November 12, 2015

The heroes of 1916 were economically clueless and the nation paid for it

Posted in Irish Independent · 140 comments ·
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As we are about to embark on a year of celebrating 1916 and the birth of the nation, maybe it’s a good idea to stand back and ask what 1916 did for the economy.

 

The last time I checked, you couldn’t buy bread with slogans, speeches and flags, so isn’t it a good idea to ask what happened to living standards and economic opportunity after the Rising?

What was the economic and financial backdrop to the Rising? And what economic policies were followed to ensure that the pledge to “cherish all the children of the nation equally” (which was intended to refer to Unionists rather than the poor) was underpinned by financial reality?

When I learned about 1916 and the national struggle, economics was never mentioned other than scant reference to Horace Plunkett and his co-operative movements. Because this Plunkett, a former Unionist MP, was often confused with his relative Joseph Plunkett, a Proclamation signatory, there was always a vague sense that some Plunkett who was involved in national politics at the time had something to do with economics.

That was about the height of the economics – which is unusual because the story of revolutions tends, typically, to have a big economic component. The story of our revolution, as told in school, is one of rich Britain subjugating poor Ireland. This sounds good, but it’s not entirely accurate.

Work by economists Kevin O’Rourke and Ronan Lyons reveals another, more nuanced, story. In fact, the decades leading up to the Rising were a period of relative prosperity for those people who stayed in Ireland. They were decades of rapid social improvement. I know it sounds counterfactual, but it’s true.

Take for example, the lot of Irish skilled workers and tradesmen, such as carpenters and fitters. During the Famine they earned about 90pc of what their English counterparts did. This ratio remained more or less unchanged, but in those decades leading up to 1913, both English and Irish tradesmen saw rapid increases in their wages. The Empire project enriched all of Britain and Ireland. In the later part of the 19th century both Irish and English tradesmen got richer together.

However, we see much greater upward mobility in the wages of unskilled Irish workers and farm labourers, which actually rose rapidly after the Famine. This goes totally against the national narrative. I am not saying that people weren’t poor, but they were beginning to get richer.

In 1845, Irish unskilled workers earned half of what their counterparts were earning in Britain – by 1913 they were earning three quarters.

This seems counterintuitive because these were years of natural catastrophe and mass emigration – and surely that should be the key metric for any assessment of economic viability. But the fact is that those workers who stayed in Ireland did well after the Famine. When there are fewer workers to do the work, their wages tend to rise, and that’s what happened. Therefore, strange as it may sound, the typical economic reasons for a Rising, which traditionally should be a deterioration in the plight of the local people ahead of the Revolution, were not present in Ireland.

In addition, wealth, which in agricultural Ireland primarily stemmed from land ownership, was also undergoing a transformation. The various Land Acts from 1870 to 1909 began the mass transfer of land from the Anglo Irish aristocracy to the local farmers. This too would have had a profound positive impact on the wealth of the local population. Finally, the Irish stock market, which if the country had been an economic basket case would have been falling, actually doubled in the late Victorian era. Indeed some household names such as Arnotts were quoted at the time, revealing a buoyant retail sector in Dublin.

During this period, we had an Irish Home Rule party that held the balance of power in Britain and could therefore extract concessions from British imperialists who were looting the globe at the time. As a result, large-scale sanitation and infrastructural projects were undertaken such as bringing clean water to Dublin from Roundwood Reservoir. (By the way, there is a statue of the dude behind that initiative, which saved the lives of thousands of poor Dublin children – more than Jim Larkin ever did – situated just behind “Big Jim” on O’ Connell Street. Can you name him?)

All this taken together explains how in 1913, on the eve of the Rising, far from being poor, Ireland was actually a rich country – one of the richest in Europe. Income per head was on a par with the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Seventy years after the Rising in 1986, Irish income per head was half the income of the Scandinavians. What happened?

Did our population expand rapidly so that our income per head fell – which would have been the inverse of what had happened between 1850 and 1900, when wages rose because the population fell? No, in fact, the Irish population kept falling up until the 1970s.

Emigration remained at ridiculously high levels. Consider this: in the 1950s, we know that 450,000 Irish people emigrated to England alone. That is not taking into account the people who went to America, Canada or Australia. And we are talking about a decade when the rest of the world boomed. In the 1980s, again, when our major trading partners – the English-speaking world – boomed, we went backwards. This is hard to do.

Since then, things have got much better. In fact, since the mid-1990s, even despite the crash, Ireland’s living standards have increased dramatically.

However, the fact remains – the first 80 years of this State were an economic disaster.

I am talking here about the ability of the new State to look after its own people, to match the rhetoric of nationalism with some semblance of achievement. Two out of three people born in the country in the 1930s – the first real generation of the new State – ended up living abroad. Just take that in.

I wonder will any of these individual stories be referenced in the many centenary celebrations that lie ahead?

Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade my Irish citizenship for anything and I believe in a nation’s right to make its own mistakes. And yet we should acknowledge that the people who took over this country in the aftermath of 1916 in our name were about as economically literate as the Taliban, and it wasn’t until these men were dead that this country began to deliver economically for its citizens.


    • My grate grandfather and grandfather both lived through the 1916 rising years, they were not political people nor were they fighting people, they were never involved in the fighting they were small farmers, and tradesmen as the farm was too small to make a full living from. They told horrific stories of Ireland under British rule during the Queen Victoria years as well as what later the black and tans done to people locally as well as showed me trees where the British hung people from and where people had their hand chopped off for steeling sheep from the large estates from the hunger. They said that best thing that ever happen in their life time for the local economy and peace I the midlands was that the British left Ireland.

  1. pablos

    there is a little too much invective in this article for it to be readable. There is no doubt that the state was a mess after the rising or that things had been improving beforehand. This does not mean that there was no need for the Irish to take their freedom instead of it being granted to them. Perhaps the tragedy of occupation only became apparent after the rising. This is a story in which all the parties involved were found wanting. It seems to me that the real target of your invective is the republican mythos and propaganda, rather than the leaders of 1916, who should be judged from a viewpoint of their time, rather than through the lens of history. WW1 was on at the time, was that a beacon of sanity in an otherwise mad world?

    • I agree with you. The fact that most of the 1916 leaders were executed is hardly trivial considering David is laying the blame for the southern state’s economic woes on their shoulders. He also fails to mention partition which not only led to civil war but also resulted in the ‘two state’ solution which has benefited nobody from an economic point of view.
      Revolutions are not generally inspired by looking at an Excel spreadheet and seeing that your mopnthly income has dropped. The fact that the native population and culture had been subjugated to the extent that the overall population had halved in less than one hundred years with disastrous consequences for the language might have triggered a bit more passion at the time.
      If the article was balanced and comparing like with like then the aggregated economic performance of both Irish states would be compared to the pre-1916 situation. It’s not like anybody was fighting for what became the Irish Free State with the border drawn to ensure a maximum unionist vote with as much land as possible. It’s amazing that words like ‘nation’ are being used when referring to the 26 county state when most Irish people would find it hard to draw a map of the country that didn’t include the northern state.

      • Deco

        The losing side of the civil war (including my grandparents in that) were totally unrealistic with regard to the North.

        But they were correct concerning their scepticism of the motives of those who backed the winning side. In the 1920s there was too much emphasis on running Ireland as Britain would have wished the Ireland to run Ireland. Too much emphasis on reverence for those who owned property, at the expense of those who toiled and sweated – at least in the public realm.

        If we look at how other small countries like Denmark or The Netherlands became prosperous, they were more into wealth creation and productivity, than simply holding real estate.

        I think that this silliness has been preserved, especially within much of County Dublin. We seen it emerge in the property mania episode.

        It is the opposite of the Michael Davitt approach, of those that toil coming first in society, before those that own. This approach is the basis of what is best about Irish civilization in the 20th century.

        Unfortunately, this has been effectively weakened now.

  2. Pablos

    There is invective in the title which is unfortunately written by the sub-editors, but the article is very measured – at least I think it is. Crucially, the final paragraphs are my own personal view on being a citizen of an Independent country – I wouldn’t trade it for anything. That said, its worth starting the conversation.

    Best

    David

    • pablos

      Hi David,

      Thank you for the reply, I really enjoy reading your articles.

      You are doing the people on this island a great service:)

      regards,

      Paul

    • michaelcoughlan

      Thank god somebody has the guts to call it like he see’s it and show us up for what we really are. We have a country with the best farming land in the world. We produce the best beef and bloodstock in the world. We have 1000s of miles of coastline teeming with fish. We have a very creative and hardworking population. We have Billions in gas off the coast and what have we got in the last three years?

      The largest ever record year on year for 3 years emigration out of the place with record levels of inward immigration to take up all the min wage zero hour contracts. In the 100 years since independence we have never provided for our own.

      Any true Irish person will cry their eyes out next year in shame at what we have done to the place with freedom the patriots bought for us with their blood.

      I don’t know what more to say.

      • Deco

        Our fishing resource, is a particular shameful chapter.

        Bureacracy, and state quangos looking for fees are what prevent us from being like Norway in fish farming. The Scots, the Canadians, and Tennesse have pummeled us in whiskey production. We threatened to pummel the Dutch with cheap cheese in the early 1980s but Brussels intervened to prevent that from happening. There seems to be an ongoing silence concerning the Corrib field.

        It is very hard to be serious about value added, when the state system’s primary need is to be in charge of matters. Same problem currently exists in France, which is also over-centralized.

        You are correct, we are a very hardworking and tough people. We do drink too much, to the point that the HSE is banjaxed. And we are often, overly despondent. We are also leveraged to ponzi economics, as is shown by the current “bottleneck” policies on real estates, designed to make the banks look profitable.

        I think that we simply have too much authority, in our society, to be effective. If we had simpler laws, and wider acceptance of them, everything would be more efficient.

      • pablos

        Emigration shouldn’t be viewed as a disaster, it has both human and economic advantages. The Irish were emigrating long before it became an economic necessity. We should be a bit more spartan in this regard, come back with your shield or on it.

        • michaelcoughlan

          “Emigration shouldn’t be viewed as a disaster”

          Emigration is an unmitigated disaster! End of.

          • Emigration is great.

            Some of the best things that ever happened to me in my life – multiple times.

            Start of.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks Adam.

            Your response shows me that there is an omission in my post. Your response confirms my observation that irish people are voting with their feet by emigrating because that is preferable than staying here.

            It would be better for Irish people to say;

            I love spending my life here. Start of. They don’t though.

            Hope all is well in Antigua.

          • Great here Michael thank, paradise on Earth. Sorry I didn’t answer your post some time back looking for details of schools, jobs, lifestyle etc in Antigua. but I did save the email and I’ll get to it eventually, very busy right now.

            The lovely island of Ireland has massive potential but it’s been destroyed over the last 100 years by the evil, corrupt, incompetent people ‘in charge’, and by the cowardly subservience of the people who vote for them time after time after time after time.

