January 31, 2013

As we forge deeper ties in Europe we are forgetting our closest ally

Posted in Irish Independent · 262 comments ·
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The small cafe outside Bank station, deep in the heart of London’s financial district, is jammed. Behind me — suited and booted — are four voices, deepest Cork, young lads in their late 20s. These are the newest wave of Irish people whom London has welcomed and provided with a living, when earning a living back home is not possible. In recent surveys, one in four Londoners claimed to have Irish blood, and there are more British people with one Irish grandparent than there are Irish people with grandparents.

These are the ties that bind, and this is why — whether our top civil servants and politicians like it or not — Britain, not Germany or France, will remain the natural home for Irish products, investment and people.

In the last week, our politicians (and our entire political elite), who appear to be wedded to the notion of a German Europe at all costs, have been slapped down by the ECB. The British have reacted to the increasing feel of a German Europe, rather than a European Germany, by deciding to see if this new Europe is right for them.

British business has claimed that this will lead to uncertainty, but even the pro-business Tories know the business community must be made aware that there is more to running a country than assuaging the vagaries of the business cycle. Indeed, for many new businesses, the uncertainties that old business fears are opportunities.

But forget business for a moment; of far more consequence is democracy and the facts on the ground. Those facts are that for some time now, over half of British people want nothing to do with the EU, regardless of what Whitehall – or business – thinks.

And as the EU moves for further integration, we in Ireland might consider undertaking an honest political, economic and moral inventory about what is in our best interests.

The schadenfreude was obvious as it seeped from senior Irish sources at what they saw as Britain’s difficulties regarding Europe. For many years now, I have been amazed at the huge political capital invested in relations with countries such as Germany and France and just how little official attention is paid to relations with our largest neighbour.

Whether our politicians, editorial writers or top civil servants like it or not, Britain exists and on a pragmatic basis, relations with Britain are far more important than relations with any other country in the world.

Here are the facts that form the basis of an honest economic inventory of the relationship. Some 9.8 million people flew between the Republic and Britain in 2011. This is just under 186,000 per week. Contrast this figure with the overall traffic of Germans coming here per year, which is 400,000.

After 30 years of tying our currency and criminally ignoring the sterling exchange rate in a bizarre effort to force more trade to Germany, officially neglected Britain is Ireland’s second largest export partner. We export around €14.265bn worth of goods and €15.052bn worth of services per year to the UK.

Ireland imports more from Britain than the rest of Europe combined: €16.686bn in goods and €10.108bn in services in 2011. Every week, €1bn of trade is carried out between Ireland and the auld enemy.

And the flow of people continues apace. The 2001 British census found there were 495,000 Irish people living in Britain, the highest concentration of Irish anywhere and a figure that no doubt has risen in the last decade.

When it comes to trade in goods that have huge knock-on effects in terms of people’s real lives, as opposed to trade in industries that can overstate how much is made here for accounting reasons, Britain’s importance is even more significant.

According to Bord Bia, the UK is Ireland’s number one export partner when it comes to food. €3.2bn worth of produce was exported there in 2010, up 2pc on 2009. Irish beef, for example, accounts for 60pc of the British market. Ireland produces enough food to feed 36 million people while the UK has a food deficit. Ireland also happens to be the UK’s number one food export partner, importing an estimated £3bn in 2012. Altogether in 2011, UK ports imported 6.63 million tonnes of freight traffic from Ireland, up 6.3pc on 2010.

And of course, we in the Republic are Northern Ireland’s second largest trade partner. Forty per cent of NI exports go south of the Border. Much of this trade (67.9pc) is done by SMEs, which are the lifeblood of Irish business.

There is huge potential in the area of energy between the two countries. The East-West Interconnector is the start of an all-island approach to renewable energy. It involves 185km of undersea cable and has a 500-megawatt capacity, enough to power 350,000 homes.

Ireland and the UK will heat, feed and employ each other in the years ahead. It’s the most important relation we have and, 100 years after independence, maybe it’s time to drop our insecurities and realise that we are great friends as well as great partners.

My flight home from London City was jammed with business people coming home after another day’s trading with the country that is our future as much as our past.

David McWilliams’ new book The Good Room is out now.


  1. Adam Byrne

    subscribe. The King is Back.

  2. gizzy

    Good common sense article.

    • cooldude

      I agree it is an interesting article. I wonder however how serious Cameron is on all of this. Is he just trying to stop losing votes to UKIP who are actually serious about returning to what the EU was originally to be a trading community. One thing for certain is the Euro has been a complete disaster for Ireland. Bankrupt the country basically with their ridiculous low interest rates at a time we should have been raising rates. They are making a right idiot out of Enda although I suppose that’s not too hard to do.

      • Tony Brogan

        Just talking to my brother in Somerset about that. Says its a lot of hot air. Cameron will hold a vote if re-elected; Which he won’t was his opinion. UKIP is now the 2nd choice.
        Brother says, “why can’t we just have a trading arrangement like we thought it was going to be instead of all this interference from Brussels.”?

        Good question.
        Ireland needs to drop the Euro at least and look after itself.

        • Eireannach

          You’re brother’s either a fool or he’s deliberately pretending he doesn’t know that the founding charter of the EEC was to ‘forge an ever-closer union’ and from the beginning the EEC/EU’s steering committee called it an organization which will build a United States of Europe.

          Only arrogant English think that the EU should be what they want it to be, a trading zone. They’re going to have to leave because it will never, ever return to a mere trading zone. The goal always has been, and remains, a United States of Europe.

          • bonbon

            Sir Oswald Mosley, borrowing Churchill’s U.S.E (United States of Europe) is the founding charterer. Mundel is the Euro begetter.

            So we have British fascism today dressed in some very non black-or.tan Armani suits, the Troika, dictating further death.

            What do you think of Cameron’s perfidy now? Do you realize the danger in stripping all European nations of their sovereignty? Have you any idea what this means? I have never in my life heard such ignorance.

          • Tony Brogan

            My brother is no fool and he is not arrogant either.
            In Britain it was sold as a trading block not a dictatorship from unelected technocrats from Brussels.

            My sister farms in Devon and she says they can’t move without a regulation from Brussels having to be considered. As Nigel Farage says, ” Just who do these people think they are”.

      • The market sets the rate the ECB followed. If ECB set them our bonds wouldn’t have imploded. In coming years ECB may be forced to raise rate. Its a “dog & Tail” or ” Chicken & Egg” debate. It was our bank then government and the people that bankrupt country.

        • Realist

          “The market sets the rate the ECB followed”

          You must be joking ?
          What kind of market they follow ?

          All they follow is stupid keynesian policy that spending is driving economy so let’s put it on fire with more money printing and cheap money policies.
          GDP growth is must and that means inflation is a must as currently no other way to grow stupid GDP.
          Stupid guys. People who believes in ECB and central banks are even more stupid.

          • Lets watch the UK in coming years. If the BOE is the driving force you would think rates will stay low. If the market is the driving force rates on gilts may skyrocket.

            Its my understanding that Central banks set a target rate. It appears they are in the driving seat but in time market forces win out….

            I am open to gaining a better insight to this subject. Most debates in media are not helpfull in this goal.

          • Realist

            I agree that market wins at some stage.
            The problem is that the wealth is destroyed with Central banking rate fixations.
            They are keeping rates too low for too long.

  3. Lius

    YOU again Adam !*&%^$£

  4. Tony Brogan

    Good one David. It makes a lot of sense.
    In another 100 years Ireland may own a goodly portion of the UK with the current birth rates :-)Irelands biggest export may be its overwhelming advantage.

  5. We will know all about it if, as I forcast, sterling will weaken against euro between aug12 and middle next year https://twitter.com/vimtrading/status/256115482925621249/photo/1
    Will have major impact “short to mid term” on export to UK and on product that IRE and UK compete on in Europe eg fish & shellfish, already the devalue in Iceland has hit the white fish industry here hard.
    While we are in the Euro we cant do F all about,
    Take some time to understand this chart https://twitter.com/vimtrading/status/259724108865085440/photo/1 What it heighlight is that Ireland and the UK have way more money in circulation per capita than rest of EMU and US. Sterling will come back to par in time, so will we but by a long slow grind.

    • If any of you have read some of my previous posts I often criticise David when he misleads his readers on how we borrowed the savings of Germans. This did not happen. Being in the Euro allowed our banks to create credit without the currency being devalued. As we all know this was done by lending on houses and land. If the banks did this with a local currency it would be spotted and devalued quickly. This is why Ireland was so expensive compared to EU core. If we were to revert to punt now it would be worth about £0.9 compared to £1.27 when we joined.

      As said before I done know why David misleads his readers on credit and banking. But for a guy that is so good at explaining “stuff” it appears his best explaination is “we borrowed the hard earned savings of Germans”…..

      • Direland

        Well IS , if Irish Banks somehow “created” all this Credit why did Irish Banks owe so much to Germand and French Banks when thew shit hot the fan in 2008 ? You don’t make sense to Me.
        What David is saying makes perfect sense particularly re: Britain. All the Pen pushers and paper shufflers at the top of , and indeed throughout the Irish Civil Service have a latent “anti- Britishness. The foolish decisions made in the past by them were always without consequence for them in thier protected , guaranteed , competition – prooofed jobs.No , if thier policies defied logic and led to job losses it was always the private sector who suffered , never the people in the CS . Even after almost 100 years of Independence this bias is still there and needs to be rooted out ! Besides there are virtually no BusinessMen/Women in the Oireachtas and look at what a bags the Politicians have made of things – the 64 Billion of debt has broken our back as a Nation.We need a write down and our UK Friends are supportive of this as we are valuable to them as a major customer.We need to recognise our mutual interdependence !

      • Realist

        ” .. David when he misleads his readers on how we borrowed the savings of Germans”

        EU is like cartel, less efficent members are sucking blood from more efficient members. Usual breakup is when the more efficent member breaks up but who knows in this political fiasco schemes who can break up first.
        As Germans were more efficent member than many I would also say that less efficient members suck blood of German savers.
        Not that Germany did not profit due to the cartelized EU market, but that is another story as the whole EU tries to protect their market by strong borders, subsidies, tarrifs, …

        “Being in the Euro allowed our banks to create credit without the currency being devalued”

        This is wrong. Credit expansion creates money from thin air and drives certain industries into huge jump moving resources and wealth from other industries.
        Projects are started at the end and never finished making huge losses while all that credit that is expanded is either nationalized with bonds and/or higher taxes.
        The credit expansion could be sometimes even worse for the economy than sovereign debt spent on crazy things like wars and project to Mars.

        • 1.”Usual breakup is when the more efficent member breaks up but who knows in this political fiasco schemes who can break up first.” How usual is this?
          Once a week, once a year, or not usual at all?

          2.”This is wrong. Credit expansion creates money from thin air and drives certain industries into huge jump moving resources and wealth from other industries”
          I dont think banks “create money out of thin air” and I dont know what the rest of sentence means so cant comment.

          My understanding on baking is not 100% or even 50% but my best understanding on banking put simply is Loans creates deposits which allow more loans to be made, expanding the credit supply. They are not lending out savings,but the new loan will be savings in someones account. David has confirmed that it is a “mistake” on his part to say we borrowed German savings. He regularly makes this “mistake” which I say is misleading to the public, the majority who think banks are just “money Lenders”.

          • Realist

            Cartels always break up.
            EU will not be saved for long I am sure.

            “I dont think banks “create money out of thin air” and I dont know what the rest of sentence means so cant comment.”

