March 28, 2016

Rising tide lifted only some boats

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 44 comments ·

Cemeteries are wonderful places to assess the demographic and ethnic ebb and flow of a place.

Kensal Rise cemetery in north west London is fascinating for a variety of reasons. However, one thing that strikes you is the huge number of Irish people buried here.

Huge swathes of the cemetery have Irish names on the headstones and in the vast majority of these are newish graves where Irish people were buried in the 1960s to 1990s.

These people are the demographic echo of the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who emigrated to Britain after 1916 and the eventual establishment of this state.

Independence precipitated a massive flight of people from this country.

This weekend as we celebrate 1916 and ultimately the foundation of the independent Irish State, maybe it is worth having a look at the economic balance sheet of independence.

Don’t get me wrong, I would not swap my passport for any other. However, sometimes we get dewy-eyed about the reality of the Irish state and the fact that if you break the past 100 years down into four segments of 25 years, the first 75 were not the most impressive – at least from a human perspective.

Did you know that in 1913, far from being poor, Ireland was actually quite a rich country – one of the richest in Europe. Income per head was on a par with Norway, Sweden and Finland.

In 1991, 75 years after the Rising, Irish income per head was half the income of the Scandinavians. What happened?

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 actually 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?

The story of our revolution, as I was told in school, is one of rich Britain subjugating poor Ireland. This sounds good, but it’s not entirely accurate.

In fact, the cold economic data suggest that 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 appears to be true.

Take, for example, the lot of Irish skilled workers and tradesmen, such as carpenters and fitters.

During the Famine they earned about 90 per cent 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 against the national narrative. I am not saying that our people weren’t poor, but we 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 might 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.

During this period, politically, 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 forgotten man 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?)

So think about this again, in 1913, on the eve of the Rising, Irish income per head was on a par with the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

In 1986, 70 years after the Rising, Irish income per head was half the income of the Scandinavians.

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. As I walk around Kensal Rise cemetery, I see these people’s final resting place.

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 the late 1980s, 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 75 years of this state could be termed economic disaster, with the 1950s to the late 1960s and the whole 1980s being particularly bleak.

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.

Like you, I presume, I am tremendously proud of this country. But in terms of the economic performance, I am glad I was born in the second 50 years of this state’s existence rather than the first, unlike these Irish people here in Kensal Rise cemetery

  1. aidanxc

    David, as usual you waterboard the data until it confesses to what you want it to say.

    You mention the Land Acts but don’t mention that it was these that led to the Economic War in the 30s. Being on a par with Scandinavian countries means nothing in 1913. You talk about the lot of tradesmen but not of not of labourers who constituted the majority of the workforce.

    Ireland had been part of the British colonial project for.centuries. That project was an abject failure for all colonised people and we should be grateful we managed to get out.

    • Out of the frying pan……?

      First the Roman Catholic church….now German, French, US and UK banksters…the first 100 years of the Irish Nation State Project has been pretty crap and no amount of fudging the facts can evade that. But many will keep trying because emoting and ululating to a ‘rebel yell’ singalong is much easier than the hard work of building a genuine Republic.

      • aidanxc

        Take any desirable global metric such as GNP, quality of life, access to education… Ireland invariably is in the top 10 or 20 countries in the world. Despite, often dysfunctional governments, we have made massive progress since independence.

        If you had any idea of what it is like to live in most countries you would be a lot more grateful for what you have here in Ireland. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than most countries. Statistically, factually, yes.

    • Joxer89

      I think he did actually mention unskilled workers.

    • I think that the fact that there was a famine in Ireland meant the british had to go. Me must measure society by how well its poorest do. Skilled tradedmen 100 years ago we the equivalent of software programmers of today, their income does not represent that of the many underpaid over worked service workers etc. How well did poor Catholics in west Belfast and Derry do under british rule in the past 100 years. The economic wounds of british rule are still with us and were hugely responsible for the economic problems of the last 100 years, most countries who break free from colonialism experience ‘economic damped oscillation’.

