May 5, 2016

Despite Doomsayers, Ireland can benefit from Brexit - by hook or by crook . . .

Posted in Irish Independent · 67 comments ·
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By hook or by crook’ is a wonderful, outdated expression. It’s the sort of thing my grandfather used to say. We all know what it means, but where does it come from? I heard it the other day while at the wonderful O’Sullivan’s pub in Crookhaven watching a dogged Leicester City grind out another result against Manchester United. With pints and toasties in front of us, we watched as Leicester had a man sent off in a belt and braces final five minutes, when the old fella beside me declared: “This Leicester outfit are determined to win the league by hook or by crook.”

The expression dates from the days of the first Norman invasions of Ireland, when rudimentary sailing boats left from Bristol or Pembroke bound for Ireland. The first Norman king of Ireland was Richard III, whose remains, incidentally, were dug up a few years ago under a car park in the centre of Leicester.

Back in his day, depending on the weather, the voyage to Ireland could be extremely hazardous and many ships didn’t make it.

For the Normans, the two most extreme points on the Irish southern coast with harbours where they could possibly dock were Hook Head in Waterford to the east, and Crookhaven in Cork to the west. If you didn’t make land between Hook and Crook you were going off towards the wild Atlantic and the treacherous west coast, where the seas were huge, the ports few and the native Irish not too friendly to the hapless Normans.

Therefore, the Normans vowed to land in Ireland “by hook or by crook” and deploy any means necessary to do so because to miss the stretch between Hook Head and Crookhaven meant the voyage was a total failure.

Thus, “by hook or by crook” is to achieve your aim by any means possible, fair or foul.

Listening to the Brexit debate and the extraordinary lengths to which the Establishment in Ireland, Britain and Brussels is going to snuff out the ‘Vote Leave’ movement, “hook” and “crook” spring to mind. The Bank of England, the UK Treasury and, of course, the OECD have all come out with “serious” documents predicting economic calamity if the UK votes to leave the EU.

The ‘Remain’ camp paints a picture where, largely because of a fall-off in inward investment, the UK economy will plummet downwards, sterling will weaken and, ultimately, the UK will lose its influence in the world because it will be isolated. In addition, this view – mainly articulated by the Remain campaign – makes the point that the UK will not have free trade with the EU and so trade will stop or be massively hindered, further ratcheting down growth.

In contrast, the Leave people suggest that unbound by the EU’s bureaucratic shackles, a free-wheeling, free-trading UK will become hyper-competitive and the economy will accelerate rapidly. It will become a type of Singapore in the North Atlantic. Their economic analysis, which is, incidentally, getting much less press either in the mainstream papers or from the BBC, points to 5pc growth rates as a direct result of leaving.

The truth is that no one actually knows what will happen.

One plausible argument is that the UK – with its 60 million-plus population, the reasonably well-run sixth-largest economy in the world with its own currency, huge wealth around London and excellence in finance, advertising and, increasingly, tech start-ups – will be fine after an initial wobble. This is the middle-ground view. It’s not the stuff of posters and sexy campaigns, but it’s probably more accurate than the evangelical zealotry of both sides.

The question is: where do we stand?

The most reasonable estimation of the future if the UK is out of the EU is one where the complexion of the UK economy changes. If there are doubts over trade deals and the treatment of UK capital and produce trading with the EU, as the Remain camp argues, then direct foreign investment into the UK will falter. The UK will suffer from complicated trade deals and a lack of clarity as to how things will pan out. This means something very clear for Ireland. If direct foreign investment, particularly American direct foreign investment, doesn’t go to the UK, where will it go? What is the country that feels, smells and tastes like Britain, but isn’t Britain? Where would US executives feel most at home, with tax rates that are attractive and full access to the EU? Yes, you guessed: Ireland.

Far from it being in our interest for the UK to stay in the EU, it is in our commercial interest for the UK to be mired in red tape, uncertainty and fog. So why is our government actively campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU? Why are we doing Brussels’ job, when it’s not our job to advocate anything in the domestic politics of a quasi-foreign country.

I say quasi-foreign because England isn’t foreign in the traditional sense of the world; after all, O’Sullivan’s, close to the western-most tip of Ireland, was jammed with Irish people roaring on Leicester City, the home of royalist Richard III. It’s not foreign, it’s an ambiguous, complex, intertwined relationship. For example, Irish citizens living across the water can vote, whereas French citizens living in the UK can’t.

However, in economic terms it is unambiguous. Britain is our main trading partner. We still feed the UK. Close to half our total agricultural exports go to the UK, so unless they stop eating after Brexit, there’s no reason to think that we will not continue to feed them. The only reason there would be a problem with UK trade is if the EU got vindictive after Brexit and put up trade barriers, and if we did not use our veto at the Council of Ministers to block such an adolescent reaction. The veto is reserved for extreme events, which dramatically affect our national interest. Trade barriers and border checks with the UK are such events.

Can you imagine an Irish government that goes along with a spiteful EU diktat punishing the UK to prove a geo-political point, which would be against our fundamental national interest? Maybe there are enough Europhile zealots in positions of power deep within the Irish establishment that such a self-harming decision is not out of the question.

