April 30, 2012

Irish people need to get on the move again

Posted in Irish Economy · 149 comments ·

Never mind the likes of Messi, Ronaldo or Drogba; never mind Barcelona, Chelsea or Real. In our house, when it comes to football at the weekends, there is only one team: the Cabinteely FC under-10s. Every Saturday morning, under the watchful eye of Michael, our Scottish manager who is Alex Ferguson, Kenny Dalglish and David Moyes rolled into one, we head out from the supermarket car park in Ballybrack, travelling all over Dublin to do battle.

Schoolboy football tells you a lot about the recent changes in our country, about who lives where, what areas are growing and which are stagnant. It tells you where rents are rising, and where the demand for schools and facilities are at a premium.

The under-10s play in places that didn’t exist ten years ago against clubs that didn’t exist five years ago. We play against kids from all sorts of backgrounds. We played against a practically all-African side a few weeks back, and regularly come face-to-face with a team of Russian-speaking Lithuanian children who are drilled to within an inch of their lives. These Lithuanian nine-year olds spring the offside trap in a manner that would make George Graham’s Arsenal back four weep.

Further out, way past the M50 and down the M9 to places that used to be farmland, we encounter entire communities that have sprung up even since the collapse of the economy. In fact, there are many out here who I am sure never expected to still be here when little Sean reached the under-6s, let alone the under-10s. They are stuck and they will not be moving for a long time.

This week, these anecdotal observations from the sidelines were given some statistical veracity by the latest publication from the wonderful Central Statistics Office.

The interesting thing about economics and debts and currency crises and whether we default or not is that, irrespective of all these, life goes on. No matter what the general tone of the economy, people still fall in love, have children, move house and get on with the normal day-to-day rigmarole of life. This is uplifting because that is what we are supposed to do, and humans have enormous resilience in the face of adversity.

The latest census data published this week, goes a little deeper than the overall picture released a few weeks ago. What it shows is that the country is becoming increasingly urbanised (or at least suburbanised). But what is more interesting is that we are becoming a nation of renters.

What we see is that people are stuck where they are. In 2006, 322,000 people moved compared to 273,000 last year. This is the ‘full house’ syndrome that we see all over the country where parents, who thought they had their children raised, find their adult children back sleeping in same room they slept before they made their Holy Communion. How many of these people do you know?

We also see a big change in the number of people moving house, moving up or maybe moving out. Even in a slump, people will always be moving because family size changes, irrespective of the latest pronouncements from the troika.

In the year to April 2011, 114,617 people moved house. That is down from 145,864 over the same period in 2006. This is a dramatic 21 per cent fall in the number of people moving.

Given the increase in the overall population, we can see the impact of the credit crunch and – probably more than anything else – the stagnant job markets. When there are loads of jobs, people move around.

The other factor is the huge rise in the number of people renting. Four out of every five people who moved house last year are renting their new houses.

The most striking figure representing the collapse in mortgages and the credit crunch is that in 2006 close to 50,000 people changed house and used a mortgage to do so.

Last year, that figure had slumped to 14,707. This means that only one in every eight who are moving house is getting a mortgage. In Kildare, there has been a 33 per cent increase in the number of people moving into rented gaffs.

We see a huge increase in Dulchies – Dubs moving to the country. Nearly 100,000 Dubs left the capital to go to places like Kildare, Wicklow and Meath. These commuters are the Kells Angels. You will see them this summer at Croke Park, families where the dad will be wearing Dubs jerseys, the son will be in green and gold of the Royal county and the older daughter, daddy’s girl, may be in Dubs blue.

Two-thirds of people who now live in Meath were not born there and, of these, one in six are immigrants. This is a huge immigrant population by European standards, never mind those of Ireland.

Of all our immigrants, 32 per cent live in Dublin. So we are seeing the beginning of the process whereby Dubliners, born in the county, are moving out and they are being replaced by immigrants.

This is a trend that is becoming more and more pronounced. One quarter of all people who were born in Dublin now live outside the county, which reveals extraordinary internal migration.

This is leading to the urbanisation of former county towns. Among the larger towns, Portlaoise grew the fastest, with an increase of 38 per cent from 14,613 to 20,100, followed by Ashbourne (by 33 per cent), Cavan (29 per cent) and Balbriggan (28 per cent). The biggest town in the country is now Drogheda.

Now, when you put all this together, we see the imperative to get the
economy going again – and quickly.

If there are so many new families and they are not moving, they are not moving because they are in negative equity and can’t finance any further moves. They have young kids, the children who play against the Cabinteely FC under-10s. As food and fuel inflation rise, it takes a disproportionate amount of cash out of the pockets of young working parents. These people, the Pope’s Children, need a break on their debts, otherwise we will see mass default in the commuter belt.

The real strength of a country is its people, its human capital. The financial balance sheets with debts, negative equity and falling asset prices isn’t actually economics, it is accountancy.

Economics is about people, and our population is growing quickly; these people need to be given a chance otherwise they lose hope.

If anything underscores the urgency of getting the economy going, it is the rising population; otherwise, we could see the radicalisation of the suburbs. It has happened elsewhere in the past and a few more years of this and it will happen here.

  1. Adam Byrne

    When are we having the posters summer kickabout David?!

  2. Wanderly Wagon

    The relevance of this great puppet show now has made a mark on Irish Landscape .

  3. CitizenWhy

    Hollande intends to push growth (in the economies, in jobs)in the EuroZone. His seemingly modest demand that the ECB be empowered to lend to governments as well as banks is actually a radical change, lessening the stranglehold of the big banks on Europe. He needs to go further and insist that its mission be expanded to combat deflation and unemployment as well as inflation.

    Here’s an excerpt on growth and the ECB from his latest speech.


  4. Hi David,
    great post, the mention of Cabinteely FC though sent a shiver through my left leg, I remember breaking it as a fresh faced waddle-esque 13year old against our arch rivals.

    Jumpers for goalposts orange slices at half time….great times :)

    There used be a jewish team back then called Maccabi…wonder if they’re still going.

    Josey Waddle

    • Josey

      I remember Maccabi well and know one or two of the lads who played for them. They disbanded a few years ago as the Jewish population in and around Terenure/Kimmage fell.

      I played in goals for Cabinteely under 9,10,11s then switched the Dalkey.

      All good memories,


      • So you were always, as now, the last line of defence???

      • vinchegue

        Hi David,

        I am writing to say Hello from London. I met you with my Daughter in Carrickmines when I was toying with a snake.
        It was indeed a Great weekend for me to have met you after years of following you on media outlets.
        I hope you are going to do a talk in London sometime. If so I would definitely try to get a ticket before they are all gone.
        Keep up the Great Work + you are A True Irishman. Vincent

    • Adam Byrne

      Oh dear, I hope that wasn’t me Josey. I was born in 1972 and played for Hillcrest (in Lucan) in the early 80s. Cabinteely were one of our big rivals and unfortunately one of your lads got a leg break against us in one of our important title deciding matches. I was honestly going for the ball at the time. All the little players were very traumatized. I think the match was abandoned.

  5. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    People are not moving because now they have become a bit more economic savvy and they know that houses are still away overpriced. The AVERAGE price for 3 bead simi in Dublin reached up to 500,000 in Dublin during the crazy years. In reality this price SHOULD be about 155,000 Euro but the asking prices are STILL in excess of 300,000. So let’s not be foolish there is still a housing bubble, the fall MUST continue till a proper economic level is reached (see below).
    When the price right then people will move again.

