October 31, 2013

It's the 80s all over again as London heads for boomtime

Posted in Economic History · 155 comments ·

The 328 bus from Golders Green to Notting Hill is as much a journey through the changing ethnicities of London as it is a route home. Last night I hopped on it and watched the unfolding of the ethnic map of Europe’s biggest city and possibly the world’s most cosmopolitan metropolis, as each tribe got on an off, as we moved from area to area, from High Road to High Street.

As the bus left the predominantly Jewish Golders Green so too did the Jews who were on the bus. Indians and Chinese embarked.

The bus moved towards Kilburn. At Kilburn High Road, the bus filled up with older Irish people, immigrants from the 1950s and 1960s. Through the window, I could see the corner shops sold the ‘Limerick Leader’, the ‘Sligo Champion’, the ‘Leitrim Observer’ and, of course, ‘The Irish Post’.

In the 2011 census, Irish-born people were the third largest ethnic minority here, only surpassed by Indians and Europe’s great recent migrants, the Poles. Ten years ago, Irish-born Londoners were the second largest ethnic minority with over 150,000 Irish-born living in London. By 2011 this population had fallen by 20,000 reflecting the ageing of the 1950s emigrants.

The complexion of London is changing and this area is becoming considerably less Irish. For example, data for Brent (Kilburn) shows that the percentage of residents born in Ireland fell from 4.9pc in 2001 to 2.6pc by 2011.

And even though Brent has the largest population who self-identify as ‘White Irish’ in London, it too has fallen considerably from 6.95pc in 2001 to 3.96pc in 2011. That’s a pretty dramatic fall. The Irish are moving out to the suburbs and are being replaced by new migrants as I saw for myself last night, watching the crowds of young Muslims meeting around a madrasa off the Kilburn High Road.

By the time the bus pulled into Westbourne Park station, most of the older Irish had alighted, replaced by younger Middle Eastern and Asian migrants.

The bus captured some of the essence of London: transient, mixed, still territorial. I had started in pre-war Yiddish Poland and ended up in 21st century Bangladesh via 1950s Mohill.

Most of these people are here for one reason: opportunity. And today London is providing opportunity for hundreds of thousands of new migrants. So while it is the third largest Irish city in the world – after Dublin and Belfast – it is also the sixth largest French city. There are more French people living in London than are living in either Bordeaux or Strasbourg.

And over the past few years, tens of thousands of new Irish immigrants, not yet showing up in the census data, have arrived in London.

They are coming to London not only because of a lack of job opportunity in Ireland, but also because London is booming and the rest of the UK is being dragged up with it.

Over the summer, the UK economy grew by nearly 1pc and this comes after three quarters of positive growth, so it is not a mirage. Ireland’s largest trading partner is recovering across the board. It is one of the very few economies where the IMF has actually upgraded its forecasts.

If these growth rates continue, then the Tories will be able to cut taxes in the budget of 2015 and here is the politics of what is happening in the UK, the Conservative Party are trying to do what they have (and in fairness most political parties) tried to do over the years – win an election on the back of a house-price boom.

Property prices are the topic of conversation again in London. Most “normal” people can’t afford to live locally anymore. And the Conservative Party’s answer to this has been to unveil a “help to buy” scheme. The second phase of this scheme has been unveiled in recent weeks, so if you are a potential buyer, as long as you put down a 5pc deposit, the UK government would pay up to a further 20pc of the property’s value to the developer, meaning you would need a maximum 75pc loan-to-value mortgage to buy a house.

This is sending mortgage applications through the roof and obviously house prices are heading up rapidly as well. On top of that, central London is the second home of choice for the world’s mega-rich. It is arguable that the central London economy, due to a mix of the world’s wealthiest people, is the true underlying strength of the London economy.

As we know only too well, when property prices begin to rise, a virus- like contagion takes hold, and people get scared into buying.

Normally in economics when prices rise, demand falls, but when a government and a banking system start to finance a housing boom, the very rise in prices doesn’t deter demand, it actually boosts demand because people think if they don’t buy now, houses will be even more expensive next year and they will be left behind. Of course, house building cranks up, as it is doing in the UK where construction activity surged 2.5pc – the highest quarterly increase since early 2010.

And obviously with all this activity, centred on London, prices are rising. Britain has the highest inflation rate in Europe. And as price rises have outstripped wage growth for almost half a decade now, retail spending is being buoyed up by credit and by debt. Credit-card spending is now at a 10-year high.

So will the Conservatives do what Thatcher did in 1987 and Blair did twice – use property price rises and the associated consumer boom as a lever to win the election?

It’s looking likely. As I watch the demented shopping crowds head for Love Pink off Bond Street, there is a real late-1980s’ feeling to London.

And we all know how that ended.

David McWilliams hosts Kilkenomics next weekend in Kilkenny. www.kilkenomics.com.

Subscribe to receive my news and articles direct to your inbox

  1. michaelcoughlan


    • Adam Byrne

      Howdy Michael.

    • Paul Divers

      Madainn mhath

    • whatamess

      the book “Rich Dad,Poor Dad” is a wonderful read,especially,i feel anyway, when looking at Limerick Grocery’s business profile

      just a suggestion Michael

      • michaelcoughlan


        I’m unable to decipher your cryptic response. However I’ll take it at face value and say to you that honest and Robust criticisms are most welcome.


        When you get around to launching a petition for the Irish govt to examine the merits of GS I’ll be happy to sign. Don’t bother me anymore with useless rhetoric in that regard. My involvement with LCG is my off my ass response. Let your petition for GS be yours.

        • whatamess


          i just recommended a book Michael ?

          i have worked closely with business profiles the same or super similar to Limerick Grocery and that particular book highlights some things, that owners of such company profiles, have benefited from

          my experience

          actually i would rank it as a must read and i
          just wanted to share that with you

      • Paul Divers

        I read the book years ago and remember the message. It is a very good read.

  2. Dorothy Jones

    London’s Massive Real Estate Bubble Rests On A Stack Of Delusions 131028 via Business Insider:

  3. michaelcoughlan


    Thanks for the article it’s very revealing.

    It would be a great help especially to me personally if you could give your ideas as to why the establishement don’t seem to.care that they are adding so much debt to the system. All the graphs seem to
    indicate that debt levels are unsustainable. What is it that they see that I font that allows such profligacy. It really is perplexing. I know you don’t respond to individual queries but I have to make a life changing decision shortly and your views would be very much appreciated.

    I was a young fella in London in The late 80′s working my way through college. I saw lines of Irish outside the crown in criklewood waiting to be jobbed on a Monday morning still drunk from the night before. Boom is not what I would describe what is happening now. Wages are the same as the were 20 years ago but property prices are 300% to
    400% higher. Not to mention petrol diesel food insurance clothes health care etc.

    I’d say what you are looking at is controlled hyperinflation. One thing I know for certain domeone somewhere will pay as there is no such thing as a free lunch. Kyle bass said David that sceanarios like this end up in war describing warfare as an expression of economic atrophy. I’d call what is going on a busy period like I do the Celtic tiger years in Ireland. it most certainly is not a boom.



    • michaelcoughlan

      Re hyperinflation.

      I’m the US they have changed the criteria a number of times over the last 20 years or so as to how the measure inflation. They don’t count some of the stuff they used to because the inflation figures were so large. It seems to me that property prices in the UK reflect top down inflation which is what I call a situation where assess prices are rising from speculation by hedge funds etc while wages remain static. If wage levels were rising and asset prices were rising that’s what I call bottom up. Either way there is inflation. Inghjnk economists call it demand pull/push etc.

