March 7, 2010

Salvation in bright ideas

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 241 comments ·

Anyone who has experienced unemployment – either themselves or in their family – knows how tough it is. The first few weeks are bearable, but then desperation gradually sets in. As rejection letters pile up, optimism breaks down.

The human costs of unemployment and idleness are family breakdown, mental illness, depression and crime. These costs go way beyond the financial costs, which capture only a small proportion of the impact.

Ultimately, financial costs are only measured in money, which is considerably less important than the emotional and personal trauma associated with being told by someone else that you are no longer wanted.

If you want to see the real effect on our society of this entirely homemade recession, don’t talk to an economist, talk to a local GP. My cousin is a doctor in a commuter town and she has been shocked by the change in the type of people now coming to her clinic.

In the past, it was usually the old and very young queuing up to see the local doctor. Now she is inundated with young men and women in their 30s and 40s who have just lost their jobs and are suffering from depression. They can’t cope, can’t sleep and don’t know which way to turn.

She knows full well that medicine won’t solve the underlying cause.

This weekend, Ireland is home to thousands of wounded people who have been told that they are redundant .Their self-worth has been reduced to a measly severance cheque, a squeeze of the shoulder and an insincere pep talk about the needs of the company in the current climate.

These are real people and they are humiliated and frightened. In some cases, they are in mid-career, they have huge experience, contacts and networks. Yet they are being told they won’t work again because they are too expensive or are ‘overqualified for the job’.

Many don’t have the energy to face the enormous effort needed to start again on their own. Their confidence is shot. As a result, they will hoard their savings and won’t have the courage to throw their precious nest-egg into a new venture.

They will shrink from risk and become the walking casualties of the depression. We will see these soon-to-be-middle-aged zombies, the ‘might have beens’, walking around our towns or glued to afternoon TV, wasting away. Yet they have so much to offer. If only we could find away of using their years of experience constructively.

At the other end of the scale, we have thousands of young people, ambitious graduates and school leavers, who can’t find a job. One in three young men is on the dole, but they have everything to offer. This is the generation of Irish people who have nothing to fear; they have buckets of energy and can set up on their own, creating businesses from ideas.

But how will they commercialise this raw enthusiasm? What they have in energy, they lack in experience. What they have in vision, they lack in contacts, and what they have in stamina and technological savvy, they lack in business nous and sales smarts. This is where the older people come in .Would it be possible to fuse together the two generations, the recently redundant middle-aged and the hugely robust twenty somethings?

It is crucial to realise that, although it feels as if we in Ireland are on our own, plenty of other countries have gone through crises and come out the far side.

Take Argentina, a country I have visited a number of times. In 2001,Argentina suffered a dreadful depression. The following year, unemployment skyrocketed and, with no jobs around, young people were forced to set up their own small businesses to survive. These small businesses sprang up all over the place and, because the local economy was in tatters, the companies had to export to survive.

Precisely, the same will be the case in Ireland. It is small businesses employing a few people that will drag the country out of recession. This is always the way. In Argentina in 2003, these embryonic companies didn’t know where to start. How could they? For most, this was their first venture. They knew nothing about marketing or banking and neither did they have contacts.

At the same time, thousands of middle aged executives with tens of thousands of hours’ experience were being laid off every day. They were destined for the scrap heap.

At the time, a friend of mine was brought in to be the chief of cabinet of Argentina’s finance ministry. He was 35 years old at the time and many of his friends had given up and were emigrating to Spain.

He told mehe spent nights with his head in his hands trying to figure out what to do when everyone was telling him it was over for the country. Then he came up with the idea of a state-sponsored ‘match-making’ service to match ‘young companies with old heads’. To do this, the Argentinian finance ministry used a website which matched old experience with young companies. You can visit it here (

The new start-up companies interviewed the old, recently-redundant executives. The state, instead of paying benefit, paid a much-reduced salary to the older guys, who got some small equity in the new companies. The scheme worked amazingly well. Thousands of companies were set up and thousands of people went back to work.

Most crucially, the older heads contributed enormously to the success of the new companies with their knowledge and experience. Their contacts with international counterparts and multinational systems of management and production were invaluable. Yet, had it not been for this initiative, this invaluable resource would have been lost between the ears of thousands of people, never to be used productively again.

Many middle-aged executives even went back to work for nothing and were reinvigorated. They acted as custodians for the new companies that dragged Argentina out of the depression. In addition, thousands of companies were saved from making the elementary mistakes that tend to scupper start-ups, because such potential mistakes were often spotted by those who had been in business for years.

Crucially, the older heads were not hands-off consultants. They worked for the new companies. If the relationship was working, after five months, the new companies started to pay their wages in full and the state stepped out, having done its match making job.

This is a perfect example of how a simple idea can translate into a fantastic outcome and of how using our noggins in the depression can transform a crisis into an opportunity. The key now for all of us is not to despair, but rather to focus on using our skills positively.

This means active government intervention in the labour market to ensure that our doctors don’t become the last line of defence against unemployment.

  1. Lius

    Great idea David, why don’t you submit it on the YOUR COUNTRY YOUR CALL website, win yourself €100,000 plus €500,000 to set-up the scheme.

  2. Malcolm McClure

    David: Great article and very timely. The real tragedy of this situation is that FAS made no preparation for dealing with higher unemployment, although the trend has been apparent for at least two years. While the top management was living high on the hog, using fantasies of high tech involvement with NASA as an excuse for luxury trips to Florida, complete with expensive visits to hairdressers, etc., it seems that nobody was minding the shop.
    You have suggested older mentors for fledgling businesses, others have suggested broadband hubs as nurseries for ambition. FAS itself seems to have no national plans. It prefers to devolve realistic initiatives down to local level, where dedicated and practical people do the best they can with the slender funds made available to them.

  3. JRedmond

    A whole lot of assumptions in there. Will executives work for free, will anyone work for Free. Do people have nesteggs, Will Banks release money to start up, Im not sure about any of these. But one thing Im sure of there is a whole lot of talk about what we should do and not a whole lot of doing. Action needed and needed now.

    • Ruairí

      Yes to all of those assumptions.

      The executives will be working for equity, not usually for free.

      Yes, many nesteggs sitting quietly.

      Yes, ANIB would be the vehicle as the ‘bank of the people’. Ahem..

      Great article. Wasn’t this material touched on heavily before though By D? Admittedly expanded and finished out more this time around.

  4. ps200306

    Great article. Yes, people will do all sorts of things when the chips are down as long as the state doesn’t penalise them. I second the YCYC idea — this is the sort of idea you WANT the gubmint to steal.

  5. suonish

    I could swear I read this article before. Am I going mad?

  6. s1lverbullet

    Great idea David but there’s no way Calamity would go for it. I know it sounds daft but I have the impression the government is under orders not to create jobs and not to get the economy going. The EU calling the shots on this one i’m afraid, and we are the guinea piigs for a new world order. Rothschilds are directing the EU and pretty soon all water supplies will be privatised and literal droughts rather than economic ones will be the order of the day. What we need is to bring down the whole political system in Europe before we can get things moving again. Wait till the next wave hits us in a few months!!

    • G

      @ silverbullet – Not too far off the mark one suspects, an analysis as sharp as your name suggests.

      By their fruits you shall know them – no national jobs strategy, 2000 absurd places at third level for 500,000 unemployed, bailout for the banks none for the jobless, indebted citizen, failing education and health systems, commodification of virtually all aspects of life especially housing, university registration fee (€800 to €1500), water charges, bin charges, carbon taxes, levies, high priced utilities (see ESB), wage cuts, job insecurity, dominance of employers, powerful business lobby groups, low corporation tax rate, increased direct and indirect taxes, impassioned Taoiseach speeches at chamber of commerce love-ins, no address to the ‘nation’.

      Business run society with all the hallmarks of same…………….

      • G

        Should have added:

        “………we didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world beens turning………………….”

      • s1lverbullet

        @ G – The only positive is that more and more free-thinkers in this country are coming round to the idea that the fools in power have not our best interests at heart. I just don’t like how cynical I am becoming!! The ordinary people of this proud nation can achieve anything if we only unite against the tryanny that is undoubtedly upon us.

        • G

          @ s1liverbullet – lest you deceive yourself, its not cynicism, that is normally what others try to label it, it is more about ‘awakening’, discovering the ‘truth’, which at first can be incomprehensible, followed by denial, then anger at being deceived, to the final stage – action.

          Collectively we are at the second last stage, but gradually moving to the last stage. We need a catalyst, that catalyst will come in the form of Gormley resigning and the government falling, feeling in my bones.

          I call it G’s ‘Hierarchy of Awakening’, I think I have a triangle around here somewhere with the different stages mapped out…………………

          ‘The People United can never be defeated’ – the South Americans have been saying it for decades…………….

          • s1lverbullet

            G…. Mazlow would turn in his grave if you used his triangle for something good instead of his own twaddle. but seriously, I feel it’s coming too. I have my first child on the way soon and will do anything I can to make sure he/she won’t end up as a wage slave to these scum. Viva la revolution!!

          • Josey

            I love your optimism re the fall of this government…but what will that change? FG + Labour will just make a few aesthetic changes to appease the masses and carry on with the plan to destroy the middle classes.

            But maybe you’re thinking that the fall of Government will create some sort of vacuum into which will come the people…???

            Long live Iceland!!!

          • G

            @ Josey – the centre cannot hold, the material that has been building up has to burst, its a virtual law of science, we see the falling away slowly of the rotten edifice, all you have to do is wait a little, the shredders are already busy.

            A new government ushers in a whole new era, with a demanding public, some things will stay the same, other things will not.

            We are potentially at a game changing moment, its up to the people to decide to what extent.

            It’s no longer just about the middle classes, all people bar the rich and those at the very top are being targeted, I just hope the middle class aspirant gets with the programme and realises what needs to be done – solidarity in numbers otherwise it will remain divide and conquer.

            We have to go beyond self-interest and reprogramme to think in terms of the collective good and defense of the disadvantaged and the less well off – a true measure of any decent society.

            We must park the robotic focus on economic utility and think in terms of societal harmony, equality and justice.

      • Jonathan Hannon

        Sounds like a right wing wet dream G. But its all true. Funny that the Rothschild family were appointed and it was never officially announced. I trawled through the IRish times back issue’s and found nothing. One week Merril lynch were there and then there was a story about there contract running over time. Next week there was a story about Nama and a subnote referencing Rothschild as the governments “banking Advisers”. They are to advise the government on dealing with investors and bondholders. And also dealing with the ECB. You have to very careful what you read online about the rothschilds, most of it it crazy conspriracy theory rubbish. But there’s no smoke without fire. They have strong links with the Zionist movement, they built the parliment building in Tel Aviv. They were involved in the funding of both sides of WW2. They financed both the french and british during the napoleanic wars. They have been deeply entrenched in the upper elite classes in France, England and Germany for 250 years and hold incredible power. And they are looking after our interests. God help us. We are simply been sold out to Europe. Multi nationals are now running large parts of the health industry, they’re stealing our oil and gas. Our waste business is been sold out. Our universities are been corprotised to develop our smart economy. When the people in white coats invent something and the wages have been driven down, “investors” will come in form abraod and employ people much cheaper and the money goes up to the corporations while they give our government their 30 pieces of silver in the form of 12% corporation tax. This is the economic policy that our gombeen politicians happliy put forward as our future. We are a deeply right wing country. Remember we gave more money to Franco than any other country. Micheal D Higgins recently spoke about canvassing in connemara in the early 70′s. The parish priest would come out and wave the crucifix while he was trying to talk calling him a godless communist. Seems crazy now, but then take a look at the society our present policies will create. Bill Cullen made me sick last week. This idiot is no Donald trump so there’s no need to poke fun at the apprentice. Micheal O’leary is one of the most sucessful and powerful businessmen in europe. Cullens mother sold apples outside a hospital. Bill cullen is paid well by the DAA to knock Micko. The DAA’s passenger numbers have dropped 12% this year while O’Leary’s have gone up. But leaving all that aside, his speech on the youth of today was stomach churning. Having no job is soul destroying. After you finish your breakfast you realise you have a whole to think about nothing. Often its not peoples fall the economy fell apart. They are victims of idiots bankers and politicians. Dr Bill’s idea of putting people on the road sweeping is all he can say. Treating people like criminals becuase they have lost their job. Images of a change gang of people sweeping the prom in galway while business men like DR bill drive by in their merc’s tut tutting and feeling smug beacuase people have to be belitled in order to earn their paltry €196per. Anyway not to worry we’ll be ok, the Rothschilds, dermot desmond, alan aherne and Ibec will make sure we’ll be ok…god help us

    • I think this is spot on. Unless we take action then now then in a few years time we will all be slaves.

  7. Another dose of basic common sense from a socially responsible economist. It’s sad that David has to occupy his time writing up something as fundamental as this when you consider the echelons, battalions of fools, entrusted to business development in this country.
    But a ray of hope glimmers. Private enterprise through the seedbed centres are actually doing something. though not exactly as David suggests.

  8. G

    We have an employment agency with a budget of €1 billion and look what happens.

    We have a Minister and a Department for Enterprise, Trade and E-M-P-L-O-Y-M-E-N-T and look what happens, they refuse to meet people who want to create jobs!!

    We know what happens to good ideas, it is the system and the culture that has to change, for that to happen, unfortunately, things, as in Argentina, have to get a lot rougher……….and even then there is no guarantee that the power elite will give way.

    At the very least we need this government to fall (hopefully not too far into the future).

    Your country, Your Call is a distraction – typical institutional (single panacea, the rich man with the cheque) response from power to be ‘seen to be doing something’. We need radical change not a €100,000 prize for the best guy or doll in the class.

    The centre of political power is for whatever reason (and there are many) stuck in 1st gear, probably watching for coups or moves, and the eye is not on the economy and job creation, it is, as with all insiders on the preservation of power and position.

    • YOUR COUNTRY YOUR CALL is just another mickey mouse programme similar to The IDEAS Campaign, their site is resting on AIB servers and they are spending 2.5 million on an advertising campaign to keep their friends Tony O Reilly and Dennis Digiphone press sweet . Because at this stage of the cycle if we had a Free Press they would be out every day knocking the government , but we don’t as been the small Island that we are , these mandarins are happy while they may have lost a few Euro with their banks shares they still have liquid cash the second homes , villa’s in Spain and their Golf membership paid for this year. … As for FAS and the €1 billion budget , .they couldn’t create a job when we had full employment so you’d hardly except them to have any great Idea’s now in this economic melt down

      • Padraig McKeon

        Leaving aside what one might think of it, lets not misrepresent the facts re YCYC.

