May 16, 2016

A nation once again? Don't write it off

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 126 comments ·
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If Britain leaves the EU, it could start a domino effect – at the end of which is a united Ireland

Here’s a scenario that might not be too far-fetched. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, one that would be welcomed here; but it could happen. What will happen if Britain votes to leave the European Union in five weeks’ time?

What happens to Northern Ireland? The DUP is campaigning for Brexit, but Brexit may loosen the UK so much that the DUP could be signing its own death warrant. Here is the possible scenario that will unfold if there’s a break-up of the UK. The English lead the British out of Europe. The Scottish then go to the polls again, wanting to stay in Europe. They have to leave the UK to stay in the EU, and by a small margin they vote to stay in Europe but leave the English. Not unfeasible.

The rump UK becomes an entity involving a eurosceptic England, a modestly pro-European but compliant Wales and an ever-divided Northern Ireland. However it is a Northern Ireland shorn of its fraternal brothers, the Scots – in a union with the ambivalent English. There has never been the same cultural affinity between the English and the Northern Unionists.

The cultural glue of Protestant Northern Ireland within the UK is Scotland. I have some experience of this. My grandparents were Scottish. My wife is from Belfast. My children were born in the Ulster Hospital (where the missus and me were the only couple at the pre-natal classes not in his-and-hers matching Rangers tracksuits).

Unlike many Southerners, my bonds with that part of the world are strong. Ethnically, without Scotland, the union of Northern Ireland and a multicultural but nationalistic little England is not particularly coherent.

All the while, the demographic forces are on the side of nationalism.

As I write, I am looking at demographics in Northern Ireland from the 2011 census. The most interesting statistic shows the proportion of Catholics and Protestants in various age groups. Of the elderly, those over-90 in the North, 64 per cent are Protestant and 25 per cent are Catholic. A total of 9 per cent had no declared religion.

This reflects the religious status quo when these people were born, in the 1920s, and more or less reflects the realities of the Treaty.

When you look at those children and babies born since 2008, the picture changes dramatically. This corresponding figure is 31 per cent Protestant and 44 per cent Catholic. In one (admittedly long) lifetime, the Catholic population in the youngest cohort has nearly doubled, while the Protestant cohort has more than halved.

Even given the fact that 23 per cent of parents of infants declared themselves as having no religion, we seem to be en route to a united Ireland.

Up to now, there has been a significant number of Northern Irish Catholics who might have felt that staying with the UK was the right thing to do for their back pockets. But when you look at the numbers you can see clearly that this is a bizarre choice.

A cursory glance at the performance of the Northern Irish economy since 1922 would suggest that the Union has been an economic disaster for the people of Northern Ireland. They have been impoverished by the Union and this shows no sign of letting up. The only solace the Northerners might hold onto is the fact that all British regions have lost out income-wise to Southern England; however, “we’re all getting poor together” is hardly a persuasive chorus for an ode to the Union. Indeed, the relative under-performance of the once-rich Scottish economy was (and is) a central argument of the Scottish Nationalists in the last referendum.

However, forget the other British regions: the contrast between the economic performances of the North and South is shocking.

If we go back to 1920, 80 per cent of the industrial output of the entire island of Ireland came from the three counties centred on Belfast. This was where all Irish industry was. It was industrial and innovative; northern entrepreneurs and inventors were at the forefront of industrial innovation. By 1911, Belfast was the biggest city in Ireland, with a population of close to 400,000, which was growing rapidly. It was by far the richest part of the island.

In contrast, the rest of the Irish economy was agricultural and backward and the only industrial base we had could be termed a ‘beer and biscuits’ economy, dominated by the likes of Guinness and Jacobs.

Fast-forward to now and the collapse of the once-dynamic Northern economy versus that of the Republic is shocking. Having been a fraction of the North’s at independence, the Republic’s industrial output is now ten times greater than that of Northern Ireland. Exports from the Republic are €89 billion while from the North, exports are a paltry €6 billion. This obviously reflects multinationals, but it also underscores just how far ahead the Republic’s industrial base is. Producing 15 times more exports underscores a vast difference in terms of the globalisation of business.

The total size of the Republic’s economy is now four times of that of the North, even though the labour force is not even two and a half times bigger. In terms of income per head, the Republic is now almost twice as rich per person as the North. The average income per head in the Republic is €39,873, while it languishes at €23,700 up North.  The differing fortunes of North and South can be easily seen in the fact that, having been smaller than Belfast at the time of partition, the population of the greater Dublin area is now almost three times bigger than the greater Belfast metropolitan region.

Obviously there are significant differences in terms of prices, access to public services and housing between the two parts of the island, but the fact remains that the Union has been an economic calamity for everyone in the North. The contrast is made more significant by the fact that economically the North was, at one stage, so far ahead of the South. So where does that leave us?

Well, in the distant past, there was good reason to believe that the Union preserved living standards in the North, but this is a myth and has not been the case since 1990. Indeed, the end of the Troubles, which should have marked the resurgence of the relative performance of the North, has actually delivered the opposite.

Relative to the South, the Northern economy has fallen backwards since the guns were silenced. If there was an economic peace dividend, it went South.

Now with Brexit looming and the concrete and more profound underlying changes in demography, the issue of a united Ireland may be back on the table quicker than most of us imagined – or cared to dread.

Interestingly, Unionists have now an economic incentive to join a united Ireland because the Union is impoverishing them, but I suspect they’d prefer to get poor in a semi-detached UK rather than join a much more coherent all-Ireland economic endeavour.

The clock is ticking and the starting gun could be the Brexit vote.


  1. JK

    There is great story-telling in these articles. Tell us, how do you come up with such engaging pieces week-in, week-out?

  2. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  3. aidanxc

    It has been true for some generations that Northern Ireland has become a failed economic entity but, as you rightly suggest, certain unionists would rather stay poor than consider unification. Conor Cruise O’Brien, who stood as a Unionist MP conceded that, in the end, the best prospect for unionism was to come to an accommodation with the Republic. There is significant support for a united Ireland on both sides of the border but if it came to a referendum people would be heavily influenced by the economic risks/benefits.

    If we got over the jingoism and bigotry the upside of unification for a united Ireland could be quite significant. Brand Ireland would receive a massive fillip and there would be significant savings in terms of governance.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Yeah, dream on!

      Do you remember what happened with German Unification? An economically rampant West Germany was, after an investment boom, brought to a halt by the cost of trying to bring East Germany up to speed. And they are sensible!

      Unlike the German situation Northern Ireland wouldn´t require investment, it would immediately become an economic albatross around the neck of the 26 counties.

      Northern Ireland can´t pay it´s way…it is subsidized heavily by the UK…as of 2011 it contributed in taxation less than half the cost of running itself…just £9 billion out of £20 billion required… http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/top-expert-warns-northern-ireland-economy-is-facing-meltdown-28779242.html

      The Unionists are full of bluster about the Economic ability of their Statelet and SF don´t know how good they have it inside the UK! They are made for each other…

      • Niall_88

        You’re comment doesn’t make sense. Unionists are deluded about how good the union is, but yet Sinn Fein are deluded about how bad it is?? Make up your mind.

        Fed up with blue collar partitionist’s telling the north that their not wanted. Same type of people back in the day that would have been calling the rebels of 1916 terrorists.

        Great to see so many Irish nationalists out for 1 day in a century. Reading a proclamation that hasn’t been fulfilled. Pretty sure the rebels of 1916 would be turning in their graves at the hypocritical attitude of the lot of ye’s.

        • Sideshow Bob

          It is “your comment´´ and “they are not wanted´´.

          So…I seemed to have touched a nerve or two here.

          I didn´t actually say that anybody was unwelcome. I was just curious as to who would be picking up the tab were re-unification to happen soon. Would the Northern Ireland populace be willing to accept crippling austerity in order to balance the budget as part of unification with the south? Or would Britain continue to subsidize what would then be a foreign territory? Or would Ireland, just out of a bailout at the limits of it´s credit and financially weak, be more than happy to take on a loss making venture 1/3 of it´s size? Probably not for all three possiblities…

          So ECONOMICALLY speaking ( which his blog is focused on ) I would say there are some major doubts about it all, which would affect any possible outcome, were it even on the cards.

          My comment makes perfect sense both sides ( DUP & SF ) are heavily pampered ( i.e. N.I.´s 50% taxation subsidy ) and consequently live in an bubble far detached from economic reality. Both are equally delusional, I think, each in their own way about the situation.

        • McCawber

          So basically you’re saying I’m not entitled to my opinion.
          I’m fed up with people telling me I should be delighted to welcome the northern people into a united

          • McCawber

            Ireland no matter what it costs me to maintain them in what they consider their irreversible entitlements.
            They need to realise that they have to earn the right to join a united Ireland.
            Their arrogant attitude towards the south is the first thing they need to change. They’ve a significant glasshouse of their own they need to attend to.

          • Ciaran74

            McCawber, your annoyed because your opinion has been challenged but I haven’t read anywhere of any criticism of the RoI or its citizens achievements, or of any entitlements for a new all-Ireland state for northerners. A want and a wish maybe but not a ignorant expectation. I can say though I’m Irish, ethnically, culturally and by choice, and I do agree that northerners cannot approach a unified Ireland with one arm as long as the other. We need to bring something to the ceili and we need your agreement to that new statehood. We all need to agree it has to be worthwhile but in us all we know it can be achieved because unlike Scotland’s recent argument, which was undermined and now sullied by the oil play, there is diversification in Ireland, which is still moving forwards. The Scots have the same but need a little more balance. The north’s economy is broadly where the South was in the early ’90′s so we know that with meaningful policy and investment, expansion and wealth creation is possible. That is not going to happen under British jurisdiction and has no critical mass in the 6 counties alone.

          • David NZ

            If the Irish won’t have Northern Ireland perhaps it could become part of an independent Scotland.

          • McCawber

            C74.
            The NI people as represented by their politicians are a bunch of bullies.
            On the one hand “We haven’t gone away, you know” and on the other hand
            “No” to everything, except the Queen’s shilling.
            The peace is only skin deep.
            Their arrogance is merely an added irritant.
            Only a fool would want to have anything to do with them.
            A little anecdote.
            NIE is/was Northern Ireland Electricity.
            When the interconnector between Scotland and NI was being built the Scots dubbed NIE as Not Interested in Electricity”
            I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks.
            The

          • Ciaran74

            Ouch! I’ll admit that drew a deep guttural chuckle McC and said like a true Scotsman (either now or in the blood). I suspect your malice extends to all human beings and that you work for Cain agus Custoim. UKIP or the DUP would be delighted with your membership application given your incessant negativity.

          • McCawber

            Hey C74 it’s the Unionists who are saying NO, not me.
            I’m only egging them on.

          • Ciaran74

            Aha! So you are a taxman!