      It means that property is now a currency. Since the stock of houses and commercial buildings cam only increase at a certain rate equal to total output of the construction firms in the area it’s a bit like

      So as more speculative funds become available to the hedge funds at virtually no
      cost the “value” of property goes parabolic. It would be better to measure the real “value” of a property in litres of petrol ie a €300k apt 2 bed in London equals 200k litres of petrol @ €1.50/litre.

      Let’s see if out new measure of “value” holds up as in the correlation between the two. I’ll bet that if some one can dig out a graph for the value of petrol and a 1 bed apt five years ago in London and compare the same apt now with the price of petrol.

      I’d say the same amount or close in litres of petrol will be achievable. I’d love to see myself proved wrong and examine why if true!

  4. Paul Divers

    Interesting situation in York. Even the leader of York city council can’t afford to live in the city. Many people move to Leeds where it is cheaper

    The average house price in York is 220k and the average salary is 20k.
    Sound familiar?


    • Yorkshire has always been an outlier, it will boom even more than London now:


      I saw Prodijig in York in April and it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place. And then there’s the whole Brontes/Kate Bush Irish subtext once you dig deeper.

      “journey begins in Cambridge with the arrival of Patrick Bronte from Ireland, then follows him through his early career, courtship and marriage in places like Shropshire, Dewsbury and Thornton..
      Much of the book concentrates on the Brontes’ time in Haworth, including well-known locations like the Bronte waterfalls, Top Withens and the Parsonage.”


      Britain is an island, not a ‘country’, it’s a mosaic of tribal identities, many of which were sourced from Ireland, again: the island, not the discredited First Irish Republic of 1916-2016. More redheads in E’bro than Dublin,etc..

      There’s going to be some big changes once the incubus-succubus of the City of London post WW11 house-price scam finally unravels.

      Mind you, they’re a boastful bunch in Yorkshire, always were. Used to love visits to Elland Road as bi-loyal BCFC/Leeds Nutter footie fan in the 70s. Never met Saville though, at least not that I remember…

  5. We’ve seen this movie several times. The Lawson Boom of 88 allowed young yuppies to club together and all get tax relief. John Major gave tax-free status to rental income for a spare room, now the uber public-school phagz of Bullingdon think they can pump it up again to protect their bloodline proprety privilege. They can, but it will end in tears or with London being expelled from the rest of the island of Britain. Don’t build HS2 from London to Brum, build it from Brum up to the North & then detonate enough hydrogen bombs to create a moat, a sea between Mercia and the Norman Toraigh city-state of London. I’m being mildly provocative, of course. But the move towards London as Singapore / Hong Kong seems in full forward motion.

    Lots of Irish folk sold up in London and moved back to the Bertie Boom, only to watch their kids ship off to London in the last few years. Pathetic.

    London house prices are a store of value, so were sea-shells and tulips in other time/space realities. Like tulip mania, this will end with the mother and father of all house price collapses or rampant inflation to bring them back into line with consensual reality wages and living costs. Tokyo 1989 is London 2013: as to when it pops? How long is a piece of string? I guess it could end up like Mumbai with people paying £10k a year to rent a shed in someone’s back garden. No, wait, that’s already happening! Of course, like the artificial scarcity story of Dublin house-prices, this is a complex topic:



    Let’s revisit this in a couple of years when Mark Canuck Carney has stopped arseing around pop festivals and had to put a sober suit on whilst ratcheting interest rates up by at least double. Just like 88. What then for the hapless wage slaves who are putting their lives on the line to buy a shoebox in some rat-trap borough? The international rentier class won’t care, Madonna will continue to buy up Marylebone, and hopefully Birmingham will get it’s act together and become the new Bristol. At long last. Actually, that’s already happening and when I step on stage, it will, naturally, accelerate the rise of Peaky Blinder culture to world historic status. “London is dead! London is dead!” Although that’s not true, as I’m on the verge of nipping down to see Robert Plant at the Royal Albert Hall tonight if I can get a decent priced seat at the last minute. Down with agoraphobia, etc! See some of you in Kilkenny next week, even if you don’t see through my disguise..*wink*

  6. Adelaide

    UK News…
    “UK’s Supreme Court rules back-to-work schemes legally flawed”

    What the block-headed advocates of these back-to-work schemes don’t realise is that they are abolishing the civilised principle of an honest-day’s-pay-for-an-honest-day’s-work.
    It’s ultimately self-defeating for the 99%.

    ‘I do compulsory work for my dole’ is a contradiction in terms akin to ‘I do voluntary work for my salary’ . It’s a falsehood. Working to receive welfare is a falsehood. It’s a minimum wage, call it what it is, paid by government to prop up SME sector with enforced labour and massage the dole figures, as well as stigmatising the unemployed implying they’re lazy. This is dystopian stuff. I’d rather see the welfare system abolished than the principle of an-honest-day’s-pay-for-an-honest-day’s-work abolished. The future is not bright, it’s dystopian.

  7. EugeneN

    If this were happening here, I think we would be talking Gombeenism. Osbourne is a disaster, the only thing he may have gotten right is getting more construction going, but to add fuel to a fire – a housing fire – immediately after a housing collapse nearly brings down the world economy, is negligence bordering on pathology.

    As for the term yuppie its really out of date. That was a rising middle class maybe the top 30%, this property ownership is generally top 1% with a few of the top 5% getting a small shack in Barking and Dogging on interest only loans. The rest will have to rent, for life if present trends continue.

  8. 5Fingers

    It is a combination of the ongoing success of the City State and the imbalance between what a person perceives emotionally and objectively.

    London will always be a great place. It’s a city and for those who work there it probably is the most effective way of network and getting business done. Same for any other highly networked hub.

    I find it funny how people are so objective when they get burned and are wary and …get so emotionally high happy and confident when rich. In the first case, they make less mistakes and in the latter they make blunders. To make matters worse, the poorer you are, the less money is needed to make you happier. So it means the less well off you are the more likely you become stupid when you do get money. It explains why the rich get richer as they remain miserable and objective because any extra wealth makes them no happier and it explains the boom bust cycle for the ordinary folks.

    And in our highly networked world with the media pumping more useless info about property to all, the rush starts, the small players will want a piece of the pie in London and it’ll happen faster courtesy of BBC, Hello Mag and so on.

    Really guys, this predilection with banks and stupid politicians and so on is all utterly misplaced. Look at the psychology. It’s happening again and the more we bull$h1T about policy causes and gombeens and so on the more we are going to make the same bloody mistakes!!!

    • EugeneN

      I hope that bedroom philosophy made sense to you. At the very least.

      • 5Fingers

        Sorry is I am destroying your retrospective. History tells us very little except it replays faster when you get older.

        It is just plain psychology 101. As soon as people get happy, they forget the past. The new pain for the newly slightly enriched is status anxiety. The policy you need is to reverse that. But that loses votes. Just watch it unfold.

  9. Pat Flannery

    I too was in London last week. I toured my old haunts. I love the city! But I loved it better in the ’60s, when I lived there. Two weeks ago I saw homeless men lying on the grass in Leicester Square in the middle of the day, something totally unknown in the socialist ’60s of Harold Wilson.

    Under successive socialist governments London was so clean you could eat off the sidewalks. Londoners felt pride in their city. They felt ownership. Socialism worked no matter what the anti-government crowd post-Reagan and Thatcher say.

    At the age of 23 I was able to buy a 3-bedroom 1-bath semi-detached house in Chingford E4 for 4,250 pounds in 1965. My monthly payment was twenty-eight pounds seven & eight-pence. How could I ever forget. My interest rate was 8.5%, which I thought was low.

    I had a reasonably good job with ATV which paid about 100 pounds a week before tax. ATV was the Midlands and London independent television station when commercial TV was in its infancy. My salary was considered low at the time because I was also going to University of London, courtesy of my great boss, Lew Grade, later Lord Grade.