            Commercial banks, fractional reserve banks, create money out of thin air. Essentially they do it in the
            same way as counterfeiters.
            You have at least 100 books on that subject, some of them are free of course:
            mises.org/Books/mysteryofbanking.pdf
            mises.org/books/desoto.pdf
            mises.org/journals/scholar/shostak2.pdf

            “David has confirmed that it is a “mistake” on his part to say we borrowed German savings”

            It is not that we borrowed German savings, but rather the fact that new money creates inflation, that destroys the value to savers due to the low (non-market) saving rates.
            Irish banks just created money from thin air based on their own savings, and expectations of loaned money coming back to their accounts, so overinflating euro.

            Just think, what are loans? Banks give them cheaply (due to low ECB rates) to builders to build something in 3-4 years time and you give it to people to buy same while nobody saved enough in the society to support such expansion!!!!!
            Pure counterfeiting.

            Of course the main problem is central bank with its fractional reserve banking allowing all of this.
            100% reserve banking looks as the only way out to me, until somebody convinces me into opposite.

    • Tony Brogan

      In as much as European banks have more gold (12,000 tonnes) than the US (8,200 tonnes)one might expect the Euro to gain relative to the US dollar.
      however thses may be bookkeeping entries only and the gold may or may not be there and a lot of it may be counted teice as well.
      I think it will be a case of finders keepers loosers weapers. And possession is nine tenths of the law.

      The US has custodial accounts for many europeans but there will be endless debate about who owns what and a game of “Prove it!”

      china will be found to have scooped a lot of the mined gold and to have bought a lot more.
      a year from now as the Renminbi is eased into position as a world reserve currency it will be seen the emporer has no clothes or at least no gold. Then will start the run on the US dollar. The euro will benefit until it is realized that Germany and other countries can not get there gold returned to them as it has been leased out and sold.

      Why is this important. Well gold is still the money of rulers and he who has the gold rules. The power passes to Asia.

  6. TheIrishFonz

    A country the size of Ireland where exports play a large role should keep all its international options open while emphasising certain key relationships like the UK and US. Ireland also does huge trade with the EU, which can only expand as enlargement continues.

    Given our history, Ireland is almost uniquely placed in terms of conflict resolution and to play the role of honest broker, our biggest problem is the people who run this country, they have been a bulwark on genuine and sustainable advancement since independence.

    JFK’s speech to the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas should be read by one and all as it spells out clearly just how much a country like Ireland has punched above its belt:

    “Ireland has already set an example and a standard for other small nations to follow. This has never been a rich or powerful country, and, yet, since earliest times, its influence on the world has been rich and powerful. No larger nation did more to keep Christianity and Western culture alive in their darkest centuries. No larger nation did more to spark the cause of American independence, and independence, indeed, around the world. And no larger nation has ever provided the world with more literary and artistic genius.

    It is that quality of the Irish, the remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination that is needed more than ever today. The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.

    For every new nation knows that Ireland was the first of the small nations in the 20th Century to win its struggle for independence, and that the Irish have traditionally sent their doctors and technicians and soldiers and priests to help other lands to keep their liberty alive. At the same time, Ireland is part of Europe, associated with the Council of Europe, progressing in the context of Europe, and a prospective member of an expanded European Common Market. Thus Ireland has excellent relations with both the new and the old, the confidence of both sides and an opportunity to act where the actions of greater powers might be looked upon with suspicion.”

    Full speech available here:
    http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=21

  7. Lius

    Great article David,

    I hope Inda takes his head out of Angie’s big fat butt and reads it.

    The damage the EEC/EU has now done to this country with its cheap and easy Euro, agricultural restrictions and theft of fish stocks far exceeds any small benefits we got from grants.

    • aidanxc

      Yes, they definitely ruined this country, those roads that they helped fund and don’t forget the schools and hospitals. Terrible stuff indeed.

      Also, the standards of quality, environment, social legislation etc have been the ruination of this country. Oh bring back the days when you could just pour pollution into the rivers! Absolutely, the EU has ruined this country.

      • Lius

        aidanx,

        Oh yes, the schools and hospitals that will now have to close to pay the German & French banks that ruined our ecconomy.

        Are you saying that we were too thick to bring in our own “quality, environment, social legislation etc”. Do you not realise that a lot of those regulations were brought to Europe by the Irish?

        • aidanxc

          Ah yes, you’re right. I remember when the Gestapo came in here and forced us all to buy apartments and houses at stupid prices. And of course they held the bankers and the politicians hostage and forced them to do away with regulation.

          Grow up.

          We are responsible for our own predicament though it clearly suits many people to blame ‘others’.

          • Lius

            aidanxc,

            Is your name Merkozy? is your head in a warm, dark, smelly place?

            There must be some logical reason for your lack of sympathy for the desperate people of Ireland who are suffering because of the train wreck that is the EU.

          • paddythepig

            The people of Ireland are suffering because of the trainwreck called the people of Ireland.

  8. Pat Flannery

    That may all be true David but it is not a reason to pull out of the EU. In fact I would argue that it is BECAUSE of the EU that we get on as well as you claim. The Brits were reluctantly forced to respect us in the EU. They never saw us as a “partner” before, just as a subject people from which they extracted cheap food and about whom they told “Paddy” jokes.

    If they pull out of the EU and we follow we will go back to being their navies and skivvies. I lived in London in the ‘60s. I had two college degrees and a professional accounting qualification but was routinely insulted to my face by my work colleagues. It was considered “normal” to belittle the Irish. Before our joint entry into the EU our British “partners” treated the Irish as an inferior race.

    I personally saw “No Irish Need Apply” writ large on public notice boards. You may throw the word “partner” about now but it was unthinkable, indeed laughable, all over Britain before we entered the EU. The Europeans were the first to treat us as “partners”.

    Enjoy your coffee at the Bank station café with your new “partners” (hopefully without the Paddy jokes) but don’t pretend the past never happened. I lived it.

    • michaelB

      Pat, I cannot see anywhere in the article that pretends the past never happened. You say you “lived in it” well it seems to me you still are. what do you propose? Burn everything British except their coal? would that make you less bitter?

      • joe hack

        Burn everything British except their coal? have herd that in yonks . It might be OK to burn the bond holders with their coal

      • aidanxc

        You don’t evan hae to go back to the 60s to find evidence of anti-Irish sentiment in the UK. I got it in the 90s. Admittedly from a minority of people and I would definitely not use it as an excuse to be anti-British. However, you belittle and demean the experience of Pat Flannery.

        We need to accept that the past happened and that many people suffered. We should not brush it all under the carpet and pretend otherwise.

        Secondly, I agree with Pat that by joining the EU we finally got parity of esteem with the other states of Europe (incl the UK) – this was a long time coming and we should not give it up lightly.

        • Eireannach

          The English never have cared about and still don’t care about Ireland. The only English people who come to Ireland are those with inlaws, relatives or ancestors from here. The rest of the English have no interest whatsoever. There are far more French, Italian and Spanish in Dublin than English, even though we speak English and live right beside England. That says a lot.

          • michaelB

            I never knew this Eireannach, fascinating facts. I suppose they dont come here in case they meet people like you

          • Eireannach

            I’m a Fáilte Ireland tour guide Michael, I meet more tourists than anyone else on this site. I know what I’m talking about. You can download the tourist figures for 2012 at FailteIreland.ie, if you want.

          • acoustamajive

            Oh dear Eireannach. Now I get to prove you wrong. I came to Ireland with no relatives or contacts there and stayed for 7 years. I got married and now have I an Irish wife and son. At times, I suffered some stick as the only Englishman in the company or whatever, and very occasionally nastier stuff in pubs, alcohol and all that. So it goes both ways. We are back in UK now (probably temporarily) due to the financial crisis, but still fond of the place. So whoopeee! According to you I must be the only Englishman that “cares” about Ireland or “has any interest whatsoever”. And just to set you right again, the English are the biggest immigrant community in Ireland. We just don’t advertise for fear of attracting the attention of people like you.

          • Pat Flannery

            acoustamajive: “the English are the biggest immigrant community in Ireland”.

            It appears to me that many English “immigrants” are here to take advantage of our better than British welfare system. They seem to have especially “discovered” FAS.

            I checked out several FAS Community Employment projects looking for returned Irish, a subject in which I am very interested and intend to write about. I began to notice an disproportionally high number of English accents and thought I was onto something.

            I asked each one about their prior connection with Ireland – when they left or if born in England, their father, mother perhaps. To my surprise, most replied that they had no prior connection with Ireland whatsoever. Some seemed to think it was actually funny.

            I did not find one Continental person on FAS. I therefore suspect that these English “immigrants” you speak about are the largest non-national element currently in our social welfare system.

            I have never heard of an Irishman going to England to draw the dole. Perhaps the English are smarter than us after all.

          • acoustamajive

            Pat Flannery: I would be very surprised. I hadn’t a clue about FAS until I got here. An then I only heard about it on the Irish news, and the reason? :FAS is run for the benefit of the public sector bigwigs at the helm, and not for the trainees. A diabolical and pathetic quango where Civil Servants cream off their massive wages and all in all, the training is extremely poor. Perhaps you should re focus your aim if you want to prevent money going to waste? I certainly wasn’t a welfare immigrant and all the other Brits I met were in one workplace or another. Hold on though, I’ll tell all my English waster scrounger friends to come to Ireland and get some free training. Hopefully they won’t mind the pathetic quality. I wonder how many would? I’m sure they’d all look at me quite puzzled.

          • acoustamajive

            Oh and you “suspect” that the English are the largest non-national element in your welfare system! I’ll take that to mean you can’t be arsed with the research and prefer to rely on your obvious and substantial prejudices.

            If I had a similar xenophobic agenda, I might have a look at the UK welfare stats to see if there is even one Irish person among them. I’m pretty sure I could blow your other great proclamation out of the water as well. But I don’t, so I won’t.

            You do realise that in a recession, it’s all “Johnny Foreigners fault”. Therefore I don’t blame you and your kind for your attitudes. I hope you see the light soon.

    • Original-Ed

      I was there in the 60′s and it wasnt that bad. Before the Rev. Iain came to prominance there was sometimes an advantage in being Irish. The “rivers of blood speech” from Enoch Powell elevated the Irish into a higher and desireable categority.
      We had some leading Irish personalities to point to, like Eamon Andrews,Dave Alan,George Best and Terry Wogan. When Terry was put under pressure at the start of his broadcasting career he was always able to turn it on it’s head, like when he introduced a contest ” Spot the Deliberate Error” on his afternoon show.

      When the bomb scares started at work and college, the athmosphere did change, but not to the extent that we thought it would. The English tend to be serious and on the surface,not the friendliest people, but nobody can deny the fact that they’re an extremely tolerant lot.

    • Get over it and stop sounding like a wet blanket. It will be a riveting read for sure. Not

  9. A compelling argument for a bit of pragmatism, and a timely one. Having lived in the UK for many years, I can say, as you are no doubt aware, that cultivating the UK-Ireland relationship would face no significant hurdles on the eastern side of the Irish Sea. The problem as always been Ireland’s National Inferiority Complex. Overcoming that would be quite the undertaking.

    btw, Spread over the entire population Ireland consumes, in energy of all forms, less than 120kW hrs per person per day. Electricity consumption is somewhere in the region of 16kW hrs per person per day of that. Since all the trade you mention ultimately requires energy, electricity is a relatively minor problem, in my view.

  10. There is a difference, David, between being dependent on a country (or group of countries) and counting them among ‘our allies’. Just because we are looking up in awesome reverence at them does not mean that they are smiling down benevolently on us. Is this just another example of your bad choice of words that I have pointed out to you before?

  11. Deco

    yes….we have been forgetting about ourselves since the Treaty of Maastricht (in jest).

    To be honest, I have to ask the question.

    Has the Irish state got a plan ?

    Seriously. Just look at the entire behaviour in the last twenty years, since we decided that all wisdom flowed from centralized regulation. Now we have an EU directive on water, and we are all soaking in it. It has gone completely comincal.

    The greatest sacrilege of all would be if an Irish politician asked for an opt out clause on another EU regulation that is supposed to bind everybody to the imperial standard.

    We have forgotten about ourselves, and our own interests. Our state has volunteered itself into servitude.

    A quotation by Benjamin Franklin comes to mind.

    • bonbon

      “For a bowl of pottage” ?

      Not the state, but a very “pragmatic”, “practical”, gang, devoid of any principle, whether economic, cultural, or political (except the Party of course) have walked the country into servitude. This “pragmatic”, “practical”, carry-on is actually British Liberalism.

      Exporting people? What a criminal enterprise! Dare tell the tourists what the countryside is empty and so “charming”, Bord Failte?

      DMcW was in the City, the square mile, he should take a look well away, let’s say Northumberland, and get a very different picture.

      That Square Mile thinks it runs the world, and it has, into the ground. It would be high statesmanship to distance from that Square Mile very quickly. It is the epicenter of the entire doomed financial system.

      The height of humor, is the windbag idea of powering 350,000 British homes with Irish gusts. Exporting weather, what brilliant economics! No-one told the taxpayers (yet) they will foot the bill for cabling.

  12. joe sod

    This article is framed as if ireland was rushing headlong into europe despite what Britain is doing, this did occur in the 1990s when ireland joined the euro. But now the story is about Britain not Ireland. Britain is having trouble coping with a very strong Germany in Europe. Whether Britain likes it or not it is an old european country and its contemporaries are not china, india, brazil or even america but France, Spain, Germany and Holland. This is a reality that other european countries are happy with but not Britain. But I think they are correct to try and counter an over strong Germany

  13. Deco

    To get a grasp of the importance of the UK as a trading partner, just analyze the economy of Munster and South Leinster (outside of Cork harbour). Whether it is hotels, small scall manufacturing, or agriculture, Britain is a key source of economic activity.

    • aidanxc

      Does that make it right or smart to depend on one market? Surely we need to diversify? Putting our eggs in the ‘UK market’ basket is like putting all your investment in AIB shares…

    • Eireannach

      Total crap Deco. I work in tourism, the UK market share has been plummeting extraordinarily since 2007. The future of Irish tourism is the continental European market, the French (you love them, don’t you Deco? 300,000 come here every year) and the Germans in particular.

      It’s partly to do with the euro, partly with the fact that Ireland is a new, undiscovered land for so many French and Germans, but they are the growing markets in Irish tourism, and everyone who works in Irish tourism knows it.

      The only English who visit Ireland have inlaws or relatives here. The rest ‘aren’t interested, to be honest with you’!

      • fecks11

        Have to say for a man in the industry you are quite ill informed, Our German and French visitors (Germans in particular) are not know for their spending. The majority come on bus trips and the luggage compartment of the bus is used to house their lunches and snacks (being in this biz you should know about this) and the “in-laws
        ” and “relatives” are the ones who come over and are out and about spending while they are here. I worked on the periphery of the tourist industry and I can tell you the market you are looking to build will be one of volume but very little else, especially fun.

        • Eireannach

          I’ll forget more than you’ll ever know about tourism in Ireland.

          Here’s a tip for you – expect to see more and more French and Germans in Ireland, even as our economy deteriorates, even if we leave the EZ, even if we leave the EU.

          Ireland will becvome a cheap and romantic plot for fishing and contemplating the stresses of life in the eurocore. The process has begun and as we get cheaper it’ll grow and grow.

          I work in the French (90%) and American (10%) markets mostly.

  14. joe hack

    “Here are the facts that form the basis of an honest economic inventory of the relationship. Some 9.8 million people flew between the Republic and Britain in 2011. This is just under 186,000 per week. Contrast this figure with the overall traffic of Germans coming here per year, which is 400,000.”

    Maybe 400 x 26 nations diversity the numbers are not enough on there own David (how many polish)
    The 400,000 Germans are more likely here on business

    The English that come here are in fact Irish tourists

    David I agree, similar cultures have always made good bed fellows but sometimes those closest are hardiest to get on with as they remind us to much of our selves.(bed fellows get divorced too)

    But some will complain the English forced their culture on us well it is sad to say this is true but we need to move on an deal with it we have been tied to UK against our will but we can be more adult now

    It not just the numbers you post David they are not enough you must try harder and have more coffee at the BANK

    All this traveling you do is damaging my environment do not care about me and 9.8 million people flew between the Republic and Britain.

    The environment and economics – how to have both

  15. ThomasFergus

    Anglophobia and Anglophilia are the twin curses of the Irish psyche. To hell with DeValera and Kevin Myers!

    • Eireannach

      +1 Let’s here more from Hamburg, or Strasbourg, or Emilia Romagna, or Helsinki, or anywhere other than England. God, the world is so much bigger than the Sky News view of the world!

      • aidanxc

        Very true Eireannach. Unfortunately too many Irish people take their information and attitudes from British media (or the Irish Independent – same difference).

        The world is indeed a much bigger place than many of the attitudes posted here would have one believe. Alas, too many of our compatriots feed on a diet of Sky news, Manchester United and the Star / Sunday Times.

        I am not anti-British, I am just pro the-rest-of-the-world. We could learn a lot from it if we just opened our minds.

        • martino

          In Dublin Airport all the TVs are tuned to Sky. I couldn’t get over that when I noticed it first.

          • aidanxc

            And its on in the lobby of most hotels as well. Most tourists must think they’ve landed in the UK.

          • joe sod

            Dublin airport the entry to ireland and run by a state company has a very unirish feel it doesn’t even have a decent irish pub, all international over priced chains such as costa coffee. Dublin airport should be a showpiece of the best of ireland yet you feel like you are arriving in a regional british city. As with alot of things about modern ireland we need to go back before we can go forward again. I think ireland got lost around 1990

  16. billymac1964

    I don’t disagree with your central point about the level of trade between Ireland and the UK. However, you make the mistake of conflating “English” with British when you state: “Over half of British people want nothing to do with the EU, regardless of what Whitehall — or business — thinks.” While this may apply to the UK as a whole where there are around 50 million people in England, the fact is that Scotland is a strongly pro-EU country. I would venture to suggest Wales is nowhere near as anti-EU as Engerland either. In addition, it’s not certain whether when put to the referendum test, the English will prove to be as virulently anti-EU as they appear.
    The other point to bear in mind is that the threat of an in/out EU referendum is designed mainly to gain concessions from the EU to drive the neo-liberal agenda in areas like workers rights, employment protection and environmental legislation. When quizzed in the commons on the day of his referendum speech to identify areas where the UK government wanted concessions, Cameron singled out “social legislation, employment legislation, environmental legislation”. That’s a fairly clear summation of why Tories oppose the anti-EU.

  17. fecks11

    I am from a working class estate and growing up we were raised on a diet of anti British sentiment. The green flag was metaphorically raised and the rebel songs were sung when enough drink had been imbibed.My problem with this was that half of my Mothers family had emigrated to England and had not only gotten jobs and houses they also got a look at how how a society that is not based on Drink and Religion works, where people can become independent thinkers and work their way up the ladder unlike the nepotistic Ireland of that time. What always puzzled me was that when we visited them in Coventry we were always treated more than well by all the people we met. I tried to explain to my friends that the English were not Ireland’s problem but our biggest enemy was ourselves.Growing up in Ballymun we were shunned by many outside of our area and made to feel second class by our teachers who encouraged us to put Santry as our address on job applications because we would not get replies to the Ballymun address.When doing business with our English counterparts I discovered that they are not interested in your address, what they are interested in is can you provide the service they agreed to pay you for. This has always lead me to believe that despite our horrific past which no one can deny was truly appalling, the subsequent assimilation between our two Country’s ensures it would be ridiculous not to forge more closer links and actively look at ways of creating and promoting new ventures together.

    • Adam Byrne

      Spot on, good insights.

    • aidanxc

      Interesting point but I think you will find that the UK is even more class segregated than Ireland. It is true that in Ireland your address can go against you but don’t for a second think that the same doesn’t happen in the UK. The people who didn’t judge you in the UK most likely didn’t have any prejudice against you because they have no idea where Ballymun is.

      I have memories from the 90s (as a teenager) of being refused to be seen by a doctor in the UK because I came from Ireland.

      Yes, we need need to maintain and nurture a good relationship with the UK but we need to grow up as a nation and realise that there is a world of opportunity for us out there beyond Britain.

    • Grey Fox

      I identify wholeheartedly with you down to the geography, well said…

    • In Britain they use postal codes to discriminate

  18. Paris75013

    I agree with Pat Flannery. Being a trading partner with the UK is one thing, but our past is another thing. It’s because of the EU which has set up a structure, that we have actually manage to get on.

    I’ve never lived in London, but have been in Paris for 15 years. I’ve definitely experienced anti-Irish sentiment on a few occasions. And it makes one feel very uncomfortable.

    I much prefer working with French or Germans any day.

    • Today on the pebble beach in Nice with 21C 1pm and lots of blue sunshine I must be the only Irish person here beside the waves .

      Behind me is a large demonstration by French Civil servants seeking a rise since their pay was frozen in 2010 ( not reduced but frozen only ) and all public offices are closed down .

      Monday I witnessed a large contingent of French tax inspectors appear unannounced at the offices of a very successful British Company trying to impose French Tax Laws as they did when Ryanair attempted to operate Irish Tax Laws in France. Business is French Business down here make no mistake about it no-matter.

      We need to mind our own business and know how to do it properly.Unfortunately I have no say in that and I doubt anyone else has .

      • aidanxc

        John,

        Surely the French are entitled to enforce French Tax Laws in France????

        • I am not referring to that . Its French Tax Laws in France without exception or recognition of the tax laws of the parent trading company .

          • aidanxc

            You didn’t say ‘without exception…etc.

            French tax laws must take precedence over a company operating in France. This whole tax-whoring is only benefiting large faceless corporations rather than the citizens of Europe (by the way the same applies to the multi-national tax dodgers here in Ireland.)

            I have no particular allegiance with France but this tax-dodging and tax massaging is just a more sophisticated version of the cute-whoorism that has bedeviled this country for decades and I think it is appalling that you are in some way condoning it.

            Everyone should pay their way particularly large companies.

          • @aidanxc

            You are reading another agenda of your own when misquoting me.I did not say ‘without exception’.

            Ryanair an Irish registered company cannot employ a French national if it lands in France to make a pee without incurring the wrath of French Tax Law and it is the only EU member who operate a rigid tax system without recognising the privy of the foreign employer .

            There are NO Bases of Ryanair in France yet it holds the most Ryanair serviced airports on a national basis .

            My point is France insists on their terms of Membership when Ireland is fodder to the Elite Members of the EU .

            Iceland won their recent Savings Ice Save legal case in Europe when they decided not to pay .Yet Ireland places its tail between its back legs to pee in the pants of the Irish Tax Payers.

            We have no national body of thought that we can TRUST to win our ways no matter who we decide to trade with .

  19. aidanxc

    Yes David the UK is a key trading partner and we should maintain and nurture that relationship.