        The site does not rest on AIB servers. It is hosted by servers provided by IT and networking company Cisco. AIB registered the web domain name for YCYC before the company that is running the competition was set up. It is now being transferred to YCYC and AIB has no further connection with the site.

        YCYC is not spending any money on advertising. The advertising is actually costing the media owners that are providing space free. All of the work being done on YCYC is being done by individuals and companies on their own time.

    • Josey

      spot on that “your country your call” is worse than the swine flu scam. It’s basically the Gov pushing responsibility for the mess onto the people. It’s a laughing stock where bored people at work send in joke ideas.

      You think my idea of sacking the whole government, bureaucratic class and banking heads would get a hearing?

      Let’s plant more windmills and blow bubbles til daddy comes home….sigh

    • G

      “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

      ~ George Orwell 1984

      Worth picking yourself up a copy Padraig McKeon.

      • s1lverbullet

        G – interested to know your thoughts on this one. Had Orwell an amazing imaginative into human nature and how the world might turn out OR was he an insider with knowledge of the masterplan trying to gauge public reaction to assess the right time to begin implementation?? I have heard different views but have not made up my mind yet

        • Padraig McKeon

          G, Read it years ago – god awful boring book tbh. Why people envelop themselves in such misery I’ll never know.

        • G

          @ silverbullet – Orwell was born an insider but became an outsider by choice and a vocal critic – a thorn in the side of all those ‘system builders’ whether it be British Imperialism, facism or Stalinism.

          He was educated publicly (Eton College), but hated it and suffered bullying (he used to regularly wet the bed for which he received beatings). His treatment by ‘school masters’ planted the seeds of his hatred for authority or ‘Big Brother’.

          He worked for about 5 years in the colonial police force in Burma where once again he witnessed the brutality and sheer bloody murder of the Imperial system. His Burma police experience yielded the novel Burmese Days (1934) and the essays “A Hanging” (1931) and “Shooting an Elephant” (1936), all of which vividly convey the impact of the system in terms of internalisation and externalisation that takes place – his experiences never left him.

          Filled with contempt for British Imperialism, he left the police force and returned to England and to poverty and ill health (he was also a heavy smoker and liked strong tea). He decided to descend into the belly of the beast for ‘research and writing purposes’. He lived rough with the homeless in London and Paris (vivid descriptions of the poverty and struggle) encapsulated in Down and Out in Paris and London (1933).

          He wrote articles for newspapers and gradually pulled a writing career together in order to sustain himself, he also worked in a bookshop for a time, which he came to hate as well as the books he sold. He said a writer should never make his mistake because it almost destroyed his writing career.

          He was later commissioned to go further into literally the ‘black depths’ of Britain and joined the coal miners producing one of his most famous books The Road to Wigan Pier (1937). But still he searched and yearned for more.

          It was around this time that he joined the anti-fascist forces and fought in the Spanish Civil War, where he saw the brutality of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco in action. He also rejoiced in letters about the the success of the anarcho-syndicalist communities. He was shot through the neck, just missing an artery and was invalided home. Orwell captured this period in ‘Homage to Catalonia (1938)’

          His wife died and left with a son, he was forced to write night and day, one year alone he wrote 100,000 words (mostly newspaper articles, book reviews, short stories) but he lived a precarious existence.

          During WWII he worked for a time for the British government (reluctantly) and the BBC world service but later left in declining health to focus on writing arguably one of the most important books of the 20th century (surpassing Joyce in my humble opinion) – namely,1984 (finished in 1948, published 1949).

          Orwell rented literally the ‘last house in Britian’ on an isolated island in Scotland, where dying from TB he hammerd out 1984 on an old type-writer while sitting up in bed. He finished the manuscript, was rushed to hospital where he died soon later.

          Orwell hated imperialism, fascism and the ‘quiet comfort’ of the middle classes, who he felt were often complicit in such ‘ism’s', this was certainly the case in Italy and Germany, where he felt they sought security over liberty (deserving neither according to Benjamin Franklin).

          He was a remarkable man, who in the interests of intellectual honesty and truth did some amazing things. Animal Farm (published 1945) and 1984 are extremely important contributions towards our understanding of human nature, the organisation of society and the constant threat from the ‘dark side of humanity’.

          His work contributed new words to our lexicon like ‘thought police’, ‘room 101′, ‘Big Brother’, ‘some animals are equal but some are more equal than other’ and a whole host of other material.

          To my mind, he is the greatest writer in modern times and an individual of remarkable courage and persistence in the face of certain death, especially during the work of 1984, which some argue was a book that killed him as he should really have sought treatment.

          Orwell was that rare breed, who was born an insider but saw the truth of that pernicious system and had the honesty to call it in the most remarkable fashion. He became an outsider, and a determined critic based on his insider experience, for that he deserves our eternal gratitude.

          Maybe Padraig McKeon you might develop a greater appreciation for 1984, indeed, a grim read at times, but an extremely important contribution to literature and the modern world.

          • Padraig McKeon

            G, interesting ‘conditioning’ for a writer. I appreciate that it is a thought provoker but I just don’t see the point in reading stuff that I can’t enjoy… life is short enough.

          • G

            @ Padraig McKeon – life can be as you describe, maybe all the more reason to delve into such work and come to understand their origins and the background to those who write them.

            Some people feel a need to understand life, change it if possible, Orwell is useful in this respect but yes, at times, 1984, can be tough going, quite brutal and dark, but then so are a lot of books (Joyce’s work in particular can be impenetrable at first, Ulysses is tough) – but they challenge our perceptions and preconceptions, no easy thing in itself.

        • G

          @ Silverbullet

          Interesting article

          The masterpiece that killed George Orwell

  9. Deco

    Excellent idea. Send our bright entreprenuers to Argentina – where they will learn how to do business in a transparent and honest manner. Or even better, send them to Japan or Singapore.

    The problem with the old codgers running Irish business, is that they do not understand business.

    I have an alternative idea. Let the young entrepreneurs start without any advice from the failed management ethos that got us into this mess. Young entrepreneurs may need mentors. The problem is that suitable mentors are few and far between. In fact suitable mentors are scarce enough.

    Personally, I would never have allowed Willie Walsh to leave Ireland. But the man is a genius. MOL had met his match in Willie. And then rumours started that Willie would be the ideal candidate to run CIE. And suddenly Ahern felt threatened. Ahern had filled CIE with his mates. Willie would sack them. So Ahern shafted Willie. A bit like Roy Keane and the FAI.

    We need to be very careful about who allow to train our next generation of entrepreneurs. We do not want another generation of Irish management that is flawed, lazy, incompetent, and makes all the important decisions on the golf course, or the clubhouse after a few rounds.

    Bright ideas yes. I don’t think you will get any from the muppets who are benefiaries of nepotism, but not advertisements for it.

    • The conditioning has started Deco. First have a purge by encouraging emigration. Increase University fees to disincentivise the proles and cut young peoples dole.
      Then Ogra FF decide amongst themselves who’s worthy of membership. Daddy then ensures entry to an appropriate course while the remaining hopefuls battle with the points system. The lucky ones stand to inherit privilege so why rock the boat with innovation. If anyone escapes the net, wait till they declare themselves and rob their ideas. Unles they’ve found the money to “get themselves to a different level”…

      Been there, worn that t-shirt and the beat goes on.

    • Your.Country.Your.Fault

      just posted a reply here, but hit return or something and so I dunno if it’s deleted, here goes again :) bit shorter this time

      Send our bright entreprenuers to Argentina — where they will learn how to do business in a transparent and honest manner.
      you are of course being completely, and hugely sarcastic, right? Argies are the world’s biggest liars and the country is vastly corrupt from the cops to the govt to the man on the street. some lovely people but count your fingers after shaking hands. I had to smirk ruefully after watching that interview with the Argies on David’s TV series where one showed up in an Aran jumper and claimed he’d love to come to Ireland and settle down, another saying how she felt mroe Irish than Argentinian… all in the same smooth born-to-lie voice that you can expect from people from that blessed and cursed country. There’s a reason why my Argentinian flatmates in Madrid would say sadly “mas mentirosos que los argentinos”, bugger liars than the argentinians.

      I have no idea how successful this experienciapyme prorgam was, its presmise seems sound as long as a) the old folks work in businesses they understand, b) they ahndle operation, hiring and firing, taxes accounts that sort of thing, c) they stay the hell away from the strategic decision making and d) you fire thema fter a few eyars for someone younger and cheaper once you’ve figured out the ropes. I’m saying that as an entrepreneur. I’m firing two perfectly good people (including my wife who is not pleased) because I have to get in people who are cheaper and work harder. Nothing personal.

      here’s the original article, I think DMcW should have added some value, rather than rehashing, he is paid for it, but I can’t knock another man’s racket.

      BTW, like my pseudonym? I think the other one should be renamed to this, it’s clearly deflecting attention from the mess the country is in to get people “hoping” again. What next, a messiah? Marx would have a field day. Kool aid / Opium, call it what you will, but this “IdeasCampaign 2.0″ crap sickens me. Start small, work hard, keep the head down things will look better in a few years. Stop looking for rand solutions, that “change the game”. Play the game. Win at it.

      Or even better, send them to Japan or Singapore.
      Madly enough, FAS sent people to Japan a decade ago who done brilliantly well for themselves. Something good came out of that organisation.

      For Singapore, forget about it. I’ve tried hiring people for Singapore from Irish unis, and here’s the reponses I got “I have a big night out tonight so I can’t really commit to being up for the phone interview [cue ditzy head shaking and simpering]“, “Do you pay my flight and accommodation” (Imagine saying that in the 80s) and more. including saying how there was loads of work on offer in Ireland anyway. you’re competing against Asians who work weekends and apologise if they can’t.

      Anyway, this rant is going nowhere.

      I do agree that young entrepreneurs shoudl start alone. Jaysis it’s not rocket science. work hard, do a good job, stay honest, listen to the customer, work, work, work… what do you need people who will try and boss you around as they are older than you?

      re: other comments, yes the country needs broadband, and pronto. Get the people in villages starting their businesses. stay at home with mom and write your software program / eLearning business etc. And anyway, most businesses are bricks and mortar and always will be. make nice bread. come up with good schoolbooks. start a fitness regimen that really delivers results. Health, food and education will never go away. Screw the arts and humanities. Enough kids wasting their lives thinking they have an excuse to lounge around on someone else’s dollar.

      and forget about starting another google. Google was 50 years in the making, maybe hundreds. it took decades of tech people congregating in silicon alley, producing one startup after another, a lot of luck, a track record of venture capital, a century of globalised economic can-do spirit and dare I repeat myself, more luck, for that baby to get off the ground.

      I’d be more impressed by high speed internet access and cheap office space in small villages than all this nonsense about transforming us into a smart economy

      • Your.Country.Your.Fault

        Oh, the eternal cynic in me…

        sorry, I know I know… but i had a look at the old ideas campaign, and it’s 5300 “ideas”….

        such gems include :

        “McDonald’s chain to introduce fish burgers on the menu as fish is more beneficial.”


        “Introduce a tax on fast food.”

        in the same page. I take it B Lenihan is busily reviewing all these.

        how about “Start making wine from blackberries.” or “Change St Patrick’s day to either a Friday or Monday if it falls midweek.” (also same page, same F&B category, F&B presumably as Paddies day is all about boozing)

        or how about

        “Organic certified island.” Well, we are overflowing in various forms of organic fertiliser emanating from the country’s centre…

        or even “Farmer offering allotments for free.”

        why am I doing this? basically to get people to examine the whole idea of “ideas”

        SCREW IDEAS! It’s all about work and persistence. there’s no need for a “big change”.

        Look at the letters submitted to newspapers int he last year, how many start with “Time for…” or “Time to…”?

        there is a culture here I believe of people thinking that these are “momentous times” and this time it’s special / different etc. The same delusion that got George Lee so fired up before the penny dropped.

        how simple can it be? don’t bail out the banks, put in people who work hard and are stakeholders in the success, get people working even if it’s for half nothing, so they can get back on their feet

        anyway, if only the Paddies were more like the Asians who as one of my friends says here, eat porridge [to spare money ] to send their kids to american unis.

        the whole sense of entitlement is bananas…. our country is not pretty. New Zealand is. Ireland’s countryside is underdeveloped, sure, but that’s not the same as rustic. We talk a lot, sure, but stop talking, and thinking a new political party will somehow sort out the mess.

        go home, come up with something you think your neighbour will buy. put it together. sell it. get feedback. make it again, and make i better. in one year, you’re selling across the county (could be food, education, health, etc). in three years you’re selling in the EU.

        tae inspiration from the story of Ingvar Krampad who as a teen made a table to sell to a neighbour. it woudln’t fit in the back of the car. So he took the legs off, and reassembled later at the customer location. blimey! by making flat packs you can transport several tables at once! Cool! The customer might even want to do that bit, so you can reduce the price a bit, and use the spare time to sell more and ultimately make more cash!

        it still took him 15 years to open his first store, but IKEA is now … well IKEA. and it stands for far more than a few bits of wood slapped together with youthful zeal.

        He didn’t get the idea from a website, he started small doing something simple that SOMEONE was willing to pay for, and he kept at it.

      • Your.Country.Your.Fault

        Oh, the eternal cynic in me…

        sorry, I know I know… but i had a look at the old ideas campaign, and it’s 5300 ideas….

        such gems include :

        “McDonald’s chain to introduce fish burgers on the menu as fish is more beneficial.”


        “Introduce a tax on fast food.”

        in the same page. I take it B Lenihan is busily reviewing all these.

        how about “Start making wine from blackberries.” or “Change St Patrick’s day to either a Friday or Monday if it falls midweek.” (also same page, same F&B category, F&B presumably as Paddies day is all about boozing)

        or how about

        “Organic certified island.” Well, we are overflowing in various forms of organic fertiliser emanating from the country’s centre…

        or even “Farmer offering allotments for free.”

        why am I doing this? basically to get people to examine the whole idea of “ideas”

        SCREW IDEAS! It’s all about work and persistence. there’s no need for a “big change”.