      • Singapore…….

        Next excuse from your 800 year MOPE Victim Script? ‘economic damped oscillation’ my arse…

        • StephenKenny

          Singapore’s an interesting suggestion. I. It’s made use of its considerable natural benefits, an almost unique, in th area, deep water harbor, and it’s distance from the City of London, to create a trading economy which is awake when London is asleep. which is very nice.

          In spite of that, I’m not altogether sure that most Europeans people’s would support the creation of a such a state. They have one of the highest standards of living in th world, and they are also a state without effective democracy, what you might call a benign police state, with features such a homosexual acts being a criminal offence, never mind same sex marriage. Remember that ‘police state’ bit, when it comes to popular dissent.

          Would even th British, let alone the Irish, make such a social and political trade off?

    • I fully agree with you.

    • Truthist

      Very taken to ur opening argument Aidanxc just as a concept alone ;
      It’s a good one.

      Arguably, David being a superbly talented writer has indeed done as u say.
      However, his argument that there were many layers to indigenous Irish society is valid.

      Interestingly, David did not refer to the sources for the statistics that he uses.
      I would dispute the veracity of those statistics,
      they are not reflective of the real situation then.
      For centuries the conditions that the typical Irish had to endure were widely reported by diarists & essayists & other writers as the most wretched within the British Empire.

      I think that upon gaining so-called independence from UK that the Irish State was forced to pay approx 10 % of its GNP to Britain.
      But thanks to Peadair O’Donnell, & then De Velera, the Irish State successfully defeated “The City” on that continuous wealth extraction.

      I hope David continues in this vein of enquiry ;
      Even if one is reticent to state certain very important truths, one should not shy from asking questions that ultimately point to those truths.

  2. annie

    My parents emigrated to London in 1954 when I was 7. I am not well educated in Irish history or economics – but I do remember my parents saying that when the British left Ireland, they “emptied the coffers”,
    all the wealth that had been created they took with them, in other words. Is this so? (By the way, I lived in Ireland for 3 years 2004-2007 and watched your programme The Pope’s Children. Do I remember correctly that you said Ireland would do well to leave the EU and become a state rather like Venice in earlier centuries, being a sort of Banker?)

    • Truthist

      Irish State has pretensions of being a Banker Player in lead up to “Celtic Tiger” & since.
      Therein, is one of the main reasons why Irish State is being attacked by Trilateral Commission type individuals from continental Europe who have vested interests in their own banker “cozy-shops” ;
      Think of Mr.Junkers from a little country of high intrigue ; Luxembourg.

  3. Very good article . I want to add my say if I may . You say that Ireland was very bleak up to the 80′s . Maybe Dublin was and other parts incl Cork . In Limerick & Clare the 60′s saw serious growth revival and Shannon Airport was the cornerstone to make that possible .Even in Clare there were special capital tax allowances for equipment of 120% instant for use in shops and normal businesses outside the free zone area and I can recall many ice cream vendors along the seaside coasts buying new machines frequently to keep up with the huge demands and write offs .

    Limerick & Clare were exceptional and had good political contacts then and this region saw many people arrive from all over the country seeking employment then.Many Cork parents still reside in Limerick still from that influx including Paul O’Connell ‘s . If an age profile were carried out in Limerick city it would be amazing to see the large numbers of outsiders as parents compared to current young people where many more in ratio are born in the city .

    Limerick & Clare were robbed by Dublin since ( after a Late Late Show stand off ) and cast to the dustbin . Pure political misfeasance .

    • Limerick & CLare have now no political leadership and there is none being groomed and this area is destined to long years of hardship .Current stock is made up mainly of old political family connections and having a knack in social welfare claim hoorism . The region needs better .

      Limerick city and county is the only city and county in Ireland that has no double rail track accessibility .