    The point is that post WWII socialist Britain worked. I was being groomed for the business world but became a lifelong socialist as a result of both my business studies and my everyday observations in London. It may have helped that I also took an economics class at LSE which was very socialist-minded in the ’60s.

    The point is that there is nothing about socialism that prevents a person with a job from becoming a home owner and at a reasonably price. In fact you have a better chance at home ownership under a socialist system.

    The fact is that I could buy a house in London at the age of 23 because the socialist government of the day did not use my desire for home ownership as a political tool. Prices were affordable because, without government subsidies, demand and supply were roughly in balance. There were none of the artificial stimulants that are now being deliberately injected into the markets like cocaine by a political elite wishing to create a stimulus-addicted electorate.

    A plentiful supply of social housing was the vaccine that killed house-madness as a disease in the ’60s. With the withdrawal of that vaccine home-ownership has now become a powerful manipulative political drug.

    Successive British Government, both Conservative and Labor are again peddling their poison. They have not forgotten how successfully the old chartered East India Company used opium to subjugate the entire Chinese population for over two centuries. To paraphrase Karl Marx “home-ownership has now become the opium of the (British) masses”.

    And DMcW wants Ireland to follow Britain’s example, in this as in all else? I hope not.

    • Pat Flannery

      Ooops! Correction. I was earning 100 pounds per MONTH in London in 1965, not per week. 1,200 pounds per year – not bad.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Your house equalled 3.5 times your annual wage.

      Two people today in Ireland earning 30k per annum equals 60k. House price should be around 210k for same ratio to apply EXCEPT bothe people are working.

      Talk about inflation or what!

      What value today pat for the same house. I presume it’s still standing?


    • Paul Divers

      Thanks for sharing that social history Pat. I used to pass through London in the 70s on the way to visit relatives on the south coast and as we got off the overnight coach from Scotland and had a day to fill we sometimes took an open backed London bus to Hackney to visit a friend of my parents

      It was dirty and I thought the place stank. I’ve known Londoners who moved away because they wanted to live somewhere where you could actually breathe clean air

      I like your thoughts on Socialism and expect you will get pelters when the nasty crew log on after work

      I feel you are off the mark with your last sentence because the way I interpreted David’s article is that he is no Tory and does not approve of what they are doing.

      • Adam Byrne

        I had some Chinese visitors recently and that’s what they loved the most about Ireland – the (relatively) clean air. It’s horrible for them in Shanghai. I don’t think the air is too bad in London nowaways, or not as bad as it was.

        • Paul Divers

          In 1979 the place was clatty. Pure mockit.
          I thought it was a strange place and I’ve never liked it. It’s a bigger kip than Glasgow or Dublin

    • Paul Divers

      Alistair MacDonald – John MacLean


    • Adam Byrne

      Great recollection Pat.

  10. Ryu Hayabusa

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up!

    • whatamess

      and people are paying with their lives Ryu …a hefty price

      When Glass Steagall was repealled, this allowed investment banks to make their OWN loans ( depositer backed)to feed their OWN securitisation pipelines (how convenient)
      This started IMMEDIATELY after the repeal, as subprime mortgage( mostly securitised ) volume QUADRUPLED in only the year ’00 from the previous year, which kick-started the US credit bubble.”Lending ‘guidelines’ then widened exponentiallly and no one knew the true risk exposures that banks had, when the market turned

      Remember that the big 5 investment MEGA banks had $4+ Trilllllion in debt leveraged 32:1
      when they collapsed in 2008 !

      risky business !!!

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        They sure are whatamess, it’s cost some of them their lives and it’s going to cost more of them their lives.

        Meanwhile the rabble who caused this mess think they can walk away& hand the chit to joe and joan bloggs and escape completely unscathed!

        Which they have by and large up to this point. We truly live in a sick society, what’s happening here and in europe is an affront to democracy.

        I just can’t see this lasting, a schism is going to open up.

        And it’s worsening on a daily basis.
        For instance, We’ve got the farcical set up of two more banks leaving the Irish market this week (ACC, Danske) and retrenchment from Ulster ,through RBOS.

        Of course we know what that means for the poor schmo on the ground… higher fees& charges, curtailment of services, being discommoded via longer trips to local centres, etc.

        Per today’s Examiner..
        Three Quarters of Mortgages in long term arrears have not been restructured.

        A bit like an old rusty sea mine bobbing around on the ocean looking for any old hull to strike off… KABBOOOOMMM!!!


        People should withdraw their custom from these scumbags, i haven’t banked with AIB for years and I’m closing an Account I have with Ulster Bank.. They ain’t getting another red cent of my money.
        These assholes set the ball rolling with their 100% mortgages, i didn’t use it much anyway but that’s not the point even. I feel physically sick even having to cross their threshold!
        This is the kind of action that will make them take notice if it is implemented on a grand scale.

        Understandably it’s not as easily done in a Business context.

        Meanwhile the German’s play the waiting game in the long grass.

        • whatamess

          If a vulture in the wild over-eats on the carcass of some dead buffalo and there is still more carcass available to devour, it will actually vomit what it has already eaten and again begin feeding on the carcass, so voracious is it’s greed !!!

          Wall St’s banking Vultures are currently ‘immunised’ from disease, as they spread their contagion! Conveniently, for them, they privatise profits and when shit goes pear-shaped, the losses are socialised !
          “and if you heard me Ringo, that meant your ass!!” ( and mine and everyone elses ! )

          That takes us along to Bail-ins (remember the Cyprus test case?!)

          The FDIC and BOE’s compiled “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions” , and it reveals :


          “These resolution strategies should maintain systemically important operations and contain threats to financial stability. They should also assign losses to shareholders and UNSECURED CREDITORS — NB that’s all of us, the account holders !! if you still are one?? Factorama ! )

          The ‘Nationalisation’ of private pensions is NEXT and ANYTHING else with a $ sign that’s not nailed down!

          Are we that desensitised and conditioned to the crumbling world around us? i’m not trying to sound oh so sprofound but,the optimism bias is worrying and “you’ll never hear the shot that kills you Ryu”!!!

          Is this our future? (60 seconds)

          it’s certainly the present for many already !


          • whatamess

            And we can forget the “Volcker Rule” and the “Vicker’s proposals”,both are,from what ive read,appear very modest and mostly cosmetic!
            e.g. Suggesting capital ratios of 20%,
            ( presently at a ‘real’ 2 to 3% and they can lend 30 times x!! And the banks are assessing their own values of their own loan books and collateral !! )

            This is Virtual stuff! offers no REAL protection!

            Even Senior Bank of England director Andy Haldane ( “Dog and the Frisbee” that I posted before ) is also concerned about a forgetful City. In a speech this month he said: “Financial crises underscore the importance of a policymaker with institutional memory. This reduces the risk of disaster myopia, of ignoring worrying dots on distant horizons, of being information-rich yet attention-poor, of forgetting fat tails.”

            The culture in banks of “greed is good, greed works, greed is right !” will never change. Fine .The rules of engagement MUST change ! These investment banks are “socially useless” parts of “the city” as Lord Turner put it recently.

            The FULL separation between investment banks and high street banks is a must !
            Yea, you’ve heard it all before !!

            “But I’m gonna keeeep comin’ back !!
            ..til someone rimemberrrs seeeein’ Ritchhieee!!”
            (6 mins)


          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Zaatari refugee camp… Christ what a spectacle!

            They don’t know who they’re messin’ with my Fren. A word to the wise.

            It’s time to bring out the big guns.


            “Yo ZZ top, you got the Gat, so what’s your problem?”

            “I created a living Gollum!”

