February 4, 2013

The age of the Mamil

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 122 comments ·
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“It’s the new golf.”
“What’s the new golf?”
“Cycling, you eejit!”

We stood nursing our bruised middle-aged legs after yet another game of five-a-side soccer which, at our vintage, is becoming quite dangerous. The knees and ankles are dodgy and the ‘hammers’ seize up at the slightest change of what could only be described, charitably, as pace.

This week, I am in real danger of becoming a MAMIL: a ‘middle-aged man in lycra’. My football team is threatening to atrophy as we hit our mid-40s. As an alternative to football, one of the lads suggested we should start following in the pedalstrokes of those men in fluorescent colours who can be seen on the peloton that is the N11 on a weekend morning. The last bike most of the lads were ever on was a chopper.

The two-wheel weekly pilgrimage from all over south Dublin to Enniskerry hasn’t gone unnoticed, even by us confirmed soccer heads. Have you spotted this new sect, in its distinctive colours of luminous orange, green and, of course, yellow? And it’s not just in that part of the world. All over the country, cycling is proliferating. Howth Hill, the Naul, Blessington Lakes and beyond, the great outdoors is swarming by 10am on a Sunday.

The hard shoulder has become a rich savannah for brightly-coloured MAMILs, who tend to travel in large packs, annoying impatient weekend motorists.

Sometimes the pack is stretched as some riders – usually a pair – head out, injecting speed and extending the peloton. But each MAMIL looks out for the next in a display of tribal loyalty normally reserved for east Belfast.

Cycling is the new golf. Years ago, when Ireland almost merged into one large golf course, cyclists were few and far between. These days, as golf clubs shut up shop or desperately drop their membership fees, cycling is booming.

The person driving this cycling revolution is a middle-aged man in lycra who has a family and decent enough income. He is no longer buying the flash car to signal his mid-life crisis, instead he’s getting fit on his bike. Today he might be a little squeezed into his spandex man-kini, but give him a few weeks on the road and the pounds will fall off.

And it’s not just any old class of ride; once you join the Mamil tribe, the gear – not just the bike – is crucial because the innocent starter MAMIL will get hooked and find himself getting out the credit card in the local bike shop.

But it’s not just men’s fitness at stake: the MAMIL is the latest holy grail of marketers and advertisers all over the world.

Strange as it may seem, in a world that appears to be dominated by Sky Sports, transfer windows and soccer, cycling is the biggest sporting goods market in the world in terms of revenue, according to a survey by multinational market research company NPD Group.

Global sales totalled nearly €33 billion last year (enough to pay for Anglo, with a few quid to spare), an increase of 4 per cent each year since 2009. Some 137 million bicycles (including electric bikes) were sold, with the average price estimated at €179, though your average Irish Mamil will pay a multiple of this for his steed. Cycling accounted for 15 per cent of all sporting goods revenue.

As more people start cycling than any other sport, the market for bike sales in Ireland and Britain is predicted to grow by more than 20 per cent to €1 billion by 2016. The cycling market, including accessories, footwear and clothing, is valued at €2.2 billion in Ireland and Britain.

That means that the cycling market is worth twice as much as the €1 billion soccer market.

But what is really important to marketers and advertisers is that the MAMIL is a largely middle-class creature. To marketing men, the bright, taut 45-year-old in a yellow replica leader’s jersey is the upmarket (and much more lucrative) version of the bloke in an XXL Man Utd jersey glued to his wide-screen.

Research carried out by Mintel reveals that cyclists in Britain who use their bike at least once a week are more likely to shop at posh supermarkets and have a household income in excess of €65,000 a year.

Halfords Group, the biggest Irish and British bike retailer, posted sales growth at its cycling division of 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2012, faster than any other unit, though the lucrative road bike market is the smallest part of its overall bike sales. Halfords has 24 shops in Ireland from Cork to Letterkenny. However, it is the Aldi of bike sellers. The real place to spot a MAMIL is in the many specialist bike shops that have opened to meet demand.

The ‘cycle-to-work’ scheme rekindled cycling interest in the chopper generation, but the commuting cyclist has morphed into the serious, weekend sports enthusiast, and he has provided a bigger opportunity for retailers.

While commuters might spend up to €1,000 on a bike, helmet and high-visibility jacket and consider themselves suitably clothed to avoid rush-hour injury, a weekend road-biking Mamil will often lay out significantly more.

The new Mamil quickly discovers the rigours of bike etiquette. Rule number one: any bike displayed on top of a car should be worth more than the car itself.

Kit confusion is not entertained when youhave decided to worship at the chapel of MAMILdom. Shorts must be black. Nothing baggy or voluminous may darken the saddle: it might affect the aerodynamic look of the rest of the pack. Shorts and socks have to meet the Goldilocks rule: neither too short, like 1980s tennis players, nor too long, like those beloved of footballers. That all saddles, bars and tyres must match is a given.

As with all clubs and sects, things that make no difference at all to the outsider are of enormous significance to the insider.

For the MAMIL, there isn’t much change from €1,500 on the bike (though, for many who commute, the bike-to-work scheme cuts the cost). You can expect to fork out €300-odd on clothing, more than €100 on shoes and another €100 on the helmet, as well as an endless array of accessories.

The hardened, fully kitted-out Mamil can come across as vaguely homoerotic, trussed up in a tight rubber cap under his helmet, goggles, clasps, rubber tubes rammed into pockets, skins and arm warmers. Sure wasn’t your man in 50 shades of you-know-what a MAMIL? Real men ride; and real men spend.

In the years ahead, watch admen focus their attention on the huge consumer market that is middle-aged men. From Top Gear to Fifty Shades of Grey, this may be the age of the Mamil.

Maybe I’ll stick to football for a while yet.

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


  1. transitionman

    Suscribe

  2. Lius

    SUBSCRIBE – OOH SOOO GOOD

    • Adam Byrne

      You didn’t get it Lius – transitionman beat you!

      • Doubt it

        He had fuck all to say all day and you turn on him. The joke is pathetic and it’s time to move forth. Simpletons are always simpletons.

        Adam Byrne would not gie you a drink of water in the desert and neither would his wasted mate Colin. Yet their words carry weight if not authority. Both these boys are simple eejits

        Adam Byrne means nothing because he says nothing of note and neither does his friend ‘Colin’

        It’s all a case of pissing and deciding what flavour of piss you prefer.

        Wankers.

        • Adam Byrne

          Haha, I’m not interested in sport (cycling or otherwise) or music Pauldiv. This article didn’t interest me. I don’t mind what you call me either. Salut!

      • You are an open target an obvioius prick.

  3. ex_pat_northerner

    We’ve had a British Winner of the Tour de France, riding for ‘SKY’ so perhaps its no wonder that Cycling has started to really flourish. However it seems that as always we’re behind the times, or went the wrong direction with transport.