      • ronan1988

        I’m assuming you’re from the south. Maybe if you lived in the north and realised how much of a failed state it is, you’d retract your comments.
        There is absolutely no inscentive from the British government to make N. Ireland a prosperous place, we are more of a thorn in their side who they can’t get rid of. N. Ireland will just receive enough money to keep them going but will never prosper due to their insignificance in the U.K.
        If N.Ireland did once again join Ireland, they would be a better fit to the Irish economy and it would be in the interest of an all Ireland government to try and make the north prosper again, rather than remaining an unwanted child of Britain.
        It pains me to listen to the unionists up here talking about how well off we are in the union, you only have to take a look about to see how failed the place is:

        -Our national stadium is a disgrace compared to the equivalent in Dublin.
        -Our road network is a disgrace compared to the equivalent in the south.
        -Belfast public transport is non existent (Dublin have the luas, the dart, a good bus service etc)
        -The government investment in the North is basically non-existent (It must be over 5-6 since the last big government project was constructed)

        If the south can be one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, there’s no reason why the north can’t help grow it even further.

        The main problem with the south is you have people who have forgotten what Ireland is, people who sell out their Irish counterparts in the north and wash their hands of ever wanting a United Ireland again, and to me, people like that are not Irish at all.
        I think if you have to struggle to have an Irish identity you appreciate it a lot more than some of the ones in the south who take it for granted.

        • Sideshow Bob

          You are making a lot of presumptions about who and what I am, Ronan. And what I think. And none supported by any comments on here. It wouldn´t take a genius to guess that a commentator on here could well be from the south, so I will refrain from congratulating you on getting that right.

          Traitor was the operative word in 1916 I think Ronan. The broader “terrorist´´ thing came in more recently, mainly as an easy way to generalise and tar all kinds of people with the same brush and stoke up fear and panic in the poulace. And 9/11 cemented it in. “Terrorists´´ can only get badder from here on, no middle ground allowed.

          And when some young angry men (with some women involved in the background) hell bent on destruction with ridiculous notions about glory and their own righteousness and moral superiority opened up with military weapons in a peaceable major European city, where at the time the population is not in the least way oppressed and killed an awful lot of civilians they were indeed called “terrorists´´ by many. And heroes or martyrs ,I am sure, by some. Nothing new there.

          I don´t see it as being terribly different from 1916 where 500 civilians died. http://www.thejournal.ie/1916-rising-anniversary-1986707-Mar2015/

          The 1916 “heroes´´ could have formed up in a big field or park somewhere declared independence and invited the British Army on, which would have minimized collateral damage and victims at least, but they didn´t. They involved 500 absolute innocents in their “blood sacrifice´´.

          And no I didn´t enjoy the hypocrisy on display by the establishment recently. It was as as blinkered and one-sided as any similar display by the British.

          And by pointing out the taxation problem I am pointing to something that looks like a symptom of serious failure in the makeup of the state, and not just an accounting error. I do not live and have not lived in N.I. so I wouldn´t dare preach about how the place has failed or fails people because I simply don´t know.

          The UK Government isn´t making many places outside of London prosperous as far as I can see, however, I don´t understand the particular victim narrative that lingers in Northern Ireland as opposed to Wales or Liverpool or Northern England or Scotland.

          • Ciaran74

            Bob, please, I think all Irish people do the victim well, particularly because they have a high level of experience and unresolved recognition of that experience. That isn’t particular to the north for more recent affairs, but can be seen all over the island through our cultural remembrance. Your linking my part of Ireland with parts of the UK is quite spurious, but Enda would be proud. We in the north get our kicks from yapping because for example, my parents were not allowed to vote before 1962 as they were not home owners, or unemployed or in the wrong postcode. Any vote was quite often irrelevant anyway as the cute hoors in Stormont already knew what the outcome was and the democracy promised in the Treaty was much different to England or Wales, or Munster. Unionism and Britain in Ireland cannot trust itself, but hey its fine, you guys are sorted, and we can wither as far as your concerned. Not so from my point of view, I’m hungry and every Irish person I know in the north is the same. The Irish persona remains parochial and we’re still very conditioned to please our perceived rich landlords – who by the way glorify war incessantly (note the new statues in London to 20k pilots who killed 600k German civilians) to support the war industry. And speaking of money, we know there is a price for everything, and we know we cannot share the whole burden, but I’m actually pleased we’re talking about the real practicalities of any event rather than myth and legend, but lets keep the balance in our favour when remembering our collective experiences under British rule and not the one experienced up to 1922. Ps. I work in Milton Keynes part-time, and the obsession with wealth and glory is unabated. They’ve forgotten the 1978 bailout, how Europe made them rich and stable again, and haven’t noticed that their wealth balance is achieved via London’s monetary lure.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Ciaran, please, don´t patronize me. Or preach to me self-righteously about what your ancestors went through more than 50 years ago and your collective sense of abandonment from events 100 years ago. I was talking about where things are at now, and what could happen for the future.

            I didn´t have to link N.I. with the “British´´ government, Ronan above did. In any case N.I. is a region of the UK and it is entirely valid to make comparisons between it and other regions in terms of how the UK Government works. You yourself mention London as being the region that the UK Government is economically focused on and looking to support to the detriment of all others. And, so did I.

            And I am no “blueshirt´´, that for sure.

            Personally, if there was vote tomorrow on unification I would vote no, and the three exclusive and not in anyway inclusive responses (banging on about identity) here from northerners to my purely economic point show me exactly why I do not identify with you and why I would be quite happy to leave the border exactly where it is.

            Seriously, as the song goes “you can go your own way´´…

          • Ciaran74

            Calm down Bob, I wouldn’t want you to overdo the beta-blockers whilst you overheat on your lecture about my bleating. Whilst my sensitivities do exist and I take some of your points, I’m neither obsessed with the past or blind to the realities of the now and the future – in whatever state I have to eat/ stay dry/ buy my kids uniforms etc.

            Surely this is about application of resources and growing mutual prosperity? Yes, identity plays a part but that’s a commodity few nations have of great economic value. Any merger is not akin to a coming together of North & South Korea. Law, Tax, Public Admin is near identical, so its about cash flow, debt and growth. We CAN criticise unionism as its excluded too many workers in the past and has little real and current economic interest. If we remain apart, what use is a poorer 6 counties to you? Lidl will only get bigger! SF are Marxist but 95% of their voters are far from it. FF would become the second biggest party tomorrow if it got on with setting up in the north.

            Gripes aside, we’ve allot more in common, barring the tin whistle, than you might imagine Bob.

            Regards

            Ciaran ‘not a redshirt’ 74.

    • Deco

      I do not think that political unification will occur.

      But, as you say a shared positive outlook, and co-operation might be beneficial. And I think that is where things are headed.

      NI still has a lot of growing up to do, in the behavioural sense.

    • McCawber

      I’d wager there is an even more significant support for the status quo.

  4. The Identity Crisis on The Isles will endorse itself on June 23rd

  5. michaelcoughlan

    Hi,

    You made no mention of the fact that the largest nationalist party in the north (being sinn fein) is dominated by Marxist ideology and perhaps it is this which is causing such an impediment to industrial progress up north.

    If true David, imagine the economic havoc that would ensue on the whole island if Ireland were united in a way that allowed sinn fein to become a real political heavyweight north and south?

    It would be logical to conclude paradoxically that the biggest threat to a united Ireland is sinn fein wouldn’t it?

    The ordinary Brit might be so sick shit of watching his country being flooded with all the cheap eastern European labour with ordinary workers wages at 50% of purchasing power levels of 25 years ago in real terms, the refocusing of his country’s economy from manufacturing (unlike the auld enemy Germany) to financial services, the no accountability for wrong doers in banks or auditors etc. that he might just be convinced to pull the pin despite all the waffle from no 10.

    Michael.

    • yadayada

      I believe pro eu interventions from everyone from Barack Obama to Christine lagarde are providing a definite boost to the leave campaign.

    • contact23

      economic terrorism has been wrought by the soldiers of destiny and future impoverishment has been conferred by the blueshirts, I for one would be glad to see a political shift in this country, and as for the brits fear of cheap labour, tis a misguided and rabble rousing tactic, its the fruit of the globalization project and no disconnect from europe can save low paid manufacturing jobs from the east or indeed from the more potent threat of the robots. I wonder is it possible a socailist agenda can destroy our community any more than the failed policies of the hard right.

    • Deco

      Britain’s manufacturing output has been increasing over the past two decades. Britain now produces more cars than either France or Italy. And is close behind Germany. Admittedly, the factories are often Japanese owned. But the idea that Britain has de-indutrialized is not valid.

      Italy is in the throes of de-industrialization, however. And also in the throes of increasing bureacratization.

      • michaelcoughlan

        ok thanks interesting if true although anecdotal evidence suggests that the ordinary Joe has seen his standard of living falling over that 2 decade period with the increase in rents and property prices and wages stagnant.

  6. EBC

    The article ignores the colossal cost to the Republic, namely a current account deficit of 33% and an enormous public service, almost 1 in 3 working in the public service. If we thought bailing out the bond holders was bad this would be far worse.

    • yadayada

      It’s appalling. Two hundred years of history just ignored. Apparently the Protestants are going to roll over and accept what they’ve resisted for generations and we’re all going to love each other. Did he miss those troubles or something?
      The census will indicate that the republic is rapidly becoming less “native Irish”, with a colossal proportion of the young either foreign or foreign parented. Given the million or so Ulster Protestants added to the “new” population, the Irish Catholic is on their way to minority status on our island. I look forward to an article discussing that when the census results come out.

      • aidanxc

        Actually, in the last census the percentage of the population in the Republic who identified themselves as Catholic actually grew. That is probably thanks to Polish, Brazilian etc immigrants. The same is probably going to happen in NI so quite quickly the Protestant population will be a minority there. The children of even Protestant immigrants to NI won’t have the same historical baggage as, let’s call them the Ulster-Scot settlers, and will have far less problems with the notion of a united Ireland than their fellow Protestants.

        As Conor Cruise O’Brien said, the Unionists in NI should come to an accommodation with the rest of the country soon in a united Ireland while they still have bargaining power.

        • yadayada

          As I say, Irish Catholic, as opposed to polish or other catholic – what Cromwell would have called the native Irish before chasing them to Connaught. The new

          • yadayada

            Irish ( ie the not Irish at all) will have no link to all the history. Up north immigration is much lower. The only accession state with a Protestant population is Estonia.
            A new and very different Ireland is appearing before our eyes and we don’t know what it will be like. Let’s hope you enjoyed the 2016 celebrations – who will give a stuff in 20 years time? It happened to Luxembourg, it happened to Fiji.

          • aidanxc

            Virtually all populations have inbound immigration. That’s not the issue here. The issue for NI and the Unionist is where will the allegiances of these new Irish lie.