        Look at the letters submitted to newspapers int he last year, how many start with “Time for…” or “Time to…”?

        there is a culture here I believe of people thinking that these are “momentous times” and this time it’s special / different etc. The same delusion that got George Lee so fired up before the penny dropped.

        how simple can it be? don’t bail out the banks, put in people who work hard and are stakeholders in the success, get people working even if it’s for half nothing, so they can get back on their feet

        anyway, if only the Paddies were more like the Asians who as one of my friends says here, eat porridge [to spare money ] to send their kids to american unis.

        the whole sense of entitlement is bananas…. our country is not pretty. New Zealand is. Ireland’s countryside is underdeveloped, sure, but that’s not the same as rustic. We talk a lot, sure, but stop talking, and thinking a new political party will somehow sort out the mess.

        go home, come up with something you think your neighbour will buy. put it together. sell it. get feedback. make it again, and make i better. in one year, you’re selling across the county (could be food, education, health, etc). in three years you’re selling in the EU.

        tae inspiration from the story of Ingvar Krampad who as a teen made a table to sell to a neighbour. it woudln’t fit in the back of the car. So he took the legs off, and reassembled later at the customer location. blimey! by making flat packs you can transport several tables at once! Cool! The customer might even want to do that bit, so you can reduce the price a bit, and use the spare time to sell more and ultimately make more cash!

        it still took him 15 years to open his first store, but IKEA is now … well IKEA. and it stands for far more than a few bits of wood slapped together with youthful zeal.

        He didn’t get the idea from a website, he started small doing something simple that SOMEONE was willing to pay for, and he kept at it.

        • Original-Ed

          You sound as though you’re in the slave trade – simply finding people for real jobs created by someone else.
          All you need is a desk, phone and internet connection, only knowledge required, addition and subtraction.

          Something more technical requires a much greater input and older help is invaluable to stay on the straight and narrow with administration, leaving the youth to get on with the operational side.

          First you have to design a product, which requires engineering, programming and industrial design skills – then there’s manufacturing, marketing and accountancy to take care of.

          Your throw away comments are far too simplistic for real weighty businesses that this country requires.

          • Ruairí

            I admire the zeal and the finishing quality inherent in persisters but this comment “SCREW IDEAS! It’s all about work and persistence. there’s no need for a “big change”" is untrue, off the mark and ultimately short-termist.
            The project YourCountryYourCall may be flawed but as an ideas man I see it giving legs to ideas that for whatever reason, usually credibility and capital, the envisioner will never be able to bring to light of day.
            And before you retort, ‘credibility’ is as much a function of the perceivers as it is within the control of the the ‘broadcaster’. Sure, start with a table that won’t fit in a car etc and disassemble it (if you are building towards an IKEA), but if you are talking about a step-change that the country / structures must take, not the idea-bearer, then the project YourCountryYourCall has merit. I for one have no problem with the project; in fact I endorse it. There are some reasons to be wary of course, of any such aggregator; but believe me, if you have tried to bring concepts to the market before (as I’m sure a number of you may have), then you will know that neither the big idea nor the gift of persistence by itself are enough when in isolation. One needs vision, faith, decisiveness and persistence to succeed. Oh, and other people i.e. teamwork.
            But where one may not wish to follow through (some are starters, not finishers, just ask Richard Branson about the man who really started his airline idea, he freely admits it, as he brought it to reality, against the behemoth that is BA), then YCYC has merit as a transmuter of ideas to reality. I wouldn’t knock it as hard as some do. As someone who invents and innovates regularly, it offers a way to offload ideas that one may never wish / be able to bring to finish. Others may be best placed for that role; they being stakeholders or owners of vital components / resources.

          • Your.Country.Your.Fault

            You sound as though you’re in the slave trade — simply finding people for real jobs created by someone else.

            Nope, just keeping costs down and productivity up. At the end of the day, I can pay someone else’s mortgage, or my own.

            also, If the whole people working weekends thing shocks you… there are billions (literally) of people who do that. And many of them queue up to work for me. And are damn glad of it. And are filled with dreams and they will get what they want from our little exchange of value. Even my fired missus. So, feel free to be horrified and tell me what a bad man I am (for a man I am). I could not actually care less. I don’t ACTUALLY live on a different planet or global economy to you. Frankly this workign hard business reminds me of what it was like for my parents when they worked to make a living and get to the next level. it also reminds me of .. me!

            Your throw away comments are far too simplistic for real weighty businesses that this country requires.
            Well, they are simplistic, sure. I think that I may as well express something simplistic and get people thinking rather than cover all the bases. At the end of the day, this is a talking shop.

            As far as “weighty businesses” are concerned every damn business is weighty if you make it happen. every damn one of them. You start baking cakes, move into frozen foods, before you know it you’re making food ingredients and in 15 years you can be in biotec. What’s a weighty business, BTW?

            untrue, off the mark and ultimately short-termist.
            Ah lighten up. I’m entitled to my own p.o.v. :) And I’m not lying (it’s “untrue”??? )

            And before you retort
            Easy there pardner. Just back away and nobody gets hurt :D

            but if you are talking about a step-change that the country / structures must take
            My point is that there is no need for a step-change, just a step. In the right direction. Every journey starts with the first one.

            , it offers a way to offload ideas that one may never wish / be able to bring to finish
            twenty people starting a small biz in their local villages that grow them steadily over the next 5 years will have as much impact as any dot com. There is no big idea required. That’s what I’m after. Stop chasing the “big idea”, that’s the big idea. All these “ideas” make for great television. It’s the quiet plodders that make our community and economy. Here’s to them!

            The Prime Minister of Singapore comes on TV and tells people the truth.
            Better yet, the gov present the national P&L. Get that, the P&L! you can understand it! AAAANDD when the gov types talk they talk like they are speaking to people who just need to know the basic truth. It’s anathema to use soundbites. Benevolent dictatorship? Yes, emphasis on the benevolent. Anyhow, every democracy reverts to entrenched dictatorship after the votes are counted. This is just a wildly successful political party who happen to have their heads screwed on.

            Singapore is boring, and that there is nowhere to get drunk let alone doped
            Er… Boat Quay and Clarke Quay must have hundreds of bars where you are well entitled to destroy your brain cells in balmy 30 degree heat every day and night. No real drugs scene (oh boo hoo) but there are thousands of hot Asian chicks and if you fancy it, a thriving prostitution industry. And tons of food from all corners. Really you can actualyl do anything you want in Singapore. Except score coke. Aw, what a shame. These terribly interesting Irish people who are so bored in a city that hosts the Formula 1, has beaches, bars, night clubs and insane amounts of nightlife. They must be so sophisticated.

            the ‘year out in Oz’ thing.
            It’s been going a while now. And another year wasted. It’s like “we can afford it, cause we all have jobs now so we will do it”. Meanwhile someone from Vietnam comes to Singapore and works weekends while studying for a masters degree and works works works. Paddy / Biddy return from Oz with extra beergut and no end of talk.

          • Your.Country.Your.Fault

            allow me to develop further on this concept of “weighty business”

            I was delighted to see in today’s IT this article by Michael Hennigan.


            he not only reminds you all of the fact that there are vast numbers of people in Asia who are out to out-work and out-compete with you, he also opays tribute to the “boring” businesses I mentioned, like food, and education. check this out

            “Research at Imperial College, London shows that real technology start-ups tend to grow slowly, have a poor survival rate and contribute little to the wider economy in economic terms. Compared to the US, European start-up performance is poor. In Europe, after seven operational years, these new firms on average comprise 18.5 employees with revenues of £250,000 and a mere 36 per cent likelihood of surviving beyond 10 years.

            In the UK there are over 2,900 of these companies that have been in business since 1991, and they provide only 40,000 jobs. “They don’t become the new Microsoft,” Prof Bart Clarysse who holds the Chair in Entrepreneurship at Imperial College said last year . “They just stay micro.”

            If we had 1,000 such firms here, they would provide 18,500 direct jobs if using the European metric, but over 10 years there would be many failures.”


            “For example, one New Zealand company controls more than one-third of global trade in dairy products, and is responsible for one in every four dollars of New Zealand’s export earnings. Also, we don’t even have a category for education in our service export data, but this same category is Australia’s third biggest export earner.

            People in comfortable armchairs can talk easily about opening new markets, but most of them have never sold a bean.”

            So, there. I’m all for a new google starting in Ireland, but there’s zero chance of that happening now, in emergency after 15 years of MNCs sharing their IP with us, when there was no end of investment opportunity and we are still ahead of the game.

            If I want to start u outside the US, it CAN’T be in Ireland, it’s too expensive. Just forget about it. I employ people who are far harder working and better educated in technology than the average Irish grad for 5 euros a day. And they have every chance of making it to the top.

            My business partner talked ot me about this, he said, look when we worked in ABC, the partners there earned a thousand times what we earned but we didn’t complain, we just wanted to be like them. Same with the employees we have in X country, they don’t begrudge their tiny salaries, they are looking to what they want to be.

            BTW, Original Ed, I would really like to hear your definition of “weighty businesses” and “real jobs”.

            “real jobs”… spoken like a true employee

      • Deco

        Yes – you are correct I was being sarcastic.

        You are correct also concerning your Singapore analogy. It is a common complaint amongst the ‘Aussie year out brigade’ of Irish people, who only ever go to Australia for a year of bumming around, getting drunk, loud mouthing and getting arrogant. And they all complain that Singapore is boring, and that there is nowhere to get drunk let alone doped. If those Irish people have kids,then their kids will be working in burger joints that are part owned by the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund.

        But if you are looking for Irish people to work in Singapore, like the Singaporeans, there are some who will. But they are mostly old-school, work, steady as it goes, types whose financial ethics predate the CJH era in Irish ethics and pride as the prime ruler of the emotional construction. In other words, seek modest people – from the urban working class and rural areas. And they would jump at the opportunity. Because these are the people who get shoved aside by all the cronyism that exists in Ireland. Singapore is the exact opposite of the type of society these people would create. It is clean. It is sober. It is extremely efficient. It is transparent. It is healthy. And it is hardworking. The Prime Minister of Singapore comes on TV and tells people the truth. And it obvious that arrogant Irish young people are blinded by their arrogance and self concepts to join the dots and learn something.

        I actually have a theory that there is something psychologically adrift with a lot of people who do this Oz rite of passage. I actually reckon they all have an arrogance/pride complex. Travel is not of any benefit, if you spend most of the time between the bar, and the beach, listening to other Irish people talking out their collective asses about how great it is to be Irish, and how special it feels. And all the stupid insipid pointless endless boasting.

        I must confess I really enjoy taking the P155 out of people who opt for the ‘year out in Oz’ thing. It is the ultimate sacred cow in Middle class Ireland : )))

  10. Freethinker123

    It is now the time more than ever to realise that money is just an agreement, a tool! and hopefully very soon in generations to come a much unecessary and inhibiting one. Money doesn’t sustain us. The three basic factors of clean air,clean water and arable land and the intelligent managment of the earths resources.

    These words are not mine but the obvious and openly accessable words of a man you’ll never even heard of,but your going to here of him Now. His name is Jacque Fresco, an extraordinary man in his early 90s! A child of the Great Depression. He has had his entire working life to devise the most obvious solutions to our fiscal problems,simply do away with money and declare the earths resources as the common heritage of all, no its not a Eutopia as this is a staic word that has no place in this. It is an act of human evolution that will have to come or we will perish slowly and painfully.


    whats before

    and what can and most definatley must be afterward

    • s1lverbullet

      Fresco is indeed a great thinker but unfortunately way ahead of his time. If the zeitgeist movement organised into action rather than talking shops then maybe we could get something going. I myself used to frequent the Z site but found it full of people full of their own self importance to attached to their computers to ever get anything done. I got a bit disillusioned with all the talk without action as I myself am ready to do anything to get rid of this current system If only we had a charismatic leader to get things going

      • Bamboo

        The way Gods and religions are invented by the living so is money. Now try to imagine a living world without religions and then try a living world without money. Fresco maybe a great thinker but he must have the power of imagination as well.

        • Dilly

          I watched a programme called ‘who wrote the bible’. It gives an in depth analysis into the Gospels, and the book itself. They came to the conclusion, that the Gospel’s were all separate propaganda articles, brought together under one book by those in power at the time. Any gospel not to their liking was canned, including one by Mary Magdalen, who was then portrayed in further articles as a reformed prostitute, the first smear campaign maybe ? (Fianna Fail must have been taking notes). There is a talking donkey in the bible, yet, if you told the church that you believe in Mr Ed the talking horse, they would probably tell you, you are batshit crazy.

      • Freethinker123

        Well become that leader then! sorry I know how that sounded,but isn’t any one persons excuse that they can’t becaus of work etc.
        Bill Hicks the brilliant comedian RIP,made it his goal to try get it into americans heads,before he broke into europe and australia. That this was coming,today was coming. I’ll let him say the rest,this being from a gig in London

        Yes you may have begun to be disillusioned,but i’m through contemplation and experience coming to realise,and i don’t mind sharing want to make a better world,be the best you can be,give love were y’can.Its that simple. Zietgiest and Venus are just concepts,there nothing without the participant,much as any institution or group etc you can think of in present society. So which would you rather,one that perpetuates the same bull over and again or offers the chance to simply drop this whole mess and EVOLVE,matter of fact its already too late..generations ahead of us are already indebt likewise the the whole fuckin world is gonna stay on this broken record.But!!! keep chisling away in your own little way,in your own time and eventually it has t’fall and BELIEVE it will

        If you know about Fresco you’ll know he’s more than a thinker he’s a doer an engineer and a scientist at heart, and Zietgiest has extensively torn this beast apart to examine and learn from it,they do work as a match,one the theoretical the other the practical.

        Its common sense and at the same time insanity why did politicians come about in the first place,their fucking useless!! they don’t know shit,and all along they’ve been allowed to regurgitate their garbage on society.

        Evolve or die its that simple, once the seed is planted in enough consciousness and nutured to want and believe in changemit’ll take time but has to happen naturally.