            “You can give him the 15%… but it comes out of your end!” THAT’S HOW TO NEGOTIATE!!!

            Proper oversight needs proper Enforcers

          • Enjoyed that Ryu, great memories.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            It’s a classic Adam, Big Tony cuts right through the waffle!

          • whatamess

            A Don Antonio enforcer hugely appeals to me too :),but if the banks were truly separated,the need for an enforcer then,would be far less important, as the RISK exposure for joe and joan bloggs would be significantly reduced.And the risk exposure for investment banks would again become REAL,as it ought to be! that’d concentrate the elite’s minds wonderfully!

            “Fugetttabowtit” ;)

          • whatamess

            “They call him Ryu the Sick and he’s spittin’ fire with Mike
            got him outa the dryer,he’s hot”

            this is a tuuuuune!!



        • whatamess

          And yea the MEGA vultures are “completely unscathed!” …a few billion fine sure and away you go lads

          but not all unscathed ! it seems so anyway….


          Employees at Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have all been put on leave, and several other banks are conducting internal investigations. Regulators are said to be focusing on instant messages among traders at different banks. While the investigation is still in it’s infancy, the revelations to date are reminiscent of the early days of the still-unfolding Libor scandal.

          Hardly Pecora,Hardly Sing Sing,but life’s a game of inches?? ( empty words of consolation )

          “A bit like an old rusty sea mine bobbing around on the ocean looking for any old hull to strike off… KABBOOOOMMM!!!”

          and the ocean is FULL of hazards,if one is brave enough to opens one’s eyes and see the obvious! and it’s scary fuckin stuff

          Just imagine 2 or 3% fraction reserve banking and with money as cheap as cat’s piss…Party time for the sociopaths! I wonder how many of their precious “basis points” would be attributed to the GUARANTEE that the one armed bandit will pay out? 100 BPS? 1%? on trilllllions ?

          USD Trillion+ a month soooon

          well 2 dogs walked and happy…quiet Fri nite..gonna watch The Departed,again

          nite all

          • Ryu Hayabusa


            I did respond to your above comment but it was withdrawn, I may have used one expletive, s**t! I normally keep it pretty clean on the profanity side.

          • whatamess

            Expletivees /////is DMW’s blog the setting for profanity ?:)

            WITHDRAWN you say??? they are trying to conspire against us !! lol

            “When did you first that getting paranoid Whatamessss???……


            “When they started plotting against me!”

        • Paul Divers

          A bit like an old rusty sea mine bobbing around on the ocean looking for any old hull to strike off…

          Brilliant. How did you come up with that one?

  11. Pat Flannery

    In answer to a few of the comments about my London nostalgia post above:

    As to my 100 pounds per month salary, I would have done my job there for nothing. It was the best job in London.

    I worked directly for Lew Grade. He used me to rein in the excesses of his producers and directors who had no interest whatsoever in how much anything cost. My job was to forcibly restrain so many artistic lunatics and hold them accountable to the production budget Lew gave them.

    Some hated me and called me his hatchet man but my official title was a geeky “budget accountant”. I loved the power and was probably a real prick to those poor production people.

    One of the most difficult programs to cost control for Lew was “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”. It was put together on the fly and often we did not know for sure who was going to be on until late on Sunday night and therefore how much it was going to cost, which gave Lew and the various talent agents conniptions.

    Sometimes I would be getting signatures on contracts while the talent was on stage performing! The show went out live all over Britain at primo prime time, 8:25 PM every Sunday. The producers would often race some big American star from Heathrow to the Palladium on Argyle Street near Oxford Circus just in time for the live show. They tried to snag American stars like Bob Hope or Judy Garland, who might be touring or playing golf somewhere in Europe, with or without their agents knowledge or approval. The show was so prestigious that even the biggest stars would risk their agent’s ire rather than miss the opportunity. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t. But it was always hectic.

    I was there on 16th October 1963 when the compere at the time, Bruce Forsythe, introduced the Beatles to their first big TV audience. That was the night the word Beatlemania was coined by the press. I was already a huge fan of their records and I’m ashamed to admit that I behaved like a schoolgirl when I saw them backstage before the show. I can still hear the shrieks of the hundreds of lucky kids who got (free) tickets for inside, echoed all over London by the pandemonium outside on Argyle Street. It was a night to remember.

    I was lucky to have a staff pass for anywhere within the company’s facilities and didn’t need tickets. I loved to watch the taping of shows like Roger Moore in “The Saint” at our Elstree studios for example. ATV also owned Pye Records which was located in the basement of our Head Quarters at 17 Gt. Cumberland Place near Marble Arch sometimes I would watch an Irish showband record what in many cases later became Irish hits.

    Anyway, it was a great time to be in London, plenty sex, drugs and rock and roll. ‘Nuff said. Later in my California years when I first stood at the corner Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco, I couldn’t image how they could have had as much fun as we did in London’s West End in the ‘60s.

    The Beatles night at the Palladium and the 1966 World Cup final in Wembley are my fondest memories of those years in London. I had bought tickets for the entire set of Wembley 1966 World Cup games a year in advance, never imagining that I would be present when three players from my local team, West Ham, dominated one of the greatest sports events in British history.

    I remember picking up my wife in the stands and throwing her up in the air when Geoff Hurst scored his third hat-trick goal. I don’t remember what she said on her way down. Maybe I threw her up again I don’t remember.

    Michaelcoughlan: as for my house in Chingford, it is still there, I drove by recently. It is still overlooking a cricket field on one side and Epping Forest on another. I have no idea what it is worth now. I did notice some additions at the back, no doubt a second bath and a new kitchen.

    Unfortunately I had to sell but it gave me the mullah to buy into Dublin’s prestigious Deerpark, Castleknock, which again I had to sell to buy into super-expensive San Diego. That’s what you get for being a wanderer. How I wish I could have kept both my London and Dublin houses. I would be as rich as DMcW today and living in Dalkey or Killiney.

    As for the price of petrol at in the ‘60s I can only remember buying 10 shillings worth at a time for my precious (green) Austin Mini. More importantly I do remember that a pint of Watney’s Red Barrel or a “light and bitter” was “one (shilling) and sevenpence”. That I remember.

    Finally, Paul Divers, you are right, my apologies to DMcW for unfairly suggesting that he thought the current Conservative Party’s “help to buy” scheme is a good idea and should be followed by Ireland. I was definitely “off the mark” on that remark. My socialist genes were hyper ventilating. Perhaps it’s not England I dislike so much as Thatcher’s England. I sure liked Harold Wilson’s England.

    • Adam Byrne

      Classic memories, thanks for sharing Pat. You definitely do not dislike England but it’s understandable that you would have complex and mixed feelings.

      PS. DID they have as much fun at Haight and Ashbury?

      • Pat Flannery

        Adam: You are right I do not hate England. My main problem with Anglo-Irish relations is and always was Ireland’s persistent sycophancy towards the English, which is still sometimes displayed here by David. I react wildly.

        I admire people who stand up for who and what they are. I liked Londoners who were proud of their city and did not call me Paddy. When some did, I called them pejorative names back.

        Most of them understood that I was just as proud of being Irish as they were of being Londoners. Others did not and I gave them as hard a time as possible while making it very clear to them why. I invented new and better ways of doing what they did and made them do things “the Irish way”. Lew loved it because I had a talent for making things run simpler and cheaper.

        I never played the Paddy for them, as some expected of me. Not Lew. Being Jewish he understood and was a powerful ally. Prejudice in any form is ugly and playing to it does not make it better.

        Strangely I experienced more prejudice at the University than I did at ATV. Paddys were not supposed to be doing business degrees, so I got the Irish jokes about the pick and shovel, sometimes even from the lecturers. I persisted madly in my studies partly because I wanted to prove I was not only equal but better than those who mocked my Irishness.

