be ready and willing to work at what is available regardless of income and your outgoings. Forget about buying a home (you can’t afford one and even if you could possibly scrape enough together: having a home would only hinder you being apart of the (it used to be upwardly mobile) “mobility work force” (that has a nice ring to it) MWF ready and willing to move – on demand – to where there’s work to do. I can see a new re-mix of “KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING.”

    What I’m saying is: the panic is on to get enough money together to get a reasonable life style. God, when you think of it, aiming for a good career together with what might be interesting is a relic in the career guidance officers book.

    The “get rich quick virus” is a knee jerk reaction to a collective foreboding, and not so much a gloom/doom ( “good bye to life as we knew it” ) but a knowing in our hearts that the dream is gone, over, and it gets worse.

    I don’t mean a big dream, a Hollywood dream or the like, but just a dream of a normal family life; having an education, reasonable job, reasonable income, and healthcare, a reasonable back-up system when you can’t reasonably keep up the pace.
    The panic is on in the 21st century. When we thought things would get better it seems the financial system demands a u-turn to a kind of Victorian age. Life was good then as it is now if you have wealth.

    Really, do we not get the picture painted some time ago: capitalism (collapse in on) can’t maintain itself without serfdom/slaves.
    To be con …………

  12. Thanks for all the comments and the ideas. Just a point or two: Malcolm, of course credit was a great liberator, just because certain people borrowed too much and blow their credit on houses does not negate the social consequences of the freer availability of credit. If you doubt that just examine the impact of credit unions on our society over the past forty years.

    John, on the idea of me being pro Russian, that’s probably a bit true. Its not so much that I am pro-Russian rather, having tried to learn the language and having spent a lot of time in Russia (last week included), I’m possibly not as anti-Russian as many other commentators. That said, I am not the first westerner to be taken in by the seductive powers of the Russians, so I try to remember the lesson of the Potemkin Villages and not get too carried away!

    Kind Regards, David

  13. Philip

    I think we should question our ability to rate how good or otherwise our relationships are with the US and for that matter anyone else in the world. That fact that the US may be waning in the relative global powerstakes and China and Russia may be upsetting the apple cart both at a global and local EU level is just that…fact – that probably needs a lot more examination before we all jump to conclusions. Irrespective of conclusions, we have to move with what we have…and it’s actually not that bad.

    I have many years working with many nationalities on international projects and I can tell you that the Paddy is bright and highly regarded by everyone. Now that we got the praise out of the way, let me tell you what needs to be corrected when these paddies join the camp (and I will broad brush just to illustrate the point)

    1) Management skills (particularly self management) need major attention – “Patience”
    2) No concept of risk handling/ contingency management – seen as a time waster. Interestingly, I would see the Irish as having the worst comprehension of financial risk. I believe there may be hard evidence to back this – anyone?
    3) Surprisingly – very poor communications skills – many too many assumptions about other nationalities. – we confuse “friendliness” with contract all too often – something I think could compromise the Chinese way of doing business.
    4) No sense of review. Seen as a time waster.

    The Paddies tend to turn off brain when all are going up. No review as to why things may be going well, why things may have fixed themselves (usually a time to get very nervous). We are like 5 year olds. And when things go wrong we blow tantrums like 5 years olds insulting one another.

    I utterly sympathise with people who have worked their heart out to get a good job, have the 2 kids and try a live a good life. And ditto to the unfortunates who took out large loans – I believe the vast majority of them genuinely did not know what they were signing up to (and they are allowed vote as well…scary). The banks and their management never questioned (it seems) the basis of the securitization of loans – so, not only as the poor sods in the street ignorant of basic compound interest, but the “financial” whizzes seem equally ignorant. This goes back to my own experience of dealing with Paddy and I am not that surprised.

    I am not too bothered about the new Global scenario that is emerging at present. I think it represents a much needed change. The Government/ Establishment have an inertia which maintain the processes of a colonised nation. Too often, the US was relied upon as our prop – they were really colonialists by proxy (no fault of theirs). The prop has been removed, time to stop being 5 years olds and grow up and reach out to the east. We’re good. Do not let the establishment tell you otherwise.

  14. Philip

    I just want to add…”I am not too bothered about the new Global scenario that is emerging at present. I think it represents a much needed change. The Government/ Establishment have an inertia which maintain the processes of a colonised nation. Too often, the US was relied upon as our prop – they were really colonialists by proxy (no fault of theirs). The prop has been removed, time to stop being 5 years olds and grow up and reach out to the east. We’re good. Do not let the establishment tell you otherwise.”

    And much and all as I supported voting yes for Lisbon, I think that boat has well and truly passed and I resent the current attempt by the Government trying to install that alternative “prop” – a sure sign of a lack of confidence in the Irish people.

  15. MK

    Hi David,

    It is true that Russia the bear is giving out a large roar to demonstrate that it is ‘still a player’. Of course it is and thats with our without flexing its muscles in Georgia as the energy dependency aspects and relationships between suppliers and buyer countries has become more in focus due to increased demands and a ‘slowness’ in supply.

    Russia along with the former Comecon block was allowed to trade with the ‘western’ block of countries, and with that came financial benefits in the long-term. Note that China was allowed to enter the global club and we have Ronald Reagan and his government to thank for that. Russia was a basket case as it transitioned, though, whilst China has arguably done it better. Perhaps the difference is cultural and/or vodka! That has created the China of today and as we saw exemplified (partially) at the Beijing olympic ‘pageant’. It has also helped US companies become more succesful, and even Japanese ones that have leveraged cheap labour forces and cheap products from China. Wal-Mart’s success for example in the last decade is due to the fact that they were able to get volume supplies in from China before others such as K-Mart, etc.