      • Irish PI

        @John Allen. Dunno which Limerick you grew up in in the 1980s …It doesnt sound like the one I grew up in.Taking into consideration industrial disasters like Verenka,[perpetual strikes and lads taking weeks off to go save hay and silage ]Burlington,not a disaster just a smart tax write off and a decline in all the mjor industries Limerick was famous for,bacon,flour ,tobacco ,etc.It was a dismal hole by the late 1960s.Its also how my parents ended up here from Germany,to set up a saw mill plant down on the Dock road,where Atlas aluminium was.The strokes and scams that were pulled on them to set up this factory at that location are legendary in our family history.Promises of the 3rd bridge being right outside the factory gate being one…The bridge arrived 20 years after the plant cosed its doors and nowhere near Atlas avenue Clare and the Shannon free zone relied alot on the cumpulsory stop over as well as stupid tax breaks as you mentioned.Shannonairport has always been a thorn in Dublins ass,and it wouldnt surprise me if the “yanks go home” plane spotting crowd in Shannon were covertly financed by a Dublin entity. You are dead right until we get another Donnacha O Malley type[prefably not another family dynastic].Limerick and Clare wont change anyway or gain financially

        • Realpolitik

          The Midwest region benefited from the good fortune brought by the first transatlantic airliners in the 50s. Supporting this airport operation gave rise to5000 jobs. By 1960, this all suddenly came to an end with the arrival of the Boing 707, which could now fly non stop obviating the need for the stopover. In fairness to the Lemass government, Free Zone status was endowed on Shannon. At that time, we lived in a very protected world. Shannon Free Airport Development Company was established and resourced with individuals of the same thinking as Lemass and Whittaker. The Shannon Free Zone quickly grew to 5,000 well paid jobs, which benefited the whole region. This artificial geopolitical competitive advantage stood Ireland until tariffs began to fall in the 70s. Some may argue that Shannon was a laboratory for Ireland’s subsequent prowess in continued attraction of job creating FDI.

    • Truthist

      Very interesting comments again from u John about Limerick region.
      What is the “Late Late Show stand-off” that u refer to ?

  4. [...] did the idealism of 1916 turn into barbarism and then into dogmatic nationalism of the most dreary, backward kind? In the London Review of Books, Irish writer Colm Tóibín explores the history of Easter 1916 in [...]

  5. Mike Lucey


  6. Deco

    We must also be honest, and agree that 1914 probably represented a peak in British power in the world. Yes, after 1918, Britain’s continental rivals were in a disastrous state. And the Empire expanded further. But by 1918, Britain had been economically overtaken by the USA, and it was apparent that there was nothing that the British could do about it. Britain’s debts in 1918 were massive. The workforce was robbed of it’s fittest workers. And dominions like Australia and Canada were becomming more independent, and also richer.

    Therefore, we probably picked a good time, to leave the UK.

    Now, how we handled that responsibility is another matter. In particular the first 20 years of Ireland’s membership of the EEC were accompanied by effective de-industrialization, and expanding bureaucratification. It was in early 1990s, with the growth of footloose technology based industries, that we actually expanded.

    Davis is correct. Slogans don’t put bread on the table. Unfortunately, Irish politics is currently dominated by slogans. In fact the more frequent the slogan, the more useless the politician.

    I think the greatest failure of all was a failure to decide on how we wanted to run ourselves. We could have opted for a Swiss model, and gradually appreciated ourselves out of difficulty. We could have spent more time training those young Irish people from 1922 onwards in trades, instead of sending 16 year old males to England to do “labouring jobs”. The Catholic Church, did try to do something about academic education, but the state made a dogs dinner of vocational training. But those that excelled in academic education often left as well. Especially those that had high calibre. Often leaving a residual highly educated, slight gombeenistic, lifestyle oriented element at home – who from the 1970s onwards managed to take over the state system like ivy taking over a tree.