        I was. Ireland is. Think Irish.

    • Paul Divers

      You could keep a blog about your experiences in 60s London Pat and people would find it fascinating. Like what would it have felt like for a young man or woman leaving a quiet part of Ireland to find themselves in swinging London?

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you for sharing a fantastic Soliloquy. I only spent two summers in London but loved the place. Like Tony brogan yours is a life lived well.

      When I think of London I never can get “missing you” by christy Moore


      put of my mind or the lines of Irish
      labourers, still drunk, waiting to be
      jobbed on Monday morning outside the pub in north London. Breaks my fucking

      • Pat Flannery

        Michael, don’t forget it is still Irishmen who herd the Irish laborers into open trucks and deliver them to the English general contractors. Of all the people I met in London I reviled the Irish “subbies” the most. It was these sub-human labour-only subcontractors that made the cursed Irish “lump” system possible.

        The Connemara men had Connemara “subbies”, the Mayomen had Mayo “subbies”, Cavan had Cavan, Kerry had Kerry etc. etc. They were the Irish gombeen class in England.

        Irish gombeen men enslaved their own with the “sub”, which they promptly drank in the Irish gombeen men’s pubs and ended up broke and drunk every Monday morning. It was Irish-on-Irish slavery. Unfortunately Christie Moore wouldn’t sell many records telling that plain truth.

        I went into The Lion in Archway the other week and it seemed like the last 45 years had never happened. It was still full of the same Irish laboring class, young and old, some as old as myself, drinking out their last miserable years. I put on my sunglasses and slipped out quietly crying as I walked down Holloway Road.

        I could have been in Sydney or Toronto or Christchurch. I had seen the same thing in each of those places. So many wasted Irish lives called euphemistically the “diaspora”. And we are exporting over 1,000 of them every new week.

        I blame the church-dominated Irish education system. Yes, they are “educated”, but not for the real world outside Catholic Ireland. The ones who make it are those who take Australian, New Zealand or Canadian spouses, who then teach them how to be free and live for this world, not the next, as in guilt-ridden Holy Ireland. Sorry Mom, I know you are still listening.

        • whatamess


          The ones who make it are those who take Australian, New Zealand or Canadian spouses, who then teach them how to be free and live for this world, not the next, as in guilt-ridden Holy Ireland”

          @ Pat’s Mom

          your son is spot on !!

          • Adam Byrne

            Big time, the foreign ladies are the best. I have never clicked with Irish girls, all due respect.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi Adam,

            A lot of my mates except me married foreign ladies including English, Romanian, French, spannish etc.

            I must be abnormal marrying an Irish girl.

          • michaelcoughlan

            And American.

          • Adam Byrne

            Haha you are fine Michael.

            My first wife was Hungarian, second was Caribbean and third (next year) American.

            You only live once.

        • Paul Divers

          The only this wrong with your posts are that they have to come to an end. I could read this stuff all day.

        • Pat, you write well. Have you seen/read “I Could Read The Sky”? It’s rare thing, but i found a clip on YouTube. It features Corby Scots/Irish superstar Brendan Coyle, now revered worldwide for his Downton Abbey hilarity, but this clip is very evocative of the navvy culture which shaped the pubs of Irish enclaves in cities on the island of Britain: one of my main themes as an ‘artist’. ahem!

          Of course, most of the New Irish Emigrant arrivals here are skilled white collar professionals, so it’s a different cultural space. Not that building site work isn’t professional! It is now, and this clip is of a bygone era before hi-hats and hi-viz insurance health’n'safety folk put a stop to liquid lunches. Mostly.

          I worked on a construction project in London knocking down high-rises to build nice houses: which are probably worth a fortune now if those who live there decide to cash in their London Monopoly chips and flee the knife crime and drug dealers to buy a nice detached house outside the M25. But then, that’s why there’s no accommodation for new arrivals that doesn’t require the Bank of Mom and Dad. No idea where nurses are meant to live in London once they’re trained up, etc. It’s a fantastic film, book.

          “every day that summer, me and Francie dug up that pavement in Ladbrooke Grove.”


        • Adam Byrne

          At least The Archway Tavern is closed, that was an even worse hole than The Lion. Both of them would cash cheques on a Friday from anyone with an Irish accent. Oh the memories!

          • whatamess

            “he walks all around it like it’s something he might buy”


          • michaelcoughlan

            Is the pub still there with a different name Adam?

          • Adam Byrne

            It’s totally gone as far as I know michael, it was turned into something else – maybe a Thai restaurant or a strip club or something, but it’s no longer the big green Irish pub in Archway. It was a total dive.

          • SMOKEY

            Having been a cocksman all of my adult life I can assure you that as far as women go they are all the same no matter what ethnicity.
            You just havent met the right Irish girls.
            Irish girls are some of the best.
            But we wont get too detailed, this is a family blog and I dont think full frontal nudity will be tolerated.
            Oh, and thank god I grew up in the days where they didnt shave their naughty bits.
            Is everyone a pedophile now? WTF? They are all like plucked chickens. Gross.
            Give me a Hairy Molly anyday!

          • Paul Divers

            I agree with Smokey Adam. Irish women are some of the best. Especially when they have soft country accents coupled with intelligence and wit. Very easy to to talk to as well

            I thought I had seen things in my life and knew it all but Irish woman taught me trick or two and put a big smile on my face

            So raise your glass to the women of Ireland and stop hating your country

          • Adam Byrne

            They are not to my taste but whatever floats your boat lads.

            I don’t give a f**k about ‘my’ country, nor any country.

        • DB4545

          I can only agree with you Pat. I lived in London for eight years and my trade( Give me ANCO to FAS any day) kept me away from that subby culture or sub-culture as it should be called. I saw the same thing at work in New York just as you said on a county by county basis. That loneliness and a desire for the familar can be lethal. I love Londoners and London. The savage wit and genuine kindness behind it will stay with me always. London gave me a good living and a fresh way of seeing the world. It also gave me access to a third level education and allowed me to complete a degree.
          A good friend who now lives in Stockholm tells me that Sweden had that same agrarian culture and outlook up to the late 1920′s. Then access to education changed everything. Given that Ireland has changed radically since the 1980′s and access to education has dramatically improved why hasn’t this translated to a radical change in society? I’m looking and listening to the current crop of leaders and if you remove the occasional “media polish” I’m still the seeing the same maidens dancing at the crossroads insular bullshit.
          Why haven’t we moved on, or are we about to?

        • Ryu Hayabusa

          Hi Pat,

          Interesting anecdotes.

          Exporting Gombeens to add insult to injury..

          If there was a buck in it, they’d be promoting it as a growth industry.

          As you say it was “irish-on-irish slavery”
          Of course that mindset and conditioning didn’t dilute just from crossing a small channel.

    • whatamess

      hardly surprising that people are contemplating the ifs of an impending currency collapse

      i haven’t read enough on Bitcoin to comment with any confidence,but bitcoin is better than cash ,but gold and silver are better than bitcoin

      a mixed bag is best?

      • whatamess

        hey, don’t hate the playa , hate the game ,right?

        but how the Oligarchs must ‘grin’ at our preoccupation with bitcoins and precious metals etc ( me included )

  12. DB4545

    The UK Government should have given the scheme its full title “Help to buy(an election)” with taxpayers money. The UK taxpayer could take the hit for 120K sterling on mortgages up to 600K sterling. I remember when that multiple tax relief deal drove things crazy and then it went belly-up and the phrase “negative equity” was born. What happens when the scheme ends and new buyers don’t get to access that 120K sterling? A 120K sterling drop in value and another freefall and burst bubble. The Germans invest in technology and manufacturing and the UK Government wants to waste its resources in another housing bubble? Don’t people realise that if someone offers you an unsolicited blo*job then as surely as night follows day they’ll be back to f**k you in the *ss for payback.

