September 12, 2013

Ireland needs new game plan just like Trap's Boys in Green

Posted in Banks · 95 comments ·

When we were kids playing football, one manager always insisted on the pass. The pass was everything and it was not played to the players’ feet but a yard ahead of him to keep the tempo of the game. The pass was the game, nothing else mattered. Sure it was great to meet the ball on the half volley and burst the net, but when the passing game was being played at its best, teams would open up in front of you so that the ball could ultimately be rolled into empty nets.

This was how the game was supposed to be played and one or two of the lads actually had the skill, technique and fitness to execute this passing game.

We played with and against fellas who were so talented that everyone thought they might be good enough to make it. But they weren’t.

This Darwinian process of viciously competitive selection underlines just how good the footballers who make a career out of the game are.

This is why it is so depressing to watch the national football team leather the ball from end to end like Sunday morning amateurs.

The players who tog out for Ireland are better than this. We know that the way to win is to have the ball. Forcing decent players into an outdated and predictable system, hoping that we can grind out results, is a system which is not working.

Maybe the most depressing aspect is the autocratic approach of the management who claim there is no alternative because deep down they believe that the players are not good enough.

That philosophy is very similar to the philosophy that underpins our entire economic strategy. We are told that there is no alternative and that the economy isn’t strong enough to change course now. We are constantly led to believe that tearing up the present script involves risk as if last week’s figures which show 50,900 Irish people emigrated in the 12 months to April and 89,000 people in total left the country last year are evidence of success.

It’s a bit like Trapattoni arguing that if we change the system now we are taking a risk. But we have been comprehensively beaten by all decent teams in the group.

Someone very clever, I’m not too sure whether it was Albert Einstein or Roy Keane, said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Think of the present economic policies, which we have been at for the past five years with little or no evidence of success.

Yet the management look for green shoots everywhere. Looking to bond yields or a month’s industrial production figure and shouting recovery is like having been beaten by all and sundry, and then trumpeting a victory over the Faroe Islands as a sign of footballing prowess.

Supporters of the present approach of cutting spending to facilitate economic growth point to the experience of the late 1980s when the government cut spending and the economy grew. They contend that this will happen again if we just wait long enough.

It’s like Trapattoni arguing that his style of football – a hybrid of traditional long-ball, route one and classic Italian Catenaccio – has been successful in the past and will work again.

The difference is that in Italy he had players of extraordinary talent who knew exactly how to play the game he wanted to play. And possibly more crucially, in his 1970s and 1980s heyday, other teams didn’t know how to break this system down. But since the turn of this century, the passing game has unlocked this Catenaccio (which literally means “door bolt”) approach.

Similarly in the economics world, the notion of taking a piece of evidence from the 1980s and trying to apply this straitjacket to 2013 omits to take into account that the world has changed. For example, today we have a vicious liquidity trap, credit is drying up and mortgage debts are overwhelming hundreds of thousands. In the late 1980s there was very little personal debt in the country. In addition, in the late 1980s Irish interest rates halved – propelling the local economy – and, crucially, the fiscal contraction was preceded by a devaluation of our currency, making the exporting sector competitive.

Today, interest rates can’t halve because they are at historic lows. And, of course, we use Germany’s currency which is appropriate for Europe’s powerhouse where there is historically low unemployment, but hardly helpful to a country which has seen 400,000 emigrate since 2009.

If you compare the ongoing crisis of the Celtic Tiger to the recovery of the Asian Tigers after their monumental crises of 1997/98, we see that there is another way out of a debt-fuelled depression. This way involves allowing the currency to fall, writing off large debts, restructuring others and becoming competitive through overnight exchange rate changes rather than grinding down the economy for years. However, adopting an Asian Tiger approach means tearing up the old script.

You would have thought that 400,000 emigrants would be more than sufficient to force a change of tactic, wouldn’t you? But like Mr Trapattoni’s management approach, the results seem to be less important than preservation of the system.

It’s the same with the economy: irrespective of the results, the management will uphold the failed status quo at all costs.

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  1. michaelcoughlan

    Am I first?

  2. CorkPlasticPaddy

    It looks as though you are, Mike!

    You’re wasting time talking to the idiots that we have running the country. They won’t listen to reason and the clowns over in Brussels are even worse!! They simply haven’t got a clue!!! The bankers are getting everything done their way. It’s just complete and utter bullshit!!!

  3. Grey Fox

    Truth is, if I could…I too would be long gone through the “departure lounge” I did it in the early 80′s and came back in the early 90′s….what a monumental mistake!

    • Irish PI

      Likewise..Biggest mistake was ever coming back to this kip of a country…But then again,I suppose duty to ones family does come first,if you are the only child and you have elderly parents,its a duty.

  4. ps200306

    You mention the Asian Tigers, David, but isn’t the truth that they’re right back where they were in 1997/98 or shortly will be? The low interest rate policies of the West which are trying to prop up the economy against the latest self-inflicted disaster have sent floods of money to emerging economies which is now all threatening to flood back at the prospect of QE ending. The emerging economies are left with knackered currencies and huge capital outflows. Our own boom and bust was caused by a similar ebb and flow of capital, resulting from German money seeking a better return than their own sluggish economy could provide. Now you want us to just rinse and repeat (and incidentally burn the few who were prudent and have savings, something you never mention). The Asian economies, just like us, have been patting themselves on the back and talking up their alleged homegrown economic miracles, all the while overspending public money like a shopaholic lotto winner until the day of reckoning arrives. Then, when all the money is gone we announce that the only solution to our problems is to keep spending and pray that someone will keep our line of credit going. Is there no better way?

    • Patrick

      yes there is a better way.
      1. Stop moaning and do something.
      2. Cut our imports ,start developing our alternative energy.
      3. Increase an exports. Export Beef to Asia and China Ireland is as close to Beijing as New Zealand.
      How many more ways can other readers think of?

      • ps200306

        We’re already doing all that. However we also have huge structural unemployment due to devoting too many resources to a construction sector that should never have existed. And we are spending borrowed money to the tune of a billion a month.