    Russia has been ‘mis-treated’ politically however on the global power stage and at the UN and was militarily seen as a ‘spent force’, even if it probably still has the largest nuclear warhead arsenal in the world. The US has gained a jump on Russia since the 1970′s, but Russia with its energy leg-up has clawed back to at least be in the same division if not at the same level. It didnt help Russia that its ‘allies’ in hotspot areas were under the cosh, such as Serbia, Iran and Syria and to a certain extent Iraq as well.

    I agree with other posters however that its not a case of going back to a cold war situation. Relations though have seriously deteriorated with this Georgia, Abhkaz, Ossetia mess, and Russia would need to plough a careful course of actions and diplomacy, as do the Western countries, for this not to develop into a bigger mess with trade embargo’s etc. That would affect both blocks negatively, and us, a mere pawn in the global jigsaw.

    Whether Ireland will ‘lose out’ because of the US’s reduction in power (rathar than a demise) is probably correct. But it will be up to use to look for new ways. Just as Germany was a huge inward investor in the 1970′s, and the US more recently, we just need to think on our feet and get new ways of doing business from new companies. We are still a small country so a small-scale success in global terms can keep us propelled quite significantly.

    As for the Irish baby boom, there is some devil in the detail no doubt. Babies born per 1000, babies born per no. of women of appropriate age, etc, these figures would tell us more. And also, to whom. With Ireland having thousands of immigrants, many are taking the opportunity to have an Irish baby, a factor which certainly wasnt the case in the 1970′s baby increase.

    MK

  16. V

    Yes, PAX Americana is dead. Now it’s a time to recognise that the world is multipolar. IMHO, Ireland should benefit from its neutrality and look to the east and establish mutually beneficial economic and political relations with China, Russia, Iran, etc and work out how to attract their capital and natural resources to Ireland.

  17. Malcolm McClure

    David: I’ve just listened to both your 2006 podcasts, Redhead vs Reds and BoI Ballsbridge seminar, end to end. I now have a much clearer picture of your ideas during that critical period. You mentioned the Bangladeshi Nobel prize winner who founded a credit union there that lifted millions out of abject poverty. The CUs in Ireland have also done a lot of good for the disadvantaged.
    The problem I pointing to was equity release mortgages, affordable only by the comfortably off. Problem was that the banks were then encouraging even householders of limited means and vast credit card debts to avail of that facility to buy Kawasaki lawnmowers etc. Those were the vulnerable ‘marks’ with most to lose in the eventual credit crunch.
    I admired your perceptive shorting offer to sell and leaseback the Killiney house for €2 million. Did that ever happen? The uranium investment proposal too was far-sighted in the light of subsequent events.
    I wondered whatever happened to Dan McLoughlin’s 9.1 Billion tax surplus. Is any of that still available for investment in infrastructure?

  18. b

    I was in a very large BMW dealership this morning. I don’t own a beemer but has a friend who has and the sense of tension before a storm was palpable. Nobody was buying and the staff are just sitting there counting paperclips and marking time. Nothing is moving.

    I do agree with Philip that we will have difficulty adapting to the Chinese way of business or any other culture for that matter. We are light weight and mostly in cloud cuckoo land where deadlines are not serious and there are infinite amounts of money and “someone will sort it out”.

    Even the way we hand them money is wrong. It may be a small point but handing a scrunched up tenner to a Chinese is an insult to them and to the money. It is a TINY thing but they are fastidious in the way they keep money flattened out, no dog ears and coins on top. Watch it the next time you get curry chips or are in a shop.

    See thats another place we have missed the cues completely. Ask them what they studied and you will find savagely intelligent accountants and other qualifications picking up glasses. What we have done is instead of forging a special relationship with a country that could help us like China we have a relationship with Australia who have little or no investment or real business links bar Eircom here. Something a bit screwey there.

    We need to encourage the Chinese like Canada does because where they go they generate business. Like ladybirds in the garden. So what if they are not in the EU. Neither is Australia. We need to stop taking wasters from places like Nigeria with no connection or any business of note with Ireland and encourage trading partners like China.

    The Chinese integrate the Nigerians don’t and want us to adapt to their ways. Like the lunatic that was on Liveline last week banging on about witchcraft in Ireland. There was no witchcraft before the Africans moved in. We were suckered in by the wealthiest country in Africa and the most oil rich. Nigeria.

    Irish ‘management’ relies on bluff and bluster and knows very little about the whys and the etiquette of doing business.

    Apropos Philip.

    1) Management skills (particularly self management) need major attention – “Patience” –

    Blue in the face on this. Jumping to attention when Outlook beckons or being an hour late is seen as the norm. You might think it is being busy but to the other person who has made space for you in their day it is just rude. You may as well be teaching a pig to put on makeup.

    2) No concept of risk handling/ contingency management – seen as a time waster. Interestingly, I would see the Irish as having the worst comprehension of financial risk. I believe there may be hard evidence to back this – anyone?

    We did this for a client. He never thanked us for it. He doesn’t care until the warehouse falls down or some key employee walks out. Otherwise it is seen as irrelevant. My business that was scorned by Malcolm McClure is in this area. We have a nasty habit here of counting our chickens and when you look into it the chickens are either gone or never caught in the first place. The overspending in a boom covers this. If you can afford to keep bailing out water you will stay afloat but when that pump goes or the power to that pump goes you will sink.

    3) Surprisingly – very poor communications skills – many too many assumptions about other nationalities. – we confuse “friendliness” with contract all too often – something I think could compromise the Chinese way of doing business.