    Price of a house in Ireland three methods to calculate.
    Method 1, Houses as an investment
    If a Dublin-3-Bed-Simi was an investment the income would be rent, the current rents are about 900 per month. To give an investor 900 a month at 8% the house would have to valued at 135,000.00. This is the normally accepted international return.
    Method 2 , History of Price falls. (Morgan Kelly, UCD)
    He says that on average in a bust house prices lose 70% of what they gained in the boom resulting in a drop in house prices of c50%. However Ireland has the potential to be worse. Deciding when the boom started is not that easy. But if a house was worth 100k before the boom started,increased to 350k at the peak then c70% of the gain of 250k is expected to be lost i.e 175k. This would bring the 350k down to c175k. This is broad and complex but the figure is directionally in line with other estimates. This takes inflation etc into account. This takes into account 48 boom/bust cycles in Europe in the past 50 years. This puts the average value of the Dublin-3-Bed-Simi at 175,000.00 (best, may be lower)
    Method 3 , Used for 70 years, tried and trusted , based on income.
    The price limit used by all mortgage lenders up to 1990 was value of home = ((Main-Wage*2.5)/0.80).
    That is, a home should never exceed 80% of the main wage multiplied by 2.5.
    The average wage taken was that of a Civil Servant/Teacher on mid-scale wage 52,000 pa.
    This pegs the value of Dublin-3-Bed-Simi at (52,000*2.5)/0.8 = 162,000.00
    The average and therefore the value of Dublin-3-Bed-Simi today is 165,000.00 Euro (best possible value)

    Until this number is accepted we cannot move on.

    This number is absolute and cannot be otherwise. It’s a best possible figure and may be lower.

    • idij

      If I understood your intention correctly, then in method 3, you seem to have miscalculated the percentage. To get 80% you multiply by 0.8, not divide as you have done. So the value by that method is 104k, not 162k.

    • hibernian56

      Good point.

      I’m no economist but I always get extremely angry at the concept of Compound Interest, even when Mr. Cotter, my maths teacher first taught us that I complained that it was sneaky, I remember he agreed, but introduced us to a phrase that day that seems to demonstrate that even moral wrongs are accepted in this cash driven world… “C’est La Vie”

      Most of these houses where purchased above their real value (as calculated above) OR their physical value (resources, land & labour). Then to make matters worse contracts were entered into whereby interest was to be paid, not in the short term, where compound interest is unfair but managable, but in the long term, (35 years was common), thereby completely screwing the purchaser thus creating a huge amount of money from air.

      Whatever about debt forgiveness, why is there not interest forgiveness.

      As I said, I’m no economist, but how much interest would a couple pay at average rates on a house purchase of €350,000 or €450,000 over 25 or 35 years? I bet it would make you sick.

      This is why the banks strayed from the formulae, they wanted to milk their customers for longer periods, rather than the old fashioned 10 or 15 year mortgage our parents entered into.

      Bankers rhymes with what?

      But without sounding like a broken record, our government and the masses of faceless ministerial civil servants are the route cause. A minister has a life span of 4 years when in power, do you think he is going to spend it looking after our interests or his?

      This is why we have crazy decisions slipping through (well incompetence is a large part of the problem too). Decisions that no business or level headed person can justify; The resource exploration rights, water meters, household charge etc.

      There is a scramble to pay for the status quo, NOT SERVICES. The €16 billion often being flouted is largely made up of civil service pay, a FRACTION of which are front line service costs.

      It’s high time we ditch this broken two party model and have a system that works. An economist for minister of finance. A business person for minister for enterprise. People with relevant experience NOT the professional waffle merchants we have foisted on us now.

    • paulmcd

      Your observations are very appropriate, but your figures are too optimistic for the following reasons:

      1. The average salary of teachers and civil servants will be reduced in 2014. A more realistic figure would be national average earnings of 35,000.

      2. If Dundalk, where I live, is anything to go by then new development sites closer to the town centre have been put on the market in recent times. People with convenient town-centre land to sell are probably desperate to do so because life is too short!

      3. Towns like Dundalk are likely to have a surfeit of 10%+ housing stock with this surplus stock concentrated in peripheral areas, ie, outer suburbs.

      4. With water charges and household taxes on the horizon people will be more reluctant to pay up for property. If houses in neighbouring ghost estates were offered to me for free, I would not accept them for this reason alone!!

      5. Believe it or not, a builder started a new development of c.40 homes early this year across the road from a demi-ghost estate which was built by another developer in the “good” days. It is being built behind Sexton’s Pub on the old Dublin Road, a location which is not convenient to schools, supermarkets, or major places of employment.

      The development I am speaking of started before the announcement of new jobs to be created by EBAY/PayPal.
      Vodaphone are considering closing their call centre which would counterbalance Pay/Pal.

      I expect the price of a one-bedroom apartment, with parking, in Dublin 2 to dip below 100,000 and for 3-bed semi in Dundalk to dip below same threshold.

      A 70% fall would not be a sufficient over-correction which one may expect in the extraordinary circumstances prevailing here in Ireland.

      You could list other factors which will eventually counteract any blip of an upwards movement, eg, current reluctance of financial institutions to FORECLOSE.


      • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

        Very Good indeed , roll on the 100K semi , I intended to show a worst case (i.e. the very highest value ) , but you are correct , my heart says the 100k simi is a good price , lets burst the bubble ! . Wait for the 100k simi, let the market speak.

        When the price is right people will start moving.
        A friend want to buy in Kells (2010) , agent shows my friend a house for 400k (dropped from 510k !) , now 2012 it’s still at 230k , I looked at it , it’s worth 90 to 100k at most.

        Wait , wait , wait

        • shivym

          That’s all very well what Puschkin says, ie It’d be nice if house prices followed the corresponding 7% yield (I think DavidMc referred to this in his last book), but in some areas of Dublin, house prices are not corresponding to this yield by a longshot, which is frustrating. As someone who is looking to buy, it’s also disconcerting dealing with agents who tell you, lo & behold, they’ve rcvd an offer on a house, 30 mins before you view it, and the same agent tells you the day after the viewing that the offer has increased by 10k, and ask would you like to make a higher offer.

        • C21living


          How about 3 x 4-bed detached houses with a couple of acres of land, reserve price of €40,000 at the Allsop auction, 3 May, Shelbourne Hotel.

          Yes, you read that correctly, €40,000 guide price for 3 x 4-bed houses.

          Lot No 74


          Another gem is Lot No 48, the Darby O’Gill Hotel, 43 rooms, reserve price not to exceed €515,000


          Not that either of these are worth buying, just that this is an auction, where realtor spin is not a factor.

          Wait, wait, wait indeed.

          Personally, I’m looking for a country house for €40,000. I ought to be able to get one in 2 years max.

          • coldblow

            Darby O’Gill’s happens to be a great place (despite the name). Was hoping to have our son’s first communion there but in the end played safe with a posher place, which was a pity.

      • shivym

        Yes thats all very well, but it doesnt stop the estate agents from carrying on the way they do in these situations knowing that some potential buyer will rise to the bidding war! Its hard to be disciplined in these situations.

        • hibernian56

          It’s not only the housing market. A client is trying to get an appropriate unit for a start up, the prices listed on websites tend to jump by €10k once the gougers (estate agents) arrive on the scene.

          The lowest of the low. They are trying to inflate prices due to them still working off a % rather than a fixed fee, like any sane business should. In the case of the commercials I overheard 2%.

          Who needs them anyway, in this case I am encouraging the clients to find the owners (relatively easy to do) and deal directly.

          Then of course the solicitors will enter the scenario!!

      • C21living


        You should be writing about the unprecedented opportunity before young people to have reasonable mortgages and raise families in an untraumatising home-buying environment again in this country, not yet another sentimental warble about the sorrows of the eerstwhile anti-intellectual and dismissive Celtic Tiger Duburbanites.