        • we’re already doing that ? we are Not doing enough of it you have to Q up in the us for Irish whiskey not able to supply it quick enough
          this place is like Fukushima rotten at the core.
          who sets TD Senators consultants etc wages an Inner core of C/S the reason there so high Is the whole civil service are Linked to TDs
          with modern computers 200 Germans or Chinese would streamline the whole team In a few weeks and have us back In the World Cup ,

        • 1billion a month? what Is that for Only To Sustain Idlers dossers etcetera half of us are being Excluded from what’s Left of democracy In Ireland I’m tired But Not That Tired To See the Chosen Few Survive ,

  5. redriversix

    What can Ireland’s Game plan be…?

    Does your article suggest that Ireland is in charge of her own destiny ?

    Clearly,she is not.Their are no longer any checks & balances across any Governmental Departments or personnel.

    Responsibility is a distant memory.What do politicians really have to do today,what recriminations do they face for poor policy,inaction ? Who do they answer to ?

    In the last 13 years the World has changed irrevocably for the worst..what awareness do people have of this,what responsibility does the media take ? who asks the hard questions of Government anymore ?

    Why is no action taken against politicians or their parties for promises they make during election time,and once elected,forget all about them.?

    Can people ignore their Government and do what they need to do to protect themselves and their families ?

    After 7 years of a unprecedented Financial global War & meltdown,why are economics & history so poorly represented in our education system.?

    How is it possible that 2000 allegedly intelligent people sign up to a “Trust” that promises to protect encumbered assets from a Bank for a fee & yet,refuses to tell them how it works ? It clearly cannot.

    Are these people a reflection of the collapse in the rights & wrongs of society over the last 13 years.

    What is wrong with making mistakes ? what is wrong with saying “I don’t know”?

    Is addiction rampant behind closed doors in Ireland ? prescription drugs,Alcoholism ?…drug addiction..?

    Is the family unit that was once cherished falling apart quietly in sitting rooms across this Country,while children pretend to be asleep upstairs..?

    Is the generation of the last 13 years , the generation of entitlement ?,a weak generation ? A generation unable for physical labor , a generation of non- responsibility..A generation unable to think for themselves,to make decisions,unable to take care of their families first ?

    Why do we look to others for answers when the answers we need are within ourselves..?
    Have we become too politically correct ? All children at sports days are winners etc ….

    Why is every crackpot solution given “airtime” at meetings instead of being “allowed” to say “eh that’s fucking wrong,wont is why it wont work…any other ideas” ?

    We know Banks acted criminally , we know Government works for others not for us..We know Banks are more powerful now than 6 years ago..We know they only people paying for this are the “Joe the plumbers & Joanne the nurse’s

    We know media is politically controlled via their belief system..we know they print,spin & waffle & promote whatever agenda that will suit them.

    We know the majority of people in Court over debts are lay litigants..we know that the Courts do not operate under right & wrong or “justice for all”

    What do I need ? shelter,food,warmth,clothing…keeping this simple.

    What is really important ?


    • michaelcoughlan

      Romantic Ireland is dead and gone,

      It’s with oleary in the grave.

    • Deco


      1. Ireland has no plan. The vested interests have a racket going. And the plan is to make sure nobody notices. The FAI and superficial patriotism, (“the green jersey”) are part of it.

      2. Thanks for asking those questions. Our useless Irish media are too busy fingering in the greasy till, to care about asking the questions that will inform the people what is really going on.

      Ireland’s addiction problems ? I don’t know where to start. But the rampant dishonesty and illusion that exists is the biggest part of the problem.

    • Paul Divers

      We are less democratic than ever.

      • hibernian56

        Wait ’till the Seanad goes… I think it’s waste, but without it there will be no stopping the wanna be blue shirt muinteoirs.

        We need checks and balances. At the moment the citizen has no say whatsoever for five years, after being blatantly lied to in the last election.

        Without the Seanad these same hypocrites, liars and traitors will have free reign to do whatever their pimps in the EU tell them to.

        Democracy implies that the citizens have a voice. But we have parties who’s members tow the party line, “follow the whip” (interesting dado-masochist imagery there).

        So if we elect a local TD to represent us, if he tows the party line rather than attend to our interests, is that really democracy?

        Destroy the parties, rethink government structure, abolish civil service hierarchy. Things need to be run like any small business: No waste, and anyone doing a job is reasonably qualified to do it. Oh, and minimal management.

    • Paul Divers

      This is inspiring. It’s all true Barry but you are missing the point. People will always turn inwards than listen to truth. There is no inspiring them

      They will deny everything you are saying even when they know it is in their best interests to listen and act on your words

      The fact is adults are more childish than children. At least children push the envelope until the hammer falls!

      • redriversix

        Thanks Paul

        Hope your well….?

        “First they laugh at us…then they shout at us..then they ridicule us,………….when its too late ..they listen”

        Have a great week Paul..

  6. DavidIreland

    Hi David,

    I see another analogy with our soccer team.

    Our whole underage soccer strategy needs changing. Our coaches of young teams – and they do great work – are understandably dazzled by players who can win matches for them. This usually means players who are big for their age, brave for their age, fast for their age or confident for their age relative to others.

    They are often not necessarily the skilful players and not necessarily the guys who will make it on a world stage later on. At the same time, the skilful players often don’t get a look in because they are not (yet) big, brave, fast or confident enough to get noticed and be nurtured to develop the talents that they have.

    As a result, many potential skilled players give up too early while the less skilled who succeeded because of their earlier size and speed find that these attributes don’t always stay with them relative to others later on. They also don’t make up for lack of skill although we do have some examples – not too many – where sheer passion and determination can make up for a lot.

    Other countries, Spain for example, I believe, do not have youngsters competing to win at all costs and concentrate instead on developing pure soccer skills up to teenage years. We cannot then compete with these guys.

    The Irish attitude to quick-buck short term profits, property madness and bubble economics instead of longer term profitability, sustainable economics and sound education in real entrepreneurship are just like our flawed soccer strategy. It focusses too much on the short term.

    We have the talent and the potential but we need a cultural change to exploit it properly.