    Absolutely agree 100%. All too David Brent way of doing business. We see this manifested in the Irish reluctance to try anything new. Everyone goes to the same places on holidays. Everyone thinks that not speaking any of the local lingo is cool. Again I am generalising but that is the point. Most of my time is spent working out what to not do or what to do. Chinese expect a small gift as a token and if you walk into the living room of a Korean house with size 12 boots on you are not off to a good start. Filipinos don’t point. The final one took a while to figure out. There are not a million of these rules. All it takes is preparation and a little bit of focus on who and what you are dealing with. Not rocket science.

    4) No sense of review. Seen as a time waster.

    Reviewing what has gone before can save you making the same mistakes the next time. Paddy will buy the Lexus but won’t enquire as to how it was made. If reviewing wasn’t part of the Japanese car manufacturing culture we would not have any Lexus. Or any reliable cars of any make.

    It is a worn cliche but if you pay no attention to history you are doomed to repeat it. Same in the review.

  19. Stephen Kenny

    To some extent, the obsession with China and Russia perplexes me. Certainly, Russia has enormous mineral resources, including oil ,whereas China is an importer of most natural resources. China is building a vast industrial base, and Russia isn’t.

    Russia, economically, is of little real concern as all it has is resources. Sure, it could make life hard for others, but that wouldn’t really strengthen it’s productive economy – it would just damage trade and make it worse. It could start WW3, which could be the end of all things, but that is little to do with it’s economic strength.

    As has been pointed out on several occasions, the obsession with Japan in the 80s has a lot of similarities. The fundamental problem with the Japanese economy of the 80s was known, understood, and completely ignored. It was more than ignored: Raising it was a sure fire route to being viewed as a short sighted idiot, a ‘yesterday person’. Far sighted British public schools started to teach Japanese because it was obvious that Japanese banks and corporations were going to drive the commercial, and industrial, world. Japanese growth was incredible, unstoppable, and effortless.
    Then, sometime in 1989, it stopped.
    The problem, as people had been saying for quite a while, was a national version of the problem that Enron had, if not as serious in it’s consequences: Basically, it was an accounting problem. Japanese banks were allowed to own shares in the companies that they lent money to, and to use those shares as part of the capital base, i.e. they could lend money based on the value of these shares.
    The upshot was a virtuous (for a time) spiral: The banks lent money to a company and took shares as part of the deal; the company used the money to expand it’s business, so it’s share price went up. The increasing share price increased the value of the bank’s capital base, so it was able to lend more money.
    As long as the companies stayed in business, everything grew; the stockmarket, the banks, and the Japanaese companies. Basically, the Japanese economy.
    The problem was that each part HAD to keep growing for the virtuous spiral to stay in tact. If any part failed, the virtuous spiral would turn into a nonvirtuous spiral.
    The stockmarket came off in 1989, and suddenly those shares making up the bank’s capital base were worth less, so they needed to call in loans, or borrow more money. I’m sure you can guess the rest.
    I don’t know what the ‘gotcha’ in the Chinese economy is, although I can guess, but but I’m dead sure there is one.
    I wonder whether all those estate agents, mortgage agents, and property investment gurus are starting to open Chinese language schools – I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

  20. Observer

    One question I have is this………..

    How many of those 72,000 Kids where born to irish Nationals? If it was not over 75%, that’s very worrying when most of our are losing our jobs than non-nationals.

    Especially when we are having immigration and emigration at the same time.

    That’s going to fuel alot of fear.

  21. b

    @Observer

    Ask the CSO.

    People like you thrive on misinformation and rumours. Get the facts and then scaremonger.

    Otherwise keep schtum like a good little racist.

  22. Philip

    I think MK’s point on the % of babys per 1000 born to what socio/age/national grouping would very useful. My main concern is that their parents would not be healthy/ wealthy enough to bring their offspring thro our increasingly biased fee based education system in a stable enough manner and a ghettoisation of national groups because we are not capturing the informal segregation activity.

    I think the issue of whether China/ Russia/ America are threats etc is interesting but probably irrelevant. We are like fleas arguing over who owns the dog. They all will rise and fall …the trick is to capture the crumbs that fall from those not insignificant tables.

  23. b

    Immigrants by their nature are the go getters of their countries. I wouldn’t worry about them at all.

    Unless they are doing a number on us like the Nigerians seem to be well able to do.

    I would worry that Irish people are ghettoizing themselves by being excluded or thrown from the education system. Our 40% functional illiteracy rate is a total disgrace.

  24. Observer

    B, why don’t you like a pain in the ass…….. get some cream to clear up that problem you have?

    I asked what I believed was a relevant question, thats what supposedly allowed in a debate and an environment that allows opinons/concerns to be addressed.

    Its only people like you who when the mentioning of foreigners enters discussion…….. for legitiimate reasons I might also add declare it as “Racist”

    Of course, I remember you saying in other posts how you see your own countrymen as “Benefit cheats, skangers, lazy and inferior than non-nationals”.

    I remember you saying that you only employ foreigners, is it because they are willing to work for less money and longer hours?

    People like you who hate what their own community stands for and represent; are nothing but a stain on the country,quit with your own Anti-Irish Prejudice.

  25. B

    @Observer. I asked you to provide facts. You provided nothing. You are implying there is some immigrant factory spawning children to sponge off us. I pulled the racist card out because targeting other tax payers who are not born here is racism.

    I do think Irish people are lazy. I do think that the people who are making the most of the State services are Irish and I don’t think that Irish people are inferior to anyone. I do think we need to wise up and stop farting around with borrowed money. We have a decadant society that has fogotten how to compete. That is how I think we are lazy.