    Nobody seems to have ever noticed the skill levels in Irish workers as being below those in Denmark, or The Netherlands, two countries that achieved remarkable growth in the period following WW1, compared to their neighbours. Nobody seemed to noticed the effectiveness of the Swiss in converting a country with no natural resources into a country with a gradually appreciating capital base, and an increasing productivity level across the board. Even to this day, FAS remains a staging post for political cronyism, and endemic failure. And outside of the food sector, we have few critical mass, ultra-competitive home grown mega businesses. And even in the Irish Whiskey sector we stagnated for decades, whilst the dominant brewer on the Island continued to throw it’s weight around, unmolested, to maximize profits in the domestic ( effectively monopolised ) market.

    In the 1980s it seems that we realised that ther was a problem with the Irish labour force and invested in training it.

    Unfortunately, we now have state policies that effectively ensure that the labout force will spend the maximum amount of every day in traffic commuting from Carlow to Sandyford.

    Labour productivity was something that we failed to grasp for a few decades. Other small countries seem to have grasped it. Our people worked extremely hard in England. Doing all the tough work, building cities of houses. Digging sewers. Putting in roads. Contructing bridges and tunnels. And these things drove up British productivity. Meanwhile at home it never seemed to happen.

    Maybe that was why we failed. Did we fail to optimize human productivity ?

    • Truthist

      Why have so many committees & boards etc. connected with the education & training sector ?
      Seems to me that their existence gives opportunities to persons seeking easy monies from the State’s funds & E.U. bribe funds, & also power, & status.

      FAS has been a nest of Fianna Fail & G.A.A. incompetent & corrupt cronies for a long time.
      However, FAS definitely has had trainers who are there on merit.
      As to the percentage of trainers of merit, I do not know.
      I would contend that it is more “the Suits” who are the cronies.

      Yet, if one was to have a different combination of cozy-clubs, there would just be a different flavor of incompetency & graft.
      Some cliques of the 1990′s :
      Progressive Democrats + Golf
      Fine Gael + Golf + Rugby + G.A.A.
      Labour [ incl. Workers Party ( “Stickies” ) + Cultural Marxists
      All stink !
      Ditto any other political party ;
      Because, this is how things are done here in the land of Raints & Rcholars.

      FAS has many appalling scandals that were carefully controlled from being highlighted to the public by the media.

      FAS was obliging apprentices to purchase expensive tool-kits of very shoddy & dangerous quality.
      This corruption was uncovered by a senior FAS instructor who discovered the crap tools by chance, & then vigorously investigated personally.
      Finally, he uncovered that the executive decision maker for procurement arranged it that his close relative in the south-east of the country to get the contract to supply all the apprentices in Irish State, & this supplier then decided to profiteer even more by issuing only crappy tools.
      FAS management did not prosecute the FAS executive ;
      They advised him to resign instead.

  7. Mike Lucey

    From my viewpoint one of the main reasons the Irish Republic wasn’t allowed to progress as a modern state once it obtained its freedom was simply because it was in the stranglehold of the Irish Catholic hierarchy that appears to me to have rewritten the Constitution to their liking with the help of gombeen alterboy politicians.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “was simply because it was in the stranglehold of the Irish Catholic hierarchy”

      So why were Bavaria or Austria, also “in the stranglehold of the Catholic hierarchy”, so successful in progressing as wealthy, modern states?

      • Mike Lucey

        @ Grzegorz

        As I said, ‘from my viewpoint’, thats how I see it.

        I have little knowledge about the Bavarian or Austrian Catholic hierarchy except that they were dealing with the germanic mind set whereas the Irish Catholic hierarchy were dealing with a far more malleable and superstitious mind set that needed to be enlightened rather that lead like sheep.

        However, after a very quick search, I located this text, VIX DUM A NOBIS (On the Church in Austria)

        According to the Encyclical of Pope Pius IX On The Church in Austria 7 March 1874

        ‘Hostile Laws

        2. Indeed, some years ago that Empire had enacted certain laws and arrangements plainly hostile to the sacred rights of the Church and to our solemn pacts. In Our Allocution to the Cardinals on June 22, 1868, We condemned and nullified these laws. Now, however, new laws are proposed and approved by the public assembly of the Empire; these intend that the Catholic Church be subjugated to the civil authority. This is, of course, against the ordination of Our Lord Jesus Christ.’

        So it looks that maybe the RC church did not have quite the stranglehold you suggest, in Austria at least.

    • A new constitution is needed. ##repealthe8th

  8. Mike Lucey

    Its now laughable to think that It wasn’t until 1985 before we could buy a packets of ‘johnnies’ over the counter. How stupid we were to have put up with this kind of dictate by the RCC.

    Contraception in the Republic of Ireland

  9. Ireland may not be so unique as the middle class of the world are squeezed out of existence. government policy, cronyism, malinvestment, misappropriation, etc sponsored by central bank monetary policy is wreaking havoc world wide.

    ” There is no way middle class households with declining real incomes can pay soaring costs imposed by state-enforced cartels and gain ground financially. If the four structural trends highlighted above don’t reverse, the middle class is heading for extinction, the victim of financialization, the glorification of financial speculation via central bank-central state policies, the decline of productivity and rising costs imposed by state-enforced cartels.”

    • Deco

      The Middle class don’t have to have any money. Give them bread and circuses instead. It works eonderfully at keeping them asleep.

  10. Deco

    Well, here is a thought. Have we not been intellectually dishonest with respect to the economic improvement since 1990 ?

    Here are two that are particularly stupid. And they were pumped out by the media in Ireland (often at the behest of vested interests with a profit to gain).

    In the begining all sort of BS theories abounded. The state propaganda organ, churned out the rubbish that it was due to the profile of the national squad of plastic ball followers. Surely, on that basis Brazil should be super wealthy ? And presumably Singapore would be a basketcase ? Imagine, the clowns in the FAI leading the economy to success, on the basis of….of…well nothing really, apart from boozing.

    Then we were told that it was due to the banks borrowing a massive volume of money, and channelling it into a real estate ponzi scheme. The boom was being led by Derek Quinlan and leveraged real estate deals that outbid everybody in the London market.

    Currently, the theory is that we are getting wealthy from taxing Apple less than 2% and the workers 50%. [ plus the VAT rates and the stealth taxes on the working families ].

    It seems that we are also being told that prosperity will come from overpaying chancers in money sinks like FAS, etc…

    Intellectual dishonesty is a big problem. Does my image look good in this set of opinions, seems to the the only constant.

  11. joe hack

    “By 1916 nearly £24 million was raised in Ireland by the British government, but just over half of this, £12.6 million, was spent here, giving a surplus of more than £11 million towards the war effort in Britain.” to support a European royal interbred family feud that caused the deaths of 40 million.

  12. Thanks for the retrospective David. Is your next article going to be an attempt at looking ahead for the next generations? What should the Ireland of 2016+ be doing so a hundred years from now, will look immeasurably better than the current article’s duration?

    There were some comments above on the “Swiss model”. It seems to me what Switzerland has done instinctively since 1848 (yes it is only that old), is …..plan for the future for all levels of society. Part of this is ensuring there’s a role to contribute for all of society ensuring anyone not going to college gets an apprenticeship that really can lead to a job. In other words both the trainee and the trainer/employer make real commitments, and commit real resources to development, wth the trainee paid a living wage. Even immigrants succeed here (20%+). One can later switch to the academic track too. Similar to the schemes in Bavaria, Stuttgart etc.

    Additionally at the infrastructure level, investment continues to remain connected to core markets never stops, whether in public transport expansion, roads, tunnels, airport capacity with real regional hubs (perhaps the linguistic regions helps regional identity and focus).
    Perhaps the referendum rights keeps politicos and their “grands projets” focused.

    I don’t see much of a mindset of, “sure what do we need to plan and implement, so folks can just get on with it” in the Irish political class as evidenced from the inability to form a Govt right after an election…..

    And what of human development, why are so many of us great as emigrants, but underemployed at home? (it’s normally the opposite for immigrants, but we’re the exception). It’s at least three generations of this now, with the fourth already starting….perhaps a Brexit will give us the impetus we need.

    Finally, perhaps part of the answer is all we’ve probably done is replace one elite for another since 1916, so plus ca change. Here’s hoping the next election finally consigns the current replacement establishment, for something really post-modern compared to the 1916-2016 era.

    • Sideshow Bob

      “Finally, perhaps part of the answer is all we’ve probably done is replace one elite for another since 1916, so plus ca change.´´

      A good comment, and I agree in the main, but it is possible that the new elite was much less competent than the old one, and this article appears to be both suggesting that and supporting that idea with numbers. If I remember correctly, Post-Colonial theory ( by the likes of F Fanon, etc ) states that the new ruling class in such replacement regimes as you are describing tend to be more conservative than the predecessor ruling class as they attempt to protect their newly attained position, which isn´t backed up by diktat and a powerful outside armed force as was their precedessor´s position. It states that new ruling class naturally tend to reward obsequiousness while being intolerant of different thinking, sometimes even seeking to punish it, and that these signature synergistic behaviours are key to the poor performence Economically and Socially of almost all post-colonial nations as they help maintain the status quo while f**king things up royally for everybody else.

      On another note, I enjoyed hearing about about Switzerland. Very interesting stuff!

  13. survivalist

    Popular or not, the economic, social and cultural effects of on a people of subjugation by an outside ‘oppressor’ are real.

    1. Ireland was subject to British Imperialism
    2. Being subject to Imperial/colonial rule is harmful to native/indigenous populations.

    Which of these premises are people seeking to deny?

    As counterintuitive as it seems the British Empires decision to assume rule in Ireland ,India, Australia etc. etc. was not for the benefit of the people of those nations.

    One of the main objectives of imperialism and colonialism is to exploit the colonies and their inhabitants to generate economic wealth for the mother country and her corporations. Denying this cause/effect is simply bizarre.

    I would like to see the source/numbers for the emigration trends which are described, if only to get some clarity around the assertion that; “Independence precipitated a massive flight of people from this country”.

    This whole article seems to attempt to establish a causal link between Ireland’s independence and disaster; of every imaginable type, especially economic, proud though we are of it.

    What is not considered, but are real negative outcomes of British rule (colonization in general) which might have residual effects on the nation and its recovery and deserve consideration as causal agents in emigration or economic underperformance are considerable and include:
    On boundaries; inclusion and division of cultural groups, internal ethnic rivalries.
    On culture: language, religion, modernization, science and secularism.
    Psychological effects ; emulation of colonizers, cultural self-hate linked to victimization of colonialism, violence as a way to recover self-confidence.
    Government; detached from traditional political and social order, linked to colonial
    Political culture: a culture of rulers of conquest, exploit, repression.
    Taxation and building infrastructure: prevention of autonomous political organization.

    And more besides.

    The du jour attitude seems to be derision towards those men and women who asserted their independence.

    However the accusations against them don’t go much beyond that they were poor project managers.

    How interesting it is the cultural elites and their insidious messages towards social engineering are so against the value of independence for its own sake.

    • Pat Flannery


      “This whole article seems to attempt to establish a causal link between Ireland’s independence and disaster; of every imaginable type, especially economic, proud though we are of it.”

      I fully agree but would go further and blame Ireland’s lack of progress on the fact that it remains trapped within the British gravitational field and judging by David’s incessant propaganda is very reluctant to be free of it. This article could have been written by Kevin Myers or any other unionist writer.

      It seems to me that Ireland’s best hope of escaping the gravitational field of its nearby dying star is if that star (Britain) spirals inwards upon itself and exits the EU leaving Ireland to find its own way in world – which is the real “august destiny to which it is called”.

  14. Greeting All

    For the last three threads I have no received any email alerts of further contributions.
    I have clicked on the little square each time to get the same.
    Each time the box has vanished.
    Twice I have written, emailed to the web master and David asking if there is a problem.
    There has been a total silence.

    Has anyone here any suggestions as to how to get this resolved?

  15. While we all worry over parochial interests and petty politics we are being taken over by the banker financed cabal. When are we going to wake up rather than just give up!!

  16. redriversix

    Morning Tony

    Nobody wants to wake up…..

    Nobody wants to learn or ask questions..

    Nobody wants to rock the boat or stand out or ask questions

    Not negative…just how it is

    Fear is the great controller

    It is more important what people think of you than thinking for yourself…..

    People would need to acknowledge their is a problem before they will wake up…when they realise their might be a problem…they don’t want to know……

    Fear & what if is the problem

    Fear is not a fact it is a feeling….and a very powerful one.

    Hope all good with you ?


    • Morning Barry
      All is fine here.
      Spring is Sprung
      Daffodils are in glorious display.
      My first tulips are flowering in more delicate display
      Broad beans are showing.
      The winter kale is delicious, steamed.
      ditto the sprouting broccoli
      I have a warm home, a loving partner, enough to eat, family close enough but not too close
      a sail boat to sail the gulf Island waters and revel in the picture postcard scenery that is reveled to me as if I were watching a reel of film. Inter island waters, wild life and a background of snow capped mountains for background.
      A sailing race to appetize the competitive juices. Second place this Sunday out of 10 local boats.
      Friendly neighbours.
      Friends and acquaintances

      I am blessed Barry. You too I hope.

      • redriversix

        Glad your well Tony.sounds like you have it cracked. Good for you.

        I am ok today. Family is good. Doing a couple days work here driving.

        No drama

        Weather is fine today. Doing a lot of reading…finding the blog a bit tedious…same old shit ,different day.

        We need to go back to basics and sustainability and true figures rather than fictious figures and the continued quest for growth.

        Country needs a audit and a stock take to ascertain exactly what we have in real terms.

        Good to hear from you.


  17. Peter Agen


    If you are interested in visiting graveyards why don’t you visit the famine graveyards around this country where thousands are buried in unmarked graves – a fine testament to British rule in this country.

    Then you can wax lyrical all you want about the benefits of the union with the UK.


  18. StephenKenny

    We’re all looking at this in a very insular way, as if it’s a unique problem. I’ve just been talking with a bunch of people about the forthcoming US presidential election. The conversation ranged over the usual stuff, Trump, Clinton, Sanders, GOP, DNC, and so on: How can anyone vote for Trump (which, of course, is completely the wrong question); what about Hillary; what would Sanders actually do.

    It occurred to us that no one expects this to be, in any useful sense of term, an honest election. The US system is so totally, and systemically, broken, that the mere idea of ‘democracy’ is meaningless. No one’s even really trying to pretend anymore, and no one seems to care.

    The recent comments by the ex-editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about being forced to print pieces, over a 25 year period, written by US intelligence, as if they were news, came up.

    It seems to me the question can be thought of in this way: When we look around at our country’s establishment, institutions, all the various people and organisations, are they really on our side at all? I mean are the politicians, the police, the courts, the military, etc really doing anything that’s even close to being vaguely aligned with ‘our will’? And for our friends who work for any of this organisations, and I guess most of us do, what do they feel and think?

    • Truthist

      Very important questions raised by u Stephen.
      Thank u.

    • McCawber

      It’s all about ass covering.
      The first law is don’t make any decisions.
      The second law is if you have to make a decision then pass the book.
      The third law is don’t get caught doing 1 or 2 or anything else.

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