      We pre-sold an installation to a premiership club recently (thats £100k). But to realise thing we’re looking for investors.

      Going to be mega.

      • Should mention, the video on the website above is version 1, which we trialled in Blackburn Rovers for 3 months under an NDA / no camera (or mobile) policy.

        We are launching version 2 in the new year. Gearing up now, with a notable lack of support from anyone. Exciting none the less, the uptake in private investment is unreal. There is certainly plenty of cash out there for decent tangible investments.

      • Paul Divers

        User interface sucks and looks like shit.

        • Charming. Really charming.
          That was V1, 3 years ago, paid for by us, do you have any grasp how much it costs to develop technology like this?
          Spacial tracking of both player and ball, time coded video of the action, and statistics, lots of statistics.
          Blackburn didn’t think it “sucked” or the user interface was “shit”.
          Have you ever obtained a patent? Have you ever invented anything? Do you work for EI?
          Paul, has anyone ever said you sound like a childish angry opinionated little shit?
          No? well let me be the first.

    • Hi David

      very stute observations about size and age. I have seen that time and time again in children’s sports.



  7. Tony

    In the 1950′s, my parents siblings emigrated. In the 80′s my siblings and friends emigrated. And now in the 10′s our kids (I mean collectively; not mine, they’re too young) are emigrating. The pattern is easy to see. Every 30 years or so, this country hits a sort of reset button. And the reason is simple. Ireland can’t afford to support itself.
    It can’t afford the ludicrous universal welfare programmes of child benefit and old age pension, it can’t afford the monstrosity that is healthcare for all, it can’t afford the bloated public sector, it can’t afford the politicians pensions, the quangos, the road building, the public transport systems. The country simply cannot afford to support itself in the way we expect.
    The real change needs to be in our expectations. We need to be aware that the reset button will be hit every few decades, until we become self sufficient. and by self sufficient. I don’t mean as a nation, but as individuals. But as long as we keep voting for the politicians who promise us better benefits, bigger houses and eternal life, nothing will ever change.

    • straboe1

      let’s see what your world would be like according to Tony. Private school for the rich, the poor don’t get any real advantage from education. The sick who cant afford health care can look after themselves. The roads can be full of potholes, this will not effect SUVs too much, oh and the OAPs can look after themselves, maybe by getting up-skilled, e.g. learning how to beg. What a wonderful world.

      • BoCualain

        yet somehow with all this austerity and belt tightening the top ten percentile manage to increase their wealth …. maybe if the emigrants chose to stay and fight instead of running away

    • jeeaaan

      We have large element of entitlement brigade.It is breathtaking that the government is still borrowing more than they are taking in to pay over two million people some sort of welfare benefit each week.This is where the biggest problem is ,the people who are able but refuse to work are the recipients of these benefits who have carefully weighed up the benefit of not working.They will never work and there are many of them.Until the problem is addressed it will get worse.We hae people out for themselves David ,not the good of the country.Greedy and self serving and not millionaires in many cases.

    • paddythepig

      You are 100% right Tony.

    • Joe R


      I feel that strongly you are relating things that don´t have direct relationships.

      As an alternative example of how bust fuels boom the emigration of the eighties aided the creation of the housing price bubble in the late 90s onwards. It aided it by depressing housing production for a decade such that there was a distinct supply problem up to 2004 at least. Prices after the 1980s could have been viewed as depressed, at least in certain places and for certain house types. These two leftovers of Ireland’s economic performance in the 1980s combined with many other factors which came into existence in the 90s created the conditions for the house price boom. The history of the boom has its roots in the deprivation of the 1980s. There is no mystery here.

      For me consistency is the key, balance if you like. When Ireland is confident to manage that it will be fine, or at least better.

  8. Adelaide

    One of David’s best articles was a couple of years back comparing Trap’s ridiculous (third highest paid football manager on the PLANET!)salary to objective reality, and the Irish psyche that allows such largesse. For whatever reason that article stays lodged in my brain to this day. Keep up the good work, David. I’ll be visiting Kilkenomics for the first time later in the year.

    • Deco

      You are correct.

      In fact it captured the essence of the massive misallocation of resources that occurred. It tells us legions about what we do badly wrong.

      It is pure “Time to wear the green jersey” nonsense.

  9. Deco

    The soccer team are a bit like the country as a whole. Over-rated. Mis-managed. But the PR effort is relentless, slick and very pervasive.

    I have a suggestion. Ireland needs a new sport. Basically, football/soccer is a waste of time. In Ireland it only means boozing in any case.

    In fact it is a massive waste of resources by a large proportion of the adult (let’s use the term, though with a certain air of hesitation) population. It is a complete folly. We may as well be trying to be the world skiing champions. Statistically we stand a better chance of winning the Cricket world cup.

    Maybe we should declare Peak-Football to be over.

    And concentrate of something where we are more likely to get a better bang for our collective buck. New Zealand has rugby. Austria has skking. America has track&field. Russia has gynmastics.

    We need to call it a day, and find a new sport.

    Maybe Boxing. Or showjumping. And forget about the waste and folly involved in the national soccer squad.

    Of course the publicans, the brewer (let’s face facts here – there is only really one – the rest are much smaller) (and let’s face another fact the Irish drinks industry is foreign owned), and the media don’t want that to happen.

    But…..we need a new sport.

    How about collecting nobel prizes for litreature. We used to be good at that once. In fact we have been rubbish at it in decades. The one win we got was by somebody who was educated in the North. We got a bailout on the back of a long barren streak.

    Yeah, as an exercise in economics,


    • paddythepig

      You may deny it, but somewhere deep down inside you I reckon you really love the game.

      • Deco


        The whole thing is a superficial, meaningless illusion.

        In fact it is completely absurd.

        Glad I realised that a long time ago. It is for suckers. If you want to follow a ball around for exercise fine.

        But when people start to waste whatever bit of activity they have in their cranium on this nonsense, then this is a predictor of subprime intellectual endeavour.

        It is just the modern equivalent of the gladatorial games provided to distract the plebs while they get robbed blind, deceived and misled.