    We employ ONE foreigner. They work from 9-5. She gets paid the same as an Irish person in a similar position. The job is high end and is a professional post. They are an accountant not a mushroom picker as you are implying. We have got more shit from Irish companies who won’t pay their bills and who mess us around than any other country we deal with. We used to let this person do credit control but the sheer volume and nastiness of the racism that came down the phone we had to take them off it and do it ourselves. This person was in tears and was ready to quit.

    I am not anti-Irish as I have been accused of countless times. We have turned into a society that is obsessed with money and patently unable to deal with it. We get robbed left right and centre by vested interests without complaint and like the passive aggressive nation we are we blame the outsider NOT the people who are robbing us. Prices are raised without so much as a whimper. We are cowed to politicians who do jack shit to help us and we elect these losers time and time again. For what reason?

    I am not anti-Irish. I am anti lazy thinking and I am 100% against blaming immigrants for problems created by ourselves. Voting for corrupt politicans from Castlebar, Swords and Drumcondra makes me sick to my stomach. We never learn. This is what I am against.

    Please Observer tell us what we stand for? We seem to have lost any Irishness we had. We are rude, aggressive and obsessed with money and status. I have an old car and the sheer amount of abuse I get from driving it is incredible. In Ireland you are judged by where you live and what you drive. You may be the nicest, most clever person in the world but it all comes down to prejudice and one upmanship.

    The jobs market has enlarged since we had mass immigration. If Irish people are being squeezed out it is because they demand more money, take liberties with time off and most importantly they stop educating themselves. We want the easy way out all the time.

  26. David, some of us over here in the US Heartland welcome the retreat of America from playing world superpower. We ready to live and let live, which once was the coin of the real here. Yes, some of us are Islationists. We do not bother you. You do not bother us. If you want to do business with us, it is “cash on the barrel,” no more foriegn aid and alliances. If however, you decide to kill us over here, then, then the fooling around stops, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki learned. In short, many of us over here, if not most of us, believe it is time to put America first, which means we take care of our own people here, and the rest of the world can do what it wants as long as it leaves us alone. In short, look for an emergent American nationalism; this version will be the old-time wisdom of the Founders – we seek no entanglements abroad. Keep up your good work. You are one of the few analysts worth a read. You certainly transcend the stupid blather of our media.

  27. Fergal

    Paul Rux, Ph.D, where’s your Ph.D from?

    The ‘coin of the real’, I suppose you mean ‘Coin of the Realm’? It is possible that this is a typo, but using the word ‘realm’ with regards to the U.S.A. is a little misplaced.

    ‘Islationists’, I suppose you mean ‘isolationists’ (derived from that complex word ‘isolation’!).

    If what you’re suggesting is that America won’t start any more wars under false pretences or without a real international mandate, I think most of the world would say (in the words of Bart Simpson) “D’oh, that’s what I said to do”

    In any case, a word of advice, the Irish are not respectful of titles. You earn your place. Your Ph.D with comical errors devalues your opinion.

  28. Observer

    B,

    I raised a valid point. If the birth rate for the idigenous Irish Population is lower than that of the non-nationals, then we are in dnager of being out bred in our own country.

    That will fuel the fears greater that we have currently with large volumes of immigration still entering Ireland, this is dangerous because we also have emigration occuring at the same time.

    I’ve heard disturbing that from Jan to May this year; 60,000 people arrived (15,000 each month) if this continues we will be a minority in 20 years…….. not to mention birth rates. Those of CSO figures.

    It was also brought to our attention that 48,000 jobs were created last year, 90% which went to foreign nationals.

    This is crazy! Ireland is now squeezing out its own people for new vacancies being created, I remember in the 80′s if you were an Irish Doctor it was near impossible to find a position in Ireland after you had graduated, you had to literally emigrate to the states or elsewhere to find a medical career.

    Resentment is now starting to appear in the cracks, people in Ireland feel betrayed that they were duped into a massive con they believed gave them wealth. There was no sign of any control to limit the intake we could possibly handle every year, by 2020 I predict the EU will collapse (So does the US Government) because of unextinguishable nationalism that will erupt as it always does.

    You need only see the number of videos being produced on Youtube to show the anger that’s growing.

    Mass-Immigration is killing off the Irish Identity and endangering the Irish-Language even further.

    What does it mean to be Irish you said? The general concensus would be being born and/or being of strong idigenous ancestry, being knowledgable and practising your culture, working hard whilst being loyal to your family, going to mass to give thanks for what more or little you have and supporting your county.

    Of course alot of these have been abandoned by people who just embraced greed………they deserve the fallout they get.

  29. B

    Observer the CSO telephone number is 021 4535000 call them and ask how may foreigners were born. Until then you are just sabre rattling and relying on fear and misinformation against those who have worked hard during the boom.

    Youtube is not a scientific gauge of anything.

    How come the US with massive immigration has still its own culture. And the Irish language was dead at the end of the 19th century. A few Poles and Latvians are not here to kill it off.

    I support my county. We have 10 people employed where I am from. ALL ARE IRISH. We have four generations of railwaymen going back to the 1850s in our family from a provincial town. We have farmers going back to the 11th century on the other side. No we are not West Brits unless you count Fitzgeralds as West Brits. Its great how you turn on your own.

    I do not go to mass. The Catholic Church is a foreign power based in the Vatican that believes itself to be above the law. This is a personal choice and does not make me any less Irish. The high kings never went to mass and does that make them less Irish?

