June 3, 2009

And the bride wore Fair Trade organic cotton lace

Posted in Ireland · 202 comments ·
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The Eco WeddingThe sun is out, the Leaving Cert is upon us, the place is coming down with scary looking politicians leering out from lamp posts, begging to be loved — so it must be early June.

Apart from the above, early June is bang in the middle of the wedding season and recession or no recession, weddings in Ireland, like baptisms and communions, are special occasions. Even when we are staring bankruptcy in the face, this is one thing we don’t scrimp on.

Over the weekend I saw four weddings parties in full regalia, no expense spared. One of the weddings that passed me by was a new type, and after a little digging around, it seems that there is a new highly sophisticated and recession-proof wedding out there. It is the eco wedding. It is a special wedding for these sensitive souls who want to go one better than their mates but don’t want to be seen to do this by means of flashing the cash alone.

We all know that weddings are about social competition. I have been told of mothers, not only brides, turning into living monsters, ageing years in the run-up to the big day as the intensity of the occasion gets to them. But the madness never stops. And there are new and discerning ways of defining yourself and your wedding.

The latest one — the eco wedding — is wonderful because it combines a one-world concern with the rainforest as well as one worried eye on the practicalities of the downturn.

In these straitened times, many have decided that it is all rather vulgar and tacky to be going over the top with personalised match boxes, a hired Riverdance rip-off troupe and a magician to entertain the guests. That’s all so 2007.

The way to avoid this is to offer your ceremony up to a higher God. The eco wedding is the pinnacle of taste and political ‘right-on-ness’ and like all things environmental, it will set you back a huge whack. But the expenses is justified not because ‘you are worth it’ but because ‘it’ is worth it. The ‘it’ being the type of person you want to be as symbolised by your big day out.

‘Fair Trade Fiona’ wants everyone to know where she stands on logging in Honduras, and the best way to scream this from the rooftops is by setting out her stall at her wedding. All the invitations are made from recycled paper, as are all the place names. Her flowers are in season and obviously she will use only potted plants for decorations — plants which she planted with her own hands.

The dress was crucial. Her dress would be ‘upcycled’, not recycled. Deep down, Fair Trade Fiona knew that the dress would trump all competition. She got it made from organic cotton that is woven to look like lace. Upcycling, the holy of holies for the concerned shopper, means that the designers take material from second-hand clothes — silk and cashmere from dresses and jumpers — and they make them into wedding dresses. Deborah Lindquist is Fiona’s favourite designer. Even Fiona thought it was a bit pricey, as the ‘donation’ as it’s called — nothing as vulgar as price could be mentioned — starts at about €2,000. But an upcycled dress was worthy. She knew it and so would her guests.

Needless to say, her wedding cake will only use Fair Trade ingredients and is made by the organic baker in Portobello. She spent weeks checking that the hotel would only source food locally and an exacting ‘food mile’ inspection was carried out on a rainy Saturday in March to make sure the carbon footprint of dinner came in way under the Green Party’s advised limit.

But it’s not only the ingredients that must not be shipped in from all over the place, she had to find a venue which was closest to the guests so that they didn’t have to travel unnecessarily far, again for environmental reasons. This involved a ruler and a calculator — things she hadn’t used since she sat her maths paper in the Leaving Cert. At one stage she nearly gave up, but Fair Trade Fiona was not a quitter. This would be a sanctimonious occasion, where her guests, mainly unemployed architects, would marvel at her commitment to the bigger things in life, the world, the ozone layer and of course the Indians in Amazon. Guests were encouraged to pool transport to the venue, walking or cycling is possible, the latter getting most points in the internal scoreboard that was constantly ticking away in the unadorned head of Fair Trade Fiona.

Her wedding list was a social minefield. One false move and the whole thing could be brought crashing down. She really wanted a BT shopping list of top-of-the-range things for the new eco village they had moved into, but she couldn’t reveal this inner conflict when everything on the outside was zen and virtuous. So she chose donations to a ‘wonderful charity’ which specialises in literacy courses for the descendants of Mayans in Guatemala.

Luckily for her, the rock didn’t pose too much of a dilemma because certified ethical diamonds are available. The Dublin jewellers Appleby are supporting the Sierra Leone Ireland Partnership (SLIP), an assistance programme run by Irish Aid in the country in which many of the world’s diamonds are mined. So Fiona could even get a rock that had a story.

The honeymoon was local of course. She had booked a tepee — one ‘crafted’ by the same people who made the tent in which Kate Moss sleeps at Glastonbury — in the Burren. Going local with no running water was the pinnacle of commitment to her lifestyle manifesto which would be effortlessly on display on the big day. Let’s hope the weather stays fine for her. Yes we may be in a recession but some things are going to take some time to change, no matter who wins the elections.

The big day out will be the last thing to get the chop as the credit crunch tightens.


  1. wills

    “the big day out will be the last thing to get the chop as the credit crunch tightens”,..

    BULLSEYE DAVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • adamabyss

      The bank holiday Monday (road)death and (beach – weather dependent)destruction seems to be hanging on for dear life too. I thought people had no money for weddings and bank holidays? That’s what the propaganda I’ve been receiving 4000 miles away has been saying.

      • hammer

        firstly – does anyone think that the photo of David on his website looks like Eamon Gilmore without the glasses ?

        Weddings – how to dig yourself further into debt !! The days are gone where an envelope with anything between €250 and €500 was handed over by the normal guests. Added into that the overnight stay and the travel to the ceremony + the stag/hen party are all being cut back on.

        It will be back to Kilkenny for the stag on a saturday rather than the weekend trip to Prague, Hamburg, Barcelona etc and of course less “dances” in the LAP dancing clubs. Ciao

      • Tim

        adamabyss, there are still many people with plenty money here – they are just too frightened to spend it. The media and government have the you-know-what frightened out of people with reports and taxes, resulting in the hoarding of money. The jumped-up-nut-jobs-with-credit-cards who still have the “entitlement mentality” were out in force at the weekend, though.

    • Deco

      Of course if they really wanted to do the environment a favour….they could always call the entire thing off, and just a simple ceremony/function and walk home afterwards.

      There is this thing that I have noticed called “craze of accentuated self-significance”. It is both comic and tragic watching the consequences. Fair trade Fiona is a politically correct way of pursuing the “pursuit of accentuated signifigance”.

      • Calling off the lavish ceremony with require a conscience, a brain and humility. We banned those things in Ireland during the Bertie years. They’re threatening to make a come back.

  2. G

    The commodification of all aspects of Western life is a key component of capitalism.

    In the old Celtic days, a couple would pass their hands through a hollowed out ‘marriage stone’ and when they hands touched they were pronounced man and wife – now that’s my idea!!! Then around the world in 80 days (only kidding).

    But seriously, you should ask yourself serious questions when your wife to be starts quoting over a grand for a weddding ring, and anything from 5-10,000 for a weddding dress, that’s not even mentioning the 4000 wedding guests (it was mooted at one point during our bloody boom that economies of scale meant that the more you invited the more chance you’d make a profit off the ‘event’).

    My parents got engaged with no ring and under a tree in the pouring rain. They had an ironing board and set of work tools for my father and off they went on their great adventure and are together 40 years next week!!!!

    The gross expression of nouveau wealth has come to an end but a few are still determined ‘to have their day’, off with them…………..

    • wills

      ‘Pigs in lipstick’ epidemic takes hold of Ireland not the f’n swine flu.
      They drive the Irish male into despair seeking out more and more treats to barter for a good ‘ol saturday night. Price’s continue to rise double dealing’s hatched and more and more credit grabbed to stop the oinking’s demands for more and more, driving the males into garden sheds and quiet desperation. Gradually the stress reduces his hair and belly flab chases him into a car lot for super dooper gas guzzler and piggy say’s go away and get me what mick got josie and the pressure mounts and the kid’s are crying for leadership and daddy is pleasing yummy mummy into an early grave and Ireland culture de grades into fertilizer manure.

      • G

        Quite a comment indeed, and quite a world we live in, you left out the dogs**t on the pavements, the guns in the inner city, the betrayal in Mayo/Shell, tracksuit people, and absence of integrated/green transport system – sorry IOM, just couldn’t hold it in, not good for you…………….

        ‘Wrap the old flag around me’ – because this 3 bed semi is full of drafts!!!

    • Dilly

      G, you question all of this at your peril in Ireland, I have been in a couple of arguments this year already. People look at you like you are mental when you start questioning what I see as, nothing more than a “fight for social bragging rights”(no expense spared in the fight to save our planet). At least I only have one wedding left this summer, then I am free.

      • G

        Dilly, history has shown us (and my day-to-day work) demonstrates that anyone who has tried to do anything positive or push out the boat has to contend with people who, for whatever reason (personal insecurity, negative outlook or sheer badness), question, criticise, bully others.

        I just had an instance of it right now with someone I have gone out of my way to assist and be nice to. I raised the slightest of issues and received the most appalling attitude – I am still quite shocked – but if I remain objective what an interesting insight into her character and humanity as a whole.

        I have to admit, although I like many others have a problem with the Church and what it is up to, especially in Developing countries, I do like from time to time to dip in to words of Christ. Once, he advised his disciples to go and preach, but even He was a pragmatist and told them that when they reached a town where they were not well received to leave immediately and ‘kick the dust from your feet’ – JC knew humanity :-), don’t waste time on people who are not even willing to treat you with respect, no matter who they are. I think it is a useful life lesson and can save you a lot of time and energy.

        Found this online:

        Luke 9:3 – 5

        Jesus called the twelve apostles together. He gave the apostles power to heal sicknesses and power to force demons out of people. Jesus sent the apostles to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He said to the apostles, “When you travel, don’t take a walking stick. Also, don’t carry a bag, food, or money. Take for your trip only the clothes you are wearing. When you go into a house, stay there until it is time to leave. If the people in the town will not welcome you or listen to you, go outside the town and shake their dust off of your feet”

        JC had that one covered, come to think of it Brian Cowen might be doing a lot of that over the next few days – doggy dog world unfortunately.

  3. adamabyss

    Subscribe. Let the games begin again.

  4. RawPull – there are economic tetronic plates moving under our feet now that have never happened before and the insignificance of the above article makes me wonder has dmcw been, journalistically speaking, subpoenaed to the quiete room by the editors.The relevance of the above wedding etc seems to show that his editorial paradigm has moved a square elsewhere on the pitch and is it political .I can only discribe what I read as full moon farrow where the theme loses sight of the ball and wobbles with words of Juliet and her wishful dreams.
    There are Elections friday .I mean real elections .The one that makes the biggest change in our economic lives forever.And all I read is Wedding Planner Franc .
    What will Deco have to say about this , and can Tim make eye to eye on the substanceof what was written for his class ,can furrylugs decrease the price of new energy after reading it , or what about Andrew Mooney , can he see the brum of instinct in it that enlightens us more, and Adam must be tired watching beach weddings that only cost a shoe string dime ,Malcolm might like it as he loves dreams anyway and the more weddings the better even if it distracts him from his gardening ,and the rest of the aluminae I hope they get over their stutters and get to the heart of what is really happening.

    • adamabyss

      Yeah, you are right John and I wrote my comments before reading your post. I am another one who would prefer a more serious article for sure considering the fragile state of Ireland right now. Didn’t stop me enjoying it nonetheless.

    • shtove

      Well, it is a serious article if you consider that fair trade is a market distortion. More of the same old bull, where the feckless and politically connected get to party at the expense of those who do the work and make the “right” choices.

  5. adamabyss

    Been married twice, never spent more than about 500 US on either wedding and with gifts (which I didn’t request), money and other, we definitely ‘made a profit’ on both occasions. Anyone who goes and spends 25k or 50k on a wedding is a sick puppy and needs to think about what is really important in life. This sort of obscene behaviour is apparent in all aspects of modern Irish life.

  6. paddythepig

    Caricautre. Poor article.

    Paddy.

  7. HeavyEnlightenedOne

    No talk of love?

    Oh yes, we talking about gimmickry, where lack of uniqueness (real personality) is masked with an expensive element.

    Aaah… has the “chocolate fountain” lost its flavor already? What savory sewage.

    No mention of the idiotic practice of incessantly taking photographs (which no one will ever look at), to kill the boredom. We’d never be that lucky to be spared Arc Eye ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_eye ), just when you’re trying to nod off in comfort.

    A twenty thousand pound dress will never disguise a twenty stone arse and likewise for a fine suit made from money and a little cloth.

    ‘T is a pity the real people are gone – you know, where you actually enjoy going to a wedding to mix with people, not products.

  8. Do men on this site want to become a Man ? Do they want to Bide time ?Well, Ireland is now ripe to develope for the services of arranging ‘secret affairs’.Because Ireland has a low divorce rate and is socially conservative and intollerant to infidelity this makes it a great market to make it a success .Already over 6,000 irish Adulterers have signed up before the publicity blitz has begun.This proves that Ireland is closer to Boston and not Brum. A Mr. Biderman is cannibalising a human behaviour that has been around as long as marriage itself.He is Canadian .

  9. Malcolm McClure

    There’s something a bit 2008 about this article. Has it been pulled off the shelf to replace a pithy election-bender the editor didn’t like? Or is David wary of an unspoken delicate balance he doesn’t want to upset?

    John Allen’s moon wobble seems to be manifest in Westminster events today. Could this be a Tipping Point in Irish politics too? The next 48 hours will be crucial to outcomes in both seats of government.

    Talk about serendipity!

  10. jim

    It takes a lot of hard work,dedication and some ongoing sacrifice to be a good Consumer.Americans are good consumers and Irish people before the bust became great consumers.Irish people worked and spent pre-boom…We then adopted the American idea of equity release loans to supplement our consumption,which we ran in tandem with personal loans,credit cards loans etc…Im sure the great exporters of the World like China,Germany etc.loved the fact that we were here to support there export driven growth models.We were prepared to risk the roof over our heads,prepared to have both parents working flat out,prepared to have our Children reared by strangers,prepared to commute from anywhere,anytime,anyplace,to stay in the Worlds top league per-capita of consumers.We were prepared to pay top price for virtually anything,we were the high rollers of consumption.Let alone were we loved by the Exporters of the World,we were praised by various respected forums for our model of consistent consuming,right up to the point where our own Government fell in love with our consumption and based their entire Budget on our reliability to consume forever and a day.Along with the Countries on the Med.we just knew how to parteeee….Americans were looking for World domination not by nuclear threat but by borrowing until it beggared the rest of the World.Oh and they were good at it,with all sorts of Financial products sliced and diced to suck in all the savers and any other cash that happened to be lying around.I say Americans but to be fair to most Americans it was mainly the top 1% who own over 34% of its wealth.Whats all this got to do with Ireland, well its my contention that the top tier of Irish society figured out with the introduction of this new Euro that it gave them the opportunity to ape their American counterparts.And by jasus ape them they did.Loads of credit dished out,net disposable income shrinking,more credit and so onn and so onn until the worker bee’s were fattened up and ready to go to work for the D4 Queens and their puppets on Kildare St…..The major flaw in this “ape the yanks ” theory is that they can inflate away their debts,or just plain and simple print Dollars and because their major league consumers the rest of the World has to suck on it or put another way “when the Americans have regained their appetite for consumption(recovery) the rest of the World will resume their lives” but in the D4 Queens case they have no control over their Monetary Policy, so unless the worker bee’s including the one’s we brought in from Eastern Europe et al are prepared to work harder,these debts “aint goin nowhere”…The rest of the World are pissed at the Americans for pulling their usual stunt but the Irish People are really pissed at the D4 Queens for trying to pull this stunt in the first place.In fairness to all those who suggested re the Banks “lance the boil” I can tell ye that the Banks are only part of the D4 Queens make-up,so it will take a bigger Lance followed by strong antibiotics to clear the Irish body-politic of this infection.Lets make a start on the necessary procedures this Friday at the polling stations.

  11. Malcolm – There is a Big Crack taking place this week
    ( in Irl & UK ) end and the Moon Pull no doubt will show up that .There is no wobble officially happening at least not this time .
    If you remember I said before that other leaders presided over great systemic changes namely : Kohl , Gorbechev & De Clerk and almost at the same time they saw their collapsing nations become ungovernable and lose their systemic powers that they held to then .All of these leaders were Pisces so is Gorden Brown and what happened then is now happening to him .UK will see a great long term changes over the coming days.
    The political transparency will be revealed this week and will never be reversed in the forseable future.
    The Sterling and The City will run down parallel to Gorden’s demise.
    Other Cracks are happening elsewhere in the world but their remit is not for this blogg.

    • Original-Ed

      You’re possibly correct in predicting that the pound and city will collapse – this will then focus minds on manufacturing and the UK will become the Hong Kong of Europe. They’ve always been lucky.

  12. Philip

    Let’s adapt…. make onedownmanship fashionable.

  13. Philip

    John Allen, like I said some time ago, I think you are a keen observer (with a solid finance background) more than an astrologist. What you are saying all along has been alluded to over the last few weeks and months across the media. It was never too up front becasue of the audacious nature of it. No one wants to acknowledge the elephant in the room – whether it’s the Derivatives, The Consumer Breakdown or the plain fact that trade has simply shut down for the last year or so in a synchronised manner.

    A few others have named some of the main causes and pointed the finger and even demonstrated the mechanisms.

    What I like about this latest article (admittedly a tad luke warm relative to previous) is the way he highlights what is the next attempted boom – Environmental/ Green Boom. An oxymoronic concept in extremus. People need to understand that if they need to loose weight, they have to stop consuming choccies – even the G|reen and Black stuff! ,that they’ll save more turning down the thermostat and wearing a woolly jumper than wasting money on dodgy retrofitting of insulation and that anyone who thinks buying PVs and Turbines are a lifestyle choice due to their 15-20 year payback needs to realise they are being ripped off.

    The crack is coming….a big bond collapse…cash will be king….end of credit…and people need to start slowing right down and thinking straight and being honest with themselves and others.

  14. Philip – thanks and I agree with your comments .
    As I see things morphing presently it would seem to indicate that the wisdom of Islam may be what we all need with qualifications.I realise that my statement will open a can of worms .However we may have no choice because we have allowed too much to happen to our Irish ways now that there is no turning point and going back.After to morrow and when the Yes vote is carried through everything we have known will change forever but this time it will be faster than we have ever known it to be.Authority from the top loves instant gratification and speed of change without nonesense.
    Languages will be a necessity now .I can only suggest that now is the time to chose what second culture you have a fancy to and adapt to it naturally not like a tourist but rather a lodger in the household where you eat and sleep with them.
    I have noticed the cultural preferences of some on the site French & German being the leaders .Mine is French and I have been adapting to it for over 30 years now .It’s just a mindset to experience and learning to go slow and enjoy the fruits of your efforts .

  15. liam

    David,

    Its all very interesting but essentially you are saying the Irish are obsessed with status and branding. So what? tell us something we don’t know! Don’t you think that perhaps lashing out at these fools is counter productive and makes you look like an even bigger snob than they are? Indeed if people are going to spend stupid amounts of money on a big wedding, its no bad thing that pop culture has at least convinced them to not arm Liberian child soldiers.

    Besides, you are looking at the wrong end of the scale. The Leadership Deficit and this “Government’s” outsourcing of fundamental decision making is Ireland’s biggest social and economic problem. A couple of TED talks on the matter:

    Laurie Garrett, peripherally on Government leadership in a crisis (and on how we’re all screwed this autumn):
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/laurie_garrett_on_lessons_from_the_1918_flu.html

    Seth Godwin on how it could actually be up to us, not the tossers in Kildare street:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_the_tribes_we_lead.html

  16. Deco

    David said { We all know that weddings are about social competition. } That is 100% correct. I am rolling here in laughter. Status Obsession. All temporary nonsense. And I mean temporary. I know of couples spending 20 grand on a wedding and it all been proven as totally unnecessary in less than 12 months. So much for getting all the little details right…when the couple split as soon as they are supposed to be settling down. Getting the main issue wrong, and doing it with aplomp and style. Well that is the Ireland of the boom-bust era. Obsessed with status and superficiality.

    Dr.Freud required to sort it all out. Prof. Anthony Clare issued a big warning concerning the status obsession feature, and it’s psychology in the early years of the tiger. Ireland needs to go on the couch.

    A small update concerning Boucher and pals in the Bank of Ireland. They have managed to find a way of cutting their borrowing costs. A kind of a payback for the fact that they are being carried by the PAYE taxpayer….As the cost of state borrowing goes up, the cost of semi-state borrowing goes down (BoI is more state owned now than Aer Lingus)….
    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/boi-bond-buyback-to-result-in-83641bn-profit-1761054.html

    But at least that is 1Billion that we will not have to stick into an Irish bank to prop them up, so I suppose that we should be releived in some minor way. Why can’t the muppets in ANIB and AIB do something like this ???

  17. Original-Ed

    The Irish are obsessed with brands and that means foreign brands as we don’t have any of our own except for Guinness which is synonymous with the drunken irish stereotype. We’ve never had a Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Ferrari, Philips, Lego, B&O, Nokia, Ericsson, etc to latch onto for national identity. So we’re always looking up to some foreign brand or other. It’s very difficult to sell an Irish product here if there’s a foreign competitor on the market, they prefer the foreign product irrespective of quality. It’s a peculiar trait and from experience, I’ve found that it’s much easier to develop a market abroad than here at home.
    In the present circumstances it’s perhaps a godsend as the money just keeps on rolling in from abroad.

    • Tim

      Original-Ed, you make a strong point here. “Fiacla” was as fine a toothpaste as any other, but Irish people didn’t buy it (apart from me, I think!) and, sure, didn’t we find out during the pork-scare rubbish that Galtee, Denny and Clonakilty do not even use Irish pork, so they were “safe”?

      The Avoca brand is still popular, though mostly for snob-value, but it no longer manufactures its clothing in Ireland either.

      Look at what we allowed to happen at Waterford Crystal, while saving zombie banks instead?

      Castlemahon Chickens?

      (wracking my almost dead brain here – too many exam corrections to finish for tomorrow! – trying to remember all the indigenous Irish companies allowed to flounder and die….. any help?)

      • Deco

        Tim.
        You are correct. We need to choose our local enterprises so that the money will stay in the local economy, and pay for our infrastructure and social services.

        The legions going to Newry for cheap carlsberg etc… are the first to complain that their local town/area has inadequate facilities for young people.

  18. [...] also has a broad bitchy streak – as evidenced in his latest column about eco-weddings. ‘Fair Trade Fiona’ wants everyone to know where she stands on logging in Honduras, and the [...]

  19. coldblow

    Very droll, David. Unemployed architects indeed! Ireland changes but stays the same as new pieties replace the old.

    I have looked at a few houses lately and sometimes I ask about the energy rating but it’s really just for form’s sake, to have something to say, as I assume they are all equally bad. But my instinct would be to avoid anything with solar power — it’s bound to break in a few days and there’ll be nobody to fix it. Ditto spotlights and the rest.

    We could leave the ‘traditional’ Irish wedding as it always was (as in the last 40 years or so), when at least you knew what you were getting: beef or chicken, trifle or baked alaska. Big hats and padded shoulders for the women, waistcoats for the men. Bridesmaids dressed as lamb. Customized hymns and maybe the Our Father in irish. Hotel lifts for the kids to play on. Sincere speeches and fake ones. A few waltzes to kick off with for those who can dance followed by an evening’s sweaty C&W for those who can’t but who like to wobble around after a few beers and where if you’re unlucky the only decent song is Past the Point of Rescue.

    Now it’s not perfect, it’s arguably not even good, but Fiona and her mates are determined to improve it. The Germans do Green because they have given the matter some thought. We don’t like thinking, we prefer to follow example. Now Fiona and her friends have seen how it’s to be done I suppose we’ll all follow in due course. Provincialism.

    • Garry

      maybe Fair trade Fiona could start a charity for unemployed architects….
      Send them old T Squares and pencils and stuff…. sure they wouldnt need anything fancy judging by the new buildings. They could do it all on recycled paper and as nothing will be built, sure it’ll be green….Go on, make an architect’s dream come true, donate that 2H pencil stub.

    • eamondo

      Beef or Chicken?? How lucky is that, normally its Beef of Salmon or is that just the well heeled of Killarney whose weddings I have had to endure?

      Re “Eco/Green” weddings, try just inviting true friends and relatives, if we are honest to ourselves, then most weddings would contain a guest list of about 20 or so. Maybe this is a way out of racking up a huge bill just for the sake of one “show off” day. And to make it further “green”, stop inviting relations (such as myself) over from England, think of the air miles saved. The photos are enough.

  20. Philip

    http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/ – We have gone from the Gulp to the Burp stage.

  21. Garry

    Very funny…. Fair trade Fiona… Reminds me of a couple who went veggiementalist….. my friend used to drop over for a rasher sandwich when it all got too much… then I learned from another friend that his girlfriend was also cheating on the veggies. She’ll grow out of it.

    Im becoming a post green myself… Chemical Garry. The thing is all this green stuff is worthy but its not very good, is it? Creasote might give you cancer but it works much better than this new green rubbish. And examples like biofuels shows how policies based on good intentions can do more harm than good… At the rate Im going, I wont buy anything unless something has been killed or exploited in the making of it.

  22. Tim

    John ALLEN, a few seem to be questioning the (((wobble))). I do not. Ever since the February 09 (((wobble))) where you urged caution and “to go slow”; that Tuesday, black ice on the road whipped my car into a tree: the car died(write-off) and I lived.

    This week, my students have had their examination paper leaked and deferred until Saturday, the culmination of the moon-pull. All have been upset and I had many phonecalls and facebook entries from them, as I tried to calm them down and convince them that all will be well.

    The (((wobble))) may not affect everyone directly, nor in the same manner or degree, but it definitely exists.

    David’s article is showing us the superficiality that has invaded the sacredness of the marriage vows; highlighting the lunacy of concentrating on the trappings of the “big day” instead of the nature of the committment into which the parties are entering. In many ways, it is analogous to the political elections on Friday. Pomp and ceremony.

    “MACBETH
    Wherefore was that cry?

    SEYTON
    The queen, my lord, is dead.

    MACBETH
    She should have died hereafter;
    There would have been a time for such a word.
    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

  23. mewho

    david,
    stick to economics.
    cliché riddled and bad sociological comment are not ur strong point.
    it adds to a shrill and snide sort of superiority amongst ur acolytes.
    in fact it is what makes ur books so tedious.

    • eamondo

      Or perhaps David is just well travelled and sees Ireland for what it has become: i.e. your fine coming here if spending money as a tourist, but try to find a job, contribute to our economy and speak with a European accent, how dare they.

      Not snide superiority but realistic observation of one of Ireland’s failures to accept its part in Europe…racial tolerance. There are a few more well documented in his “cliche riddled’ scripts.

  24. wills

    POliceman meow, are you going to issue an arrest warrant..!!!

  25. D Moon – in last few days we have seen among the following :
    airbus crashed into sea
    army soldier seriously injured
    exam errors
    extremely hot weather
    lions slaughter against SA
    and more

    Tim – we have to be careful during the passing to ignore is like drinking and driving .The precautions to be taken include :

    Go SLow
    Relax More
    Eat SLowley
    Drink More Water
    Drive More SLowly
    Avoid Strong Drinks
    Dont exercise too much
    Double Check Everything more than normal
    Dont Spend Drift

    Dangers

    Mind goes asleep quickly
    Hunger Pangs increase
    Hard to sleep on Fri and Sat
    There is a feeling of extra weight around your persona
    Errors made easily
    Big Mood Swings
    MADNESS
    Not Listening
    Eyes rule by the cover only
    No Concentration
    Fear & Anxiety
    Drunkness etc etc

  26. noonep

    Will ‘shrek’ and Donkey get their wake up call for eviction from the Big Brother House tommorow……..you decide….vote give them a kicking in the local and EU elections.

    Don’t be patronised by the peasent class politics for peasent class people any longer, its not just the catholic church that needs to wake up and smell the coffee, don’t put up with this ‘dictionary democracy’

    http://www.motivationalz.com/pictures/identity_crisis.jpg

    • Tim

      noonep, the local and EU elections do not count as much as the bi-elections. Two Dail seats=two Dail votes that can either sustain or bring down a government. Local and EU seats cannot do that.

      • Tim , you should this summer now you are on your three month holiday go find a few books on political science. As the local elections are the ground stone for our Dail and Senate , if Biffo and the party you support were not so self obsessed with the control of power , he would accept the vote of the electorate and go to the Park to let us take another political angle.
        This day while the media by law is prohibited in broadcasting any political items , I passed three polling stations with local F.F. candidates standing out side as voters walked in. It really is time You woke up

        • Tim

          BrendanW, I do not have three months holidays – I am working. I always do; even more necessary now that the govt is taking an extra €500 a month from me.

          The main priority of the parliamentary party is saving their own skins.

          Do you really think the actions of the govt in the last 8 months are the actions of people who care about the candidates in the current elections?

          The FF and Green people in Dail Eireann just want to hold onto their own seats until at least the end of October to qualify for their pensions. (and the opposition will let them do that.)

  27. Philip

    I find strange confort in the following a la National Lampoon – have a nice weekend…

    Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
    And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
    Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
    Spin your Wheels.
    Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
    And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
    Know what to kiss, and when.
    Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.
    Wherever possible, put people on hold.
    Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
    and despite the changing fortunes of time,
    There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

    Remember The Pueblo.
    Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
    Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.
    Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
    Especially with those persons closest to you –
    That lemon on your left, for instance.
    Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
    Would scarcely get your feet wet.
    Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face.
    Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan.
    And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
    Hire people with hooks.
    For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken.
    Take heart in the bedeepening gloom
    That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
    And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot,
    It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

    You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    And whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Therefore, make peace with your god,
    Whatever you perceive him to be – hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
    With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
    The world continues to deteriorate.
    Give up!

  28. coldblow

    Good discussion on Vincent Brown last night with 2 American economists (one of whom called Galbraith) and an Irish economist based abroad. They covered most of what has been said here: the US led attempt to reflate the world economy (and the possible danger of another bubble), debt (the Americans didn’t see it as necessarily all bad). They discussed the subsidiary debt at Anglo and the Irish gov’s approach that this should be protected as some sort of matter of honour but there seemed to be some sort of agreement that whether the bond holders were left to burn depended on whether they were respectable investors such as pension funds or an assortment of ‘high net worth individuals’, hedge funds and cronies. All agreed that Ireland was in a worse position than others. Galbraith stressed that deregulaton was an encouragement, practically an instruction, for financial corruption (something there about the regulations and a chainsaw).

    Brown intervened at one stage to explain who Hayek was but, unlike RTE, didn’t kill the discussion when it began to get interesting. Brown also raised the question of what all these thousands of economists world wide were doing up to the crash – I always enjoy that one – and although exceptions were named all agreed that they have been silent and irrelevant.

    So where are they now, the high priests of “There is No Alternative”? Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough! Or should that be: It’s All Gone Quiet Over There!

    Which brings me to My Plan To Save Ireland (work in progress). I’ve already produced the first plank: full transparency of all wealth and income for everyone (so that for example when the f……s come in with their funds which they’ve been hiding abroad to make a little killing, if and when it crashes, they have some explaining to do). Now it’s time to reveal the second plank, seeing as Ireland is not a ‘knowledge economy’ but rather a ‘know-all economy’: random examinations of citizens in basic general knowledge, ‘loive’ on RTE, ‘Just a few questions, sir’, with suitable penalties for the dunces, a kind of ‘Ireland’s Got Talent’- if nothing else it would be funny. An obligation to play the video in the work place, at their AGMs, or at their weddings. As Kevin Keegan once said: I’d really love that, really love it. Ha ha ha ha ha! It’s getting very hot in here…

    • adamabyss

      The Chinese students are right to laugh wills. It’s their way of saying that they know how stupid their government is, without the likelihood (they hope) of being sent to a gulag.
      It’s an idiotic move, hoarding foreign reserves and bonds etc., instead of spending them right now when they are needed to directly improve their country. Soon, those bonds, notes and assorted IOUs won’t be worth the paper they are printed on. The Americans are NEVER going to pay the Chinese back (isn’t that obvious?) – not if they wait ten million years. They’d rather nuke the Chinese than have them washing up on their shores and if push comes to shove they WILL nuke them! If a situation doesn’t naturally arise (is anything ‘natural’ in economics and finance?) to enable default, then the Americans will create one. You heard it here first.

      • Your on the ball about America paying the chinks as you have put it , they’ll nuke them instead …..what a prospect we have down the line , I’m off to stock up on Lidl meal tins before the fall out arrives

    • Dilly

      Does this mean that the financial system as we know it, is about to become obsolete.

  29. AndrewGMooney

    I’m entirely on Fiona’s side even as I enjoy this amusing debunking of Greener-Than-Thou pieties. DMcW: You forgot the menu. Never mind smoked salmon canapes, I assume there was no ‘fish’ of any description? Fiona, like me, having just absorbed the horrifying prospect of a fish-less sea for our offspring?

    http://endoftheline.com/

    But we need have no fear, as the ‘celebrity class’ are on the case:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/celebrity-diners-say-no-to-nobu-1697320.html

    I assume this piece is linked to David’s recent soiree in Dublin where the attempt to ‘square the circle’ of economic growth with ecological ‘externalities’ was drunkenly debated?

    Having reduced itself to ridicule with Quant Posturing on financial risk, there’s not much chance of the average punter taking orthodox economists seriously on this matter.

    Bjorn Lomborg makes a reasonable case for non-cancerous Growth Economics’ but not enough to trump the worldwide enactment of the steady state ‘precautionary principle’ to avoid us all ending up in a post-apocalytic world as set out in ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy.

    The piss-take about a ‘donation’ rather than a vulgarian price tag made me think of I S S A, who used to be known as Jane Siberry.

    She, too, has been exposed to some scorn after she decided to subvert the foundations of economics by offering her extraordinary music for ‘free’, leaving the listener or ‘consumer’ to decide how much ‘money energy’ it’s worth sending her way in return.

    I S S A, like Fiona, is a genuine pathfinder. I heartily recommend her latest collection of song-garments, ‘Dragon Dreams’ to wrap around your battered ears. I gave a copy to Fiona for her wedding present. Not a physical copy of course, but a link to a download. To avoid wasteful packaging, etc. I also created my own art work for the gift, utilising images from my subconscious mind which resonated with the name ‘Fiona’.

    As the wedding ceremony began I visualised Fiona as the re-incarnation of the ancient Celtic princess, Malvinha, and I blessed her fecund mind with holy water from an ancient Celtic well.
    Fiona is The Future. May her children be blessed with an intact biosphere. And mine.

    This is an important topic and I’m not sure facetiousness is appropriate. I manifested Malvinha on I S S A’s blog entry entitled ‘ Silk purse out of a sow’s ear-correction’:

    http://www.issalight.com/Issalight/BLOG/Entries/2009/5/6_silk_purse_out_a_sow%E2%80%99s_ear_-_correction.html

    regards

    • Dilly

      “I gave a copy to Fiona for her wedding present. Not a physical copy of course, but a link to a download. To avoid wasteful packaging, etc.”

      That’s you off their Christmas card list then, they really wanted the Nespresso, they just do not want to be seen asking for it.

      • AndrewGMooney

        Hi Dilly,

        I get this problem all the time since he agreed to do those adverts:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax1Z6lRgTDg&feature=related

        I get pestered by all these women (and some men) who think I’m a film star. No, I just look like one. And the surname adds to the confusing resemblance.

        If it’s not George, it’s Wayne I’m mistaken for in the fame game. Kicking a ball with my teenage son and the autograph hunting would-be ‘WAG’s are on my case. So I have to resist the gym, drink more beer and keep the beer belly to try to repel the admirers.

        PS: Fiona-it’s over! No more flirty txts. You’re a married woman now. And I’ve re-taken my vows.

  30. Dilly – The Financial System is not obsolete .We are .The Bolts are working , the NUTS are not especially Irish Wans. Remove all Board of Managements of ALL Irish Banks and start AGAIN.

  31. Malcolm McClure

    The shadow of tragic fate has passed over and all the main players are still on the stage. Perhaps it is time to put doom and gloom behind us and plan for a recovery next year.
    America is fundamentally sound, based on its geography , natural resources and enterprising people. It will emerge from recession first.
    Russia is fundamentally unsound based on its mostly barren geography, border disputes and traditional oligarchic dispositiion.
    China will always struggle to keep its diverse populations pointing in the same direction. Its profits will be reinvested in its army and internal communications.
    India will always be hampered by its caste system and the Hindu preference for organization over cool aggression. (Name an Indian footballer or athlete?).
    Middle East will always be dependent on oil supplies to force outsiders to maintain stability in a fundamentally unstable region.
    Europe is a collection of nations with no inherent sense of common identity except when individual nation states think there is something to be gained from it.
    South America has great potential if it can be convinced to reinvest its profits at home instead of anywhere else.
    Africa will continue to be a basket case for at least the rest of this century.
    Australia and NZ live in a detached, marsupial universe, oblivious of the global economy.

  32. Deco

    Just found out that Prof.Krugmann is in Ireland. And he says that Ireland has a long hard slog to get through over the coming decade.
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0605/economy.html

    I have not agreed with everything that Krugmann has said about economics. I do agree with him concerning property. But not on nationalizing weak banks (just look at what a money pit ANIB has become – are INBS, EBS any better ? ). It would far more sense to let these three week banks disintegrate into nothing.
    Anyway, I have forwarded the link in case anybody is interested.

    • Deco

      Another link on Prof. Krugmann’s visit. More information this time.Including the term ‘deflation’.

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0605/breaking36.htm

      With 400000 people on the live register, deflation is completely unavoidable !!! Krugmann has indicated that Ireland will get out of the mess. (No comment on the prospects of Spain, the UK or Iceland concerning how much time they need to recover…)

      So we have a recovery in five years to be cheerful about. But he makes the point that it is going to take a lot of hard work to get out of the current financial predicament. The Central Bank of Ireland head (Mr. Hurley) says it will start next year. As a government employee, we should expect an optimistic statement…’green shoots’ and all of that baloney….

      The next five years, we will have to work harder, save more, and make better decisions than occurred in the last ten. And there will have to be a lot less nonsense – from the likes of Mr. Hurley and his muppets at the Central Bank who were asleep when the banks were borrowing like fools….

      • AndrewGMooney

        Like Ireland, the UK will either hitch a ride on the back of an American recovery or…. At least that seems to be the opinion of PIMCO’s Bill Gross on the U.K:

        ‘On the night of May 20, Standard & Poor’s announced a downgrade watch for the United Kingdom and since the U.S. and U.K. are Siamese-connected, financially-levered twins, the implications were obvious: the U.S. might be next. In the space of 48 hours, the dollar declined 2%, and U.S. stocks and long-term bonds were down by similar amounts. ‘

        http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2009/IO+June+2009+Staying+Rich+in+the+New+Normal+Gross.htm

        It will be interesting to see how a U.K Conservative Government works within the confines of Obamanomics without a Reserve Currency as support. And how the next Irish Govt ‘manages the triangle’ between it’s main trading partners US/UK/Eurozone.

        I imagine that the U.S will, at some stage, seek to surgically cut this siamese link with London for geo-strategic reasons. Dubai. Shanghai, etc.

        And then there’s Obama’s plans for ‘tax havens’….

        Even if everyone in Ireland (& the U.K) saves like the clappers for the next 5/10 years, it doesn’t wave a magic wand. Just ask China and Germany. Presumably there will be a fundamental rebalancing of world trade that solves the current Paradox of Spendthrift and Thrifty Nations within the restraints imposed by the biosphere. As proposed by Fair Trade Fiona in her wedding manifesto as outlined above.

        Or there’ll be a real war. Just like before. But this one will be the last one.

        • wills

          AndrewGMooney: only for certain contingencies already wired into place, out of sight, it would’nt surprise me if these nutjobs running the financial system brought us all into the final scenes of Dr. Strangelove.

      • wills

        Deco: Krugman main headline on RTE the 6 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>1 NEWS,..

        I find it laughable Krugman is been feted over here in ERin go broke Rep.
        The vested interests will try anything, pull any voodoo black magic spell in order to reverse the POnzi wipeout POnzi Rep is now languishing in.

        This guy Krugman must of put pains to the POnzi shysters brunch and made them choke on their bucks fizz this morning when he poked POnnzi Rep in the eye and called in a 5 year deflation spiral into wealth re – distribution which these b@stards are willing to unleash a bloodbath to defy if called upon to do so, as they did do with the industrial schools for 50 years.

        • wills

          and of course ‘the troubles’ up north,. (quik example), gardai made a mint in overtime during the troubles….!!!!

        • Deco

          Wills – surprised that RTE would have Krugman as number 1 on the news. I mean they never had David McW on the news when he was warning about the ‘house price bubble’. Here is a longer report on Krugmann. Krugmann is a top rate economist – though I am not 100% in agreement with him.
          http://www.examiner.ie/business/snmhojkfsn/

          I agree with you concerning the Gardai. Regardless of what opinion you hold on the Bellanaboy dispute in Mayo, there are divisions of the Gardai there. And there never seems to be enough to deal with burglaries, drug smuggling, or gangland crime. I do not blame the Gardai. Most of them joined in order to protect the decent people of Ireland. The Criminal Law in Ireland actually acts as a deterent to the gardai to do anything about crime. Same applies with regard to the law on Fraud, white collar crime, etc…. The politicians are at fault. It is not that they are soft on crime. But rather that they live in a world where so much duplicity and compromising exists, they are intellectually programmed to be morally inadequate.

          • wills

            absolutely Deco: my comment in of itself not a criticism of gardai, moreso minor factual fulminate on the numerous indiscreet rackets run throughout the apparatus running the affairs of this slave state. And point been that all state apparatus infiltrated by a cultist group dedicated to preserving the master – slave order cemented into place calling the shots in Irish life.

  33. cozzy121

    I wonder how Seanie-Pat FItzpatrick is getting on these days? No doubt enjoying the benefits of his pension, which he earned through his excellent leadership of Anglo. A pity none of the Irish media seem to be even trying to report on his whereabouts, his pension must have helped keep a strong legal team on retainer in case anybody tries to publish anything about him.
    In any other country he would be hounded by the media, not in dear owld ireland, where the golden ciircle rules and the PAYE say nothing.

    • he was golfing in Bray last Tuesday , didn’t seem to have a care in the world , kind of like any other criminal who’d got away,,,,this country if we spoke Italian we’d be in Sicily

      • Deco

        I suppose the way we deal with this sort of eventuality in Ireland….is that we say….’see that crook that robbed us….isn’t he doing great….and looking great too…..and sure, fair play to him’.

        We lost our a part of our self-respect everytime we try to protect our pride.

        Seanie Fitz was not on the ballot paper-but he had a significant part to play in the the determination of the results you will see later today. Soon Fianna Fail will throw Seanie Fitz, David Drumm, Boucher, Bowler, Sheehy and all the other gansters to the wolves. In order to rebuild Fianna Fail. The people directing the political process again.

  34. History – In our moments of now we are in a cycle where at one end as if it were , we are putting finishing financial touches to Industrial Abuse of children and at the other end we are sending into slavery those children that have to pay for it .

  35. wills

    Andrew’, ‘..and how the next Irish gov manages the triangle between it’s main partners US/UK Eurozone’.

    I’ll make a go at that one,.. it trades away more of our national sovereignty to a supranational agency called the EU in a faustian pact to maintain ECB print run on euro’s to pay for POnzi’s Rep’s sucking on the bosom (toning down my rhetoric due to indirect reprimand from stalwart poster) of easy living easy gratifying and no intention of opening up a chapter in innovation unless the ruling order maintain total control over it.

    It, arranges for Ireland winning the european championship next year and re brands POnzi Rep.

  36. mcsean2163

    Very poor and cynical article. As the veteran of many an Irish wedding I have yet to encounter any such wedding, wedding dress or bride.

    If sneering is a talent, you’ve got it in spades!

    It was that same sneering that caused me to drop the “pope’s children” about half way through. Discussions of breakfast roll man and his eccentricity, without any positive comment concerning the hard work and toil of that same individual and continual inclusive statements of what we do as a nation, when I as an individual did not do these things.

    It’s sickening how a rich economist can pontificate and pillorise in such a manner.

    • wills

      I disagree, i see David as very much a humanist and passionate observer of mediocrity and the poor mouth and ‘what about me’ism’ and destructive self serving and one man upmanship and sneering,pontificating and pillory he leaves to pygmies.

  37. Deco

    So as to keep up the balance, between all the serious events in Ireland these days whilst providing the people with pointless trivia to feed their delusions, RTE also provided indepth analysis of the preparations of the Irish soccer team. No analysis is needed. But there was a lot of minutea that could be considering irrelevant – in patricular with reference to ‘il gaffero’. In fact the level of detail was at times irrelevant. There are only two details that matter. The result-which we will not know until after the event, and the level of support(inversely related to the level of obedience to the FAI). And both we submerged in irrelevant detail about Trapo.

    The Irish Times tells us that there are only 2500 Irish fans over there despite the cheapness of the destination. The concept of blind, loud, outlandish patriotism has been wound down significantly. To a trickle. Yes, funding is a problem. But there is another issue, and it is that people are not as interested – or if they are interested they are only interested in the confines of reasonable cost. Another example of this is the Dubs vs. Royals showdown this weekend, with anticipated lower crowd figures.

    Then yesterday, I was listening to Newstalk, with George Hook interviewing two mavericks trying to sell a virtual ‘following the lions’ site on the internet. Their sell was that you did not have to buy tickets etc.. to be a virtual follower. So we had a redhead from Navan, who normally is trying to sell horse-gambling, and a comedian who tries to Gaelicize a very Anglo-Saxon surname trying to flog off a chear rugger tour. Two odd ends trying to make a meal ticket. Fair enough, they are making an effort, and I suppose they are lifting the morale of some people. I slightly suspect they were trying to sell us social status. Hector also admitted that this is not just for lads – there is a substantial brigade of female followers who want to follow the lads, and generally know what makes a rugby player. [Dermot Morgan's character Mr. Nausea would be aghast at the thought of it all-was the idea of the rugger club to keep females out of the male bonding nonsense]. We are also seeing direct evidence that the segment of the sports market in the higher social classes has to downscale to much lower budgets. It would seem that the male half of Irish society is getting very responsible with regard to money. [Though, Fair Trade Fiona and friends are probably still attaching a higher importance to social competition than funds management].

    I also suspect Irish people are losing interest in the whole emotional “wear the green flag” thing and getting more realistic, more modest and more like other people. In essence the pride thing is thrown aside. In other words more likely to preserve their savings, and to spend money at home, if at all. The sports bodies (particularly the FAI), like the politicians, and auctioneers, are finding that they cannot lead a herd of people anywhere unless there is value for money at the end of it. This is an improvement. People are thinking instead of following blindly. It is an important step to better intellectual performance for our society. Irish people will follow, but they are attaching conditions to it. Performance conditions. The concept once introduced in one area of life spread to others. Sport. Politics. Semi-state organizations. Grocery shopping. Local authority regulation and facilities provision. Hotels. Restaurants. The Irish are getting a little bit more like the Scandinavians. The Bread and Circuses nonsense is unravelling. And for once I am actually more optimistic about us fixing our problems in this country.

    And besides money spent locally is better for local communities than expensive drinking orgies in other places. (Though there is nothing more to enthuse the locals in foreign resorts than the sight of Paddy throwing 100 Euro across the counter in an attempt to transfer everything the far side of the counter into his mates intestines-great for the economy-not so great for the Irish economy, though). Maybe Paddy might save up for a weekend along the Atlantic seaboard, and help invigorate the more remote parts of the country.

    I presume in the background, the election is also a factor. The idea being that something significant will happen this weekend. Yeah, forget the sports diversion, the real drama will be in your local count centre. Though at this point in time we do not know the scale of what that will be.

    Fianna Fail’s British equivalent, the British Labour Party are now in charge of no English local councils. Mostly they have lost to the British equivalent of Fine Gael, The Conservatives. The British equivalent of the Irish Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats have made some marginal progress. (The key difference is that the media in Ireland is biased differently to the media in Britain-but it should be emphasized – both are biased). This time tomorrow, there is very chance that “Cowen and Browen” will both be fighting for control of the leadership of their respective parties.

  38. expat

    I really like this article . I left Ireland in 2004 for a new life in Australia . I have had friends visit me here who have turned from normal people into ‘ fair trade fiona ‘. The last time was 18 months ago from a good long time friend who dispite hating FF when I knew him to discribing them as providing a job for everybody and even if they are corrupt they are running a booming economy and should not be questioned . One thing that stuck out was that people from the ‘ ol sod ‘ had it so good that there was nothing left to worry about except an apology from the UK over their empire buiding on our shores . You have a 95 % mortgage and have released equity for fancy extensions , holidays to Rio and Melbourne and your day to day expenses are met with a credit card and the icing on your cake is an apology from the UK ? The same people are now looking for an apology from Cowen . Its a joke . I sit here in Melbourne and dispite us having 4 of the main banks in profit with no exposure to US subprime or mad lending listening to the opposition party rip into the government over their borrowing for a stimulas package . I received $ 900 from the government to spend to keep the economy alive . I know a guy with 2 kids who so far has received $ 4000 in stimulas payments . This week we avoided a technical recession and everything seems ok . Our government and opposition are just in a different league to FF , FG and Labour . Fair trade Fiona and HICO would not know even half good government if it came wrapped in paper that was hand made in a commune in Africa with ‘ good government ‘ printed all over it with eco inks .

    • wills

      expat – i for one would very much like to see more of your comments from OZ. Brilliant dissection on the nuts and bolts scam greedy Irish are up too.

  39. wills

    This link here is presenting the reality regarding the consequences, in real time, too keeping POnzi Rep afloat on bond issuance.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aSYSPbqle0R8&refer=europe

  40. Anglo’s Pot Parrots – is it rude that the Auditors E&Y should bite again at the Irish Taxpayer and holding an Earnest & Young face to apply to audit the illfated bank after contributing to the decimaton of the savings of thousands of Irish Families especial Earnest & Old decent Irish taxpayers .What is their motive? Are last years working audit papers exposing a crack in their integrity that they do not want anyone to find ?What is so sundry in their workings that were not as sundry at all but very material and significant ?How was their memory stick of over 8 years calculated in never finding very very significant Directors Loans to members of the pol pot board.Who are they talking to in the Justice Dept that appears to make them so worried?Are they not under professional investigation that should and could tarnish the ‘independence’ of their capacity to do a proper job?
    There are so many other leaks they have allowed lie around that I am beginning to believe that E&Y sounds more like E/aYe E/aYe E/aYe Oh

  41. wills

    Quote from Irish times link above….

    ‘…..Moody’s said that it believed Anglo will require ongoing support from the government to absorb any remaining risks in the balance sheet and also continuing support to give the bank sufficient flexibility to restructure and establish a viable business model again.’

    Translated…..

    The irishtaxpayer is paying for too fix, the very crooked bank that engineered the property bubble destroying the local community.

  42. wills

    At this link is the truth writ large on where we are at in this society, whatever else one may hear on hopes and aspirations the truth as it is is in this link and the facts relating to unemployment stats.

    This is the big story and is not being covered anywhere in it’s guts.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-eu-ireland-unemployment,0,1039901.story

  43. I had an interesting idea recently. Honestly! That Bertie Ahern is actually the leading exponent of marxism in the history of Ireland but we couldn’t see it correctly until now. We just needed the seeds of communist comraderie he planted to take root and blossom into wonderful luxuriant debt filled trees. Some will say that figures like Larkin and Connolly were more direct exponents and this may be the case. This overlooks the brilliance of the Drumcondra man’s craft. Let’s look at the evidence:

    - Bertie has recently been visiting south american states to discuss how he can help them create an “economic miracle” just like here. Surely, this has parallels with the legendary Che Guevera.
    - Thanks to Bertie we have an impoverished and disgruntled middle class. This is a sure sign of a communist country.
    - Our schools teach revisionist propaganda about our country’s origins, history and current success.
    - Our unemployment benefits and allowances are high relative to European norms.
    - The media was state-controlled and censored to perpetuate the myth of success.
    - Dissenting voices were silenced and/or ostracised.
    - Productive labour has been largely disincentivised.
    - A small cabal of people came to own most of the country’s wealth.
    - He presided over a great era of construction, particular long motorways going to obscure and inhospitable places ;-)
    - We have a massive and all-controlling public sector. The PS has 5 year plans, massive inefficiency and jobs for life.
    - Trade union leaders and government were inextricably linked during the Bertie years.
    - His policies brought about the effective nationalisation of the banking sector. Again a tell-tale sign.
    - The entire Dublin planning system came to resemble a troika
    - Most of the country is now bankrupt except for a few favoured individuals.
    - Despite all promises of a “New Ireland” the standard of living improved marginally and is now sliding.

    It’s clear that Comrade Ahern and his successor apparatchiks within the Socialist Brotherhood of Destiny have succeeded in realising their vision of communist Russia throughout the irish-mammyland. It was never so much a Celtic Tiger as a Celtic Bear.

    Joe Higgins never stood a chance as amicable, friendly Bertie was never obvious enough to wear a uniform or grow a moustache (unlike Comrade O’Dee)

    • wills

      shane – POnzi Rep defined. A plus

    • Deco

      Like Che Guevara, Bertie Ahern is all propaganda and pretence about being a man of the people. The myth is much more glorious than the sombre and deathly reality. Both were irresponsible liars. Both were socialists. Both were rogues. Guevara had more blood on his hands. But Ahern’s legacy is toxic.

      • adamabyss

        Deco, Che had a lot more guts than Bertie, he put his life on the line and paid for it young. Bertie wouldn’t have the balls for that. He licked conventional ass to get to where he could rip off the ‘money flows up, sh*t flows down’ system. Jim Larkin as an Irish man, and his reincarnation Lech Walesa had moxy, Bertie is and was a parasite and a blight. No comparison to Che.

        • I think B Ahern would like to be thought of a legendary “man of the people” like Che but most particularly Larkin. Much of Bertie’s early reputation lies on his ability to broker deals with union officials, probably over a pint of bass! When I read about the South American trips I thought it was hilarious. Che has been mythologised by the media, most particularly the pop-art world where our own Jim Fitzpatrick did his legacy a great service with his crisp poster from 1967. Interestingly enough, Jim is a man who resolutely stands by his socialist principles even though it has cost him a fortune doing so. Bertie wouldn’t even hold a candle to the mythologiser, never mind the myth itself.

          My post was about the irony of someone, whom I believe adopted a socialist “man of the people” pose when it suited for political purposes, unwittingly bringing about some of the chaos of a corrupt communist country through ill-conceived policies and political cronyism. The tribunals have damaged his reputation but don’t underestimate the possibility of a revised history where Bertie is promoted as a sacraficial lamb on the altar of an over-zealous tribunal.

          Even more worrying is the media censorship. Admittedly, this has been a recurring them in Irish history with governments du-jour censoring material on religious or subversive grounds. Only George Lee in the mainstream media and David producing independent productions (correct me if I’m wrong) attacked the lies within the Irish economy with zest. Eddie Hobb’s programme was more consumer focussed rather than proclaiming that the “economic miracle” could all end. Due to this censorship, the people were prevented from learning how precarious our economic situation was. Many simply didn’t understand where the money was coming from and why the good times would inevitably come to an end.

          Just watching the local election results and Ruairi Quinn’s “~25% who always vote FF” have lost a few voters. Only a few mind you.

  44. Deco

    Listening to the results coming in. The Right Hook on Newstalk.

    FF in serious trouble. FG on a roll-pushing through previous barriers. ILP picking up votes from FF and GP. Independents are up and down.
    George Lee will increase the number of economists in the Dail to two – both in FG. Not sure how this will influence policy. But it will create problems for Lenihan and Coughlan.
    Michael Martin putting a positive spin on it again-just like he did after Lisbon I. I wonder will there will be a reshuffle of the clowns in the FF front bench. I expect a massive sea change within FF – especially if FF loses the Leinster MEP seat.
    ILP are doing a lot of positive spin, and pure crowing. Ruairi Quinn made a remark to the effect that the only way now for George Lee was down.
    For the independents, Harkin is holding up well, Cathy Sinnot is putting up a solid fight, and Maureen O’Sullivan is almost certain to continue the Gregory legacy. O’Sullivan has done really well in consideration of the money that the three parties three into the constituency.
    Euro elections are to happen tomorrow, but close contest for the third seat in each constituency…

    Minister Eamonn Ryan is talking about a review of government policy. (Any chance of new ministers ???). Ryan probably wants a few more windmills.

    And the next question – what exactly are the opposition going to do now. FG will control a lot of local authorities. ILP will decide who controls the others. Some local authorities will have very large left wing elements. People elected on the pretext of increasing accountablity can turn out to have accountability problems themselves. If this occurs this will not represent change. Not sure how this will affect local politics.

    George Lee is talking about the economy and wants a general election. Do FG have an economic program that can be offered to the electorate ?

    • Tim

      Deco, FG is offering this:

      http://www.finegael.ie/campaign/index.cfm/type/details/nkey/113/pkey/1084

      But FF/GP will have to lose a Dail vote before anything will happen. I do not see this happening before November.

      • wills

        tim – and who is going to build this new green infrastructure, that’s right, all the little slaves running around waiting for their next instructions. The masters set up the new industrial programs too which they own and will reap all the decades of profits from and the little slaves get to break backs and build it.

      • Deco

        I went to the link and there was nothing there. Insightful ?

        I did see a link to the 2007 Manifesto. Even more dangerous than no policy, is a policy that is completely flawed.

      • Deco

        FG promised to cut tax from 20% to 18%. That was a bright idea. This makes it clear that FG had no idea in 2007 that the state finances were going to turn sour. By the way, FG policy was a reaction to ILP PR stunts with Joan Burton also promising to cut taxes.

        And both were simultaneously promising to spend more money.

        Throw in the fact that McDowell was clowning around with respect to house price taxation. To Cowen’s credit he never took any of them seriously. Incidentally neither did the Greens.

        All goes to prove, that whilst FF might be bad, clearly FG and ILP were both even more clueless. Now, I understand why people vote for FF. The alternatives are even worse. It is a case of having to make a balanced judgement so as to acheive damage limiation in regard to the formulation of state policy and the management of the state’s finances. Sound fiscal management is a completely different universe altogether. Leave that to Angela Merkel und Fruenden….

        • Tim

          Deco, while I agree with your assessment of the opposition parties and you reiterate many of the points I have made, you may have missed on that page the pdf link to the FG policy document, “Rebuilding Ireland”:

          http://www.finegael.ie/news/documents/RBI1.pdf

          Although I do not expect it to change your mind, I post this direct link to it here in the interest of being as fair to that party as possible. It would be ungracious of me to allow you to continue to think that “there was nothing there.”.

          While I’m at it, I find Brian Hayes terribly ungracious; I know that he is only trying to milk the anger of the public, but there is no call for his level of rudeness. He could not even celebrate smugly today as his candidate George Lee topped the poll, without barking and sneering at FF. If he is this ungracious in victory, what on earth would he be like in defeat? Lies, spin and rudeness must be rooted out of our democracy and replaced with truth, openness and decorum. I met with Joe Behan this afternoon and passed on your points.

  45. expat

    I really think Ireland has gone completly nuts . People going mad with property was bad enough but what hope is there now ? They are pumping billions into Anglo . This is cash that we don’t have . Yet we are throwing billions at a bust business . Even FF say it is bust . It costs more to keep a bust business alive than to wind it up ? How much more will it cost ?
    I left school in 1983 after the Group Cert . I managed to get a job and went on to own my own business . I know the nuts and bolts of business and I can can smell bad business a mile off . How will NAMA work ? How do you price property when nobody can set a price in a falling market ? How do you price property in Budapest and Dubai in a falling market ? They won’t . This is Ireland where we endure scandal after scandle over government spending . These people can’t even organise E voting and yet we expect them to price property in Ireland and overseas . It will cost an absolute fortune and we will be in debt for years . China became the worlds factory and the free market thinkers thought that we would provide the service end of things . Problem is India with their high standard of education thought they would get into the service industry . They do it well and they do it very cheaply .
    When the great recession ends the world will be a new place . The US will be owned by China . The Chinese will make everything and India will provide all the services . The US , no matter which way they dress it up will tax multinationals back to the US . Obama has to provide jobs in the US . Imagine Cowen saying he is going to outsourse jobs abroad .
    In Australia we have the mines . The government call them ‘ Rivers of gold ‘ The prices have fallen for now , but China’s demand will increase again as we provide the raw materials not to mention all the uranium that the world will demand as they fight global warming .
    What is the future for Ireland in this new world ? This recession started on 12 th of Sept 2001 . It was the recession you never heard about because nobody wanted to hand a victory to OBL . It was kept at bay by credit . These world events have screwed the world economy . Yet in Ireland we are suffering from global recession and our own internal mishaps . Take the global recession and multiply it by 10 and you have Ireland . I plucked 10 out of the air . And why not ? The government are plucking figures out of the air everyday .
    Unemployment is going through the roof . How do you repay a 95 % mortgage with negitive equity and no job ? Any property bubble anywhere at anytime has seen prices drop by up to 80 % or a return to pre boom levels .What is the future for Ireland under all this government borrowing with no natural resources ? How will average Joe weather the storm ? How do you come through this weather you are a Decklander or a HICO ? And what does ‘ Smart Economy ‘ mean ? If its so smart I don’t expect it to hang around for to long before it emigrates to New Zealand .

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