    However, the argument to continue doing something in the future just because we did it in the past lacks proper foundation.

    First of all, like any good investor we need to diversify our exports business links. The UK is less than 1% of the world’s population and we should aim to reduce our reliance on it as a market. Not for reasons of historical grievance but rather to reduce our reliance on any one market. What do we do if the UK devalues sterling – we suffer as business heads north and exports across the Irish sea decrease.

    We need to develop markets in the countries which are just opening up – the former CIS states, Asia and Africa. The opportunity for Irish businesses in these regions is vast. But it’s not easy. The UK route is easy and it is a lazy economic policy to suggest we continue this dependence on it (or any one market).

  20. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Couldn’t agree more with what you said in your article, David, but as per usual the ‘Anti-Brit’ elements who subscribe to this blog start crawling out of the woodwork, which of course they’re entitled to do, but then again on having stated that particular fact there are some people who are not as quick to criticise the ‘Brits’.
    With a handle like mine I must admit that I am a ‘Plastic Paddy’ having been born in the UK of Irish parents (Cork and Kinsale) along with I also having been educated in the UK, as well.
    Now, as to my point, Ireland is on the periphery of Europe and our nearest neighbour happens to be the UK and all down through the years our neigbour has also been our biggest trading partner, and when the UK along with ourselves and Denmark joined EEC back in 1973 things gradually began to get better for the people of this country. We had access to a much bigger market to sell our goods and to import goods from our new trading partners, which was grand for everyone in that market. But when things began to change by EEC becoming the EU, that’s as far as I’m concerned when everything went ‘tits up’. Then after that we ended up joining a single currency and after a while things went even more ‘tits up’ and now we’re in deep doodoo. Yes, there has been some good come out of we having joined the Eurozone, but at the same time we still happen to be in a deep deep mire. Our government hasn’t got a clue as to how we’re going to get out of the mess that we’re in, and they keep on hanging on to the slim promise of we getting a deal on the so-called Promissory Notes and Bank Legacy debt, but until something positive happens along those lines it’s a case of we having to ‘live horse until we get grass’!!!

    • cooldude

      I agree with you CorkPlasticPaddy. Everything did go “tits up” when the EEC started changing into the beaurocratic, over regulated EU. The European elites used the same tactics of loans and bribery in every European country to persuade them to join. They knew all along that the Euro currency would lead to the very problems we are now experiencing but this was all part of the plan to get nations to give up their sovereignty. Without the economic collapse that was deliberately engineered there is no way they would have got the full integration that was always the original aim.
      They only chance for this country is to do an Iceland and tell Von Rumpoy and all his unelected beaurocratic pals to sod off. Tell them that any debt that is deemed to be fraudulent will not be paid. Then print our own money directly from Treasury and go our own way. Give three year tax exemptions on all new businesses to give our young people a chance to become entrepreneurs. All of this would take some balls which are in very limited supply in this government.

  21. Eireannach

    No CorkPlasticPaddy,

    It’s not about retrograde ‘anti-Brit’ sentiments. The difficult I have with this article, the problem I have always had with DMcW championing of all things British, it’s the appeal he makes to the laziness of Irish people.

    DMcW is saying ‘de boys from Cork’ are beyond in London workin’ away, sur the UK is our biggest morket, we all love the English Premiership and can think of nothing more constructive and productive to do with our lives than enjoy a few creamy pints and talk endless shite about this and that signing and away goals and the rest of it, and we might as well remain in this comfort zone like happy, contented, plump pigs in the preverbial.

    I reject this line of thinking. I salute the Paris75013 and others who live in continental Europe and can come back here and tell us what we can learn from the French, or the Dutch, or the Germans, or the Swedes. The answer is tons and tons of stuff, at every possible level.

    The UK has a class system even more stiff and rigid than the Ascendency aspirations of every Celtic Tiger wedding photo, with the Rolls Royce and the champagne and stawberries. The class system of the UK puts the Lords of the Peerage at the centre, the commoner English next and the ‘Celtic Fringe’ last, with the Irish ‘Paddy last’ due to our geographic and these days political peripherality.

    As Paris75013 says, the French and Germans treat us with more respect on a business level – NOTE: I’m not talking the politics of EU-wide banking oligarchy here, I’m talking about one-on-one business dealings with real people from the continent.

    The EU is telling the Irish government to slash doctors salaries in Ireland, which are twice the salaries of the UK. Would the UK try and sort out the perversities in our ecnomy in this way. I say no! They’ve only ever treated Ireland as a giant beef ranch. That hasn’t changed, you know, and the fact that they don’t come to Ireland on holidays, even out of curiosity, is the statistical proof of the lack of interest about Ireland in England, the SE of England particularly.

    They’re more interested in seeing Old Ceylon, Darjeeling and gin and tonics at Raffles in Singapore, reminiscing on the glory days of C19th, that visiting Cork, Kerry or Connemara in ‘Oirland’, still a great source of jokes for Alan Partridge, who sums up your average Homer Simpson-type England man’s attitudes nicely.

    • michaelB

      Youve got it bad Eireannach and if you work in tourism god help us with those sort of views. You are simply peddaling lazy stereotypes about the English whilst complaining that they have lazy stereotypes about us. Ive lived in the UK for 10 years and your views are so far from the truth its depressing to read.

    • aidanxc

      I agree. We could learn so much from the rest of Europe and the world if only we managed to pull this country out of its inferiority complex. Too many Irish people kowtow to all things British and if you even question this you get labelled as anti-British.

  22. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Eireannach, as michaelB said, you’ve definitely got it bad alright!!
    As for your comments about the French and the Germans treating us with more respect on a business level, well,maybe some of them do, but not all of them!! The way the Germans and the French are carrying on is that they feel that they should be leading the rest of the EU towards further political integration so that we end up being the US of E. Do you really want that to happen??? Well, I for one don’t and I’d say there are millions of others like me, as well!! Were will your sovereignity be then if that happens?? This talk of we progressing further and further down the road to we becoming a European super state has gone far enough and another thing I agree wholeheartedly with all of the comments that have been made by Nigel Farage of UKIP about Herman von Rumpoy and and the rest those who want this to happen as the straw that’ll break the camels back. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!!

    • Nigel Farage is the son of a stockbroker and grew up in the SE of England. He is also a Thatcherite with interesting views on genetics. A wolf with a cute smile and oodles of charm

      I know Eireannach has it bad today but he is spot on when it comes to the myopic outlook of some of the southern english. Northerners refer to them as ‘twats’ for a good reason

  23. Pat Flannery

    Eireannach:

    I am glad we have at least one educated Irish tour guide greeting our European guests with an international perspective, not the narrow jingoistic Brit view of everything “foreign”, that we but-recently-civilized Irish (through the much-abused peace process) are now expected to adopt.

    It seems that there is still a strong West-Brit element in this country, especially in official Dublin, that wants us to crawl back “home” into the UK, where our brief, misguided flirtation with frogs, krauts and misc other wogs (joining the Eurozone) will be graciously forgiven.

    A saying in London in the ‘60s was: “wogs begin at Calais”. I guess some Leopards never lose their spots.

    • BrianMc

      What are you on about?

      There are people from all over the world living in the UK; I should know, I’m one of them.

      There is no one “Brit view of everything ‘foreign’”; perhaps that view is held by the likes of UKIP supporters, but they are a miniscule minority.

      Your comment suggests that it is yourself that is guilty of holding a narrow view.

      Regards,

      • Pat Flannery

        BrianMC:

        My “narrow view” as you put it, is simple: if you Brits (whoever you are, former colonials from “all over the world”, from Finchley or from Rathgar) want to leave the European Union or any part of it, go right ahead but don’t try to take your former slave colony, Ireland, with you. We’re not going back to that.

        Have a nice day.

        • BrianMc

          Who’s suggesting that?

        • acoustamajive

          Pat, your narrow views in this debate are shocking. I’m a Brit and I don’t want to leave the EU. You keep saying “you Brits” etc because in your tiny world, all Brits are the same. “Take you former slave colony, Ireland with us”. What utter rubbish, I can’t stop laughing.

    • You are talking rubbish and looking for allies in this pathetic self-pitying line of debate

      ‘It seems that there is still a strong West-Brit element’

      ‘Seems’ is the most limp wristed and meaningless of verbs.

      So. It seems like there is a strong West-Brit element

      Well now.

  24. joe hack

    “Liger Economy”

    Ligers are sterile oversized and cannot breed;

    National Geographic has a YouTube video of a Liger in the following link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zOWYj59BXI
    We now have a ‘liger Economy’

    Ligers are the result of a male lion (Deutsche Mark) breeding with tiger (Irish Punt) the result is a sterile oversized liger that cannot breed.

    Natural selection has served tigers and lions well but the intervention of man brought about the liger -

    “Liger Economy”-sterile Euro.

  25. joe hack

    “No Irish Need Apply”

    Where have we seen similar types of slogans and sentiment this is not just a UK issue this is all over the place it happens between Galway and Mayo Berlin and Paris, the press rightfully highlight this intolerant attitude

    I am from Dublin and I lived in Galway and London for many years generally I felt more welcome in London than Galway.try get planning permission in Wicklow if you’re from Dublin.

    I am not too sure but David is not asking us to marry the Brits he is suggesting business -

    It’s not personnel its business

  26. aidanxc

    The reason there is strict planning regulations in Wicklow is to prevent it being spoilt by over-development. It’s a smart policy and has helped preserve some of the beauty of Wicklow. It’s a pity other regions didn’t have strict guidelines on housing development.

    • joe hack

      That is rubbish so Wicklow people don’t spoil the view ?

      This is not about Wicklow people per-see the same rules are in others county’s it appears your are suggesting it is OK to spoil my view in Dublin if your from outside Dublin.

      People need to live somewhere their birth place should not come into it.. only Clare people need apply

      • aidanxc

        I said it was a pity other regions (incl. Dublin) didn’t adhere to stricter planning regulations.

        Wicklow isn’t perfect but at least it’s not Achill.

        If a place is going to limit planning I guess there is a good argument that locals get priority.

        The reason many Dubliners had to move to the commuter belt was because of disastrous spatial planning and the poor economic planning of successive governments. That still doesn’t make it right to ruin areas with unrestrained housing developments.

        • joe hack

          Locals get priority is the racism that was practice in the UK Ireland Europe

          Which brings us back to what my poor “English” said

          “No Irish need apply”

          It’s business It’s not personnel

    • Tony Brogan

      Bit like a big game reserve where we can all come and visit and see the people in their natural habitat?

      Germans do that when they come to BC. Having industrialized and become rich they wish to preserve “the wilderness” so they can come and view it. No industrialization allowed here. It will spoil the scenery!!
      Next thing is to be designated a UN world heritage site. Maybe that would be good for Ireland. It would bring lots of tourists!!

      As Joe questioned. how to have development and save the environment too? quandry! Oxymoron?

      Too much regulation kills innovation.

  27. fecks11

    Just looking back over the posts here it is not surprising that we are in the state we are in,Maybe Ireland needs another civil war because some of the people on here are people sharing views that bear no resemblance with anything in real life. The other day I was shocked to my core when the Red C poll showed Fianna Fail are on their uppers again. It just shows how backward a large percentage of the Irish race are.The will never forgive or forget whats happened here with the Brits (and I am not suggesting it should ever be brushed under the rug) but they don’t seem to see what is right under their noses. Germany and France took risks lending their money to our banksters and when the shit hit the fan they demand to be paid in full, where is the friendship or compassion in that, you don’t have to go back in time this is happening right now.

    • joe hack

      some good points;

      but who said anyone is our friend including Germany and France most things are politically/moneyed orientation it called business it’s usually mutually beneficial.

      So what is beneficial now to the our own national self interest????

    • aidanxc

      Sure, the French and Germans wanted their banks to be repaid – but don’t forget, so did the British. They are just as culpable as the rest.

      Also, I think there are possibly 3 themes in the posts here.
      1. British-at-any-cost-sure-don’t-we-all-love-
      Manchester-United
      2. Anti-British-they-ruined-our-lives.
      3. The UK-is-fine-but-the-world-is-bigger-than-the-UK-and-we-should-grow-up-and-stand-on-our-own-two-feet.

      Personally, I’d subscribe to theme 3.

      The market is global. Geographic proximity is no longer the end-all and be-all of everything. We need to embrace this change rather than adhere to lazy economic thinking. The real problem in Ireland is the lack of innovative thinking amongst so many of our people.
      I am disheartened at the parochial thinking put forward by many commentators here. We need to take a bird’s eye view of our progress as a nation since independence rather than get upset at the current crisis. We have made massive progress as a nation and one of the main reasons for that has been the EEC/EU. As part of the British Empire for hundreds of years we were a provincial back water used for cannon fodder and beef. The move to independence has brought great gain and, at times, pain. Only by reaching beyond the narrow geographical reference points that still linger in the Irish psyche can we fulfil the potential that this country has.

      • joe hack

        “As part of the British Empire for hundreds of years we were provincial back water used for cannon fodder and beef.”
        True but as you have put it we need to be adult.

        The UK is our nearest neighbour and so many Irish are living and working there, there is a enforced common langue (love it or hate it) which is a benefit.

        To be more independent we need to respect ourselves and our ability for example; Starbucks create “jobs” but do they?

        They don’t pay tax here, so where is the gain, where does the money that buys there skinny latte come from, defiantly not star bucks, in fact star buck exports money in the form coffee and sandwiches these are imports from outside of Ireland (a net loss for Ireland).

        That means the money that is spent on a skinny latte is already here so why does our government chase after a this type of foreign company after all we are capable of importing our own coffee and making a sambo or two (Starbuck is now owned by TGI Fridays under some sort of franchise arrange now )

        Are we that under confident? It seems som after all we can’t make a cup of coffee and a sambo it seems?

        • aidanxc

          Very true.

          It galls me when I hear an announcement that say, Tesco’s, are going to create 200 jobs somewhere. Nobody mentioned the 300 jobs they will destroy by putting small grocers and butchers our of business.

          Even the likes of Google and Facebook don’t bring the benefit to Ireland that most people think they do. They pay virtually no tax (Google less than 1%) and they get/got grants for being here. People will say that they provide jobs but there is already full employment in IT. So, all Google, FB & co do is make it more expensive for Irish companies to hire staff.

          We need indigenous innovation and we need a government policy that supports not just the start-ups of today but that also creates an environment where people are willing to take risk and can fail without being ostracised.

          We need to to have confidence in ourselves and our ability to compete on a global stage.

          • Tony Brogan

            “We need to to have confidence in ourselves and our ability to compete on a global stage.”

            100% good comment

          • bonbon

            You mean compete with the global banksters? In their theater? Without their toys it’s a no-contest, they are bankrupt.

            “Competition” is for the birds, creative economics is for us.

          • paddythepig

            So it would be good for us if the multinationals upped sticks and left? Classic.

          • bonbon

            Dell upped, and the rest can at any minute. With that “threat” extortion is easy.

      • bonbon

        There is that Tiger “practical” belief that the British Empire does not exist. Amazing the blindspot.

        There is one global empire right now, the British Empire, and Cameron, is full cannon-fodder form is going for a Jolly Little War in Mali, with Obama playing duet.

        To stand on our own two feet means, again realizing what Arthur Griffith faced. A collapsing imploding financial empire.

        Realizing this, means now burn the bondholders. Some are much more foresightful. The future is not something that happens to you, it is something we create!

        • joe hack

          Good stuff BonBon

          “A collapsing imploding financial empire”Arthur Griffith

          He must have been on his death bed when he said that because all they found in his pocket was a Penny.

          I wonder who has that Penny now, maybe it in the pockets of the old lady of Threadneedle Street, she certainly knows how to pick a pocket or two..

          • bonbon

            And no gold. It is said he was very badly affected by the civil war. The British found a way to punish as usual. He realized, perhaps better than Collins, exactly what Lloyd George really was.

      • Tony Brogan

        “3. The UK-is-fine-but-the-world-is-bigger-than-the-UK-and-we-should-grow-up-and-stand-on-our-own-two-feet.”

        Ireland does not need to be swallowed up in a political one world order or even a European political Union. It needs to retain its sovereignty and stand proud and tall. Run its own house and trade with all.

    • bonbon

      You may have noticed the revelations on the Civil War recently, the British hand in the shelling?

      Banksters lent to banksters and all of them hold sovereign nations to ransom now. The raid on Deutsche Bank over Christmas, with 500 police, who came back for more, is a sure indication that this is changing.

      The words for this process are Glass-Steagall. That is under everyone’s nose right now. The picture on the wall of the Good Room, is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appraising the banksters boys.

  28. Paris75013

    Pat Flannery

    +1

  29. Paris75013

    Eireannach,

    1+

    for your comments earlier today

  30. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Going by some of the aforementioned comments the old saying seems to be still ringing through, ‘Ireland is still rearing them!!’

  31. molly

    The uk is a lot like us and a lot like Europe ,the problems we have they have and it seams to boil down to survival ,how many small to medium size company’s are running at a loss for what ever reason.
    The treading position has be come so hard that all the fat is gone off the bone and as employers say what more can we do to try to hold on to what in some cases has been a life time of commitment .
    Then there’s the government spinning fairy tail after fairy tail about how things are going to improve (green something or other) they call it.
    When a country is clearly following a plan that is not working and the plan is being followed for years and is clearly not working is it over the cliff we go.
    How should a country be run or should the merry go round be left to go continuing around and around.

    • aidanxc

      I think at the heart of it all is a dysfunction in Irish economic planning. Not at the edges but at its heart. In this regard we have followed the US and UK models which are not sustainable based as they are on consumption and financial gymnastics.

      Good, sustainable economic planning is about making stuff or providing services that people want to buy. Ireland’s policy is overly reliant on FDI and additionally has a beggar-my-neighbour tax policy.

      We need to work hard making things (or providing services) that we can sell globally. The cute-whoorism of facilitating tax dodging for large corporations should be stopped.

      The reason why Germany works as an economy is because they produce products that they can sell domestically & internationally. Ireland does not do that to any great extent once the multi-nationals are taken out of the equation.

      We love the idea of a quick buck. A quick fix here, a multi-national there, a tax dodge there and we’re all grand. This was at the heart of the boom when the hordes joined in every get-rich-quick scheme.

      We have to work hard, people have to pay their taxes and we have to expand our horizons and compete on a global market. There is no easy solution except hard work, intelligent thinking and a willingness to take risk. [Re-inventing the political edifice would also help...]

      • molly

        Work hard I have work to hard for to long and have watch the fools running the banana republic,the same people who where elected by the people for the people only ,the elected ones lied to get where they are and continue to do so.
        The destruction of this country and the dysfunctional way people have rewarded themselves and what we are left with is a claw back of of pay and conditions witch looks like grinding everything to a stop,why we head in this direction is wrong because its always the wrong people who suffer.

      • Tony Brogan

        Good summary

        • molly

          Qustion how many people in the over forty + bracket would be gone out of this country if they where younger,I feel if I was younger I would be gone .
          The reason I say this is because I have lost all intrest in this country.
          We don’t get change in this country we get sham/ scam back scratching gobshites.
          Gobshites on one hand and self serving cloud nine merchants on the other.
          The government know that heads they win tails they win.
          It’s sad days to sit back and watch Ireland being taken apart like a Lego set.
          When will people wake up and vent there anger,rage and frustration at the government ,people in this country seem to be hiding or on life support,unless you can live of the land you will end up being walked all over .

  32. bonbon

    Facts on the ground, trade numbers, daft elites, Cameron’s ploy and Jolly little War, the ECB and the Troika, Euro, Lisbon, Maastricht…

    All of these are very distracting are’nt they?

    Everybody feel just a little bit like being pummeled into submission? From every direction, reason, irrationality, facts, numbers, terror, slaughter?

    Do you know what this distracts you from?

    The future is not something that “happens to you”, it is something we create!!!

    We cannot touch the future, sense it in any way, but we can create it! So much for facts, statistics!

    Economists need to get their act together and fast.

    Stop distracting people from their future!

  33. transitionman

    Why is it that articles on closer ties to England produce such an emotional response? The business as usual model is falling apart. Economic growth and jobs for all is in decline. Nothing has been reset in a global insolvent banking system. Has the euro/ european plutocratic project a democratic mandate. ? Ireland has no functioning democracy decisions on turning the next generation into compliant debt slaves continues with only visible opposition from a weekly march in Ballyhea / Charleville. ( today google David Hall judgement ).
    Focus on the big two global problems that have no solution riding in behind the financial wave that has yet to crash properly. Energy and Climate are hitting already.Denial is not a solution. It makes no sense to look to centralised Europe or further afield. To trade food and possibly wind energy for goods and energy is practical. Can we discuss what is best for Ireland if England does exit without blind short term thinking that FDI will look to Ireland. Can we look at implications of food production without CAP subsidy.
    Looking here we can hardly have a discussion on dealing with problems of the future. Germany our good european rulers have no problem preparing for the future. You think they run a huge home insulation programme, the biggest global investment in renewables just to keep the economy running? You think they are getting ready to foot the european banking disaster or preparing an exit strategy? We have paid more.We have no Plan A B or C. We do have people capable of preparing several.
    As Diarmuid O Flynn stated
    My question isn’t where do we stand, it’s WHEN do we stand, when do we get off our knees?

  34. redriversix

    No problem with England..England has enough problems of its own.
    Lived & worked in England in the early eighties,it was grand.
    Later years I worked in Transport around U.K & Europe.

    The person or business I least liked working for was “paddy” or a Irish Company,almost impossible to get paid in my experience.The English,Welsh or Scottish would have the money paid in to my account before I burnt a liter of diesel.

    Any chance David,you might spend a couple of hours down in the four Courts and have a look at what is really going on ?

    Some of us on this Blog are trying to do some good things trying to help people and seeing the injustice being carried out every day.

    Theory is really fucking boring and oh so safe.

    • bonbon

      Injustice is in a way “safe”, and horrible things do happen to people.

      To do good is the highest of all motives, and creating a good future the best. Not “safe”, not something familiar, maybe something never even thought of, being so pummeled by events.

      Even so, the spark of creativity wins.

    • Tony Brogan

      Talk always dances around at the periphery.

      Keep up your good work RR6. David , spend a day with RR6

      • molly

        Yes David spend a day with RR6 in the courts and live the real life and not the out of sight and out of reality.
        Life as we know it is changing and not for the betterment of the majority of decent Irish people.
        History always repeats its self so few controll and lead by so many.

  35. bonbon

    From the NO FUTURE ECB Council brigade :

    ECB’s Asmussen Calls for Even Larger GDP Drop in Greece

    Jan. 30, 2013 (EIRNS)–In an interview with the {Sueddeutsche Zeitung} news daily today, ECB council member Joerg Asmussen said: “The situation in Greece is, that they have already made two-thirds of the Marathon run. But everybody knows that at this point, the most difficult part of the Marathon run is still ahead. The country has lost more than 20% of its GDP since the outbreak of the crisis. In Europe, we have last seen that in the transformation countries after the fall of the Iron Curtain.” For Spain, Asmussen called for more in-depth “reforms” in the health sector.
    ….
    This ECB “suggestion” from the future-is-death crowd should be the epitaph of the Euro – “it ran the Marathon and expired at the delivery”. Let’s break up the banks, have a wake for the Euro, and see what Cameron then conjures up.

  36. StephenKenny

    I agree with Transitionman, and I’m not sure that any country is restricted to a single foreign partner.

    The fact that most of the foreign trade is with the UK could just as easily be translated to mean that the low hanging fruit in the UK is all gone, and the effort should therefore go elsewhere.

    If considerable work needs to be done to extend business coverage (as many have been arguing for a long time) perhaps the focus should be on making that fit with the strongest and most forward looking European economies – Germany.

    What’s most revealing about this article isn’t the article, but the immediate polarisation it has caused. In my view, both the pro’s and the anti’s are missing the point.

    • bonbon

      I see the reaction meaning the economists are missing the point, never mind the daft “elites”.

      People do not submit to Adam Smiths Moral Sentiments, actually. Nor to factual pummeling, or fear, however might it appear to Adam Smith followers of various stripes (or crossed bars).

    • Tony Brogan

      Save your powder and reserve your options.Agree Stephen

  37. joe hack

    “Cameron makes surprise attack on Libya”

    From the Irish Times online

    • bonbon

      Cameron is lurching in British Imperial mode, for a Jolly Little War, reported in the London Guardian by columnist Simon Jenkins, who nevr uses that infamous phrase – the air is thick with it.

      Have a look in Tralee at the old court house Crimean war memorials to the dead. I am sure some liberal will try to knock it down. That record is a stark reminder of what empire really means.

      • joe hack

        “Cameron makes surprise attack on Libya”

        That should have been

        “Cameron makes a surprise visit to Libya”

        Opps! nearly started a war; typos are dangerous!

  38. Tony Brogan

    As the debate rages as to the best thing to do.
    Ranting andy says
    “However, it is your job to explore the ENTIRE world around you; and from this “due diligence,” discern REALITY from PROPAGANDA.”

    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=n7vdaxbab&v=001yqHNAgdI3Xin6xOgqQxsWAnP4mjtzLtNRLbTt4Kb8HEsM0xLrB2tXdIKeszN6EkcfIxpzVOWuVz3MvMjYOtYAWrfD8mqwcUBIjQeLkMlhNGgrbqlRheOztmvYADXFifj

    Spend a couple of hours and decern what is going on in the new world order of lies and manipulation

    Ths final admonition to “Protect Yourself” applies as much to Ireland as a country as it doues to you as an individual.

    Ireland needs to assert itself as a unique entity within the association of nations without being bound by anything else than its own wellbeing and that of its people.

    • bonbon

      And Ireland’s future. As all Nations need to pursue happiness. Sovereignty means creativity. Cowering, protecting, trembling in fear is no future. Dump “admonitions” !

      Economists, mostly and morally, are simply not up to the job at the moment. Those that knew about the future, Hamilton, Griffith, Carey, List, FDR are really human, We are told by Adam Smith not to concern ourselves with this, rather the immediate passions, and let “others” deal with it. Well, we see the result of the “others”.

      So dump Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments, admonitions. Be human now.

  39. dwalsh

    Now I understand better your general anti-Euro stance David.

    During the Queen’s visit it crossed my mind that perhaps the UK was mending fences with an eye to the future! The UK elites would have seen what might be coming; and perhaps would like to take us with them. Our agricultural assets are considerable. Food security will be important in the years ahead; especially in the light of potential global economic and/or environmental disruption.

    Not sure where I stand on this myself at this time; but what you say makes some sense alright.

    • bonbon

      Not much food is produced in the City. Food futures yes, edibles no.

      There is a choice of where to stand at this time : let it happen to you or create the future. Liberals prefer the “let it happen to me”.

      Liberalism is suicidal.

    • joe hack

      Good point “agricultural assets are considerable” in fact we are one of the very few country’s that can feed ourselves without outside help.

      During the WW2 One of the biggest fears Churchill had was been cut off, at that time the Uk was only capable of feeding 60% of the population they depended greatly on imports I would imagine with the rise uk population since then that this has not improved.

      Not to care about us economically

      • dwalsh

        Exactly right Joe. They need us.

      • bonbon

        Modern agriculture which every European, American nation, and Russia, China … has access to means there should be no hunger.

        So what’s going on ? Biofuels quota’s, freezing of research into hybrids, green products, total lack of farm machinery or transport in Africa. This is without any shred of doubt a genocidal agenda, planned, executed, and “managed”.

        So put on the table, firmly, no flinching, doubling food production now, massively supplying Africa with modern agriculture and transport. At a fraction of the bailout costs.

        The you see the mass-murderous reality of bailouts.

      • StephenKenny

        If the UK had a food supply problem, the accompanying social and economic problems would make any, and every, thing else, irrelevant.
        The news would start to look like a dystopian movie.

        • joe hack

          Imm not to sure if the Uk (or should that be uK no fuck it’s uk) would care about us they would just send over some there war plane from their department of attack and tell to give them sack of spuds or else.

  40. wills

    Time for Irish people to concentrate on local industry and commerce.

    The days of export markets leading the way is old hat.

    The future is local.

    • bonbon

      Who says? The future is created. Concentrate on that.

    • joe hack

      Well wills, from an environmental standpoint it never made any sense ships travelling back and forth, to and fro, across and all over the place with stuff in search of cheap labour all the sucking diesel out of the earth and pumping out CO2

      The cost of fuel is making people revise this there was a time when we had a rag trade here. now we ship sheep fleeces to here and there, then they ship them back as pair of knickers or jeans even tea cosy’s come from all over to just keep me Chinese tea warm an expensive way to save insulate tea.

      I guess our sheep wool goes to china or India and comes back as tea cosy with the tea.

      Don’t mention the east India shipping company

  41. Tony Brogan

    From Midas du Metropole

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013
    IMF Confirms Chinese Yuan/Renminbi Set to Become a Global Reserve Currency

    The IMF has confirmed the Yuan/Renminbi is set to become a Global Reserve Currency at an Economic Forum in Hong Kong.

    With China’s economy gaining global strength, the renminbi is set to become a global reserve currency, Zhu Min, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Tuesday at an economic forum in Hong Kong.
    Yesterday I wrote about the crossborder loans China was doing, before the Yuan becomes a Reserve Currency, their saying the “unloved dollar’ and the amount of gold they are importing. Besides the rumors of them backing their currency by gold.

    David Morgan of the Morgan Report and Silver-Investor.com did an interview with me about the subject, Germany’s gold and the Silver shortage/manipulation.

    David mentioned that things take time to happen and as I add on the third part of the interview is that it already has been years and maybe the situation will start going faster.

    It seems to me with the Yuan being called a Global Reserve currency now even by China itself, they have laid out the ground work for changes to be made in a short amount of time. China does not reveal their hand until everything is already said and done. Considering the dollar has been the only “Global Reserve” currency for decades but this month the Yuan is becoming attached with that name.

    The dollar demise has been talked about for years now. Many had been saying “anytime” but it has been long and drawn out. China is very smart as they take their time and put everything in place before they reveal or make their big moves. Has the time now come?

  42. Tony Brogan

    More from Midas

    The Premier of China had gone to Saudi Arabi and Dubai a year ago. He stayed a week there having meetings and making agreements.

    SHARJAH, UAE – China signed economic and trade agreements worth 100 billion yuan ($16billion) with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as Premier Wen Jiabao wrappedup a six-day visit to the Middle East on Thursday.
    The first currency swap agreement with Arab nations, worth 35 billion yuan, was also signed inAbu Dhabi, Wen told the Fourth Arab-China Business Conference in Sharjah on Wednesday.
    Are those agreements now coming into fruition? Is Saudi Arabi ready to be one of the last Middle Eastern countries to trade in something other than the “Petrol Dollar?” If Saudi Arabia begins oil trade in something other than the dollar, then it really is game over for the dollar as the Global Reserve Currency and any strength it now has. It only has strength because all of the other countries are devaluing their currencies against the dollar for trade. With the Fed printing the dollar non-stop, currency wars are raging, no one wants to have the strong currency due to trade and their products being un-affordable to other countries.

    But once the dollar is no longer a worry or concern for trade then all the other countries will be able to stop their currency devaluations against the dollar because a new Global Currency backed by Gold will be the hero of the world. The only country that will be left all to itself with their inflating currency will be the United States.

    It seems the proximity of this occurrence is now much closer with both the IMF and China itself using the words “Global Reserve Currency” for the Yuan.
    http://sherriequestioningall.blogspot.com/2013/01/imf-confirms-chinese-yuanrenminbi-set.html

  43. Tony Brogan

    It is going to cost you to deposit your money here!! Negative interest rates are the new rage.
    ——–
    Last month, UBS and Credit Suisse imposed negative interest rates on short-term cash deposits in an attempt to stem inflows from investors seeking a haven from the eurozone crisis.

    Some gold investors began shifting holdings from unallocated to allocated accounts — which are generally more expensive — at the beginning of the financial crisis. Unallocated holders can lose their investment if a bank fails, but holders of allocated gold are protected.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/46c25732-6a10-11e2-a7d2-00144feab49a.html#axzz2JNOSZAW3

    -END-

  44. Tony Brogan

    Astonished gold market analysts note FT’s praise for GATA

    Submitted by cpowell on 01:22PM ET Tuesday, January 29, 2013. Section: Daily Dispatches

    4:04p ET Tuesday, January 29, 2013
    Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

    Astonished notice of today’s praise of GATA by the Financial Times has begun to come in from those gold market analysts who have managed to pick themselves up off the floor.

    The daily note from John Brimelow’s Gold Jottings says: “In a development which will be astonishing to veterans of the Gold Wars, the Financial Times today, in a discussion emphasizing how drastic the Bundesbank’s shift to transparency about its gold activities has been, salutes the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee. … GATA has been completely justified in its complaints that its views have been excluded from the mainstream media for years. This is a remarkable development.”

    And Mark O’Byrne’s daily note at GoldCore says: “Those who have dismissed the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee or GATA as ‘conspiracy theorists’ may now wish to apologise and acknowledge the documentation and evidence that GATA have amassed over the years.

    “GATA have long made a strong case that certain banks may have been manipulating gold and silver prices lower, in the same way that banks conspired to rig LIBOR and interest rates. … The FT article is an important development and may help bring about a free market in gold and silver. This should lead to a revaluation of precious metal prices to the higher levels that have been expected by more astute analysts for some time and which are merited due to the very strong fundamentals.”

    The GoldCore commentary is posted at GoldSeek here:

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1359464400.php

    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

  45. Morning

    Nothing like a piece on the Brits to get the juices flowing.

    I am writing this listening to Amy Winehouse (Russian/British Jew) singing ska (Jamaican/African/British) produced by an Irishman. Get over it. Our world history is full of awful things done to people by others, but what keeps us all sane is the knowledge that we are really all not that different. With respect to us and the British, I think the best way to see it is as Freud suggested that some of the greatest hatreds are driven by “the narcissism of small differences”.

    I am open to criticism on this, it is just what I feel.

    Maybe it is because I am a bit of a mongrel with four grandparents from four separate ethnic groups, but I see the modern world as essentially mixed and tolerant.

    As for the facts of the ground, it has to be clear to even the most blinkered that we are part of the big tolerant Anglophone world in terms of culture, trade, emigration etc and what’s wrong with that?

    The thing I object to most is that our civil service is driven by such nationalism and anti-British feeling that we are trying to shoehorn ourselves into a continental straight-jacket based on an entirely fictitious narrative which has no bearing in reality.

    All the very best

    David

    • joe hack

      “the modern world as essentially mixed and tolerant”

      A little bit to much of the rose tinted glasses must it Ja Music your listening to

    • Tony Brogan

      “that we are trying to shoehorn ourselves into a continental straight-jacket based on an entirely fictitious narrative which has no bearing in reality”

      True enough, dump the euro and trade with whomever.Steer your own ship, and be master of your fate.

    • Lord Jimbo

      But the Irish Civil Service or primarily the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade has moved on enormously, relations with the British are at an all time high, in fact I can’t think of another period in hundreds of years when the situation was as good as it currently is. There are cross border organisations and plenty of meetings, there is the British-Irish Council. I don’t see any evidence of resistance on behalf of those who run the system in Ireland when it comes to the British.

      I would find it hard to conceive of us joining the Commonwealth, which some people advocate, I think with our history that would be a step too far, but if closer relations with Britain gnerally helps the economy and in turn the Irish people then I am for it.

    • Did not Freud also say that Psychoanalysis is wasted on the Irish?

    • Original-Ed

      You have to consider the reasons why people join our Civil Service in the first place. The majority of the older one’s – those now making the big decisions – joined primarily for security of employment. All encouraged to be ideologues and believe in the “ the we alone” patriot or traitor mantra espoused by the education system.
      Is it any wonder then, that they find it difficult to have that “Damascus” moment and move on from the martyrdom and mythology flogged into them in their past.

      I must admit that I never heard of Adam Smith at school and neither did our civil servants from that era.
      The emphasis was all on getting through exams to get that state job and let some other idiot generate the wealth – the idea of going into business was a big put down. The results are there for all to see, the belief that only foreign MNC’s can do the job and what they want , they must get. Our European agenda is being dictated by them.

    • bonbon

      DMcW,
      “tolerant Anglophone world” – have you any idea what that British Liberalism is doing to the world right this very minute? Where did the biofuel madness originate, how many wars and immanent threats of the use of nuclear arsenals per day do we hear? Where is the greatest financial catastrophe in history taking place? What tolerance did Britain show to Iceland about bailouts?

      To say then Ireland is part of this insanity because of the language is really daft. Ireland is part of the mess because of the British Empire, and the City of London where you had that coffee, is the epicenter of this. Some Irish tried to play “offshore-onshore” for the City, in the Euro.

      Let’s not tolerate this any further, burn the bondholders and split the banks right across the Anglophone world. Those of the Francophone and others who also played along will howl other epithets but we know well the language used here.

    • molly

      If hitler was still alive today I am sure he would still have his followers just as some Irish government TDs past and present have there followers and we should forgive all including banksters and don’t forget the greedy.

    • Eireannach

      Childish remark DMcW!!

      Pas mal d’entre nous sais parler des langues du continent.

      Lot’s of us know more about continental Europe than you McW, and we are PRO_EZ and PRO-EU and you need to grow up and realise you’ve been out-evolved by a younger, more dynamic generation that you, you old git.

  46. Adam Byrne

    I have lived and worked in 8 different countries in my life so far (with more to come!) and people are the exact same everywhere (good and bad, intelligent and stupid, kind and mean, etc. etc.).

    That’s why I believe that labels like nationality, sovereignty and so on are a pile of crap. Likewise I can’t stand passports, borders, immigration controls etc.

    I play the game where I have to, keeping the bigger picture in mind, but I’m always looking for a way all around these ridiculous concepts.

    Citizens of all countries are robbed blind each and every day by governments, banks, corporations, civil service institutions etc. and these entities just love to hear you all bickering about which country is better than the other – it’s classic divide and conquer tactics.

    I’d never be fooled by all that and get dragged into a sovereignty debate (particularly hate that ridiculous word sovereignty).

    As a wise Caribbean man once told me ‘I above dat’.

    Here he is (on the right):

    https://www.facebook.com/SpidersBarDominica

    For the record, I lived in the Isle of Man for 2.5 years and London the same, and was treated marvelously in both – especially when I showed my willingness to work hard and keep the moaning to a bare minimum.

    My best friend and best man (second marriage!) is also English. Who cares?

    • Tony Brogan

      Spiders Bar is the place to be.

      See your point of view Adam

    • joe hack

      “sovereignty” I agree it is selfish but that is the world we live in and I guessing you did not travel or live live in the country’s are not dying in war or famines?

      You may know this but we live in the top 10% of rich nations in the world so is easy to travel and see the world your way.

      Like all Rose of Tralee contestants I want world peace too so do the people in Mali.

      Adam Byrne freedom to travel does not apply most people of the world if it did they would all be in the one location…thank your luck stars that you are in the top tier of the world populations

      • Adam Byrne

        Ireland, Isle of Man, England, Hungary, Commonwealth of Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, United States.

        Plenty of poverty in the two Caribbean nations, not so much elsewhere, although not non-existent and increasing (especially in Hungary and the US).

        In my experience, you can get in anywhere if you try hard enough, that’s not just from my perspective but plenty of ingenious, resourceful, hard-working, motivated people from the Third World, somehow escape and make a better life for themselves abroad, or else improve their lot at home. Not all, but some.

        Respecting local cultures, integrating with local people, learning local languages and dialects is key (and immensely enjoyable).

        Anyone see the documentary on RTE last night called LIFERS? I’m no fan of the church but some of the ‘maverick’ missionaries in it were doing great work. Parts of the program, especially that in Papua New Guinea, reminded me of Dominica, although Dominica is not as poor. Haiti, our close neighbour is though. As poor as Dominica is (Dominicans go everywhere to do menial jobs – plenty go to study and better themselves too), we even get Haitians in Dominica doing the jobs that the Dominicans don’t want to do! Just shows you how everything is relative, but as I said, I believe through experience that people are people everywhere.

        Check this out if you get a chance:

        http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10107030/

        If freedom of travel was universal, we would not all be in the same place because wealth would spread more evenly, more easily and most people prefer to remain close to where they were born, given a chance.

        Universal freedom of travel and a equal spread of global wealth is what an enlightened world should be aiming for. That won’t happen in my lifetime, considering the evil people we have in charge (and that includes the likes of James Reilly and Enda ‘the muppet’ Kenny) but I won’t stop trying to do my bit.

  47. reddy

    Eireannach starts a comment: “It’s not about retrograde ‘anti-Brit’ sentiments.” Then ends the same comment with “‘Oirland’, still a great source of jokes for Alan Partridge, who sums up your average Homer Simpson-type England man’s attitudes nicely.”

    As a tour guide he knows so much about the Irish tourism industry and tourist numbers. About as much as the guy behind the bar at Dublin Airport.

  48. Pat Flannery

    David:

    It is you who is trying to shoehorn us back into an old straight-jacket “based on an entirely fictitious narrative which has no bearing in reality” — the deathly grip of British “benevolence”. Full EU membership has released us from centuries of the “tolerant Anglophone world” straight-jacket you so admire and obviously miss.

    Thank God for the EU. Roll on a full U.S.E. When it happens Britain will revert to what it always has been, an island “nation of shopkeepers”, only this time reduced to one shop – the City of London’s “financial services” shop run by a cadre of secretive, greedy money changers. Dickens knew his London well.

    Go ahead all you happy anglophile warriors, move to insular London on the Thames, where you can build your modern Aladdin’s Cave, safe in glorious isolation. But let Ireland revert to what it has always been, an open port, an Atlantic staging point for trade and culture between three great Continents, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

    This was precisely why Tudor England closed Ireland down: we were too chummy with Continental Europe.

    Ireland has a magnificent future if it can get in touch with its unconquered past. Greek, Roman, Islamic, North African, Scandinavian and Nordic peoples all met and traded here. It was the trading and cultural crossroads of the ancient world.

    And so it can become again, if it can only rid itself of the stifling, sniffing, insular straight-jacket of “Mother England”. Ireland is European. Always has been.

    Have a nice day David.

    • cooldude

      Do you actually live in this country Pat. Because if you do I would love to see where this “magnificent future” is showing any sign whatsoever of springing into life because I just don’t see it. We were sold an “entirely fictitious narrative” with this whole EU project. We were issued loans/bribes call them what you want to get in on this project. Then we had the single currency Euro project which was always going to cause the exact problems we are now witnessing not just here but throughout Europe. I don’t think the 50% of young people who are unemployed feel they are looking at a magnificent future. My view, and that of many others, is that this was all deliberate to destroy the nation state and force us economically into this bureaucratic mess that is the EU. This is all part of a process of destruction of nation states and individual human rights. It is being deliberately manufactured and is heading straight towards another crisis, probably an inflationary related currency crisis, which will then be used for further loss of freedom and further debt servitude. Here is a good article which looks at who the organizations are that are pushing this agenda

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-31/guest-post-linchpin-lie-how-global-collapse-will-be-sold-masses

      • transitionman

        Cooldude
        Good article on the psychopatic elite game. Same Davos elite mindset who map the landscape of ideas that hinder action on climate change that will affect their status.
        “With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era. It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet. The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place.”

        Its like the Irish Times ad on TV ask WHY. Basic and simple answer
        Food and Energy
        How do you sell to the Irish masses( very small numbers) that we have a chance to avoid the worst of what is to unfold in the next few years?
        I see some surprise from commentators here as to what we have on this isolated island why do you think I keep referring to low population density that once supported 8 million pre-industralisation plus robbed/ exported surplus food.
        Only way I can think of is one step at a time literally expose the current robbery of the state.
        Support David Hall start your own Ballyhea. Ratoath in Dublin starts next Sunday.

      • Tony Brogan

        Agree Cooldude

        But there is no solution until there is recognition of the problem.

        All nation states are under attack as you point out by the small cabal of international finaciers lead and coordinated by Rothschields et al.
        Part of that is the financial center operating from London but in no way British (the British are as much a victim here)and part the implimentation of the Euro as constructed. It is a monopoly enterprise foisted on the people. No other business is allowed the privileges allowed the bankers.

        Throw off the currency international bankers yoke and utilise the resources of the counrty to have your own treasury debt free money issued at no cost or interest. Only then will Ireland be free and and able to be prosperous.

    • Original-Ed

      Nonsense, what have we got to trade ? We’ve damn all products, other than food – the services side is practically all foreign and doesn’t employ all that may – we’re no Singapore.
      All we have to offer is low tax and that strategy can be emulated by others.

    • bonbon

      I’m afraid the Tiger attitude is rubbing off there, and the popular American total refusal to even mention truth, “I don’t go there”. This is a very corrosive combination, the worst of all possible worlds!

      The U.S.E, is Churchill’s idea, a couple of months later propounded by British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. The Euro is Robert Mundell, Canadian – the Royal Dominion. The U.S.E has destroyed the sovereignty of all European nations already, allowing the bailout rape to proceed. The City of London, where DMcW took coffee, is running the U.S.E.

      So time to dump that American “pragmatism” which is an accented British Liberalism (in Tiger wool), and realize Obama serves the Crown, as do all the running boys here (while spouting Irish if necessary).

      About the same situation in 1776 and 1919.

  49. SLICKMICK

    The UK loses 50,000 British citizens to net emigration each yr. Irish people are viewed as a handy replacement.

  50. Pat Flannery

    cooldude:

    On the contrary, the EU is the only defense against the money-lending oligarchical economy being foisted on the world by the greedy City of London and Wall Street Mandarins. It is not the German Republic or any other republic in the EU that is trying to destroy your nation-state. They don’t care how you govern yourself as long as you pay your bills.

    Perhaps a small glimpse of Ireland’s potential “magnificent future” is the number of multi-nationals that choose to locate in Ireland rather than in Great Britain. If Britain is the future why are they not in London, the anglophiles’ center of the world?

    The reason is because the modern world rightly sees an independent Ireland as an open global economy, as did the ancient world, a place where any race can come and prosper. Ireland has been a true multi-race society from time immemorial. Britain only became open with the collapse of its Empire when it was forced to accept former colonials. Before that it was a dark brooding place, full of superstition and obsessed with imaginary threats from across the English Channel. The ordinary Londoner did not handle this influx very well. Try watching a re-run of Alf Garnet some time.

    Yes I live in Ireland and know it well, both its history and its present economic condition. But I have gained an international perspective by having lived in a Pacific Rim melting pot called California for many years. I am a Californian by inclination, a naturalized American citizen, full of outward-looking optimism and belief in the human spirit.

    To paraphrase FDR, the only thing the Irish have to fear is their own conquered spirit. They just have to get out from under that dark cloud of a colonized mind. They will not find the inspiration they need in a café at London’s Bank Station. David McWilliams is pointing them in the wrong direction.

    You and his blog disciples will always be able to find someone or something to blame. You allowed a bunch of hoodlums called the ‘Maple 10′ to run their own bank, appropriately named the Anglo-Irish Bank (not the German—Irish Bank) that destroyed your country. You now expect the EU to bail out your bailout of these 10 corrupt developers?

    Face it. You did it to yourselves. Maybe when you accept that, you may start to create real jobs and bring your sons and daughters back home. Or maybe they prefer to be just Paddies at Bank Station.

    • Adam Byrne

      I agree, Irish people need to get real and start taking responsibility for themselves. Stop voting in corrupt and incompetent gangsters for a start.

      There is absolutely tonnes of potential and opportunities in this country. Boundless I would even say.

      If we get our heads out of our own arses for five minutes we might realize this and then things can kick on.

    • bonbon

      It is indeed very Californian to excuse Churchill, Sir Oswald Mosley’s U.S.E, and Obama – face it you elected this nutcase TWICE, but it was Europeans who gave him a PEACE PRIZE!

      You allowed Wall Street to hold the U.S. taxpayer to ransom for astronomical bailouts, your fascination with money lets the banksters off the hook.

      FDR’s day was very different – there must be a Pecora Commission immediately, the only thing stopping it is the rotten Congress, exactly the same as the FF/FG here – rotten to the soul. That is called British Liberalism, very accented, nonetheless.

      Look At Obamacare – where dou think that came from? Mr Blair’s N.I.C.E, National Institute for Clinical Excellence (or as the English say, citizen elimination). You allowed this to arrive in D.C., unable to muster enough resistance in Congress. You are being given the British Empire treatment, you will end up as a Mega Greece. FDR would never allow that.

      So the Transatlantic region is in real trouble, and California has not recovered from the European Governator Arnie. It was a very bad idea to buy an Austrian Governor, don’t ye ever learn?

    • cooldude

      Hi Pat, I admire your “outward looking optimism and belief in the human spirit” In the long term I am hopeful but only after we, all people not just the Irish, ditch this parasitic banking elite off our backs and stop their control over what we use as a medium of exchange. Only if we do this do we have any real hope of a bright future. We are living under an economic system that is specifically designed to turn us into obediant little debt slaves. This all starts with our debt based money which is under the control of the central bank system who all answer to the BIS whose shareholders are the elite banking families. These guys run the whole show including all the politicians and until their little pyramid is overturned our situation will just get worse. This is a global problem and any country who refuses to play ball such as Libya is taken out.

      I don’t think David would consider me a disciple as he is a believer in the present global policy of increased liquidity and negative real interest rates. My view is this is just creating further problems down the line and the solution lies in eliminating the central banking system which has now clearly failed. I do admire his honesty and the different viewpoints exchanged on this blog. I didn’t agree with the bank bailout and I still don’t. I think it is still possible for the State to demand the return of all loans to the banking sector within six months. This would give people ample time to remove their money from the ones that are bankrupt through their own reckless behavior. I don’t expect the EU to bail out anyone. All they want is more control and they aim to achieve this through debt slavery.

    • BrianMc

      Wow. Those lads from Cork are just “Paddies” are they..
      Interesting.

    • Tony Brogan

      Not sure Pat how you reconcile

      On the contrary, the EU is the only defense against the money-lending oligarchical economy being foisted on the world by the greedy City of London and Wall Street Mandarins

      with

      The reason is because the modern world rightly sees an independent Ireland as an open global economy, as did the ancient world,

      As long as Ireland remains tied to europe and in particular the Euro, it is not a free and independent country. Ireland is governed and regulated by Europe almost as much as it was in times past by Britain, and now with not disimilar results.

      Ireland needs to drop the Euro but not bind itself to Britain again. That means an independent monetary system of a free and independent people.

      To have this would be the final step to freedom as a people. A full and open society trading with the world not just selcected sectors while still under feudal monetary control.

      • Pat Flannery

        Tony:

        I don’t see membership of the Eurozone as a problem like many here do. Money, any money, is merely a medium of exchange. I don’t get hung up on what is used to facilitate exchange, whether it is pretty shells, gold, silver, London paper, Wall Street paper or Frankfurt paper, it doesn’t matter to me.

        Ancient Irish traders didn’t much care what they brought back from the Continent of Europe for their cargo of Irish wolf hounds so long as it was fungible in Ireland or elsewhere. Nothing has changed.

        It doesn’t much matter what facilitates the exchange of goods and services so long as trade happens. We mustn’t get hung up on the medium of exchange any more than how goods are transported or by whom.

        Ireland was and can again become a great neutral place to exchange stuff. That is all I am saying. We now have the Internet and can be the eBay of the world. What a nice ring that word “eBay” has.

        The Vikings, who preferred trade to raid, would have loved the Internet. We can again become the assembly point and trading “bay” between America, Europe and Africa. That’s what Michael Dell did before he got too greedy and forgot why he came here.

        We Irish need to stand back, look at the map of the world, study what people are buying and selling from each other and set up our stall. We are blessed as a crossroads people. Let’s use it. Again!

        • Tony Brogan

          Hello Pat

          i think we are agreed on the general principle that
          ireland needs to bet off its butt and free itself. The one issue I have is with the medium of exchange. rightly it does not matter what it is as long as it works as a neutral catalyst to execute the means for efficient trade.

          What has happened is that the world currencies have been usurped by a cabal for their own profit to the detriment of all others.

          A free people must have a free currency. It matters not whose currency it is but in the absence of a free and proper money system it is mandatory that one forms one for ones own use or all else is in vain.
          The money system must be the least corruptable available.

          It is quite apparent that the currencies are all controlled. All are issued by bankers through their commandeered central banks. All currency is issued as a loan and is as such a debt. All debt charges interest. It is the contined borrowing of those currncies plus the accumulating interest that is suffocating the world’s economy.

          Until that system is put aside and integrity returned to the money there will be no solution. There will be catastrophe.

          The solution offered will be more centralized control and less and less freedom. This tightening noose is the Euro and the enfolding politics of constriction from Brussels. It is the Patriot Act and the removal of Habeas Corpus in the US.

          i live on the US border and am resolved not to enter the US If I can avoid it. A finger pointed at me for any reason and I have no legal rights and neither does any person landing or residing on US soil.

          To break the CABAL power the currency must be liberated so in my opinion and that of many others is that the medium of exchange is crucial. Until the money is free then neither are the people.

          Enjoy your return but beware your loss of liberty while there.

          Best
          Tony

          • Tony Brogan

            It is total c–p that ‘gold bugs’ are stigmatized as fringe lunatic idiots, since we were ‘right’ first, right all along, and right for the right reasons. We can be insulted, spat upon, stigmatized and laughed at; and marginalized and portrayed as lunatics until the cows come home. BUT, we were more correct – and longer so – than any ‘intellectual group’ or individual that did not and does not believe in hard money.

            -Bill Holter, Miles Franklin

            I like that quote–T

        • bonbon

          The Vikings, berserkers in their own language, did know their maps though, unlike the Tiger’s today. The Arctic is now open for business, again, and Ireland is at that crosslane. Have a look at the Arctic Development, with ney nice maps, and re-orient. The Eurasian Landbridge, well documented and detailed can link to this. China has already crossed with its first icebreaker, to Iceland. Russia then is then strategic partner.

          Shopkeepers, though have not the slightest inclination to build the Shannon Deep Water harbor, nor the transport lanes to Europe. So the quaint fiction of “stalls” is rather dated, in the Adam Smith mode of servitude widely and popularly touted.

          The irony in all of this is that Arctic lane was open before and used by Vikings (Norsemen).

          • Pat Flannery

            I was thinking more in terms of today’s Longships. They are called Airliners.

            Check out this site http://uk.flightaware.com/live/

            Follow the trail of the modern Viking ships of the air, where they come from and where they are going. You will find that the modern world of commerce is going literally over our heads, while we argue over scraps of paper called money.

            Ireland is sleepwalking through a golden age of Internet commerce, still worshipping Medieval gods.

            Been to church lately? Listen to the language of Christian worship. It is full of Feudal language, still worshipping European Feudal “Lord” gods.

            Perhaps Ireland’s greatest tragedy was the defeat of the Norsemen at Clontarf by a fanatical Christian king from County Clare called Brian Boru.

            Incidentally Christians attacked the Norsemen’s homeland before they descended on Ireland and Christian Europe to wreak retribution. They don’t teach you that in school.

          • bonbon

            Air Freight, has no real impact on goods transport. Looking at the Eurasian Landbridge, we are talking about serious tonnage, and at 500 kmh. The difference with both air and maritime, is rail involves actual good production along the way. This breaks the British Imperial maritime Adam Smith’s notions right there. This is why rail is so important for both the americas and Eurasia.

            And The Vikings/Norsemen did trade over land as far as Baghdad, and Venice organized them to attack Ireland – the target was Charlemagne. You can see the Runes on the lions of the Doges Palace gates.

            Today the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the modern Vikings, are again being used by Cameron and Obama, for the same purpose – an attack on civilization itself. The imperial instinct is reptilian.

          • Tony Brogan

            Beserkers were a particular brand of fighter who lost their cool in battle and “saw Red”. Vikings on the whole were farmers, homesteaders and traders.

          • bonbon

            Norsemen and Vikings are often conflated. The Vikings from Jutland were the enemies of Charlemagne. Their specific mission, which led them to Ireland, was to destroy the civilizing influence which was well known the be the Schotten – the Irish. Alcuin, Charlemagne’s advisor was trained in Kells. Venice, the arch enemy of civilization, written out of history, is the key to understanding the Vikings.

      • Realist

        EU is not giving you the freedom at all.

        As your government is making your life miserable, how come centralizing things even further up, inside EU, is going to make your life easier.

        So many regulations nobody knows what they are.
        All they think is that people are stupid so they need somebody to tell them what to do, how to behave, what to eat and drink and how to pay taxes to corrupt politicans, not just in their own country but to Brusells too.

    • StephenKenny

      You’re right.

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