In short, Brexit may actually be good for us in the long term, particularly if the damage to the UK’s investment image is as bad as the Remain camp claims it will be if the UK leaves. Clearly, British-bound investment will be diverted elsewhere. Remember, our country is 15 times smaller than Britain and therefore we only need a small amount of that diverted FDI for it to make a massive difference. If we veto the EU’s vindictiveness, we insulate ourselves from the extremes of Europhilia and arrive at a sensible conclusion.

Despite this obvious scenario where we can play a canny game, official Ireland is doing Brussels’ bidding campaigning to make sure that the UK stays in the EU . . . by hook or by crook.

Strange.

 


  1. John Bourke

    Last native English speaking nation in the EU, where are the yanks going to setup new EU ventures :-)

    • Deco

      Where they get the best deal, presumably. We can presume that Britain will mean business. Which is more than we can expect from Brussels.

  2. Pat Flannery

    ‘’The first Norman king of Ireland was Richard III’’!!

    I think what David may have meant to say was that King Richard III was the LAST Norman King of Ireland, which is still wrong.

    King Henry II was the first Plantagenet King of England. Plantagenet was only a nickname, Henry was still a Norman. Richard was indeed the last Norman/Plantagenet King of England, but he was never King of Ireland.

    King Henry II and his successors never claimed the title King of Ireland. Henry had been granted the title Lord of Ireland by the Pope in 1155. The Pope wanted him to straighten out the Irish and collect a penny per annum from every house (hearth) in Ireland known as Peter’s pence. It is always about money.

    In fact Henry ceremoniously recognized Rory O’Connor as King of Ireland in 1175 at the Treaty of Windsor. It was not until 1542 when the Tudor King Henry VIII made himself King of Ireland that the Irish state became the separate Kingdom of Ireland, sharing a personal King with the English, which lasted until the infamous Act of Union in 1800.

    Let’s keep our economics AND our history straight.

    • bluegalway

      Additionally, the Normans did NOT invade Ireland, they were invited at the request of ousted King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurragh. It’s the sort of thing quoted on thejournal.ie by some uneducated gombeen. And ‘by hook or by crook’ derives from the custom in mediaeval England of allowing peasants to take from royal forests whatever deadwood they may pull down with a shepherd’s crook, or cut with a reaper’s billhook. Other suggestions are much more dubious in origin and have no written reference. The practice was recorded about 200 years ago by rural campaigner William Cobbett, but is traced back to early medieval times.

      • testificor

        And while we’re setting things straight the Crook in the apocryphal Irish version of “By Hook or by Crook” is not Crookhaven, but the church of Crook in Passage East, on the opposite side of Waterford Harbour from the Hook. Which, even if untrue, makes more sense for Strongbow, intent as he was to capture the Hiberno-Norse town of Waterford.

      • Pat Flannery

        bluegalway: from one ‘educated’ gombeen to another, you are right, there never was a ‘Norman Invasion’. If there was an invasion it was a Papal Invasion and St. Lawrence O’Toole was the real Dermot McMurrough, who incidentally was married to Lawrence O’Toole’s sister.

        Until O’Toole became Bishop of Dublin the Roman Church in Ireland was a Scandinavian Church. O’Toole was the first Irishman to be appointed Bishop of Dublin. Previously they were all appointed by Canterbury. Why was O’Toole suddenly acceptable to Rome and Canterbury?

        O’Toole became Abbot of the Gaelic monastery at Glendalough at the young age of 26. There was a new fundamentalist reform movement raging on the Continent at the time based on the 4th century teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo, the ultimate fundamentalist.

        The movement was called Cannons Regular that married ascetic monasticism with pastoral priesthood. The Papacy liked the movement and favoured those clerics who adopted it. The main beneficiary of this Papal favour was a Cannon Regular (Augustinian) named Nicholas Breakspear, an Englishman who became Pope himself as Adrian IV in 1159.

        This is the man upon whom Lawrence O’Toole modelled himself and actually became a Cannon Regular (Augustinian) while Abbot of Glendalough. That is what impressed Rome. That is the marriage they wanted.

        O’Toole’s appointment as Bishop of the (Scandinavian) city of Dublin at the age of 32 ended the Gaelic Irish alternative monastic system. It was all finalized at the Synod of Cashel in 1172 where the Irish bishops cravenly swore allegiance to the English King, who gave their new Church the Rock of Cashel as a present in return.

        Henry had his scribe Giraldus Cambrensis’ (Gerald of Wales) write the whole thing down for dumb Irish gombeens like you and I. But we don’t have to take Gerald’s word for it, Ireland has been staunchly Roman Catholic ever since.

        So, who were the real invaders? I believe it was the Roman Papacy. It continues to rule Ireland with a firm crozier.

        • Truthist

          Wrong about the “real invaders” being the Roman Papacy.

          And, the “Roman Papacy” never ruled Ireland.

          These Italians had no nefarious intentions on Ireland either.
          However, u may be wishing to rush in to remind me that quite a few Popes have been Jews [ "Crypto" & "Marrano" ].

          Yes, the Pope who “allegedly” approved, or even sanctioned, Henry 2′s “invasion” [ "A Rose by any other Name is still a Rose." ] Ireland was an English man ; Nicholas Breakspear / Pope Adrian 2 ;
          But, rule Ireland he did not.