    I am aftaid Observer you will never be in the minority. Stupid people multiply exponentially.

    I am afraid of one thing though. I think the murder rate is going to go through the roof as the under educated Irish attack and kill the more educated foreigners. This is an Irish problem called functional illiteracy that has never been addressed and affects 40% of the population.

  30. Observer

    B, I’m just stating facts from what I know so far.

    The Catholic Church provided you and almost everyone else in this country with an education, that is a priviledge especially when for years under colonial rule we were the underclass of our country ruled over mostly by decadent sectarian landlords.

    It sickens me when people bite the hand that fed them for all those years, just because there were a few bad apples doesn’t been the whole box contaminated……..just remember alot of those who spoke about abuse were the priests themselves………it was some corrupt cardinals that covered it up.

    Our taxes would be more cash for them (landlords) to splash out on indulgence whilst we had to sell our shoes to get a loaf of bread. The church gave us hope when there was nothing else to look forward to.

    We owe them alot for what good they have done the Irish people for over a millenia, just because some chose the path of evil doesn’t mean that all of them are bad.

    I agree that the murder rate is growing dramatically high, that’s what is worrying me in the current climate.

  31. Ah sure god be with the days when you were either okay or a straight, and being Irish was something to do with tourism.

    Then they bundled us into the back of cars and hauled us up the Dublin mountains; well somewhere near Hellfire club, the mountains to us. Anyway. We were dragged out on the ground and with guns in our faces they said: “we’re takin’ over the business.”
    One friend whispered to me: “are they the Progressive Democrats”
    “No you eejit, it’s the Dunne’s from Dolphins Barn, and before you ask, they’re Irish, and none of them even did the primary”

    Ah yes, that’s when real business initiative sprang forth; natural born instinct. Sure you could say they were the inspiration for all that followed; they had to put the money they made into other things.
    I know it seems a long way off but you know I’d say Tony O’Leary was inspired by that action. You can see it in his business style. He’s real Irish, it’s all for the business, you can see that, he couldn’t give a damn about the customer, the environment, not even the share holder.

    But what I really wanted to say was I am getting worried about how watered down the Irish are becoming, all those foreigners, you know, in the country now mixin’ and you know.

  32. SORRY!
    Michael O’Leary

  33. Philip

    And while you’re at it Cyrano, will you pass us the vodka so I can water down me stout. Great to see the teenagers getting along though. Makes me I was one again.

    Observer, the joke is that anyone who overran this place and took it over became Irish anyway. I have even heard it argued that the English language has its first seeds in Wexford due to the strong mix of Saxon and French (I think this has never been confirmed, but I’d not be surprised). Back in the 17th Cen about 30% spoke French!! Guess what…The Irish are still here. Mind you, if we keep getting this weather, the “Purity” will be guaranteed – many find this place miserable. As a race/ genetically we are very mixed as it stands. Most of us have ghengis khan’s genes as well as moorish, moroccan, danish etc. Irishness is not that brittle a culture. No need to worry
    And…
    Many of the immigrants are more devout Catholics than we are – is their example not welcome?
    There is a marked rise in adult training in Irish classes – Contrasting cultures, make ours more noticeable – surely very welcome?
    As for jobs…
    Most bring new skills and are better educated and we do need those skills. My worry is that the weather will chase them away.
    Poverty/ Exclusion/ Ghettoisation etc – is a different problem caused by a lack of inclusion & openness. You are very right to be worried in this regard. This will be a source for flashpoints is they are not managed as soon as possible. Until people see that the cost of ignorance is way higher than the cost of a good education, we are in deep doodoo.

  34. David S

    Hello good article once again David. However you don’t seem to take account of the positives and benefits of a resurgent Russia. Take for instance, the rising China (technically resurgent if you consider its mid- 19th century decline from great and ancient power status), China has 1.3 billion and could prove disastrous for the West’s place in the world, and threaten, thwart and blackmail the nations of the west. Well they may think twice about getting cheeky if they have a powerful and resurgent Russia on their northern border to deal with, along with another great power the United States. Who knows if Sarko, Merkel and Co. get their way there will probably be no countries left in Europe, just a big federal country with the loss of ancient nations like Ireland, England, France, Spain etc- anyways thats neither here nor there. Also given that India with its also large population of 1.1. billion (Expected to be most populous nation on earth in 2050 with 1.5 billion, with China slowing to 1.4 billion), is friendly with the west, including the United States, and is a member of the Commonwealth- it could also act as a restraint against China on its south border, and prevent a grand and evil Sino-Islamic pact from taking place (once again there are 1.3 billion muslims- so the scale of China, India and the Muslim world are enormous). But India despite having a population nearly as large as China will never have the same potential of putting the fear of god into China to behave itself. And because Russia is no longer communist, and its citizens enjoy a greater standard of living (thanks to Vladimir Putin), an alliance with the commies in China is out of the question, Russia is not going to risk bad relations with Europe and United States and lose its potential wealth just to get cozy with China. This is not a resurgent commie state- but a return of a powerful Russia, the Russia that was one of Europes powers from Peter the Great in the early18th century- the same Russia that sent both Napolean and Hitler packing. I see the advantages of this resurgent Russia, unlike most- because if China starts pushing its weight like a spoilt child, Russia will put manners on them. Also dont forget that Russia will also be bordered by a future more powerful China on its Asian border, and the EUSSR on its European border, so its power will just be concerned (rightfully) with its own neck of the woods, something the west is currently not respecting, particulary the neocons. And if Russia annexes Central Asia, the Caucas states and the Ukraine, Belarus again its nobodys fault but an arrogant, smug post-1989 west.