    Be great when we start to put racks on the backs of city buses. Can you just imagine Dublin City bus doing something like that ala Germany ? No neither can I.
    Now lucky if you can get 4 bikes on a train, now the guards van is gone.

    There are alternatives – the folding bike is almost as big a must have as the carbon steed – for the daily commute.

    Want a little extra help.. get an electric bike, all the rage in China. Gives help over hills, which means perhaps taking a different route to work which you couldn’t do, or commuting from longer out until you get a bit fitter.

    But perhaps the greatest thing about the bike is clearing the head, and enjoying something you did as a kid.

  4. ex_pat_northerner

    By the way David you left out another huge group of Bikers.. Mountain Bikers.. perhaps a different demographic, but often not.
    Interesting figures quoted here,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21304642

  5. davewalsh

    Hi David – big fan of your incisiveness, but I do wonder the generalisations your assertion here. I would qualify as a MAMIL – I just hit 40. I’m riding the cobbles of Belgium these days rather than the backroads of Wicklow. Truth is, some of us having were young men in lycra before – I started cycle racing 25 years ago. When you’re young, you scrape together what money you have to create a functioning bike that can take the hardships of the peleton. Ironically, like with other things (cars, houses) it’s not until people are older, and have some sense of security, that they can spend a bit of money on things. Like bikes. And why not? No offence to publicans, but it’s better than spending money down the pub. Here in Belgium, the amount of men – AND women on racing bikes on a Sunday is phenomenal. In Flanders in particular, it seems almost cultish. I ride with a raggle taggle Bruxelles sqaud of Brusselanians and-expats, but we’re dwarfed in numbers by some of the groups we encounter.

    One thing you miss here, while talking about the commodities, is the sense of passion, sociability and freedom offered for cycling – something that became quickly seductive to both sexes after the advent of popular cycling in the 19th century – the chance mini-adventure that takes you wherever you want at your own speed. Cycling is bloody hard, and it certainly ain’t golf – even going out and riding a small distance – say 50km, around Wicklow will put your body and mind to the test. I’m sure there’s a percentage out there – they exist in all sports and hobbies – who buy expensive kit, dress up, ride around, and go and eat cake, to no benefit at all, but seriously; Try following the wheel of a regular weekend warrior – never mind a Ràs rider – over the Sally Gap, and you’ll discover things about your body and mind – you never knew existed.
    Cheers
    Dave

  6. colmf

    I agree the MAMIL’s look a little silly but I think you are missing one important point. There is a growing emphasis on fitness. It is not just cycling that has taken off. Those same MAMILs are having to weave around runners who have intruded onto the cycle lanes. Those runners seem to be largely female while the cyclists are male. That might be due to the love of gadgets on the male side.

    The likes of Aldi and Lidi offering cheap cycling clothes and accessories plus the bike to “work” scheme offering cheap bikes PLUS the fact that there is no annual subscription as in golf or at a gym means cycling has suddenly become one of the more affordable hobbies.

    But a desire for better fitness is a driving force. I believe many people are genuinely afraid of getting ill under the Troika. We simply can’t rely on there being much of a health system left on these “Aran islands of Europe” in 20 years time. Many working people can’t afford health insurance and can’t risk relying on a dysfunctional public health system where waiting times will soon be longer than average life expectancy.

    So people have taken up exercise as an alternative to healthcare. Now in reality that was always the better option but as in many things the Irish needed that extra kick up the arse to get us onto something the rest of the world realised decades ago.

    And saying all that I am currently waiting for my Hybrid bike to be delivered thanks to the bike to “work” scheme in two weeks time. I have a target weight loss in mind and I have a series of targets to achieve in terms of local routes to cycle (starting at 10km and building up to 50km). I’m just hoping Aldi/Lidl have the Lycra in before then….

    • Deco

      Fair point concerning the health system. Once the bondholders (unsecured !!!) are given their welfare payments, and all the other speculators with no clue – the poor taxpayer with his/her USC is in line to get shafted.

      It is strange, that men acknowledge things like this in their subconscious, but do not mention this in their conscious discussion.

      They are trying to make themselves healthier for a HSE that in twenty years time will be a disaster zone.

      • molly

        Government gets HSE to hike up their charges to private health insurers and they in turn hike up there charges so ,this fuels chaos so no winners all lose out .

  7. Steady on there David and other commentators. This is not your field of expertise, slow week obviously and one weekend on a bike doesn’t qualify you to suddenly pigeon hole the lot of us (tongue in cheek).

    It’s fine, but hands off us Mountain Bikers… you’re broadly correct about our road biking cousins and some who I prefer to call the one weekend wonders. Anyway we don’t qualify according to your criteria; firstly we wear baggy shorts and anyone seen with a lunch box will be shot on sight, secondly our socks are long, waterproof in some cases, and our bikes are usually covered in muck and about as clean as a pig sty.

    I’d be delighted to take you mountain biking David, any old gear will do.

  8. JapanZone

    Taiwanese bike maker Giant recently opened their first brand store in Dublin, the kind of place that can loosen the purse strings of a budding exercise geek the way an Apple store can with a tech/design geek. My transformation into a MAMIL happened in a Giant store 3 years ago following a challenge from a friend – “Do you fancy cycling across the Japan Alps for charity?” Having laughed and then agreed, the sheer scale of the challenge made me question my own sanity and wonder whether being in my mid-40s had anything to do with the decision. So it was that in the space of 4 months I transformed from occasional mountain bike commuter into a fully fledged MAMIL crossing the main island of Japan at its widest and highest. But the key was that it was “cycling for a cause.” Three of us set up a loosely organized non-profit called Japan Coast to Coast (japanc2c.com) and raised about 6,000 euros for charity. It was hard as hell at times, but it was the most satisfying achievement of my life to date. I’m now back in Ireland but JapanC2C is still going, the other lads have organized similar events and one is planning to cycle the entire coastline of Japan by the time he turns 50 next year.

    So I was delighted to see the transformation happening here when I visited home the summer before last. I’d love to see cyclists catered for on the commuter roads in and around the capital, but I won’t be holding my breath. I’ll save it for the country highways and byways, and the anticipation of another challenge before I hit 50!

    • rockyb23

      Ha. Would love to be a fly on the wall for a meeting between David McWilliams and Richie Byrne (Giant Dublin store manager)

  9. gizzy

    David get your pals out coaching now that your playing days are over. keep fit and help the kids great fun.

  10. mcsean2163

    Isn’t it time the government scrapped the cycle-to-work.