            Someone else said ‘brave’ and ‘hard-working’ on this thread in regards to Irish people in general – sorry I will have to beg to differ strongly on that one – in fact it’s complete rubbish. Cowardly and slack-assed more like.

            Do what your told, bend over and pick up the soap while drinking the Kool Aid more like – and make sure you pay your taxes so you can pay for the salaries of the crooks that rob you blind multiple times a day, day after day, week after week, year after year.

            I don’t blame the brave revolutionaries of 1916 – that’s what they were – revolutionaries – not economists. It’s the odious 5 generations or so of ‘ruling classes’ that came after that has ‘done for’ Ireland.

            However, it’s not my job to changes things in Ireland, I have my own life to live. All I can do is speak my mind and walk the walk.

            Best of luck to you all.

    • Sideshow Bob

      An excellent piece of writing David. Well balanced, as you pointed out, and the argument is clearly supported throughout.

      It is a pity the sub-editors put that headline on it. Time to argue for more editorial control over or agreement on headlines?

      Anyhow, well done!

    • Deco

      Thanks for the information, David.

      It is insightful, about “the powers that be”, and the fact the prominent elements of the ownwership is often tax resident outside of Ireland.

      The public debate in Ireland exists on a sliver of hope, and optimism, and that exists in the gaps that cannot be covered beneath a shadow of big money and oligopoly.

    • SMOKEY

      It could have read, “1916 heroes possessed guts, but lacked economic savvy”. This is a win win title. Sub-editors are often subpar. Interns who didnt attend lectures and dont always use spell check.

  3. bluegalway

    If there was a referendum in Ireland next year to rejoin the UK, with the result that if Ireland did then the following would be abolished:
    VRT
    USC
    Annual Local Property Tax (the UK has stamp duty, but no annual payments).
    Lower VAT
    Lower income tax
    Much higher thresholds on tax bands.

    plus an absorption of national debt, plus all the good bits Scotland is about to get to run its economy, as well as a large slice of the total tax take of a much richer country.

    How many people WOULD swap their passport?
    I’m thinking a lot more than most would think.

  4. Antaine

    This should be good. :-)

    My own tuppence worth as an economic illiterate: Our Trademen were well paid in the late 90s and early 2000s and look how that worked out.
    We’re a wealthy country alright but its the concentration of wealth in a few hands that seems to be the problem.

  5. pablos

    However bad any of Irish history proved to be, you have to admit, in comparison to many other places in the world, Ireland suffered relatively little. Take Niall Ferguson’s excellent documentary on WWI about how genocide was the leitmotif of the 20 Century, we escaped almost without a scratch. Any of the tragedies of the past in Ireland look like tiny skirmishes in comparison to events elsewhere. Even Eastern Europe suffered much more than Ireland and they did nothing to deserve it. We have to look beyond nationality, people in Britain suffered tremendously during the Industrial Revolution, in the World Wars and think of the 50 million alone who died from Spanish Flu afterwards. Leave nationalism where it belongs; in the past.

    • Deco

      Correct. The wisest thing to do in WW1 was stay out. An act of utter stupidity that revealed the leadership of several countries in 1914 to be utterly clueless. Ironically, the person best positioned to calm matters down, was shot dead in Sarajevo.

      Geography kept us from suffering in a manner that occured to the Poles, the Czechs, the Hungarians, etc… in the 20th century.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “we escaped almost without a scratch”

      Did we? 200000 served 50000 got blown to pieces;

      http://www.independent.ie/life/world-war-1/sea-at-gallipoli-ran-red-with-irish-blood-30270528.html

      • pablos

        50,000 lives is a tragedy and a shocking waste, two of my relatives died in the conflict, but maybe you should look at the conflict in its entirety, France was literally devastated by WWI. Look at what happened in Indochina and Asia before and after WWII, and then tell me we suffered. apropos your earlier comment, i am living in Germany since 2007 and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. People are more than economic units that produce and consume, at least I like to think so.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Michael,
        I lost my mother myself recently so I know how hard each casualty must have been for those Irish families. But the point is that Ireland came out of WWI and WWII relatively unscathed and certainly losing less than 1pc of population was better than Poland losing 1/4 in WWII.
        Besides, Poland came out ruined (i.e. Warsaw was ruined more than Nagasaki), while Ireland, which probably few people know, actually raised its standards of living during WWI (not only that those soldiers were paid, but wages of women in Dublin QUADRUPLED after the WWI outbreak – so you had salaries of the Irish soldiers plus massively increased wages of women who could now find employment).

        That does not take anything from heroism of those irish soldiers who died in WWI (paradoxically, they were rather badly treated in the free Irish state).

  6. Deco

    Firstly, I think David is to be commended for trying to address a topic, in a manner different from all the many other commentators who have mutilated the past, in an effort to mutilate the future. In other words, there have been no guilt trips, even though this is currently “in vogue” in the Irish media.

    The one thing that has baffled me no end is the volume of cliche ridden nonsense that circulates with respect to the entire period. The 1913 commemorations have been turned into a SIPTU-fest, completely obliviuous to the often selfish agenda that predominates with SIPTU and trade union politics.

    At this point in time, I have switched off every time I hear the term “1916″. The state and certain interest groups have invested an enormous amount in preventing us from realistically appraising the Independence War.

    And this is entirely predictable. We were then part of an Imperial concern, and we wanted out. The same establishment is back in the “gombeenism” business again, telling us that the new Imperial racket is much better. As shown by Greece, plus the current “regime change” antics in Portugal, this is utter nonsense.

    Alright, back to the core point of the article. I am not sure if they were all completely clueless. None of them were qualified economists. And few of them had any experience in business. However, some of them had a clear idea what was wrong with Ireland in the first decade of the century.

    The biggest problem was that the post-Independence settlement was unclear, as a result of the civil war. There was an obsession in the British Empire at that time with keeping everybody obedient. And a certain element in Ireland held the wealth, and wanted to make sure that it held onto the wealth. This was a massive constraint until the 1930s.

    In the 1930s there was a movement towards industrialization. This was mildly successful in Cork and Waterford. This did grasp concepts like value added, and the idea that Ireland should be exporting more than just raw materials. These concepts were provind successful in other industrialized countries, and were standard for the era.

    However, for reasons of internal economic structure, Ireland did not become another economic Switzerland.

    I suspect that the central reason for this was a misallocation of capital within the society. The focus of land ownership, was preservation rather than production. The right of the political spectrum showed massive reluctance to break up large estates, because it would lose societal control to small holders, who were exerting enormous pressure on the system on a continual basis.

    Capital was not focussed on production. The 1937 Constitution did seek to address this. And by then there were clear aspirations to produce enough to economically provide for the needs of the populace, even if there were not details, as to how this would be achieved. And even then, as shown in the Land War, there was a very virulent element in Irish society which waas well capable of lying through it’s teeth to prevent any policies emerge that would improve the overall well being of all, at cost to the priveleged few. We could have had a Franco style attempt at coup in the 1930s. Fortunately, the participation of the people in politics at the time was such that it was liable to get a very strong response. Instead there were power games behind the curtain, which contineu to this day, on the basis that the people cannot be trusted, and moneyed interests know better.

    In other words Ireland has been locked in the “control” versus “autonomy” battle since independence. This continues to this day. This is a central theme in Irish life.

    In fact it is not just an Irish issue. I would declare that it is part of the wider trend of our age, that I would term “corporatism” versus “populism”. If we look at the Occupy movement in the US, or Corbyn we see the extreme remnants of this to this day. Or indeed the “sinister fringe” that objects to the Irish Water super quango.

    In any case, I think that many of the leaders in 1916, knew what was wrong. They simply had not yet resolved how to make it right. The struggel for independence left the country divided and exhausted. Most of all, the inheritance of various plantations, and over a century of penal laws had left Ireland in a state of resource-under-development. The education system was designed to produce lawyers, teachers, administrators and clerks. The administration process was very centralist (more so that Britain itself) – almost to a degree as punitive as that which existed in France.

    Ireland was an economic system designed to not be autonomous in 1914. This had been a central objective of British policy until Britain became industrialized, and became a world power. This was out of necessity. After 1922, the new leaders suddenly found themselves in this position. And they were inspired by countries of a similar scale like Denmark and Switzerland. However, these countries had certain resources built up that we simply had not built up. They had state systems that were highly efficeint, and transparent. The Mini-Whitehall-Bourbon mix authority model coming from Dublin at this point in time was the antithesis of this. And somehow this has been preserved, even to this day. It did not peak in the 1950s. It peaked under Ahern.

    Ireland’s mix of loose aspirations of wanting to not be economically dependent on Britain went on for decades, until the Irish establishment discovered the EEC. But the first two decades of Ireland’s membership of the EEC, were a disaster. There were no clear economic plans going into that, either. At least not as effective as the thinking that were devised by the Germans in the 1950s. Contrary to the official dogma, we were not liberated by becoming part of another imperial racket. If anything, we can see the bank bondholder debacle as evidence that we are simply being locked into a mechanism that fits the tired merchantilism of mittel-Europa, and the laziness that prevals in Brussels.

    So, yes, David, the men of 1916 were visionaries, with limited economic abilities. The Irish university system in the early 1990s was not designed to produce independent thinkers. The secondary school system did a better job. Pearse himself defined the educational system of the era as a “murder machine” because of how it made people obedient.

    Their viewpoint, (as is often the case with revolutionaries) was that they knew what was then existing was not working, to the optimal degree.

    However, I would like to know how would define the men who inherited what they fought for, and who are full believers in the current imperial project. They seem even more clueless. In fact, they have been given the responsibility, and yet for a while members of the current Dail were sending the budget to Berlin for review before showing it to the Irish people.

    Which proves that the current 1916 “official” celebrations amount to a serious attempt to prevent any sort of intellectual, or cultural renewal, that might undermine the dozy consensus that prevails in Brussels.

    • pablos

      How different is a union to a state, they both nominally exist to represent their ‘members’ interests. Compare SIPTU’s approach to the state’s the next time you hear about how many refugees they will be accepting.

  7. Deco

    Correction:

    [
    However, I would like to know how we would define the men who inherited what they fought for, and who are full believers in the current imperial project. They seem even more clueless about econommics. Their entire program amounts to bring in rich American mncs, and let them pay minimal taxes – while the worker bees will pay for everything.

    In fact, the current political “leadership”(sic) have been given the responsibility of running a free country, and yet, in the period of the current Dail, they send the budget to Berlin for review before showing it to the Irish people. We even have consensus with Pravda/RTE declaring that supervision by Brussels is as necessary as parenting. In other words we are being routinely patronized. And when a people are being relentlessly patronized, controlled, and programmed, from outside, this is imperialism. We are get a relentless message of “mummy knows best” concerning EU policy.