  13. Paul Divers

    It’s truly great to hear about Irish people in London. There is a song about a man from Clare working on the London building sites and suffering from mind bending loneliness but I can’t remember the title

    Here is a sentimental cabaret act from Glasgow.

    Glen Daly – When I Leave Old Glasgow Behind

    This is the guy who recorded The Celtic Song in 1961. The recording is played before each match at Celtic Park to this day.

    Keep The Faith Brothers

  14. Late night reading for the disenfranchised.

    The Psychic Prison Metaphor


    (from My Blog)

    I think Capitalism itself is a gigantic Psychic Prison.

    However, I am a pragmatist, so I make the most of it.

    By the way My Blog is accepting Bitcoin donations now (see top right of page).

    I got my first one today from an anonymous source

    - well it was Bitcoin, so of course it was anonymous!

    I’m going to do a blog on Bitcoin tomorrow, in respect of my mysterious benefactor.

    Night Lucan.

    • whatamess

      Congrats Adam !

    • Paul Divers

      Didnt know you were now blogging Adam. Nice theme btw. Clean and simple is the way I like blogs. Best investment to make is to sign up at copyblogger.com and download about 15 high quality free mini books on what bloggers need to know.

      • Cheers Paul, I wouldn’t have time to read them now so I’ll soldier on as it is, and hopefully improve at some point in the future. I’m not interested in making a living out of it.

        I’ve been at that blog for a couple of years but I keep it business related and the posts are infrequent.

        I had a massive and personal blog back in 2005 but had to take it down as it upset too many people. I was brutally honest on it so I think they had a point. Still, it was cathartic at the time.

        • Paul Divers

          They are designed for quick reading adam. Easily scannable. Seriously even if you only scan them it will pay off.

          You have been round the block by the sounds of it and must have been doing something right if you upset lots of people. Must have been bad if you felt the need to task it down. I am intrigued.

      • Ok I have bookmarked them Paul and will give them a look, cheers.

    • Paul Divers

      Adam from primary school I thought the system was a psychic prison designed to make everyone miserable

  15. whatamess


    is ‘supposed’ to be a trusted vendor,if that even is in anyway helpful?


    • Thanks for the tip, whatamess.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Congratulations Adam.

        Another off my ass response. If I can cajole whatamess to launch his GS petition there will be three of us starting to build a bit of momentum. Alot more productive than endlessly ranting on McWilliams website.

        Il send you one silver coin 1oz Austrian philharmonic as my donation. I’ll do the same for you whatamess when you get off your ass.


        • Thanks Michael,

          There’s others doing better and harder work than me on this forum (if not you) – Barry, Tony and David himself come to mind.

          Look at this guy, this is the sort of work people should be doing, not waffling and lying their asses off in useless political waffling shops:

          “Hero bus driver saves suicidal girl from bridge plunge”


          • michaelcoughlan

            Email postal details to secretary.Lcg@gmail.com

          • Was that for me Michael? If so don’t worry about it. The main point I was making was in regards to getting micro-donations by Bitcoin. I love the covenience, flexibility and anonymity of it.

            I’m really getting into this Bitcoin, I think it’s a long term winner.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Yes Adam,

            I will send you a coin. Just to get used to it. There are a number of companies in Dublin who will buy them off you.

            Be VERY VERY careful with bitcoin. There are a number of reasons. I had two or three bitcoins with bitcoin 24. The authorities in Poland seized the cash in the bank of the operator which means I am unable to withdraw my money.

            Also periodically there is enormous crashes in bitcoin.that leads me to believe one early entry participant probably owner of holds at least half the bitcoins in existence. This allows this person to periodically dump the lot cause a massive deleveraging and buy back making an enormous killing time after time after time.

            Furthermore the authorities don’t like that which they don’t control.

            The good news though is that max Keiser bet warren bluff-it that bitcoin will reach 200k before Berkshire Hathaway shares at 160k do! I’d say the authorities would stop that from happening but Keiser seems to be convinced.


          • Thanks Michael, I appreciate the insights into Bitcoin.

          • Paul Divers

            Search box is at the bottom Adam and takes lots of scrolling effort. I’d put search box and categories list above the donate button.

            Even this simple change will show that you are putting your users needs above your own

            It’s not clear what people are donating to or why they should donate. Maybe a sentence about why you need donations would make it clear. Maybe you are a poor phd student with a desire to improve the lives of humanity?

          • This blog itself is a mess, have to come halfway up the page to reply to you Paul and can’t see what you have written, while doing so.

            Click on the donate button and you’ll see a little blurb about my studies.

            To be honest, that part of it is an experiment with Bitcoin and I’m not actively seeking donations.

            I find search buttons never work on blogs, they don’t even work on this blog or on hushmail etc., so I don’t see the point but I’ll try it out, I’m not being cantankerous, will have a look into it later.

            I’m open to all your suggestions.

          • Paul Divers

            I will be dedicating the rest of my life to understanding web accessibility and usability Adam.

            My eyesight is failing and for a photographer that is ironic. I need to zoom over half the sites I read and will need to buy glasses.

            This has made me look into screen readers and I have been trying to understand what it is like for a blind person to use a web site.

            Some people can’t use a mouse and use a keyboard. This is what I am looking into now and I have learned that local authority web sites are the most difficult ones to use. I intend to report on this and make the info available to anyone who is having trouble using a computer

            That is where I am at.

            I subscribe to sites in my field IF they smack of quality in every way. I refuse to read sites that are poorly engineered and let’s face it this is an engineering problem with social implications for many people. It is worth doing and next year I will set up a site focused on my field of study

            I don’t want to preach to the converted Adam and if you do make any changes and want me to look them over and provide constructive feedback then please feel free to give me a shout

            Chatting on here gives us all a chance to motivate each other and helps us get off our arses. That is what community is all about and this blog ‘has community’ even if it suffers in the usability and quality departments.

          • Ok I have bookmarked them Paul and will give them a look, cheers.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Nice piece Adam.

          • An early person wouldn’t own 50% of the coins as they were generated over time. I think I saw someone speculate that an early
            adopter might own 10% of the bitcoin, but even that is too high I think. The market cap is about £1.5 billion, so if you owned half of that which you probably got for relative peanuts would you even want to try crashing the market?

            But let’s say somebody owned over 50% of the bitcoins and wanted to do this, I don’t think how what you describe would work anyway. You can see all the transactions on the block chain so you would be able to
            see if somebody is transferring hundreds of millions worth of bitcoin just before a crash. And what exchange would buy 50%
            ($750 million) of the bitcoin in one go without anyone noticing or without adjusting the price accordingly before buying? They’d be idiots buying them at the market rate knowing they are going to
            crash the market and have to sell them back for less. If he sold them over time then the price would gradually decrease, not crash overnight. Then the other way round if he bought them back he’d have to place a massive order, where are you going to buy £750 million worth of bitcoin in one go? That in itself would drive the price up before they sell them to you. If you buy over time then the price would increase gradually and you’d end up where you started.

            Won’t work.

        • Paul Divers

          Hey Michael I like this get off your ass philosophy. It’s infectious and catching fast.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks Paul.

            I’m hoping to write a book called;

            The Globalist I

            which will have it’s focus on this very issue of inspiring individuals all over the world to act individually by demonstrating leadership and then inspiring others around them to do like wise.

            What’s your off my ass offering Paul? If you only help me get my getting off my ass blog going I’ll pay you a contribution in silver only.

            How about it? Fuck the establishment. We dont need their permission. We CAN act to take control of OUR future and that of our kids.