    Obvious revenue raising mechanism…

  11. Thriftcriminal

    Don’t forget the cut-out section in the middle of the saddle to protect the prostate and prevent risk of erectile dysfunction! (I’m not kidding)

  12. Irish PI

    David,
    Instead of dressing up in a techicolour gimp outfit to ride around the countryside on a ridicilous contraption made of wire and coat hangers.
    Might I suggest a sport that encourages thinking,endurance,safty in all aspects is more thrilling than any ball sports played here,can be played in a team or done by yourself if you want,is ideal for young,middle aged and old men.Costs a lot less than a racing bike over three years with its bondage like paraphenila,and actually can put wholesome and tasty food on your dinner table for more or less free. Is easy on the old and middle aged joints too.
    Its called shooting!The red haired bastard child of Irish sports.But one that actually brings home more gold ,silver and bronze medals from the International circuts inc the UK commonwealth games than any other sport played in Ireland..Not that you would ever hear of it mind in the Irish media.

  13. StephenKenny

    I have a bicycle, and I go on bicycling holidays, but all this is a million miles away from that.

    This is affirmation of yet another one of Huxley’s forecasts, from his novel ‘Brave New World’. In this case, people would be encouraged to play sports, but only ones which required a lot of expensive equipment.

    For myself, having given up smoking, and since the world is now essentially insane, I’m much looking forward to Soma.

  14. The vision that would be me trussed up in Lycra is not a pleasant thought.
    Wibbly Wobbly Wonder.

  15. [...] Click here for the full article on the David McWilliams website. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  16. Norman Speight

    What a joke. A bunch of old men actually believing that riding about on a bike will extend their life! What a load of old tripe. Even more incredible, that you believe that this is enhanced by buying overpriced funny clothes. Priests and other strange people have been wearing funny clothes since the beginning of time, haven’t noticed them lasting any longer, not even the ones with a preference for little boys. Don’t you know that 75% of your life expectancy comes from choosing the right parents? The rest from lifestyle choices like booze, ciggies and other no no’s? To last longer try these early in life, then give them up. All this exercise business was shown up by the late Jim Fixx? – Who? well he’s the bloke who started the jogging craze, they found him dead in a ditch, thin as a rabbit and arteries blocked up solid.
    Why the hell should a bike cost upwards of £1,500? Why should funny clothes cost as much as they do? No better than priests these people, making a promise that, if it doesn’t work out, they won’t have to pay out. There isn’t a shred of evidence that any of you will live longer if those dedicated to excess are taken out of the equation. You know, the over fat, the heavy smokers, the boozers. Longer life expectancy has come about because of influences other than strange people waving their arse over a haemorrhoid inducing bike saddle – whatever you paid for it.

  17. Eireannach

    The basic truth about the weekend Wicklow peleton phenomenon passing my house every Saturday and Sunday morning on Merrion Road is…..it’s a healthy trend.

    It’s healthier than the pub, than pub-football, pub-rugby, etc. It’s well-adjusted to an age of austerity, because it’s about getting in shape for tough times.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going and all of that.

    So although I’m not a passionate cyclist myself, I’m all for it.

    And I’m not as snobby as our host, who should see that this phenomenon is well-adjusted, healthy and positive for our times, details of spend on bikes and accessories notwithstanding. This article could have addressed this subject as Irish people rising out of their comfort zones, trying hard and supporting each other. Instead, our host unfortunately focused on the money spent on kit, which misses the wider picture of what’s happening in the hearts and minds of the peletonians.

    • Deco

      To get people away from spectator sports, and the couch, requires an intellectual revolution.

      It would have to be of sufficient scale to make people realise why the content on television is called “programming”. It is more than just coincidence.

      • Tony Brogan

        “programming”

        good one Deco. I do not have a tv presently and I am beginning to not miss it after 4 years without.
        It must be addictive as there is still a hankering for the ‘Box”.
        Yesterday was “superbowl sunday” and the tv (at the sailing club) was stuffed full of analysts opionating about hunks throwing a ball and bashing in to each other.

        Sailing and cycling both restore sanity after such a dose of unreality.

        • joe sod

          so after 4 years you are only starting to not miss it now, so whats the reason for not having a TV, why deny yourself, its hardly like heroine or even smoking.

          • Tony Brogan

            TV has just as much an effect on the mind as anything else.Bearing in mind it is largely used as a propaganda tool and an opiate for the masses. I have a computer which is just as addictive but more interactive than the TV and removed from the mass of advertising.
            The thing I miss about not having a TV is missing the ability to see a superb game of tennis or the final holes of a golf tournament or the occasional documentary or natural history show transmitted.

            visting my daughter last night with other family and sitting for a half hour to see what others watch on the TV I was appalled by the trash I was seeing.
            Vacuous garbage.

            So I am glad I spend time out sailing or biking. Better than vegging in front of the TV as a couch potato.

  18. Deco

    Mid life crisis as a consumer behaviour. If only they could exercise their minds and study the corruption and the flaws within the state structure that towers over everybody’s lives…..

  19. nostramartus

    There was a mini revolution in Limerick last week that in property market terms was a new proclamation.
    http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/politics/limerick-to-reinvent-itself-like-ny-and-detroit-1-4743572

    The students suggested options for the city like creches,social housing, dedicated artistic quarters and even bicycle promenades along the river. It may not seem like much but it’s a change from ” the market is stabilizing ” rhetoric the government repeats every 3 months.

    They slipped in pictures of empty derelict buildings to underline their point that the opera centre is the tip of the iceberg.

    Their ideas, some as simple as painting murals on buildings, were dismissed as ” not economically viable”, others like laundry rooms in georgian buildings had solicitors/landlords fainting throughout the city as if their mental hold over the city had been broken.
    Others ideas like converting and renovating city centre buildings into 4 bedroom houses to draw families back into the city are likely to result in slum landlords heads exploding.

    The students might yet save us from the sight of David McWilliams in Lycra by fine tuning their broad strokes with dedicated bicycle streets, lane ways and promenades criss-crossing the city. On a sunny day everyone could gently and safely cycle to work in their everyday clothes.

    From the bicycle lanes i’ve seen in most irish cities the middle age markets will have to combine to provide death race/ mad max bondage gear to cyclists even if the leather causes some chafing.

  20. 5Fingers

    Good promotional article for the cycling world. Fifty Shades of Grey me ar$e! More like Sunday afternoon fifty greys in shades to paraphrase Ross O’Carroll-Kelly of the IT, all with their fat bottoms in the air.

    We are witnessing another fad. It’s a male fad as well. It’s toys for boys with all the nonsense of nuts, screws, washers and bolts – plus the odd Tom Sharpe nod nod wink wink to go with it.

    In line with booms and busts, looking forward to picking up a cheap set of good quality wheels next year. Mind you if the winds stay as strong as they have been over the last few weeks, that opportunity might come sooner.

  21. bonbon

    Alert! The EU is pumping money to monitor blogs and social media!

    ––
    The European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for “trolls” with whom to debate in the run-up and during euro-elections next year amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing.

    From the Daily Telegraph, EU to set up euro-election ‘troll patrol’ to tackle Eurosceptic surge

    Well if they trawl this blog for trolls, all they will find are Mamils! Lemmings on bikes! What will the trawlers think, Mamils must be a new Eurosceptic group – that needs profiling quick, lads.