            My argument is that the NI unionists will become a smaller and smaller minority. It the end it will come down to democracy (as per the Good Friday Agreement) and the tide of history would point towards a majority in the north in favour of unification with the south in a more economically successful entity.

          • aidanxc

            Very true, a new Ireland is appearing and that is what should concern the Unionist minority.

            The immigrants into NI will vote with their pockets, not because grand uncle Gordon fought at the Somme. NI is a failed economic entity that the English are already tired of bank-rolling. An accommodation with the Republic is in the best long term interest of Unionists – they should negotiate now while they still have bargaining power.

          • McCawber

            At aidanxc.
            How will the north persuade us that it’s in our best interests to have a united Ireland.
            Who exactly wants a partner whose automatic reflex to change is NO.

    • Deco

      Currently, taxes in the RoI are absurd.

      So, any new political all-island body will need to do something about the institutional state in Dublin.

      Does anybody seriously think that the cronies in FAS, RTE, CIE etc.. are going to go on slimfast, for the sake of the common good ?

      It is not in their nature. They have always assumed that living off the rest of us, in return for patronizing PR stuntsm and rubbish services, constitutes “public service”. It doesn’t. It constitutes contempt.

      I am reminded of the Chinese proverb “Fool me once, shamre on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.

      We are far too tolerant of state sector ineptitude and largesse in the RoI.

      The strongest advocates of EU centralization in the RoI are the insiders in the institutional state, who want the state to be able to borrow endlessly, so as to sustain the unsustainable largesse that exists.

      The same insider class will not want any factor emerging that might result in serious questions of why they are earning so much and producing substandard public services.

      They do not want accountability ( which interestingly, seems to the the EU average ). And they do not want competition for the poeple’s loyalty ( hence the obsession with fighting organized religion, the private sector, or any form of comparison ).

      David’s article is loaded with assumptions that do not add up, and disregardful of factors that are overwhelmingly relevant.

      Northern nationalists will despair when they find out that they are in the same messy system that produced FAS scandals, and millionaires in the propaganda quango snorting on cocaine, while the cops pretending that there is nothing amiss.

      It is subservience to EU nonsense that actually ensures that there will be no united Ireland.

    • Ciaran74

      You didn’t bail out the bond holders, the other guys with the big bags of cash did. You’ll just repay the double down debt for the next 100 years, but that’s more acceptable than historical, moral and national justice. Or is the idea of being fully Irish actually cheaper than repaying the guys who loaned you the cash to repay the same guys who loaned you the cash………every western nation needs youth, education, and energy, and you’re response to that practical opportunity is to hide in a corner because Unionism frightens you.

  7. Pat Flannery

    I’m glad that David seems to have abandoned his former unionist views, which he actively promoted until the very recent past. I hope he will now re-examine his ”our greatest trading partner” argument. My counter argument was that most of what comes ”from” Britain actually comes ”through” Britain. In an age of container ships that can easily be remedied. Old Viking Dublin might get a new lease of life if Britain exits. The Vikings did not see Ireland as geographically challenged, they saw the advantages of the Liffey over the Thames and the Seine.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Moving the container functions port out of Dublin to somewhere up the coast with easy access to the M50 and M1 would be the thing to do…say to between Donabate and Laytown.

      You would thereby simultaneously create a dedicated large-scale and efficient container port there and free up a large land area in Dublin for the creation of a medium-rise diversified riverside neighbourhood close to the center of the city.

      • Pat Flannery

        Sideshow Bob: it would also inhibit the building of residential communities under the approaches to Dublin airport. It would generally reduce residential sprawl to the north while encouraging high-rise residential downtown, especially along the Liffey.

        • Sideshow Bob

          Agreed!

          • DJR

            A blast from the past…

            Relocate Dublin Port call by PDs
            Frank McDonald, Environment Editor

            The Progressive Democrats have called for Dublin Port to be relocated to a new site in north Co Dublin and its land to be developed for high-rise apartments and offices as well as shops, waterfront promenades and green spaces.

            “This has the potential to create a spectacular Manhattan-style approach to Dublin by sea,” Senator Tom Morrissey, the party’s transport spokesman, said yesterday at the launch of its plan, A New Heart for Dublin.

            The PD plan draws on international experience in cities such as Helsinki where cargo ports have been relocated and run-down port areas “transformed beyond recognition”, he said. It would also “breathe life into Dublin Bay”. Senator Morrissey said freight and industrial activities should be “moved gradually from the already overstretched Dublin Port” to a 150-acre site at Bremore, north of Balbriggan, where Drogheda Port has ambitious development plans.

            He noted that Bremore is located close to the M1 motorway and the Dublin-Belfast railway line and that its development had the full support of Fingal County Council, “which can’t be said about Dublin Port and its local authority”. The Senator, who intends to contest a Dáil seat in Dublin North at the next general election, said relocating the cargo port to Bremore would “free-up 600-plus acres of Ireland’s most valuable real estate for phased redevelopment”.

            It would also “turn Dublin into a truck-free city, just as Mary Harney made it a smog-free city 15 years ago” as well as dealing with the “worrying reality” that Dublin Port is likely to run out of capacity to cope with freight volumes by 2008.

            Given that Irish imports and exports had grown five-fold since 1990, he said it was no surprise the port had a capacity problem. “The consequences for our economy will be profound as exporters and importers face increasing delays and costs”. But Senator Morrissey made it clear that the PDs opposed the port’s controversial plan to fill in a further 52 acres of Dublin Bay, saying “the ping-pong between the Department of the Marine and Dublin City Council on this issue has to come to an end”. He conceded, however, that plans to relocate the port were being opposed by Ibec, whose transport committee is chaired by Enda Connellan, Dublin Port’s chief executive. “The haulage industry is totally supportive, so who do Ibec represent?” he asked.

            In addition to billing itself as a “major urban regeneration project”, the PD plan envisages developing Dublin Bay as a centre for cruise liner traffic, which last year brought in 70 ships with a total of 200,000 passengers who spent €100 million in the city.

            Asked about the exposure of the port’s land area to rising sea levels as a result of global warming, Senator Morrissey said this issue would have to be addressed by redevelopment plans. “What we’re trying to do with this is to fuel a public debate,” he added.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Yes, it is an entirely obvious suggestion. I think there was even an earlier attempt to suggest the port as the location for an Olympic Park as part of a prospective Irish attempt to host the games. White elephants galore…

            You only have to look at a map of central Dublin to see that the port the only place where a new medium-high rise neighbourhood could be accommodated, especially now that Grangegorman is spoken for. Regeneration of ports or old industrial areas are a norm for city re-development anywhere worldwide.

            McDonald is though a very conservative voice of the old guard and is well connected to the elite “insider´´ network in this area. He often just recycles PR announcements in a sniffy tone as opposed to engaging in any constructive reporting. I am not aware of him having practiced as an Architect in Ireland, and he certainly has no extensive record of practice nor is he registered. For me this invalidates his pronouncements on design greatly. It is even worse for understanding how business of construction works. Active work informs understanding especially where standards have changed greatly since whenever he graduated.

            He constantly goes on about Dublin´s Georgian character and wants to preserve the whole of Dublin as a quaint little living museum to the past, sort of frozen somewhere between 1780 and 1840.It is a ridiculous point of view for me. Here below is writing today the times again with his characteristic sniffy tone objecting to quite modest proposals increased density and consequentially for a higher building line by planners for Dublin.

            http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/frank-mcdonald-dublin-s-character-is-threatened-by-high-rise-plans-1.2648783

          • Pat Flannery

            I agree. Architect Frank McDonald is hopelessly parochial. If Dublin is to gear up as an international city it must provide the accommodation internationals look for. They are not interested in the Dublin ‘burbs.

            Whether Britain exits or not Dublin now has an opportunity to rival London as a location for global company headquarters. It already has succeeded in many ways. Global executives would line up to buy luxury high-rise apartments looking out at Dublin Bay and within walking distance of their Liffey-side offices.

            The question is how to finance it. I can point to a few Pacific Rim examples of waterfront redevelopment financing plans, such as San Diego, that faced a similar challenge only a few decades ago and succeeded admirably.

            It all comes down to financing. Forget banks. That is for amateurs.

          • What’s happening with Grangegorman?

          • Sideshow Bob

            It is supposedly underway albeit super slowly…

            http://ggda.ie/

            http://ggda.ie/latest-aerial-images-december-2015

  8. yadayada

    Pointless statistical premise. It’s well known the Protestant population, particularly the Presbyterians, have a higher life expectancy than Catholics in NI. Largely due to lifestyle choices, apparently.
    The assumption is also made that those of “no religion” are not unionists.
    For at least two thirds of ni’s existence, the population were better off than the southerners, with any population flow largely being northwards. A bit spurious to blame the Union for recent failures?
    If we’re so much richer than they are, we didn’t need that bailout, or that sub from David Cameron in 2010?
    Any ideas why the nationalist vote dropped recently, with sinnfein and sdlp both losing seats?

    I usually rate these articles. Not this one.

  9. Deco

    If Britain leaves the UK, Britain will thrive. The EU will continue along the road of stiffling it’s members. There will be another Greece. Maybe next time it will be Belgium. It might even be a very serious country outside the Eurozone – try Sweden – enthusiastically obedient to every form of nonsense, and sliding into a second debt nightmare. With borrowing that is now worse than that of Spain or Ireland, in 2008, Sweden will cause a crisis worse than Greece. And at least the Greeks know how to have a good time.

    Scotland will not leave the UK. That debate was completed, recently – against a backdrop of a prolonged oil boom. Now that oil is at 35 dollars a barrel, the claims of Scotland’s answer to Ireland’s maFFia party are being revealed to be hollow, empty and absurd. And the SNP are the FF party of Scotland.

    Scotland was loyal to the SLP for a prolonged period, and was a one party state. After Blair, that seems to have ended. Because the fact of the matter is that freedom itself will cause the Scots to want to stay out of the EU.

    There seems to be a lot of arrogance in the SNP, currently, in the aftermath of recent electoral success. The SNP think that they are leading this. Really they are simply a manifestation of something deeper. And a boastful, smiling, arrogant Nicola Sturgeon is hiding some rather nasty surprises in the numbers.

    The fact is that the SNP are a borrow & spend outfit. They are making all sorts of ridiculous claims on provision, that will bankrupt Scotland.

    In other words, the SNP might find themselves adrift of common sense, again.

    The other reason why Scotland will opt to be closer to Westminster, than Brussels, has to do with fisheries. Look at that long coastline. EU Fishing policy has been a disaster for Scotland. The Faroes, Iceland, and Norway holding their own territory, will look disdainfully as Scotland throws a major resource, to be divided up by lobbyists in Brussels.

    Sturgeon and the SNP have picked sides, with a view to accessing EU grant money – whilst willingly throwing Scotland’s interests to the wolves. The gravy train has a massive smell on it. The EU promises more taxation, and more grants. And more power to politicians. And that buys political love ins.