    We are being treated like children again, by an imperial project again. They do not need tanks, when they can achieve dominance with banks.

    • ” They do not need tanks, when they can achieve dominance with banks.”

      An alliterative and literal truth

      • Pedro Nunez

        and now the ‘banks’ are being supplanted by the ‘immigrants’ and minarets replacing the round towers in the call to ‘prayer’, All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.

  8. Sideshow Bob

    Good point.

    There is a whole 20 minutes of the patronizing `Mummy-knows-best-mentality´ vs. calmly and logically argued reality to be found right here(from last week):

    http://www.rte.ie/news/primetime/2015/1106/740096-prime-time-yanis-varoufakis-full-interview/

    I found the faces that Miriam O´Callaghan made throughout at Yannis Varoufakis to be ridiculous and hugely unprofessional. As well, I found it to be deeply ironic that she actually spent the whole interview parroting back arguments, directly into Varoufakis´s face, that stemmed from the actual `model prisoner´ government line that Varoufakis himself was calmly and clearly speaking about to her. She kept pulling things on to a personal level throughout, with no logical argument to resort to. In particular, towards the end while continuing to pull faces as she argued with Varoufakis as to if the other EU Finance Ministers `liked´ him or not, and she went on to state in a petty fashion that they probably liked Micheal Noonan. She seemed to be linking this arbitrary metric to the narrative for the `official´ economic conditions in both countries; i.e. Ireland, well-behaved and liked, has a good economy vs. Greece, badly behaved and not liked, has a poor economy. Varoufakis, for once, became a little annoyed and batted her back saying it was not the case, and in any event the Finance Ministers,etc, were all professionals and it would not have matter either way and he promptly returned to his factual and logical argument. The look of patronizing incredulity on her face at this point was simply priceless.

    • She’s a clueless imbecile.

      • Hoggie

        Sure isn’t Miriam great she has 8 kids don’t ya know.

      • michaelcoughlan

        “She’s a clueless imbecile.”

        No wonder she got a top job with RTE/Pravda on over 200k per year.

        • SMOKEY

          In my day her job would be the head brassiere fitter at Marks and Spencers and that would be as far as she would get, or Head hostess in a J D Wetherspoons in Cork or Dublin. Which by the way is about to really make an impact over the coming years in the restauarant trade. The fucked up phony blonde do makes me sick too.
          Christ, I just realized I hate her guts.

        • “I very much fear that your question has within it, embedded, two or three false axioms”.

          Superb.

          Why try to say it yourself, when Yanis can say it better?

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I actually remember my first day when I arrived in Ireland on a ferry and I turned on the radio and heard Mrs. Finucane talking about astrology. It sounded like a random conversation recorded in a pub without editing and to my horror I found out this was the first program of the Irish radio. I desperately searched for something like BBC Radio 3, but there was none. Then I heard Mr. Ryan Tubridy, who conducted an entire interview in a series of short, wheezy guffaws. Then I turned on TV and I saw Mr. David McWilliams talking about demand and supply. I was relieved – there there was someone who did not talk crap, did not giggle like other presenters and who actually spoke coherent English. I remember Mr. McWilliams said that bank managers are expected to increase their sales volume by 15pc and that building house bubble is inextricably linked to banks searching for profits rather than the value of the houses. To that I saw a blonde whose name turned out to Mrs. Miriam O´Callaghan who said “but we need these loans because we need these houses”. I thought to myself – how good you have to be at giving a blow job to get yourself in a position whereby you can actually run a debate on the economy on the main TV station while being so stupid that you cannot understand what Mr. McWilliams had just said (and she probably did not know the word inextricable)?

      But let’s give her a benefit of a doubt, perhaps she has read von Mises and Murray Rothbard since that conversation.

      • coldblow

        I recall David got annoyed with her a few years ago (I can’t remember what just now – perhaps someone else does) and described her in his column as (I think) poisonous, or something like that. Being a gentleman he later retracted and apologized.

  9. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    First of all, congratulations to David that he had the guts to touch the hot potato.

    Secondly, oranje68 goes on to touch on a very important philosophical topic:

    “Revolutions are not generally inspired by looking at an Excel spreadheet and seeing that your mopnthly income has dropped.”

    I think that the question of what actually causes the revolutions is very rarely, if ever, discussed in countries where the revolutions have occurred more often than in other countries (that is, Ireland and Poland), and those who discuss in a more inquisitive way are not read and their findings remain unknown to the local populations (Edmund Burke in Ireland and the Krakow School of historians – Szujski and Bobrzynski).

    The reason I suddenly jumped to the 19th Krakow School of historians was because they, unlike the Warsaw school, did not attribute the occupation of Poland and failures of the rising to external factors – the occupying forces – but rather to the inherent structural weaknesses which encouraged the occupants).

    What are the internal factors for the revolutions?

    Here I have to resort to someone infinitely more intelligent than me, the great Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville. In his book, “The Old Regime and the Revolution”, he wrote,

    “Experience teaches us that the most critical moment for bad governments is the one that witnesses their first steps toward reform. A sovereign who seeks to relieve his subjects after a long period of oppression is lost, unless he is a man of great genius. For evils that are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable once the possibility of escape from them is hinted at. The very redress of grievances throws a sharp light on those that are left unredressed, and adds fresh poignancy to their smart . . . It is almost never when a state of things is at its most detestable it is smashed but, rather, when it starts to improve, permitting men to breath, reflect, to communicate their thoughts with each other and to gauge by what they already have the extents of their rights and grievances. The weight, though less heavy, seems all the more unbearable.”

    What he means is that the revolutionary mood spreads out not when things are the bottom, but rather when things start to improve, which raises new expectations – but they do not improve quickly enough or the improvement is unevenly distributed.

    Current research appears to validate Tocqueville’s view. Take James Donnelly’s “The Land and People of Nineteenth-Century Cork” as an example, where he interprets the Irish land wars of 1879–83 and 1886–90 as a “revolution of rising expectations” resulting from the determination of tenant farmers to preserve their material gains made since the Famine during challenging periods of agricultural crisis.

    Thirdly, I think that Pablos assessment of the article that “This does not mean that there was no need for the Irish to take their freedom” is a straw man as this does not follow from the article. The leaders of the 1916 might have been economically clueless (at least most of them), but that does not imply that Irish independence was a mistake (although I think that leaving the Commonwealth was – small New Zealand seems to be much more independent a country within Commonwealth than Ireland outside of it).

    If that was the conclusion to be drawn from David’s article, then consequently Pablos should have said that David is against the existence of Ireland as an independent state, which I do not think David is (I think none of us are, or?).

    How much the Irish independence was a result of the 1916 rising is yet another thing. A lot, if not most of the Irish independence was due to the fact that the British were so busy in WWI, where the were still getting their a..s kicked by the Prussians at that time (similarly, Poland had their own rising in each generation during the 123 years of occupation, but at the end of the day, its independence in 1918 was due to the outcome of WWI RATHER THAN heroism of her freedom fighters – in fact each new Polish 19th rising had resulted in less autonomy).

    Take British WWI involvement out of the equation (plus a genuine reluctance of many English soldiers in Ireland to fight for the case they did not believe in, which is btw reported by Irish, not only English historians) and you would not have heard about The Easter Rising at all, because – as one of the worst organised risings in the history of all risings, which did not enjoy any support of the locals until the Brits overreacted and executed the poor Connolly chap – surely it did not have any chance to succeed and – which is conveniently forgotten – it was, in fact, a total failure (what was successful was the reigniting the civil war after WWI). What would have remained in that case – if Britain was really willing – or able – to fight to keep Ireland and would have focused most of her police and army forces in Dublin – would have been a small footnote mentioning the riots in Dublin.

    As to oranje68 view: “He also fails to mention partition which not only led to civil war but also resulted in the ‘two state’ solution which has benefited nobody from an economic point of view.” – the topic which is never discussed is how much of the ‘two state’ solution was PRECISELY a result of the botched Rising (at the time when Britan was warming up to the idea of the Irish autonomy, which surely would have led to the full independence given what had happened to other parts of the British empire), as well as the Irish neutrality during the WWII.

    Now, addressing other arguments that popped up during the discussion.

    “Income per head was on a par with the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.”

    As a statistics nerd, I actually knew about it – I would also like to add that I read diaries of Queen Victoria (of course not all of them) during her visit to Ireland and she noticed – I do not think this was to bribe the Irish with flattering as the diaries were private – that Dublin woman were the most beautiful in the British empire (fortunately she did not live to see John Prescott, who should have been banned from taking the office based on his appearance alone). Furthermore, the British army statistics yield the results that the Irish recruits were… the tallest of all national components (of course, some may argue that only the tallest Irish men volunteered, but I doubt it).

    “with disastrous consequences for the language” – but that was not a result of the subjugation, but the Irish own inertia, which probably harks back to the escape of the Irish elite (flight of the Earls) which had abandoned their own people – and no country can raise up from its knees without a healthy elite. In the 19th century Poland Polish was banned in public offices and schools in two occupying zones (Prussian and Russian – the Austrians took a liberal approach) and yet the language has survived.

    Take this as an example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrze%C5%9Bnia_children_strike

    As I cannot find any parallel example in the Irish schools history, there is your answer as to why Irish is on the verge of extinction :-(

    Michael Coughlan writes:

    “The largest ever record year on year for 3 years emigration out of the place with record levels of inward immigration to take up all the min wage zero hour contracts. In the 100 years since independence we have never provided for our own.”

    Sadly, he is right. Furthermore, both in Irish and Polish history getting rid of the more entrepreneurial and thus potentially seditious parts of the population was always a safety vent for the ruling comprador elites. What’s the solution? Michael, we have to strive to either elect the REAL elites, who would have NATIONAL and not colonial interests as their priority – or become ones.

    Perhaps the beginning of such a change has just happened in Poland in October elections – though the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I more very reserved as to the new Polish government so far, though it surely cannot be worse than the previous.

    SIMILAR thing has to happen in Ireland. Too often I have heard here that nothing can be done – in a country where there is no STASI and there is a freedom to meet publicly without being beaten up by the police.

    Take the quote from Cicero:

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

    I am a moderate optimist as the crony system collapse in Ireland.
    It HAS to change BECAUSE it is unsustainable.

    • “that Dublin woman were the most beautiful in the British empire”

      Jesus Christ, how times have changed!

      Good post otherwise though Grzegorz, thanks.

      • I made the exact same point, with same phraseology, to a friend of mine the other day about there being no STASI, and yet onwards we plough with buffoons like Enda at the helm – but yes, it is not sustainable, I agree Grzegorz, so I also remain an optimist about Ireland (from afar). It’s also true to say that a lot of the best people left over the centuries – no wonder the likes of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael et al can prey on the weaklings left behind.