        I feel more sorry for them than I feel for poor Mr 45 gaffs in his tent in Killiney, but I remember how they treated the nay-sayers, during the ‘boom’.

        Now you want us, your ‘apostles’ to turn the other cheek and reach out our hands Samaritan-like. I think they’ll go to Euro2012 or some other ‘well-deserved holiday’ with the free money you propose handing out to them.

        After all, they love soccer and GAA and the rest of the mass cultural tat in their tract housing lots, don’t they. Gotta love all that … not!

    • ioseebee

      Central Bank chimed in today to say that houses in Ireland are undervalued for the current underlying encomonic fundamentals…….ooooh the whiff!

  6. Deco

    In the decade before the crash, the movement was away from expensive housing in Dublin (and eventually North Kildare, NE Wicklow, SE Meath).

    In the next decade, the movement will be influenced by the price of fuel. In other words it may well be in reverse.

    In comparison, there will be a movement back to areas where people are born, for reason of care of elderly relatives, and in some cases because some people actually saved in the boom, on the basis that they were always returning to nearer home when the opportunity arose. I have seen this with people from Limerick and Cork leaving the eastern counties after a few years. Bear in mind that many other regional cities in Dublin/the East are still dreaming of getting out.

    In the last census the lowest birth rate in the country was in County Monaghan. This was typical of many areas that were distant from the higher wages in the economy. The young people who grew up in the area, moved out to work in other counties, where the wages were higher. And many of them are still renting in thes counties, on the basis of an eventual return. You might see a sudden blip back upwards, as factors like broadband and lower rents in the urban market stabilise.

    So we will have a drift back to some of the more remote areas, the returned Dub/Midlander (instead of the returned Yank). And it should not be a surprise to see a large transitory population in places like North Kildare/West Dublin, consisting of people chasing employment/getting their first job – and trying to minimize costs/be fully available for overtime. The workforce is adapting it’s residence patterns to suit the needs ot the employment market. Basically the most renting will show up where the most first time employment opportunities show up.

    Within the urban centres of many urban districts, employment is dropping due to tough conditions in retail. This results in a reduction on the amenity value of living in the town centre, at exactly the time when the increased cost of fuel should be pushing people back into the town centre. Classic example the main street of Dun Laoghaire.

    But one of the main features, which will show up in shorter distance moves, is a move into more spacious accomodation. This consists of people with kids moving five miles to get a bigger house. (minimize the disruption to schools, employment etc..).

    Overall, it seems that people are getting more sensible with respect to the property market.

    A good development for all concerned really.

    However, watch out for the fuel price. Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the performance/dramatic reduction in the cost of electric cars.

    • rebean

      You are correct about fuel prices. And the way things are going people will be living right next door to their work and cycling home at the weekends. I heard that American NRA guy telling an interviewer that more people would use the motorways in the future. What a load of tripe. If we dont get some electric cars in the only people using the motorways will be the cyclists

      • That’s the plan….people won’t be restricted to their areas by Svoiet police asking for “ausweiss bitte!!!”, they’ll just price travel out of affordability.

        AGENDA 21 meninen freunden :)

      • Kof

        Vays und means. Svinehunt!

      • hibernian56

        The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

        As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

        In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

        There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

        In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

        Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

        Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

        By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

        During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

        Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

        Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

        If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

        • Dorothy Jones

          …you may be interested in the competition for the slogan to promote the German language in Ireland then?? :):)….it’s on:


          • hibernian56

            @ Dorothy,

            The German Embassy is seeking for a slogan for the campaign “The Future of the German Language in Ireland“.

            The slogan should be short but catchy, peppy & to the point. The first 3 winners will be informed of their success before the summer holidays and receive attractive prizes.

            Once the prize doesn’t involve “train tickets” to an unknown and mysterious European destination, I’m in.

            What about; “Feck off, there is none”

        • Kof

          Ah Jaysis, that was deadly. Thanks.

        • coldblow


          How’s about:

          “Speaking Our Language”?

          • coldblow

            Sorry, a bit obscure for those without BBC Alba. Not sure I even get it myself now.

            Lernen Sie bitte Deutsch, rooish? Bitte sehr!

            Auf Wiedersehen Pat!

            Unser ist deine Zukunft!

            Keine Ahnung? Wir auch!

            Haben nun ach! Philosophie, Juristerei, und Medizin, und leider auch Ekonomie! durchaus studiert mit heissem Bemuehn
            Da stehen wir nun, wir arme Tore, und sind so klug als wie zuvor


          • coldblow


    • Deco

      The cost of fuel and the spatial strategy might produce a perverse outcome in the coming decade. With less geographical sprawl cities like Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway might actually be more cost efficient than the Eastern counties. They might also be more competitive, on the basis of being more worker friendly. By this I mean, shorter distances, and less congestion produce more flexibility for workers, who have larger families, because they have more time for families.

      In comparison longer distance commuting in the east, higher fuel costs, less available time and an absence of relatives, will produce a bias against smaller families.

      The result of the absence of long term spatial planning that took place across much of East and central Leinster in the Ahern years.

      Ah yes, family size does influence economics, but we also can expect economics to influence family size.

      • rebean

        I am fed up driving around anyway.I work on a bus route and leave my car at the far end for the areas I cannot access.I used to spend all my time buying petrol but I started using public transport. I will probably get rid of the car for good next year.I am fed up paying car tax and buying petrol.Other people feel the same way. If I have to walk 5 miles now and again well so be it. It will be good for me and I will be fitter. In fact I am alot leaner lately. Thats due to going to the pub less and walking alot more. Its funny how a recession can actually have some positive results

        • Rent & Ride

          A new business has evolved whereby you pay a fixed monthly rent and that entitles you to use a car for a fixed time and mileage including insurance so when the car is not being used it does not cost you anything.

          • rebean

            My car costs me 545 in road tax each year and another 300 in insurance. Put down 300 for tyres and 200 for service and you can see the cost of parking a car up before you put petrol in it. So I am thinking maybe I will get myself a diesel since the car I have is a petrol. It seems that the price of diesel and petrol have separated out again. I guess the GOVT didnt want the country to grind to a halt after all.

          • hibernian56

            I’m already renting and been ridden.

            Where’s my car?

          • juniorjb

            I believe in Paris they have introduced an electric car scheme along the lines of the Dublin bikes. You pay a subscription and can access an electric vehicle from various stations, then plug it back in at any station when you’re done. Don’t know if this has been implemented yet though.

      • StephenKenny

        One of the extraordinary things about families in the last 20 years has been the change from the saying ‘We can’t afford to have children’ to the saying ‘I can’t afford not to have children’. The welfare system – which is one of the symbols of a civilised state in my mind – used to give a ‘fallback’, and now gives a ‘livelihood’.

        One of the lovely things about moving abroad is that there are no social pressures carried over from your past. You don’t have even the trees saying to you “Welfare? that a child of this town would go on welfare……..”. People arriving in a country with a strong welfare system cannot, and should not, be blamed for using it. It would be irrational for them not to.

        Many European countries, for example, have no special benefits for single parents, so it would be a startlingly dim single parent, who, all other things being about equal, wouldn’t move to one that did.

  7. shivym

    That’s all very well what Puschkin says, ie It’d be nice if house prices followed the corresponding 7% yield (I think DavidMc referred to this in his last book), but in some areas of Dublin, house prices are not corresponding to this yield by a longshot, which is frustrating. As someone who is looking to buy, it’s also disconcerting dealing with agents who tell you, lo & behold, they’ve rcvd an offer on a house, 30 mins before you view it, and the same agent tells you the day after the viewing that the offer has increased by 10k, and ask would you like to make a higher offer.