    I reckon that the Scots are not that different from the North of England with respect to the EU imperial concern.

    Therefore, I disagree entirely with the SNP’s assessment, as it is based on the selfish interest of the SNP to act as free-lolly provider in Scotland, and an assumption that the people can be patronized like children. That assumption will be disproven, leaving the SNP in the same position as Ireland’s Bertie party.

    Oil, fisheries, connections to commonwealth countries ( where Irish whiskey is almost irrelevant), and the money issue will all create an assessment that is beyond the control of the jokers in the SNP.

    • yadayada

      The snp lost seats in the recent Scottish Parliament elections. The tories are the second party.
      Read the papers, people.

      • yadayada

        Anyone who watched bbc question time the other night would have learnt that there is a fair level of euro scepticism in Scotland.
        One word springs to mind when I hear Nicola sturgeon these days – hubris.
        Every political career ends in failure. I wonder what hers will be?

  10. Deco

    If the RoI is that much richer than NI, and each worker (in the private sector anyway) is far more productive – then why are we all on 50% marginal tax rates for working ?

    The income in the RoI is based in mnc investment – which is based on certain sectors in the US that have high share valuations, relative to income, and who are expanding production for the sake of market share. For example Facebook, or Twitter.

    How much of that actually ends up in Ireland, is another matter. In other words, Ireland is kind of like Jersey. Lots of money slushing around per capita. A bit of a statistical outlier.

    I never take the GDP statistic seriously in the RoI.

    NI has been held back by the endless infighting, by a failure to develop (especially amongst the male half of the populace) and by division.

    But I do not foresee NI becoming part of the RoI. The differences between the nationalist population in NI, and the population in the east of the island are simply too great. The level of cronyism, and corruption that pervades in Dublin is simply unacceptable to most northerners. Maybe it is because they are more religious, or maybe it is because they simply farces like the Moriarty Tribunal which jailed nobody. Much more likley, is NI becomming more like the Isle of Man.

    The route to success for NI, is more automony and more sovereignty.

    Which incidentally, is the route that the EU opposes vehemently, and with considerable detestation. Because those that advocate increased centralization of power, are opposed to decentralization of decision making, and autonomy.

    In other words, it would be better for peace in NI, if Britain got it’s sovereignty from Brussels, the RoI did likewise, and NI transitioned on the path to greater sovereignty and responsibility for itself.

    Pooled sovereignty is lie. It merely results in oppression, and eventually division. Best to aim for breaking up power centralization rackets that no longer work, and that seek to limit human freedom.

    • yadayada

      Correct. I’m from the north and I’m up there pretty often. I’m happy to eat several hats if it can be demonstrated that the modal and median income in NI, the only measures that matter, are half the southern ones.

      • yadayada

        And is anyone going to provide me with a theory for the dropping nationalist vote in the north or are they just going to keep on agreeing with the false premises above?

        The statement “virtually all populations have inbound immigration” is self evident nonsense.

        Once half of the population is not Irish, what next? Polish as an official language? It’s going to get interesting.

        • aidanxc

          It went to a pan-Ireland alliance – the PBP-AAA. Unionism faces a bigger threat – the death of its stalwarts as they age and die off. The problem for unionism is that it is in a relationship of unrequited love. The English (who bankroll the UK) don’t want NI. Its ship-building and other industries are long faded memories, it’s a failed economic entity and should start planning for a future without England.

          • Ciaran74

            Yada, there are now nearly 700k adult designated or eligible Irish ‘Catholic’ voters, taken from the census in the north now, but the May election saw the lowest turnout. Being one of them, I nearly joined that falling interest level and stayed at home. The main challenge is apathy towards local politics, not nationalism or unity. The Irish population in the north was highly politicised, and in my view remains so at heart, but unfortunately is not presented with a worthwhile political outlet in Stormont, or has a supportive or sympathetic Irish govt.. True we’ve come out of a period of conflict, but whilst we have been eager to move on and develop under or around the GF agreement, Unionism is happy to standstill, even move backwards, seen in the awful education statistics for their young people, attitude to the Irish language interest, corporate tax alignment, immigration, Brexit, anything mildly liberal, etc. And the list could go on. Nationalists were probably happier than Unionists until recently with life satisfaction levels high, but there are certain hints of unrest as we reach the ceiling of permitted Unionist development, and dead ends begin to appear. The falling participation in voting is part of a trend where if there is to be no change, then we will turn away, and its been done before. The Irish National Party was dropped, the SDLP have been side-lined, Sinn Fein have been sent a message that we are a population that needs progress to remain engaged, and if we do not get it, we will protest with our abstention or alter course and vote AAA/ Green/ etc. I’ve read many articles that we’ve changed and the national question is not important but I believe they are very wrong. I believe we’re patient, that the union jack politics of the DUP bore us, but that we’re intelligent enough to realise that making Unionists our friends from enemies is not possible or worthwhile. Peter Robinson had a quiet outreach strategy to Nationalists and for that he was dropped by the DUP. Unfortunately for the DUP, Peter could count, but the new kid in Arlene seems not to care or can’t count. She doesn’t care about how we feel, or that the census trend in 2020 will show that eventually voting Unionism will be in a minority by 2030. She is being presented as woman, a mother, a carer but in reality her speeches are purely old house Unionism. She will interpret our voting very differently, and that misinterpretation of Nationalism by Unionism, and the British can lead to unpredictability and further political disengagement…..

  11. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    First of all, I am glad that we are finally discussing serious things.
    Secondly, David wrote a similar article some time ago (it’s good that he has returned to this issue as even if Brexit will not happen – I would be really surprised if the referendum returned a “No” vote) and it’s good that he is trying to spark off a serious debate – as even if it does not happen this time, it may as well happen next time.

    At that time I posed one serious question as a response to David’s unification argument. Because I do not want to reiterate the whole line of my argument (everyone can go back and look for it, though the navigation on this website is awful), I will limit myself to reminding the most serious question:

    w h a t w i l l I r e l a n d do with the unionists if they do not recognise the reunification and will try to separate into loyalist enclaves?

    This is not me saying that the re-unification of the island of Ireland should not be our goal, what I am asking is: what’s the plan for the Northern Irish Donbass?

    When I look at Gardai and the Armed Forces, they do not seem to be preparing to possible pacification of what may turn into a serious separatist movement (after Ireland’s unification). Spying on water protesters, pacyfying anti-Shell protests – this seems to be the zenith of their possibilities.

    To cap it all, even the IRA in their glorious days was not able to form any serious military or police force – this was the main reason Hitler’s Germany did not invade Ireland as their leader, the Nazi spy Sean Russell dreamed (Wehrmacht concluded they were too s..t of an army to facilitate a German invasion – they weren’t even able to safely intercept German arms in Howth before 1916 – all that Mr Russell was able to do was to attack fire brigades in London during WWII bombings).

    So Ireland does not have a serious police force, does not have a serious army (their manning is the lowest since the 70s) and it does not have serious underground army to counter the possible loyalist threat. Furthermore, no one seems to be really worried about it.

    And the separatist threat after re-unification will be very serious – bear in mind that all those movements (SNP, Sinn Fein in the past, Front National, etc) were/are financially and on the info war front supported by Russia, in which interest is to split Europe and weaken its defences – even if that means putting the lives of the Irish civilians in passengers planes in danger, as it happened not long ago; again I refer to my earlier writing (there were even attempts to infiltrate the Polish nationalists movement, so far they only succeeded in splitting it and organising series of provocations); same as the neo-Nazi movements in Germany are controlled by Germany (as emerged from two court cases), and similar to China exercising more and more control on the UK foreign policies (which UK is now acting as Chinese Trojan horse in the EU pushing a legislation favourable to China – David did not seem to have noticed it); and same as the US trying to retain the control over Germany, which control is now slipping away from the US hands, as the US is busy on the South China Sea – whoever believes that the US are still fully controlling Germany is a few years behind – Germany have just blocked their motorway and prevented the US troops going into Poland to take part in NATOs Anaconda-16 military exercises – if Germany were controlled by the US, they would not have been able to do that.

    So coming back to the loyalist, the Russian propaganda/intelligence machine, having supported the IRA (which was buying explosive from Czechoslovakia), ETA, SNP, Front National, may as well start supporting the loyalists separatists movement after the re-unification.

    And as I have been the only person in Ireland writing about it, my rhetorical question is: the plan to prevent that is what exactly? Like I said, the armed forces are reduced, Gardai are unarmed and under-funded and the IRA has decommissioned.

    Do not tell me you have not been warned if we have another here after the re-unification.

    Conclusion? If you people want re-unification, start building serious police/counterilligence/armed forces that deal are able to deal with serious issues, rather than spying on water protesters.

    Because if you do not (I call on the TDs and the army – btw, the Irish counter-intelligence recruitment procedures are a joke, rather than being the most secretive counter-intelligence in Europe which largely relies on informers and MI6, same as the Irish air defence relies on the UK and Norway – as proved with the Russian bombers invading the Irish air space – they should log on to MI6/MI5 website – or any other website – and see how the intelligence recruitment is done in serious states), then we will have o n l y the IRA to defend us from the loyalist separatist movement (btw, my observation: there are lots of books on the IRA; have you seen a book on the Orange Order recently? – are they now totally benign or insignificant or what?).

    And now for something completely different (I know that this would interest very few people, so you can skip it if you want to).

    I’d like to copy and paste my clarifying response to the Irish Times article (an article which, as for “The Irish Times”, is not bad overall, but it does contain some glib generalisation and two outright lies), on the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/poland-celebrates-225th-anniversary-of-first-constitution-1.2633588

    THAT THE IRISH TIMES REFUSED TO PUBLISH, even though my clarification did not exceed their standard length limits (they could have shortened it anyway) and I can refer to primary sources to back up everything that I have written down below.

    Here is my unpublished response:

    “Sir,-Derek Scally reports from Berlin (Poland marks anniversary of first constitution with calls for new one, May 4th) that the new Polish government is deliberately undermining “a system of checks and balances established in the post-communist era”.

    The Tribunal was not established in the post-communist era – it was formed in 1982 under martial law and it has ruled (in 2007) that investigations into the background of former communist agents, who might be holding positions of public importance, and whose only job was to persecute Solidarnosc trade union members, would breach their human right to private life. Secondly, the Tribunal is not allowed to initiate legislation, but it just did so by cooking up a new law that violated the constitution and appointed new members before the justices’ terms were up – now it is acting as the judiciary in a trial contesting the constitutionality of legislation it has illegally created.

    Mr Scally writes that the new Polish government is targeting state media, but in fact it is bringing them in line with the laws governing state media in Europe (Poland and Belgium are the only EU countries in which foreign capital controls national media, i.e. over 90% of the regional press in Poland is controlled by German capital).”