          So, there is no need to even refute the “rule Ireland with a firm crozier.” clause Pat.

          Were one to ascribe the rule that has been on Ireland, it would be :

          “Sleeveenism”
          “Spivs-manship & Spiveens-womanship [ 8-) ; For sure in modern Ireland ]
          “Culture of pulling Strokes”
          “Intellectual Snobbery”
          “The Penny looking down on the Half-Penny”
          “Jealousy”
          “Beggars on Horseback”
          “Drink Culture”
          “Informing”
          “Traitorism”
          inter -alia.

      • DJR

        Ousted being the operative word. Otherwise history would record a “Bay of Pig’s Invitation”, “Vietnam Visit” and a “Grenada Get-together”.

    • It fitted in well with the Leicester part of the narrative.

  3. JK

    I would have liked to read your opinion on the impact on Ireland if Brexit is good for the British economy…..?

  4. Harve

    Hi David,

    Some of your comments I agree with (e.g. nobody knows what will really happen in the event of a Brexit), some of your other points need to be analysed further.

    Take beef exports for example. In 2015, we exported €2.2 billion and you’re right in saying about half of this went to the UK. In a Brexit scenario, the UK will be keen to pursue free trade deals with Latin America, Australia and New Zealand for example. What will they ask for in return? Better (possibly free) access for their meat and dairy exports. What will that do to exports of Irish beef? Whilst the UK population will indeed still have to eat, Ireland will be impacted.

    In terms of FDI, yes, Ireland will be an alternative location. What about an independent Scotland? Because if Scotland votes to stay (which is likely) and the UK votes to leave, Scotland will push for another independence vote and I think they would push to get this done before the UK would officially leave the EU. Also, Frankfurt would push to be the financial centre of Europe, so Ireland will have competitors for FDI.

    Finally, what about Northern Ireland? I know you said before that you don’t think that there would be much impact. I’m not so sure on that. Can it be guaranteed both now and in the future that if the UK leaves, the framework that the Good Friday agreement was framed within would still work? What if the UK sees immigrants coming in via Ireland as an issue and impose border restrictions of some form. What about the EU funding to help community cohesion in Northern Ireland? Will an under-pressure UK economy governed by conservatives be willing to continue with funding such projects?

    These are just some of the issues. I agree that we cannot know the outcome yet and whichever way it goes there will be many challenges to overcome.

    • Deco

      Community cohesion in NI will not come as a result of money from Brussels, just like it did not occur after years of subvention from London.

      NI has a deep psychology problem. Sigmund Frued, not free money is required.

      In fact “something for nothing” is a large part of the problem.

      • Harve

        Didn’t claim that cohesion in NI would come as a result from Brussels money alone. However, it is one of many factors at play. Some of which are relevant to the UK’s EU referendum (e.g. trade, question of the re-imposition of a “hard” border between NI and ROI, free movement of people etc.). Taken together, these could result in significant changes post-Brexit. Overall, the last 20 years have represented giant steps forward in terms of peace and the EU has been key in facilitating the Good Friday framework. Anything that potentially jeopardises this, needs to be taken seriously and the UK (& Ireland) needs to proceed carefully to avoid unintended consequences.

        • Deco

          Brussels has nothing to do with the Good Friday Agreement. The two sides in the North got played out, after years of mischief and realised that they had to come to the table. When D2 and Westminster held their resolve, both sides in NI had to scale down their illusions.

      • McCawber

        In once thought of as the most successful plantation of Ireland, it has since proven to be the least successful.
        The lack of integration berween the communities and a lack of a desire to intigrate is a chilling warning (or should be ) to the EU regarding any plantation (migration in today’s language) of cultualy mismatched migrants where that mismatch includes an unwillingness to integrate.

        • All mass migrations take over the locals and displace them. New age fussy thinking does not apply to them. They have principles they adhere to.
          That is they are morally stronger than the locals and will overcome.

          Reminds me of ” Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything”

          This is not a migration it is an invasion. It is a physical, cultural, and religious takeover.

          It is deliberately exercised by the elites to destabilize the western industrial democracies and destroy them. Our deluded intellectuals preach from the same manuscript.

          • McCawber

            You just made the case for a Brexit.

          • McCawber

            Plantation in the Ulster sense was an invasion.
            Invasions don’t work.
            Recent history proves it.
            An invasiion by Isla , despite the best efforts of our own EU will fail too.
            They have tried to conquer Europe and failed and more than once.
            The reason for these failures is very simple – the locals have nowhere else to go.

          • Yes McCawber

            I was never for Britons joining the EU. It was an abandonment of British culture.
            For too long the westerner has assumed a guilt attitude as being the problem of the world.
            While there are many grievous things have been done we are not alone in that regards.
            Rape and pillage have been practiced the wide world over.
            Far from the meek inheriting the earth, they have always been plundered by the barbarian.
            A nature nation state is a cohesive unit with a common culture and practices.
            The better policy is to protect with a strong motivated defense force and as well, extend the hand of trade to ones neighbour.
            That is be protective of ones self but not isolationist.
            That was the constitution of the US but internal decay has broken down those worthy principles until the US is a hollow shell of its former self.
            The same goes for every country. Being all things to all people really means being virtually nothing to anybody.
            Europe needs to diverge from current policy and all nations be sovereign. Then put in place an agreement of cooperation. This is from the bottom up and acquiescence of the people. Currently there is autocratic government in Europe imposed from the top down.