  22. transitionman

    Did the link with the cost of the weekend escape drive and pedal power not cross your mind? Whatever about the cost of fees and membership on the golf course I know one converted golfer who cannot afford the golf.
    How about the success of Dublin bikes scheme ?
    The road planning that has public private partner in Limerick pocketing 180k per week for a tunnel drivers cannot afford. I despair to see the upgrades on Cork link road. Want to bet how busy the fly overs will be in 5 yrs?
    No planning for the energy descent where we may not have it regardless of affording it. We should be looking at building these for the rain http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/cities/for-urban-commuters-a-pedal-solar-electric-hybrid-vehicle/4290
    The Chinese are now dropping the bike and showing that they are entitled to drive.
    http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C48

  23. nevskin

    David, familiarise yourself with the real ” rules” of the road..http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/
    Pay close attention to rules No. 5, 9 & 12..

  24. bonbon

    The rules of the road are changing, some electrifying news for the financial services denizens :

    OSBORNE SAYS GOVT. LEGISLATION WILL ELECTRIFY THE `RING FENCE’

    Feb. 4 (EIRNS)–Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called for “electrifying” the ring fence between retail and investment banking. According to the BBC Osborne was speaking at an event at JP Morgan’s office in Bournemouth, where he said, “When the RBS failed, my predecessor Alistair Darling felt he had no option but to bail the entire thing out. Not just the RBS on Britain’s High Street, but the trading positions in Asia, the mortgage books in sub-prime America, the property punts in Dubai.

    I want to make sure that the next time a Chancellor faces that decision they have a choice. To keep the bank branches going, the cash machines operating, while letting the investment arm fail.”

    Posted on Her Majesty’s Treasury Website, Osborne’s speech went on, “No more rewards for failure. No more too big to fail. No more taxpayers forking out for the mistakes of others. The same rules for the banking business as any other business in a free market.

    “Today, we have published the legislation that will turn their ideas and this consensus for change into law. A law for the first time ever, to separate the retail and investment arms of banks, and erect a ring fence around the retail bank so its essential operations continue even if the whole bank fails….

    “Today, we will go further than previously announced, enshrining in law these simple principles. I can announce that your high street bank will have different bosses from its investment bank. Your High Street bank will manage its own risks, but not the risks of the investment bank. And the investment bank won’t be able to use your savings to fund their inherently risky investments.

    “My message to the banks is clear: if a bank flouts the rules, the regulator and the Treasury will have the power to break it up altogether — ful separation, not just a ring fence. We’re not going to repeat the mistakes of the past. In America and elsewhere, banks found ways to undermine and get around the rules. Greed overcame good governance. We could see that again — so we are going to arm ourselves in advance. In the jargon, we will “electrify the ring fence.”

    “I want to thank Andrew Tyrie and the fellow members of the [Parliamentary] Banking Commission we established for help developing this important new idea.” Tyrie had made a call for this last week.

    Osborne said the toothless Financial Services Authority would be abolished and as of April “the Bank of England will be in charge of keeping our financial system safe. With the authority that comes from it history, and the new powers we have given it for the future, the Bank of England will be the super-cop of our financial system. The Bank is ready.”

    He also announced that the new Financial Conduct Authority, which also goes into operation in April, will function as a regulator.

    On the question of the manipulation of LIBOR, he announced that it will be made “a criminal offense to make misleading statements about LIBOR. Shockingly that was not the case before.”

    • Tony Brogan

      We all know that the inverstment banks made huge bets on derivatives.

      We all know that the commercial banks have been given the right to leverage their deposits by 10-20 or 30 times more in credit creation. In the English and Commonwealth world there is (or the last time I researched it, there was)no restriction on the amount a bank can leverage these deposits.

      To be clear about this leverage and what it means , I will attempt to descibe it.

      With leverage of 10:1 the bank can loan out 9 times more money than it has on deposit.
      In round terms then, you, a central bank, or any other entity put 10,000 on deposit. That means the bank can create another 90,000 from thin air and loan it into existence. Keeping the 10,000 on deposit totals 100,000.
      The 10,000 retained is the reserve, or 10% of the total.
      If the bank decides it can reduce the reserve to 3% then just 3000 is required on deposit to loan out 97,000. So with the original 10,000 deposit the amount loaned out is expanded to 333,000.

      It was this dramatic expansion of credit and the huge loans that bankrupted the banks by multiple times as defaults occured. It only requires a 3% default rate to wipe out the banks assets. It is this amount of bailout funds charged to the taxpayers account that is the weight around the neck of the people.
      What is different about the british proposal compared to the US glass Steagall?

      The repeal of Glass Steagall will simply separate the two functions of the bank. The commercial banks will be separated from the imvestment arm of the bank.

      Nowhere does it say that the right to fractional reserve banking will be curtailed. Nowhere will G/S stop or prevent a re-occurence of the issuance of outlandish amounts of credit, creating yet another boom, followed by the inevitable bust and yet another bailout of the banks by the people.

      As far as I can see, advocating Glass Steagall as a solution to the problem is a fraud. So please explain how this will actually assist the people.

      And David if you really are an economist please explain where I am correct or need correcting. It is time to get serious about solutions. It is time to put up or shut up. What is your opinion on Glass Steagall? Your silence on this matter is deafening.

      What is Osbourne ring fencing if it is not similar to G/S?

      • 5Fingers

        Maybe its a case of Retail Banks being closer to their customers and as such we might get a class of bicycle that the community needs. It’s a case of being able to see the whites of the bank managers eyeballs. Investment bankers are OK as well as they can be the stimulus for new types of bikes and other forms of thinking in the biking domain. But if you mix the two, the higher risk element of Investment Banker will naturally contaminate the local economy, separate people from the local bank management and virtualise or make unreal the value of hard earned bicycle rider money. Mix that lot with a global investor community and we have a full disconnect and no nation with any control of its hard earned cash.

        Basic risk management 101 would call for some sort of firewalling. If we try and de-risk on the principle of killing all money printing by anyone, I still think the idea of some 3rd party messing with my bicycle without my say-so with no risk to them still needs addressing.

        • Tony Brogan

          My point is exactly that all the above is a usless exercise in pretence of providing a solution. Nothing substantive changes with G/S, it is a smoke and mirrors exercise.(What do you think, David)

          What needs to be done is to return the banks to the function of banking and remove their their ability to create money for their profit.

          It all starts with the Central Banks who issue money created from nothing. They lend it into existance as a debt and charge interest on it. commercial banks receiving this monopoly money deposit it and then by fractional reserve banking practice expand the money supply exponentially. They inflate the money supply. The the central bank proclaims after CAUSING the inflation that they are controling it.

          Lies on lies, fraud on fraud. The biggest ponzi scheme in the history of mankind and we all sit like suckers and swallow it.