    • Deco

      I did not know that 90% of the regional media in Poland was controlled by Germany based holding companies.

      That is a serious level of control. Perhaps other former Warsaw pact countries have the same level of external ownership.

      That is actually a serious impediment to Polish independence.

      Presumably, the EU wants that impediment firmly in place.

      [ the same EU that regards British based media critique as unacceptable ].

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Sadly none of this gets through Europe’s/US media that control info inputs from Poland, because the very information that comes from Poland comes from the same journalists that are on the paylist of German Embassy in Warsaw via various foundations and institutes; and only those journalists are invited to the German media (which I closely follow) as “the voice from Poland”.

        Take Mr Scally as an example – he lives in Berlin, he does not speak Polish, he gets all his info via German sources. What the hell does he know?

        A good article on that:

        http://www.currenteventspoland.com/commentary/Who-Defends-Polish-Democracy-with-German-Money.html

        and

        http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/01/18/polands-sp-ratings-downgrade/

        That is why I have been repeating over and over again that we in Ireland have to come up with independent media; otherwise all you get from The Irish Times would be the view of Lord Haw-Haw ;-)

        As an update to my unpublished letter, I would also like to add that the reported figure of 240,000 people that took to streets in Warsaw on Saturday to protest against democratically elected government is being repeated after the Warsaw President, Ms Hanna-Gronkiewicz Walc (a World Bank employee, who herself ignored the Constitutional Tribunal’s demand to return Warsaw municipal property to her private owners). The police however, who is responsible for protecting the protest, estimated the number of participants at 30,000 – this has to be compared to 100,000 people that took part in the Independence Day March – which is the same as Easter Rising Parade in Ireland, but the German-sponsored papers (btw, one of the main media groups in “liberal” Germany was founded on the money robbed from the Holocaust victims) call those people the movement of “the far-right”.

        To end up the clarifying process of all the propaganda you are getting from the media (and return to Irish issues in the future, as even writing about those cute-hoorish journalists makes me sick), the leader of the protest, Mr Mateusz Kijowski, was a person virtually unknown in Poland a year ago, apart from the courts of law, where he is registered for failing (for years) to pay maintenance to his children, so he is a perfect figure indeed to lead the moral protest. As far as human rights watch groups mentioned in the article are concerned, their previous spokesman expressed concern that it is now more difficult to track the nationalist movement in Poland because, and I quote, “they have learned to obey the law”.

      • Sideshow Bob

        Here Grzegorz, you might get a kick out of this…a German propaganda film made during WW2 about a fictional Irish independence story in order to inspire hatred of the British (entirely in German) entitled “My Life for Ireland´´ and includes a hilarious proto-Riverdance scene…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opxEmGZEtxU…makes “Far and Away´´ seem entirely credible and very accurate by comparison…

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Thanks Bob, I will watch the movie (using this as an opportunity to brush up my German). This link has led me to another link – the “Hitler’s Irish movies” documentary, which I could not find for years. That documentary, aired on TG4 around 2007, featured a German attempt to portray the céilí and I remember me and my housemate from Limerick were laughing our heads off watching it – so I will now be able to forever re-live that therapeutic moment of watching the botched dancing scene.

          I have found a real gem for you, having regard to your lively interest in public transport systems – a 6 min video of Warsaw in 1936 with lots of takes of different means of public transportation:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar8wu58p4R4

          Comparing it to today’s Warsaw, I think that the public transport model in Warsaw is actually quite similar to what we see in the film (a sort of a mixture of everything, except there nowadays there is metro and of course, many more cars – what always amazes me whenever I look at those old films, i.e. the earliest films of New York traffic, is that cars are driving in a more chaotic way and I am inclined to think that nowadays this would be causing more road accidents, as people’s reaction time has been slowing over centuries – psychometric meta-analysis reveals a decline in g of ? 1.16 points per decade).

          Kraków’s model is, for a change, almost totally dominated by trams, with buses and cars only really visible outside the town. Actually, when one lives in Kraków as a student, one can easily forget that one needs a bus or a car, because trams are not only cheaper (permission to park in the strict center is almost impossible to obtain – Jeez, I am now afraid that David may propose that for Dublin – this only works when one has 27 tram lines in town and a normal monthly ticket for 2 lines for the whole aglomeration network – so, comparing the density, this would be like DB + Luas + DART – cost 40 euro), but also much quicker.

          Btw, the pre-WWII Warsaw was by no means a centre of Polish cultural and academic life – culturally the most significant and richest Polish city was, from 19th century until mid 20s, Lwów (Lviv nowadays, German Lemberg), which actually had more Polish population (2/3, as opposed to 61% in Warsaw).

          After the Soviet Union signed a pact with Hitler to start WWII (German army used Soviet petrol to invade other countries) and to divide Poland between them two (this film shows a joint German-Soviet military parade on 22 September 1939:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IFmBQS8FDc ),

          the capitulation agreement signed by gen. Wladyslaw Langner on 23 September 1939 stipulated that the Lwów army and the police would safely withdraw to Romania – of course they had all been rounded up and shot by the Soviets after decommissioning their weapons (the army people were brought to a concentration camp in Kharkov and the disarmed police people were shot from the machine fire on the road to Winniki).

          But coming back to more pleasant things, Lwów was the actual centre of Polish pre-WWII science, until the 20s more or less.

          With all my reservations to the freedom of writing in The Irish Times (The Irish Independent for a change, while not without bias, are usually not in a habit of censoring my letters, and longer ones too) – and I do not blame Mr Scally personally, as it looks like he tried his best to be objective, but he knows only what he finds out from Berlin (in that he reminds me a bit of those poor German actors from the documentary, trying to dance céilí without any talent or experience) – The Irish Times run a very good article on the Lwów School of Mathematics (actually their school of philosophy was even more influential, with influence on the Vienna Circle and people like Thomas Kuhn – one of their representatives, Jan Lukasiewicz, actually chose Ireland over the US as the WWII refuge – I think he liked that vision of “happy maidens, whose firesides would be forums for the wisdom of serene old age”, often incorrectly quoted as (“comely maidens, dancing at the crossroads”):

          http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/that-s-maths-the-lvov-school-and-the-golden-age-of-polish-mathematics-1.2115349

          I personally regret that, both in Ireland and in Poland, there is a tendency to forget the academics and market half-mad revolutionaries, which, while playing theiir important roles, are not those to whom we owe sewege systems, libraries or economic growth.

          Stefan Banach, Alfred Tarski, Jan Lukasiewicz – these people were responsible for a huge jump in logic and mathematics of the 20th century, comparable only to a combustion engine; yet the two latter ones are virtually unknown in Poland and the former is knows only from anecdotes about him; but people in Poland can quote the whole paragraphs of romantic poetry.

          Who remembers that pre-WWII Poland was the only country so far from which the US airlines ordered planes?

          James Connolly, Yeats, De Valera, and the worst of them (Yeats I actually like), the spy James Larkin – their writings are taught at schools and analysed; but who remembers, who builds monuments for Jocelyn Bell Burnell (pulsars discoverer), Ernest Walton (with his colleague John Cockcroft he was the firsts to artificially split the atom in 1932), John Joly (who invented radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer), or Edmund Burke (the father of liberal-conservatism and the one who had predicted the French Revolution will end up with terror)?

          Who remembers that the first ejector seat adopted by the Royal Air force as a standard safety device was invented by the County Down man?

          The Booles and the Burkes – that kind of people are only born once a century and this is the image of Ireland I enjoy promoting abroad, prefering to draw a veil over James Larkin.

          In turn, mad and/or tragic revolutionaries are lurking at every corner, but they do not always have their Sophocleses who would write tragedies for them…

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “a normal monthly ticket for 2 lines for the whole aglomeration network – so, comparing the density, this would be like DB + Luas + DART – cost 40 euro”

            monthly for aglomeration = 40 euro
            monthly for 2 lines = 20 euro

            I was wondering what would be the best point of reference to Dublin – probably not 2 lines, because in Kraków 2 lines would bring you 10k in 30min one way, including waiting – return for 1.5 euro; in Greater Dublin Sandfyford to Bray journey would bring you 10k in 90m (if you are unlucky) for a meagre 10 euro return (Luas + bus) – and if you travel to Jobstown, you can inhale ganja on the upper deck for free if you are into it (I am not) and also get mugged on the bus stop (they removed one stop because of buses being constantly vandalised – Gardaí, where are thou, hello, are you only seen when there is a water protest? – I do not know if it’s the lack of funds or the whole system of the unarmed/invisible police forces).

          • Truthist

            George Boole was English.

            But, chose to live & pursue his monumental work on Logic at Cork, Ireland.

            One of his daughters wrote “The Gadfly” ;
            A novel highly rated by the Soviets of USSR.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Hi. The transport film was cute. I imagine the place was pretty. Those double decker buses we use are a travesty.

            The second film really grabbed my attention. It is not one you are going to see on British TV ever, are you? Dosen´t fit in with the narrative there at all. I knew of the degree that the two powers been in cahoots but I didn´t realise that there had been a (little) joint victory parade at some point. A real case of a picture ( or film still ) being worth a thousand words there!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Regarding the Brits, they are now building a revisionist narration that they had been manouvered into WWII due to defend countries like Poland (this is very visible on their social media), which was against their national interest – they had to justify somehow why Poland was not invited to the Victory Parade in London in 1946, even though among the representatives were Mexicans and people from Fiji; also, bear in mind, that until M.Thatcher (and it’s not like my opinion on her is black&white) it was illegal to talk about Katyn in Britain because they did not want to compromise their ally, the Soviet Union; so much so that some of the ex British Army soldiers were arrested by the British intelligence for putting up posters in Polish churches on Katyn; btw, the Brits and President Roosevelt knew about the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact but never informed the Poles, because they wanted their ally to take the first attacks on their chest, so when Hitler gave his ultimatum, he was convinced that the allies informed Poland about the German-Soviet military agreement – so it would be more fair to say that the British had manouvered themselves into WWII rather they got manouvered into it.

            Without going into details, the opposite is actually true – Poland was offered to join the Axis and obtain a status like Italy; the attempts to secure Poland’s participation or least neutrality in the planned attacks against France first, then the Soviets, extended as late as 1939, in the shape of official visits of Marshall Hermann Goering.

            Britain had to counteract and they, along with France, offered Poland a military alliance to gain time in preparation for WWII (little known is that due to that alliance the Poles passed over to the Brits the Enigma codes, hacked by three Polish cryptologists, Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Ró?ycki and Henryk Zygalski, working for Polish military intelligence (on 26 and 27 July 1939 in, Pyry near Warsaw, they gave the British and French intelligence a Polish-reconstructed Enigma – the Bletchley Park under the genius Alan Turing only cracked the Kriegsmarine’s Enigma codes).