          • Paul Divers

            @Adam. I have learned that quality information is what people want and I tweet stuff relating to writing and personal development. Handy things that help people see the forest from the trees

            I am pleased you bookmarked copyblogger because they are offering a free resource that is a prime example of providing tons of value. It’s called Content Marketing and one of their booklets talks about that.
            Really useful stuff for any writer.

            We don’t need the establishment or their approval. My get off your ass offering is quite simply motivating people to go for it.

            You need to know what you want Michael. If you are going to write a book then you could start blogging too and I could help you with design and layout and identity.

            I suggest you look at this blog http://goinswriter.com/ because this fellow tried and failed many times and now he shares his experience with people like yourself who need the low down

            Come back to me when you are all fired up and show me some blogs of writers who inspire you and say ‘I want my blog to look this this’

            Then we will see what we can do about it. How does that sound Michael?

          • michaelcoughlan

            Great Paul thanks for the link.

            Another getting off my ass offering from someone and I don’t know who they are.


          • Paul Divers

            Attack The Tax have been in the news and some TD have signed up


        • Totally Paul, I won’t hesitate at all to request your assistance. Another eye always helps. I’m aware of some things that can be improved on that blog but I simply don’t have the time right now. I’ll get to it though as I enjoy it.

          • What do you think of page breaks on a blog Paul? I’ve always been advised to do it for long posts but personally, when reading, I get fed up having to do the extra clicks and invariably I just use ‘show all’ (where available) to get the text all on one page. A matter of taste I suppose.

          • Paul Divers

            Page breaks are annoying. Better to put the article on a single page.

            There is nothing more annoying when you get get pulled in by the headline ’50 Tips on …’ only to find out that each tip is on a different page

            You make 50 round trips to the server and this gives them 50 opportunities to shove an advert in your face

            News sites are easy to use but notorious for this

          • Yeah, you are right Paul. I’m doing a longish blog post on Bitcoin as we speak and I’m leaving out the page breaks.



  17. Pat Flannery

    So as not to end our nostalgic look back at London in the ‘60s on a downer and in order to get back to David’s central question: whether the current British Government will again “use property price rises and the associated consumer boom as a lever to win the election” I offer a vision of the future that is gaining serious traction in business circles in America and elsewhere: converting the nation’s building stock, whether residential or commercial, into a myriad of dual-purpose, micro, clean energy producers. That revolutionary idea will not only resurrect the property and finance industries but will build a whole new energy-based economy. It is only a matter of time.

    We all know that the way to get out of a whole is to stop digging. Therefore we need to get out of the stagnant “thinking-hole” we are wallowing in.

    We are entering (in fact we have already entered it with information sharing and called it the Internet) a whole new, lateral, dispersed world of providing human services. All we have to do is to relinquish our old habit of centralizing everything.

    Single servers are already giving way to “cloud” servers on the Internet. BitTorrent technology is driving all kinds of new peer-to-peer applications that not even the U.S.A., with its god-like (NSA) powers, can put back in the genie bottle. NSA is hooked on centralization and will lose the information war just as centralized generation and distribution systems will lose the energy war for the current giant utility companies.

    If Lew Grade were still alive and I were still twenty-something and working for him, he would be saying to every new idea I could throw at him: “Go for it Flannery, give ‘em hell, make the bastards do it”.

    I can only hope that the young twenty-somethings of today will give the current crop of “leaders” the hell they deserve for continuing to dig in the same old “thinking-hole” that has produced nothing but dirty energy, dirty oceans, dirty air, dirty ground water and dirty politics run by a global dirty super-rich. If Lew Grade could single-handedly break the monopoly of the BBC and bring hated American-style commercial television into stodgy old Britain, anything is possible.

    The future is here if the twenty-somethings of today would only recognize it. The world belongs to them.

    And Lew: Give ‘em hell, wherever you are.

    • Paul Divers

      Again Pat you have a lot to say and people want to read your thoughts. Take the hint Flannery and give the bastards hell by starting your own blog. As Adam said it would be a hit.

      • Pat Flannery

        Paul Divers: thanks for the compliment. I actually was a fairly early blogger. I started a political blog in San Diego in 2004 which became quite the hit maybe because San Diegans had never seen anything like it before. I think it is safe to say that for 6 years I gave San Diego’s politicians (and the media) hell.

        I discontinued it in late 2010 but have left it up because of popular demand (ironically by the very media and politicians I drove crazy) because of all the source documents it contains, a veritable documented history of those 6 years.


        One good thing that did came out of it is that the San Diego media now routinely link to all their source documents e.g. court documents, FOI responses, just about everything, even the press releases they quote. It should be the norm everywhere.

        I guess they got tired of me obtaining and publishing the source documents they quoted often exposing the part of the story they “missed”. The Internet is a very powerful weapon and scares the bejayzus out of the MSM.

        But you are right, I need to start something in Ireland and leave poor old DMcW alone.

        • Paul Divers

          Hi Pat. It sounds like you have been thinking things over and I can say for sure that you would be a big hit in Ireland and create a stir.

          We need such a weapon in Ireland to open things up more. You know what to do.

  18. redriversix


    Nice article..but again London is just a story of Boom,Bust,Boom,bust etc, etc,etc.The rest of The UK ,particularly the North is as bad as ever.

    I was in a House the other day,trying to help a family with a lot of financial hardship,and although I do not know everything , I have learned a bit in the last 4 years of volunteering…

    I can safely say it was the hardest meeting I have had in the last 4 years,the stress,anxiety,worry & toxicity was palpable in the home…Meeting was 3 hours which is about 90 minutes too long,but trying to unravel the financial maze and dealing with 2 very unwell adults.

    attempts to come up with solutions are slow as the budgets cuts of the last couple of years are making attempts at solutions difficult slow & tedious…

    Meetings like these remind How lucky I am not to own a home,rather have a hot needle pierce my eyeballs than “buy”a House..

    But..we shall figure out something for them but it is going to be some Fcuking challenge.!

    Any way hope you’re all wonderful,do not have to talk about the economy as A/ its Boring & B/ were flying through recovery,recession over,jobs falling out of the sky,leaving bailout,etc etc etc oh…and Banks are solid stable and a excellent investment for the future seeing as there’s only two left really,AIB & BOI….

    “not getting what you want can sometimes be a wondrous stroke of luck”

    Enjoy your day,relax,watch some cartoons..be good to yourself


  19. Paul Divers

    Hi Barry,

    There has been a lot of talk about turning the corner and people might even fall for it if it were not for the reports from yourself and others like you.

    You are all heroes but your voices are not heard. We can hear you loud and clear in here Barry and we are listening. I hope you can do something for this family and help them return to a normal file because they must be in a hellish state of mind.

    There but for the grace of God

  20. Paul Divers

    The Attack The Tax web site is very interesting.
    They want to educate people and I think the lo fi teaching materials are great. Take a look:


  21. redriversix

    Hi Paul

    Axe the Tax is a good example of people coming together…….

    But most people know the property tax is unjust & unfair because of the rate of stamp duty we pay or paid.This property tax will not be used for the services it claims it will be.Same for water charges..

    This Government and in fact all Governments are now lying openly & daily with no fear of retribution..Don’t elect them again ? fine …still have a great pension for 3/4/5 years work..it doesn’t matter to them..!

    Government is clearly not nor has it been in charge for several years now..the real bosses are senior civil servants in the relevant departments that deal with outside corporations or E.U officials…

    The Fed feeds the I.M.F in Washington..the I.M.F feeds the E.C.B..the E.C.B decides who will eat and who will not…….