    • mishco

      Grzegorz, I always read your comments with interest, as you can
      see pretty clearly some important similarities and differences in our 2 countries. I’ve just had internet installed locally in Ireland, by a Polish-run company, and it’s impossible to overlook how Poles are influencing modern Ireland – usually (!) for the better. Any chance of a Polish revolution here next year?

      • I don’t know how they allowed all these Poles into Ireland in the first place – I mean what were the immigation authorities thinking of?! They don’t have the right colour passports!

        Been meaning to say that for a while Grzegorz!

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Not taking a bait on immigration on this occasion though i’d like to notice Germany are doing just what Orban has been saying for 3 months (Dublin Regulation)

          • Yeah it’s a pity we didn’t have our own Orban here in Oireland back in the Nineties and Noughties when all those pesky Poles were pouring over our borders, taking our jobs and women.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Mishco,
        Thanks for the comment :-)

        Normally I would be the last person on earth to quote Lenin, but he – as an accomplished revolutionist (sent to Russia by the Germans to take Russia out of war) and a mass murderer – was an expert on revolutions and he names 3 conditions for the revolution:

        1. Objectively bad conditions resulting in mass discontent.
        2. Externalisation of the discontent via mass protests and
        3. A foreign power interested in changing the status quo.

        Now, whenever I look at the history, I always find that point 3 is valid – although when it comes to points 1 and 2, I think Tocqueville was right and not Lenin (he was more discerning than Lenin anyway).

        The German involvement in the Easter Rising is an example (and the American factor at the end of WWI); but another good, yet totally unknown for the Poles example is the British involvement in fomenting the 1830 and 1863 risings.

        Take a chap called William Jacob. He was a British MP who came to Warsaw in 1825. At the time the Kingdom of Poland (now under the Russian occupation, but still with considerable autonomy) was producing the best quality grain in Europe which threatened the British exports to Russia and it started to compete with England in machine tools production (Polish machines were of lower quality, but it was enough for the Russian market and besides, they were cheaper).

        So Mr. Jacob tells the Poles: either stop exporting to Russia or take a loan from the UK, 75% a year; otherwise we will set Poland on fire. Between 1825 and 1830 there were more and more English missionaries arriving in Warsaw (officially trying to convert the Polish Jews into Anglicanism). 5 years later there was an uprising as a result of which Poland has lost its autonomy within the Russian empire (the other parts of partitioned Poland were a bit more lucky, notably under the Austian occupation).

        Is there any foreign power interested in changing the status quo in Ireland? Yes there is – the United Kingdom – but the whole geopolitical orientation of Ireland is towards Germany.

        The change has to come from the Irish themselves – they have to elect the government whose main objective would be raison d’être, not releasing David Drumm because his mum says he is a jolly good fellow.

        The tragedy of modern Ireland is that there do not seem to be any political power inside Ireland who would be able to define what the Irish raison d’être and then implement it. FF has still not accounted for the past (no one went to jail in Ireland for the financial fraud of the last decade), Labour believes the nonsense they are fed from the continental lefties, FG talks a lot but then it is satisfied with a pat on their head from Mrs. Merkel, Sinn Féin talks even more but basically still lives in the past and thinks that economic problems could be solved by quoting James Connolly who only knew about the economics what he learned from Lenin, and Lenin knew nothing about it. The street-protest parties knew even less about the economy.

        So what’s the hope for the revolution? The crony system can only run as far as there is tax base. That will only last until QE is in operation. QE cannot go forever, hence the crony systems in countries like Ireland, Poland or Greece cannot go forever.

        By the way, have a look at this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TMcGb3bW-k

        As you can see, changes are possible if you have a proper elite. We have to even elect a proper elite to power or become one.

        P.S. Mishco sounds a bit like Mieszko, the first Christina king of Poland (940 – 25 May 992), from the Piast dynasty, founded by the legendary Piast Kolodziej (Piast the Wheelwright). Mieszko I was interesting for the English because his grandson, Cnut the Great (also known as Canute – Cnut means knout in Polish) had invaded England in 1016 (in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects, he stated himself “King of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes”, which shows certain moderation in his self-assessment ;-).
        His currency – denarius – had been modeled on Charlemagne’s currency and it had the same mass of 1.53g as Charlemagne’s denarius.

  10. McCawber

    Hindsight is twenty twenty vision so the real question David should be asking is-
    With the benefit of hindsight why didn’t our leaders of the noughties do any better than their 1916 cabal of predecessors.
    The answer is always the same. It’s still a cabal no matter when it is.
    After every general election the government is always in power.

  11. ict

    David, did you not get the memo?

    The glorious dead leaders of 1916 are the nations new Gods.

    They shalt not be criticised in any way.

    Repent at once, wrap yourself in a tricolour and kneel at the altar of the GPO and beg the great Pearse God for forgiveness.

  12. goldbug

    DAVID -> ?

    DID IRELAND HAVE COLONIES TO EXPLOIT?

    DID IRELAND HAVE MORE CHILDREN TO FIGHT IN IMPERIAL WARS?

    .
    .

    DO YOU KNOW HOW POOR THE IRISH STATE WAS AT FOUNDATION?

    -> REALLY?

    DO YOU KNOW WHO CONTROLLED IRISH TRADE?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Irish_Trade_War

    EMIGRATION -> ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Irish_Trade_War#/media/File:IrelandRepublicPopulation1841.PNG

    AN GORTA MóR

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_%28Ireland%29#/media/File:Population_of_Ireland_and_Europe_1750_to_2005.svg

    -> IN A CENTURY OF TWO WORLD WARS?

    -> WHERE WAS THE MONEY TO COME FROM?

  13. goldbug

    THERE IS A REASON WHY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GAVE SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS?

    THERE IS A REASON WHY NUNS AND MONKS WORKED FOR FREE?

    -> WHY?

    ANS. NOBODY ELSE CARED.

    -> THERE WAS NO GOLD FOR LOAN TO THE IRISH

    MAYBE WE COULD HAVE GOT SOME VERSAILLES REPARATIONS?

    -> FOR OUR DEAD IRISH SONS

    VAMPIRICALLY SUCKED ON LIFEBLOOD GOLD FROM GERMANY?

    MAYBE OUR OWN SLICE OF RHINE VALLEY?

    .
    .
    HA.

  14. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Thanks. Perhaps it is the ‘modern’
    diet. Those Dublin women who do not live on take-aways and/or drugs are still beautiful – i.e. very good skin complection. Sadly ability to cook is in decline. Those who do live on alcohol, processed food, old animal take-away fat and drugs often do look and sound like sea monsters

    • That would be about 2 individuals then Grzegorz.

      Anyway, stop stealing our Irish women from us! Stick to your own kind!

    • I’ll stop now but my over-the-top and facetious comments about Polish people coming to Ireland show up the inanity of your previous comments on immigration Grzegorz. As far as I’m concerned all Polish people are welcome in Ireland and the same goes for any other nationality. Fact is most people want to stay at home and buy houses across the road from their Mammies and that’s exactly what the would do if they were not interfered with.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Adam,

        Admittedly I said to Coldblow that I won’t comment on immigration for a good while because I would be repeating myself, but now you made me take a bait after all and I have to break my word (“All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one.” – from “Scarface”; not that this is my favourite movie of all time as I dislike violence in the cinema – my favourite would probably be either “Sweet and Lowdown” or “Stay”; I wonder what would be yours?).

        First of all, I do not think that my previous comments were inane, although you are naturally entitled to your opinion.

        Secondly, I do think that Ireland needs its Victor Orban (not necessarily in the nineties – 90s was a good time for in Ireland, which was still relatively cheap thus competitive and had its own currency(even though the house prices tripled between 1995 and 2003) and it was a time conservatives in Poland spoke about Ireland as an example to emulate.

        Thirdly, I would have done great under Orban’s regime in Ireland – I would still have been allowed to emigrate to Ireland (my situation was different still because as the UK resident I came to Ireland under CEA regulations before the EU enlargement, but I simplify for the arguments sake) and look for a job; the only thing – had Orban ruled Ireland – would have been that I would not have been entitled to social welfare, social housing or bogus asylum. Well, as I did not come to Ireland to avail of any of those three I cannot see how that would have worsened my situation or be discriminatory. More than that, in fact this would have improved the situation of immigrants to Ireland like me who came here legally because having disproportional amount of money channeled into social housing for both asylum seekers and indigenous sponger who claim rent allowance being depressed or anxious which brings up the prices for renters (I actually experienced an armed robbery in Ireland and still did not claim any post-traumatic stress disorder magic money – in fact I turned up for work the very same day).
        I would like to reiterate that it’s not the case that I do not have heart and I do not claim that war refugees should not be helped – but the genuine ones (now, how can they be genuine if they moved FROM the countries which took them as war refugees? – i.e. camps in Turkey).

        Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, I am afraid that you are being misinformed about the conservatives in Eastern Europe and I am not saying this lightly as you have otherwise considerable knowledge about other things.

        For starters, I have noticed that, unless I am very much mistaken, you appear to take all your recent knowledge – now, I do remember you mentioned you have lived in Hungary for a few years, but that was before Mr. Orban, was it? – from “The Guardian”.
        Thins is, that sadly all Western newspapers, but Guardian in particular, know f..k all about political movements in Eastern Europe. Reason being? None of them journalists speaks any of them languages to follow the debates so all they know is either from the Poles or from shallow observations between lunch in the Marriott Hotel and striptease (you will notice that when you check the sources of information), and the kind of Poles that have EU links and provide information are the same kind of Poles who get funding from various German or French institutions to serve German or French interest in the EU – and I have that very well documented.

        In fact the only such resident who actually bothered to learn Polish was a friend of mine, a chap who was responsible for the media campaign of the shadow cabinet of Mr. Ian Duncan Smith.

        Now here comes my most important point. The one thing that really strikes me is how come the Western press (that is European, as it’s slightly different in the US) writes articles about the extreme right-wingers in Eastern Europe – which in most cases are just parties like the Tories in England minus Tories preponderance for pleasuring cut off pigs heads – while there are silent on real extremists, like Mr. Geert Wilders in Holland (Mrs. Marie Le Pen in turn, who is not even near as extreme as Mr. Wilders, has almost bad a press as Kaczynski – only because there is a collusion in France not to let Front National to power)?

        So the UK announced initially that they won’t take any refugees (then they changed their mind, but still tool f..k all) and, surprise, surprise, they did not get a bollocking from Mrs. Merkel who always pick on the weak states. Mr. Orban, for a change, did not said that he won’t take any refugees, the only thing he wanted was to scrutinize them and adhere to the EU law; more than that, HE was the one who demanded more money from the EU for the border of Greece borders while Germany OPPOSED that. For that he was slapped in his face by the EU official, and so was our Enda Kenny (almost), about which fact I had written to Indo that it is shame that the small Czech Republic was able to withstand pressure from Brussels and having infinitely more soft power Ireland was not.

        Now Germany embarked on policies which are FAR MORE radical than everything what Mr. Orban had proposed – they would deport all bogus asylum seekers or dumped them onto countries like Poland. Did anyone slap Mr. Schulz in the EU Parliament in his face for his comments that they would do the latter by force? I think someone should.

        Besides, do you know how Mr. Orban actually came to power? One of the reasons was that Western corporations fucked over the Hungarians so much that they had to buy water from Danub from them – and even the secret service (in Poland a structure blocking the reforms) people were pissed off.

        So yes, I do think that Ireland needs her own Mr. Orban lest it remains Oireland – a country from which the young ones emigrate.

        Peace bro

        • Yeah take it easy Grzegorz, I can speak fluent Hungarian, it was the first thing I started to do (i.e. learn it) when I moved there.

          I wouldn’t be living in the Caribbean now if I hadn’t learned Hungarian (long story).

          There’s a fair few rationalizations in your post – I’ll read it more closely later on. I’m sure you could easily get into any country you wanted to, same as me, but that’s an “I’m alright jack” kind of approach – you still studiously avoid the subject of the other 300,000 Poles (or whatever the figure is/was) that came to Ireland – who are less qualified than you – should they be sent back to Poland (or should they have been rather, I know a lot have left now due to the downward turn of the Irish economy)?

          Of course they should not be, that would be utterly ridiculous.

          About as ridiculous as Trump’s plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants from the USA, which he repeated on the most recent Republican Presidential debate on Tuesday – that is never going to happen, even most of the other Republican candidates and top brass (e.g. Newt Gingrich) have said it is unworkable, and more’s to the point – completely inhumane.

          Trump should be advised to ditch that policy because otherwise the way I’m seeing it, he has a real chance now of getting elected – and given a choice between a rock and a hard place I’d rather have him than the corrupt Hilary Clinton. Not that it’s really going to make a difference to my life – I’ll still keeping doing what I do but it’s an interesting scenario.

          I’m not advocating immediate open borders (that would be equally as inhumane, chaotic and disastrous as mass deportations) but it should be a longer term global aim (over say the next 50 to 100 years) which would go hand in glove with the reduction of global inequality – as I have mentioned before, if inequality is reduced you’ll find that most people won’t want to leave their homelands and the ‘problem’ solves itself.

          But this splitting hairs in the sense of ‘well this person can get in, but this one can’t, and he’s got the right ‘passport’, but she doesn’t’ – it’s a joke Grzegorz – it immediately shows someone up as being discriminatory – all people should be treated equally. And anyway, how do you prove that people are telling the truth when many of them are undocumented due to coming from war-torn countries etc. If persecution exists in someones head, is that not still persecution? And how do you measure it in degrees? You either accept a certain amount of immigrants or you don’t – Polish or Syrian – doesn’t make a different. Ireland has the space and capacity to accept a certain amount – and I’m not talking about accepting millions or opening all borders – at the risk of repeating myself, but a certain effort has to be made (and as far as I know it is being made, but I’m far from the ‘action’, someone can correct me on that).

          Anyway, back to work, peace to you too, have a nice weekend. Will read your post in more detail later but I got the gist.

          • My favourite movie of all time is ‘Nil By Mouth’ starring Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke.

            It’s Gary Oldman’s directorial debut and the only movie he has directed to date – he also wrote the script which is loosely based on his own upbringing.

            It’s grim as hell but very realistic, you should check it out and let me know what you think of it.

          • It’s incorrect about The Guardian, I say that respecfully.

            I visited Hungary last October and will be going again next summer, to bring my daughter there to visit for the first time.. My first ex-wife (Hungarian girl) is my daughter’s Godmother (my daughter is from my second ex-wife) and I am the Godfather of both of my first ex-wife’s children – complicated I know!

            I also keep in touch with a lot of other people in Hungary – both ex-pats would who have been there for a long time and Hungarians too – a few Hungarians have visited me here in the islands over the years.

            One of my friends (a Canadian, with Irish ancestry) runs a media agency there, he is close to what is going on obviously, given his profession so I get it all first hand from him. My friend also speaks fluent Hungarian. Back in the day you had two sets of ex-pats (generally speaking), the ones who were there for years working for corporations and drank in Becketts Pub (now closed, not missed) and could barely order a beer in Hungarian, and the other set who were all well versed in Hungarian language and culture, with many Hungarian friends (like myself) who generally congregated around the Sixtus Kapolna (Cistine Chapel) bar on Nagydiofa Utca (Big Walnut Tree Stree) – one of the greatest bars ever (now sadly defunct) in Central Europe.

            The fact is, Orban is a total racist and tryant and if he could go further he would, he might if things continue on the current path. I fear for Hungary.

          • Here’s the latest Orban related link my friend shared with me, draw your own conclusions.

            Obviously Orban is popular among the ignorant in Hungary – let’s not forget that 95% + of any given country’s populace are as thick as pig shit in any case, and I do not discrimate among nationalities at all when making that assertion:

            http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/hungary-s-orban-suspects/2254908.html

          • Grzegorz, I’ll be back in Ireland for the month of December and most of January, we should meet up for a beer in Dublin City.

          • We might be able to find those two good-looking Dublin birds.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “300,000 Poles (or whatever the figure is/was) that came to Ireland – who are less qualified than you – should they be sent back to Poland”

            113,000.

            No, of course not, but then again how come they weren’t given social welfare – you have to have social contributions as an EU citizen – or social housing and yet they did not die from hunger?

            Why someone who has often more money and is an economic migrants like those Poles should get social welfare and free housing without any contribution to the Irish or German economy? – only because he claims he is a Syrian refugee, who by the way has just lost his passport.

            “I can speak fluent Hungarian” – kudos to you!!!!!!

            But I can assure you that none of them English journalists reporting from Poland can – yes, there are foreigners living in Poland who can and there is even a special program where they are stars – but not the journalists.

            “About as ridiculous as Trump’s plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants from the USA”

            That’s a bit of a straw man. Of course that is ridiculous (primarily from the technical point of view). Mind you, Mr. Trump wants them to be deported (now, I am not saying none of them should be deported!), but then bring them back legally. So ok, you deport a family of 5 with 3 kids. Say one of them attends high school and the other attends the university (do not know about know, but during the Reagan regime there were banks that would give you a loan as an illegal immigrant!).
            So you deport them, but then it turns out they can stay after all and you bring them back. What happens to those lost years? And where would they end up? Why, on food stamps – now legally.

            “if inequality is reduced you’ll find that most people won’t want to leave their homelands and the ‘problem’ solves itself.”

            Inequality is best reduced if you have THE SAME RULES FOR EVERYONE. Which is what Mr. Orban wants, for which he got slapped in his face. Which is what Mrs. Merkel finally sees as the most sensible thing, but it took her 3 months to cop on.

            “it immediately shows someone up as being discriminatory – all people should be treated equally”

            No, discriminatory is to splash social housing, free food and pocket money on some immigrants while having different rules for the others and for the indigenous population.

            “And anyway, how do you prove that people are telling the truth when many of them are undocumented”

            By not ACCEPTING refugees who came from REFUGEES CAMPS in Turkey in first place. They are welcome to come to Poland or Hungary, but if they already come from safety:
            1. No free housing.
            2. No free food.
            3. No free nothing.

            Same rules as for those Poles who came to Ireland and those Irish who emigrated to Australia. How is that discriminatory?

            “You either accept a certain amount of immigrants or you don’t”

            I accept immigrants – I am an immigrants. I do not accept they are welcomed with free stuff they did not work for and that they have a cheek to threaten the locals if they do not get it.

            “have a nice weekend” – I will – I am looking forward to the Irish storytelling festival tomorrow. You too have a nice weekend.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I do not know about leftist plot, but certainly there was a Turkish plot. Do you think Mrs. Merkel was jesting when she went over to Turkey and said she would give them 3bn euro if they stop sending refugees?

            Adam, I have enough of the immigrant discussion. Don’t you?!

            Far from being a topic no one dares to mention, this was the most discussed topic on this blog in the month of September. Enough is as good as a feast. Mr. Orban racist? Mrs. Merkel is not deporting all of them who cannot prove they are genuine. At least Mr. Orban gave them food and drinks. What does it make Mrs. Merkel if Mr. Orban is racist?

          • This blog is a mess. Very difficult to follow the comments.

            Ok to answer your first line (which is all I have read so far), as I recall it was around 300,000 in total of immigrants from Eastern/Central Europe, with the Polish obviously being the largest group and Hungarians were second biggest, but most of those went back.

            I wasn’t here for most of the Nineties or Noughties but I worked in a pub in Lucan for a couple of month in late ’06 and was happy to be able to practice my Hungarian with a young chap from Szeged. There was also Romanians. Lithuanians and Ukranians working in the pub which I thought was bloody great, having left homegenous Ireland in 1989.

            Anyway, the exact figures are not the point. I’ll read the rest of your comment in a while, under the hammer here.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Grzegorz, I’ll be back in Ireland for the month of December and most of January, we should meet up for a beer in Dublin City.”

            Maybe in January, but I do not know yet. I am still bogged down in issues related to my mother’s passing, do not know how is that going to develop.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Adam

            “Migration is seen as an opportunity … All indications and experience suggest that the overwhelming majority of these migrants will vote for the left once they become citizens, so future leftist voters are being imported to Europe”

            Of course they will vote for the left.
            Who will give them free social housing?
            The left. Who banned Swedish flags in schools because it has a cross and thus offends Muslims? The left. So who are they going to vote for? The left. How is that even controversial? It seems like a logical conclusion to me.
            And why you are so silent on the treatment of those immigrants in Germany and France? That’s where their houses are set on fire, not in Hungary.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3225343/Refugee-shelters-targeted-arson-attacks-two-suspicious-fires-migrant-homes-Germany-force-people-flee.html

            The immigrants who would not vote for the left are those who did not get a preferential treatment, like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruiz’s family (whatever we think about them and I have my reservations).

          • I’m not silent, I’m just not up to speed on every last detail – too busy. It’s the general themes that are more important in my opinion.

    • Home Counties Girl

      I trust you’re in good shape and on par with Heston Blumenthal’s cooking skills. I look forward to your ‘Authentic Cuisine from Poland’ cookery book.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Dear Home Counties Girl,

        My repertoire is good but limited. Funny enough, I never tried to make one of my favourite Polish dishes, the light pierogi with blueberries (it’s best to get the Polish blueberries for that as the American ones and Dutch taste like cotton wool; I think the ones from Chile are also good), which is a shame because my former Irish girlfriend has learned how to do that.

        But maybe there is a hope for me:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2GRPDCcod8

        What I can do though is this :-)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GSswLTFfK0

        I use the Supervalue organic chicken for that which has no-antibiotic guarantee and the smiling Irish farmer on a Christmas-like luxurious packaging, thus combining “buy Irish” with “cook Polish” :-)

        • Home Counties Girl

          Hey G,

          I’m so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. Keep strong chum – time will heal.

          Thanks for the recipes, will try the blueberry one, I’m a vegetarian so I’ll pass on the chicken dish.

          Anyways, I too am in Ireland in late November, will be in Dublin on Friday 27th – so if you fancy lunch or coffee n’ cake (would suggest the pub, but I don’t drink) then pop a msg on here – I’m always happy to meet new people.

          Have a safe weekend all :-)

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Hi Home Counties Girl,

            Sadly I won’t be here on the 27th – but I will be back in December until 19th, then off again and back for good in January, with a short break in early February when a very good friend of mine assaulted me with sudden news that he is getting married and I am invited and even already have the hotel booked and paid for, which is a typical example of a Polish hospitality which goes to far (an offer one cannot refuse).

            So if you are descending onto Ireland (I remember you once wrote you had considered moving out of the UK), then meeting would be a good idea.
            I am not a big fun of the pub culture (primarily because it is bloody loud!) myself and I rarely drink, but I am big fan of a good coffee – sadly I went through an extensive coffee training in Bewleys 10 years ago while working for the Abbey Theatre and I am unable to drink unfresh coffee from then on. The quality of coffee has improved in Ireland dramatically, paradoxically mostly during the recession, although it is a bit too American for my taste – 2 cows of milk for every cup (earlier on even in expensive hotels they were serving coffee based on instant coffee bags changed every 24 hours).

            My e-mail is bankruptamericayeswecan@gmail.com

            As to vegetarian recipes, this is not a strong point of the Polish cuisine – though it is still not as bad as rural Ireland where in some places, when you ask for a vegetarian breakfast, they would still serve you the same over-fried veg on old animal fat minus meat for the same price – so you are better off going for a normal square meal called the full Irish.

            But there are a few dishes in the Polish cuisine which are vegetarian and this one is very good for wet winter days and extremely healthy (beetroot is probably the most healthy veg for blood and it is anti-carcinogenic):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF3GaemRuAo

            On Christmas Eve we eat red borscht with these yokes inside:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XgUvYnsFIA

            You too have a safe weekend

    • Deco

      Greg – that is an accurate comment.

      There are too many Dublin women saturated with fast food, booze and mind altering substances. It is far too commonplace.

      It is a sacred cow that never gets criticized. It would be bad for somebody’s profit making. And profit making is the supreme value of the current monetarist value system.

      • Queen Victoria must have had the beer goggles on, that’s all I can say.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        What’s really sad is that all of this is under the umbrella of having fun. Now, I am not against having fun – in fact I am not against anyone having some wine from time to time – but at the bottom of this “you must have fun” culture lies a lack of self-respect. You see girls who think that noone would notice them if they would not actually lie down on D’Olier Street drunk with their panties all over the place.
        And there is smoking – a huge turn off for me. Cooking is considered to be denigrated for women nowadays, while being fed the worst saturated fat and looking 10 years older than they actually are is not.

        But you know what’s most sad? There is plenty of normal Irish girls who do not actually smoke 2 packs a day, drink Bulmers with each dinner and put on so much make up that they look like dolls and do not scream like there were at war – and they feel that they do not stand a chance in world which is so loud. Then they end up with alike partners and hence we have the Irish gorgeous looking 21 year old single mother phenomena.

  15. coldblow

    Some interesting comments. Time is running short so I can’t say much. I’ll read through the article again tomorrow, but my first impression is that a lot of it is what Crotty said. He argued that a relatively small number of Irish tenant farmers acquired land from the Anglo landlords (a considerably smaller number again) and became the new elite. The push for independence came (as David says) from an increasingly prosperous and confident landed and professional class who did not see why Ireland should sacrifice its youth to the Empire in WW1. There were a small number of ‘irritants’, such as Catholic exclusion from a tiny number of positions at the very apex of government in Ireland. He also argues (as I have mentioned here a few times over the years) that Irish society, because the have-not half had emigrated, had become far more middle class (including small farmers) than England, with its large proletariat. The balance had switched, or was just about to switch, in Ireland’s position on the British exchequer, as it were, as she was now becoming a net contributor rather than beneficiary. They did not want to end up paying their hard earned money into a welfare state for the benefit of the lower orders.

    So really there was a continuity between Ireland the colony and Ireland the independent state (except for green letter boxes and teaching Irish in the schools).

    I think it is probably worse than ever these days with the elite masquerading as a liberal, democratic, even socialist, class. The media and political classes that is. It is obvious that dissent is tolerated less now than ever it was in De Valera’s day.

    • Deco

      The establishment are socialist when it means that they can use other people’s money for the advancement of their own careers.

      In other words career socialism. Jack O’Connor, Brendan Ogle, Eamon Gilmore, Joan Burton, Michael Martin, etc…

      None of these people can be relied upon to but the common good first, when there are votes to be bought.

    • coldblow

      I checked after writing that and I got it wrong about the relative contribution of Ireland and the rest of Britain; in fact Ireland was just starting to become a net financial beneficiary from the union.

      You mention two of the people I had in mind: Gilmour and Burton. We all remember the money (what was it, €70k?) that Gilmour’s wife got from Dept. Education for the bit of land. And the hounding of water protesters after Burton’s car got held up for a while is resembling Tory reaction at the time of Peterloo and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

      These parties, in particular Labour and FG, really are as authoritarian and right wing (in economic terms) as you can get.

    • coldblow

      As for the tenant farmers acquiring the land from the Ascendancy landlords, Crotty put the latter’s number at 10,000 and said that about 20,000 native, Catholic Irish acquired about half of it, themselves being in the right place at the right time, having been rack-rented themselves, or the children of rack-rentees. He argued that these, and their relations (and class allies) in the professions totally dominated the country after Independence. Wasn’t one of the first signficant actions of the Free Staters to take a shilling off the old age pension?

      by the advent of WW1 the Irish proletariat had been wiped out (mainly through emigration) although no doubt some starved at home. When you think of wages at half those of England’s in 1845 then this is clearly well below subsistence. Three-quarters by the end of the century isn’t much of an improvement. Come WW1 many of the remnant of the Irish proletariat joined the British Army because life in the trenches was (presumably) preferable.

      This meant that Ireland was by far the most bourgeois society in the world.

      I remember one book in Dolphins Barn Library when I lived there (early 90s) about the ‘sad’ decline of our great Anglo great houses. I have to admit that I still get some satisfaction when I see pictures of them in ruins (and more in real life). This caused some amusement when I mentioned this in the days I worked in heritage.

      Today it is probably the top of the world table in terms of lack of imagination. A cursory glance at RTE or our ‘quality press’ would confirm this. Admittedly, competition abroad is getting stiffer.

      • jaysus

        Always though the same about the ‘sad’ decline of the big houses. Good to see I wasnt the only one thinking it was actually good to see the end of them.

        • coldblow

          You might remember the big revisionist revolution in Irish history in the 80s (the same decade that set the tone for the liberal agenda nonsense we see all about us now). I can’t remember the name of the big history book from that date, or its author, but my memory (such as it is) says that it spent more time talking about Dublin’s Georgian buildings than the Famine.

    • coldblow

      Finally, as I’m here, Crotty puts it nicely. The (successful) land wars of the latter part of the 19th C reflected the struggle of the owners of the capital *on* the land (ie livestock) to wrest ownership from the owners *of* the land (Ascendancy landlords). They were therefore their heirs and have, I assume, continued as such to this day, just as the native propertied classes in all former capitalist-colonized countries.

      The other point I’d make is that revolutions in colonies occur when their elites feel secure enough to go it alone without the protection of the metropolitan power. The middle classes feel confident enough to go under their own steam and that protection now becomes unwelcome control and restriction. I assume this is what happened in Bolivar’s South America. And it’s what happened in the USA. 18th C Ireland was moving in this direction (Grattan’s Parliament) but the rapid growth of a potato-eating pauper class (to use Crotty’s term) threatened their property and Union with Britain resulted.

  16. DB4545

    I think this needs to be aired David and it’s a truth we don’t like to face. There is another truth and it is that we are reluctant to accept the role that catholicism plays and has played in grooming people to accept ALL authority without real dissent. We were prepared to take on an empire but yet we kneeled to rome. Our emigrants thrive in protestant but secular anglophone Countries. Do people think that’s a fu*king accident? I think this generation have bypassed the reformation and moved on to secularism and that is moving us forward very quickly. We’ve moved on from accepting the role of obedient serf to some guy/girl wearing a dress in rome or a crown in london. We just need to realise that we don’t have to accept the role of serf to some guy/girl wearing a suit in New York, Frankfurt or London, or listen to our political priesthood feeding us EU dogma while lining their own pockets.Get off your knees and grow a pair of f**king balls and be your own leader.

    • Rock on DB4545.

      I wouldn’t believe a damn word a poncey priest or a prick of a politician says – never even did when I was a kid – born liars the lot of them.

      Don’t even give them 1 second of your time folks.

    • Deco

      Correct.

      We need to be intellectually sovereign. Regardless of whether or not we are in an imperial racket, with a local establishment serving as a garrison/enforcer for the imperial racket.

      It is amusing listening to the EU imperial racket garrison go to great lengths to tell us about the crimes of the previous imperial racket garisons (Vatican, Westminster) – whilst refusing to publish the names of those bondholders that were bailed out by the current imperial racket.

      This is a repeated them in Irish history.

      • coldblow

        The imperial garrison class. I like it.

        Do they realize it themselves? Probably only at a subliminal level but it feels too uncomfortable to go there. It’s easier to keep reassuring each other (and tell the rest to shut up): RTE, IT, etc.

    • coldblow

      You have it the wrong way round. Irish Catholicism took on its authoritarian style (which is probably hugely exaggerated, but let’s just say this for the sake of argument) from the intensely conservative (in all senses, but here I am thinking particularly in the eonomic sense) of Irish society.

      Who on earth does what the priest or bishop says these days? It is extraordinary that people can *still* get away with the claim.

      Now, if you were to, let’s say, raise your voice, in as reasonable a way as is possible, about the wisdom of adopting open borders you will soon decide to think again. And you think that the Irish were browbeaten in earlier years?

      The main problem with David’s article is its half-spoken assumption that we were clueless then and enlightened now, whether that be about economics or anything. Whence this enlightenment? Was it argued out in Irish work canteens, pubs and television studios? Of course not: it was imported off the peg from the BBC and the British Press (who got it in turn from America).

  17. Nigel Farage: Ireland has been crushed by iron fist of the EU

    Your politicians have sold out for free sandwiches and jobs in Brussels

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/nigel-farage-ireland-has-been-crushed-by-iron-fist-of-the-eu-1.2426297

    • A barrage from Farage.

      You’r leader of the pack Adam.
      Small is beautiful.
      Comments on this Article have been insightful

      As far as the the Heroes of the revolution being economically clueless, I was reminded of the old joke about the guy just divorced, saying how it had just cost him a million.
      Then was a pause and followed “It was worth every penny” .

      Freedom from oppression has no monetary or economic value. That is why lives were sacrificed in the cause.

    • Deco

      [
      On joining the EU, Irish politicians handed control of Irish waters and fisheries over to the EU. Dr Karen Devine of DCU examined Eurostat figures to find that non-Irish boats took €184 billion worth of fish out of Irish waters between 1975 and 2010. Net EU contribution to Ireland in cash between 1973 and 2013 was €41 billion. So it seems you are short over €120 billion.
      ]

      Can we bill this to the politicians and political parties who have been in power in that period ?

      Maybe we could stop the pensions of Cowen, Ahern, Harney, Bruton, Lowry etc ?

      • jaysus

        And now we have the worlds biggest trawler operating in Irish waters literally hoovering up millions in catch every day, and not a thing can be done about it.
        At least the Australians had the sense to ban this abomination from their fisheries.
        The worst thing is having to listen to gombeens telling us how much the EU gives us, blithely ignoring the billions stolen from our waters.

      • DB4545

        Deco and Coldblow

        You only have to look to Norway,Denmark or Iceland to see how vested interests within the Irish State actively collude in the theft/mismanagement of our resources including our human resources. We accept authority in this State without questioning the basis of its claim to legitimacy or demanding full democratic accountability. We are moving forward but we really need to get our shit together and fast.

        The authoritarian society is not a great leap when a central tenet of the majority religion is obedience to a central authority. Give me access to the education systems of the children of this State until they are seven and I will give you adults who defer to authority to paraphrase the jesuits. It doesn’t really matter if the tyrant is wearing a mitre and dress or a crown the outcome is largely assured.

    • coldblow

      A good, forthright article by Farage.

      I’m reading Booker and North’s book about the history of the EU, The Great Deception. I haven’t got very far as it is densely written but I am reading the chapter about the moment in 1950 when the coal and steel union, with a view to ultimate European federation, was proposed. This has been mythologized by the European movement as a wonderful idealistic moment.

      It turns out that the French didn’t know how to proceed with Germany and couldn’t come up with anything better than variations of what they had done to Germany just after WW1. Acheson was due to meet the Western leaders and was going to bang heads together. Monnet, who had as always been working tirelessly *behind the scenes* and had been looking to realize his grand plans for a federal Europe, lunched with the Schumann’s (French Foreign Minister) chief aide, who managed to get the document with his (Monnet’s) proposals through to Schumann just as the For. Minister was heading off to Lyon for the week end by train. Schumann, who had nothing better to offer, was pleased to have something concrete to give the Americans and easily persuaded Adenauer to go along with it (it at least gave Germany back some partial control of their industry). The Americans were keen as the big problem was to build up W. Europe, and Germany, against the Soviet threat. Attlee was annoyed. The French and Americans had fixed this up behind his back. (Monnet had been determined to exclude Britain as he knew they would oppose any steps towards federalism.) Why hadn’t they waited until the Foregin Ministers’ meeting a couple of days later.

      This is how business was (and presumably still is done) in the EU. The rest is mythology.

      The Irish garrison class just stepped into all this a couple of decades later. Where do we sign? There? Good man. We are at the heart of Europe.

  18. “I (Shall Happily) Accept the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics on Behalf of Satoshi Nakamoto”

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8462028

  19. Pat Flannery

    A Dublin TD, J.J. Byrne, told the Dail in a debate regarding land in 1927 “I did not intend to take any part in this debate at all, for I always considered that the city man knows very little about land”. Wise man. His wisdom still applies.

    The 1916 Rebellion was largely confined to industrial Dublin because the centuries-old Irish agrarian question had been largely settled by then. Most agricultural holdings had been purchased by their tenant occupiers through a system of British Government loans which were repaid in the form of “land annuities” and collected with local authority rates.

    This created a very conservative land-owning small-farmer class that dominated Irish politics at the time and precluded the social reforms that usually accompany revolutions. Therefore 1916 must not be viewed as a “revolution”. It was merely what today might be termed a “regime change”.

    In order to understand the economy of Ireland in 1916 (or today) one must look beyond the usual metrics used by economists such as comparing wages of skilled and unskilled workers with other countries, the performance of its stock exchange or by dividing the total income of the country by its population to arrive at income per head.

    The headline “The heroes of 1916 were economically clueless and the nation paid for it” sums up David’s article accurately, even if he disclaims having written it. The headline writers did their job. I would therefore suggest that David takes fellow Dubliner J.J. Byrne’s 1927 advice and stay out of commenting on what he does not understand – Ireland outside of Dublin.

    The Irish economy is more than just a Dublin economy, both now and in 1916. We still have a “Pale of Ideas” dividing the two communities.

    We can only begin demolishing this inherited “Pale” by first understanding it. I hope David reconsiders his 1916 ideas and starts leading his readers towards a “Greater Ireland” mentality and away from the Dublin-inherited old “Dublin Castle” mentality.

    • coldblow

      Good post, but my understanding is that Irish politics were not dominated by the small farmers but the big ones (and their professional class allies (to quote Crotty).

      • Pat Flannery

        I must read Crotty. Which of his books would you recommend? Here is what is available on Amazon:

        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_asi_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Araymond+crotty&keywords=raymond+crotty&ie=UTF8&qid=1447533601

        I would tend to buy the Kindle edition of “When Histories Collide …”. What do you think?

        Have you read Terence Dooley’s “The Land for the People”? It is my bible on this subject – until I read Crotty :)

        • coldblow

          40$ seems very dear. I must get that book second hand myself. I expect that Ireland in Crisis (which is what I have) has similar arguments but they are perhaps better developed as it came out a few years after When Histories Collide. So I’d recommend Ireland in Crisis second-hand.

          I also read A Radical’s Response, which concentrates on his biography and on the constitutional challenge.

    • DB4545

      Pat Flannery

      I think you’re absolutely right that Dubs shouldn’t comment on matters that they don’t understand. Maybe Dubs shouldn’t pay for subsidies to areas of the Country that they don’t understand and that shouldn’t concern them either. If the tide goes out on subsidies we’ll see who’s naked, and somehow I don’t think that will be Dubliners.

      • Pat Flannery

        From a Palesman’s perspective you are absolutely right DB4545: “Dubs shouldn’t pay for subsidies to areas of the Country that they don’t understand and that shouldn’t concern them either”.

        Palesman’s perspective: Dubliners buy their food in Dunnes Stores. Milk comes from supermarket shelves which are city institutions. Who needs cows when you have Dunnes Stores?

        Enlightened perspective: “subsidising” the country means paying for what is on city shop shelves. Try not “subsidising” the country for while and see how quickly your city food shelves become naked.

        You are absolutely right DB4545, you don’t understand the role of the country in your city life. Ah well, sure we knew that already.

        • DB4545

          Pat Flannery

          And that’s the problem right there Pat. Nobody understood markets better than farmers because they lived or died by them.Then the EEC bribed them with subsidies and beef barons forced them to supply their product to a specific factory gate. Markets became abstract rather than a daily reality. People forgot that those Dubs were customers. Maybe und

  20. DB4545

    Contd

    Maybe understandable if you believe your income comes from milk quotas, intervention payments, set aside, disadvantaged area grants, single farm payments and all sorts of other exotic payments that us Dubs don’t really understand but yet have to pay for through taxation. Shelves in Dunnes, Aldi, Lidl or any other suprmarket won’t run dry that is unless farmers think their salvation lies in supplying China with baby food.

    • The shelves may not run dry but the prices would be high.
      Many countries have what is called a cheap food policy. This requires farmers supply product at below cost. The difference is made up by the subsidies.
      There are more votes in the cities than in the country.
      Removing farm subsidies is cutting off your nose to spite your face!!

      On a general basis, the city folks now try to tell the country folks how to run their lives. This is a 20th century phenomenon of many countries, not just Ireland.

      It is the city slicker, country bumpkin, divide.

  21. Pat Flannery

    DB4545 and Tony: I think we agree more than we disagree.

    This all goes back to my (limited) study of economics many decades ago. The same arguments still rage about “land, labor and capital”. What is capital? Is it merely accumulated labor? What happens when labor becomes highly specialized, as in an industrial economy? Is a city/country divide inevitable? Is a capital/labor divide inevitable? These are the controversies that still rage today. Unfortunately the basic concept of social interdependency is still not fully understood or accepted.

    As for the Irish economic experience, both city and country, there was not a free market in food since the Tudor Conquest. It was not the EEC that destroyed it. Tudor Britain conquered Ireland in order to secure a cheap source of food for its growing non-agrarian population. Ireland was Britain’s first (food) colony. As a result food production in Ireland has been a “command economy” since the early 17th Century. Irish farmers lived and died by political decisions taken in Britain in British interests, not on free market forces.

    Since 1973 Irish farmers have done better from “command economy” decisions taken in Brussels in overall European interests than from those taken in London in narrow British interests. That is why I am a supporter of a fully integrated Europe. Faced with a choice of masters, an interdependent Europe is the better choice. We need to think more about social interdependency in order to fully understand economics.

    • DB4545

      I’m completely opposed to a fully integrated EU,a trading bloc yes but the rest of the agenda does not serve our interests. On a local level I think fully decentralised provinces or even counties would make us stronger and better serve the interests of our people. Centralised planning and political institutions are a recipe for disaster.

      • Pat Flannery

        Fair enough, then we will have to agree to disagree. I think exactly the opposite.

        I am a humanist. I believe that man is capable of social morality and self regulation without fearing a higher being. Diversity of religion, particularly monotheisms, debases man and leads to the kind of beliefs held by people like the Islamic ISIS in our own day and by Christian Crusaders in the past.

        It is only by more and more social integration and the development of international norms of self government embraced by all that we will lift ourselves from the narrow tribalism that inhibits our progress as a species. The fact that Islamic ISIS beliefs can exist in Paris today is testament to our failure to integrate.

        • I don’t think you are disagreeing guys because I agree with both of your posts.

          There’s nothing to say you can’t have integration without centralisation.

          • Pat Flannery

            “Integration without centralisation”. I like it Adam.

            Perhaps we can think of Switzerland as a good example. Its “cantonization” seems to work well. I am a big supporter of local government in whatever form is best suited to a ‘corner” or “district”, from where the word is derived.

            One of the things I like most about living in America is the degree to which I am able to participate at local level, something which seems to be totally lacking in Ireland. Maybe the adoption of common behavioural norms, such as dedication to a set of principles like the US Constitution, actually facilitates more local autonomy.

          • Yes we have talked about small is beautiful. Local government and a federation of states working together but no centralization.

            The Swiss canton system has been outlined before.

            all good suggestions. One needs layer on layer of democracy. People vote for local reps. Reps to just that, represent. The reps vote for regional plans, regions for larger areas until there are direct democracy for the policy of a federation however small or large that may be.

            no more centrist state bureaucrat making rules in a far distant place. Ottawa is 2500 miles from where I live. It’s basically not relevant to my life except for foreign policy and monetary decisions. The latter is a step too far.

            And we need to get out of the state interference and regime change game. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind as Adam says.

            New Canadian PM ran on a policy to stop military support in Syria and mid east. We will see how that goes after the results of the last two days are distilled.

          • That will certainly be a acid test Tony, please keep us posted.

            He might find that ISIS will cancel any planned attacks in Canada if he keeps his word.

          • Yes Adam, solidarity will be demanded. Trudeau seems to have spine and character. I am suspicious that he is a plant to get us all feeling nice and inclusive. The Canada he represents is multiculturalism.

            I like diversity but with a common culture or the laws of the land do not fit. Having said that the culture demanded stems from a belief system so I am against ghettoism where each little group does its thing in isolation. There has to be a degree of assimilation. The battle in Europe is to see who absorbs who.

            In Canada we have the two solitudes (French and English) but we also have a China town in Vancouver where you can be born live and die never having spoken a word of English.

            There is across the Fraser river the Hindu population that is a centre for honour killings and drug trades. There is a large Sikh population. Punjabi military people.
            Most of course live happy productive lives.

            The new cabinet is 50% female and inclusive of representation of the above. ” It represents the country of Canada,” says Trudeau.

  22. DB4545

    Pat if we can learn anything from 1916 it’s that ideologies should never be a replacement for common sense and pragmatism. The ideology of total EU integration is flawed and will lead us to disaster. A few bucks now is no substitute for retaining the option to paddle our own canoe. Our prosperity and safety rests with commerce not an Empire which will morph into a war machine to justify its existence. I’m not interested in listening to bloated politicians lecture us about “solidarity” and “je suis charlie” horseshite and crying crocodile tears while trousering our money and “leading” us to oblivion. It’s a crock of shit and people are waking up to it.

    • Absolutely, Je Suis Charlie my arse. Je Suis Adam.

      As I said on Facebook, much to the horror of some of my “friends”:

      “I don’t see anyone putting up an Iraqi or Syrian flag for the half a million people that the Yanks bombed to death. You reap what you sow.”

    • I don’t think they are waking up to it though DB4545.

      I’m not seeing that to any great extent.

  23. mike flannelly

    THE 2016 COWARDS ARE EVEN MORE ECONOMICALLY CLUELESS.

    In 2015 we have Bloated Plastic Lefties that pin medals on each other for writing essays about 1913 and 1916 while engineering a Pension Bias Robbery that diverts state funds away from top priorities like “All the needs of the sickest children in Ireland” to the POISION of the Irish Political Gerontocrats – “The Irish Golden Pension For Cronies”.

    With less than TWO million full time employed workers in Ireland we have more than ONE million non secure workers without a private pension. Non Secure Workers without a private pension are levied and taxed to pay a defined benefit pensions for SELECT CITIZENS. There is NO ECONOMIC OR CONSTITUTIONAL LOGIC in forcing the non secure workers of 2013 and 2016 to fund pensions of our 2016 BLOATED PLASTIC LEFTIES.
    The state contributory pension helps ALL working tax payers equally and helps ALL citizens with their RETIREMENT “SAFETY NEEDS”.
    In 2012 a young Irish Very Sick Boy fighting for his life wondered publicly why our “2012 IRISH POLITICIANS” were paying themselves Lots of money while the “sickest children in Ireland had to rely on charitable donations”.

    The words of this very sick boy made me sick to the core and ASHAMED of the ROTTEN IRISH POLITICAL CULTURE that offer ZERO ECONOMIC LOGIC for bloating their golden circle pockets. It was this government that ringfenced the salaries and pensions of 2003 to 2009 bankers that ruined everybody elses retirement funds. Rats that watch each others backs.

    Lump sums and pensions above the contributory pension MUST be contributions based. Otherwise you are taking money from TOP PRIORITIES like Irelands sickest children.

    Golden Pensions are the currency of 2016 POISION IRISH CRONIES.

    The FG/LAB economic management council of school teachers have ignored pension CHANGE recommendations of economic experts and OECD reports.

    Only a new political culture can bring Ireland forward.

    Thank god for the next election.
    I believe that we all have a choice to reject low standards.
    The Irish people have a history of not being able to shout STOP.
    From Church child abuse to the present day abuses.

    Shouting STOP based on LOGIC is the only way forward.

    • Yes indeed, greedy, robbing, hypocritical scumbags like Eamon Gilmore.

      I wouldn’t be so optimistic about a positive outcome after the next election, but hey, I hope to be proved wrong.

      I mean who is it from the upcoming set of candidates that we hope will do a good job of running the country?

      I’d be more optimistic over the medium/long term though.

  24. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/15/industrial-agriculture-hazards.aspx?e_cid=20151115Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20151115Z1&et_cid=DM90567&et_rid=1215034745

    Good account on research that shows factory farming is bad for us all. Bad food, bad ecology, bad results.

    Sustainable farming practices will sustain the land and increase the food available.

    Another exaMPLE OF SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL AND DO NOT CENTRALIZE AGRICULTURE.

    “There are at least five major UN reports that have come out in the last few years that are saying that industrial agriculture is not the answer to feeding the growing global population. They’re increasingly moving toward supporting agroecology, sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and natural farming – these alternative systems of production,” Dr. Ikerd says.

    • THe US proposes to directly invade Syria and take it over. When is the US and allies going to be charged in the illegal invasion of a sovereign state.

      “Deborah Lee James, Secretary for the US Air Force, revealed that the military plan for Syria is to occupy it with boots on the ground and then rule over it. This is an open declaration of war and conquest. InfoWars 2015″

      http://needtoknow.news/archives/2015-2/2015-11-13/

  25. mike flannelly

    Adam,
    I voted FG the last time to sort out the economic crisis and banks FAIRLY for the needs of the greater public good.
    Their record for helping the bank customer speaks for itself.
    The Irish bank customer comes LAST.

    Their greatest failure was not restructuring debt ratios for Irish families. They were too politically weak to access 40bn@ 0% for 25yrs from the ECB and their ESM fund to restructure household overvalued debt from 2004 to 2009.

    Industry best practice split mortgages and interest only restructures were required for families with overvalued debt.
    Alan kelly(housing) and michael noonan (finance) are RUSHING and FORCING firesales and repossessions of houses for less than the build cost during a housing crisis.These tenants and families then have to scramble for other accomodation. Forcing firesales and repossessions is fueling a crisis. The tax payer is then told to purchase expensive portable housing.

    Workers outside Dublin pay less than 25% of their net income on rent and can save for house deposits if they choose.
    Economists and plastic lefties are screaming RENTAL CRISIS because rents rise from a VERY LOW BASE. The average wage in Dublin suggests that workers in Dublin are paying less than 30% of their net income on rent. Again this is Not a Rental Crisis.

    FG/Lab have created a social housing crisis and the government want private housing landlords to supsidize low rents.
    Low income tenants cannot pay average earning workers rents of up to 30% of average net income.
    Social housing is a FG/ Lab government failure.
    There is plenty of rent in Ireland outside Dublin that is below 20% of the average earners net income.
    RENTAL CRISIS my arse.

    FF- Michael Mc Grath & FG- Simon Harris
    seem to be straight talkers from a different transparent generation that might serve the needs of the greater public good rather than THEMSELVES and a HORRIFIC golden circle.
    I think most of us are no prudes. I agree with a lot of the left but their BIG MAGIC POT economics are 80% funded by non secure 2013 Irish workers, private landlords and abused Irish bank customers. I agree with a lot of the right but the breaking of consumer laws for Irish Failed Bankers to save themselves and the back room deals with Irish resources is a step too far.

    If RENUA are to be the new party of the “REAL MIDDLE” then they have to reject the magic big pot economics of the “2016 Irish Plastic Left” and the backroom deals of the “Unconstitutional Irish

  26. mike flannelly

    Unconstitutional Irish Right

  27. aidanxc

    David, you’re reaching a new low with this click bait headline. Not once does your article back up the assertion of the headline. Tut, tut..

    Then you go on to waterboard the stats to fit your flimsy argument.

    Also you are quite economical with the truth. E.g. the notion that the land was ‘transferred’ back to the Irish from the Anglo-Irish is misleading in the extreme. The land was purchased and thus paid for by the Irish through a series of Land Acts from 1870 or so onwards. In fact these repayments were so contentious that they were one of the key reasons for the economic war between Ireland and the UK post independence.

    Come on David, you can do better!

  28. mike flannelly

    1,100 euro 3 bed accomodation outside Dublin works out at 18% of net pay for three average earning workers.

    If the average earning workers in Dublin are on 150 net euro a month more, then the rent of 1,500euro for a three bed is still below 25% of net pay and is not in the RENTAL CRISIS category.

    Job bridge and intern accomodation costs are the responsibility of FG/Lab to provide grants for FG/Lab LOW paid jobs.
    Students have to pay the going average wage rent rate( now below 25% of net pay) for private rental accomodation.

  29. DB4545

    Mike flannelly

    It’s getting close to election time Mike so logic doesn’t come into the equation. If a landlord rents to private tenants the landlord gets 75% tax relief for interest payments. If a landlord rents to people receiving housing benefit the landlord gets 100% tax relief on interest payments. This effectively means that taxpayers fund housing benefit and then further subsidize those in receipt of this benefit via tax reliefs. Working people receive nothing and those claiming benefits get further subsidies and the taxpayer picks up the tab. A further reward for not working or making an effort to contribute to society. I’m at a loss to understand the logic of that decision and I’m sure someone will challenge it in the courts (at taxpayer expense) but hey it’s election time.

  30. mike flannelly

    Well said. DB4545
    I cant believe that Irish economists were calling 18% of net income a rental crisis.
    Everywhere else a rental crisis is WELL OVER 30% of net income.
    It has been up to 50% of net income in some countries.
    Our Great Economist Hero 2015 told us in a previous blog about rent controls
    ” Say it loud and say it clear: the cost of the housing crisis is being shouldered by renters”.

    It is a social housing crisis/SHORTAGE.

    2015 Irish Landlords with 300,000euro INVESTMENT mortgages from 2007 (ZERO investment value)are FORCED to subsidize a social housing shortage at a crystallized Loss for their families with the financial anxiety of grossly overvalued 2007 debt that the Failed same Irish bankers refuse to restructure.

    Davids version of economics is truly a dark art that sometimes offers no logic and never offers core metrics.

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