    Here is a link to Pat Buchanan, who has been writing a lot about this subject this weather. Now I know hes eccentric in a lot of his opinions (and I dont agree with him at times in what he says)- but he currently the most wise, and the most intelligent writer on US foreign policy at the moment- unlike the globalist, corporatist dominated media. Click on the link below
    http://www.wnd.com/news/archives.asp?AUTHOR_ID=185

  35. B

    Observer you have yet to furnish ANY facts at all!

    The Church CHANGED SIDES from the landlords to the revolutionaries when it suited them. They are not the saviours of Irish culture you revere.

    The murder rate is high because we tolerate drugs. The middle classes are disconnected from the supply and think that drugs = a good time not a skanger gangster getting filled with bullets.

    Watered down Irish. Lads you have little to be worried about.

  36. Davy 22

    Hello good article once again David. However you don’t seem to take account of the positives and benefits of a resurgent Russia. Take for instance, the rising China (technically resurgent if you consider its mid- 19th century decline from great and ancient power status), China has 1.3 billion and could prove disastrous for the West’s place in the world, and threaten, thwart and blackmail the nations of the west. Well they may think twice about getting cheeky if they have a powerful and resurgent Russia on their northern border to deal with, along with another great power the United States. Who knows if Sarko, Merkel and Co. get their way there will probably be no countries left in Europe, just a big federal country with the loss of ancient nations like Ireland, England, France, Spain etc- anyways thats neither here nor there. Also given that India with its also large population of 1.1. billion (Expected to be most populous nation on earth in 2050 with 1.5 billion, with China slowing to 1.4 billion), is friendly with the west, including the United States, and is a member of the Commonwealth- it could also act as a restraint against China on its south border, and prevent a grand and evil Sino-Islamic pact from taking place (once again there are 1.3 billion muslims- so the scale of China, India and the Muslim world are enormous). But India despite having a population nearly as large as China will never have the same potential of putting the fear of god into China to behave itself. And because Russia is no longer communist, and its citizens enjoy a greater standard of living (thanks to Vladimir Putin), an alliance with the commies in China is out of the question, Russia is not going to risk bad relations with Europe and United States and lose its potential wealth just to get cozy with China. This is not a resurgent commie state- but a return of a powerful Russia, the Russia that was one of Europes powers from Peter the Great in the early18th century- the same Russia that sent both Napolean and Hitler packing. I see the advantages of this resurgent Russia, unlike most- because if China starts pushing its weight like a spoilt child, Russia will put manners on them. Also dont forget that Russia will also be bordered by a future more powerful China on its Asian border, and the EUSSR on its European border, so its power will just be concerned (rightfully) with its own neck of the woods, something the west is currently not respecting, particulary the neocons. And if Russia annexes Central Asia, the Caucas states and the Ukraine, Belarus again its nobodys fault but an arrogant, smug post-1989 west.

    Here is a link to Pat Buchanan, who has been writing a lot about this subject this weather. Now I know hes eccentric in a lot of his opinions (and I dont agree with him at times in what he says)- but he currently the most wise, and the most intelligent writer on US foreign policy at the moment- unlike the globalist, corporatist dominated media. Click on the link below
    http://www.wnd.com/news/archives.asp?AUTHOR_ID=185

  37. b

    China was the first state that Russia successfully exported communism to. This should not be forgotten.

    Pat Buchanan…Hahahahaha.

    So this is where the crazies all live?

  38. Dónall Garvin

    David seems to think that the Georgian situation is the biggest political event for sometime.

  39. Davy 22

    Mr B you got me blocked the last time, i’m not going to bother my arse debating you again. And thank you observer for pointing out his anti-Catholic comments. I for one don’t even attend church, and intend going back when i’m in my 60s (lol don’t tell Fr Tom)- but I as much as anybody appreciates the fine education that Ireland gets from the Catholic church, at no cost, and a system which is second to none worldwide, probably only surpassed by some nerdy nations like Japan. Nobody EVER said that the Catholic church was Irish (its transnational, catholic means universal), there are catholics in hundreds of nations worldwide. And many fine Irishmen have belonged to the Church of Ireland- like Douglas Hyde (presidency also supported by EdV) and William Butler Yeats. From past posts I know your anti-De Valera, and like to paint him as the great satan, but to be honest Mr B it is this man (who gets blamed for some supposdely sectarian “repressive” Irish society) who wrote a constitution in 1937 which gave religous freedom to all denominations (even the jews), and refused point blank to make the Catholic church the state religion, against the wishes of some bossy boots Archbishops. And this is remarkable given that Europe at this time was falling under fascism, and the catholic church in those countries exploited this power grab…..Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain and Hitler in Germany etc. And the Irish people (believe it or not Mr B) are probably one of the most fiery and independent minded people in the world, the Catholic church never dominated this country like they did latin countries like France/Italy/Spain. Ireland NEVER had a brutal inquisiton- and Ireland NEVER chased out groups like the Hugenots like Louis XIV did in the 17th century. I’m sick of this idea pumped out by lying propoganda peddling individuals like you that Ireland is ruled by some secret cable of catholic fascists. If you want to see a state church in action, go to none other than John Bull’s own island. The Church of England IS the state religion, it gets government subsidies and even tithes, its members are given a percentage of seats, though unelected in the House of Lords, and the biggest fish to fry is that the Monarch can ONLY be a Church of England member, No catholics, quakers, jews etc need apply. THAT is a bigoted system in action Mr B, NOT Catholic Ireland. Ireland has had Church of Ireland presidents, taoiseachs and TDs- also friends of that great satan with the pitchfork and take you keep referring to when you want to blast this country- Eamon De Valera.