    Just following the UK experience in previous decades of 200,000 Brits leaving each yr and replaced with 300,000 foreigners will leave us with proprtionally the highest foreign born population on the planet in a decade.

  9. rebean

    Great stuff . So things are alive and well in suburbia. It brings back memories of listening to the Pet Shop Boys while being an illegal alien living in Orange County during the eighties recession. Sometimes I wonder why I ever returned to Ireland at all. The biggest pain in the arse is the lack of work in the country at the minute. There might be loads of time for football but there needs to be some movement on the jobs front. As far as I can see if you are not in the public sector or working for an American multinational you are in deep trouble.

    • C21living


      Coach tourism is flying high right now – bookings by Germans, French, Scandinavians are all up this year.

      Also agriculture, agri-business, market gardening and exotic plant nurseries.

      Don’t know why more people, esp. those living in Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, don’t grow more exotic Japanese/Honduran/Chilean/etc garden plants in greenhouses.

      Grand business, you know. Tidy, steady, modest income and a nice life and contribution to the country.

      Our green island is a potential botanical cornucopia.

  10. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    Well Said , they’ll cut services , cut supports , charge their water and home tax , add on their USC charges , BUT NEVER CUT the cost of running a defunct civil service

  11. Mobility of Labour

    Mobile Population , Itinerants , Thinkers , Shoe Makers , Handyman etc .

    In another time people that were then Norman / Old Irish found themselves displaced and landless and had no fix place of abode . They travelled the countryside in search of work and in that process their standard of education declined and lost their true identity . They became a mix match and their history was never written down .Many were sent away on prison ships .

    Today in a similar way it has begun again only this time there is education & technology and no place to go outside the country and that suffocation is what might make the a new revolution Volcanic & Explosive .

  12. Deco & The Muppets

    I read that a new musical is being penned with all the characters of anglo ,bertie etc . When I read it I am almost sure it was Deco who inspired the nation to do this .

    • Deco and The Destroyers and Shane Ross Abu!
      Deco does inspire the nation (sometimes)

      The idea of a musical makes me laugh but be real John. Does any one care? No. Remember the hullabaloo over the artist who painted Brian Cowen naked. There are politicians in Ireland today who want to make it illegal to use even the likeness of any of our public representatives in any graphical form whatsoever including cartoons. In ten years time such malcontents will become ‘disappeared’ for such outlandish and subversive behaviour if things get so desperate that the blueshirts are forced into showing their true character. Maybe not here but in America certainly

      Imagining politicians naked gives us our own back. Try it the next time you are watching any of the Irish TV programs where ‘serious people’ come on and fill us with the nectar of their infinite wisdom. Imagine Vinnie Broon sitting naked next time you watch Tonight With Vincent Brown and you will laugh and never see him in same way ever again. They can’t do a damn thing about such ‘thought crimes’. Paul McKenna recommends this technique for people who annoy you at work and guess what. It works!

      This is the way people with nothing to lose get their own back. It is part of Irish folklore and the only thing they could not take away was our songs and poems. Let the people sing. Imagine big bully boy Phil ‘The Brill’ Hogan prancing around in a superman outfit next time he is spouting his pish about cutting off people’s water. Jeez you’d think it was HIS water and he owned it all and is doing us all a favour by rationing it to us at a price in the name of saving the planet and Ireland especially. Ireland’s Phil Mitchell with the shaven head and bovver boots. What a cartoon figure

      It would be great if someone conceptualised and produced cartoons caricaturing the insanity of the tiger years and their demise. After that they could go further back and nail a few other notions that imprisoned the psyche of this country for centuries … religion, deference, gombeenism, lack of moral fibre and seriously conflicting ideas about identity and self worth. The whole can of worms has not been even half opened by any stretch of the imagination … yet

      Put other institutions who need pegging down in their place too. All based on facts and unimpeachable evidence. Put a bomb under this nation’s bottom and waken it up. (I bet that sentence gets flagged up as a red terror alert on the spook’s computer system). Screw them

      Taking inspiration from Punk Economics, someone with graphic design talent and a sharp eye for satire could nail all the idiosyncratic and lunatic behaviour of the past and tell all electronically in ten minute short films what forests worth of junk printed media has failed to do since the invention of the printing press

      Then again someone so brave would have to emigrate as he or she would be considered dangerous, unemployable and not one who wears the green jersey at all. The wide boys on Dragon’s Den would certainly not approve and old mindsets with black hearts still rule the day and they always will. Same as in any other country

      Incurable, corrupt to the core and suicidally conservative is old Ireland. I know this because Irish people have been telling me so for a dozen years. New Ireland will be secular, confident, switched on and capable although I will never live to see it

      So John tell us more about this musical

      What about the song Leader of The Pack with an ageing Cecilia dancing alone in her boudoir crying over the Birtie fella

      Gee it must be great riding with him!

      My folks were always putting him down
      They said he came from the wrong side of town …

      They told me he was bad
      But I knew he was sad
      That’s why I fell for … leader of the pack

      Vroom vroom

  13. Kof

    We need to get on the move alright. Get the feck outta this country before we’re completely broke and can’t afford to move.

    David, when are you going to write an article about the Fiscal Kompact?

    Check out this article:

  14. coldblow

    Hi David

    I knew you’d be writing about schoolboy football and was expecting this. In our house it’s the local Celtic team, then Kenny Jackett’s lads and that shower over in Manchester. I’m sure those competitive schoolboy matches would be very entertaining to watch.

    Our lot got through to the semis of the U11s National Cup recently, came up to Dublin and got done by the Tangerine Nightmare (aka Kevin’s Boys). 3-0 down and shellshocked at half-time, outplayed in every dept especially tactics, a drubbing was on the cards but they are a second half side with great heart, turned the screws, scored, hit the bar and had some near misses and had the home team breaking up the play to take the sting out of the game. Massive disapointment but a great day. One lad missed the tears in the dressing room (“F*** the Kerry Cup, this is the National Cup!”) as he had already disappeared down the motorway to try to make a GAA evening kick-off.

    I provide junior with selected excerpts from Dunphy’s classic Only a Game? to give him an idea about what football is really about. As he spends most of his time on the bench it’s one way of learning…

  15. Philip

    I wonder… With all the negative equity – partcularly in the Buy to let business and the big move to rental, I wonder if there are businesses currently mopping up properties from distressed owners for 70-120K a pop. Are we going to see the rise of a new type of organised landlord business which might also
    1) give the banks a means of ofloading assets for cash in a more sustainable way
    2) allow people the freedom to rent anywhere in exchange for mortage servicing of existing house
    3) reinforce the move to rental only for all
    4) regularise the law in relation to tenants rights, communal living common areas etc, maintenance etc.

    Might it be outlandish to say that some German or French operation is not already eyeballing the place in this regard?

    • It’s happening all right Phillip. Cherry picking at close to or at the bottom of the market, ie where normal supply and demand economic activity has stalled.
      Only the cash rich can move and they are slowly building up choice assets for a song.
      All part of a boom and bust cycle.

  16. So called “White Flight” has been happenin for quite some time in urban Ireland.

    However, we as a nation can learn from those countries who have previously experienced what is a relatively new phenomenon for Ireland.
    By not implimenting strategic social planning right now, we will, as David intimates, go down the road of the ghetto in our lifetime.

  17. Property Prices have over corrected ????

    Does the Central Bank understand what Markets are ?

    Are they again in a chorus of Denial ?

    What Agenda are playing second fiddle to ?

    Is it Banko & Fudge Show ?

    • Deco

      Where is the demand ? It seems as if many of the buyers are walking out the door. Unemployed people don’t bid against each other in the real estate market.

  18. gerry

    Hurray! It’s soon to be the Boom Times again. First time buyers better get in quick because prices will soon be rising again and fast!

    Sorry IT, Indo, Central Bank and all of the other champions of the property Boom, we don’t buy you b/s propaganda. We still are not at the bottom yet and as Deco says, were is the demand?

    • cooldude

      The Central Bank are a joke and are making complete idiots of themselves. We are still trying to cope with the horrors of a banking induced asset bubble and these jokers come out with this nonsense. Here is an article on Iceland who did the decent thing and hung their banking sector out to dry. No Richie Bouchers over there getting 800 grand for helping cause a property bubble. This is still the best template for us to follow to start getting out of this mess

      • gizzy

        Remember the old joke from three years ago. What’s the difference between Ireland and Iceland? Answer Six months. Who’s laughing now ?

        • Deco

          The difference – it will end in Iceland – Iceland got regime change. Ireland just went from Act 2, to Act 3, but it is still more or less the same drama….

      • gerry

        Thanks for the link cooldude. It’s a very interesting article and shows that there were other options able to us other than the one that we were ultimately rushed into. And even though there is still a lot of pain to deal with relation to apportioning blame for what happened in Iceland, there is something in the collective spirit of the people standing up for themselves and saying that they would not take on the burden of the Bankers debts. I think it says a lot about their self-belief and their willingness to do the right thing by themselves and not the right thing by what the rest of the world thinks. Something that we sadly lack as a nation.

        It’s also amazing to see that their economy seems to be really booming again despite having taken the ‘nuclear option’. It reminds me of what David has said here before about markets being future orientated.

  19. bonbon

    I hope it is not implied that “getting the economy moving” is “moving house-s”!
    I think the way to do this is not addressed at all in the blog, it is left to the shadows, a mystery.

    The Austrian School have a mystical belief that is “sound” money exists, the economy will spontaneously order itself in an unknowable way. Leaving the door open, as does this theme, seems to me to be an invitation to mysticism.

    So dismissing the imperious austerity diktats, and British monetarists “sound money” mesmerizing, means we have to, without flinching, have a mission oriented driven economy, and a Government committed to this. Exactly the kind of economic purpose absent in Tiger-ish lingerings.

    One essential step is to stop the austerity treaty in its tracks. The other a national credit orientation, meaning we have to enable our neighbors to adopt the same approach. We need to turn the tables on both the good-cop (gold and silver trinkets) and the bad-cop (suicidal austerity).

    Top priority is being alert for similar developments in Europe, sudden breakthroughs, regardless of monetarist imperious dismissal.

    • cooldude

      Absolute ununderstandable gibberish as usual Bonbon. Sound money has nothing whatsoever to do with mysticism. It is simply an inelastic monetary system which is usually based on a commodity or commodities. By using such a system you prohibit the elites, whether they are banking elites as currently or royalty or emperors as existed in olden times, from debasing the currency supply from over supply which results in inflation and asset bubbles and robs ordinary people of the value of their savings. That is basically it in a nut shell. No mysticism only common sense. The only mystics around here are the ones who trust the banking elites and their puppet governments to preserve the value of their money. This is plainly not happening and has never happened with an unbacked paper money system throughout history. There have been hundreds of attempts over the last thousand years and before they used paper they debased the metal content of the coins to achieve the same debasement. Each and everyone of these monetary systems resulted in inflation, asset bubbles and eventually the destruction of the currency itself. Sound money, or otherwise known as honest money, is simply a monetary system which cannot be debased by the ruling elites to the detriment of the ordinary citizens. It prevents the elites from raging constant wars because people will revolt against the increased taxes which are the only way to raise money on a finite money supply. See nothing mystical just a tried and trusted monetary system which enhances personal freedom and property rights and keeps the ruling class in check.

      • bonbon

        The mysticism is not the money, rather a wild belief, which I clearly identify.

        Lord Maynard Keynes (I know, a favorite Austrian target) declared “Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians.” Keynes himself is a whole other issue aside.

        We are in danger of having mysticism imposed with a scientific sheen. All talk of “controlling the elites”
        with an honest monetary token is delusional and irrelevant.

        Mysticism belongs to a bygone age.

        • cooldude

          As usual Bonbon the only thing you clearly identify is your inability to engage in a mature debate. There is nothing whatsoever mystical in the usage of sound money. Every successful civilization on this planet has chosen this type of monetary system and with the very good reason that these type of monetary systems lead to healthy trade and individual freedom and prosperity. If we go back to the ancient greeks who were the creators of the world’s first reserve currency the greek drachma. This was a silver coin containing .1375 ozs of silver and was the first type of money to be accepted globally. Aristotle was involved in the creation of this monetary system and he came up with a list of attributes a successful money should have. It had to be portable (easily carried), easily divisable, and an accepted medium of exchange. Now unbacked paper currencies fulfill these requirements fine but there were two other attributes which he decided were crucial which is where they fall down badly. One is the money used must have intrinsic value. Otherwise it is to easy for the money to be counterfeited or debased. The second one is that the money must be a store of value. This is where paper currencies always fail abysmally as they are constantly debased and abused by the central banks who issue them. Since 1913, when the Fed was set up, the $US dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power. That sounds bad but most of the other paper currencies have done much worse. It now costs 280 British pounds to purchase a 1913 gold one. In Argentina they have taken something like six zeros off their notes in the last century. So everywhere we have the same inability to hold their value and this is all deliberate. It is how the elite bankers and their cronies rob people and very few people are even aware of it. They even have a system of economics which glorifies this robbery called Keynesian economics. All just a massive con job to rob people of their hard earned money through a deliberate policy of inflation. And by the way I’m not Austrian I am Irish but at least I have gone to the trouble to study monetary history and it has done me the world of good. Perhaps you should do likewise.

        • bonbon

          I suspect a difficulty to engage in debate as I clearly identified not monetary tokens as such, rather the insanely irrational mystical belief that the economy will spontaneously order itself in an unknowable way, given “sound money”.

          Now let’s discuss how that is supposed to happen.

          The strange thing is that when one brings this issue (which von Hayek did mention) to the table, mysticism, and one considers Newton as the last alchemist, it is hilarious that he was in charge of the Irish Mint!!!

          Why is it that alchemists are fascinated by monetary tokens, as if by magic a growing economy will seep out of the coinage?

          • cooldude

            How it will happen is by our government taking back the control of this country’s money. We have to exit the Euro which is about to blow up anyway. We have to default on all the fraudulent bank debt that was shoved on to the citizens of this state by the corrupt politicians. Then the government should issue it’s own interest free money which will remove us from the totally corrupt bond market. Any existing debts can be paid with this new currency. No more dealings with the banker elites in the IMF or the BIS. Form partnerships with other countries where there are parties who want to break away from the banker elite’s debt based money system such as UKIP. The CHOICE to use commodity money can be provided and this can be up to each individual. This is about taking back control of our lives from these banker elites who are just bleeding the world. We need to understand that we have the power to take control of our lives back from these parasites who have got control of our money supply.

      • dwalsh

        “The only mystics around here are the ones who trust the banking elites and their puppet governments to preserve the value of their money.”

        “How it will happen is by our government taking back the control of this country’s money.”

        Both of these are taken directly from your comments in reply to bonbon. I suggest they imply contradiction and deep confusion in your thinking. In a previous exchange we had I pointed our similar contradictions.

        • cooldude

          Hi DWalsh. There is no confusion in my thinking. These two statements are taken from two separate posts and have to be taken in context. The first one has been proved correct over the last year, the last ten years and throughout history. Every time unbacked paper money has been used by governments it has led to a massive loss of purchasing power in the money. For example over the last ten years gold has increased in value against the various paper currencies from between 500% and 1000%. Not one paper currency has held its value out of the hundreds on the planet. There is nothing unusual in this as there has never once been an occasion in history when gold has been devalued against a paper currency. The reason is simple. These currencies are designed to lose value and rob people of the value of their hard earned money.
          The second statement I made is a suggestion on how we can exit this current mess. I don’t see any contradiction so maybe you can point it out. What I suggest is we exit the euro and print our own currency. Along with this new currency I suggest that a commodity money, such as a silver coin, be allowed become legal money and float alongside the paper money. This coin would have no face value and it’s value can be set every six months or so from the commodity price plus 20-25% to allow for minting and profit. The reason that this coin, or similar, is needed is to prevent the politicians from debasing the paper money. If they do people will just switch their savings to the coin. A system such as this is currently before the congress in Mexico and was introduced by Hugo Salinas Price. His website is http://www.plata.com and all the details are there if you are interested. Without some sort of check like this coin the proposed new currency will simply lose it’s value through debasement like every other one that has been tried. There is no confusion in my thoughts on this and if you want any more information let me know.

        • bonbon

          The mysticism is the unquestioned belief that economic growth (recovery) will seep from sound money in a spontaneous, but unknowable way.

          Like placing a cubic meter of bound notes (backed by whatever you want) beside a cancerous patient and expecting miraculous recovery! This is today, in an industrial and research capable civilization totally anachronistic. It shows the utter chasm in the mind, not confusion, rather schizophrenia, that monetarism breeds.

          As such it is identical to the Tiger illness.

          • cooldude

            As I have pointed out previously there is no mysticism whatsoever involved in the economic benefits sound money brings to an economy. It is simply a basic fact that sound money produces the best environment for economic growth, low unemployment and a rise in living standards. This has happened time and time again in history. I will give you an example to show this phenomena. In 1861 the America went of the classical gold standard to pay for the civil war. Wages and prices fell by around 3% per year until 1879 when the classical gold standard was reintroduced. During the following decade there was still a moderate 1% drop in prices but wages rose by 2.3% per annum and unemployment almost disappeared. So you had real wages rising by 3.3% when you allow for the price deflation and a growth rate of 3.8% for the decade. These are the type of results sound money can bring to an economy. Mild secular deflation in prices combined with rising incomes and low unemployment. I don’t see much of that going on in our inflationary economy ridden with liquidity created asset bubbles that cause acute hardship to everyone except the bankers. The facts are clear on this period of prosperity and freedom. The return to sound money ushered in a decade which is described in The Encyclopedia of American Economic History as “one of the most expansive in American history. Capital investment was high…there was little unemployment and the real costs of production declined rapidly.”Imagine the progress that could be made in this technological age if we had a sound system of money on which to base our economies. Stick to facts and less of this mystical nonsense.

          • bonbon

            There is mysticism, clearly identified by Austrian School luminary von Hayek himself. I respectfully suggest checking out this before promoting the ideology. It is clearly identified here in DMcW’s blog over the last months.

            Economic growth is supposed to seep out of sound money. This is exactly Newton’s alchemy writings, and Bernard Mandeville’s. In fact this is the magic of the Landlord’s Title in Eire magically giving benefits to the tennants. What economics!

    • Deco

      After a decade of funny money from the ECB, with ultra low interest rates, and bubbles – the idea of sound money is an interesting one.

      Let’s give it a try.

      • bonbon

        Exactly as you are supposed to be corralled out of chaos into a mystical trap of exactly the same monetarism again. Follow the glittering silver or gold sound pendant? You must be joking!

        • Deco

          The people who are making the jokes are the central bankers, who keep relying on Ponzi scheme gneration, via low interest rates to fuel economic growth. It ends up being an orgy of speculation, and when it is over the system is loaded with bad debts. The past decade in Ireland is a legacy of not having a sound currency.

          In our period of semi-independent currency pegging, based on a connection with a decling power, Britain, we never got to the point where we were bankrupt as a state, where the banks were all insolvent (to the point that they will be like that for a generation), and to the point that we have half a million on the dole.

          We reached it at the end of a currency regime that persistently set interest rates below the rate of inflation. This induced an orgy of speculation, borrowing, and contempt for savings.

          We have a dodgy currency regim from the moment Trichet took over the ECB. The results are not great.

          But in Spain they are an absolute disaster.

        • bonbon

          I do not think any banker is joking right now – they are in a blank-staring catatonia. As if the monetary mesmerizing has stopped, but they were so long there no functioning mind is left!

          This is the result of a belief in magic.

          Snap out of monetarism in all its forms which for millennia have tormented us. It is highly embarrassing in certain circles when the underlying nonsense is brought to light.

          Odd that Trichet means “cheater”. Not surprising.

  20. molly

    On the frontline last night a trucker said
    It’s the same circus with different clowns how through is that about this and the last government.

    • Deco

      If it stopped being a circus, the vested interests would do everything in their power to turn it back into one as quickly as possible.

      Not a uniquely Irish problem. It is evident in the US, and in other countries as well, just look at Britain under Phony Tony – doing things that even the Tories regarded as obscene.

      You get consultation once every five years. IBEC can get consultation whenever they want, 24 byu 7. Same goes for the rest of the vested interests.

      • molly

        Thanks for that we voted them in on a torrent of lies maybe if France gets a new top man we might see some real change because the clowns who run this banana republic might make you think they are mad but they smile all the way to the bank at our exp.
        The way we are run and where run in the past leaves me to think many I could be a government advisor ,ism sure I could think of some hair brain ideas .
        1. Tax the people for paying to much tax.
        2. Tax the people for using to little water.
        3. Tax the people for not spending money they don’t have.

        • Deco

          The craze for avoiding default will reach a dead end. And then default will have to be accepted as part of the solution.

          • molly

            O great with default we might get a better system ,or mebay china might be our new masters with all the interest china is showing in our banana republic.
            When people in power get the power they will pursue it into the gates of hell and they will rub hands and protect the so called backers of the power they hold .the civil servants ,banks,garda,legal ect

  21. bonbon

    As DMcW does obliquely refer to growing population, it is urgent that readers confront the latest Club of Rome provocation, now blessed with Royal Society seals of approval.
    Instead of economic growth this report shows the clear intention of the same circles. To appeal to these for “a chance of a future” is delusional.


  22. This post way out of kilter with the mood of the article and the posts above. Everyone is trying to be friendly and have a bit of light hearted chat while looking at the country from a position of ‘high altitude’ as David often puts it. Sometimes we need to come up for air and loosen up pal

    We can leave the shouting and bawling for another time. Summer is coming. Lighten up and smell the roses and take in the sight of the Irish countryside coming into it’s own with the white hawthorn and golden gorse to compliment the lush summer green. Nature’s version of the Tricolour. A glass of Guinness and a chill out

    It is a very well written article and anyone who does not think so is pretty quare. It is a tale about everyday life and reminds us that we who live in this glorious little island are still human and will remain so. Fathers and sons will continue to bond through sport like we did before you were born

    And who are the here ‘postles’ you speak of. Far as I know this forum has plenty of decent free thinking people who feel infrior to no one. Will you be going for a kick about with the said Apostles?

    And why shouldn’t Irish people go to watch their team?

    We are Irish. It’s in our blood to come back and stick it to our oppressors just when they think they have us well and truly in out place

    Here is a wee bit of history to enjoy. It is about a people who were under the boot of grinding poverty and discrimination but who had their day in the sun through sport. It’s meant to be fun. I know at least one person on here who will appreciate it. And he is a true blue

    Have a good day


  23. Great writing. A human story always makes us feel human again.

  24. gizzy

    David hate to be a technocrat but the offside rule does not apply until after 12. You need to have a word with the coach, maybe it’s causing your team some problems playing it when no one else is.

  25. molly

    Does anybody know is there any body taking a challenge over the local needs policy ?

  26. george

    David debt forgiveness and job creation is a big ask…isn’t it?
    Is this, what will happen?

    • cooldude

      Hi George, excellent interview with Warren Pollock. He is probably right about the bank holiday but the timing is difficult. This is exactly why I have shifted most of my savings into precious metals and recommend this as a way to both avoid a bank holiday situation and also to preserve the value of my money against the constant debasement by central banks. It also gives me protection if and when the euro blows up which will also mean a significant devaluation of the future money. It is time to get most of your money out of the insolvent, corrupt banking system and into real assets which cannot be devalued.

  27. george

    This is the video from Warren Pollock didn’t come right before


  28. Video by former KGB defector recorded in 1985

    The 4 stages of subversion:


    All sounds familiar …

    It seems we are all part of the type of experiments this guy describes. It’s as relevant today as it was then (more so, think 1984) and it should illuminate minds as to the awesome powers that control us all

    KGB Agent Tells You What The Illusion Is !

  29. michaelcoughlan


    When I read this in the Sunday Business Post my first thought was what a rather banal article. However I was completely mistaken. It is very important that articles of this nature continue to get published because it puts a human face on the statistics being bandied about the place.

    When I watched Pat Rabbit on the TV the other night I just couldn’t believe how completely blind he is to the realities of the situation facing the country.

    Like all of the rest of them he just doesn’t get it. It really beggars belief. I am seriously considering chaining myself onto the railings of the Dail in a peaceful protest and asking for the price of my release that the Taoiseach read the superlative “Confessions of economic hitman”.

    Anyone support me?

    • michaelcoughlan

      By the way David,

      When John Perkins wrote his Book “Confessions of an economic Hitman” he gave the reason for doing so for trying to do something for the benefit of his kids and grandkids even though he knew that he would be risking his life in doing so. He still thinks he will be killed for putting into print the modus operandi of the organisations whose interests he previously served.

      Kids David, just like all the young fellas playing soccer in the article. Ireland and the Republic no longer have any relevance. We must act to save our children. Remember the bit in the constitution about cherishing all of the Children of the nation equally?

      • StephenKenny

        I suspect that you are right.

        It’s a shame that there’s no desire to cherish truth and honesty; we have to say it’s for the children, to get any interest or support.

  30. coldblow


    Where have the suburbs been radicalized before? It’s one thing having criminal estates but what would a radicalized middle class estate look like?

    The people most likely to go for ‘direct action’ are surely from the former? That might serve the interests of the latter but the longer it goes on the more inconvenient it would be. Perhaps like Germany in the years after 1933? The biggest issue at the moment is surely the household charge/ property tax, but the propertyless are hardly going to get worked up about that. Welfare cuts would be different.

  31. dwalsh

    The European outcome of the global financial and economic crisis was always going to be accelerated European integration. This was clear to me from the beginning. It was obvious the eurocrats would use the crisis to fast-track their goal of federalisation; and that the lead edge would be fiscal cohesion. It was equally obvious there could be serious problems with how the process unfolded.

    The main problem in my view is the democratic deficit which is deepening with every step we take.

    I am a Europhile. I believe a united Europe is good for Ireland; good for all European citizens; and good for the world. I believe a strong coherent European voice on the world stage is vital in this time of unprecedented change and global transition for our species.

    European civilisation is an integral part of the foundations of the modern world system. Democracy and the scientific method stand out as essentially European contributions to global civilisation. There are many things we might not be so proud to mention; but like it or not in many ways Europe is the origin of the current phase of global civilisation.

    At its heart Europe is democratic and social. These are not accidental properties of European civilisation. The creation of civilisation is a cooperative venture; and the degree to which the endeavour can succeed dynamically will be directly related to the breath and depth of support and participation in the process by the general population.

    The greatest danger for Europe going forward lies in the possible loss of the support of the general population. If this happens the new Europe will be a lame duck; a big lame duck no doubt, but a lame duck nonetheless. Such an outcome would be a disaster for each participating European nation; and for the world process in general.

    The world needs a united and strong European voice in these difficult times of global transition.

    • bonbon

      Right now the Voice of Europe is …. Goldman Sachs!

      Draghi, Monti, Papademos all singing in a terrible cacophony, with Barrosso somewhere in the noise.
      Along comes Enda, even the cat barked!

      I’m afraid you have not taken Sir Oswald Mosley’s United States of Europe seriously – he never mentioned “support of the people” (and plagiarized from Churchill).

      • dwalsh

        You are quite right; I dont take Sir Oswald Mosley seriously. I do however take the threat of Goldman Sachs seriously. Draghi, Monti, Papademos et al are hostile combatants.

  32. French Presidential ‘debate ‘ 8pm Tonight

    Try to watch this at 8pm Irish Time tonight .It is too important to ignore.Choose some foreign channel available to you to view this

  33. Nono

    Reading the tweets about it. Sarko is definitely O-V-E-R!

    • dwalsh

      What is your view of Hollande (who is likely to win)?

      • Nono

        I don’t have much faith that he will rock the boat unfortunately… He will plough along with the European debacle and will only make small amendments that will look as if he is trying to do something but in the end, will change nothing. For instance, he wants to add an amendment to the Fiscal compact to include growth. Well and good but the whole thing should be reviewed as it is wrong. Another example, he made speeches in France that he wants to add taxation on every single financial transaction, then he goes to the city of London to reassure them that he will make sure their interest will be preserved! Talk about double speech! However, I do think that he will not make things worth internally in France. Sarko was all about dividing the population: the rich against the poors, the employed against the unemployed, the French against the immigrants. Hollande at least is not going to exploit those divisions and god knows that we need someone who rallies the people at the moment. Also, internationally, he won’t be seen as negatively as Sarko the arrogant fool. So, all in all, not a great alternative just a slightly better one…

  34. dwalsh

    @ cooldude

    It wasn’t politicians who debased the currency….remember, in our corporatised political system (especially in America) they are agents of private capital…you have admitted this yourself.

    The debasement and now the destruction of our monetary system has been wrought by private capitalists acting through their agents in government (to deregulate in their favour) and their financial and banking corporations (which include the Fed).

    I can understand the current obsession with gold as a store of personal wealth in times like these when private capital is waging financial war on the nation states of the world; and our monetary system is being destroyed in the process.

    However the important issues we are facing are not monetary. Money, whether it is fiat or commodity is neutral. Our real problem is human evil in the political and social spheres.

    The future character of our civilisation is at stake; and it has nothing to do with, nor will it be resolved by this fetishisation of gold and commodity money; which is an irrelevance in this context.

    That said I do grant you that gold is a wise personal investment at this time of crisis.

    Money in a true civilisation is a utility; not a commodity. Real wealth in a true civilisation is human capital (creativity) and production; not heaps of metals in vaults; or weighing down your pockets. Commodity money is only necessary in a barbarous civilisation where order and trust are uncertain. Which is precisely the kind of civilisation which the Austrian ideology would produce. Civilisation as a sort of technological jungle in which individuals compete in suits and ties for survival (of the fittest).

    If that vision of Darwinian economics triumphs humanity will lapse into a dark age of barbarous global corporatism and fascism. It will be a disaster for our species.

    If Europe collapses and Ireland goes it alone it will not yield the commodity money utopia you imagine. It will mean that trans-national private capital will have won a major victory in its war against true human civilisation; and a global corporate state (fascism) will be almost inevitable. For most people that will be a feudal and repressive society; someting like a tecnological version of ancient Babylonia at a global level.

    • cooldude

      @ DWalsh

      You make some good points which I agree with and others with which I don’t agree.
      We can start with your first point which is 100% correct. Here are some quotes from Carroll Quigley who was Georgetown University’s history professor and who studied these banking elites carefully for over twenty years. This is from his book Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. (1966).
      “There does exist and has existed for a generation, an international anglophile network which operates , to some extent, in the way the radical right believes the communists act. In fact this network, which we may identify as the round table groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operation of this network because I have studied it for 20 years and was permitted for 2 years, in the early 1960′s, to examine its papers and records.”

      ‘In addition to these pragmatic goals, the powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret arrangements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups.”

      I think Professor Quigley sums up how these private interests control global finance pretty well. The private banking families who run this whole show are obscenely wealthy from the massive profits this system generates. They control the politicians in every country and if anyone steps out of line, like Gadaffi, they firstly try to bribe them and if that doesn’t work they take them out. This is all covered very well in John Perkins book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” and on his excellent website.

      I think we both agree about the problems outlined above but we seem to have different ideas on solutions. These financial elites detest commodity money and have actually banned any member of the IMF from reverting to a gold backed currency. They constantly use the mainstream media, the education system and their pet economists to portray gold in a bad light and use the education system to blame the gold standard for the great depression. Anyone who studies this quickly realizes that the great depression came directly from the excessive liquidity that the Fed pumped into the banking system in the 1920′s. This would not have been possible to do on a classical gold standard but this had been ended in 1913 to pay for the upcoming war. What occurred after the war was just a gold exchange standard which prohibited citizens from exchanging their notes for gold. Also they made the huge mistake of keeping the price of gold at $20 despite most of the protagonists doubling or trebling their money supplies. In other words the arguement that the financial elites teach in our manipulated education system that the great depression was caused by the gold standard is total nonsense. In my view the reason they hate gold and silver so much is because commodity based monetary systems are honest by their very nature. They cannot simply create vast amounts of liquidity and asset bubbles under such a monetary system. That is why I personally support such a system. I would contend that that both order and trust are completely absent in our current monetary system. These elites are robbing us of our hard earned money through a deliberate policy of inflation and I personally think that is completely out of order and I don’t trust these gangsters one inch. I think you are being a bit naive to think otherwise.

      I don’t believe in any form of utopia. Only statists promise such a thing. I do think that one of the ways to fight back against this system is to try and stop the plans of these globalists at every level. Europe won’t collapse if (when) the euro disappears. Europe did much better without this flawed currency system which has brought asset bubbles, massive unemployment and huge unrest to most of the countries. Human beings are well able to trade and coexist in relative harmony without all these massive global institutions. The way to avoid a future of feudalism is to take back control of our lives from these globalist elites. Here is an interesting article by Charles Hugh Smith on steps we can take to stop this feudalism

      • juniorjb

        what on earth is a “statist”?

        • cooldude

          Collins English Dictionary

          Statist- a person who supports statism.

          Statism-the theory or practice of concentrating economic and political powerin the state, resulting in a weak position for the individual or community with respect to the government.

          • juniorjb

            Would “centralized State administration and control” do as a definition? I hear the term but it often seems to be used quite emotively, so I don’t generally pay much attention. Who would you have in mind when using the term, and would this be a generally accepted reference?

  35. Grey Fox

    Voices of reason, Constantin Gurdgiev and Morgan Kelly 2012 and 2007 respectively,

  36. molly

    If it was raining soup, the man would be out with a fork,’ famously said a disgruntled Fine Gael backbencher many years ago, in reference to his party leader’s tendency to always choose the wrong policy option.
    This unfortunate tendency now characterises the Fine Gael/Labour Government in its response to the current economic crisis. The government has lashed itself more tightly than ever to the austerity wagon just as the wheels are wobbling and in imminent danger of falling off.
    The political crisis in the Netherlands is quite significant in this regard. Here is a country whose government was a hardcore supporter of imposing savage austerity as a panacea for Europe’s economic problems and especially so in the case of the crisis ridden peripheral States like Greece and Ireland. But it fell victim to its own harsh prescription as its Budget deficit in 2011 came in significantly over the 3% of Gross Domestic Product target laid down by the European Union’s so called Stability and Growth pact.
    As the Dutch government began to plan savage cuts to stay within EU guidelines, the Freedom Party walked out of the coalition, with its leader proclaiming that he could not tolerate ‘pensioners bleeding for Brussels diktats.’ The fact that this is a right wing/populist/racist political party shouldn’t diminish the significance of statements like this. This party and its leader, Geert Wilders, is opportunistically attempting to reflect growing opposition of poorer and working class people to the effects of austerity on their lives.
    ‘The Dutch case is a horrific display of Europe’s self harming.’ declared an Editorial in Wednesday’s Financial Times. It continued ‘ . . Europe’s policy of austerity for all, is dragging one economy after another back into recession — and the effect is not limited to the periphery.’
    The FT wasn’t the only commentator using the self harm analogy in relation to the policy of austerity being dogmatically imposed across Europe and now enshrined in the new Austerity Treaty. Paul Krugman is a columnist with the New York Times, a Professor of economics at Columbia University and a winner of the Nobel Prize for economics. Not a Left revolutionary, then, rather a sober analyst of current trends in capitalism.
    Last week in a hard hitting, syndicated column, he referred to the New York Times reporting on the tragedy of people taking their own lives in Europe over unemployment and financial difficulties. ‘But I’m sure I wasn’t the only reader, especially among economists, wondering if the larger story isn’t so much about individuals as about the apparent determination of European leaders to commit economic suicide for the continent as a whole.’
    Krugman goes on to damn the fiscal austerity uniformly pushed by the leaders of the European Union. ‘This is, not to mince words, just insane,’ he declared . ‘Europe has had several years of harsh austerity programmes, . . . such programmes push depressed economies deeper into depression.’ He finished with a powerful broadside at the EU leadership, referring to the Fiscal Treaty locking in austerity as the response to any and all problems. ‘So, it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price.’
    This is the reckless policy now being relentlessly pushed by the Irish government at the behest of the neo liberal economic and political establishment within the EU. Fine Gael and Labour, having decided to follow the Troika’s diktat that the Irish people should be economically bled to salvage the European financial institutions, slavishly repeat the austerity mantras. Thus, the fiscal Treaty is about stability, leading to ‘confidence’ in the markets and among multinational corporations.
    ‘The crisis is subject to growing political risks,’ wrote Financial Times columnist, Martin Wolf, in Wednesday’s edition. ‘The fall of the Dutch government and the victory of Francois Hollande in France in the first round of the French Presidential election demonstrate this point. The street might overwhelm the establishment.’
    The hopes of the Fine Gael and Labour Ministers fronting the government’s Austerity Treaty campaign, that the acceptance of this treaty will lead to a period of ‘stability’, will be blown away in due course. It is not ruled out that, even before the Irish people vote in the May 31 Referendum, a new crisis could grip the financial markets. If the sharks that hold sway there believe that the final result in the French election, economic crisis in Spain, or other developments, threaten their profits, slavish declarations of adherence to more and more austerity by EU leaders will not assuage them.
    A rejection of the Treaty by the Irish people would be a recognition that austerity is causing havoc across Europe and a powerful demand for a change of course.


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