            Britain would be very wise to exit Europe before it is destroyed. Ditto Ireland.

          • nature nation = mature nation

      • Truthist

        U cannot force people to be a community.

        It has to be natural & self-propelled & benign.

        Nay ;
        Psychology is not needed.
        Actually, proper Religion is needed ;
        A looking inward on oneself & the society.
        Facing the “Inner” Man of one’s own person, & one’s culturee.
        The guts to admit that one may have been wrong ; And, this regardless if the other side has been wrong.
        A realisation by both “Tribes” that both originally are Irish ; “Scoti” if u wish.
        A realisation that the Protestant religion was devised by “Schemers” to “divide & conquer” the Roman Catholic Church ; Even though the Roman Catholic Church had, & has, corruption within it, & some of the complaints by Martin Luther were valid.
        A realisation that the Men of Cuige Uladh have always had a drive to being warriors & thus a touch cantankerous.
        A realisation that the Minor Scoti used religion to justify invading & being planters on the Major Scoti in the North of Major Scoti [ our Country ; Ireland ] ;
        A realisation the the English devised that invasion by the Minor Scoti also so as to alleviate the North of England from being constantly raided of Cattle by Lowland Scots.
        A realisation that reverting to the structure prior to the Norman “Conquest” — initially by traitorous invite — of Ireland is the best governing structure for any & all of Ireland,
        vis.
        4 or 5 Provinces ; Each with a King or other singular ruler
        Each Province gets to vote on High King or other singular ruler for all of Ireland ;
        This system is organically suitable for Ireland ;
        It proved itself to work for a very very long time.

        Great men from the North of our Country to offer hope have been :

        Derek Dougan RIP
        George Best RIP
        Bobby Sands RIP
        Fr. Denis Faul RIP ; Although, originally from Louth

        We in the South should be trying to clean up our ways to be good enough to unite with the North.

        The folks in the North are more moral than we are presently.
        The Protestants & Catholics of the North of Ireland are all Scoti ;
        Just like the rest of the aborigine Irish are all Scoti.

  5. aidanxc

    I agree with the general gist of your argument David. We should view Brexit as an opportunity for Ireland regardless whether it is good or bad for Britain. If they vote to leave then there will be uncertainty – that is what we need to capitalise on. There will be a lot of business done before an exit would be finalised and FDI capital looking for a home. We need to make sure it comes here. I also find it hard to understand why Irish politicians are advocating that the UK remains in the EU – that is a decision for the British to make.

  6. Deco

    [
    The truth is that no one actually knows what will happen.
    ]

    Exactly.

    Which makes all the Chicken-Licken idiots look rather stupid. Particularly, stupid will be politicians who favour the dictats coming from Brussels, that seem to be causing endless crisis – declaring that obedience to such dictats ( “more EU rope” ) is what is required to solve the problems (that they create).

  7. Deco

    [
    The only reason there would be a problem with UK trade is if the EU got vindictive after Brexit and put up trade barriers, and if we did not use our veto at the Council of Ministers to block such an adolescent reaction.
    ]

    Unfortunately, the politicians that we have been sending to Brussels are very comfortable with adolescent reactions.

    In fact the obedience-bloc in Irish politics agrees with bad decisions. Even when they impact Ireland adversely. Cue, Lenihan and Cowen deciding to not negotiate the Bank Bondholder debt (and following this up by shoving responsibility for this lack of courage on DMcW).

    Merkel has been producing adolescent reactions to the Greek crisis.

  8. Deco

    [
    Can you imagine an Irish government that goes along with a spiteful EU diktat punishing the UK to prove a geo-political point, which would be against our fundamental national interest?
    ]

    Unfortunately, it has already happened.

    Just look at the reaction produced by “mainstream” Irish politicians to the Greek crisis. And they have consistently sold out Ireland’s interest. Cowen because he agreed to a bailout of Greece, when he knew Ireland was next. Kenny by relentlessly backing the subjugation of Greek society.

    Ireland’s politicians are a subservient lot, who like to engage in ‘green jersey’ posturing before they get subservient.

  9. Deco

    [
    Far from it being in our interest for the UK to stay in the EU, it is in our commercial interest for the UK to be mired in red tape, uncertainty and fog.
    ]

    That description applies to many countries already in the EU. And in many regards, it applies to all EU members.

    The UK, if it leaves, will be in a position to get rid of the “red tape, uncertainty, and fog”.

    The real danger is to the leadership in control of the EU. They have no clue what they are doing. And they are becomming increasingly dictatorial.

    If Britain leaves, we should be first in line to follow.

  10. Nice spot O’Sullivan’s. Had a lovely prawn sandwich there not so long ago – eat your heart out Roy Keane, will be visiting again soon. Morning chaps, subscribe.

  11. The Irish establishment won’t veto anything, they don’t have the balls for that.

    • Deco

      Exactly.

      Concerning EU matters, Kildare Street has a majority of EUnuchs.

      And if any politician dared criticize the EU, the state organ to ensure misnformation and subservience, would prove that the relevant individual raided an orchard at age 7, and caused an old lady in the neighbourhood to incurr a heart attack as a result. The EU Times would warn of the terrible consequences of not believing in the nEU imperial project.

  12. Deco

    If there is Brexit, Westminster will be able to make it’s own rules concerning investment. And Britain will gain investment.

    Germany, where VW is in serious financial trouble, will not erect any tarifs against Britain. Despite the fact that Britain makes more cars than anybody else in Europe, with the exception of Germany. For all the loudmouthing, there will be no retaliation, because the EU is not fit to retaliate.

    In other words, the the big talk from Brussels is a collection of politicians pretending that their pet imperial project is sacrosanct.

    If there is BRemain – then there will be no more impetus for reform in the centralized power structure that is the EU.

    And that is the biggest threat of all. The threat of the current stupidity from Brussels continuing.

    Merkel + Sarkozy = Merkozy.

    Merkel + Hollande = ?????

    Oh yeah, it equals the French word to describe the sticky substance that is where you end up with a series of policy errors that never get corrected.

    Greece, the drama, is about the start again.

    The EU is a policy making blunder machine. Exactly the sort of thing that would impress the chancers in FF and FG, who are now putting their heads together, after bankrupting the country (FF), and raising corruption to an entirely new level (FG).

    And then there is the incompetence. (FF, FG, LP, GP, etc..)

    And then, in addition there is the bonkers factor ( Paul “free legal aid” Murphy, RBB and his Protests-before-common-sense outfit, Assorted Trotskyites, Mick ‘vat bill’ Wallace, Spin Fein, etc…).

    • Truthist

      The “Retaliation” will take the form of rushing through the admission of new members to the E.U. ;
      Especially, “Turkey”.

      And, welcome the “Turkish Mafia” ;
      Heroin flooding Europe.

      But, the above scenario is no reflection on the bulk of the Turkish people ;
      They no doubt are as captive to their Elite & their sophisticated gangster class as is Ireland.
      Afterall, it is the rich jet-set of Ireland who spearheaded the demand & importation & consumption of all types of narcotics from the beginning of the epidemic we have now all over the State.

      E.U. Leaders ;
      “See, look, we have no problems gathering more friends to join our club.
      We don’t really need u our Blighty Masonic Brethren.
      Cherrio !”

      Huh, some Retaliation !

  13. Mike Lucey

    I was thinking that the recent UK Obama stance on Brexit would not have the desired effect as the average Brit doesn’t like to be pushed around, even if its Uncle Sam doing the pushing.

    ‘Barack Obama urging Britons to stay in EU did not work, poll suggests’

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/europe/eu-institutions/news/74357/barack-obama-urging-britons-stay-eu-did-not-work-poll

    ‘The US president said Britain would be at “the back of the queue” for trade deals with his nation if it broke ties with Brussels on 23rd June – a comment seen as a major coup for the Remain camp.

    But a YouGov poll for the Times has put Leave at 42%, up three points from two weeks ago, with those backing Remain at 41%, up one point’.

    I don’t think its good overall policy to base a country’s development plan on the shortfalls of another country, particularly when they are a ‘good’ neighbour. The plan falls apart when the short-falling country cops on and re-adjusts to counter the ‘advantage’. Better to base development on something which is solid and sustainable such as our Territorial Waters.

    Obama is going all out to leave some kind of a legacy and it looks like the only chance he has at this point in time is to get TTIP pasted the post, an increasingly tall order. I think he will only go down in the history books as the first (so called) black US of A President, an achievement nevertheless.

    • Mike Lucey

      I’m checking out when I can see Richie O’Donnell’s ‘The Atlantic’ (narrated by Brendan Gleenson. Here is a film trailer, Richie O’Donnell

      While scouring around I came across a great Ray D’Arcy interview with Richie O’Donnell and Brendan Gleeson. Its great craic and at the same time very informative and thought provoking. You can check it out here, https://soundcloud.com/rte-radio-1/brendan

      I located screening times around the country here, http://www.theatlanticstream.com/blog/item/32-atlantic-screenings There is also an option on the site to apply for a local hosting in the village hall or local pub. I see three screenings around Clare but none in Ennis. I’ll have to do something about that.

  14. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I find David’s argument with investment in Ireland (after Brexit) instead of the UK convincing; however, I can see one problem with it (problem not only for Ireland) – Brexit would mean an even bigger power of Germany in Europe (which Brexit, as I said before, I now do not believe it will happen, unless there is a major upheaval in Europe).

    Perhaps surprisingly for some, I like German culture in general (I am talking about their so called high culture, music and theatre in particular), but the question you should ask yourself is: do you want to be part of the old German Mittel-Europa plan, with 76% of national and over 90% of the regional press controlled by German capital? For if this is what happened in Poland, what makes you think that this is impossible in Ireland? And what influence would that have on the Irish election?

    Whoever thinks that this is a question of emotion, prejudice or chauvinism (one has to make a distinction between nationalism, which is a healthy attitude, and chauvinism, which is unhealthy – sadly, PC blurred that distinction introduced by real cultural anthropology), he or she is mistaken.

    No, foreign alliances is a question of economic interest, and anyone who has licked a bit of history would know that implementing Mitteleuropa plan brought about trade imbalances in Europe which eventually led to world war.

    Imagine that you wake up in the morning and open the Irish Independent/Times/Examinar/News, where you read about the 1916 Commemorations:

    “patriotism has no moral justification and is an unnecessary relic of the past, remain of the times when tribal hordes fought for their territories, food and women.”

    Unthinkable?

    Yet this is a precise quote from Polish Gazeta Wyborcza article “Patriotism is just like Racism,” published after the 2007 Armed Forces Day parade in Warsaw (pre WWII political analyses were differentiating between patriotism, nationalism and chauvinism and serious studies still are, but not the brainwashed hoi polloi – PC merged patriotism and nationalism into one, and shifted the term nationalism into what had been chauvinism, to attack nationalism as something bad).

    If Britain leaves the EU, and Ireland becomes part of the Mittel-Europa plan (which I think it already is, but this plan is being torpedoed by the UK), not only this will be possible, but even things like the former Polish Defence Minister’s wife running an institute in Krakow financed by the Adenauer, Naumann and Ebert Foundations, which then results in Poland buying submarines from Germany that even the corrupted Greeks did not want.

    This is not a criticism of David’s main line of the argument (a good article overall); it has to be read as my adaptation of David’s basic argument (Brexit might be a chance for Ireland) and completing it with the realisation that this involves a conundrum (yes, but this might result in Germany/France being so strong that Ireland will be getting even worse deals than bailing out foreign banks).

    Some of you might be thinking – but if Germany wanted to do all of this, they could have done it already and they did not.

    They cannot do it at once (they first had to gain control over the public debate in their neighbouring countries) and it is harder for them (by them I mean of course the German state, not German people) do it with Britain in the EU.

    With Britain out?

    So yea, this is the conundrum – would Brexit, paradoxically, not revert Ireland from Atlanticism toward Mittel-Europa?

    • Hell of a post Grzegorz, I have to give it you.

    • Truthist

      The feedback that I got from a continental European EU-Phile — who personally knows Mr. Junkers — is that the E.U. are ultimately accepting of :
      UK leaving the E.U.
      the geographically peripheral countries of the E.U. leaving the E.U.

      Actually, at this stage, if it were a choice between having England or Greece, the E.U. would much prefer to have Greece in the E.U..
      And, they envision Scotland applying as an independent Scotland for E.U. membership.
      And, the E.U. will gladly welcome Scotland in.

      The E.U. will soon enough escalate a squeeze on Switzerland by leveraging on the privacy & autonomy of its banking system.
      The aim is to force Switzerland to apply for E.U. membership.
      Again, the E.U. will gladly welcome Switzerland.

  15. VincentH

    Just an FYI.
    Hook is the cape on which the lighthouse is built, and on the Wexford side. Crook is a ridge further up towards the head of the fjord and on the Waterford side.
    Draw the Suir to Waterford city with your finger, from the sea to city and you have the makings of a shepherds staff.
    But your substantive point is good.

  16. McCawber

    If you have a job that requires a high then you can relax.
    http://lofi.phys.org/news/2016-05-robot-revolutionrise-intelligent-automated-workforce.html

    Maybe cos that’s based on current best guess.
    Then ask yourself how many teachers do you know have a high EQ.

  17. michaelcoughlan

    This statement “excellence in finance” reminded me of this add;

    https://youtu.be/FfezfZPw-qk

  18. survivalist

    I believe that despite it being pretty much impossible, economists’ attempted predictions of the future generally and Brexit specifically is speculation which is not offered in the hope of being accurate or in any useful except to promote certain power agendas.

    The main and perpetual scheme is of course the ongoing subjugation of the people and their democratic rights. Media based predictions are merely standard method of psychological control aka propaganda. It deserves to be noted that the propaganda is done on behalf of the European Empire.

    However that it is overwhelmingly from the economic perspective that the pros and cons are most vocal and most attended to in the media, shows that the European ‘Union’ is still and always was, at its heart, a money and power making racket. Does anyone believe that the racket is being run for their benefit or in any way necessary to achieve any of its stated goals? Unfortunately, yes.

    Regardless of the British people’s democratic decisions, Ireland and her people ought to be exercising their own democratic rights and by that I mean not to get Ireland out of Europe but get the European Empire out of Ireland.

    The very idea that more centralised decision making power can at once attend to Castlerea as it does to Lyon is a farce.

    ‘Europe’ is an anti-democratic, bureaucratic, technocratic, totalitarian empire. It operates to further control over people by the state/corporate union.

    As an aside I wonder if anyone can shed light or provide further information on Ireland’s food ‘trade’? Why would we import 150 million worth of beef annually when estimates on Irelands ‘Beef self-sufficiency’, range from 280% to 640%. I think this is true for most of our agricultural produce; in that we still import produce that we have over self sufficiency in? What does this mean if anything for the theory of supply and demand and so on?

    • Truthist

      Excellent post.

      • McCawber

        Agree – They are just so far up their unowits it’s unreal.
        Remember they brought in a standard for bananas to make growers grow only straight bananas.
        Monty Python couldn’t come up with better.

    • Harve

      In 2015, Ireland imported about €91m from Britain and about €18m from Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish “imports” are often to do with cross-border trade e.g. a processor in Newry sending product South. A lot of beef carcasses move from South to North and are then processed.

      From Britain, it is mostly processed beef I would say. So maybe the likes of Tesco importing processed beef products of some description.

      • survivalist

        Close enough Harve. And we can lever it up another level, consider that in today’s so-called “free-trade economy” a very large component of cross-border transactions, is misleadingly called ‘trade’. What actually accounts for about 70 percent of those cross border transactions occurs within centrally managed institutions, within corporations and corporate alliances.

        What is at stake is investor rights and revenue, not free or any other form of trade. What actually happens and is described as trade, monopolistic pricing practices, protectionist measures, ensure corporate rights. With the effect of reducing growth and innovation

        And trade, of course, has no value in itself. It’s a value if it increases human welfare, otherwise not. Industrial Feudalism.

    • ‘Europe’ is an anti-democratic, bureaucratic, technocratic, totalitarian empire. It operates to further control over people by the state/corporate union.’
      Can’t say it much better than that.
      By extension is the push for globalization which has the same agenda.

  19. Nice bit of change spent just to be the nominee of GOP.
    quite the investment. What is the expected profit on the investment.

    Campaign finance[edit]
    This is an overview of the money used in the campaign as it was reported to Federal Election Committee and released on April 21, 2016. Outside groups are independent expenditure-only committees, also called PACs and SuperPACs. Several such groups normally support each candidate but the numbers in the table are a total of all of them, meaning that a group of committees can be shown as technically insolvent even though it is not the case for all of them. The source of all the numbers is the Center for Responsive Politics.[160]

    Candidate Campaign committee (as of March 31) Outside groups (as of April 21) Total spent Suspended
    campaign
    Money raised Money spent Cash on hand Debt Money raised Money spent Cash on hand
    Donald Trump $48,393,537 $46,282,467 $2,111,070 $35,926,174* $2,767,575 $3,202,109 $-434,534 $49,484,576 [161] Active
    John Kasich $16,456,113 $15,296,011 $1,160,028 $0 $12,771,308 $18,158,174 $-5,386,866 $33,454,185 May 4
    Ted Cruz $78,513,417 $69,707,328 $8,806,089 $0 $63,355,067 $42,357,098 $20,997,969 $112,064,426 May 3
    Marco Rubio $54,803,843 $51,609,158 $3,736,205 $1,960,385 $61,966,485 $59,663,265 $2,303,220 $111,272,423 March 15
    Ben Carson $63,571,704 $60,205,333 $3,366,371 $360,079 $16,217,786 $16,814,658 $-596,873 $77,019,991 March 4
    Jeb Bush $33,999,149 $33,967,964 $31,185 $261,703† $121,143,468 $103,835,928 $17,307,540 $137,803,892 February 20
    Jim Gilmore $383,500 $383,300 $200 $0 $342,200 $368,600 $-125,050 $751,900 February 12
    Chris Christie $8,294,252 $8,139,947 $154,305 $400,690† $23,639,457 $23,121,752 $517,705 $31,261,699 February 10
    Carly Fiorina $11,932,514 $10,566,373 $1,366,141 $0 $14,404,780 $13,632,799 $771,981 $24,199,172 February 10
    Rick Santorum $1,365,073 $1,361,497 $3,576 $556,860† $711,061 $1,136,506 $-425,446 $2,498,003 February 3
    Rand Paul $12,127,475 $11,934,798 $192,677 $386,987† $10,856,091 $8,761,840 $2,094,251 $20,696,638 February 3
    Mike Huckabee $4,283,114 $4,226,765 $56,349 $52,282 $5,874,723 $6,105,136 $-230,413 $10,331,901 February 1
    George Pataki $544,183 $524,850 $5,301 $0 $1,547,674 $1,547,674 $0 $2,072,524 December 29
    Lindsey Graham $5,399,263 $5,325,090 $74,173 $48,041 $4,529,305 $4,362,230 $167,074 $9,687,320 December 21
    Bobby Jindal $1,442,464 $1,442,464 $0 $0 $4,517,207 $4,517,911 $-703 $5,960,374 November 17
    Scott Walker $7,825,308 $7,799,794 $25,515 $952,256† $24,554,588 $24,489,961 $64,627 $32,289,755 September 21
    Rick Perry $1,427,133 $1,767,404 $1,818 $0 $15,231,068 $15,356,117 $-125,050 $17,123,521 September 11
    Active campaigns highlighted
    Notes

    *Donald Trump has so far self-financed his campaign with $36,243,646, most of this as loans.

  20. STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
    First Tea Party, Now Trump: Battle Against Globalization Gains Strength
    By Daily Bell Staff – May 06, 2016

    “Indeed this conflict will likely present itself ever-more powerfully throughout the 21st century. It is the conflict between globalism and freedom.”

    http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/first-tea-party-now-trump-battle-against-globalization-gains-strength/

    The Brexit is also a manifestation of anti globalist forces.

    • McCawber

      Add in the resistance that will inevitably come from the catering industry which relies heavily on tips, particularly the US, when the penny (cent) drops that king cash could be under threat.

      • I do not see any opinion by Trump on the removal of cash which you seem to be saying. I agree there will be push back when the average Jo finds out about it. Lack of cash will kill the pawn shops and local market places, not to mention the handyman from up the road.

  21. Truthist

    The Reason that the Irish State is doing the Bidding of “Brussels” to try to keep the U.K. in the E.U. is that the “Real Government” / “Unofficial Government” / “Deep State” of the Irish State [ 'Garrison "Irish State" of the E.U.' ] are in the main “Freemasons” ;
    And, the Freemasons have a long-standing plan to have a singular State encompassing all of Europe & beyond.

    Even the British Freemasonry are beholden to delivering on that plan.
    However, a chunk of British Freemasonry are hostile to their Continental Brethren running the project ;
    These British Freemasons are for an E.U. Super-State, Yes !
    But, they naturally want to be the Boss.

    The Irish Freemasons are being loyal to the existing Bosses in Continental Europe.

    Never forget that essentially the E.U. Project is a Freemasonry Project.

    Simple as that.

  22. Truthist

    Ah well, who else would be against good-sense AND nationalism other than u know who ?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/278083-anti-defamation-league-wants-trump-to-ditch-new-slogan

  23. E. Kavanagh

    Can something really be “15-times smaller”? What is wrong with the old “1/15″ or “one-fifteenth”?

    In terms of the body of this article is anyone really suggesting the the EU would want to do anything other than put the UK in the same bracket as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland? The notion that the EU would want to strike back against the democratic decision of a former member, and thereby hurt itself, seems quite far fetched. It’s not like they have slaves.

  24. McCawber

    Having read a lot of posts it strikes me that the EU won’t mind a Brexit too much so long as it’s seen as a member of the family moving out rather than a a breakup.
    In fact it may well suit some of the EU member
    states because, in hindsight of course, they can say actually maybe Britain had a good argument on some of their concerns.
    Politicians are nothing if not me feiners.

  25. Wildfires raging in Alberta reminds me again of the economy.
    Not the fact of the disaster for the city of fort McMurray, the 88,000 people evacuated, the shut down of a total industry, or the scope and expanding size of the fire.

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/how-the-fort-mcmurray-fire-sizes-up-in-other-canadian-cities/67457

    It is the fact it is out of control and no matter what is tried to contain it, it will have to run its course and burn itself out, or be put out by a change in the weather.

    So why the scope of the fire and the fact it is out of control? Nobody I have read has offered an opinion or asked the question.

    Government Interference. Two simple words are the answer to the problem. It sounds like the problem in the economy!!

    for centuries forest fires have burned in the Canadian North. They have burnt Winter , Spring, Summer and Fall. They have be caused almost exclusively by lightening strikes from thunderstorms. There is a natural cycle in the woods. Regeneration after a fire occurs naturally. First the flowers such as Fireweed, then the small deciduous such as aspen and Willow cover the landscape. Then the larger deciduous trees and now the Conifers such as Spruce. Gradually the conifers dominate and crowd out the deciduous.

    The soil goes from sweet to acid and sphagnum mosses dominate forest floor and muskeg prevails. The bush creates a carpet of dead limbs and branches which are fuel for the fire and sure enough another fire occurs at some point in this 70-100 year cycle.

    In recent history we have a fetish in putting out these natural fires. A puff of smoke and out go the firefighters and water bombers. The result is a huge supply of fuel on the forest floor and in the trees. All we need is a black swan event and the fire erupts. Fires have been suppressed for so long there is a huge amount of stored energy in the bush.

    The Fort McMurray fire is an example of this. Combine the black swan of very high temperatures and high winds with hundreds of miles of un-burned forest fuel and the blaze is uncontrollable.

    In our economy we are likewise controlled by government agencies and bankers. The natural economy can no longer operate effectively. All the little mistakes are made up for, recessions and failure is not permitted. There are currently no free markets, no free press, and no regulation that works, and no money that can be relied upon.

    The forest fuel of the economy is about to catch fire and the blaze will be uncontrollable as mother nature reasserts herself. The economy can only handle so much interference before it collapses. Lets hope a few of us are prepared because when it happens, just like the forest fire it will be over in a few days but we do not know the devastation of the aftermath or the opportunities that will open before us.

  26. Here is a graphic showing the extent of the FRAUD of the Fractional Reserve Banking System as propagated by the central banking system.

    https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/bullionstar/infographic-london-gold-market/

  27. tony_murphy

    I learned an awful lot from reading this website over the years. Thanks David!
    The comments section was always interesting

    I live in the UK now, battling hard for a #BREXIT

    The EU is a Tyranny and I believe those in the UK will send the Eurocrats/Technocrats/Kleptocrats packing in a few weeks time

    I do recommend a book by Daniel Hannan MEP called Why Vote Leave. It’s not just a book to be read by those voting in the UK referendum, but by all Europeans suffering until EU / Goldman Sachs ever increasing authoritarian rule

    Ireland should get out now also..!!

  28. [...] of the British people on 23 June will surely be final. Having said that, trusted Irish economist, David McWilliams maintains that after an initial wobble the Uk will fair well. As an economic giant in its own [...]

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