  40. Observer

    Not at all David22,

    thank you for pointing out that many who’ve benefitted from their education have thrown it back in the face of church.

    Philip, you clearly haven’t lived abroad have you? After living in the UK for 20 years; I can certainly confirm that many, if not all Irish Expatraites who want to come back to Ireland are wallowing in despair when they hear what is actually happening to their country.

    People in my immediate family are angered when they visit home, the sights and sounds of what they remember are vanishing all for the sake of accomodating other peoples that we can’t identify with.

    The real spirit of diversity is a single world with many National identities; it should not under any circumstances be a single nation with many identities……. America is enough.

    The Ireland that I long for to return was the country that had a single culture, I’m very aware that the Irish are a mixture of people……. although these arrivals happened one at a time and they intermarried with the celts.

    Oh B,

    “Nationalities in Ireland: Irish (including dual-Irish/other): 88.9%, UK: 2.7%, Other EU 25: 3.9%, Other Europe: 0.6%, Africa: 0.8%, Asia: 1.1%, USA: 0.3%, Other countries: 0.5%, Multiple nationality: 0.1%, No nationality: 0.0%, Not stated: 1.1% (2006)”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ireland

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/special/2006/ncb/index.pdf

    “In 2002, 7% of the population were born outside of the country” So 93% of people must have been Irish. Pages 55-65

    It predicts also if this rate were to continue, Immigrants will be 19% of the population.

  41. b

    Dev let in no Jews during WW2 under instructions from John Charles McQuaid.

    For Gods sake David 22 did you live here at all. Ireland was in the pocket of the Church for decades. They decided literally who lived and died, who went into the mental hospitals and who should be shunned to spend their lives in the US or UK. They were fascists in all senses of the word. Dev was a fascist and a pin headed small minded one at that. He had no ideas and no idea.

    I have no interest debating David 22 or Observer on a clearly xenopohobic platform.

    If you are so concerned about the Church being Irish why is it headquartered in the Vatican and why was the early church plus St Patrick made up of immigrants. I am just concerned that you are blaming soft targets for what is really going wrong. You blame the black man or Polish man on your street but YOU still vote in the politicians that allowed the situation in the first place.

    Attack the cause not the result.

  42. Observer

    I could debate with you until the end of time B, fact of the matter is I won’t.

    Fact is that you are just as bad as the people you oppose and fictionally portray as fascists, fact remains they educated you and helped you become the man you are today. They gave you the path and motivation for success to get qualifications.

    I don’t blame the migrants solely for the problems we face, this misfortune was the result of those in power who were ignorant of the consequences and arrogant enough to believe that they could do better. The visitors to this country are naive in believing that running away from the poverty or reasons why they left will make things better, it doesn’t.

    Leaving your country when times are tough is only running away from the problem, not facing it and solving it. The only way to solve problems in the 3rd world and poor nations, is to focus and tackle the issues within the affected country itself.

    In 2004, Latvia suffered the worst skills shortage it had in its history……….all their most skilled professionals and labourers left for the UK, Ireland and Sweden……….ceasing output and development in their own country.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5871651411393887069

    This man Roy beck mentions some shocking home truths that we all really need to hear, this is aimed at America but we need to take note.

  43. b

    Dev never educated anyone. I wouldn’t accuse the Christian Brothers of education either. Witness the uneducated workers exported to the UK to work on the roads. People didn’t leave Ireland in the 50′s and 60′s. They were thrown out. The government bankrupted the country pursuing idealistic policies. Far right policies.

    My grandmother was thrown out to England for being a widow in the 50′s. My Great grandfather was thrown out for having a job in the post office and the IRA told him to get out of Ireland. Both by force. Both people being Irish and Irish born.

    I would also question your assertion that we suddenly became a first world nation. We have a third world system with a first world level of debt and spending.

  44. Davy 22

    Mr B your sort would never stop, and would NEVER be happy with this country until it was less than 50% Irish. While some of us are shouting “iceberg write ahead”, you insist on keeping the ship we live in toward it.
    And you don’t have a clue Mr B- this country and its people we’re treated like pure sh*t, and little better than field animals by the English upper classes in London. And you speak of us been “rascist” the second we debate immigration, but that is because we actually LIKE Ireland, and want to preserve, nothing to do with “hating” other peoples. When those peoples are in their own countries i’ve nothing against them and its none of my business, in fact I don’t even think of them. BUT it is a different matter when they are in OUR country- what the hell is wrong with debating this. Technically Ireland is private property and owned by US, just as an owner owns a house. The same goes for Latvia and Latvians, Poland and Polish etc etc. Shouldnt we be allowed to decide who we let into our house by the name of Ireland (all this talk of houses reminds me of the Madness 1980s hit ‘our house’ – that could be our new national anthem lol). If you want to see REAL racism, look no further than the historical potrayel of the Irish in England (racist because we we’re none of there business- but they for some unusual reason that we we’re their business)- although we NEVER did ANYTHING to them, or done them ANY wrong they treated us like common animals, and in fact portrayed us in that manner- have you ever heard of “paddy the ape”? That is how the Irish we’re actually portrayed once upon a time. And I bet your somebody who demonises pride (or the respectable, non Sinn Fein style nationalism of the majority) and national feeling in Ireland. Ok then whats your alternative then Mr B- a bland, cultureless, dual-ethnic, no-history nation like America? Do you really want this country to be as boring as America, where national pride comes down to some feckin document signed over a protest at tea prices, instead of an intimate Irish culture. And have you never been to any other country- you are aware that the English, Scots, Welsh, French etc are every bit as nationalistic as us here. In fact that toilet rag that I wouldn’t by to clean up my dogs shite- the sun newspaper- is an example of Englands nationalism, and i’m sure you love it (the UK version) Mr B when they take this piss out of the old potatoe picking paddies. And I know i’ve said this before, but I have Scottish ancestry from the 1850s, and quite possibly French on one side if you take the Norman settlers into account. But guess what Mr B, unlike the immigrants that are FORCED on us by the Brussels mafia, my Scottish and French blood ancestors BECAME MORE IRISH THAN THE IRISH THEMSELVES.
    Btw Philip where did you find out about a third of Wexford speaking French a few centuries ago, I was never aware of that. As well, I know that the Middle English that transplanted Old English (pre-Norman) was influenced by French, and that most of these words has outlasted Early Modern and Modern English, but not for a second would I have thought that Wexford influenced the English language- so they don’t just do cheese and good holidays lol

  45. B

    Yet another personalised attack from you. I never saw you voting against the EU before now. This was all in the previous treaties brought before the people who we were told to vote YES for becasue it is more patrioitic. Its a bit late turning your guns on me when you had your chance in the ballot box at Nice, Nice 2, Maastrict etc. What the hell do you think you were voting for there? Extra holidays and better looking women? Cop on to yourself.

    Technically Davy 22 Irelands title was passed from the British Crown to the Irish State. The title for the land you are now sitting on was never passed to the citizen. It is all State land. Ireland is owned by the State. Not by you and me.

    My grandmother was sniffed by Brits to see if she ate fish on Fridays. She experienced the racism.

    Ireland is like America. You have faceless malls everywhere and you have to drive everywhere. Look at Tallaght, Look at Blanchardtown. America is already here matey.

    Nobody forced themselves on us. Poles can work in the UK if they want. Just like we can. In fact we can work in all 27 countries if we want.

    So you have Scottish blood. You are therefore less Irish than me. GET OUT. GO HOME!

  46. B

    And I am not Anti-Catholic as you bigots pointed out.

    I am an athiest and unapologetic of this fact.

    Please lads, instead of hammering me with your bibles possibly come to the table with the odd fact instead of hell and brimstone and random idiotic rabble rousing against people that have done little to hurt you and save your ire for the politicians who are obviously not representing your views.

    In other words grow up and live a little and stop being angry little men with little to do but point the finger.

  47. webmaster

    Hi everybody. And I do mean everybody, this is not directed at any one person in particular.

    First of all, let me give you a proper introduction. My name is Ronan Quirke, I have the label of “webmaster” here on David’s site. Essentially I look after the site which includes adding in new content, performing maintenance, upgrades, new bells and whistles and keeping an eye on comments. Oh and sometimes getting calls from David when his printer has broken again.

    When I first put in the comment system for articles, we decided that anything goes except for one rule: the only person you can attack personally is David. He after all deserves it.

    Up to recently all has been well and good, but over the past few months, things have been getting more and more catty. Which is a real disappointment because I had hoped I wouldn’t have to check everything that gets posted. I only have a certain amount of time to work on the site each week so other areas will suffer if I spend my time reading every comment (I’m not being lazy, there are dozens each week).

    Now, I don’t know, maybe David has recently been going into deeper and darker territory in his subject matter and this has awakened sleeping beasts, but I still don’t see why we can’t have the same fantastic level of debate without getting too testy.

    In short, please play nice. Yes, tell people they are wrong. Explain to them why you think they are wrong, be open to criticism, accept that not everyone will share your view point.

    That does not make them worthy of name calling.

    I am going to add a link to my above plea on the comment form. If after a week I sense people are misbehaving, you will be simply placed in the sin bin for a short period or indefinitely if it is a repeat offence. Hopefully none of this will be necessary.

    If anyone wishes to do so, you can drop me a line at: webmaster@davidmcwilliams.ie (regarding this or indeed anything else about the site).

    Thank you, Ronan

  48. @ Mr Ronan Quirke , maybe you should throw a few in the sin bin, as on just visiting here today I was beginning to wonder who’s site is this any way ? ( had to read 48 posts to get to here ! )
    You are correct it Is David we should be challenging or attacking, but alas when you give such freedom as you have given here, you will always have the one or two ( not counting ) who think they know more and want to let us all hear them !.
    The World is changing , Ireland is changing ,politics ,economics and climate it’s all changing moving and growing but also things go in cycles. If the Mr A’s or B’s or C’s want to use Mr David Mc Williams forum to attack each other they are letting the establishment win and nothing will be improved for anyone but Maybe they should be brave and type in the rest of their names too. My own solicitor is now living with a beautiful Latvian ( to look at and too listen too ) and she admits her fellow country men laugh at us the way we fight among our selves when we have such freedom here we complain yet don’t march onto the streets as we are allowed to do , instead we just call each other names.
    Those in elected office know this weakness too and this is why they continue running us and buying the big state cars etc etc.
    I wouldn’t worry about Russia and a new ‘Cold War’ really as now today in America there is also a different outlook among the intelligent there who are working to change their own system too , maybe your hitters here should look for Senator Ron Paul and get his book The Revolution.
    Ireland and more importantly us Irish by birth have to grow up and move on from throwing stones at the Catholic Church and commenting on Dev. and those who gave us ‘the free state’. Nations around the Globe do admire us how we struggled against Britain, but that’s the past.
    We are located mid way between the USA and Russia and we should be working together on our emerald isle not just for The Popes Grandchildren , put also for the great grand children to come.

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