        • paddythepig

          Would you say the same thing about Gaelic football, hurling, or rugby?

          • Deco

            Yes. Though the scale of misallocation of resources is all three is a fraction of what is occurring with respect to Association Football.

            I think we need to look hard and honest about this. The illusions that are continually being held with regard to the soccer team are bonkers.

            Maybe we might be able to concentrate boxing, or showjumping or something like that.

            But even then, I would question the entire superficial pride nonsense. Even if you were a success at something, like NZ and rugby, you would wonder is it really worth it.

            New Zealand and rugby has a pyrrhic victory.

            ROI and soccer is more like a series of pyrrhic loser episodes.

            I know that I am providing heretical commentary in the current sports saturation media controlled age.

            But it does not bother me one bit.

            somebody needs to say it. Somebody needs to offend, so as to state the truth.

          • Deco

            Yes. Though the scale of misallocation of resources in all three combined is a fraction of what is occurring with respect to Association Football.

            I think we need to look hard and honest about this. The illusions that are continually being held with regard to the soccer team are bonkers.

            Maybe we might be able to concentrate boxing, or showjumping or something like that.

            But even then, I would question the entire superficial pride nonsense. Even if you were a success at something, like NZ and rugby, you would wonder is it really worth it.

            New Zealand and rugby has a pyrrhic victory.

            ROI and soccer is more like a series of pyrrhic loser episodes.

            I know that I am providing heretical commentary in the current sports saturation media controlled age.

            But it does not bother me one bit.

            somebody needs to say it. Somebody needs to offend, so as to state the truth.

    • Paul Divers

      I agree with most of your points re sport Deco and it would take a strange person to disagree with your last sentence.

      For my own sins I am interested in the history of association football and how it grew to become the world’s most popular sport

      I could never pay hundreds to go to England and watch a game because football is an alien world to me now. Paying £40 to watch millionaires kicking a ball around would make me feel morally and intellectually bankrupt

      Keep talking and breaking taboos.

    • Paul Divers

      Sport became powerful because it is based on loose money. It gave the rich an excuse to slum it and lord over the masses and the same types of people still running sport today.

      This Sporting Life, 1963, is a hard hitting movie about a professional rugby league footballer in northern England starring Richard Harris. You might have seen it

      The protagonist is physically strong and his brutality serves him for long enough to worm his way into the heart of the chairman’s wife who he is fucking every afternoon

      This suits the chairman as long the team is winning but when the booze gets a grip is’s all down hill and the rich guy wins

      Same old yarn

  10. A telephone call should solve the problem.

    Hey lads, its me ‘Napoleon ‘ talking . I am not dead .If you want me to arrive back to Eerland I can do a great job.But remember I need a big army and you all will be paid very well .

    Am hmm , Napoleon will there be a fall of the Bastille here too and a Joan of Arc ….and …we have bunch of idiots to catch too .

    Send me a Ryan Air flight and soon I will be piloting the O’Leary Horse to the stables on a favourite 3/1 …….make your bets but dont tell anyone.

    • DB4545

      I have a love/hate view of Michael O’Leary. He’s a self admitted ruthless little bo**ix but he knows how to cut costs and run a business. I remember paying £200 sterling to Aer Lingus for flights home from London at Christmas many years ago. Michael O’ Leary kicked that to touch. I know he plays games with ticket pricing and add-ons on the Ryanair website but if you play using skyscanner etc. you can keep the little bo**ix in check. When he was buying new planes he played Boeing and Airbus until he got the price he wanted for his shareholders. Whatever your views on him he is loyal to shareholders. The point I’m getting to is that we need a few ruthless little bo**ixes working for Ireland. We also need a mechanism to keep them in check. Dail Eireann is not fit for purpose. We elected a Government to serve the interests of shareholders in “Ireland Inc”. They immediately went to work for the shareholders of German Banks. They wave various shades of the flag but they ain’t working for us. I like this site, with some really interesting contributors with fresh ideas. David contributes his article and then it turns into a wailing wall (myself included). Surely the time has come for real change?

  11. Deco

    Singapore – no illusions about itself as a great power in soccer, unlike Ireland which wastes itself in pursuit of pointlessness.

    But, Singapore is a world champion at economic performance, economic sovereignty – which might expalin why some Irish people have ended up working there.

    And all from a tiny resource base, and enormous ingenuity.

  12. CorkRob

    Not for the 1st time this week I’ll say it (again ):

    1. Leave The Euro
    2. Reintroduce the Punt & Devalue to a workable level
    3. Divert IDA funding for the Tech sector (Google, Paypal, Microsoft, LinkedIn etc – who,
    lets be honest, mainly hire minimum wage-native speaking foreign immigrants for
    Call-centre work anyway – into seriously developing wind, wave, solar and tidal energy
    generating sites.
    4. Encourage domestic companies to fill this space or, at worst, incentivise Danish
    (or other) companies to establish manufacturing units here and train IRISH Workers to
    MAKE and install alternative energy turbines.
    5. Reduce Taxation levels on exporting Food Companies – this would have a positive
    knock-on effect throughout the food supply chain.
    6. Maintain or improve our competitive Corporate Tax rate (No Euro – less restrictions)
    7. Seriously look at reducing our overall taxation rates as Hong Kong did in the post 2nd
    World War era, to drive inward and domestic investment.
    8. Aggressively expand the FEPS and other Forestry investment schemes and help expand
    the forestry sector exponentially (We have the quickest growing timber and the lowest
    level of afforestation in Europe).
    9. Allow employers a zero rate on Employers PRSI on hiring long-term unemployed,
    annually refundable in arrears , for the first 2 years of re-employment.
    10. Allow long-tyerm unemployed retain their DSW supports (medical cards, FIS, 3rd level
    grants etc) for the 1st 18 months after re=employment (This would help break the
    disincentive to return to work.

    I know that oil prices and transport costs would rise, but in the long term a dynamic alternative energy sector could neutralise that effect. Domestic food production could replace expensive imports

    These measures would develop sectors where we have abundant natural resources or untapped natural advantages.
    They would deliver down-stream knock-on job creation and help retrain or lost manufacturing sector, drive our international competitiveness and break our dependance on the Bundesbank and it’s interests.

    I would like to know exactly how many IRISH born citizens have started in the Multinational Tech Company/IDA announced jobs over he last few years (say 5 years) versus the number of Immigrant positions filled. At Careerzoo in Dublin last Spring, I’d say around 95% of the jobs on offer had a Native-Speaking Foreign language requirement – i.e no matter how much a native born Irish person studied, they’d NEVER have Native-level foreign language skills.

    It’s nigh on time that Enda & Co (My party for the last 32 years – now sad to say !!!) started taking care of business for their own people and start planning to deliver durable and competitive employment for the long term future, based on our own natural resources and for the benefit of us all.

      • Joe R

        Says the gas lobby? Would that be the fracking gas lobby?

        Paul, the piece dosen´t make sense. Look again if you will.

        The figure of £130 billion for wind turbines and associated costs is unsupported. Perhaps it came from an ex Anglo Irish executive, if you know what I mean. And
        despite hinting heavily at the start that turbines don´t reduce CO2 emissions one of the supporting reports goes on to confirm that they do.

        It also says that the climate change/global warming science is not fully proven. Which it is.

        For me this is a climate change disinformation site, albeit a clever one.

        • Paul Divers

          Thanks Joe, I have no vested interests and like yourself I want fact. I have an open mind on global warming but the fact is the planet has been cooling for the last 16 years; the evidence seems to suggest otherwise hence the confusion. I will be dead soon and the future is no use to me son

          The web contains ‘reports’ playing down the importance of wind power and if you can point me to links suggesting otherwise then please post them and if it turns out I have been suckered then you will have done me a favour just as Colin did in challenging my beliefs. We are all brothers and bounded by something intangible in the Irish psyche

          I am pleased you want to talk about energy. It is our future and we would be better served focusing on our energy potential rather than wasting breath speculating on what was or was not said in the early hours of Sept 8th 2008 and who was wrong and who was right. Slap them across the ear with a huge cod

          I don’t know about the rest of you but I have moved on. If we had five years to save Ireland and left it to the Government then I would want to take action tomorrow morning like the rest of you lads

          We are living in Glasgow circa 1963 and we are a rabble and know it but the rot is so deep we turn in on ourselves. Just the way the bastard want it. Don’t lie down and never fucking feel inferior to no-one. Ever!

          The metaphor I described in my earlier post is a warning. We can sink or swim in this ocean of bs or get to the truth

          It’s up to us and I hope people like you and Deco continue ruffling feathers and challenging taboos whatever your faith or fav sport. A hurling man is just as Irish as football man

          We have a long long way to go to catch up and be free but the fact is the Ireland of September 2013 is as stifled in it’s ultra privileged corrupt conservatism and moral hypocrisy as the Ireland of September 1913.

          O’Leary is not the man and is the opposite of what is required. Would I get out of bed to work for someone who look likes like a 5 foot garden gnome?

          Get a grip.

          Haw Haw Haw

        • Joe R


          The globe is warming up. It warmed up over the last 16 years you mentioned. It has not gotten colder, this is an undisputed fact.

          On the GWPF is a lobbying body for industry which which to hijack global climate debate and spin it in favour of industry. there is a referenced run down here.

          George Monbiot has written about `fracking´, protests and Government links to industry.
          I suggest you try his website or the Guardian for his take.

          Naomi Klein have written about similar topic including groups like GWPF, subsidized by industry which exist to disseminate doubt and disinformation. Try her site or the Statesman site.

    • bonbon

      Maybe I’m wrong but the small print, a mere whisper, is

      11. let the banks go on just the same and start more bubbles.

      Correct me if I am wrong, but that’s the status quo, is’nt it?

  13. Joe R

    Perhaps part of the `game plan´ would involve giving emigrants votes, rather than abandoning them? Does Ireland expect them back a second time?

    Expand that out to meaningful Dáil and election reform (I am feeling ambitious here).

    A change to Sunday voting in Ireland for example, normal pretty much everywhere else in the world, meaning more people, and particularly young people can find the time to vote.

    Emigrants can´t vote. Students and young people in general, while more likely to vote against the governing party, have a lower tendency to turnout to vote particularly where the vote does not take place on a Sunday. The older generations tend to go out and vote for tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee as their parents did before them, but with a higher turnout rate than the younger generation. Bringing in more youth votes and 100,000s of thousands of emigrants WOULD change the political landscape in Ireland. Irish politicians, for the first time ever, might be held responsible for their actions by those affected sufficiently to have quit the country or those faced with no better option than quitting.

    But turkeys don´t vote for Christmas, I guess, so I can´t see the political will ever existing to make these types of changes.

  14. kinsele2

    I think there is a fundamental issue where our ministers can hold offices they have absolutely no qualifications for. The skill set required to do well in elections at local or national level in most cases has no relationship whatsoever to the skill set required to manage an economy, run a health service effectively or any of the roles occupied by ministers.
    The conversation has been almost identical in some areas for as long as I can remember, for example the health service has been seriously struggling and at breaking point before, during and after the boom. When you hear people like Brian Cowen minister for finance for 4 years during the boom say that noone could have seen what was coming, when people like David were predicting it since 1999, it’s really obvious these people aren’t paying attention to studies that are being done in their areas. This I think shows a lack of interest in the areas they are / were actually responsible for apart from the obvious lack of humility at their own mistakes. I wonder what research Micheal Martin has done into health care or what fresh ideas he might have for enterprise trade and employment given the once in a lifetime chance he had over again.
    I work as a software engineer (luckily for me one of the few careers still viable in Ireland at an entry level for young people, at least for as long as the tax loophole that is the internet holds up), and if I don’t keep my skill set up to date with the latest trends I will be much less employable in 5 years time. This in my opinion is how it should be, otherwise progress would be very slow and we would be stuck with the status quo for decades and still probably carrying around Nokia 6310′s. As long as our politicians aren’t made to do similarly I don’t see how we can begin to expect anything to change.

  15. Pat Flannery

    “This way involves allowing the currency to fall, writing off large debts, restructuring others and becoming competitive through overnight exchange rate changes rather than grinding down the economy for years. However, adopting an Asian Tiger approach means tearing up the old script.”

    All of the above amounts to the same thing: the repudiation of debt.

    Unlike the Asian Tigers Ireland is locked inside a monetary union. All the handwringing in the world will not change that. Therefore we cannot repudiate our debt by allowing our currency to fall and becoming competitive through exchange rates, as David suggests. That leaves writing off and/or restructuring our debt as the only option. A currency solution is mere wishful thinking.

    The good news is that debt is amenable to both being written off and being restructured. But it will not be initiated by either the banks or the government.

    This is the 21st Century equivalent of the 19th Century “Land War” when it was the people vs. the landlords and the government. This time it is the people vs. the banks in the “Mortgage Wars”. Every single mortgaged homeowner in Ireland can do their household budget and send what they can afford to their bank. That’s what the tenant farmers did in the “Land War”. They called it “Fair Rent”. I would suggest homeowners pay up to 33% of their gross family income as “Fair Mortgage”, which is considered the standard around the world.

    All we are missing is a 21st Century organizer like Michael Davitt and a political leader like Parnell and I am confident they will emerge. Just as the Land War followed the Great Famine the Mortgage War will follow the Great Exodus. Again it is time for the Irish people to assert their sovereignty and govern themselves. I am confident they will.

    • hibernian56

      If I need a financial controller, I don’t hire a school teacher with absolutely NO experience and a broad spectrum part-time degree in finance.

      Also is a simple background check out of the question? e.g. if I am going to give a guy a job “mentoring” small business, is he technically bankrupt and unable to balance his own cheque book?

      You couldn’t make it up.

      I really makes one think, if these shysters are concentrating on keeping their own bank debt quiet, what are they prepared to do to keep it quiet and who’s interests are they really serving?

      I said it before, Potato Republic.

      • Pat Flannery

        hibernian56: just as in the 19th Century when the tenant farmers could expect nothing from the British Government which consisted of landlords as far as the Irish delegation was concerned, even Parnell was a landlord, so now the mortgagors cannot look to government for answers. They have to form mortgagor associations and a plan of action. The answer will not come from government. The man you refer to is a classic gombeen protected by a gombeen government.

    • Joe R

      Loan restructuring means a greater total of debt for the indebted.

      On `loan´ restructuring, Stephen Donnelly cornered BOI management in the Dáil on the issue;

      I don´t see how heaping on more debt for the already over indebted solves anything, particularly given the depth and length of the current recession/depression.

      • Joe R

        And a critical point made in the clip; the banks are involved in initiating restructuring. Restructuring that involves the creation of more debt and benefits them only.

    • Joe R

      “Unlike the Asian Tigers Ireland is locked inside a monetary union.´´

      Funny, that was irrelevant a few days ago according to yourself.

      The EU isn´t just in a monetary union, it is also a political union. The political aspect of the union is effective thanks to the Quisling like behaviour of the leaders of our political class. That has gone on for so long now, since Haughey had free money dangled in front of him, that it is taken for granted.

      The expansion of the EU in this way was effectively the creation of a type of empire for German & French money, though one not backed up by tanks and planes. Our docile politicians and compliant media do all the necessary pacifying. It is not an overtly aggressive strategy inspires a weak resistance, envolves lots of mollifying and some pay-offs and hey-ho who needs an army to do the work?

      A truely patriotic and independent leader would at least raise the possibility of leaving the Euro if not actually carry such a threat. The simple reason is because it would upset the German/French `game plan´ hugely which at the moment is destroying Ireland.

      • bonbon

        Not quite, but that’s the usual blather.

        The U.S.E., United States of Europe, is a British project, formulated by Churchill and loudly exposed by Sir Oswald Moseley. And now we have a full disclosure of the Basel Bank for International Settlements (BIS to its friends) by Lebor. The banking union now voted up by 90% of EU mep’s is exacly the BIS plan. So it is a bankers wet dream.

        Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World
        BY Adam LeBor New York: PublicAffairs, 2013; 336 pages, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-254-9

        The Bank for International Fascism is fully exposed. And looking at Greece, Cyprus, etc, there is no surprise. Now realize what patriots have to deal with.

      • Joe R

        Ah Oswald Mosley the founder and leader of the British Fascist Party from 1930? Let´s talk about Oswald a bit.

        Interesting that the second world, holocaust and prevailing consensus did nothing to alter the racist´s viewpoint. From wikipedia;

        “Shortly after the 1958 Notting Hill race riots, Mosley briefly returned to Britain in order to stand in the 1959 general election at Kensington North. Mosley led his campaign stridently on an anti-immigration platform, calling for forced repatriation of Caribbean immigrants as well as a prohibition upon mixed marriages. Mosley’s final share of the vote was 8.1%.[22]´´

        and is correctly referenced)

        I find it sick that you would attempt to hold up a racist, fascist as some kind of beacon of truth.

        This is of course aside from the baseless nature of your claim. Mosley has nothing to do with anything, Churchill plotted nothing of the sort that you mentioned and the BIS´s is not instrumental to propping up the Euro, nor does the book get into that subject heavily.

        Tower of Basel – book review here;

  16. You are dead right about both the soccer and the economy. I think some very good lessons are provided by the history of the Great Crash of 1929. It took 10 years to emerge from the Great Depression. All throughout this period “green shoots” and false dawns were reported in the papers. FDR set about giving a stimulus to the American economy and great public works were done, like the Hoover Dam, and America led the world in recovery. Regulations were put in place so all the stupid practices creating the mess (like bad banking practices) could never happen again. These were gradually eroded as peoples’ memory of the problem faded. Milton Friedman and his “Chigago School” of economics came along and had the whole world abolish most regulations, as these were restricting the “free market” which would self-regulate. Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher & most of the Western world and a some of the 3rd World were convinced (or co-erced) that this was the way to go. We now have the result of that short-sightedness. Politicians only look to the next election and none of them take the long view. Bertie Ahern told any sceptics they could hang themselves. He is now living on a fabulous pension. He probably can’t even see what he did wrong. What I am saying is that our politicians don’t seem to be able to learn the lessons of history. How sad and stupid. The politicians are this minute telling us that the live register has reduced by 7,000 this week. They don’t mention how much of this is due to emigration. Everything is propaganda to give a positive spin to the news.

  17. Greed and the Quick buck have us where we are Today I’d venture To say caused by our education or more precisely our educators these professors In university’s assuring there students of huge amounts of money to be made at Law doctoring accountants architect etc. € billions have gone down the swany on tribunals . quangos are still burning €BN FAS bringing wives and friends on Holliday . even with this propensity to burn as much €BNs as we can our greatest mistake was an overwhelming urge to sell concrete to each other with borrowed money. If only we kept sugar paper semperet Tyres Irish glass bottle Waterford crystals No not enough money In It. we need a man of vision Like Sean Lemass alas We don’t have such a Man he could be in 450.000 gone since 2009,
    keep her Lit David your the Man,(:-

  18. Ireland Needs a New Game Plan

    In so many words it is too late .When the Enarchy / Plutocrats in Europe dissect the seminal evidence in our own Irish Tax Laws and produce the Sweets given to the Multi-Nationals in Ireland then we will be reading the shadows of the Green Deception in Irish Banking and the greed therein .Expect more law suits with the Big 4 Accountancy Practices and their dissolution .

    The skyline in the Docklands will become empty again just like before and the edifice thereon become occupied by the cold winds and Artic weather and O2 will be No More .

    • Joining EU was a mistake however It didn’t mean we had to sit on our hands the real reason we have no work are Lack of foresight . the Americans have to Wait for Jameson Whiskey Why.eejits. the most modern sugar factory in Europe was In Carlow Gone why
      Irish shipping gone why . we have to Import sugar paper tyres steel tea coffee with no ships. Irish Shipping Fed us during WW2 . EU have taken most of our way of Life and are about to take more Power Phone Gas Oil forest Wind Water Turf they already got the Fish . all the While we have citizens treated Like Demigods who wouldn’t Pay a cent tax if It was to save there Lives. It’s about time we woke up an started to build ships to retake our fish and started to make sugar paper steel tyres stopped imported cars etc etc etc
      and restart our lives ,

  19. Allez Bleu

    There is a new sense of discovery on the Continent and a renewal of a nouveau Fall of The Bastile that is believed will redeem the lost fortunes in Paris. And along the corridors of power where rooms are hidden and No Irish need apply secret meetings have been happening to redress the imbalance that the Irish enjoy in their culture of Corporation Tax and Airline Supremacy .

    The blue line is finding its ink to be written in a new parchments bearing shackles that will be caste from new broadway planks at a dockland near you .Blindfolded will become our relief from reality to come and O’Leary ..Oh Oh ..O’Leary ….forlorn.

  20. Paul Divers

    Great Footballing Analogy David and a fascinating read. I saw it on the Indo site and was confused to see a link to Celtic FC

    The core philosophy you describe is not my philosophy and I am powerless to say much except offer words of encouragement. Like Celtic in 63-64 Ireland has the potential and the players but the management are bereft of vision and the current malaise suits them. 400,000 have emigrated and their attitude reminds me of the type of people who ran the Celtic Park pie operation which I will get to in a second.

    The old management insisted there was no alternative and ran the club’s financial affairs from a biscuit tin. They were elitist, clueless and didn’t appear to care who knew it. They fiddled gate receipts (tax avoidance) and quoted laughable attendance figures which appeared in the sports columns.

    The manager was not picking the team – the chairman was. The manager, Mr McGrory, was a footballing legend who scored a British record 550 career goals that stands to this day but he was too nice and subservient to the chairman. What happened next is a classic example of having the courage to go for the nuclear option

    The pie stalls sold ridiculously overpriced cold pies which would be sold out before the game even started. Even back then I used to wonder what is so hard about running a simple operation by shifting pies (hot ones) for the duration of a football match increasing your volume and hence profit? Rip off Ireland glasgow style

    They had too much money and viewed the pie operation as small potatoes. They had their luxury accomodation in the main stand (the Dail Bar) while the faithful stood eating cold meat pies under the rain (5000 homeless in Ireland and 110,000 on the housing list)

    The stadium is falling apart (our infrastructure) and the jungle roof is leaking (sub standard housing and schools) while the supporters are fighting among themselves on television and radio (everyday blatent and latent bigotry in the workplace).

    Old timers are aghast because we are breeding a troublesome youth with bottle throwing thugs from Glasgow’s slum tenements mirroring today’s rude and aggressive behaviour on the interweb and in the streets.

    Once despair sets in and your rivals are humiliating you every week it snowballs and gets worse unless someone raises their hands and cries stop!

    To their credit the old board realised their negligence towards the faithful who paid for their handsome lifestyle and they knew deep down the football club had become a disgrace. It must have been grating to hand control over to one man but they did it and the result speaks for itself

    They called in a visionary who delivered the European Cup within three years a decade of unbroken success playing the passing game the way it was meant to be played. They did not cut back on spending but increased it to acquire a couple of players to complete the side. The culture changed and the faithful started to take pride in their club and since then they have been welcomed everywhere the game is played

    Hererra, the prince of darkness and exponent of the suffocating spiritual darkness of Cattenachio (austerity) knew he had met his match and the world looked on amazed as his cynical swaggering film stars were taken apart one afternoon in Lisbon by a bunch of guys who grew up in the same tenements as some of their bottle throwing supporters. ‘Bobby Murdoch is my complete footballer’ Hererra conceded in graciously accepting defeat

    The football world changed that summer and the victory was the catayst for the Dutch adoption of the ‘total football’ philosophy. The Celtic Manager thought it was a shame that such great football players betrayed their true talent by being straight-jacketed under a cynical and frankly brutal style of football. How many talented people are stifled in modern Ireland I wonder

    It was not handed out on a plate and Stein like so many of his young lions could all easily have vanished without trace but for a curious mixture of circumstance, hard work and a determination to show the world a better way. However the dream was so big that only one man really believed it.

    • Michael 0′Leary would be a good manager to smarten up public service team I’d guess he’d find out purty quick who was passing the ball an who was going for the Long kick.
      he’d sack em as fast as delivery of a brown envelope or a tony Dunne penalty .
      but good management may not be enough at this stage It’s gone so septic amputation of great swarths of the old team as promised but not delivered In 2011,

    • Adam Byrne

      Smashing analogy Paul.

  21. bonbon

    Here is the reference to Yeats poem :
    September 1913, or Romance in Ireland as it was originally titled, was first published in this newspaper a century ago this month.

  22. kfyontz

    I just read today that you’ll be in Phoenix this Sunday-Tuesday. It would be great to hear you speak. Will you speak at any other place other than the Zeitgeist resort?
    I think the Irish Cultural Center would be interested in hosting you (602-258-0109-Mary Moriarty).
    They just called me to ask how to get in touch with you.
    Unfortunately its Friday afternoon (2:45pm) and you may have your plans set. But if you will speak in Phoenix, or if you’d like to speak at the Cultural Center,it’s

  23. Deco

    The whole thing is an exercise in pointless futility, illusionary nonsense, and green jersey stupidity.

    Really, we should be delighted that the farce ended sooner rather than later. That way we can opt out of the soccer world cup, which is expensive, and purely a charade in any case for a collection of jokers called the FAI.

    The role of Michael Lowry’s chum is even more evidence that the whole thing has become reduced to farce.

    Count me out of the entire “best fans in the world” bullshit. It is an exercise in collective stupidity, that I want absolutely nothing to do with. Grown men who pay more attention to minutae and drivel about a collection of fakers wearing green jerseys than they do their own wives.

    They often know more about the soccer players playing a silly game than they do about the politicians running the country, and selling the people out.

    The whole thing is an unamusing spectacle, and a charade.

    Time to opt out.

    • Aw deco are you deserting the Lager Louts or more precisely the mercenaries that represent Ireland who wouldn’t get a kick In a row, 11 Nuns would make a better fist of It . not long now until you see real men play when mayo beats Dublin In mans football, no pretenders here just pure muck savages and all there own money no millionaires to back them no bailouts here just honesty sadly Lacking in FAI who gave millions to a bollox to Learn English go back to hurling Deco:)’m

    • Paul Divers

      Message received and counted out Deco. Fair play friend.
      I take it you will not be watching Celtic playing the great Milan?

    • paddythepig

      If you look at life through a narrow prism, you will come to conclusions like this. It’s not that there isn’t some validity in what you say, but you disregard so many other positives in respect of participation in, and following sports.

  24. bonbon

    It seems there are still some daft beliefs, besides in money and greasy tills. Global warming was only in the windy mind of the liberals (which I thought that was a true vacuum) :

    <a href=""<Global Warming Fraud Continues to Unravel: More Evidence of Coming Global Cooling—Look to the Sun!

    The sudden about turn of the “mainstream press of record” – what has been well known for years. On top of that the DT has a field day :
    Romantic Germany risks economic decline as green dream spoils. It is dawning on voters that major energy cost hikes will heap on after the elections. A totally insane policy that is indeed the result of the Romantic Movement set in motion by Kant, as Heinrich Heine warned.

  25. Howya! Briefly breaking ‘purdah’ just to say: whatever you do, don’t miss “Peaky Blinders”. Everything I’ve struggled to articulate on this blog since 2006(?) is encapsulated in the first episode:

    “Dublin is closer to Birmingham than Berlin or Boston”

    David,5Fingers,Adam: do NOT miss this!

    with every good wish, yours in Jubilo and in delicto flagrante:

    “Mad Paddy From Brum”


    • Paul Divers

      My Bottom.

    • Paul Divers

      You talking to me huh?

      We all know you are pretty mad Andrew. No need to remind us and keep repeating the obvious lol.

      You sound like a wee boy who found a bag of lollies in the back court. Save me a yellow one. I have a thing about yellow lollipops. My first gf loved sucking them circa 1976.

      Life was more fun in those days because imagination did all the work.

  26. bonbon

    For the sophists who claim “Glass-Steagall” would not have prevented Lehman”, a typical Eurobabble and D.C. lie :

    Lehman Bankruptcy Administrator Calls for Glass-Steagall

    September 14, 2013 (EIRNS)–”Lehman Bankruptcy Administrator Recommends Worldwide Trennbankensystem!” (Glass-Steagall.) So ran headlines throughout the German-language press in Europe today. Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Lehman administrator Bryan Marsal’s interview in Die Welt today emphasizing Glass-Steagall among numerous things he said in the interview. Marsal told the paper he had fully supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall, “until I saw what happened to Lehman.” So much for all the talk of Lehman’s not being a universal bank, and Glass-Steagall’s repeal having nothing to do with its collapse and the crisis.

    When Die Welt reporter Sebastian Jost implied that just forbidding proprietary trading (the “Volcker Rule”) would suffice, Marsal answered, “The distinction is artificial. You can’t draw a hard line between proprietary and customer-requested trading. Therefore the bank should decide: Either it does classic retail and business customer business–or it engages in investment banking, trading securities, and works with hedge funds. Both together don’t work. Business with exotic products, which are mainly used for casino games, I would simply forbid that.”

    Strong words, which should also apply to German Sparkassen (savings & loans) and other public banks, which are again creating their own contractual gambling bets to sell them to their depositors with such exotic Certificate names such as “Knock Out Call Warrant,” “Airbag Certificate,” etc.

  27. bonbon

    Evans-Pritchard True Brit Freakout about Bismarckian Secret Pacts with Russia.

    The phase change that Russia thi week checkmated, has certain London circles in a freakout. Note the true British “We may swap the EU Leviathan, for a dangerous and fragmented Europe.” and ask in who’s interest is the Euro disaster?

  28. Ryu Hayabusa

    Though initially reticent the Germans were happy to take all the upsides of the so-called currency union. Understandably they are a little more nonplussed about embracing the downsides.

    It’s a gargantuan shit sandwich& sooner or later they are gonna have to take a big bite!!!

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