          The answer is simple.

          1.Close the Central Banks.
          2.Ban fractional reserve banking.
          3.Put the nations money back into the hands of treasury.
          4.Issue money as debt free as an asset and not a liability.
          5.Repeal the legal tender laws and
          6.Allow the use of PM coins and monetise silver as an inflation proof money.

          What’s so tough about that David. What do you think?

          Or are you a middle aged man in Lycra peddling your ass in the pelaton. Good cyclists maybe but too concerned about their matching sets of clothing colour coordinated with the latest tech gear on their state of the art bike.

          Time to stop the daily peddle and get down to the real issues. Or don’t you see this one coming, the ultimate in financial mayhem as a giant step to one world order. Or do you approve of the new world order of stateless peoples controled and exploited by the finacial elites? Run and operated by the Rothschilds et al. (How about a run down on the international banking system David, how it is a private cabal operating under licence from government)

          Just asking , but I have given up on getting any real answers. Free thinking requires a free mind. A free mind requires a free person, a free person requires a free (unencumbered) money system. So give us the money of a free people. All else is servitude.

          • bonbon

            The answer to the wrong question is simply wrong. The Question is : how to finance Reconstruction of a massively damaged economy. The answer cannot be a recipe, a monetarist calculations of any stipe, even in Lycra, but takes real economic work as NAWAPA 21 demonstrates.

            That highly developed and beautifully mapped and explained does not come from monetarists.

          • Tony Brogan

            no it comes from pretending that you shift Alaska water to Mexico without damaging Canadian territory or denying their sovereignty. You want to reverse the flow of canadian rivers and fill their valeys with lakes completely changing the local climates.

            However Canadians will build you some pipelines and charge you for the transit. Then take it from Alaska and pipe it South leaving Canada’s land and sovereignty intact.

          • Tony Brogan

            You can’t answer the question on GS either bon bon so quit your promotion until you can

          • Tony Brogan

            Posted at Miles Franklin

            Lenin was certainly right; there is no more positive, subtler, or surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction.

            - John Maynard Keynes (of all people!)

          • bonbon

            See below for a very nice answer from London. Ask around, you will be surprised who is talking about Glass-Steagall. The obfuscation in the EU is titanic, heading straight for disaster unless clarity on this issue prevails. The debate is intense, a reaction to the collapsing physical economy. All kinds of unexpected developments now start, which I hopefully will report for all those bikers.

            Aside, I wonder why is it that cycling is the most drug infested sport of all?

    • bonbon

      This shpould answer some questions. Andrew Tyrie puts it very nicely :

      THE BANKERS ARE NOT HAPPY WITH OSBORNE’S ANNOUNCEMENT

      Feb. 4 (EIRNS) — The announcement by Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that the government will “electrify” the ring-fence between retail and investment banking in the Banking Reform bill, did not please the bankers.

      The {Daily Telegraph} cites one unnamed analyst from Crédit Suisse complaining that the legislation will “devalue” universal banks and is tougher than regulations in Europe where treasuries are trying to get away with implementing “Liikanen LITE,” referring to the ringfence proposals by the European Union’s Liikanen Commission report.

      Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Banking Association, said, “No other major economy is considering moving away from the universal model o banking because it undermines banks’ ability to provide all the services businesses need. This decision will damage London’s attractiveness as a global financial center.”

      By contrast Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, is quoted as having said: “A reserve power to split up any bank that tries to undermine the integrity of the ring-fence will increase the chances of its success. Banks require discouragement from gaming the rules. They will always try to do so unless strong disincentives are put in place.”

      The Labour Party’s shadow treasury minister Chris Leslie said: “If the Chancellor is now being dragged towards a partial climb-down, this is a step in the right direction. We must see fundamental cultural change in our banks. If this does not happen then banks will need to be split up completely, as we made clear in the autumn.”

    • bonbon

      Again, for those not quite catching it, Allied Irish Bank is again in the news with Santander. Financial Derivatives are Crimes, Abolish them.

      Feb. 4, 2013 (LPAC) — Again the biggest UK banks — all of them — are found committing financial crimes and are going to pay collective fines of another $1.5 2 billion. Again the crimes are financial derivatives. Again another group of derivatives “customers”, who thought or believed that these speculative securities were essential to successful “management of their businesses”, have found that the salesmen for the derivatives were in fact robbing their businesses.

      Britain’s biggest banks — Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are to start compensating many thousands of small businesses in Europe after a review found more than 90% of those businesses had been mis-sold complex financial products, as reported in the London Evening Standard. “Misselling” is a financial industry euphemism for securities fraud. The products are interest-rate derivatives, the most widespread form of derivatives, which combine with LIBOR-rigging to produce looting of their purchasers. UK lenders are expected to face another compensation bill, at least £1 billion, and another round of fines.

      A study by the Financial Services Agency found an estimate of 40-50,000 businesses fleeced by the banks’ interest-rate swaps.”

      Not to be left out, Santander UK and Allied Irish Bank have also been found selling swaps slop. Santander UK has itself “uncovered” the fraud, against the customers of the former Alliance & Leicesterm which it took over.

      Recall again that 99% of U.S.-based commercial banks have no derivatives exposure, and are not in the derivatives business. The economy does not need derivatives any more than it needs crime waves. Glass Steagall re-enactment will banish them, and stop the hyperinflationary bailout consequences of them through the Federal Reserve.

    • bonbon

      2013 is the Year of Glass-Steagall.
      <a href="http://laroucheirishbrigade.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/the-need-for-glass-steagall-jp-morgan-chases-giant-hidden-hedge-fund/"<The Need for Glass-Steagall: JP Morgan Chase’s Giant Hidden Hedge Fund

      Osborne is heading in this direction, and Andrew Tyrie makes it clear that electrified ring-fencing violations lead straight to it. Separating off the investment operations will deal with the derivative problem, and open the door to massive reconstruction urgently needed.

  25. joe hack

    We need a citizens’ petition on debt deal

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2013/0205/1224329656976.html

    It’s not about the bicycle as Flann O’Brien and his policeman might have believed, it’s about the tax deal… ye ha lads I just saved 200 hundred YoYos on a bicycle I don’t need and will only use once a year, millions of YoYos to the 7 million bicycle makers in Beijing.

    If only we had a work to work scheme then the MAMIL tigers might buy into it as they may think they are getting a deal.

    PS don’t buy MAMIL tiger gear with a banks logo on it or you may end up as road kill.

    • Lol. I take it others have had wild imaginings about murdering cyclists on purpose by swerwing and claiming it was a pure accident

      It would be hard for anyoene to pity a MAMIL. They look like pricks. Full stop.

  26. joe hack

    http://www.ourcountry.ie/

    Goes live tomorrow don’t forget to support it

  27. george

    I love cycling, although we are not in the best country in the world for it, because from November to the end of February, the weather can be very rough for it. And “Fair City”, is full of bicycle thefts and vandals, who enjoy stealing and damaging the wheels of it. Or why are there so many bicycles tied to a post, with the front wheel all twisted?
    .
    Did anyone hear the story of a guy, who recovered his late brother’s bike that he was using, after was stolen from outside his girlfriend’s house ? And the man that was selling it, in a Sunday Market, told him that it was bought from somebody else.
    .
    A friend of mine twice had two very expansive wheels stolen, in Temple Bar, in the middle of the day! Mind where you leave it!
    .
    And talking about the business aspect of cycling. The biggest company in Europe selling bikes online, and everything relate to it, is based in North of Ireland; and only recently has opened a warehouse in the Republic.
    .
    For all interested, next March, there will be a cycling show in City West, Dublin.
    http://www.irishcyclingshow.com/
    .
    Excuse me, but I think golf, is a ridiculous sport!

  28. Tony Brogan

    Having spent 6 weeks last autumn visiting Ireland by train and bicycle I have a few observations.

    Starting in Victoria I had bought a standard road”touring” bike with ….27 gears. sounds excessive but I used them all.

    Price for a KONA Jake was a little over 1000 dollars. Adding… Two racks , one rear and one forward; 4 good quality “dry bag” paniers; tent,blow up mattress and pillow; a lower ratio rear gear set; front and rear lights; bell and electronic speedoand trip recorder; mini toolkit, enables me to strip down or rebuild the bike;high pressure pump; repair kit and two spare inner tubes; helmet and gloves; three Icebreaker t-shirts (one short sleeve , others long); Windbreaker jacket, Waterproof jacket, waterproof pants; Replace pedals with pedal clip on style, pair of clip cycle shoes, mountain bike style (have rubber cleats and can be used for walking and hiking)and retro fit with quick release clips; wet weather break pads.
    Total round figure another 1000 dollars.

    No Lycra, just stylish top and black baggy pants for wet weather.

    • Tony Brogan

      Forgot the 6 ft lock devise. With luck it will run through both wheels , the frame and a secure stantion or fence to lock it too. I wondered if I would lose my panniers or other gear strapped to the bike but so far so good.

    • Tony Brogan

      Taking the bike and gear abroad was not so bad.
      Loaded my bike and gear was about 85 lbs. The airline allowed me 70 lb as baggage weight for the bike. I took off the heavier stuff and placed into shoulder/hand luggage and another bag with computer plus plus which were carried aboard for no extra charge.

      I found the bike will not go through the luggage currousel for the exray machine so all the pannier bags have to be stripped off and the bike “dusted” over by the officials and the panniers put into a plastic bag to go as extra luggage.

      The bike seat has to be lowered, the pedals removed and the handlebars turned 90 degrees to parallel the frame. I decided to risk a see through plasic bag provided by the airline as cover for the bike.

      It was suggested to buy a fibre glass carry case on wheels or pack the bike in a crate as delivered to a bike shop. As I was no fixed address at point of destination I would have nowhere to save or store such items. I chose the plastic bag. I reasoned that that as the bike coulds be seen to be a bike it would be treated as a bike by the handlers. So far both the trip out and back the bike was delivered without damage.

    • Tony Brogan

      Arriving at Heathrow and at the bag collection area I retrieved the bike and my panniers. while people swirled around me two security guards siddled over. seems they were more interested in bike talk than worried about me as a security risk.

      within a half hour I was suitably attired to cycle and the bike was put back in order and all the gear stashed aboard. By that time I was the last to leave so headed for the exit. Nothing to declare and I was out to the the bus depot at terminal 3.

      Enquiries directed me to the cycle tunnel to the Great West Road, the A4, Bath to London. Feeling wobbly with the unaccustomed weight I cycled out of the airport.

      • george

        It seems to me that you would enjoy reading “Fat man in Argentina”, and I think he did Italy as well.

      • Tony Brogan

        Spending 3 weeks touring around the South of England visiting friends and family I turned my attention to getting self and bike to Ireland.

        On the web site for train and ferries I came accross SAILRAIL. Advertised as the altinate travel between Ireland and England financially competitive with air travel.

        I found a ticket was available from any train station in England to any station in Ireland via the Ferry, and return from any Irish station to anywhere in England. Winter season had me using the Dublin Port and Holyhead route. This is a problem logistically as there is no rail to the Dublin Port. For me on a bike it posed no problem as I could cycle where required.

        I booked a ticket online to travel from Exeter Station in Devon to Greystones (in Wicklow) for 46 pounds. The route was comfortable. A change at Birmingham, and then to Holyhead. A comfortable ferry crossing to Dublin Port and a cycle to Connolly Station and the Dart to Greystones. Total time 13 hours. Extra cost 9 pounds for my bike on the ferry. Free transit for the bike on the trains.

        The trains provide for about 3 bike spaces per train so it is imperative to book a bike reservation or you may not get aboard.

        Train travel in Ireland with a bike is relatively simple. On the Dart one arrives at the station and buys a ticket. Bike usually ok but not at commuter travel times so not useful for going to work.

        Getting around Ireland with a bike is a choice. Cycle or train. I found it easy to book a train on line but not easy to reserve a bike online. However I made regional hops with no problem.

        Greystones to Newport (Mayo). I took Dart to Connolly, bike to Heuston Station, Train to Westport, and cycle to Newport.

        This was where I discovered the Greenway.

        http://www.greenway.ie/Greenway-01.html

        I cycled the Greenway from Westport to Newport. Susequently I found that on a bike I prefered to stay on the roads. The greenway has barriers at every intersection and so one is always stopping and starting. Pat of the trail is paved, part crushed rock and part dirt gravel. I found that people out for a family jaunt on bikes used the trail. I still preferred the roads. My rear tire needed replacement as it lost a slice of tread. I can only think crushed rock was the cause.

        I took train to Kilkenny and train to Malahide. The bike is great for getting around and exploring once one reaches a destination. I did many 30-50 km trips and one 120km around Achell Island from Newport.

        Despite the timing, October to December, I had few poor days weather wise and found the weather generally good enough to get on the bike.

  29. Great dribbling. Ole!
    The Jimmy Johnstone of Economics is on a solo run mesmerising critics left frozen still in time as the red haired maverick twists their blood to ice as he leaves them lingering still frozen in his is wake. On the massive slopes 140,000 stand silent and gasp, the only sound is from the players and the couple of hundred fans in a small section of the away enclosure. Wow what a fucking goal they all say!

    Aucacious and individually brilliant. Better than Pele even. He is a Tic fan you know!
    Little c**t.

    Apologies for the word count. I used to be passionate about cycling and when I was young a good cycle ride made a smashing alternative day out away from football. But back then we would have found fun and a sense of awe no matter what we done. We were kids and we acted like kids and a dirty kid is a happy kid was the philosophy and quite right too. We were cheecky little fuckers but we had respect when respect was due

    Playing 21 a side football from five till dark was the ultimate team building activity. Sometimes even after four hours play we would find a reason to keep the game going for an hour longer

    If the score was 7-5: ‘Well we can call it quits if you give us a two nil start in the next game. Negotiation skills were learned early and fainess was a virtue. Any excuse to make the game last longer and into the night was noble. It was great being a boy because you made friendships that last a lifetime no matter the colour of your skin or your religion. We looked and laughed at all that and the people who said otherwise. We loved Paul McGrath and The Black Rose and The Dubliners but the Rangers boys always looked lost. With Jinky, Lennox, Dalglish and McGrain on our side it is not surprising haha

    Next day sitting at the school desk would be murder. You’d be longing for four o’clock and dying to get the return match underway. The only time football and cycling took a bye was on the night when The Sweeney was on. Mens stuff. Used to sit with da and watch The Sweeney. Brilliant. Male bonding

    This is true love. Some days are so perfect that you don’t want them to last and it was so by change that the streetlight on the corner gave us enough light to play all through the night if we had a mind to but eleven o’clock was the limit.

    I hope you took my sound advice David and try to emulate The Stroller rather than JInky when playing footie. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak was one of my Mother’s favourite expressions and it’s wise to know the difference and be honest about one’s physical and psychological limitations

    30 years ago I was a fit young colt afraid of nowt and still look fresh today because my first 25 years were spent excerising every day and eating good plain food. Back then burgers were something that were home made with good Scottish mince and packaged foods were new and shunned in the Divers household. You can’t beat the real food even if it takes more time to prepare and cook and it’s nice to put in some effort and share it with people. In this respect I thank god for our backwardness and reluctance to more with ‘the times’

    Myself and two lads had not long started work and one day we headed out of the city into the country and stopped at a quiet pub 10 miles outside the city boundary. We were drenched in sweat and as dry as a camels arse so we started ordering double rounds of lager. It was sweltering July after all and we had our holiday pay sitting in brown paper pokes on our dressing tables at home. Being Irish you will know the feeling. Life was a gas back then because there was no pressure whatsoever

    There was no lycra, crash helemts and Bono wrap around shades. It was polo shirts, sensible shorts and trainers. Sweat bands were for posers and there was three kinds of bike – five speed or ten speed racers. Masochists would opt for the third option (a fixed wheel rig) but my thoughts on that solution were f**k that for a game of cops and robbers

    There were three kind of beer. Green cans (light), red cans (heavy) and can with pics of sexy women on the sides (Tennents lager).

    On the way back my pal hit a boulder by the road, went over the handlebars and ended up in a pile of dung through a gap in the dry stane dyke. Cycling and beer does not mix, in those amounts at least but boy what a day out it was. It reminds me of Down from the Hill by Alan Sillitoe, a novel I read years ago and will read again very soon. Needless to say I still think of my mate covered in cow shyte lol

    We bumped into a couple of girls on the road home and had a craic with them. Phone numbers were exchanged and fine friendships were made that scorching afternoon miles from home

    Cycling is indeed booming and it’s great to see more people taking to it. It’s just a pity that there are so many psycho drivers on the roads. In my opinion this needs to be tackled if we are to attract tourists and it’s obvious why. Ireland is a perfect place for a touring and cycling holiday.

    I remember there was a Halfords shop in the town of Clydebank and it was like your mom and pop shop as the Yanks like to call them. Look at it now. A big operation indeed. Maybe we should look at Graeme Obre and think about how to make cycles people will buy. Cycling is great enabler for the Irish tourism industry

    There are many old railway tracks in Ireland that could be turned into cycle routes. BBC has a great series called ‘Railway Walks’ that should inspire Ireland to exploit it’s old railways. The embankments are still there and just need some manual labour to put them right. It would give us umemployed guys something to do and give us a story to tell

    As I always say. People love nostaglia and history.

    It’s just that the Irish now have little to offer in that respect and the country has been been bulldozed in the name of ‘progress’. You have obliterated your past and I find that very very sad

    That is the biggest fuck up of all because foreigners want to come to an old Ireland. They don’t want a modern view because they have all the modernity they need at home

  30. I never read the second half of the article David. You inspired me before the half way line and then I oiled my type writer. I don’t need to see the second half because I got what I needed from the first half

    I know the second half will be full of economic pish and the format is predictable

    That is your talent – using ordinary language in terms that anyone can understand and your insistence on being human is one of your finest qualities

    I quickly scrolled the posts. They are littered with the usual heavy crowd and robots. Bonbon et al yawn yawn

    Don’t these people ever relax ffs?

    I mean. DO they ever sit back and enjoy a quality ale?

    Dis Tuesday the ale is Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
    It scores 91% on BeerAdvocate and can be procured from Tesco at €11 for five half litre bottles

    Add two Fullers London Porter at €2 a piece and you have the ultimate beer cairy oot for €15

    And as my mother used to say, a wee cairy oot can bring back your spark

    Especially next Tuesday when Scotland and Ireland unite to entertain and try to impress one of the greatest football clubs in Europe

    We’ve done it before and we will do it again. On Erins Green Valleys Look Down On Thy Love

    It could be our time again

  31. molly

    Burn the bond holders or the Irish people will be burned.
    Suffer no more Irish people ,its time the bond holders suffered if you can call it suffering.

  32. Real men ride; and real men spend. Lol.

    Real men pay to ride because no one will ride them for free?

    Get real

  33. Said Lizzie to Phillip as they sat down to dine,
    I’ve just had a note from an old friend of mine,
    His name is ‘Big Geordie’ he’s loyal and true,
    And his dirty big nose is a light shade of blue.

    He says that the Rangers are right on their game,
    And he’s asked for a trophy to add to their fame,
    I’ll send up a cup that the Rangers can win,
    Said Phillip to Liz watch the Celts don’t step in.

    Said Lizzie to Phillip they don’t stand a chance,
    I’ll send up my Gunners to lead them a dance,
    With Celtic defeated the way will be clear,
    And a cup now for Rangers in my crowning year.

    But alas for the hopes of the loyal true blues,
    For Celtic beat the Arsenal and Manchester too,
    Beat Hibs in the final and oh what a scene,
    Sure Hampden was covered in shamrocks and green.

    Said Lizzie to Phillip when she heard the grim news,
    A blow has been struck at our loyal true blues,
    Oh tell me dear Phillip and you ought to know,
    How to keep Glasgow Celtic defeated below.

    Said Phillip to Lizzie there’s only one way,
    I’ve known of their secret for many a day,
    To keep Celtic down you will have to deport,
    The whole Fenian army that gives them support.

  34. Another hearty ballad for the Irish Brothers and holders of the family crest in Ramelton. I recently discovered that my surname is unique to Movile, Donegal and Cambrigeshire and has a proud history. Three of the hoops crack goal scorers share the name and we are all related to Patsy Gallagher via different routes. How better could life possibly get?

    Fuck me. How many bars of gold is that worth?
    Priceless. It is not possible to put a price on that.

    And I was thinking. My grannie saw him play and I remember her talking about Patsy Gallagher. Forty years ago it may be but I always remember her stories about Patsy. They all talked about him fifty years after he retired. Apparently he was better than George Best

    To me he is a bigger legend than them all, still, even though the black and white photos of him are fading. Legends never die and they last forever. Apparently he was the greatest of them all and his team mate Jimmy McGrory was the goal scorer whom Herbert Chapman thought would make the Arsenal the greatest team of all.

    ‘No thank you Mr Chapman’ replied McGrory after being offered a king’s ransom to move to London. ‘Jimmy McGrory of Arsenal just didn’t sound right. Jimmy McGrory of Celtic sounded right and that is the way it stayed, thank god

    These guys would look at the shirts hanging up on the hooks in the dressing room wall and even though they were world famous they were in awe of the feeling of pulling on a hooped shirt. The fans were their heroes and Sean Fallon would have told you what it felt like to pull on those hoops and walk out into the cauldron of those who roar for the green and white

    The Belfast lad Tully took up the mantle thirty years later and he was a very cheeky Charlie. Loved and adored by all who saw him he was often the subject of stormy days spent round the fire

    Stories remind us of who we are whither it is Celtic or the gaelic county football team. Stories that remind us that we have something they can never take away from us

    History and achievement. Pride in local identity and awareness of responsibility in the fact that the thousands are depending on you to make of break their week

    Some of them would have played for nothing except the feeling of pulling on a hooped shirt

    Far different than life in the Liverpool dungeons I think

  35. bonbon

    Is someone running adds for sports goods?

  36. Tony Brogan

    Despite everything that could be imagined, said, written, and done, it is a fact that there is still no currency that can compare – either by a direct or an indirect relationship, real or imagined – with gold.

    -Charles De Gaulle, 1971

  37. Marching along the one road and maybe the wrong road after lunch to double maths the chat often
    turned from punk rock to Celtic and the Boomtown Rats. I was fanatical about both and talking
    about them made the mile and a half seem like a short dander. A mile and half is nowt to a
    healthy bhoy. Hamie had been on holiday to Dublin and brought some songs back in his sack.
    His rucksack that is,

    It was the Galway Shawl I liked. I said to Hamish that one day I will go to Ireland and live the
    life of a rover and I should not at all be surprised if I never came back and he said ‘I reckon you will
    lad’ because you are the most Irish person I’ve ever known and I love going to the games with ye and
    yer faithers crew. I was hooked on The Dubliners and due to them I dreamed of courting handsome
    Irish colleens in the dawn. I was a born romantic and people took to my accent. I had nothing to lose
    lost nothing and gained a lot. I didn’t need to go to Australia ort Canada to know that. It always
    Ireland for me. Pity it is a conservative backwater but sure it’s been grand still the same

    Needless to say I courted one or two and will leave it that to preserve my modesty and that of the
    ladies in question. A gentleman can be relied on a keep a secret

    The Galway Shawl is a popular song when supping proper beer after Celtic games. Win, lose or draw.
    It’s just the way we are. On long trips home from Aiberdeen and Dundee the old folk songs would be
    sung. There was always some old timer who knew all the words to a ballad like Kevin Barry. Ballads
    were allowed but faither would stop the bus and ask if you wanted to walk home if you started the
    rebel shit. Some of the lads were prods and there was a line. It was a good bus

    One pleasant evening in the month of May

    She wore no jewels
    No costly diamonds
    No paint nor powder, no none at all
    But she wore a bonnet
    With a ribbon on it
    And round her shoulders
    Was the Galway Shawl

    A man is nothing without his sense of identity. When you saw Jimmy Johnstone and Tommy Burns in the flesh you were never in doubt. Just thinking back on it is so fckuing awesome!

    Here is to Sean Fallon. God rest him.

  38. Do your self a favour ladies

    Headphones and loud volume required

    And ffs lighten up. It’s only way to happiness

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kI4ny-6Rn4

    Imagine havin a hun mane like ‘Colin’

    Haw haw

  39. joe hack

    Sign here… http://www.ourcountry.ie/ for no to promissory notes…

    €3.1B Prommissory Note
    As citizens of Ireland, we believe that the payment of €3.1 billion a year, every year until 2023, for Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide is reckless, immoral and unjust. These “promissory notes” have imposed the debts of now-defunct private institutions on Irish citizens as a whole. These are debts which we cannot, should not and will not pay.

    We therefore instruct our Government:

    (a) to declare by March 17th 2013 that it will not make the payment of €3.1 billion on March 31st and to inform the European Central Bank that it will no longer co-operate with this unjust imposition of debts on the Irish people.

    (b) not to enter into any arrangement with the European Central Bank that involves any acceptance of a duty to pay these debts and/or any substantial payment of Irish public money on foot of the promissory notes.

    We further declare that unless the Government makes this declaration by March 17th 2013, we will engage in peaceful and dignified mass protest in a form to be decided by ourselves collectively.

  40. Tony Brogan

    US Government sues Standard and Poors Rating agency for daring to downgrade US dollar 18 months ago.

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11834400/1/revenge-of-the-absurd-us-sues-sp.html

  41. Dorothy Jones

    Eh…just an aside btw…but this evening Emergency Legislation is being passed through the Dail…as the ECB informal dinner prior to conference takes place; with P Honohan attending… http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/nama-to-merge-with-ibrc-as-scramble-for-promissory-note-solution-intensifies

  42. Dorothy Jones

    Cabinet have not seen Bill yet but it is to be passed tonight

  43. Tony Brogan

    posted on lemetropolecafe an hour ago

    Ireland to pitch new promissory note deal to ECB: Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan is expected to pitch a new plan to his fellow ECB members today to reduce the burden of Dublin’s rescue of Anglo Irish Bank. The article noted that the plan will continue to revolve around the replacement of the promissory note the government issued in 2010 with a long-term bond. However, Honohan will drop the demand that the Irish central bank hold on to the bond for at least 15 years. After rejecting Ireland’s original proposal due to concerns about monetary financing, the ECB may make a decision on a new plan by as early as tomorrow.

  44. gizzy

    It shows we have no democracy when elected representatives get four hours to decide on such a serious matter.

    Enda says this is a serious matter (go away)

    • joe hack

      “23:16
      The Dáil has been suspended until midnight to give TDs time to read the Government’s emergency legislation on IBRC.”

      Our democracy sham -for the bankers! we will pay for these promissory notes so that they can be deleted, we will be working for money that will then be deleted and the people muddle along in silence

  45. joe hack

    “Enda says this is a serious matter(go away)” it is! he is right but why do the people have to be told this?

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