      • Freethinker123

        Well become that leader then! sorry I know how that sounded,but isn’t any one persons excuse that they can’t becaus of work etc.
        Bill Hicks the brilliant comedian RIP,made it his goal to try get it into americans heads,before he broke into europe and australia. That this was coming,today was coming. I’ll let him say the rest,this being from a gig in London

        Yes you may have begun to be disillusioned,but i’ve through contemplation and experience coming to realise,and i don’t want to make a better world,be the best you can be,give love were y’can.Its that simple. Zietgiest and Venus are just concepts,there nothing without the participant,much as any institution or group etc you can think of in present society. So which would you rather,one that perpetuates the same bull over and again or one that offers the chance to simply drop this whole mess and EVOLVE,matter of fact for now(talking decades here) its already too late..generations ahead of us are already indebt likewise the whole fuckin world is gonna stay on this broken record.But!!! keep chisling away in your own little way,in your own time and eventually it has t’fall and BELIEVE it will

        If you know about Fresco you’ll know he’s more than a thinker he’s a doer an engineer and a scientist at heart, and Zietgiest has extensively torn this beast apart to examine and learn from it,they do work as a match,one the theoretical the other the practical.

        Its common sense and at the same time insanity why did politicians come about in the first place,their fucking useless!! they don’t know shit,and all along they’ve been allowed to regurgitate their garbage on society and have it there way,wasting time in their government buildings squabbling and bickering like kids in a school yard,on fat salaries

        Evolve or die its that simple,our consciousness as a people and individuals has to evolve, once the seed is planted in enough consciousness and nutured to want and believe in change it’ll take time but has to happen naturally. Zietgiest can essentially be a reminder to stay the course and to help land mark progress, Venus has given us a blueprint to build from,and a fine one it is too.

  11. David,
    You are describing the daily routine of many people that I know and I myself are among them, now on the dole for the past year ,I am not in receipt of any social welfare allowances.presuminably I must first spend all of my savings before I can qualify for the jobseekers allowance. This after having worked for the past 30 years, and paid all my taxes and having employed up to 12 people at a time (full time) last year (January)
    I went down to the local dole office I had the indignity of having to stand out in the cold for up to an hour, this was the first time in my life I was ever in a dole office, I was told because I was self employed I was not entitled to any help from the state. I had only decided to sing on because I wanted to try to attend a website design course run by Fas.
    To get on to this course one had to first sing on to the dole .
    I was promptly told that I did not have to return again to the dole office as I was not in receipt of any payments I need not singe on again.
    This to me felt like being told don’t bother us anymore! I managed to sign up for the FAS course (another long story) Link
    I don’t want to go on and on but the despair and the rage is all around. My savings are diminishing every month and my pension has disappeared. I tried to set up a self help group for the unemployed in my area but no takers and this one year on
    In my town there are approx 2500 people unemployed and not one politician has called to see if they could help set up this group ,there hasn’t being any initiative from them neither!
    To-day I read in the newspapers all about the high flying Directors of the DDDA and it hasn’t being lost on me that it was one of our own TD’s (Dick Roche) that gave these Gangsters their high flying Jobs (See link
    I don’t want to describe the daily routine but it feels like one is just waiting for death to come knocking on the door? to pass the time I have started a blog and I thought it would help vent my sheer anger ,after a year I am beginning to ask what ‘s the point these crooks are now stealing from our children and I feel compelled to take more direct action! See link
    Even here I have not found any patriots willing to take up the cause and fight back
    So I believe we must go through even more pain before people get up and take the fight to the streets
    I am ready but it seams I am the only one
    Everybody wants to talk about the situation but nobody wand to take real action against these Traitors.
    from your posting this line caught my attention,
    p.s “At the same time, thousands of middle aged executives with tens of thousands of hours’ experience were being laid off every day. They were destined for the scrap heap”.
    I don’t believe that we are quite at these levels of lay off’s just yet but anybody in my age group that is out of work will have no chance of ever getting employment again .They have being dealt yet another blow with the government’s recent announcement on their pension changes.
    Now having to last another 3 years just takes the biscuit .I have NO chance of getting a job and I am to languish on the dole for the next 15 years .I rather go out fighting these ba******
    Sorry that this comment is not a more upbeat one !

    • jay-joe

      hi everyone
      I have been reading this blog for a long time but this article spoke to me so I finally decided to post. My situation is that Im 23 and unemployed. I worked very hard at school and university and for the last 5 years and did really well. I had believed that with some work energy and thought I would be able to perhaps launch a business or obtain a decent career… well so I thought. Anyway Ive been unemployed for the last 9 months having made many many applications, most of which never get a reply. I understand that I am young and perhaps naive but I always thought that by working hard you could get on in life. However standing in the dole queue with my father that worked 40 years in menial jobs for lazy and incompetent employers, I feel so ashamed of this country. There was for the last decade so much talk of what a great economy we had created, but I feel the great scandal was that this opportunity was never turned into a decent society. One which cared for its vulnerable and provided a means to social mobility and security.
      While I never considered myself particularly liberal and yes I admit that there are many scroungers and welfare fraudsters, but the vast majority are ordinary people that had no control over the economic situation they now find themselves in. Over the past few months Ive seen the huge differences in this state for those with money and those without, in terms of the health, security and education infrastructure as provided by this country, while I know there will always be differences I feel there is a deep immorality in having such a massive gulf between the rich and poor in these absolutely vital necessities. As David mentions this has and will have social ramifications, my own fear is heroin epidemic 2.0 with thousands of young men unemployed and plenty of empty houses for them to squat in, I feel its not inconceivable. Anecdotally I fell its already beginning.
      The reason for this post I guess is to vent my own desperation at the situation I find myself in, I am strongly considering emigration, but in some respects feel that is the cowards way out. There are a lot of good and decent people in this place that I wish I could help and simply leaving evokes much guilt in me. But at the same time if I stay I must deal with a system that I hold as corrupt, one were nepotism and corruption rule. I am honestly not sure that I want to make this sacrifice because as pointed out here earlier each of my children will owe some 46.000 euros from birth thanks to the government/banking fiasco. This is money that will not go to build or educate for them as they grow. Basically I wonder am I a rat jumping ship or the wise one that gets out while he can?
      I wish that just a few TDs would find the courage to allow the people to take control of their faith much as the Icelandic people did recently. However the apathy and general uninterest in financially & ethically doubtful policies like NAMA ect make me worry that this community is to beaten down to even consider such issues. This I find unsurprising given the fear of authority present in us as a people, and the almost total lack of any reputable media in this land ala RTE and INM. (David excluded of course). I cannot fathom how people like Sean Fitzpatrick and even yes Bertie Ahern are not facing the full force of the law. These people were either grossly negligent or actively engaged in criminality and yet this class, the ones that have been proven to hold the most responsibility for this mess, sit in private communities or on comfortable seats in the back benches of the Dail.
      I am sorry if this post was off topic but I have found this forum to be one of the few places were there is debate and discussion of the future of our country, so for that at least you have my thanks.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Hi jay-joe and welcome. Being unemployed for 9 months at age 23 must be dispiriting. My first ‘job’ after graduating at that age was using a spade to strip the bark off tall pine trees for use as electricity poles. Life can change quickly with a bit of luck; a year later I had an apartment with a view of the pacific ocean. Don’t despair; be alert for opportunities and have the guts to take life by the scruff of the neck. It can be a great adventure, the scarier the better at that age.

      • Ruairí

        Welcome. What an excellent post.

        You might not realise it, but just by posting this and getting this onto paper, as it were, you have crystallised your thoughts and different actions will now occur than had you not posted. Many hundreds who come across your post will also act differently. You are rightly proud of your own efforts and those of your father. All here are well aware of cronyist Ireland and how it dampens our spirits at every turn.

        I received sage advice from a sociology lecturer of mine not to emigrate, but to stay and fight them; back in 1993. I too, like Macholz, have worked in hospitality (among other pursuits) and see in that sector a microcosm of the wider ills in Ireland. A tidal wave of credit creating piss-poor employers with not a clue about real business steering in times of woe. Plus a basic over-capacity of everything on the services side.

        Both you and Macholz, with time on your hands and good web savvy, have the ability to get the thinking cap on and earn (some) income online. Develop a specialism. Research, research, research. Then take a chance. Giver her a twirl. He who says he can or can’t is probably right (henry Ford). See Furrylugs’ posts on incubation / self-help. Pick up an original edition (ONLY) of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Create opportunities for yourself. Keep government ‘assistance’ away from your ingenuity and business potential, if you ever want it to prosper and grow.

        Very best wishes.

      • wills

        Hello jay-joe.

        Firstly, impressive writing style and telling a story, keep at it developing your skill.

        On do i dont i emigrate can I offer based on personal experience the following.

        Decide whats best for YOU first, cos this will benefit everyone else around you in the long term. This amy require moving out of comfort zones and emotion but stick with whats best for YOU and you will find success.

        Look upon emigrating as a bus ride to a new experience with a return ticket if needed.

        You can always return home one way or the other, take advantage of this and use it to your advantage.

        If you do stay, one thing certain, Ireland is entering into a very very very interesting chapter in its story yet to reach it s final outcome.

      • G

        @ jay-joe Oustanding post, there is obvious talent there, keep going……….

      • Hi Jae-Joe,
        I just wanted to say that if you have no ties like house or kids then I highly recomend heading off if your up for it – just make sure you have your return ticket bought or the money for it put by. The good and bad times all make up wonderful experiences and a deeper understanding and empathy for your fellow humans. what is there to lose…?

      • s1lverbullet

        Hang in there jay and don’t let the bastards force you. You sound intelligent and articulated and you are just the type of person they want to leave. The more savvy and educated the population, the less the ruling class will get away with. I’ve been at the very bottom and fought my way back, so hang in there. This country will unite soon, I feel it in my bones

        • Bamboo

          Hello jay-joe,
          I agree with all the above views and all compliments to your skills and talents. I can understand your discursive mind. We all have it.
          It is indeed like putting on your own life jacket first and then worry about others later. Take a deep deep breath and you will know that in the stillness of your mind you know that Whatever you decide it will be the best decision for you.
          Wishing you all the best.


      • murray

        I am 34 years of age and was on the dole for around 9 months as well.
        So I can totally relate with you — I decided about a year ago to leave our sickening corrupt country
        behind and head over to OZ.

        As soon as I landed I decided not to part-take in the piss up that my fellow country men were part-taking in. And in the space of a year and lots of hard work — I now have a reasonable successful company .

        So what I want to say to is — do what feels right for you! Do not feel that you are a traitor if you migrate. Do you think Ahern or Cowen gives a crap about or your family? Do you honestly think that the bar flies in your local will care if you leave? No, be the man that you can be —- that you must be.

        The sense of freedom that one feels with they leave Ireland is intoxicating. To finally know and realize that in another country that the best man for the job ACTUALLY gets the job is amazing.

        Do yourself a favour.
        Give your life a chance……
        You will actually make your country proud of you.

      • tony_murphy


        Keep learning everyday. Get yourself IT skills if you don’t already have them. Learn French / German. People have to get with the project. Ireland is on the edges of Europe and Europe cares little about Ireland except when is it going to pay the money back.

        If you have no ties to the Country, then getup and go as soon as you can. Emigration isn’t easy, it is stepping out of a comfort zone, but with determination and hard work, it’s ok.

        Ireland is run by a mafia for a mafia. Always was and always will be. Politicans, Bankers, IBEC, Union Leaders, GAA, Church. Leave them to it

        Those who can’t leave Ireland should have stopped
        Fianna Fail, Lisbon, NAMA..

      • Deco

        My advice to Joe-Jay.
        Forget pride, shame all that shite. I am serious. They are only delusionary concepts that get in the way of actually seeing the reality that is in front of us.

        Lose your pride, and give yourself self-respect instead. They are not the same. Pride is about measuring yourself to others. It is a waste of time. Self-respect is about measuring yourself by your own goals, and by living by the rule “I respect myself”.

        2. If you are free of the pride thing, then you will see everything in very practical terms. And this is important if you want to survive. Because this is all about survival. Survival has been disregarded as a concept because it is dangerous to consumer spending.

        3. Cut your costs. It does not matter where you live in Ireland, or elsewhere, you are going to have to cut your costs. Wages are dropping in real terms across the Western world. (unless you are Jack O’Connor in SIPTU).

        4. Remember that the media is funded by advertising. And advertising calls the tune. You will see media outlets going to great lengths to gain consumer credibility, just so that listeners will subconsciously comply with advertising.
        The purpose of advertising is not to increase demand. The purpose of advertising is to stiffen the demand curve, so that higher prices can be charged, and more profit can be made from the ordinary punters.

        5. Ireland is run by crooks. But you can survive. You just have to be extremely economical with the money. You have to opt out of everything, and train yourself to opt out – just so that you will be able to provide custom to rogue elements who threaten the establishment – like for example Michael O’Leary. To opt out, you have to identify the superficiality in society and deliberately opt out of by following the Enda Kenny route “From now on…I am going to be myself”.

        6. Read every book on personal development that you can fit it. Take a crappy job to start with. I did. And it was worth it eventually. It actually lets future employers know that you are not afraid of work.

        Ireland is slowly getting more meritocrtic. Yes there is a lot of cronyism at the top. Ireland is a small country. But you will find like minded people like yourself also. And you will have to help each other to become fitter and sharper. So that you will be able to take on the cronyism. The people who control society are colluding to prop each other up,and to control the intellectual discourse. You can do the same in indirect opposition to them : ))) And this will cost them dearly, and they will never know it !!

        • Your.Country.Your.Fault

          Forget pride, shame all that shite. I am serious. They are only delusionary concepts that get in the way of actually seeing the reality that is in front of us.
          Well someone’s been taking his common-sense pills this morning!!

          Of course! Not, I must say, that there was never a time in my life that I also mouthed off about pride and so forth, and I have made bum decisions based on all sorts of superficial image- and pride-based nonsense that have come back to bite me, BUT this is the truth.

          the Enda Kenny route “From now on…I am going to be myself”.
          Salvation in simplicity.

          Start by fixing the things you have control over. Life’s a snowball. In 2 years’ time, with constant plodding, you’ll have gone a LONG way. Just… plod!

          OK, how about this, life’s a pool game. Or a soccer game with your mates. The guys who go for the long flamboyant pots lose over time to the “pot, safety, pot, safety” types. The go for gold types on the soccer pitch can’t win against two mates who pass to each other and work as a team.

          Take a crappy job to start with.
          It ain’t the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play ‘em.

          More stories : Old man Ambani who started India’s behemoth Reliance industries was selling pillows from the top of his head in the local market still at the age of thirty. but he kept going, and got the lucky breaks and pounced on them. Now, OBVIOUSLY I’m not saying sell pillows from the top of your head, but start somewhere. Take a step.

          As a startup veteran, I can tell you that I earned pitiful pay (when not working for free) to get started. the breaks came, and I was prepared for them when they did. Success is mostly luck, but everyone is lucky. Once you start becoming opportunistic, you start seeing opportunity when others glaze over it.

          Last piece of advice? Be humble and respectful. It gives you a base to move forward from always and keeps your eyes on the prize, which is earning your money.

    • Machholz, I feel your anger and sense of hoplessness. Guys like you and me will need to create our own incomes in future though the web by sharing our knowledge and years of experience with others. The key is to look at our past, discover what we were best at and then write about it. Steve Pavlina talks about this on his personal development blog and he is very good at making people realise that they have a lot to offer if only they can learn to tap into their psyche and discover their true abilities.

      I liked your idea of a self help group for the unemployed. Just because no one took you up on it doesn’t mean it is a failed idea. All you need is one interested person to work with and then you can both take it from there.
      Being a leader is hard work but I reckon you are made of the right stuff to inspire others.

      Blogging can be the answer for unemployed people and in future I see lots of unemployed Irish people making a living this way. It makes sense because we are an articulate people and have a way with words that is second to none.

    • The Eye

      Im with you, Ill be meeting you with Mr C Quigley very soon, I think that Withdrawl mode that everyone is in will soon turn to real Anger as Its becoming impossible to do any work in this country and I cant but think why bother everthing goes to crooks in the end.

  12. Encrypting Time :

    This article by David in my words is about true banking because I believe that what he is suggesting is that we empower ourselves with the experience of a old time with the energy of a new time .This is not about money .When I read the folowing it reminded me about how the generations in a time period of babylon would communicate and why David choses selective words in his message :

    ‘What they have in energy, they lack in experience. What they have in vision, they lack in contacts, and what they have in stamina and technological savvy, they lack in business nous and sales smarts. ‘

    I am interested in disecting this statement to open our minds broader as follows through astrology :
    I am chosing the following words from above statement :

    energy – experience
    This is liken to Fire to Air ;

    vision – contacts ;

    This is liken to fire to Air

    stamina / technology savy
    - business nous and sales smarts :

    This is liken to Fire to AIR / Fire

    What the above tells me is that only two elements of nature have been expressed by David and those are Fire and Air .It tells me he wrote it to fuse a Passion and Hope with his readers .He did not mention the practical and pragmatic elements namely Water and Earth .These words would imbue the Realism of the message and the Practicality of it’s Logic .I can understand why he did not use these words and his anger with the Establishment of our Government and Banking. He is normal .

  13. machholz – I admire your true spirit and I believe in hope and for you too .As a typical accountant may I ask you what kind of business did you originally have ?

  14. David you have an uncanny knack of reading my mind. Below is an article I wrote, for therapy mainly, about a year ago but which I was too afraid to put on my website. I want to post it here instead becasue I believe it might help someone out there right now, today. I have been unemployed for years, went for interviews locally after graduation and could not get a job for love not money. I have been through all the emotions, been to the doc, did all the self analysis and do you know what? It gave me real a education. On Saturday I went on a real downer and felt lonely and very islolated then last night I said fuck it I am going to put my experience to work and write for those people who are right now where I was a few years ago. The writing is not polished but I want it out there to help people realise that they are not alone.

    Redundancy and Life After the Celtic Tiger

    It is during times like this that I remember the story of Robert the Bruce and Spider. I heard the story in primary school over 35 years ago and I am glad I heard it because it’s seen me through some challenges since then.

    Robert the Bruce was hiding in a cave up in the mountains and the English were hunting for him high and low. He was cold, hungry and afraid and his spririt was broken. His army had been routed, was a shadow of it former self and Bruce had lost all hope. One morning as the sun was coming up he was lying there looking out of the entrance to the cave and he spotted this tiny spider climbing and trying to spin it’s web. It fell and fell again and Bruce watched this for most of morning. At midday the spider made it’s first successful climb and got the first strand of the web spun and from there on in it was easy work. By mid afternoon the web was complete.

    Bruce felt the spider’s strength and determination surge within himself as he watched and willed the liitle guy on to his victory against the odds. They say that the Scottish victory over the English in the fields of Bannockburn was due to the lesson which The Bruce had taken from the spider. This lesson tells us that no matter how bad things look today there can always be a better tommorow.

    When I came to work at Motorola in 2000 I was one of the oldest employees there and I worked with many young people who left a lasting impression on me their intelligence, humanity and willingness to pull together. Some of those young twenty somethings will be in their thirties now and struggling with families and large mortgages while others will be thinking of taking the boat because they have lost faith in ever achieving security and happness in Ireland. Many will be wondering where they have gone wrong in life and the only feelings they will have when the alarm sounds on a Monday morning will be those of sickness and despair.

    It is gut wrenching to witness the state of our country after the insanity of the boom years and until recently apathy was the main emotion I felt regarding our situation. Sadness is what I mostly feel now the more I think about the flight of another generaton of young people from the island. There is no imagination from those who profess to be our leaders because survival in the modern world requires you to think out of the box and there lies the rub.

    Everyone who is an outsider knows that there is no point in waiting for support from the politicians and their pals because at best they are an irrelevace in our lives and the worst thing about them is that they are just getting in the way. The dole queues are getting longer and there are more and more people clamouring for any decent jobs that become available. Putting it bluntly there is not much point in looking for a job and people have to be taught to be smarter than that. We are a nation of small businesses and as individuals we are naturally inclined to be entrepreneurial. Take those character traits and encourage them to be imaginitive with technology and the internet and you have a chance of changing peoples’ lives for the better.

    This would require real education however and not what they teach us in college. College admissions have sky rocketed simply because people are afraid and looking for a refuge for their fears and hopes. College is all about getting a piece of paper which says that you know how to study for and pass exams but what if you live in the regions where there are no jobs? There are thousands of people with masters degrees working in positions for which they are over qualified and just about everyone and their granny has a degree. You are also faced with a culture of nepotism and cronyism which will hinder your emplyment chances should be unlucky enough to be the owner of a face which simply does not fit.

    College will keep some people busy, for a while at least, but there comes a day when its all over and they face the reality of finding something worthwhile to keep them busy for the rest of their lives. Rather than providing mass market education for sectors in which there are no jobs and therefore far too much competition, it would more useful to get people to start thinking for themsleves and to teach themselves how to discover their individuality and what makes them tick. Lots of people have hidden passions, abilities and talents that they are not even aware of and which could be harnessed and put to very good in benefiting them both economically and intellectually. The internet has the means to facilitate the kind of micro education which can be tailored to an individual’s aspirations and self improvement efforts.

    Spin doctors tell us that in future we will be a knowledge based economy but they don’t say exactly what that entails and how it will benefit the majority in Ireland. Maybe they have been watching too much Dragon’s Den and have failed to understand that not everyone is a patent troll who is self serving and wishes to deny others the benefit of his knowledge and experience. We need a fundamental shift in attitiude towards collectivism and a sense of community. In an age when people can use the internet for small business transactions it means we can all have the chance to learn new skills and access sources of information which will enable each us to trade on special skills and in areas of personal knowledge.

    Ireland is not really a nation of inventors like the British who are famed for producing geniuses who can invent earth shattering devices while holed up away from the wife in sanctity of the allotment shed. We never hear of small garage start ups who would be capable of producing the next Google or Facebook so where are all these people who are going to make Ireland a powerhouse of knowledge? This dream could happen but it would require unemployed people to be given unfettered access to technology and mentoring support from people who are a bit more creative and inspirational than the current incumbents who control our education system.

    Living in an area like Sligo offers a better quality of life and to remain here and enjoy the life it offers people need more help. Emigration is not an option for some and neither is a life in the capital where the cost of living swallows up a disproportionate slice of your income. Those options don’t make ecomonic sense anyway and it would be more helpful if we had more community initiatives which help people find out what they are good at.

  15. Philip

    Imagine a Corporate Vision like this…

    “Building a profitable and socially responsible financial institution focused on Markets and Businesses with growth potential, thereby assisting BRAC and stakeholders build a “just, enlightened, healthy, democratic and poverty free Bangladesh”.

    This NGO is an example of what can be done to build value from a very low base. Surely ireland can do similar and more rapidly. This is not about money but organisation. Nothing else.

    Reality is that the government here will just close you down if you try and be formally honest. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before we have pressure groups starting to build support on the streets (a la Shell gas field in Mayo).

    • G

      There are alternatives to the current economic and social model.

      There are ‘business’ co-operatives which are a great example of the democratic workplace, the Credit Union movement as a basis for a fair financial system (a member not a customer), we can setup community bodies that deal with social/anti-social issues, preventative health care as oppose to expensive care at the last minute, proper access to housing (ending the role of financial middle men and all the other layers of money making opportunities), we could examine the cantonal system in Switzerland, the committee organisations in Venezuela, the Cuban Health care system, how Norway managed its natural resources (contracts, means of distribution) – there is a ton of stuff out there, greater participation in political and economic decisions of the country, examine Greece’s education system where virtually everything is provided for (accommodation, books etc) – this is what our Ministers should be doing on St. Patrick’s Day not just seeking US multinationals and FDI – its the lazy man’s option and not sustainable in the long run – see Dell and countless other examples – we should look to ourselves for answers, not others who do not really have our interests at heart.

      I will say one other thing, I have been greatly moved by the two posts by those who unfortunately find themselves unemployed. I have been there myself, and it wasn’t a pleasant time, all I can say is my life turned around, I got a break, so amazing things can happen, just hang in there, keep talking to friends and family, blog if you have to, it is good to get the issues out, start a book, look at options, write out your goals on a page, get yourself mentally and physically as fit as possible, watch the diet, get some new clothes, try to get some movement in life. Things will turn, I am living proof of that but I understand how frustrating and demoralising it can be, I reached rock bottom but I worked the hard yards and got up off the floor and learned some lessons the insights from which I pass on whenever I can.

      I wish those two gentleman the very best and might suggest they come along to the meeting in Galway of posters from this site, there is solidarity in numbers. I hope to be there myself, must find out who this Furrylugs character is and where he got the name from :-)

      Hang in there lads, tiocfaidh ar la.

      “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato

  16. Terryb

    I am a redundant senior executive following up on two business opportunities. I have extensive business experience but basic IT skills. The idea of matching experienced business people with dynamic young people with the right attitude is excellent. I would be interested in linking up with any young people who have IT skills particularly in the area of website development and ecommerce to help me develop my own ideas. I would also be interested in linking up with young entrepreneurs to help them develop their ideas. There must be numerous people out there in the same position

  17. Tim

    Folks, have a look at this, if you have the stomach for it, after your dinner:

    Aengus Fawning ‘interviews’ Brian Lenihan
    Published March 7, 2010 Media Criticism Leave a Comment


    “The iron has ent-ered [sic] Brian Lenihan’s soul. On the surface, he is the charming, engaging, gracious Lenihan we know, but there is a new steel in his make-up, a distinct impatience to get things done. One senses that he has a shorter fuse these days with banks, bureaucracy, public sector work-to-rule, and with rich men, bailed out by Nama, who are continuing to live like lords. Lenihan in this mode has all the hallmarks of a man with a fight on his hands – but one who is relishing the fray. I’ll let his words speak for themselves. “

    So begins an hilarious piece of journalistic theatre in The Sunday Independent — Fawning and Lenihan complimenting each other in turn as they work through a staged set piece during which Lenihan makes clear he had prior knowledge of what the questions would be. John Bird and John Fortune, move over please: these guys leave you in the ha’penny place when it comes to political parody.

    Fanning gives Lenihan ample opportunity to rehash his holed-like-Swiss-cheese economic policies and in the process the latter again reveals himself to be utterly in a thrall to the banks. On the same day that he accuses low paid public sector workers of being bullies for defending themselves against his plans to impoverish them all, he has nothing but understanding deference to and reverence for the biggest chancers and bullies of them all: the Irish banks. Yes, it’s important to get the banks lending again and any day now that might be happening. Yes, it would be desirable if Irish banks would stick to the ECB lending rate but the poor dears have got themselves into a terrible pickle and are finding it hard to secure affordable credit from people who are prepared to trust them. Nothing for it but to let them screw Irish mortgage holders even further into the ground by breaking with the ECB and increasing rates here in Ireland. Unlike public sector workers whose pay he is threatening to dock if they don’t lie down and meekly accept the economic kicking he is planning for them, it would be undesirable for there to be ‘political interference’ with the banks whose excutives and political facilitators can only be paid a king’s ransom to do their jobs or else they will flounce off in a big huff. Besides, he’s got two cardboard cut-out directors on the boards of each bank now so the national interest is secure. The brazeness with which politicians and the media are prepared to insult our intelligence never ceases to surprise and amaze. Link to interview comes with a health warning for those of delicate mental or physical disposition.—of-the-fight-2091356.html

    • G

      I have never seen Fawning do it any other way.

      Just another High Priest of the Prevailing Orthodoxy – no more, no less.

      I stopped buying the Sunday Independent a longggggggggggg time ago, if others did similar the paper would have to change or fold – consumer power……………….

      Under William Martin Murphy the Independent Group supported the Great Lockout of 1913 earning him the nickname William Murder Murphy. He called for the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising most notably James Connolly, Murphy also advocated staying within the British Empire – lest we forget!

    • s1lverbullet

      Lenihan is a charlatan! He wants us all to believe that Nama was his idea….yeah right! is his surname Rothschilds??? The prick looked all sad last year when he announced to us that he has cancer…but he decided he will battle it. Whoopie! what choice does he have? lie down and die??? I feel more sorry for all the poor unfortunate souls that won’t have access to the top tier treatment he is getting. the folks who won’t get diagnosed for 18 months cos they couldn’t see a specialist while that prick will probably be cured by that time. Oh he makes my blood boil. Maybe there is a god after all. A pox on the lot of them!!!

  18. As I sat down on sunday reading the papers my blood was rising with the hoplessness of it all. I am (usually) an optimistic person who has a lot to offer and have an idea for a simple enough project to push local crafts where I live, plus I have the tech-ability to do it cheaply- however, I do not have the time or any money to put into it – so I have met with the local enterprise board who offer grants for various things specifically export orientated( my idea would include selling overseas) however, apparently retail ( as it was classed) does not qualify! I note in the sunday business post, the quarter page ad for enterprise ireland looking for people to partner with them to bring ideas to fruition – this is kind of what david suggests too? but really, whats the point when my idea will never even get to those people thanks to the ridiculous barriers they create. I am now trying to source funding from my local rural development board- who ,I note , also want ways to help rural people make money and get tech wise but again- retail does not qualify…

    I will do it I am sure but in the meantime life gets harder trying to survive.

    • Tim

      redrock, the red-tape in this country is self-defeating; just look at the new scrappage-scheme: in order to qualify, your old car has to be fully roadworthy and with an up-to-date NCT certificate! (so, why scrap such a car?).
      You have my sympathies, trying to deal with that level of madness, but keep at it.

      • lol, classic!
        thanks, i will continue, i have never given up before and am not about to start. Will keep all posted if I discover a great gem!

      • Ruairí

        PLus TIm, it gets worse.
        1. It makes zero sense on paper, unless your car will NOT pass the NCT (as you state, if it complies, then what’s the problem?). The €1500 is a maximum deduction off of the VRT. Some of the VRT reductions (most punter’s cars) will not maximise the available reduction.
        2. Until very recently, the ‘registered owner’ interpretation caused major headaches where the husband was insured in the wife’s insurance, but he was the car’s owner! They only thought this BS through from the LOBBYIST POV, not the Joe Soap point of view.

        Tragic, tragic bullshit. And what’s worse is that though this is spun as win win by Jim Power (economist…), in fact, its not. Waste is waste. And government interference in the car industry (all across Europe, which is the only reason we’re allowed ours) means the fatal collapse of some big name Euro car players at the end of 2010 / start of 2011 as the Douple Dip monster pays a visit to euroland.

        • Tim

          Ruairí, and, apparently, you are not allowed to avail of the scheme if the perfectly road-worthy car you want to scrap is an automatic; similarly, if you are scrapping a manual transmission car, you are not allowed to avail of the scheme to buy an automatic.


          Who dreams-up this rubbish?

          • Bamboo

            I have green, in fact metallic green car. Can I avail of this scam, sorry scheme, as well?

          • s1lverbullet

            I think Bill Cullen came up with the idea and he will make another fortune from it. It might save 10/20 jobs in this country but will do wonders for the UK and German economies if other countries do the same

          • G

            @ s1lverbullet – That would add up, Cullen was given full reign on the Late Late to publicly dismantle the Greens, then hey presto, a car scrappage scheme gets approval (from FF/Green government) coupled with publicity on the Apprentice, bit more to it than working hard and the lecture he gave the younger generation on Frontline…………..but then there always is………….

        • s1lverbullet

          Doubledip?? But all the people in the know tell us most of the EU is out of recession and property in UK is up 25%, so the worst is over!….. Oh wait, these are the same experts that told us we were in for a soft landing and there was no international credit crisis in aug 08. Don’t tell me the media and all the experts are lying to us. Noooooooooo

        • Bamboo

          I bought a car in Germany only a couple of years ago. There is no way a car dealer /garage can sell a non certified car in Germany. However there are plenty for sale for the East European market and for good money. Are the Irish Scrapped cars going to Eastern Europe as well, I wonder?

          • s1lverbullet

            @ bamboo – I’m afraid this is the way the world works. The scraps from the “rich” countries get cast off to the less developed ones. Even the airlines sell their old crocked planes to the poor African countries. These planes are so sub-standard that they are not allowed to land in european airports.Disgraceful

    • The Eye

      I feel the same way, for some reason I feel Im turning into the character in the movie “falling down”. I feel isolated and angry and betrayed.

  19. Tim

    Martin Cullen to make a statement at 7.30pm

  20. Tim

    Folks, Martin Cullen has resigned from the Cabinet and the Dail on health grounds.

    • wills

      its like agatha christies 10 little indians.

      • wills

        The ‘curse of NAMA’ taking its victims.

      • G

        Did have the thought about Karma –

        I wonder will:

        Bertie permanently lose his voice no campaign for the Aras.

        Cowen end up as a gym instructor.

        Mary Coughlan in Brown Thomas (stock room).

        Mary Harney as a hospital receptionist.

        Micheal Martin becomes a member of Hamas.

        O’Dea joins Duffy’s Circus for the ‘weird and wonderful section’.

        Dermot Ahern as the lead part in ’12 Angry Men’ as the one man against the 11 defending the asylum seeker.

        Eamon O’Cuiv fecks off to learn Mandarin.

        Roche starts ‘the hole in the wall gang’.

        Pat Carey becomes a priest (he always struck me as a closest one) and Mary Hanafin takes a vow of silence and enters the Poor Clares.

        Noel Dempsey starts up Budget specialising in tours to Malta.

    • s1lverbullet

      Methinks he was about to get pushed and is just trying to save face

    • Tim

      Folks, Re-shuffle in two weeks, after St Patrick’s Day junkets:

  21. wills


    Generation GAP comes to mind.

    Babyboomers OPPRESSION of Generation X a massive massive massive story YET to be told and jam packed with movie plot lines and villains and a great artist who emerges from imprisonment ‘count of monte cristo’ style and wins the day.

    That said i doubt very much the idea fixe of yours in Article will ever get of the ground in a country like ours which is a free market rigged to such an extent its transformed this once delightful isle of ours into an open gulag state.

  22. Colin_in_exile

    Yes David, it is tough.

    I’m 4 months unemployed now, but hoping on good news from an interview i attended in the uk recently. I had a look at the fas website today for vacancies and one caught my eye JB535068 – a civil engineer required in Limerick. I clicked on it a few times but nothing happened. I rang FAS, asked them for info about it – was told the info which is normally published was withheld by request of the client. I told her I was suitably qualified and genuinely interested. Then she gave me a contact name, phone number and told me the company name was Cordill. This rang a bell with me, since my old school is undergoing some construction work at the moment and I’m sure the site sign outside the school less than 1 mile from my residence featured the letters C-O-R-D-I-L-L. I asked the lady from FAS for more details, and she said there was NO SALARY. I replied “excuse me?”, yes she said, no salary, you keep the dole payment and work for free.

    So I rang the number, Seamus answered the phone, I introduced myself and explained that I saw the vacancy in FAS, and Seamus replied in a very gruff fashion that the job was gone, and expressed his annoyance at FAS for not removing the job vacancy.

    So, in summary….
    1. We have qualified engineers working for free / we have contractors letting go salaried staff and re-hiring new staff without payment for work done (I assume Cordill have downsized in staff numbers like every other contractor in the country).
    2. FAS are in cohoots with employers looking to hire staff without pay.
    3. I bet Seamus isn’t working for free.

    • Ruairí

      A case of over-engineering a solution, as you of all people are trained to see in a flash. Except in this case, its more sinister. The work for your dole bull is all about being a sop to stressed industry, not about getting the jobs market functioning again.

      • Tim

        Colin_in_exile and Ruairí, this is precisely the desired result (warned-of here, many times) of the “divide and conquer” govt. and media campaign to get private and public sector workers fighting eachother; at the time when the public sector workers and Unions were ready to protest and fight for all workers, the propaganda was used to divide workers and quash the demonstrations – treacherous Union general secretaries being complicit as “insiders”, of course – and, all the while, the “profits-up-wages-down brigade of IBEC and ISME have been whittling away in the background – lay-offs, wage cuts, encouraging emigration, “Sure, aren’t you lucky to have a job? He lost his job, she had to leave the country; sure, he’s working for his dole; take your pay-cut, now, like a good boy, or that fellow over there will be happy to take your job at half the salary!”

        Workers, whether public or private sectors, should support ANY action that either sector takes, in order to fight this tyranny.

        Look around: there are employers buying 2010 Jags, Bentleys, Mercs, Volvo XC90s and the like, while driving-down wages and laying people off.

        The process is almost complete.

        • Colin_in_exile


          The source of the divide and conquer strategy goes back to arrival of US Multinationals who chose not to allow unions in. This led to 2 distinct groups of workers, unionised and non-unionised. This was approved by all governments over the last 40 years. This is employment apartheid. This is the root of the problem. It should have been all or nothing, i.e. a decision should have been taken back then to either scrap all unions and change the constitution to allow that occur, or force all workers to take out union membership. The latter would have seen Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Pfizer etc… to locate elsewhere in Europe, and Ireland would remain a poor country, but at least we would not have had 40 years of employment apartheid, whose fruits are for all to see now.

      • Colin_in_exile


        This is the re-establishment of the feudal master-slave relationship. How is someone supposed to have dignity if they are asked to work for free? How do their colleagues feel, knowing he/she is working for no reward for their toil? I presume the colleagues are laughing behind their back, and telling him/her they’re a great fella/girl to their face.

        Why don’t landlords start awarding their tenants free rent? Why don’t shopkeepers stop charging for groceries?

        • Ruairí

          I don’t know and I presume these questions are asked rhetorically.

          This real-world insight you bring casts a strong light on the central deficiency of this government. Its an empathy deficit, borne from a complete disregard (non-factoring in) of the human element to human interactions.
          On the Frontline last night, similar echos were heard of this humanity myopia.

          David’s article pressingly calls for a re-assessment of how we value our society, in my view. Full employment should be the only goal of any government. Gainful lives, gainful minds. I do NOT think this should be forced by pushing JA and JB recipients into unsuited work; to milk them, as it were.
          I do think it is the job of government to marshall resources effectively, much like a general at war. In this regard, our government has already badly failed. Through the explicit mismatch of FAS courses versus Irish needs (2008 and 2009 and 2010, its still mismatched), through the poorly interconnected strategy at cabinet level that is actually pulling scarce resources in opposite directions, that is building up resources (nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, builders etc etc) only to piss them away and lose them to another country that is more willing and more able to utilise them.

          So what we have is essentially a dogged mismanagement of our scarce resources with the explicit end-aim of property wealth advancement and extraction and nothing else. That is what NAMA is for, that is what ANIB still lives for and that is why we have no real jobs creation strategy. A government (and majority Dáil including the 3 main parties) hell-bent on returning us to high property prices and blue chip ISEQ share prices for long enough for them to heed the warnings this time and leave us with the pieces. That is the reality of Ireland 9th March 2010.

          Smash and grab. Paint it up as helping single mothers by giving them houses paid for by HSE (taxpayer) and owned by FF/FG/ Labour deceivers. Similarly, ANIB, BOI and AIB. All pretences, all smash and grab, aimed at returning us to the year zero; when all was well in Ballybrit-land.

    • Colin_in_exile

      I made a mispelling, its Cordil. Here they are;

    • Deco

      It’s like this.

      There are young people in Ireland who work hard. They study hard. And this is very difficult because there is increasing peer pressure to conform to the Irish way of life – to be on a beach in Majorca or the Canaries when the Junior Cert results come, to be wearing the right brand names, to know your soaps/celebrities, and to know the Man U starting 11 and all that shite….

      So these kids leave college and they don’t have contacts. So their first job is on dire pay. Minimum wage levels. And in the place where they work there are cronies, who get no work and great pay. But these young people have to do it to get a start. And they are delighted to get the start. And they have to keep their dignity, while the son of the man who plays golf with the boss gets the handy number.

      It is the Irish concept of management. It is flawed. And it needs fixing. Urgently.

    • The Eye

      I’m surprised they even answered the phone!

  23. Original-Ed

    David, great article, although you’ve touched on it before. I think that I responded then, that I worked in such an arrangement when I started on my own. Experience with big companies can give you a lot of know how about a sector, but it doesn’t prepare you for working from the kitchen table. At that level, the long hours can narrow your horizon and that’s where the help of an older experienced executive becomes necessary to maintain an overview and achieve goals. I would recommend it to any young start up.
    I don’t know if it’s possible to set up such arrangements these days – back then things were different, people weren’t as self centred and there was a pioneering spirit where money wasn’t the only goal.

  24. Great article David, I agree with everything you said. I have been working with people in Longford who never benefitted from the Celtic Tiger. Now many more people are going to end up on the scrap heap. However its not all about money. Its about dignity and respect for one another no matter who we are. I work in a community development project. But i will most likey be out of a job at the end of the year as the CDPs are being squeezed out. Nevertheless I plan to continue doing what I was doing on a voluntary basis and in some ways Im looking forward to that independance from the government. There is a lot of talk about changing government. But I dont think that will make any difference. Because the real power is in the hands of the banks and the government is serving and servicing them with tax payers money and wherever possible they can slice it from the poor. Civil Society has lost the little power they had. I suppose Im am fortunate that I have paid for my little 2 bedroomed shack in the country. Last year I thought I was poor. Now I realize I am comfortable. Its not all about what you have but who you are and how we can help eachother. Keep up the good work David.

  25. Tim

    Folks, Cullen resignation letter in full, below (first, a Question: what do you think he means by “a date of your chosing in the context of other matters……”???

  26. Hi Guys,
    Thank to all who sent their encouraging postings, apart from the entire negative experiences I have a lot of new and inventive ideas for web based business .I seem to get these ideas all the time, I would happily share and even give them away to anybody that is interested in the web and has IT experience
    I have a new business idea starting in two months time and it will grab the media headlines.
    My point is even in all this gloom there is new opportunities opening up all over the place
    My idea of the unemployed self help group was to match everybody’s talents and experiences and bring them together and offer these services as a group to the wider community all I wanted was to have a room in the local hotel once a week,I was turned down, now I hear that this hotel is closing what a waste!
    I do intend to put an advertisement in the next local rag issue, there is nothing stopping any one of you from doing the same.
    The problems we have in Ireland are not un-surmountable.
    What we have and what we can develope.
    Unless credit starts flowing again unemployment and its constituent costs economic: psychological and social, will shackle Irish men and Irish women for decades.

    What is required is a State Commercial Bank to be made available to back private business development, whose main purpose would be the successful employment of Irish residents. The essence of State power is its ability to create true wealth- generating credit. This credit should be used to support full employment, not generate asset bubbles for the benefit of a golden few
    A. Intensive Market Agriculture:
    As in most European urban centres, every farm surrounding the major cities in Ireland should be motivated and supported to efficiently supply those cities with meats, poultry, vegetables, grains and dairy products. Currently, much farm land is idle and inefficient due to common agricultural policies that are now redundant.

    B. Natural Resource Development:
    To enable our natural resources to be developed for the benefit of our people the contentious contracts, signed by Ray Burke et al, should be renegotiated.

    C. Fish Processing:
    To enable fishing to be developed for the benefit of our people, the disastrous treaty allowing for the usurpation of our waters by Brussels must be renegotiated.

    D. Countrywide Fibre Optic Broadband Rollout:
    We live in a web-based world. The web is “modern electricity.” Fibre optic connections must be brought to every home. This will grant all home dwellers the potential to go into business for themselves. It will also open up to them a new world of information and opportunity. It will give them freedom, whereas current government policy has imprisoned them within a “third-world” technological Infrastructure.
    With the right people in charge we can handle it no problem!
    Ps.I havent taken anything and I’am not on a high!

    • Tim


      EU to provide startup capital to unemployed and small entrepreneurs

      • wills

        that s very kind of them to divvy over to ‘outsiders’ a few crumbs of the money printing machine they are pumping billions and billions from into their pockets.

        • Owwwwwwwww.
          Too unkind Wills.
          Doff your hat and be thankful for the good lords provenance lest ye be damned to the pestilence of Hell. We’re a receiver country now. We must know our place. Our Children who have sinned brought it upon themselves. Our bankers were misguided by the Devils work amongst the regulators. Our Government are chastised by idolatory. Flee to Knock and purge yourself before the Great God NAMA consumes you with his Passion.

          Feck. I’m the Rev Ian

    • Bamboo

      machholz ,

      Great to hear your energy and spirit again.
      That same good spirit can be found in “Spirit of Ireland” of course.
      But it is very slow to come off the ground or will not materialize at all due to all sort of planning laws, protection of private property, and other unimaginable objections.
      It is a project for the good of the nation but it looks like we are still in the mode of “looking into it”. If this was a project for the Olympics it will certainly have different reactions. That is the way things are in Ireland. People will always find all sort of objections to an idea. Hopefully this culture will change soon or ASAP.

      For example: In 1990′s my wife put a lot of effort into setting up a communal playground in the village. You may think it is a not an off the wall idea. It was understandable if funding was an issue, but there were so many other non-financial objections that she gave up the whole idea after 6 months or so. The same playground is now erected 16 years later but it has nothing to do with my wife’s initiative and efforts of 1990.

      Hopefully after all what has happened recently something like my wife’s ordeal above is a thing of the past.

    • wills


      Watch out for been misdirected back into ‘working’ for the very same central banking system one may think one is circumventing.

  27. Bamboo

    Some of us lucky enough to have the internet to keep us from going bananas altogether. /b>Internet connection should be free for low income earners, social welfare recipients, etc. Like free bus passes for OAPs and so on. But I am sure there will be extra tax on the internet like a TV license, water charges, etc.

  28. Ruairí

    Methinks some Machiavellian hybrid back from colonised Creole shores is messing with the ‘sticking pins in the voodoo dolly’ routine……….

    Why else could our Cabinet me so affected? Have they risen to such heights that they have angered the very gods?

  29. wills


    YCYC comment above managed to intice another new poster on to fix any mis understanding on YCYC integrity.

    Now, for all the YCYC jingoism on calling to arms the citizens of this country to ‘get thinking’ i ask the following question.

    Why put disabled people in the ad on RTE??

    Anytime this ad comes on i find it reprehensible that a disabled citizen of this country has been hired in such a cynical and insidious fashion and as a citizen of Ireland I demand this ad is immediately pulled from airing.

    • ps200306

      Ah c’mon Wills, when’s the last time an ad featured a representative sample of pasty white blokes. That wouldn’t meet today’s PC-crazy standards.

  30. Malcolm McClure

    Salvation in bright ideas: How ’bout this one from Angela Merkel? Launch a European Monetary Fund detached from the ECB that issues bonds in Euros.
    Clemens Fuest, who chairs Germany’s finance ministry’s technical advisory committee, said the fund would make sense only if it permitted states to go bust.
    “Such a fund must provide for an insolvency procedure for countries,” he told Reuters.
    “Federalists in the EU like the idea of the fund, since it would probably mean closer integration of its members,” one EU diplomat said.

    So the European F-Word chef is a super-state that will roast the PIIGS for breakfast.

    • s1lverbullet

      The ultimate goal of the next year is to take budgetary matters away from national governments to be decided solely by brussels. Mark my words! Lisbon will turn out to be the deal clincher…oh yeah, I thought we would get 250,000 jobs if we voted yes? Have we all forgotten about that one? What muppets the people who voted yes are!!

      • Deco

        Silverbullet – you don’t get it.
        It was the height of sophistication to vote in favour of a Treaty that 98% of the electorate never read. If in doubt, make a personal statement of identification with the side that has the biggest advertising budget, and all the celebrity endorsements.

        It sounds like you are an unsophisticated No voter. You should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t ask me why. But we were all told that if we voted no what we would be ashamed of ourselves. By our betters, the people we trust.

        • s1lverbullet

          Deco you’re right. I must be unsopisticated and an isolationist and if I voted no I must be against Europe. All I say is thank heaven some of us here were born with free will and a questioning brain

          • Deco

            The sophistication thing is the most successful technique at controlling people to get results out of them. Whether it is voting in EU referenda, or buying houses in places that they have never seen.

            Amazing the quantity of simpletons, who do stupid things, just to look sophisticated.

            You at least have that sussed out. But I had to take the opportunity to sneer the way that the whole thing operates…

  31. Bamboo


    I remember Holland during the crisis in 80′s. Lots of business ideas came off the ground. Postal strikes led to courier businesses sprouting all over the place, bin men strikes led to private waste collectors, strikes among public workers working on park maintenance led to the council selling off pieces of land to adjoining properties.
    Yes, there were Lots of “casualties of the depression” but that was due to the spoiled nature of the Dutch, which you don’t easily see find in Ireland. I came to Ireland in 1990 and to my surprise depression wasn’t an issue at all in Ireland. Maybe it is a taboo to mention depression, as if someone has gone mad. Maybe the Irish are tougher, or alcohol flushes away all the problems of the day. I don’t know.

    What I did notice however, is that once depression is an acceptable and curable mental health condition, so many in Holland suddenly had a good reason to be depressed. Many of my colleagues in the banking sector were on sick leave for months on end. They had good job, earning good money and no absurd mortgages, but still can find the time to suffer from depression. The very lenient labour laws in Holland also helped this situation to get out of hand.

    In Ireland, it is only recently, that depression is brought to the public (
    In a way I think the very same thing will happen here although the labor law leniency is not there. People will find a good and bad reasons to be depressed.

    I hope sufferers from depression don’t get me wrong. I’ve suffered from depression myself and I thought I never came out of it. That was due to moving to a different country and there was nothing wrong otherwise.

  32. liam

    I’ve not read most of the comments, so sorry if I’ve missed something.

    Screw this.

    I’ve been thinking about the same thing for nearly two years. I know how it can be done, I know where it would be most effective and I have a pretty good idea who could/should be involved. More on this later. Its going to YCYC. Some of you may know I am highly suspicious of the thing, not because of any particular suspicion over motives (irrelevant!) but because they have left it so vague and open and they have IP terms that are extremely peculiar. But I’m prepared to take a punt on it. I am actively and happily becoming detuned to the whining and bitching about motives and who is screwing who. Anybody here who knows be knows that I am perfectly well appraised of the farcical state of affairs the country find itself in. I don’t expect to change the things I can’t but its about time something useful was done. I’m not optimistic for any kind of success but hell, it will be good to get it off my chest if nothing else.

    Your either with me or I don’t wanna know ya! Coalition of the willing, folks.

  33. Tim

    Liam, you know what we are doing. Let’s try?

    • liam

      Lets. Focus on the positives but be realistic about what you can achieve. Everyone’s a critic, so use that to refine your ideas. Take criticism as a pointer to the need to sell the advantages of your idea better, and accept that you probably won’t get it right first time. Nobody does.

  34. Heard a cool idea from David Grosse(hope I got spelling), Centre for European Policy Standards.

    Appears likelihood this will come to pass as it can be done under existing rules. Using current Treaty Rules on ‘Enhanced Cooperation’ to create an EMF fund similar to Washington’s IMF for member bailouts.

    All Eurozone countries would contribute, but here’s the cool part, those with the greatest contributions would come from countries with greatest balance of payment difficulties.- Good carrot and stick approach there!

    Just made my YCYC contribution, BuildIreland last sentence I guess thought inspired by D’s article. Might inspire someone else to improve it or come up with something better;)

  35. hibernian56

    @Pauldiv, post 14.
    I strongly disagree with the sentiment that we are not a nation of inventors, quite the contrary. The real problem here is that we are a nation ruled by begrudgers.
    Having “dealt” with Enterprise Ireland and the local Enterprise Board it is quite clear that they do not have the expertise or resources to help launch start-ups.
    When we have representatives of EI calling themselves “the front door of finance” after arriving 40 minutes late for a meeting with no explanation offered, then we have serious fundamental problems with the entrenched mindset running these “sham” support groups.
    I laugh at it all now, but it was seriously frustrating to have to write to a local TD to politely ask WTF (excuse the French, but they really make my blood boil).
    Our answer came from the old reliable USA, where innovation is applauded.
    Over here its a case of “sure what do you want money for, I suppose you expect to pay yourself something, why don’t you try bootstrapping? or ask your dad for some money”. In other words you are treated as if your proposal is a scam, what the angle. So for a start-up EI will offer you a €5k innovation voucher to spend at a local university, and you can pay the rest. THEN, they might commission a feasibility study, you guessed it, with you’re local friendly university etc. Its a waste of time and energy, but more importantly, its jobs for the boys. I kid you not, this is a simplified version of true events.
    Over there its a case of “heres some cash, stop worrying about your bills and concentrate on the company so we can both make some money”. In other words, great idea, lets do it.
    We are not a banana republic, thats far too exotic, we are a meat and potatoes economy run by farmers that learned to read.
    We have a great opportunity in the next couple of weeks, when the cabinet leave the country to do their bit for the economy, cancel their passports.
    As a meerkat would say, simples ;-)

    • Original-Ed

      You mustn’t look to the US for a reference as to how things are done – we’re a totally different set up in that we have to cope with a small population at home and different cultures where the real market is. I started with a redundancy sum, went bust three times, by then I was unemployable, so I had to keep trying. With no help from any agency, I eventually hit on a winner, but again, could not get to anything like the scale that could be achieved in the US. The scale in the US is about 100:1 when it comes selling product from an Irish base – if you want to breakout of that stranglehold, you’ve got base some of your operation in foreign markets and that’s the problem with Irish start-ups, how to get to that level.

      • G

        @ Original-Ed – Remarkable perseverance, I would like to learn more, fell three times but rose on each occasion, sounds familiar :-)

        Original-Ed indeed……………..

        • Original-Ed

          The first failure was caused by politicians acting the maggot – it came out of the blue. The second was gradual and caused by overburden in paying off the first’s debt, coupled with more political shenanigans.
          The third attempt never really got off the ground and went into decline early on – however, the winner in a strange way came out of this because a local guy approached me with a totally unrelated problem while i was winding it down. The secret is not to go bankrupt, the first one was a close call, but for the fact that the debts were big and the cause wasn’t reckless trading.

      • hibernian56

        But you can’t deny the “can do” attitude. Over here its “Yes we can’t”.

        Our product has a global market, EI wanted to see the feasibility study, the m analysis arket, the factory plans.

        As my Granny would say, “An gobshite in a suit is still a gobshite”. You can never argue with you’re Grannies logic, simple but true.

    • Ruairí

      We should send all of our Bishops, Cardinals and Monsignors as well ! We lost a golden opportunity the last time they were in Rome. Keep them out, I say. Tell them the holiday visa is over for Roman spies and dirtbirds. Can we have our country back now please, just for a wee bit before federal Europe actualises? EMF is on the way. I’d often heard that EMFs in certain doses could be unhealthy, but this one has me with a deli-belly already. As a Republican, I come out in federalitis even at the mention of the bleddy thing.

      • G

        Liberating thought for sure, we definitely need to role back the suffocating power and control (misplaced) of the church. I understand faith can play a positive role in society and there is room for it, but the institution of the church has proven itself wholly incapable of ‘looking after its flock’.

        I would agree to ending church involvement in education and a more towards a more secular society, with a reduced role for the church over all, but would not like to see its complete eradication, it has the power to play a positive role, but its certainly blown any credibility with the abuse scandals, the Ratzinger should have flown here and asked for forgiveness, his response has been appalling and most insulting.

  36. MK1

    Hi David,

    Its always a good idea to match experience with enthusiasm and modern skills, and there is no reason why the Argentine scheme could not be duplicated here. (I also recall you having written about it before).

    One catch I have found is that the match can be hard to set-up, as both parties can feel they are best to do it on their own. I have found that when assisting young fledgling companies only for them to ignore advice and then fail after a few years.

    Its not easy to have a success story and will depend on how much skin in the game both parties have and their flexibility to compromise, give and share.

    Enterprise Ireland had a Mentor scheme which covered something similar but my evidence of that is that it was a cushy ‘consultancy’ job for people who were already in jobs. They could easily mis-direct and because they had no skin in the game, it didnt matter. EI didnt care either. No surprise in that, they have no skin in the game either …..



    In Argentina, 1 in 3 of the population is working and inflation is running @ 15%.Hardly a role model, short term bursts of growth have continually created a lobsided economy in terms of income distribution, balance of payments problems etc.Seeing as they have been independent for 200 years, it is a damning indictment of the movers and shakers in Pumaland-hence the constant need to divert attention to regaining the Falklands, similar to the Irish political establishment’s obsession with Ulster.

  38. Deco

    Just wondering is it that we need new ideas – or that we just need to scrap the prevailing ideas – about how to conduct business in Ireland ?

    It seems that any argument about changing anything in Ireland gets hijacked into becomming a left right debate that ends up pure silly.

    The real problem is the pervasive deceit and centralization in Irish society and economics. No argument is conducted honestly.

    And is this search for new ideas, not a denial of the fact that Ireland has poor cost competitiveness.

    Bright Idea number 1. End the Partnership Method of running an economy. It has failed. We need to reduce the cost problem in Ireland. That means ending partnership talks and kicking out both IBEC and ICTU. They are both inflationary influences on the economy. Both achieve a consensus about any economic policy that pushes up the cost of living, that pushes up the level of borrowing, that decrease the level of cost efficiency, and preserve the insiders at the cost of the outsiders.

    Bright idea number 1. End the Partnership process concerning economic management. It is a disaster.

  39. Deco

    BoI is down 6% this morning. AIB down 4%. Other prominent shares also down.

    I was expecting the news that Martin Cullen would no longer be in charge of a state department would drive shares up !!!

    Cullen’s resignation means that a reduced government ability to shove through badly thought out legistlation (it get labelled as “unpopular” by the establishment). NAMA is not going to be as decisively implemented as was previous presumed. And the Duopoly are the two main beneficiaries.

    In a separate incident we have a millionaire construction tycoon have a swell time in the sun, while his property empire goes into NAMA. Well, it is good to see that the Irish concept of lifestyle is still in existence despite the fact that Ireland is pretty much insolvent.

    Never let adult responsibilities stop anybody from behaving like a spoiled child – preserve the Irish concept of lifestyle at all costs. A nation of CJH’s.

    • Dilly

      One less shyster to worry about. How long before all these outstanding property portfolios claim some more. He was never the same after they tried to throw him out of the helicopter :-).

    • G

      As predicted, another X factor (Cullen) has entered the equation, another couple and it should be game-up for Cowen and co……………

      Finger-nails and hanging on come to mind.

  40. Deco

    One of the advantages of having your private sector organization taken over by the state, is that you are able to have Rody Molloy style golden parachutes.

    Or maybe this was decided on the basis of merit ?

  41. Tow The Line – I saw Jim Behan on the show last night with Pat Kenny and he made a great presense in what he said .
    Did you know that this St Patricks Day w/e we will have no MOD in our country .Should we be worried?

    • Original-Ed

      Don’t be fooled by him – he’s Fianna Fail abroad – he votes with them every time. It’s a trick to be all things to all people while protecting the party at the same time.

      • G

        Coughlan was ‘punk’d’ on Frontline last night by all concerned, including Bertie’s political advisor, surely her situation is untenable……….

  42. paddyjones

    There is alot of ducking and diving going on here. The fact is we did well while we were borrowing and living on other peoples money and we got fat on debt and indeed lazy. Now we have to repay the debt and the only way to do this is to work it off. I don’t see this work ethic anywhere in Ireland , David is just whistling in the wind nobody wants to get off their fat arse and work. The public service is non productive and now the strikes will instill this in their outlook.
    I feel the only option is for mass emigration , the only problem is where do you go , Britain is just as bad as here , America is closed so maybe Canada or Australia. It really depends on what languages you can speak but for most Irish people it is English only.

    • s1lverbullet

      Actually Paddy I really do NOT have to repay debts that I didn’t incurr. Myself, I am debt free and I should not be saddled with debt because of a group of fraudulent bankers/developers/politicians greed!! And as regards the public service, it is true that some areas are non-productive but that is due to mis-management, nepotism, cronyism and bureaucracy. All public service pay should be capped at 100 grand, including T.D’s. I wonder about people like you with agendas telling people to emigrate. ya right, then the country will be left with idiots who vote shysters back in no matter what they say or do!!

  43. paddyjones – captain kirk calling ‘lets go to where no man has gone before ‘ – please fasten your seat belts , be ready for take off .

  44. DarraghD

    David, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read this article… The idea that people who have been made redundant, who are now unemployed, are all of a sudden cut from the same cloth as people who start up businesses, is just laughable…

    As for the supposedly “elder and wiser” executives that we should apparently be marrying up with the young & naive “go getter graduates”, how on earth can it be assumed that these people, have the kind of abilities that are required to start and run a business operation??? Many of these folks smarmed their way up the corporate ladder in recent years with f*ck all ability to do anything right, other than play workplace politics to the advantage of their own careers!

    If these guys are so able and smart, then I suggest that maybe their employers would still be in business.

    Your aricle, and I’m a huge fan by the way, but this latest article I would consider offensive as an entrepreneur. It fails to understand the type of people who start up businesses and their actual nature.

    What this government needs to do, (and remember it is not the duty or teh responsibility of the government to create jobs for citizens, nor should it be), is force each bank to set aside a certain fixed percentage of the taxpayers money that is being literally forklifted into AIB & BOI, for nothing else other than seed capital for NEW START UP BUSINESSES…

    The biggest obstacle to job creation is the absence of seed capital. At the same time, the government should disband the CEB (County Enterprise Board), system, Half the FAS budget and through the money saved through these two actions, and put in place some people from the private sector who have a proven track record with indigenious job creation. And forget about multinationals, get some people who have actually started up Irish jobs and who have cut their teeth in their area and use a template like “Dragon’s Den”, where you pitch for state funds on the basis of demonstrating an ability to create jobs and repay the start up loan.

    Marrying up people who will never start a business, with people who have been wined and dined by foreign multinationals for the last 10 odd years while the key business decisions were being made over in California somewhere, is in all fairness, laughable.

    • Deco

      I don’t know about the wined and dined bit. It depends fromn one company to the next.

      We need to be very selective. In fact, I reckon that there should be an entrepreneurial requirement. And by that I mean real entrepreneuers. Not entrepreneuers like Dinny ‘Malta’ O’Brien who get awards like Entreprenuer of the Year from discredited outfits like Ernst & Dung. And we should also bar anybody who every got called up before the Tribunal. As Liam Griffin commented, you cannot trust people who keep the wrong sort of company, like businessmen who keep the company of politicians.

      • Original-Ed

        I don’t know about Liam Griffin – he was brought in by Fianna Fail to give them a pep talk at some conference or other.

    • Original-Ed

      I agree with getting rid of the CEBs, they’re into feathering their own nests. They’re more interested in gathering info. than helping you – the cuteness is unbelievable.
      I also agree, that not all older executives are suitable partners for young aspirants, there are a lot of political animals amongst the heard, but there are some good ones and its best when they’re retired.

      Personally I think that the same approach should be taken to entrepreneurs as to artists and those in the horse industry. They should be allowed earn x amount tax free under a given set of conditions and the state put its efforts into policing this as opposed to grant aiding and so forth.

    • Ruairí

      Disagree with the sentiments expressed here completely. I have no way of knowing but I suspect DarraghD that you are NOT imbued with entrepreneurial blood and at any rate are calling this completely incorrectly.

      You said “If these guys are so able and smart, then I suggest that maybe their employers would still be in business.” That is insulting to the many recently unemployed. Top rate staff, specialists in thier field (the nature of modern work) have been led up the garden path by bosses who actually didn’t know what they were at e.g. builders playing at hoteliers. Take your pick for where money has talked and amateurs have hired great staff but run businesses / sectors into the ground. Do you expect professional staff to pursue their own agenda or follow the business plan laid out, in order to get paid their salary? I think your statements reveal a cluelessness about business and a shoddy approach to the value of specialist skills and the nature of the entrepreneur.

      An entrpreneur surrounds himself whit people who can do things better then he / she can. They do NOT hire people of lesser skill than them. If and I say IF you are an entrepreneur (if not, you are deceiving the readers here with your off the mark and incorrect input in the recent statement made), then I would suggest that you QUICKLY learn the art of delegation or you will come unstuck, my friend.

      Any young entrepreneur that could take on board a QC specialist a legal executive, an operations specialist, a service delivery specialist, a sales specialist at half or next to nothing (plus contacts) and equity given, would give their right arm and your left and right one too to see their vision actualised.

      Do you think a real entrepreneur, as you believe the term to mean, knows more about every dept head in their business? NO!! They don’t. If they do, its a fluke. If they spend their time ingrained at that level, they will soon have a well armed ship about to ground itself on an enemy’s beach.

      David’s article CLEARLY points to bright sparks using the considerable talents of senior execs to keep the ship on course. Not to suck up to, or worship, or give the reins to. In responding to David’s article, you tell me considerably more about yourself than both the solution which David aims to implement and the addressing of the major problem at hand.

      IT IS THE JOB OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FULL EMPLOYMENT with its consequent benefits of social ease and increased opportunity for all.

      -1, my friend, -1. Like a judge said, recently, I’d give you a bigger sentence, but the system won’t let me ;-)

      • Original-Ed

        It’s the job of government to provide the conditions necessary for full employment and not employment itself.

      • wills


        Not everyone is a born enterpreneur.

        Also, there is a problem with a large segment of people who are laizy and could not be ar$ed to extend themselves cos it brings on the spectre of responsibility.

        It is of my viewpoint people ducking out of responsibility is a malfunction on a cosmic level.

        • Ruairí


          it is expressly clear that not everyone is born an entrepreneur. DarraghD’s inaccurate contention is that 1. David’s article suggested everyone who lost their jobs should start a business / be an entrepreneur and 2. that hiring of specialist staff is unnecessary and counter-productive. I disagree 100%. And more !!
          An entrepreneur possesses vision, drive, grit, tenacity, deep wells of faith sometimes huge arrogance too. They ARE smart enough to know when someone knows more than them and to utilise them for mutual benefit.
          Henry Ford instructed his best men to give him a V8 engine. They said it was impossible. He said, that’s ok, just give it to me. Keep at it until you do.
          That is the spirit of the entrepreneur. Hire the best to do their best. Let cretivity and skill flourish. The entrepreneur does not do what a loser parent does and say for God’s ake, get out out of my way and let me show you how its done. There are those sorts of entrepreneurs. They do not scale the heights for long.

          • wills


            I hear ye ruairi, but from what i can ascertain Daragh s point is that in the final analysis most people do not have what it take s to be an innovator to a degree which benefits more than a handful of people and I reckon this is the case.

            Most of society comprises of people who for the best of it are not leaders, innovators, artists and the rest of the nouns.

            Most people are like xtras on a movie lot getting on with their lifes some better than others.

            In fact, the more I think on this the more it occurs to me the x factor generation karaoke stuff proves my assertion.

            What we now need as a culture is for all the medocrity and talentless masses to retreat back out of the limelight and let the individuals who can provide what society with leadership and so on and let these people get on with it, like it was back in the eighties.

        • liam

          Now. There are a few assumptions there that aren’t entirely born out by observation. There is an element of truth in what you say, but these are not the only reasons stuff doesn’t get done. Have a read of this randomly selected opinion on the matter:

      • Deco

        The government of the Soviet Union provided unemployment for decades….and then the economy was revealed to be a shambles.

        It is the job of the government to provide a legal framework that is supportive of the population in their efforts to suceed in economic and other activity, in a fair and non-distorting manner, that does not award priveleges to one group at the expense of another, either by inaction or action.

        Unfortunately, politicians need to be seen to be ‘doing something’ in order to justify their existence. So instead we get persistent interference and fudging.

        • Deco

          actually I meant to say provided full employment. But it was a joke, because a large percentage of the population were underemployed….

    • wills


      I reckon your point on society made up of leaders and followers is hugely significant.

      I’ve been trying to highlight this blind spot in D’s articles for a while.

      There are some people who are dunces to an inordinate degree and are all to content to stay like that cause it is very handy and side steps responsiblity.

  45. Colin_in_exile

    Is there any hope for this country when these are the type of people we allow in on cock and bull stories.

    Those in custody are originally from Morocco and Yemen, but it is understood they all have refugee status and are legally in the country.

    • G

      Greater distractions as the centre comes closer to collapse, everything is thrown into the vortex before they who throw are finally sucked in. Nearing.

  46. malone

    David , just a comment
    A fantastic article but there is a slight problem and that problem lies in the difference between Argentinia and Ireland
    The attitude of the people Ireland towards work and their belief in themselves and what they can do is lacking
    The attitude ” As sure what can we do ? ”
    is extremely prevelant and even if somebody was to show some inittiave
    the begrudgers would get going
    and say ” ah dont be foolin yourself lad , what the hell can you do to change anything”
    It seems that the attitute here is ” somebody or some institution should provide jobs for us ” instead of as you correctly mentioned how can we do it for ourselves.
    Then you would face the Sprectre of The Banks !!
    Unfortunately at the moment it is the few that have paved the way to found all the companies that you dont hear about who are doing well even in the Dark Times
    When will we ever shake of the mindset
    of a colony and realise that we alone shape our own destiny.

  47. wills


    NNTaleb today on twitter twitted this tweet.

    ‘ the difference between Goldman sachs and the mafia: GS has a better legal-regulatory expertise; but the mafia understands public opinion.’

    • s1lverbullet

      Jim Behan, Matty McGrath, Noel O’ Flynn…..they are all the same. They will badmouth the government in public to keep their voters happy, but in private the scum go along with the partyline

  48. wills

    Daraghd at 44 hits on a raw nerve and strikes gold.

    Irish society is like any other in that it comprises of loosers, winners, morons, intelligence, dunces and gobs1tes and plonkers and dopes and fools and idiots and sheep and mislead and sly foxes and rapists and greedy bast@rds and so on and alorra of it is down to laizy itis and not wanting to grow up.

  49. lff12

    It is not a bad idea, except that a lot of our so called business leaders are also “undertakers” – people whose incompetence, inexperience, lack of business acumen and sheer arrogance has effectively destroyed the economy. Not everybody being laid off is some high flier with great experience, a solid education and a sharp mind, lots of them are ineffective.

    I see my colleagues at work – like spoilt children – demanding, lazy, too stupid in some cases to take advantage now of the good educational opportunities out there. They expect 40k a year for a leaving cert and 2 or 3 years of weak experience. Their technical skills are often completely obsolete because they’ve really done nothing for years. Meanwhile, we are slowly replacing leavers with a fresh generation of graduates without the bad habits, the bad attitudes, the ridiculous expectations and a real willingness to work and learn. These are the guys who will be left there, as the other guys leave or are laid off, one by one.

    • wills


      Irish society is in the grip of a ‘laizyitis’ pandemic.

    • Deco

      I agree. In most competitive organizations in the private sector there is a below the surface battle in progress between the ‘sloggers’ and the ‘cronyists’. And I have seen this in progress time and time again. In different companies. Different units. And even on the same team. And the ‘sloggers’ know that they need to shaft the ‘noise-makers’ so as to sustain their employment, and maintain competitiveness. The agenda of the ‘cronyists’ is to survive and inflict pain on anybody who attacks them.

      In an organizational culture, where management indulge the cronyists, you get underperformance, and dysfunction. This is why we need to be honest about the effects of nepotism and cronyism in Ireland. they cause serious underperformance in both private and public sector. And this costs everybody.

  50. wills


    RTE 6:1 News BCowen interview.

    Now I could be mistaken but it looked very much like BCOWEN had an earpiece giving him the answers in the interview.

    • ps200306

      Hold the paranoia. The interview was from a remote studio in government buildings. They always use an earpiece — it’s how the interviewee hears the interviewer.

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