            The problem was that the British never intended to honour their military agreement (and this was not like a subsidy, Poland bought some equipment from the UK that the Royal Navy was supposed to deliver, but the Royal Navy never showed up) – they just needed time to re-arm (an interesting fact – if one calculates the number of tanks the Germans lost in Poland in 1939, then some German historians estimate that this + crazy Italian invasion on Greece that delayed the Germans were the reasons they lost against the Soviets; by the way, one of the crucial battles of the September campaign was the Battle of Mokra, in which my grandfather participated; he served in the the 12th Uhlans Regiment – the cavalry – that was used as a reserve, which Regiment lost 5 officers and 216 men.

            He then joined one of the underground organisations and literary went to live in the forest; one day the Germans threatened to execute the whole village (almost entirely women and children as most men were dead by then: after WWII Poland had 4 times more woman than men) if they find him hiding, but they did not find him, so they limited themselves to killing his brother by letting the dogs to tear him apart; I must say though, there was one good German in the village, who was secretely giving bread to my grandmother – he even was brave or reckless enough to repeat that Hitler will lose the war).

            The murdered brother was publishing an underground newspaper (publishing is probably too big of a word as the technique was primitive, but it had some circulation) called Wici, which means Flagella – God only knows what prompted him to give it that name. My grandfather climbed up to the rank of the commander of the Lódz region and made it to the small encyclopaedia; needless to say, there never was any reconition from the state after WWII and they spent all years until 1956 in fear that the communist will arrest them; he also burried lots of machine guns and some gold underground in the forest and never said where, so that was probably a bit daft.

            A bit of that manouvering was covered in this documentary by History Channel:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYJ1_RG2xS4&list=PLd6BQbmAgy6OayrY3n95OjHz-iymLmcs5

            Regarding the Soviets, this cooperation harks back much earlier than 1939 – the whole WWII would not have been possible without it (now there is this one-sided propaganda in Germany that they have to accommodate to Russia’s wishes because they “owe them” for WWII – in fact this is to cover the desires of their business circles to exclude Britain from the decision making process and fully divide Europe between them two; the Germans call it “the europeisation of Europe”.

            The 1922 Treaty of Rapallo had some secret military provisions which were not included into the official text and the secret military cooperation soon followed.

            In 1925, a flying school was established at Vivupal, near Lipetsk, to train the first pilots for the future Luftwaffe. Since 1926, the Reichswehr had been able to use a tank school at Kazan (codenamed Kama) and a chemical weapons facility in Samara Oblast (codenamed Tomka).

            The Treaty also offered the possibility of developing and testing new weapons in secrecy. Even this was a advantage to the Soviets as it meant they would have access to advanced German technology. The Allied Control Commission had no way of investigating in the developing Soviet police state.

            It is telling that, a fact now completely forgotten, the Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, when (at the international press conference) asked whether the Soviet Union would agree to German re-unification, said that only provided there would be a demilitarised, deindustralised buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union.

            This was basically the old German Mittel-Europa plan – to create a buffer zone around Germany, comprising of satellite states with small armies (the Polish army manning went down 5 times within the last 25 years and most of the military factories were shut down as a result of not getting any orders as a result of corrupt tenders – in the 80s Poland was the 4th biggest world producers of tanks) and industries not competing with German industies (so basically the satellite states were to provide food and cheap labour).

            And it is not only something like a Polish obsession, the Swedes were also aghast to find out that there was a huge presence of Russian intelligence around their military projects, after they sold out their shipyards to the Germans (the Danes for changed got rid of all their submarines as a result of the Mittel-Europa propaganda and are not regretting that decision, trying to rebuild it – no defense of the Baltic Sea is possible if they cannot control Bornholm).

            http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pictured-russian-spy-centre-swedens-4470170

            What is most striking, if you take a look at the Polish railway network, you will see the Mittel-Europa plan in action: the parts of Poland on the left of Vistula river with developed railway network (the German satellite state) and undeveloped network of the east of Vistula river (the buffer zone); the Polish state railway network website was btw automatically re-directing you to the Deutsche Bahn website; now, since PiS took power, they are more subtle – but it is still on German servers.

            Take a look at those two images: they show how the current railway network matches exactly the former German + Austrian occupation zones (dense network) and the former Russian occupation zone (and this is even taken from a pro-German website run by Trotskyite Mr Adam Michnik, so open they are about it – so no one can tell me this some sort of right-wing propaganda):

            http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,114873,13323452,Kolej_w_PRL_i_dzisiaj___te_mapy_staly_sie_hitem_sieci_.html

          • Sideshow Bob

            Thanks for sharing Grzegorz, it is a moving personal story.

            Ah yeah I didn’t actually know about the depth of co-operation but I guess no matter how baffling, and no matter how polar opposite two groups are they can get into ned when it suits them. It seems geo-real-politik always dominates. I guess Al-queda or ISIS are more recent examples of this ( with the US ).

            Cheers!

    • Deco

      By the way, The “Irish” Times does not know the identities of the bondholders, who had to be bailed out at enormous cost by the PAYE taxpayers here.

      The “Irish” times included a fat banker lecturing the Irish people about the grave consequences of not bailing out, the aforementioned private sector holders of private debt.

      The “Irish” Times is a traitor.

      • Truthist

        But, the GuyFawkes Blog allegedly does know ;
        That blog is owned by an Irish man ;
        Ex-Progressive Democrat I think.

        GuyFawkes Website I gather is a British focused one ;
        Spooks & Whitehall & Westminster gossip I recall.

        I recall that there was a List issued by the Guy Fawkes website too.

  12. McCawber

    An interesting article made all the more so by the author’s own personal insight.
    Underpinning the title of the piece is the desire of the British government to reunite Ireland as early as possible.
    At least as long ago as Harold (the pound in your pocket) Wilson was PM there has been a desire for reunification.
    The troubles delayed the possible but since peace out, reunification has been on the agenda.
    The brits want out, the prods want out and the paddies want out.
    The obvious solution is a NI free state.
    The alternative is a once again impoverished republic as we struggle to deal with the security and economic issues a united Ireland would create.
    We should be very careful about grasping this particular nettle
    Once again “Making haste slowly” would appear to be a wise approach.
    Bear in mind it’s not an accident that NI is a failing entity, British policy is behind this trend.
    He who pays the piper calls the tune and Britain has been calling time for a while now.

  13. McCawber

    The only way that a united Ireland will work is for NI to get what it wishes for first.
    ie an independent state once the Act of Union is disolved.
    Reality will bite and then and only then will other options.
    Ulster always says No before it says Yes and even then it is slow enough on the Yes.
    We are a long way away from the 21st century where NI is concerned.

  14. Mike Lucey

    Just genuinely curious. Can anyone actually tell me during what period was the island of Ireland ever the home of a single nation?

    • yadayada

      From the end of the battle of clontarf until Brian boru’s murder. Apart from that only under British rule.

      • A couple of hours, maybe, right?!!

        • McCawber

          I think BB was murdered during the battle.

          • Mike Lucey

            Thanks lads, I had an idea that Brian Boru was involved somewhere ;-)

            And as we are on the subject of High King Brian Boru I think we could well be hearing about an another Irish ‘High King’, in the breaking ‘Clinton Cash’ doc movie if the statements / insinuations by Fox News, ‘The Tangled Clinton Web’ is anything to go by.

            After viewing the video I’ve stuck a tenner with Paddy Power on Bernie Sanders at 16/1 to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

            I’d put more on but seeing how thick Hillary’s teflon coating is and how thin is the average Democratic punter’s common sense, I’ll just stick to the tenner!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJngR1uZ1WE

          • He was not in the battle being too old to fight, but was killed behind the lines by a marauding group of Danes. (From memory of an account read a few years ago)

    • Ciaran74

      Not sure if you got a genuine answer Mike, but like most European ‘nations’ ethnicity did not always mean unity, much like Germany, Italy into the 1800′s. Ireland may have eventually got there from its range of principalities but total English conquest ended that evolution in the early 1600′s.

  15. aidanxc

    1014 Mike… if you knew anything about Irish history.

  16. McCawber

    OK let’s get down to broad brushstroke brass tacks.
    Where to start even.
    Project United Ireland.
    Let’s call it Project Utopia (without the robots etc)avoid offending any sensitivities.
    The first thing you need is a constitution.
    Here we need a lot of lateral thinking.
    The project should be regarded as a road map to the future of the world.
    So the constitution should be drafted with that in mind.
    I’ve put the horse before the cart, we need an international project team first.

  17. Deco

    David, you have mentioned Margaret Thatcher’s speech in Brugges, many times, as being the marker that defined the debate between sovereginty and the obsession with power that seems to taken over the EU.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-16/margaret-thatchers-1988-bruges-speech-explains-why-brits-should-brexit

    Thatcher’s words have proven very prescient.

    Her words have proven indicative, in a sense a warning against the road that has led us to Greeks rioting in Athens under banners insulting the German Chancellor.

    The problem for Ireland, is that we have a system that incentivizes loss of sovereignty that stiffles the entire society like ivy.

    The effect of this is that it destroys the quality of the publci debate, on the promise of keeping money flowing into pockets of those in position of public commentary.

    100 years on from 1916, and the entire Irish establishment is pro empire in a manner that would embarrass John Redmond. Our fisheries gone. Our agriculture pushed aside. Our industry destroyed between 1972 and 1980, in the face of competition from the continent, with an entire society that became dependent on EU grant aid (which has corrupted the system, and destroyed our intellectual sovereignty).

    All the mantras about the EU being the greatest thing since sliced bread are built on pretence, and a willingness to ignore the scale of theft. An eagerness to pretend that borrowing makes one rich, and that irresponsibility is the root to development.

    The EU has changed. But it seems that we have too few in public positions who are prepared to discuss this openly. And in the state propaganda organ, and in the “Irish” Times there is only a one side discussion in favour of the imperial project.

    Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Well, let’s put liberty, accountability, and sovereignty before considerations like obedience and ponzi-economics.

    If the UK gets out, the UK will thrive. Of course, Ireland, led by morons, will be pushed in the direction of waking up to realise that Ireland has a leadership crisis. [ we have a leadership crisis - it is just that we like to pretend that it does not matter that much ].

    Can EK run a country without instructions ? Probably not.

    The idea that we need an imperial power structure to keep us from getting on is nonsense. The imperial power structure has effectively declared war on Greek society.

    That should be a warning to all of us, of the moral depravity that exists in Brussels to be unleashed at will on those that disagree. Far from being something that inspires fear, that should be something that inspires us to achieve greatness, and freedom for ourselves.

    • “That should be a warning to all of us, of the moral depravity that exists in Brussels to be unleashed at will on those that disagree. Far from being something that inspires fear, that should be something that inspires us to achieve greatness, and freedom for ourselves.”

      It all starts with the moral position. Amoral people will fall for anything. Moral positions are a philosophy that normally are the prerogative of religion. A common philosophy will lead to agreement of moral principles between people. United we stand, divided we fall. That is why the current philosophy of multiculturalism is the death knell of a morally intact nation. As such all are easily controlled by the central banking elites.

      It matters not who makes the laws if the money is controlled by others. The corruption and control of the money system leads to the control and corruption of all else. Without honest money there can be no honest society. Until the people address that root cause of corruption all are doomed to economic serfdom and worse.

      In this sense it is true “that money is the root of all evil”

      • McCawber

        Unfortunately as someone I know well once pointed out to me (it was when I still believed that job satisfaction was important )
        McCawber money isn’t everything but it’ll do until everything comes along.

        • one still needs to differentiate between bad money and sound money.

          We need to go back to the future.

          From Mises
          9. The gold standard was the world standard of the age of capitalism, increasing welfare, liberty, and democracy, both political and economic. In the eyes of the free traders its main eminence was precisely the fact that it was an international standard as required by international trade and the transactions of the international money and capital market. It was the medium of exchange by means of which Western industrialism and Western capital had borne Western civilization into the remotest parts of the earth’s surface, everywhere destroying the fetters of age-old prejudices and superstitions, sowing the seeds of new life and new well- being, freeing minds and souls, and creating riches unheard of before. It accompanied the triumphal unprecedented progress of Western liberalism ready to unite all nations into a community of free nations peacefully cooperating with one another.

          Page 97.

          file:///C:/Users/tony/Downloads/The%20Quotable%20Mises_2.pdf

      • michaelcoughlan

        “In this sense it is true “that money is the root of all evil””

        I think the saying is;

        “The love of money is the root of all evil”

  18. Before you can have an independent sovereign nation you must have independent sovereign people. So far corruption rules. A corrupted people will have a corrupted governance. The European project is a corrupt organization, only ill informed ignorant people and the corrupted would want anything to do with it.

    If Britain does not opt out it is to be flushed down the sink hole with the rest of Europe. One big stinking mess. Ireland too.

    All are controlled by the bankers. The depravity is their official policy and they are expert at such enterprises.

    The US is now the offshore refuge for dirty money. The Narco center of the world. Cheap tax haven rates for Ireland are no longer any benefit.

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/05/09/from-golden-dollar-to-petro-dollar-to-narco-dollar/

  19. There may be not much choice but to be a nation again as there is a good chance that the the economic union will collapse and the EU with it.

    http://www.gold-eagle.com/article/financial-armageddon-looms-horizon-euro-union-implosion-nears

    • McCawber

      Step number 1 is to be prepared.
      Project Utopia if it even got as far as a draft for a new constitution would be a success.
      And the whole issue regarding currency could be dealt with at the same stage.

      • Get the currency (money) correct and all else follows. We are not talking about utopia. We are talking about the successful development of the human spirit and the prosperous economy that appears with it. corrupted money derails everything.

        • McCawber

          I think your focus on currency is the wrong one.
          It’s one of many issues but it is by no means the prime one.

  20. What’s up with the Largest bank in Europe offering savings rates higher than junk bond status.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-14/liquidity-problems-deutsche-bank-offers-5-yields-if-depositors-lock-their-money-thre

    do they need reserves so desperately because they turn states evidence in the “enquiry” about fixing the precious metals market. Have they been cut off from the central bank funding.

    something stinks. got gold, got silver? they are the only money without a counterparty risk.

  21. survivalist

    Is it likely that the Unionists/Loyalists would war with the Irish people in an effort to re-establish partition? They rather need direct their ire at the decision makers for there is no end to the number of civilians that can be sacrificed for power and no end of immigrant replacements for any shortfall in Irish numbers.

    Whatever happens someone needs to think of the children and government the sh*t out of the place…and by that we all know this means extract revenue from the population in as many ways as possible as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

    Is it possible that the 6 counties could be assimilated into EU governance with a cross boarders democratic initiative committee (name confirmation awaiting focus group feedback) which is appointed to govern the orphaned people?

    And how much would the ‘cross boarder democratic initiative committee’ tax be?

    Would the majority of Irish want the unification anyway?

    And if so how much would the ‘unification tax’ be?

    Would N Ireland ‘reunity’ be a great opportunity to introduce the European Peace and Protection Police force to cover the disputed jurisdiction?

    And how much would the ‘European Policing Tax initiative’ be?

    Following up on Grzegorz post; there have been some moves towards ‘beefing up security’ the newly legislated Irish and British ‘Army defence co-operation squad’ which was recently established and I quote “ as part of a wide-ranging deal involving closer co-operation between the two defence forces” Irish Times Jan 12, 2015.

    I am pretty sure that the Irish Army is or was described within legislation as primarily serving to protect the government from internal revolt. I do not think there is any mention of protecting or serving the population, but I could be wrong on that.

    It is worth repeating from that Times article the following additional extract…try not to choke; “While the British army is one of the best equipped and most experienced in the world in combat operations, it does not have the Irish Army’s experience in peacekeeping.”

    I have the image in my mind of a recent Journalism graduate diligently applying the copywrite scripts he/she received in an email follow up after a productive meeting with ‘someone at the department’. Well done the media, great work as usual.

  22. Identity Crisis

    The Isles have an Identity Crisis .

    How do you fix it ?

    • Truthist

      Further to ur current thread of mention [ "The Isles" ], & ur occasional enthusing of Sir Gough from Limerick as being highly admirable when in fact he was a totally abominable British Army warlord for the even more sinister Sassoon Family in their subjugation of China through forced Opium addiction & massacres inter alia, one would be inclined to think that u have strayed beyond urself too much now whereupon u are now our West-Brit in Residence.

  23. Where/When was the first Kingdom of The Isles ….I don’t think anyone knows and official history does not record it and why ? Unofficial history does know but you don’t know that because academic Ireland will not allow their ignorance be seen and to share with academia elsewhere on ‘the isles’ .We see Windsor as the rightful seat of unity and I do not dispute but who were their precursors ? This missing key will dictate what lies ahead and not the chieftains of the workplaces.The language may be engaging and changing within a debate but the mindsets never change and always remain durable .

    Tribal response to this article is divisive and allows hostility flourish bankrolled by various foreign vested interest that do not subscribe to free speech or liberal opinions as our host.

    So crisis of identity on the isles is in real danger because we made it happen.

  24. toner78

    I sincerely hope that Britain will do the right thing and leave the European union. The E.U has become nothing more than a German dictatorship which is interested only in extortion for it’s own hidden agendas. As David Cameron put it “You (A country) can not do business with the E.U”. Cameron is sick to the back teeth with the my way or the highway attitude of the E.U. Over time i can see the E.U becoming weaker and weaker because of its bent and iron fisted policies. As for Northern Ireland, it will always be an economic failure because of its deep rooted history of suffering and violence… What investor or multi national company would invest in a place like that??

    • Ciaran74

      Toner, on the point of investment in NI, looking through the other end of the spy glass, do you mean somewhere with reasonable infrastructure, the youngest population density of under-24′s in the whole of Europe, the highest intake of 3rd level education in Western Europe, low land costs, and the average industrial wage 24% less than the UK/ RoI? The north has many weaknesses, but some pretty strong advantages, and in merger and acquisition terms, an initial negative debt balance would repay the rest of Ireland over the life of the 25 year loan………sounds like normal business to me. No? Maybe we should approach Denmark, they like property out this way………

  25. Truthist

    Further to Deco’s comment ;

    “… the moral depravity that exists in Brussels …”

    Brussels of course at times being the collective term we use for our convenience for the The E.E.C. [ which has eventually became The E.U. ], The European Court of Human Rights [ Address ; Strasbourg, France ], European Court of Justice [ Luxembourg ] ;
    All fairly near near each other geographically ;
    All sharing common culture & languages.

    We should do a deep investigation of all Irish Politicians, & Irish Civil Servants, & Irish Lobbyists, & Irish Journalists, [ Male & Female ( Hetero or G or L or Bi or "Fluid" ] who :

    1.
    prepared the way for the Irish State to join the E.U. Empire

    2.
    have commuted & stayed in the Benelux countries for reasons of E.U. matters

    Excerpt ;

    1. In 1996, Marc Dutroux was arrested in Belgium.

    Documents in the case pointed at the involvement of Dutch politicians in the Dutroux child abuse scandal.
    (Joris Demmink – Wikipedia)

    In 1998 Dutch prosecutors in Amsterdam were working on the ‘Rolodex case’ in which high-ranking people were suspected of being members of a child abuse gang.
    (911:Joris Demmink scandal – Wikicompany)

    Among the suspects were a former cabinet minister, the personal counsel of queen Beatrix and two leading criminal prosecutors.

    The police was preparing to make arrests, when the whole operation was shut down.

    It was later reported, in the so called ‘Runderkamp-papers’, that a top official in the Ministry of Justice in the Hague, Joris Demmink, played a role in the affair.

    He was suspected of being a member of the gang.

    He was suspected of leaking information to the suspects.

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2016/05/child-murder-in-netherlands.html

    Yes indeed ;

    “… the moral depravity that exists in Brussels …”

    One can just imagine how some E.U. negotiations were greased.

  26. tony_murphy

    Very interesting article from that leftie newspaper I normally won’t look at

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/16/brexit-eu-referendum-boris-johnson-greece-tory?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    This article is excellent (see piece on Germany and EU)

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/lefties-are-spot-on-their-precious-bbc-is-at-risk-it-may-have-to-lose-its-bias.html

    The Globalists won’t let UK leave – and will do everything it can to stop a leave vote. They are desperate, even having to get that EU b***h O’Leary out to issue some nonsense threats. He is a sellout. Never forget how he influenced the last referendum in Ireland

    But I know that this is one Genie which isn’t going back into it’s bottle.

    • Truthist

      Actually, Tony, “The Guardian” is known to be an organ of M15 & M16.

      “Leftie” stuff today most times means what the establishment want enforced on the Plebs.

  27. yadayada

    Ciaran74

    Your parents, like mine and everyone else’s, were entitled to vote in the 1962 and every other election since the foundation of no

  28. yadayada

    Ciaran74

    Your parents, like mine and everyone else’s, were entitled to vote in the 1962 and every other election since the foundation of Northern Ireland. What possible cause is served by saying they weren’t?

    Or were they under 21, as voting at 18 did not come till later? Is that your explanation?

    • Ciaran74

      Morning

      The NI parliament abolished the proportional representation introduced in 1922 via the Govt of Ireland Act 1920, in 1929 for non-Westminster elections, i.e. Stormont. The property franchise was introduced from 1929 onwards and allowed multiple votes for plural owners. I do not need to make it up or even exaggerate, Unionism wrote a great but grim story on its own.

      Earlier you wrote that Presbyterians live longer than Catholics, due to lifestyle choices (not at socio-historic influence). The NAO record deaths in UK jurisdiction on gender via NHS entries. I’d be interested to read your source on those stat splits.

      • yadayada

        The property franchise allowed someone who owned a business in more than one electoral ward and was paying rates on more than one property to have a vote in more than one ward in a local council election, so let’s face it, that was not very many people and not very many votes. Didn’t really apply to the Protestant labourers did it? It did give wealthy Catholics a boost, though, just as it did rich unionists. A bit like university graduates having a weighted influence in senate elections here?
        It was one vote per head in stormont and Westminster elections. Hence paddy Devlin mp for Belfast west for many years, Bernadette Devlin mp for mid Ulster for a short time. What’s the point in coming out with something so clearly untrue? You end up making an eejit of yourself like Adams who thinks he’s a black American slave.

        • Ciaran74

          The cat swipe was bravely written Yada, however you’re either crafting or living a lie on your reflections on the north. At least Craig, Bates or Brookeborough were honest and open about their flagrant intentions. Your benign presentation of the system is a fantasy. The STV was abolished with no purpose? The mongrel FPP/ STV Stormont system had no benefit to any party? Multiple votes in multiple wards in a first passed the post system had no impact? There was manipulation but I am entirely wrong? It was for the benefit of the rich but the poor and vulnerable of all creeds were left out? The weight of evidence does not stand behind that position. The malpractice and purposefully malformed ‘democracy’ might be hard to admit but it did legislatively exist at council and local govt level, and it was intended to benefit a designated majority with the added return of social attrition on the remainder of the population. That was the purpose of Craig and cohort, and they were pretty plain in that plan. Whether for posterity or via an epiphany, even Dr. Ian conceded the ills of mismanagement.

          Mr.Devlin was elected but also abstained in protest at the continued electoral treatment of his constituents, and wider fellow countrymen. He was also one of three returns in a city of 14 parliamentary seats, but 43% of the vote was nationalist. The UUP garnered 50% of the vote in north but never had less than 65-70% of the seats in Stormont. Council elections delivered a higher seat proportion. Inferring that Stormont fairly represented the population, and that the system was not cooked, when INP/ Labour never exceeded more than 13 of the 65 seats at Stormont, plus all the studies, is bizarre. We cannot go back and change it, but denying it happened leaves us continuing to blame the other guy, who will never be perfect either. Infallibility is our biggest current risk, socially and economically.

          It was not the only form of unfair government in the world, and it was not the only reason for our most recent disturbance in Ireland, but it WAS the accelerator on the historical train.

          Anyway, circumspect, as the UK will vote 52% Remain (and 70% in the north), and my acre for the weigh bridge at Newry was as big an investment folly as my shares in Providence.

          • yadayada

            Well that took a lot of time to admit that your parents did in fact have the vote in 1962. False claims make you look like a fool and a knave when they’re exposed.
            Did you know the ratepayers vote system applied to England until 1945, and was removed in Northern Ireland in 1969?

            Here’s what growing up in Northern Ireland gave me – free health care and a grant to go to university for five years. What a privilege.

          • Ciaran74

            Afternoon Yada, or should I call you ‘Tricky’. People need to work, and some have to go to Inverness to pull a penny to contribute to that said privilege of health and education……so you’ll forgive the time lapse I hope. Though you don’t read like the forgiving type.

            GB ‘abandoned’ the ratepayer system in 1945 in payment to its working class people who carried the privations of WWII and the result was a Labour landslide and the NHS. Its existence wasn’t ever really justifiable Yada. It was a form of exclusion and control. The Northern Ireland government CHOSE to retain the business vote and university vote for Stormont elections. These two ‘anomalies’ were ended in 1968 with the the Electoral Law Amendment Act. Westminster forced this to happen.

            The electoral franchise for local government (district council) used ratepayer suffrage and the company vote. Ratepayer suffrage allowed ONLY those who were owners or tenants of a dwelling (or their spouses) to vote in local government elections = in 1961 over a quarter of the adult electorate were disfranchised at local elections.

            Stop Googling, join a library.

  29. Mike Lucey

    What’s the point of a ‘nation’ if the nation allows itself to be badly governed on a nearly continuous basis?

    Just read ‘Hail To The Computer’ in Popular Mechanics, here, http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/a20755/hail-to-the-computer/?mag=pop&list=nl_pnl_news&src=nl&date=051716 and got to thinking about a possible time in the future when computers might be at a level of sophistication to actually ‘govern’ or maybe a better way to put it would be to determine best judgement of the majority.

    The article covers a lot of angles but its bottom line conclusion is that it won’t happen anytime soon, if ever, but it does point out many ways that the use of computers could eliminate stupidity / corruption in ‘government’ and bring in far more transparency and that is to be desired.

    One thing that today’s supercomputers could do immediately is bring the nation’s citizens into collective national decision making on an ongoing basis, not just every four years. We would not need a ‘government’ as it currently stands only some hire and fire figure heads to do the nation’s bidding and shake the odd visiting dignitaries hands.

    Keep in mind the ‘Ask the Audience’ phenomenon which delivers correct answers / solutions over 90% of the time when presented with multiple options. I’d be extremely satisfied with a ‘government’ that got things right 90% of the time.

    Another email that took my interest today was ‘The Shift to a Cashless Society is Snowballing’ graphic, here, http://www.visualcapitalist.com/shift-cashless-society-snowballing/ The graphic lists the countries in the various stages of going ‘cashless’ under the following headings, Advanced, Tipping, Transitional and Inception. Ireland isn’t mentioned but it looks that we are at the ‘Tipping’ stage.

    Wouldn’t one imagine that a real ‘nation’ would have its own national currency that it controls well or badly? So called nationhood is quickly becoming a thing of the past I am afraid and the tools that are being used to do this are in plain sight for those that look.

  30. Mike Lucey

    …. and Tony before you say it. I also agree that the ‘barbaric relic’ might well be the only way a ‘citizen’ might be left with to protect their bit of wealth, best in 1gm units (:-))

  31. [...] because I view him as something of a role model when it comes to Devil’s Advocacy! From his latest example of both, he rightly earned a place on BBC NI Talkback [...]

  32. mike flannelly

    Unconstitutional.

    Its ok to act like an insider trader to rig bank share price.

    Its ok to overcharge customers for a stand alone variable rate product rather than have a sensible long term banking strategy where the customer is treated fairly and comes first.

    Contracts that have unfair bargaining power.

    Contracts that have vague and unclear costs.

    Contracts that are completely bias in favor of the (state backed) stronger party to the contracts.

    The 31st Dail banking strategy was all about “short term” promotion of failed Irish fucking bank share price, instead of rebuilding banks around the customer and providing a good service to customers.

    Banks are claiming profits of 2bn .

    300000 customers overcharged by .9bn spread out between all the banks does not account for the bad will and customer service that is driving down the share prices. It makes no sense.

  33. mike flannelly

    Its about giving the central bank powers to stop unfair, vague financial products designed by failed Irish Bankers that overvalued the debt on land banks by 900%.

    Its about stopping the banking sector and Irish politicians that have a feather up their arse from trying to normalise unfair, vague and unclear contracts in favor of the stronger party to the contract.

    The new corrupt version of the standard variable rate product has to be stopped.

    The contracts do not meet the needs and objectives of bank customers.

  34. Pat Flannery

    Northern Ireland was created as a homeland for Protestants who did not want to be part of a new republic where there would be a Catholic majority despite the fact that there was a democratic mandate of over 70% for such a republic at a UK general election in December 1918. If that kind of disregard for democratic principle in favor of religious accommodation was replicated around the world similar sectarian wars would inevitably develop wherever such a homeland is allowed.

    Israel was created as such a homeland for those of the Jewish religion. The result was religious conflict which is the worst and most intractable form of conflict. It is even worse than racial conflict. South African apartheid is now history, Israel is not.

    If it takes Britain leaving the EU for it to face up to its 1918-22 folly of creating a homeland for a dissident religious sect, then Brexit will have done some good. By any analysis Northern Ireland is a non-viable political entity.

    • Truthist

      The Protestants from “The North East of our Country [ 'The Island of Ireland ] have a Protestant Supremacist Complex over Catholics ;
      Particularly over Irish Catholics.

      Some of them have dropped that nonsense.

      All of ‘em should drop it without any further delay.

      • Ciaran74

        Unfortunately true Truthist. To be fair my experience is that anti-Catholic sentiment is important to a small rump core, but that its a red-herring for the more deep rooted dislike of Irish people. Dropping, or breaking that, and its crude political strategy is a tough nut. It opens two doors – they are fallible in a historical context, and there is no real reason to deny the objective benefits of UI. Both add up to a siege and defeat mentality. As yer man in The Field said, ‘its all about the land boys, the land…’.

  35. Truthist

    Freemasonry

    Of course, this Hocus Pocus is very powerful in The Institutional State of The Irish State [ I.S.I.S. ].

    And, the E.U. is simply a Freemasonry Project ;
    Thus, a Rothschild Project.

    Reckon a majority of Senior Irish Civil Servants are Freemasons.

    The British Freemasonry Lodges are all for the E.U. ;
    But, they want to be the Leaders.
    But, they are not in a strong enough position to be so.
    And, if they cannot be the Leaders of the E.U., they want out until the time when they are strong enough to be in charge of this Freemasonry project.

    And, Freemasonry holds the power in The North East of our Country ;

    So, if “The North East of the Country” re-unites with “The Remainder of the Country” or “The Remainder of the Country” re-unites with “The North-East of the Country”,- yees will be definitely have to be brushing up on ur survival knowledge about Freemasonry.
    But, please … please, do not join em ;
    Don’t sell ur sole.

    Here is a taster for yees courtesy of good aul Henry Makow from Canada where the Unionist & Loyalist versus Irish Catholic bigotry is always rife ;

    http://henrymakow.com/masons_run_world_charade.html

  36. pablos

    Such a pity to hear that the bad weather and grey skies typical for the Republic are threatening to make an appearance up north. Unification would be a mistake, as things are we have a great marketing opportunity to bring in more tourists to these shores, we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to disband it, i say leave it alone. Just think the Tricolour merged together with the Union Jack on the front of the brochure – two for the price of one! Why are people always in such a rush to homogenize everything?

  37. pablos

    As it might be true to say that religionists in the North are more conservative and gay marriage has not been legalized there, why not encourage conservatives of all stripes to take up residence there in an autonomous region something like the opposite of Christiania in Denmark and similar to the town of Galt in the U.S. This would be definitely a magnet for U.S investment and a unique experiment for Europe. Everyone wins! I look forward to UK conservatives praising it as a beacon for emulation. Then everyone could smirk as the degenerates in the rest of the British Isles go to rack and ruin.

  38. [...] In terms of income per head, the Republic is now almost twice as rich per person as the North. A nation once again? Don’t write it off | David McWilliams Sign in or Register Now to [...]

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