    Government does not care about Health services or social services or education or special needs children or long term unemployed,short term unemployed,the dying the elderly the young or the emigrants..and the sick…

    They are just figures,a spreadsheet,a burden…All Government and their masters see is money, amounts of and what citizens can be reduced of to live on with the minimum of fuss….citizens who paid their taxes,their pay related social insurance,who contribute to society and have done for many years..

    The Country is Bankrupt,the Banks are stronger than ever.S.M.Es are being strangled at ever turn,wages falling,take home pay falling,spending falling conditions for people working getting harder as their rights are stripped away,zero hour or minimal hour contracts etc..While none deals with personal debt…and all the while the Middle classes or Working classes[not my labels] are slowly being eroded into one class who will do what they can for the greater good as the Government propaganda machine turns neighbour against neighbour….neighbours who lost their jobs = scroungers …neighbours who cannot pay their bills or mortgages = strategic defaulters

    Observers talk about economies..nobody wants to talk about people,the suffering,the rise in the sale of antidepressants,the rise in the sale of cheap alcohol…Someone now..today at this moment is asleep on the floor in a home… trousers or dress stained with urine..cheap wine bottles lying around the place..kids crying..A sister asks a brother why Mummy or daddy is asleep on the floor…a Kid trying to figure out how to make eggs or making cereal with stale milk…

    A partner,a mother,father ,son or daughter parked in a forest or down at a pier trying to figure out what the fuck they are gonna do…? maybe parked their for 12 hours with their phone off while a family is desperately trying to reach them..some will come home this evening…some wont.

    so the only thing that needs to be done today is reach out,be there for yourself & your family..get your strength back,ask for help.

    The priority is you,your family,your kids..you are legally & morally obliged to support them first,Dont worry about Banks…they are not worried about you….don’t worry about what Government may or may not do..they don’t worry about you.

    Face your truth..be real..know where you stand..except the truth no matter how negative and turn into positivity by making positive decisions for you and your family

    Success is a event….not a person..failure is a event….not a person

    This now and has been coming for a while the result of a global economy..the death of Democracy..the palpable feeling and unhidden promotion of fear,anxiety stress & worry.

    Dont rock the boat,don’t ask too many questions,don’t stand out..don’t stand up…don’t argue….Apathy is raging because fear is raging..fear rages because you could be next..so you won’t spend or you won’t take chances because next year might be worse..This is not a recession or a Depression..this is the future ,a carefully planned and executed future.

    This crisis could have been prevented and could have been ended if the will was there..but their is no will to end it because their is no incentive to end it..those in power or in banking or in the military industrial complex are going to get paid anyway so..no incentive..There plan to make the World a giant Wal-Mart..if you dont like it you can work as a intern or on social community projects…..

    So I believe you are not a Company or a Economy or a demographic to be targeted for sales..you are a person..a friend,a father,daughter,son,wife..someone loves you & misses you when your gone.

    Be the person you are .live life..don’t wish it away..don’t waste time on pity..you may think you’re alone but you are not..their are people wishing you well every hour of every day.

    be positive..know your truth.except life and life will except you.

    Do I have all the answers..? No..but I do remember what it was like lying on the floor,covered in urine stained jeans,in a valium & alcohol stupor as my young daughter tried to wake me as my wife cried in the Car…….

    BE Happy..do the best you can one day at a time..Our biggest enemy is fear….Fight back today.


    if you need to talk in confidence

    • michaelcoughlan

      I’m close to tears Barry.

      I’m ready to rise. No shit.

      “The priority is you,your family,your kids..you are legally & morally obliged to support them first,Dont worry about Banks…they are not worried about you….don’t worry about what Government may or may not do..they don’t worry about you”

      The next step would be to print and send this to every family in the country.

    • Paul Divers

      Everything you say is true Barry and it would take an odd person who felt no emotion when reading your words. They are true because we all know they are true and many of us have seen poverty and it’s bastard children – apathy, anger, despair and violence destroying families

      After reading your words and some of the other posts I have a lump in my throat. I do Barry.

      The future you describe is already here and it is no wonder half the country can’t face it and want to numb the pain with whatever does the job.

      Some of us are sick of lying on the floor and have decided to get off our arses. Many of us who contribute here care and we should create a platform that will take on this establishment and keep an eye on their every move

      Michael Collins confidants were known as The Twelve Apostles.

      It would be very ironic if 12 dedicated and committed apostles suddenly appeared and gave Enda and his Fine Gael government a migraine by running rings around them in social and alternative media sites

      International democracy and socialism is the only way to stop this nightmare

    • Chapeau!

      It takes courage to write as Barry wrote here, and contrary to the selfendulging and selfreferential economic commentators, it has meaning.

      Perhaps, Social Engineering is the term that stands above everything, I think it is. The term connotes an act of will, contrary to the term crisis, that implies more an event of unforseen consequences or pure coincidence.

      The social engineers at work are the same who represent plutocratic structures that substituted democracy step by step over the past few years. Politicians and their parties exchangable at the flick of a switch, their programs as similar as can be, as are their headlines of lies and deception.

      In the media rich landscapes of our societies, totalitariansim needs no brown shirted marching bands to drum the message home no more, it works much more subtle and much more efficient today.

      The old illness is back, xenophobia is thriving and the virus falls on fertile grounds.

      The consume of pharmaceutical uppers and downers never was any higher, the consummation of prescribed psychoactive substances socially acceptable.

      The fragile layers that once made up the social contracts are destroyed and subtsituted by a financial oligarchy that took over the wheel.

      Now let us pray…. for the divine flow of capital and lowest possible wages, for export, growth and continued low interest rates, for the complete elimination of workers rights, for less health services for the poor, for a privatised education system, for water rights to be granted to coroporations exclusively.


  22. redriversix

    Hi Paul,Michael

    Dont really know what to say..?

    Thank you for the kind words..I don’t know if I am right to write what I do..?
    When I do suppose I am looking for people to react to look within themselves..to realize their is life after debt and the hardship it can & often does bring with it.

    One thing I would like to clarify for those in the cheap seats ! is that I am a very positive person and constantly strive to seek solutions to problems great & small…but when the truth is negative …people must be told so they can take action in a positive manner.

    How can politicians in charge at the time say they “never saw this crisis coming”?

    AIB has been bailed out three times in the last few decades……

    Several South American Countries from the 50s to the 80s suffered the same fate[deliberately ?] ….Mexico in the 90s had a Banking crisis..The massive Asian recession which wiped billions of dollars,jobs,business & people away..in a week in 97[ I think] 20 million people lost their jobs in China.The collapse of the Soviet Union which led to the rise of the Oligarchs & the I.M.F having a field day….

    Dunno about politics Paul..haven’t figured that out yet……?

    As Michael says..first thing needs to be done is get “off our arses”learn to protect ourselves and pass the word where it can be heard or wanted.

    Anywho !! have a great evening

    Keep it simple and be good to each other

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Barry,

      “How can politicians in charge at the time say they “never saw this crisis coming”

      The reason is is because they didn’t see it coming.

      That might sound odd but the reality is that only the shortsighted and ignorant survive in politics. The deeper meaning is because when you have a short sighted and ignorant personality it protects you from the psychological consequences of knowing you are responsibe for all the problems been caused. This is because your ignorance prevents you from
      Making the connection. It’s only when the mob gets hold of you puts you up against a wall and shoots you that the penny might drop and sometimes not even then.

      That fate befell chauchescu. Bertie still thinks the whole thing fell apart because Lehmans failed. Seanie and drumm still think Anglo failed because London based hedge funds conspired in a shorselling

      • michaelcoughlan

        Bernanke still thinks he can print his way out of the problem. Hitler said at the end of the war it was all the german people’s fault since THEY weren’t good enough to stop Russia. Ignorance is part of the dynamic.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments