July 14, 2016

New growth figure is ludicrous — but here's how to take advantage

Posted in Irish Independent · 116 comments ·

Usually, the fantasies indulged on July 12th in Ireland are played out up the road in the North. These are fantasies about past glories and are celebrated by the kind of people who the 20th century (let alone the 21st century) left behind. Rather than being a sign of confidence and strength, the Twelfth simply reinforces the political and economic cul-de-sac up which the unionists have waltzed. However, this year, fantasies were not limited to our separated brethren.


Yesterday, official Ireland delivered its own fantasies and these are as misguided as anything seen on the streets of the North. These fantasies are the Irish GDP figures.


In fact, the Irish GDP figures are now so off-the wall, they remind me of a time before the Berlin Wall came down. Back then, I was in a hotel in communist Czechoslovakia and the only programme on TV was one exalting the extraordinary harvest of the Czechoslovak agricultural industry. Without a hint of irony, the announcer rhapsodised about the bumper harvest, yet people queued for bread outside on the street.


Don’t you get a similar feeling when our politicians, such as Finance Minister Michael Noonan, “welcomed” figures which stated that Ireland’s income rose by 26pc last year when people can’t find a home?


According to our Central Statistics Office, the Irish economy grew by 26pc past year. This is clearly nonsense. Our politicians should have guffawed, embarrassed that Ireland’s official figures are so meaningless. But they didn’t.


Let’s examine the implications. Although the figures are wrong, they still tell us something about how this economy works and is likely to work in the years ahead. There could be an opportunity here.


According to the figures, our exports are up 34pc; investment is up 27pc and imports in 2015 rose by 22pc. As a result, the economy grew by 26pc. In terms of what these would mean if it were true, it would imply that the average income per person working in our country would have increased to €130,000 per annum in 2015.


But do you feel richer? Do you feel that much richer?


Of course you don’t.


Although Irish national income figures have always been rendered less than meaningful by multinationals moving money in and out of the country, last year something else happened. A massive industry has moved its assets here for tax reasons. That industry is the airline leasing industry. If you move all the planes on the balance sheets of big airline leasing companies onto the Irish balance sheet, obviously investment goes through the roof. This is driving the GDP figures.


However, while this year’s distortion is huge and is attributable to one industry, over the years other multinational sectors such as tech and pharmaceuticals have had a similarly magical affect on national income figures.


The problem with the multinationals is that the amount of their activity that goes to Irish people and into our pockets is very modest. As these companies have become more and more capital intensive, less and less money has gone towards the wages of Irish workers. So over the years, even though the amount of income created by the multinationals in Ireland has risen dramatically, the amount trickling down to Irish workers has actually been getting smaller and smaller.


Apart from wages, money comes to Ireland through corporation tax and as their income has increased and profits registered in Ireland have increased, the tax take has gone up. However, it is only a fraction of what goes back to the international shareholders of the companies in the form of dividends and higher share prices.


Therefore, the vast majority of the upside accruing to the presence of multinationals here does not go to the Irish workers or the Irish exchequer, but to foreign shareholders.


The latest figures about the 26pc rise in GDP, only reinforce how crazy the situation has become.


However, rather than complaining about the situation, why not see whether there an opportunity here? This is the way the world is and Ireland’s capital base has been built up by deploying our tax policy for the benefit of multinationals and their shareholders. So shareholders are winning big time. Therefore, why not become shareholders too? Why not take shares in the very companies that are making out in Ireland and distorting our GDP figures?


At the moment the world is moving toward closing tax loopholes, which will culminate in firms having to pay the headline rate of tax here.


But rather than taking this money in tax, to be frittered away in the next political auction, we could take shares. By taking shares in multinationals, we could create an Irish sovereign wealth fund that is linked to the share performances of some of the best-governed companies in the world, plugged into the world economy like no other and providing huge wealth for future generations.


So how would something like this work? Take this example.


In 2012, US multinationals made $100bn profit here on which they are supposed to pay 12.5pc tax, or $12.5bn. But in fact they only paid $4bn. So they ought to pay $8.5bn more than they do.


Why not encourage the multinationals to pay the difference between what they actually pay ($4bn) and what they ‘ought’ to pay ($12.5bn) in shares? We could pledge these shares for future generations of Irish people.


The figures are significant — $8.5bn is a lot of money, and it grows. Shares are permanent wealth, whereas taxes are more transitory income.


In recent years, financial wealth has grown much more quickly than income. Imagine an Irish sovereign wealth fund comprising the shares of these companies, compounding at these rates?


Why would the multinationals go for it? Because giving shares or share options is much cheaper for the company than giving cash. It always is.


And they are used to operating in this way. What multinational treasurer would not look at this option?


By matching our interests with the stakeholders and shareholders we would be jumping together and both have skin in the game.


Let’s see this ludicrous GDP figure as an opportunity. Rather than moan, let’s go and do something positive about it.

    • Mike Lucey

      Good suggestion David. If I remember correctly you have been advocating this type of partnership for some time.

      I’d suggest that you might add an ‘extra’ to this idea. These MNs might be also coaxed in some way into funding our third level institutions. I think they might well see the merit as its these bodies that are supplying the graduates they hold in such high esteem.

  1. yadayada

    He just can’t resist a sneer at the prods, can he?
    Can anyone tell me if there’s any difference between all that 12th nonsense and the recent 1916 bs? Marty morrissey in ira uniform. Holy moley

    • Deco

      A more fitting comparison would be to compare the 1916 commemoration with the GDP statistics.

      Both are for pretence, that the “leadership” of this country is doing a great job, is to be taken seriously, and is serving the people.

      Like the GDP stats, the 1916 events are hiding deep failures, and defeat.

      The 1916 events are to pretend that we are a free society. The addition of the private sector unsecured debts of dodgy private banks to the welfare state, has finished Irish sovereignty along with the Lisboa constrictor treaty.

      Noonan declared that Debt to GDP was under control. GDP is nonsense, and is make believe. Debt is real and is not going down.

      Our lack of willingness to fight for our sovereignty ensures that we get continually weaker. We have been slipping down the slippery slope for two decades. Every core state policy weakens our independence.

      So, yes, you are correct. The 1916 pageantry was a empty show, designed to pretend something, that people know is gone.

    • Deco

      The people who ridicule Northern Protestants the most are….Northen Protestants in militaristic marches, banging loud musical instuments.

      It is ridiculous behaviour. They should buy at least one book on personal development and improve their chances in life instead of repeatedly acting out King Billy’s first (and only) performance at Slane.

      Instead, they engage in all sorts of mind numbing stupidity, and refuse to grow up.

      Bad health predominates in terms of both physicality and psychology. Obesity is the first thing you see in NI, from cheap diets, and a willingness to save money by eating cheap food (that actually malnourishes people). A misallocation of resources, that gets absorbed by the NHS.

      NI is a very weak, totally delusional entity. A massive welfare cheque from England every year to make up for the fact that very little is created when you are continually focussed on the Titanic, and Harland & Wolf, and spending every evening watching Rangers, or practicing your big drum.

      The political parties avoid the concept of responsibility as a core human virtue. Under all the talk, in NI, there is still an undercurrent of avoidance of personal reposnibility.

      The Protestant work ethic has been replaced by idleness, and time wasting behaviours like military marching, or obsessing over Rangers or some other collection of grownups playing a kids game. The Catholic knowledge ethic has been overcome by ignorance and a military-political that deceives and thrives on feelings of victimhood – witness SF defeating the SDLP.

      NI’s viable future is devolved government, and a seperate state to function with a culture of increased responsibility, built from the ground up – like Switzerland.

      David is doing them a favour pointing out the absurdity of what they are doing, in avoiding responsibility.

      • AlfieMoone

        “Newton Emerson: Bonfires are now more about underclass defiance than loyalism

        Middle class unionism has drifted away from 12th bonfires making them someone elses problem”


      • Irish PI

        So why in the Hell do we obsess so much in the 26 counties with reclaiming these six counties by hook or by crook?For what?To throw 3.50 euros in te euro in taxes to keep them in welfare and pallets to burn on”Twalth nite!”? As brick and bottle throwing season 2016 [aka Marching season] gets underway we should really be asking ourselves WHY in the frup do we want this place?And if we do get it ,are we going to be like the dog who has finally caught a car after chasing them for years.What are we going to do with it?Feed it?Govern it? and employ it? I have yet to see from ANY Irish side here Republican,Dail,or whomever a plan or thought put into these more mundane problems,after the no doubt massive pissup and non stop singing of a “nation once again”
        Onto more mundane things like Davids article.Yeah good idea,if we actually had people with brains and balls in charge of this country.Which we dont.So it wont happen.

        • “Yeah good idea,if we actually had people with brains and balls in charge of this country.Which we dont.So it wont happen”

          Took the words out of my mouth, I was going to say this yesterday instead of ‘Subscribe’ but I feared I would be accused of being negative and banging the same drum over and over.

          Just being realistic though really – DAVID, NONE OF THIS IS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN, WHY DON’T WE JUST LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD AND ADMIT IT? Like Marlo Stanfied.

          The only way it’s going to happen if you do it yourself.

          These clowns ‘in charge’ don’t have a clue what they are doing.

          Why can’t we just have an honest conversation about that?

      • Deco

        Please add the word “machine” to the term military-political in reference to the SF hold on the nationalist community in the North. Because SF is a muscle machine concerning with control of a segment of the population. This is not healthy.

        In fact it is very dangerous, in terms of the absolute rubbish that it will indoctrinate in people, and the limits that it sets on people’s ambitions, due to need to coerce to comply with the group (and it’s de facto rulers, SF).

      • yadayada

        and you can tell who’s what through your car window? What a talent.

        What would sort NI out pretty quickly is a cut off in the Westminster money supply. We’d soon find out who really wants to live there.

    • I am a Prod you gobshite! David

    • aidanxc

      Well, the 1916 commemorations were not triumphalist, they were inclusive , they were non-sectarian and they encouraged debate. Every year, the 12th Of July ‘celebrations’ fail on all those points.

      The Orange Order is a sectarian organisation that fosters bigotry, racism and violence.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Can anyone tell me if there’s any difference between all that 12th nonsense and the recent 1916 bs?”

      Historical background and religious differences apart, neither the Republicans nor the Loyalists elites aim at what Plato would have called the aristocratic form of government, whereby by aristocrats he did not mean the filthy rich availing of corporate welfare in the zero-interest rates environment, but the rule of the best (from Greek aristos: “most fitting” – ar-isto-, superlative form of *ar- “to fit together”).

      Plato in the “Republic” on an aristocratic form of government leaders:

      “A ruler considers … always what is for the interest of his subject … and that alone he considers in everything which he says and does.”

      This unhealthy way of selecting people for the government applies to all Irish (and most European) elites. They are helped by the short memory of the electorate (how often we forget that our leaders reflect our society) and the lack of free debate in the media (more about it in my comment below about the Irish Times lies and manipulation – of course they had censored me as usual because they cannot admit that not only the tabloids and religious fanatics website, but they themselves, the leftist morons, promulgate untrue “conspiracy theories”, as Pat Flannery would say).

      Let’s take David’s fantastic idea:

      “Why not encourage the multinationals to pay the difference between what they actually pay ($4bn) and what they ‘ought’ to pay ($12.5bn) in shares? We could pledge these shares for future generations of Irish people”.

      This idea is even more important if we consider that in view of the coming global reset not stocks, not property, not gay marriage rights, but cash-flows and natural resources (including precious metals) will be kings – this is what will decide whether Ireland will be attractive for investors and whether we will have food to put on our tables.

      However, I remember David has been teasing us with that idea since even before the collapse of leprechaunomics in 2008; so why this idea has not been taken up by the Official Ireland? – and I do not take for granted the explanations that they are slow learners or that they are corrupted – these are lazy explanations – European (or Atlantic, if you wish) elites are dim and corrupt in every country except for Scandinavia (because there they had, for centuries, been cutting off hands for stealing) and Greece/Ukraine/southern Italy (these places are not corrupt but monthy-pythonesqly corrupt).

      The slowness of the current Irish elites in embracing such ideas has two underlying reasons:

      1) We in Ireland have, using Plato’s classification, an oligarchy rather than timocracy

      1.1) Timocracy: a government run by lovers of “honour” – do you remember Minister’s Józef Beck famous 1939 speech in the Polish Parliament that there are values even higher ranked than peace, and the highest of them is honour? – btw, the author of the famous article about whether we should die for Danzig wrote it under instructions of the German intelligence for which he was working…

      1.2) Oligarchy: Plato wrote on oligarchical type of a leader: “He has had no education, or he would never have allowed the blind god of riches to lead the dance within him. … And being uneducated he will have many slavish desires, some beggarly, some knavish, breeding in his soul. … If he … has the power to defraud, he will soon prove that he is not without the will, and that his passions are only restrained by fear and not by reason.”

      I admire David’s optimism (that we should try to come up with a positive plan rather than complain), but who else than David can build transmitters that will transmit this idea from Dalkey to Minister Noonan (who cannot be that bad as you portray him if he decided not to support any actions against Portugal and Spain for breaching the deficit rules – I repeat once again: Germany and France breached those rules first and never got penalised)?

      2) The second reason of us not having what Pareto called the circulation of the elites follows from the first one: as a result of having oligarchs rather than timocrats in power, WE DO NOT HAVE THINK-TANKS IN IRELAND THAT WOULD WORK OUT CONCEPTS THE GOVERNMENTS WILL LEND AN EAR TO AND IMPLEMENT; some of the US politicians are incredibly thick and coarse (Mr Dick Cheney for instance said on record that had he known he was going to Latin America he would have learned some Latin, and I reckon that the only thing that President Heil Hitlery Clinton learned from her husband – a man who did not know the name of the European country he had arrived in – will probably be that she will not have sex with Monica Lewinsky) but they have brilliant think-tanks, like CSBA; same goes for China, Russia, Germany, small Austria; Poland has been building her think-tanks since last year.

      The brightest people in Ireland like Messrs McWilliams, Gurdgiev and Stephen (but not Ray) Kinsella should gather together and morph into a think-tank that would meet regularly and publicly. I can fathom how occupied Ireland could have been at the forefront of producing great ideas in the shape of Edmund Burke’s conservatism (Burke was also fighting for the Irish language) and Berkeley’s solipsism, and the only philosophical idea that post-1916 Ireland came up with (with the exception of the birth of David McWilliams, the only Irish political philosopher) was IRA/Sinn Fein’s plan to send their man Sean Russell to Berlin to beg Dr Goebbels to invade Ireland, not that dissimilarly to recent trips of Irish leaders. And even if Mr Martin of the oligarchic FF and Mr Enda ‘cuig puntas’ Kenny (is he really a cross-dresser?! – I am jargogled) do not appear to be willing to listen to think-tanks, they still might though – I think especially the likes of Messrs Pearce Doherty or Varadkar, who is gagging to become a Taoiseach, would find it trendy to show up with Mr McWilliams, if Mr McWilliams invited them (and you see, I am not talking those things off my hat: I appeared on one such think-tank meeting once, that meeting was live streamed in the US and got over 30,000 views, including some people from Wall Street and Pentagon – I spoke about the US elections within the context of Polish army purchases – so it would be in Irish politicians interest to participate); and who knows, maybe even some foreign politicians or investors will turn up (did you know for example that the Polish broadcaster has one specialist in the Irish constitutional law? – I have met him here in Dublin – he wrote a book on De Valera; he likes Ireland very much, but he is free from the misty-Baileys cream/dewy eyes/Irish are so complex they cannot be psychoanalysed wishful thinking narcissistic myth (other peoples have nationality, the Jews, the Poles and the Irish have obsession: said who? – Brendan Behan): in a discussion on a Polish TV on the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland he had mentioned en passant that Ireland or Greece are examples of how the big European countries had been bribing small European countries to switch them off from the decision making process).

      Deco: “A more fitting comparison would be to compare the 1916 commemoration with the GDP statistics”.

      Take this as an example: in 1913, among the lowest paid Dublin workers, only one person in the family had to work and she could feed from her husband’s wages herself, her husband and many kids. Why was that? Average wage among the unqualified workers was 18 shillings; out of this less than 5 shillings was rent and heating. The rest could have been spent on food or saved.

      What is the lowest wage today? A little over 350 euro. What is the absolute lowest you have to pay for the Soviet Union 1920 style apartment in Dublin city centre? Upwards of 850 euro, more like 1000 euro (plus heating), FOR AN APARTMENT SMALLER AND MORE FILFHTY THAN THOSE OF THE LOWEST PAID WORKER IN DUBLIN A.D. 1913.

      What is a 1000 euro plus bills? THREE-FOURTH OF the lowest wages.

      So in 1913 the lowest paid worker would spend LESS THAN 1/3 OF HIS MONTHLY WAGES FOR RENT AND IN 2016 “26pc economic growth” he has to spend 3/4 or more, and food was much cheaper in 1913 too because there was no CAP.

  2. Deco

    Excellent article. And a worthy proposal. Bear in mind that certain entities print off shares in what can only be equated with the wheelbarrow of money notes scenario, for their own directors share options. In fact it is bonkers. Never mind the dodgy “non-GAAP” accounting returns, and the share issues – what is the cash flow ?

    It seems that people are talking about the absurd GDP figures, like former residents under Communism talked about those bumber harvests. So the analogy will resonate.

    Constantin Gurdgiev, pointed out the irrelevance of GDP and GNP to most people’s everyday existence.

  3. Deco

    Ireland’s GDP figures (and the derived GNP stats) are virtual. They can be souped up, recycled, massages, and downsized. For entirely selfish reasons.

    Ireland’s debts (both public and private) are real.

    And the public sector debt in Ireland is completely out of control. Even with 50% marginal tax rates on labour, and the highest VAT rate in the world, it is still not enough.

    We are actually in trouble, and there is still no honest discussion about the matter.

  4. Deco

    We had a sovereign wealth fund called the Irish fishing waters off our coast.

    And the politicians squandered it for some recognition in Brussels, and grant aid cash to buy votes. Well done, the Bertie party. They are waiting in the wings to get into power again, so that they can wreck it all again. CJH turned FF into scoundrels of the lowest order.

    The GDP figures are a bit like the evidence of an FF TD before a tribunal – we see large numbers involving money everywhere, but nobody seems to know where that money ends up, when everything is said and done.

    • AlfieMoone

      “By taking shares in multinationals, we could create an Irish sovereign wealth fund that is linked to the share performances of some of the best-governed companies in the world, plugged into the world economy like no other and providing huge wealth for future generations.” David McWilliams

      Great idea, why hasn’t anyone come up with it before…WAIT! I’m triggered! Flash-backs!

      What’s the gaelic phrase for Deja Vu? I’m sure the multinationals could be ‘encouraged’ to swap tax liabilities for a punt on another ‘rainy day pot of Leprechaun Economics gold’ at the end of the current GDP sugar rush rainbow. In a sane world, this ‘blue sky thinking-visioning proposal’ could work if there’s was an amendment to the Constituion requiring a Referendum on any future bank bail-outs/bail-ins in the ear of Brexit, ‘going forward’. Etc.

      But sanity isn’t for sale. Not that the multinationals would be concerned as their Project Fear lobbyists will just orchestrate the vote to plunder any Satrapy Wealth Fund as & when they need it with a re-hash of old favourite mantras like ‘we are where we are’ & ‘anger isn’t a policy’.

      ‘The National Pensions Reserve Fund: an obituary’


    • aidanxc

      If our fishing waters are worth so much how come we made nothing significant of them when we had complete control of them?

      You waffle on and on but the fact is that the economy is growing, not by 26% but perhaps 4-5%. You need to get over CJH, your point may be true but it has little bearing on this discussion.

      • Mike Lucey


        I thought much the same as you with regard to “how come we made nothing significant of them when we had complete control of them?”

        After some research and reading I learned that a short time before the ‘hand over for free’ we were actually starting to get serious about the fisheries and turning them into a proper business under the leadership of rather than letting them stand as the poor relatives to farming.

        On the ‘hand over’ farming won out as they had the political clout and fisheries were sacrificed as the were far down the pecking order. Its all there on the net for reading.

        A comforting thought for me if we pull out of the EU is that we will get our much enlarged fisheries back to be run sustainably and efficiently for the betterment of the country. Some sources estimate that a properly run Irish fisheries could be capable of generating 200K+ Irish jobs that would be copper fastened and sustainable long term .

        Only problem is that if we do ever get the fisheries back ‘under our control’ from all accounts the resource will be badly raped and will take some time / investment to bring back to health.

    • McCawber

      De Valera turned FF into the type of scoundrel you are referring to.
      FG incompetence empowered him.

  5. Deco

    Ou politicians are really just a collection of PR specialists pretending to be resposible for the running of a country. They are averse to responsibility, but eager for power. They weaken Ireland, whilst obeying Brussels. They make promises to the people, and the deliver for the wealthy and well connected.

    The whole thing is as virtual and pretenscious as those official GDP figures.

  6. sravrannies

    Hey David, someone has nicked your Punk Economics idea.

    Peter – unemployed, no benefits, healthy, have experienced mental heath episodes but, not delusional or idle, living off the wife in Derry!

  7. AlfieMoone

    Whilst Theresa May is ignoring her hubbie’s dodgy c.v & channeling Elizabeth Warren’s “you didn’t build all this” rap- on the other side of the Irish Sea, the Tax Justice debate is, to all intents & purposes, still verboten in polite society. Thus, Tax Justice isn’t to be demanded, but ‘encouraged’. Doesn’t work like that, lads. #IronFistVelvetGlove etc.

    “At the moment the world is moving toward closing tax loopholes, which will culminate in firms having to pay the headline rate of tax here….
    Why not encourage the multinationals to pay the difference between what they actually pay ($4bn) and what they ‘ought’ to pay ($12.5bn) in shares? We could pledge these shares for future generations of Irish people. David McWilliams

    ‘Theresa May warns Amazon and Google over tax responsibilities’

     “We…understand that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society. No individual or no business, however rich, has succeeded all on their own”

    “It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back. You have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.”

    “It’s not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change.” 

    Metaphorically, balls of steel Theresa May says:

    “You wanna do business with Core UK? It’s pay to play”

    Meanwhile Enda and Mikeel are having a “Brexit? Feck it!” total nervous breakdown as they read The Idiot’s Guide to



    • AlfieMoone

      Beware! Theresa is watching RTE in #10 Downing Street whilst Lady GaGa blasts out of the speakers….and so is David Davis ‘Minister for Brexit’. They are mocking and rolling their eyes at David Cameron’s gauche stainless steel kitchen & marble dining table. They look at the dossier on the table titled “Dear Leader Enda”…they exchange glances, high-5 and silently mouth: ROFLMAO! They haven’t shown their hands & won’t till there’s total chaos. P-P-P-Poker face! Theresa rises from the table, in her thigh-lenght boots and begins to sing:

      “I wanna hold em like they do in Texas Plays
      Fold em let em hit me raise it baby stay with me, I love it
      Luck and intuition play the cards with Spades to start
      And after he’s been hooked I’ll play the one that’s on his heart
      Oh, oh, oh
      I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got
      Oh, oh, oh
      I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got
      Can’t read my, can’t read my
      No he can’t read my poker face
      (She’s got to love nobody)”

      The 2nd leg of the GFC kicked off when us Mercian said FcUKEU to the mercenary spivs in Canary Wharf & Canary Dwarf. Thankfully, order is restored. Theresa and David are playas….just like Enda & Mikeel…*smfh*

      ‘The miracle growth figures are just a balance sheet mirage – so beware’

      ‘Given the international attention that has been focused on Ireland in recent times in relation to the tax arrangements of multinationals operating in this country, the activities of such companies that have contributed to GDP growth of more than 26pc will obviously garner even more unwelcome attention. Talk about giving a dog a bad name. ‘


      • AlfieMoone

        .cc Theresa May PM David Davis ‘Minister For Brexit’

        Hi, I’m collating the relevant audit trail for this afternoon’s Treasury meeting. I’ve done the Critical Path stuff & some nice word-clouds for the PR drive. It’s great to be working with you again but you must ensure that my friends in Dublin don’t find out! I will be in Brussels tonight in full-on Urquhart drag. Make sure nobody smirks when they see Enda’s jaw drop as he recognises me….I’ve got the Mayo accent re-loaded, needs a bit of tweaking but I’ll get there.

        Hope that’s all OK. Any other requirements, get Boris on the blower.


        Special Agent: Codename – Alfie Moone

        ‘Apple employs about 5,500 people in Ireland and the nation is so reliant on US investment, the government can ill-afford not to be seen to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Apple. 

        Why doesn’t Ireland want the cash, which after all could be equivalent to about all of the nation’s corporate tax last year? There’s a bigger picture, here, according to briefing notes provided to the incoming finance minister last month; a negative decision would hurt the country’s reputation and create uncertainty around it’s tax offering, which has been a key factor in drawing companies like Alphabet’s Google and Facebook to Dublin.
        Explainer: Ireland and Apple prepare for worst with tax endgame in sight’


      • Deco

        Theresa might be the only one watching RTE. Nonsense news.

  8. AlfieMoone

    Comic interlude:

    ‘Meanwhile, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan also weighed into the debate, telling his local KCLR radio station that Mr Kenny “saved the country”.

    “He’s now going to have face the challenges of Brexit for Ireland. He’s very well received in Europe by other states.”

    Kenny leaves Merkel talks empty-handed after ‘special case’ snub


  9. AlfieMoone

    One of the few ‘economists’ who isn’t endlessly idiotic stares into the tea-leaves & sees the future pattern of EU democracy in a panoramic post-Brexit panic overview of Project Fear:

    ‘Europe is not to be held together by its benefits, which far exceed the costs. Economic prosperity, the sense of solidarity, and the pride of being a European are not enough, according to Juncker. No, Europe is to be held together by threats, intimidation, and fear.

    That position ignores a lesson seen in both the Brexit vote and America’s Republican party primary: large portions of the population have not been doing well. The neoliberal agenda of the last four decades may have been good for the top 1%, but not for the rest.’

    ‘After the EU vote, it’s time for some clear thinking on trade’


    • AlfieMoone

      But the crazed cultists of discredited Economic Man Theory will not just jump from the cliff, they still think they can parachute into the post-Brexit paradigm: good luck with that one, Nouriel!

      ‘Globalisation is dented but not doomed
      Nouriel Roubini

      ‘The backlash against globalisation is real and growing. But it can be contained and managed through policies that compensate workers for its collateral damage and costs. Only by enacting such policies will globalisation’s losers begin to think that they may eventually join the ranks of its winners.’


  10. Daithi7

    Hmmm, me thinks there is some merit in this idea. Of course there are loads of ptovisos but yes it probably has some merit.

    Firstly, let’s get real,Ireland Inc operates in a competitive tax ‘ pricing ‘ environment, competing for mobile foreign capital with many other comparable countries e.g. the UK,Netherlands, Switzerland, etc, etc, etc, etc so you have only so much scope to ask for shares.

    Secondly, shares still cost multinationals and their shareholders through value dilution, granted this may not seem as expensive upfront as tax charges but it’s still a real cost on companies. Some companies would just rule this out on principle.

    Thirdly, there would be a plehora of technical issues to be overcome.

    But having said all that, there does appear to be some merit in this. Perhaps something along the lines of a minimum effective tax rate. So say a massive company under current tax legislation pays only a net 2.5%tax, perhaps there’s some scope to say yes the rules apply as per the current legislation (so if you get your tax rate down to 2.5%, ok), but if you do there is a minimum rate of say 4.5%, the difference which you can make up in cash, or shares transferred to an Irish sovereign wealth fund.

    Something like that might work. might.

    P.s. The author is right, anyone, regardless of religion, still celebrating a war win from over a century ago, has let the world pass them by and they are baggage, bogged down in the past and ill equipped for the present and future imho.

  11. AlfieMoone

    Right, so. 5 minutes to lunch-break, hike, bath, siesta, etc. So I’ll just throw out an ‘opinion’. I think this is the gravest crisis that the Republic of Ireland has faced in it’s history and yet almost the entire D4/IFSC chatterati on Twitter are as delusional as they were as the GFC broke in 2006/7/8. The cult of Economic Man has finally collapsed but the high priests simply cannot accept that it’s Game Over, that Brexit is a cognitive re-boot.

    For what it’s worth, my sources tell me there is zero intention of Core UK serving Article 50 unless and until the clown posturing in Brussels (Dublin, E’bro) stops and the Win-Win negotiation begins. It’s a totally absurd situation: the IMF trying to put the frighteners on Core UK via their little bitch fluffer Osborne. He’s gone. Hammond won’t fluff for anyone, not his style. There are so many possible end-games to scenario that’s it’s head spinning. My personal choice is as follows:

    Delay serving Article 50 until Juncker & Schauble are giving the steel blade. Then educate, agitate, organise to save Europe, by killing off the EU en masse & replacing it at once with what it should always have been: a mosaic of independent, Sovereign Nation-States trading for mutual advantage. End the EUtopian delusions. That can happen really quickly if the nonsensical economists are just deal with. If my game-plan unfolds, there’ll be no EU left to serve Article 50 to…but then, I’ve always been a bit Sun Tzu about this stuff….from 1983 to 1988 I worked at County Hall on the South Bank of the Thames. At lunch-times I’d wander, reading Blake, hanging out in Archbishop’s Park in Lambeth…it’s funny who you meet when you’re young & reckless…and how strong those shared bonds of secrecy remain over decades….

    Did I also ever mention I’m an alumni of Essex University? Like Yanis? We were there at the same time, but he wouldn’t recall me as he was in The Union Bar whilst I was both there & in the Rugby Club bar too: different planets. It’s funny. Nobody remembers me…..or nobody will ever say they do……”you may very well say that, I couldn’t possibly comment….”

    Enda’s going to be given a Full English, not the breakfast version, but the BBQ ‘spit-roast’ version, if you get my drift. And I’m sure you all do..

    Alfie Moone, innit
    Colchester. Essex University. 1979-1982.

    “Essex University’s Department of Government is ranked the highest in the UK, and has been every year since these things were recorded.”


    ‘Hey, Big Boy, you fancy a Double Irish?’

    ‘We are asked to trust our future to the right-wing politicians who brought Ireland to its knees.

    Enda Kenny loves to tell us he has redeemed the reputation of this country. That is not true.

    We had the reputation of a country brought to its knees by a reckless political class committed to serving greedy bankers and builders. Today, Ireland’s reputation is that of a tax whore.

    The Taoiseach tells us we’re not a tax haven. There are, he says, no brass-plate operations in the IFSC. But we know the truth.

    We know that right across the world, from here to the US Senate, it is understood that we have been pimped out by a political and financial class who offer the use of the country for any dodgy practice if the price is right.

    Throughout the EU and further afield, we are known for kissing the ass of anyone who might do us favours. In return, we forego our rights. We are known for our cowardice when the likes of Trichet and Geithner come to bully us. Not strategic deference – cowardice.”

    Gene Kerrigan ‘Hey, Big Boy, fancy a Double Irish?’ Irish Independent

  12. Sideshow Bob

    Speaking of ludicrous CSO figures apparently the population has grown by nearly 4% since 2011. What about the supposed immigration of younger Irish people? Where does that fit in? Or will we agree to pretend it didn´t occur? You know like WW2?

    ( And before anybody corrects me by telling me it is a net figure I would like to say the following: Yes, I know. It is the collection of the data, or if you like the fact that the forms are voluntarily filled out, or not as the case may be, with no true sanction for inaccuracy or failure to fill them out. For me are not reliable. I have seen them not filled out or filled out inaccurately. The simple headline presentation of the increase that irks me too. )

  13. Sideshow Bob

    Actually, I was thinking these GDP figures were almost worthy of North Korea. Even the the Chinese don´t fiddle with their figures to go so far beyond the limit of average global credibility. It is a complete farce and Paul Krugman is perfectly right to lampoon us the way he did.

    We seem to do this needless shooting-ourselves-in-foot-on-a-global-scale PR thing fairly often for a small country. Some of the obvious ones I can think of would be the demand to be admitted to the 2010 World Cup in 2009/10 as an extra team by our local mini version of Sepp Blatter, and there was the Tuam babies thing 2 years ago and now this. There are more examples, I am sure, but I don´t care to remember.

    • Deco

      What is really astounding is that government ministers were on hand to claim “credit” for such virtual figures.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Cheers, Adam for sharing that. Yeah, bang-on I have to say. Delaney is an Accountant is he not? you think he would know what to call the 5million they recieved. Funny that!

      I get the feeling Irish National Football Team is just there to pay John Delaney´s plush salary ( plus that of his cronies) and little else. Blatter of course knew this. Even the choice of conservative boring managers ( Trappatoni, O´Neill ) underlines the FAI´s deep need to get to the finals ( safe short term strategy )and to keep the personal gravy train rolling. The national league has no relationship to this team / personal money-making enterprise. There has been ho real development in domestic football since the Charlton era, personally I think it has regressed if anything.

      and it is funny to see even a “rebel´´ like Roy Keane is part of the whole punch-and-judy show now.

      There is a football book I would recommend for you, mainly because it isn´t so much about football. It is by Alex Bellos ( ex-South America correspondent for the Guardian / and general writer )and is called “Futebol – The Brazilian Way of Life´´. It is from about 15 years ago, so a little dated, and it is more of a look at Brazil using football as a linking theme, with lots of stuff coming from the poorer part of the populace i.e. the descendants of African slaves and the Indian natives. It is very entertaining and a bit nuts in places and the foreword is by Socrates. Here it is on Amazon:


  14. Sideshow Bob

    Final point in this particular piece of institutional stupidity: Bloomberg suggested that because of the inflated GDP figure we might have to contribute more to the EU budget since we are so much richer now.

    Plus there is likely to be a UK sized hole in the EU budget pretty soon (details to be negotiated). Oh and possible ramifications for trade, too.

    So does anybody see a potentially small financial problem emerging as we gain large (“on paper´´) but (“in reality´´) false growth in the multi-national sector who pay f@*k-all tax to us but we could well up end up with a big bill for the privilege of having them stay here (on paper only of course) and avoid paying taxes in their countries of origin?

    I would imagine that we will just keep greeting these companies with in an inane smile telling them how wonderful it is they keep coming here and isn´t the situation just great altogether all the while thinking of over oversized civil servant pay package we are on ( and pension to come ) and how we can´t possibly be fired regardless of what we do?

    Oh, sorry. I forgot, not all of us are privileged civil servants.

    Damn indeed!

    • McCawber

      They’re not paying him enough As I said before the EU will keep on screwing us at every chance.
      I’m guessing but it’s a fair bet that the EU changed the rules so that our GDP would be inflated due to our “Multi National” policy.
      And hey presoi we get stung despite the fact that we’re in deep doodoo already.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Bloomberg dosen´t mention any such thing, but reporting rules have been changed in many countries to include such items as drugs and prostitution so that being the case I am surprised that Holland´s isn´t going through the roof too.

      Seriously I think this GDP thing stinks more of the classic Irish civil servant attitude of we won´t react until it is far too late if at all and not any kind of EU conspiracy thing.

      Actually it looks like the extra payments to the EU for this will be about 400 million euro according to the below quote from the above mentioned article, or if you prefer about 85 euro a head man, woman and child. Is that more than the water charges figure I wonder? Depends on how many people there are per household I guess, so at 2.75 per gaff (census 2016) that is a mere 233 euro per gaff on average. Nice!

      And will anybody even notice that?

      If nobody else has come up with a name so far could I christen such a surcharge as the “Leprechaun tax´´?

      From Bloomberg:

      “We can expect that there will be an increase on the circa 2.1 billion euros contribution we had expected to pay in 2017,” the ministry said in response to questions on Wednesday. “The final impact on our EU Budget contributions will depend on a number of variables including the size of the overall EU Budget for 2017 which is not due to be agreed until November.”

  15. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “Back then, I was in a hotel in communist Czechoslovakia and the only programme on TV was one exalting the extraordinary harvest of the Czechoslovak agricultural industry. Without a hint of irony, the announcer rhapsodised about the bumper harvest, yet people queued for bread outside on the street.”

    As far as the fall of the Berlin Wall is concerned, it is incredible that David was in Czechoslovakia when it collapsed! I remember those times – we found it very exotic to travel to Czechoslovakia (after Poland had got rid of Communist symbols, allowed legal currency exchange, opened the first stock market exchange in Eastern Europe in the former Communist party building and had her first partly free elections after over half a century of occupation) to see those red stars and Lenins in Czechoslovakia or East Germany… I agree with his opinion on Czechoslovakian TV; of course, most of the socialist camp TV was almost as dumb as the Irish breakfast TV is nowadays (there was a fantastic programme “The Big Bite” for people with an IQ above 100, so they replaced it with twaddling clowns talking to people with an IQ around 80, like TV3 breakfast TV), but Czechoslovakia was a country that was seen conformist even in comparison with other non-Soviet Soviet-occupied Eastern European countries; for example, a Polish person travelling to Czechoslovakia in the 60s would have noticed two things:

    a) they had better roads and managed to avoid food shortages on that scale that Poland had (food shortages in Poland were only in cities – Poland was the only Soviet-occupied country where there was no collectivisation of agriculture, so villages never saw hunger that I remember as a child),

    b) while we had – since the late 50s – international jazz and avant-garde music festivals, the Rolling Stones in Warsaw in 1960s, the best theatre in the world in the 70s (said who? – the US best theatre critics who voted it the best in the world), and Metallica playing near my native town in 1980s, they only had the best beer, Lenin, and TV so boring that we coined an expression “Czech film” to describe something boring.
    But Czechoslovakia is a country that my guru David should pay closer attention to than only their television (apart from the fact which probably would trigger in him cognitive dissonance, namely that the Slavs, particularly the Czechs, are genetically quite closely related to the Irish and, in particular, Welsh – over 130 similar words in Czech and Welsh; besides, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have looked deep into Ireland’s early history, using a technique called whole-genome analysis, to discover that the Irish-DNA stone age settlers with origins in the Fertile Crescent, and bronze age economic migrants, began a journey somewhere in eastern Europe – they used 5,000 years old bones of a woman farmer unearthed from a tomb in Ballynahatty, near Belfast, and the remains of three men who lived between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago and were buried on Rathlin Island in County Antrim.).

    Why? Because if Ireland is not careful, it can repeat Czechoslovakia’s fate. Czech lands had been the richest lands of Central and Eastern Europe for 1,000 years – richer than Austria, even though after their land registers had been burned, this triggered a hundred years long civil war (I do not want to give the Irish communists silly ideas) and religious revolution. Enough said that the Minister Albert Speer wrote in his book that the Third Reich would not have won in Poland and France had it not taken over the Czech technology. When they attacked France and, later, USRR (by attacking USRR they pre-empted USSR’s plan to attack them – Stalin had been building a powerful navy to conquer the whole world – Hitler had 40 submarines, Stalin 250), a whopping 50pc of the German tanks were the old Czech tanks rebranded as German Panzer 38(t); overall the annexation of Czechoslovakia increased the German power by 2/3 (among others, 750,000 machine guns). 40 years of socialism was enough to bring Czechoslovakia down from a country that Switzerland needed WWII to overtake it in 1948 in terms of GDP per head, after almost a thousand years of Czech being the cradle of technology and Switzerland being the cradle of cheap labour (we even had a word in Polish “Szwajcar” – it meant “doorman”), to – well, just look where the Czech Republic is now and where the Switzerland is…
    The same can happen to Ireland if Ireland switches itself off from the fast growing part of Europe. And here I see the plans to create the super-state as an opportunity for Ireland. By loosening her ties with dying, terrorist infested, pro-regulation Carolingian Europe (Germany has the worst banks and demographics in the world) and allying herself with the deregulating Europe of second speed (Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, USA – I would love to say UK but UK will now be Ireland’s biggest competitor), Ireland can become both safer (if it joins those countries in their resistance to admitting terrorists – Mrs Merkel herself has recently admitted they had let in terrorists with the refugees that they now cannot control) and more robust financially, especially if Ireland emulates Poland in retaining her national currency.

    And David, if you think that Ireland can ally with Scandinavia without allying with eastern Europe (and probably the US), here is food for your thought: faced with a choice of allying with either Ireland or Poland, your beloved Denmark/Finland/Sweden will choose Poland over Ireland 10 times out of 10 due to those four countries shared army structures and security concerns related to the Baltic Sea and airspace (Ireland is not able to control her own airspace – see the incident with Russian bombers nearly colliding with Irish passenger plane in February last year): I can bet 500 euro on that.

    Taoiseach went to talk with Mrs Merkel and returned with nothing but rebuke; at that time Warsaw saw Prime Minister Cameron, President Obama, and other heads of states, plus the Chinese Prime Minister and the Chinese fleet before; and the deputy chef of Polish diplomacy went to Moscow this week to meet with the deputy chef of the Russian diplomacy. As one of the results of that, the days of Messrs Juncker and Schulz are counted at the behest of foreign minister of 9 EU countries and the UK (the latter Mr will not be re-elected for 2017), which will also soften the EU’s position on the UK. Ireland is switching herself off from the decision making process on her own wish. It could have saved Ireland the Common Travel Area had the Taoiseach gone to Warsaw instead to Brussels because it is in the interest of Ireland + Eastern Europe rather than the UK to retain CTA – now that’s will be gone too, mark my words (of course unless the UK does not leave).
    So the best thing would be not to bring about the “either-or” situation, and form AN ANTI-SUPER-STATE ALLIANCE in Europe instead: all EEA members + the UK against the overregulated Carolingian Europe (Germany/France/Benelux), which Carolingian Europe had a super-state document ready the next day after Brexit.

  16. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I am referring to an article by Mr Derek Scally in which he claims that Poland’s state run broadcaster TVP has censored President Obama remarks:


    (the alleged difference being that President Obama said “Poland stands and needs to continue to stand as an example for democratic practices around the world” and TVP’s translation was “Poland is and will be an example of democracy for the whole world”).

    Initially I thought that that was just a bad translation of the Polish broadcaster (which would not surprise me because they murder the King’s English) – something akin to Tánaiste Mary Coughlan referring to the junior partners in her government as “na glasrai” (“vegetables”) rather than “an Comhaontas Glas”.

    But then I decided to do check the facts.

    It turns out that the the White House had decided to publish the full text of President Obama’s speech in Warsaw (in relation to a number of mendacious articles) and NEITHER did President Obama say
    “Poland stands and needs to continue to stand as an example for democratic practices around the world”, NOR did the TVP Info misquoted President Obama by translating it as

    “Poland is and will be an example of democracy for the whole world”.

    The Irish Times has just made up this conspiracy theory of censoring President Obama in the Polish media by editing his speech.

    What President Obama has really said (I quote the relevant excerpts) was:

    “We’re here, of course, for the NATO summit, and the fact that it’s being held here in Warsaw is a testament to Polish leadership. In the United States, we consider Poland one of our most committed and important allies. [...] I want to congratulate Poland on recently celebrating the 225th anniversary of its constitution — the oldest written constitution in Europe. And this speaks to the long yearning of the Polish people for freedom and independence. Indeed, after the Cold War, the rebirth of Polish democracy was an inspiration to people across Europe and around the world, including in American. Because Poland’s progress shows that democracy and pluralism are not unique to any one of our cultures or countries — they are describing universal values”.

    The alleged quote:

    “Poland stands and needs to continue to stand as an example for democratic practices around the world. ”

    cannot be found in President Obama’s speech. In other words, the Irish Times is lying.

    I would like to remind David’s readers that Mr Scally does not read or speak Polish.

    Very well – my next step might be that I may publish or prompt some people to publish, in Poland and in the US, a serious of articles on the topic of The Irish Times which may damage the reputation and sales of that newspaper.

    More serious is Mr Scally’s allegation that “Proposed changes to operations at the constitutional tribunal have been rejected by judges as unconstitutional, as have efforts by the government to set aside judicial appointments by the previous governments”.

    What Mr Scally ignores is that those judicial appointments are illegitimate because the previous government illegally appointed two new justices while simultaneously retiring two sitting justices before their terms were up. Furthermore, the difference between “a purge of PiS-critical journalists” and the purge of the PO-critical journalists is that following Mr Donald Tusk’s appointment as Prime Minister, PO-critical journalists were not only sacked, but they were repeatedly harassed by the security agencies – in June 2014, agents of the Internal Security Agency raided the headquarters of the news weekly “Wprost” and attempted to confiscate computers and data storage devices belonging to the journalists, while two others (Tomasz Gzela of the Polish Press Agency and Jan Pawlicki of Telewizja Republika) were arrested covering the protest against election rigging held at the headquarters of the National Electoral Commission after the local elections. As far as the modified Surveillance Bill is concerned, it was mainly aimed at bringing more transparency into surveillance – the previous government kept journalists and citizens under surveillance as a routine practice (i.e., in 2014, the secret service applied to access 2,177,000 telephone bills).

    • McCawber

      Any chance you could get your Polish “mates” to put the zipper on some of the French ministers.
      Bitching about having to deal with Boris Johnson.
      Good enough for them because if they had dealt with British concerns rather than NON they might not have to be dealing with Boris now.
      Arrogant gits.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Dear McCawber,

        “put the zipper on some of the French ministers”.

        I think France is about to collapse along with Italy:


        The rest of the job will be done by their native radical islam population, who, when on strike, will make Greece look prosperous in comparison, and even Ms Le Pen victory will not turn the tide as that would only mean “socialism yes, but only for the French” – and socialism always results in shortages and public unrest, from Lenin’s Russia to Venezuela:


        As to Germany, they are calling the shots. But they have the worst bank and the worst demographics in the world, and the entire German Grossraum Wirtschaft/Mitteleuropa project is based on the idea of taking surpluses from the jurisdictions where they are created and siphoning them into productive investments in deficit countries in order to generate incomes necessary to buy goods from surplus area so that they remain in manufacturing/high purchasing power (thanks to low debt) surplus areas.

        All that Taoiseach needs to do is to stop taking instructions from future losers in Europe, even if he is (and I do not know if he is or not) into cross-dressing. About time he changes his advisers.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Maybe I did not put it well; I mean instead of pointing out to Taoiseach’s obvious weaknesses which are plain to see, we should surround him with advisers better than he has, mentally strong, decisive people with vision and critical minds.
          That’s why we should create think-tanks like serious countries have.
          Then the wussy Taoiseach, instead of listening to wussy advisers, would go after people with vision precisely because he is so soft and undecisive.
          Believe me, I can bully and outtalk any meeting of people smaller than 10 (and for years I have been trying to make myself more diplomatic and less visible, which I think comes with age anyway), so if someone like me, but wiser and with better experience was let into the government meeting before going to Brussels, things would look different.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            This comment went into the wrong place – it should have been under McCawber/Adam’s about our Mayo man (or woman, if he really is a cross-dresser).

    • Deco

      There is no need to censor Obama. Nobody is listening, anymore. He got re-elected because he was up against an angry man and later a con-artist.

      A lot of people have discovered it was all BS. A bundle of empty slogans and cliches. He has overplayed his credibility.

  17. McCawber

    Simple solution for all those obsessing over a united Ireland – Nixit referendum.
    Only question would be where would they exit too. Who’d want them?

  18. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Prof. Ray Kinsella writes


    that Russia “under President Putin does not remotely equate to a threat to its neighbours”. He calls for demilitarisation of Europe. A question that comes to the fore is this: if Russia does not pose any threat to its neighbours, then why Russia has, since 1999, been repeatedly calling snap exercises (in breach of the Vienna Document that Russia has signed) including more than 100,000 troops, in which it simulated nuclear attacks not only on its neighbours like Poland (Zapad-09), but even on neutral Sweden? On February 18, 2015, Russian Tu-95 bombers flew just 40km off the Irish coast, causing civilian airline planes carrying hundreds of people to be diverted in mid-air to avoid potential collisions, even though two weeks earlier the Department of Foreign Affairs had – in vain – sought reassurances from the Russian ambassador that their military aircraft would not fly into Ireland’s area of control without advance notification (especially if their transponders were off). Does it make Russia a partner that Ireland can trust? Or, if only the US is war mongering, then why is Russia using her warships to deliberately disrupt the construction of undersea power cables that would reduce the energy reliance of Baltic states on Moscow (for example in April and March of 2015 a naval vessel from Russia’s Northern Fleet had entered Lithuanian waters four time in around a month and illegally forced a Sweden-owned civilian ship to change course, and there has been dozens of such examples since)?

    Receivers of the Russian propaganda often repeat their question what would the US do if Russian bombers were flying near the US. Little they know that they actually are – in early September, 2014 Russian strategic bombers in the Labrador Sea near Canada practiced cruise missile strikes on the United States (and both countries are bound by the North American Aerospace Defense Command).

    5 days before shooting a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber aircraft, I publicly warned, here on this blog, that Turkey “is on a verge of war with Russia, which violates their airspace on a regular basis”.

    On the other hand, the Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said, “Russians are very active in sending the refugees to us by various northern routes such as by air”.



    In January 2016, Mr Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said that if Sweden were so foolish as to join NATO, Russia would act—with its military, not its diplomats. I think that the Russkie are losing it – Sweden and Finland are sovereign countries and they can join any organisations they like. All that such statements have done was to make Poland and Denmark to issue a joint statement in April regarding the co-operation between their governments in the area of energy to prevent the Russian gas price diktat, followed by bilateral military agreement between Sweden and Poland to prevent further incidents on the Baltic Sea.

    If Prof. Kinsella is so worried about militarisation, I suggest we should start with demilitarisation of Kaliningrad, into which Russia has been pouring troops and missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads (well before the coup in Ukraine took place) at such a rate that Kalingrad is now Europe’s most militarised region.

    Meanwhile Irish politicians and the media are blissfully unaware of any of this. If Messrs Kevin Doyle or David McWilliams, comparing the incomparable, want Ireland to ally with Scandinavia in Europe against Germany and France, they should consider all of that, and quick.

    Ireland has to navigate very carefully in Europe if she does not want to end up on the losing end – Ireland is not a special case, contrary to what Ms Merkel had told the Taoiseach before, and it does not have any special relations with the UK other than that it wants to retain the Common Travel Area and single market with Great Britain, without offering any military cooperation or political influence in the EU, which it has none. And one more thing – neutrality usually means peripheral geographic location and an awful amount of luck. The latter is running out for Eire and the former is about to play to their detriment if Ireland does not enter new coalitions in Europe (and outside) quickly.

    Taoiseach, I do not want to see you back in Dublin until you come back with something meaningful for Ireland, not the pat on the head I wrote about 3 years ago.

    People of Ireland, stop sneering at your jargogled Taoiseach, his psychological and diplomatic position is very weak now and he needs to hear the support of the public opinion regarding decisive foreign policy (and it is just about time that Ireland starts to have one, for so far Ireland was in a win-win situation so her politicians did not need foreign policy).

    In this situation, when the very future of the Irish state is in question and the media are busy discussing fetal abnormalities, why not try activating the Irish diaspora in the US and the UK to influence the outcome of the US election by biding their candidates to promise Ireland not to attack her low corporation tax, while at the same time engaging in dialogue with Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Stockholm, Madrid and Rome rather than Brussels, Paris and Berlin (I did not mention London because they never had friends but shared interests – like any serious country – and now they do not share common interest with Ireland)?

    • McCawber

      Our Taoiseach is damaged goods.
      Giving him the support you suggest would simply prolonged the damage he does.
      He needs to stop talking and listen to his people.
      He doesn’t have any mandate and should stop claiming that he does
      His meeting with Merjel was an act of arse covering.
      Whether we agree or disagree David’s suggestions, those are the things that our Taoiseach should be addressung.
      We need our government to get strategy together asap that will determine our future international direction, instead of making it up as we go along.
      Do that and we won’t have to cringe while watching our Taoiseach making a gobshite of himself – AGAIN.
      WHERE’S HIS F^CKING PRIDE – A famous exhortation used not so long ago by another Urushman.

  19. michaelcoughlan

    Hi all,

    @ Deco. You are on fire a joy to read.


    Good idea but Irish politicians would have to administer it and there lies the rub.

    Something which hasn’t been mentioned is what is the real figure?

    I bet we are contracting! Records breaking emmigration etc with immigration allowing zero hour min wage contract mcjobs instead reducing the velocity of money
    and a gubuernment assets stripping the population with wealth taxes, a banking system more insolvent than ever, and I think the sixt biggest national debt in the world? Bank lending still contracting.

    What’s the real figure Dathi? A good place to start would be to exclude the companies registeted here for tax but who don’t OPERATE here.

    I bet again we are contracting!

    • McCawber

      I had reason to do a round trip from Dublin to West Clare snd back yesterday.
      Based on the couple of stops I made the country is humming compared to three years ago.
      That’s not a GDP figure but it does suggest that the economy is in better nick that a few years ago.
      However the debt mountain is huge so is the above “activity” derived from all the debt.?
      Ie did we simply borrow the increase in GNP and thus we are probably worse off.

  20. All government statistics are manipulated and a lie.
    The inflation rate is a lie.
    The benefits of inflation are a lie.
    The central banking system perpetuates the lie of the benefit of debt.
    Our money system is a fraud. It requires ever increasing amounts of currency be issued just to retain any economic activity. It is the greatest bubble ever created.
    The suggestion that the debt will ever be repaid is a lie.
    The amount of national debt loaded on the taxpayer is a bubble, unsustainable.
    The bonds are in a massive bubble.
    The stock markets are in a bubble courtesy of the central banks.

    David Stockman reasons correctly that the Central banking system must be disbanded if we are to have economic stability.


  21. More commentary on the real world of lies and deceit.


  22. survivalist

    This is very worrying… One of Ireland’s most influential economists champions the idea that ‘Ireland’ take shares in multi-national corporations, based in Ireland, at least nominally, and this is sold as being a good thing for Ireland…?!?

    And peoples main reaction has been to consider the unionist/republican divide?! What’s going on here?

    This article seems, to me at least, to be laying out the blueprints for serfdom. It’s terrifying!

    Firstly it is not an either/or choice with respect to how we respond to corporate criminal and immoral practices. It is not only a choice between complaining and/or complying with corporate efforts to assume rule over our lives.

    Now to the main horror; in short if Ireland takes shares in some multi-national corporations then our future is to be dependent on the corporation’s future. We will have been captured.

    If the wealth, which Ireland’s public service expenditure becomes reliant on, is generated by corporate dividends, then it would only be rational to ensure that the government in effect guarantees these dividends.

    ‘Your’ police, the army, the teachers, universities, politicians and the judiciary itself would be dependent on the corporations for their pay and their pensions.

    If that isn’t a vision of neo-feudalism then I don’t know what is.

    Consider the ‘externalities’ or ‘unforseen consequences’ we would need to ignore to go ahead with this madness.

    In general the ‘success’ of corporations has been built on pretty basic and traditional strategies; drive down labour costs, capture regulation, rig the market, destroy the environment, manage society and cultural perception, kill off unions (literally), remove competition, outsource all costs onto the individual and avoid paying tax by any means possible; these mattes would now become government policy.

    These profiteering strategies would be enforced through legislation to ensure ‘our’ dividend return is maintained. It would actually be in the interests of the nation and its people that corporate interests are prioritized and regarded as synonymous with the people’s interest.

    Now the details are beyond my understanding but consider the following – dividend return affects share price…

    So borrowing to pay high dividends would be ‘good for business’ especially as the interest return is higher than the borrow rate…

    But who guarantees the debt incurred to pay these dividends?

    The people? Certainly – and also the national assets including, water, electric, gas but MUCH more importantly *the actual real estate*!

    The very land of Ireland would become owned by the corporation and we, citizens and our sovereign institutes would be reduced to tenants or serfs. Welcome to the new relationship between citizens and corporations – neo feudalism.

    I will not speculate as to whether this suggestion is well intentioned or not. Is our host merely recycling the ideas which have been conceived for corporate benefit and then disseminated through the corporate economic-media where it is targeted at economists for them to internalise and promote?

    Incidentally the ONLY other group to which the term ‘permanent wealth’ relates in any meaningful way were the aristocracy.

    It took centuries for people to overcome this form of oppression, will we gladly return to it?

    • Mike Lucey

      @ survivalist

      Its hard to argue with what you say there.

      Irish Fisheries could have been our permanent wealth and hopefully in time it may well be.

      • survivalist

        @ Mike Lucy

        Despite the efforts to drive this idea out of the minds of the Irish people the facts are that Ireland has been of phenomenal value to building the ‘EEC’ materially and immaterially though the latter is harder to prove. Ireland depth is metaphorically accurate but this description resonates with some actual quality of the people.

        Ireland’s civilization and culture is envied, extracts as supplied by Mr Kolodziej illustrate the arousal which is created in those who seek to ape our integrity, fail, repeatedly; and submit to embracing pre-packaged cultural transplants or infusions of a cultural veneer from their imperial masters. It is broadly accurate to regard Australia as our cultural geographical and historical antipode and their plight is to be commiserated.

        Ireland has been the shining ‘bad example’ as a genuinely civilizing force against imperialism in the world.

        But that influence is as inexplicable as it is real and, so much beyond any measure of our numerical resources.

        Which nations have there ever been in history that have opposed any one of the long succession of emerging world empires throughout history, that have endured that imperialism, prospered and expanded beyond its effects and then surpassed that empires presence in her own territories? Only one that I can think of.

        Anyway to return to some facts and your point I think :)

        An extract from a Review of Ireland’s Foreign Policy and External Relations by Dr K Devine, though lengthy is worth repeating where she identified the strategies which “…significantly undermine the basic public information element of human security and democracy, as forces coalesce to dominate discourses on Irish foreign policy and the EU CSDP in the media and social networking fora, especially during referendums in Ireland on European Union treaties.

        Languishing in a zone of meaningful silence, is the fact that Ireland is the second biggest indirect net contributor to the EU after Germany, having contributed over 40 million tonnes of fish extracted from Irish waters (the second most important in terms of Europe’s edible fish stocks), worth an estimated €200 billion.”

        And later:

        “The real balance sheet shows that the EU has a net benefit in excess of €140bn derived from the island-nation resources of the Irish people and state. (Devine, 2012

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “in short if Ireland takes shares in some multi-national corporations then our future is to be dependent on the corporation’s future.”

      No, dear Survivalist, no, no, no. I would say that you are right if taking shares in multi-nationals was the only or main “oidea” of the Irish government as to what our soures of income should be (in this case income from share, from taxes and from jobs creation).

      But although I am all in favour of that idea, at the same time I have been warning not once, not twice, but continuously that Ireland should address the cost-of-living/doing business problem and aim at creating her own manufacturing base, like the Jerries have done; because if Ireland does not do it, it will

      1. Become, as you say, “dependent on the corporation’s future”

      2. Can be an object of a corporation-blackmail from them, and foreign states.

      3. That one-sided strategies would only increase property prices – the main reason (and food prices) as to why most of us think “if we have it so good, then why it does not feel like a recovery?”)

      In my view corporations should be encouraged to settle here, but we should use it only as A STEPPING STONE to develop our own industries.

      Like the Israelis and Chinese have done.

      The Irish corporation tax rate should be lower than British or real French rate, but I am not at all in favour of corporations paying us as little as they do.

      Corporatism is not free market, not capitalism, not laissez-faire: corporatism is fascism. The problems that the US has been experiencing since post-Lehman, the goldmansachsation of the American economy, this is not the failure of capitalism: this is the failure of fascism.

  23. “By taking shares in multinationals, we could create an Irish sovereign wealth fund that is linked to the share performances of some of the best-governed companies in the world, plugged into the world economy like no other and providing huge wealth for future generations.”

    Sovereign wealth funds have a history of being looted well before their time.Norway is doing better.

    Here is a tale of two funds.


    • McCawber

      Based on a good deal of your comment and some others on here too, I suggested a while ago that the Irish Government should be buying gold (I’d add Silver now) bullion on a yearly basis (about €.5Bn) for the foreseeable future.
      The crash, which I have no doubt will come, will probably not happen as quickly as one might expect (hopefully, because it takes a while to get one’s ducks lined up in a row) and will probably be triggered by an unexpected event.

      • On the other hand, Mr. McCawber, any mention of gold as an asset class is met with indifference, ridicule or scorn as a result of ignorance or indoctrination. No discussion of such ideas is allowed to flourish and be explored but is summarily dismissed as being in Cookoo land.

        The Hemingway description of going broke will apply. “I went bankrupt slowly at first and then it happened all of a sudden ”

        The world is already bankrupted and it occurs steadily to greater depth. One day we will wake up and find bankruptcy means overnight loss of ability to function. Welcome to the great reset. Your currency will be relatively worthless, and only the strongest currencies will be acceptable to act as a medium of exchange.

        There is a reason that the major powers hang on to gold as an asset class and why ascending powers are accumulating as much as possible. There is a reason the US wages a war against gold as it is the primary threat to the validity of the US dollar as the reserve currency. It is a fact that all currencies are devaluating one after another in an attempt to gain a trade advantage. This is the noted currency war, or competitive currency devaluation.

        The prices of gold and silver are heavily manipulated along with all other aspects of the economy of the world. This is another aspect not given air for debate, not acknowledged, but sneeringly referred to as the talk of conspiracy theorists.

        Well if you do not like the message, shoot the messenger, or send the messenger off to the gulag in a mental institution for reform.

        The major pricing mechanism for gold is the COMEX. Where is practiced an extreme form of fraction reserve banking. It is otherwise known as a fraud, as paper promises to deliver gold are made with gold that does not exist. Contracts are settled in cash and no metal is exchanged.It is a derivative market and tonnes of gold are sold on the market in minutes to drive the price downward. This is bare naked shorting and a criminal act but the authorities and the regulators turn a blind eye as it is sanctioned by government.

        However China has set up a physical only exchange in Shanghai where volumes of trade are increasing and where deliver must be made for every contract. Presently China appears to be absorbing all the physical gold available on the exchange at the COMEX derived cheap prices. This will continue until the physical supply dries up. When they are good and ready China will reset the gold price.

        In the meantime all one can do is whatever it takes to protect yourself from the coming tsunami of paper money as the currency wars intensify, and the currencies crash and there is a reset with a new money system. The timing is sooner rather than later. It could be this weekend or any weekend in the shorter time frame.

        • McCawber

          A coup d’etat in Turkey is exactly the type of “unexpected event” that could be the moment in history that we’ve all been dreading.

  24. AlfieMoone

    London BBC elite on safari to Brum/Stoke/Hull to find out about the Brexit Reservations of the Lumpen Proles, peddling their divisive race-baiting Cultural Marxism. There was, indeed, a spike in hate crime but it quickly died down, despite the best efforts of the Establishment Media and their Project Fear morph into Project Smear via Special Snowflake Remainiac idiots like #thisiswhatyouhave done, mirror’d by compliant Norman D4 media to warn off those on the island of Ireland thinking of an Uprising4IRExit.

    The UK has ample hate crime legislation but the discredited losers want nothing more than a Folk Panic.


    • AlfieMoone

      ‘The aftermath of Brexit – Send us your stories about how you have been affected by the EU Referendum and Britain leaving the EU – Working with @PostRefRacism to highlight the concerning increase in racism post-referendum here in the UK.’


      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I had a look at the link and it’s something I would like to relate to because I know the case of the late Miss Dagmara Przybysz a little bit, a 16 year old died in Pool in Cornwall (R.I.P.).

        First of all, the tragic death had occured in May before Brexit.

        Racism has always existed (I prefer the word prejudice: for example, after the new wave of immigration of the Irish to Australia, Mr Grahame Morris, a political pundit and former chief of staff to Prime Minister John Howard, said this about the Irish on Sky News:

        “these are people who can’t grow potatoes. They’ve got a mutant lawn weed as their national symbol and they can’t verbalise the difference between a tree and the number three.)”

        , but but but

        if we stretch everything under the umbrella of racism then we blur the meaning of that word and actually we diminish it.

        Dagmara complained a lot about bullying at school, but what has been absolutely glossed over in the media is that a lot of that was due to the fact that she was white (I am not saying that there is not an authentic anti-eastern European prejudice in England, but at the same time, I am disgusted that the tragic death of a beautiful girl is used politically).

        Some hint about the latter in this short media report.


        Because she was white, the police suspended the investigation over her death (which happened in circumstances far from clear – she was found dead in the school ladies toilet) as this was not considered a “racist” case (racism can only exist if you are non-white or Jewish).

        If anything, this story shows the hypocitic PC two tier structure of the British legal system: if you are bullied and white, it’s not racism, unless it can be used for Brexit.

        Secondly, there is some sort of racism that is completely unreported in the media – the Jewish racism. Unlike the authentic, but marginal (even if growing) prejudice in the UK, racism is something that is embedded in the legal and political structure of Israel and orthodox Jews (bear in mind, the Jewish historians themselves write that Jewish courts – because the Jews were allowed to have their own courts in Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania – were sentencing Jews who married non-Jews with death penalties), as it follows directly from their religion.

        Where in the Irish or the English (let alone the US) media would you hear about this: Mr Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party and the former chief Sephardi rabbi of Israel, friend of the Prime Minister of Israel, has said this in his Sunday sermon about the non-Jews:

        “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel”

        “Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat”

        He then went to expand as to how the lives of non-Jews are protected in order to prevent financial loss to Jews

        “They need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant. That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew”.

        And this was what Mr Isaac Singer, the secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, said about the Poles in 1996 (Reuters):

        “They’re gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims (WJC demands 60bn dollars compensation from Poland for the property robbed by Germans in WWII; for that purpose they use the Nazi term “Polish concentration camps” – G.K.) it will be publicly attacked and humiliated”

        Unlike the Irish Times, all my quotes come from primary Israeli sources, and the sermon was broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10.

        P.S. Famous people, among others JFK, about Zionism:


        • McCawber

          I’m a firm believer in attack being the best form of defense.
          Armed with the an old Jewish proverb (Jesus was a Jew afterall)
          “Let he who is without sin cast the furst stone.
          There is nothing innocent about the Israelis.
          In fact there is nothing innocent about any race. We’re all human’s.
          Humanity’s history is both awesomely brilliant and awesomely cruel and vicious abd all humans have that heritage.
          If only we could accentuate the Awesome Brilliance – The inhumanity really is necessary.
          All we need to do is be truthful.
          (Tell the truth and shame the devil)

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Well, I agree that we’re all humans, and that we all should get on with each other as long as we are not being shot like yesterday in France (did not I said yesterday ‘The rest of the job will be done by their native radical islam population, who, when on strike, will make Greece look prosperous in comparison’…) and I was not having a go at the Jews as such (incidentally, contemporary Poland has quite close links with Israel and not only that, we actually – it’s a long story that goes back to 1939 – created Mossad, for good or worse), but a go at the World Jewish Congress and some aspects of the structure of the Israeli state.

            Because one cannot comprise everything in a comment, I can also add that not all American Jews like WJC (which is known, among other things, for defrauding money of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which was descibed so well in the book of the Jewish historian Prof. Norman Finkelstein “The Holocaust Industry”).

            But the gist of my comment is that no one but no one else but the Jews can get away with a blackmail like the above, and no other country can get away with having in the government people like Mr Ovadia Yosef.
            If a leader of the government in Poland or Ireland said

            “Jews were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Ireland”, Poland or Ireland would be immediately thrown out of the EU – they wanted to do it with Austria for having Mr Joerg Heider, who, if he was Israeli, in Israel would be probably ostracised for being too tolerant of the goyim.

            In that way I feel I am without a sin in this respect because such blackmail towards an Israeli state, or giving $4bn a year to a state that tolerates and honours such people in its government would have been unthinkable if it was any other group of people.

            But on the other hand, not all Jews are Zionists – otherwise you would not have so many Jews who became Polish nationalists (and the most nationalist underground movement in WWII liberated a Jewish boxer from Gestapo).

      • McCawber

        Anyone in the construction industry in the UK will give you plenty of bad news stories.
        Sacrificing non refundable deposits for development sites being just one example.

        • michaelcoughlan


          Just curious.

          What’s happening? Has the property bubble burst?


          • McCawber

            Stopped inflating at the very least and also more or less on hold.

          • StephenKenny

            These real estate ‘markets’ bear no relation to your father’s real estate markets.
            In your father’s day, real estate prices reflected a complex set of forces: demand, supply, various perceptions, bank lending proclivities, etc.
            Today, rising real estate prices are one of the three primary goals of national economic policy, especially in the US, Canada, & UK.
            To this end, for about 20 years, we’ve seen an increasing number, and scale, of state interventions in the market, each with the simple goal of increasing prices.
            The reasons for this are lost in the mists of time, and now it’s simply part of the modern national dialectic.

            Of course, it’s not possible to actually beat real market forces, and they will always appear in some form or another. It becomes a game of whack-a-mole, with ever more ferocious and expensive hammer blows by the central bank & state.

            This is simply part of a broader cultural, social, and economic unreality that is has replaced the argumentative, broadly market-based, structures of the past.
            Today we have no real argument, and there is no public deviation from the state operated, and enforced, single direction. Any dissension is gets no air at all, unless it is to show off the totally politically authoritarian legal system’s vicious suppression of such contrary views.

            From outside, and many of us are outsiders, it is an amazing and fascinating time to live. It’s very possible that we’re witnessing a rejection of the most important aspects of the Enlightenment – rejection of the age of reason – in favour of an almost religious structure, where a central unrepresentative mono track bureaucracy creates, dictates, and enforces with all the powers of a high tech modern state, the people’s social, cultural, and economic beliefs.

            Nature, of course, will have her way, and all this nonsense will have terrible, consequences for the vast majority. But until is does, we’re living through a time about which people look back on, and, shaking their heads in wonder, will ask how a people, so obviously talented, and with so many advantages, could have, voluntarily, and so completely, destroyed the foundations of their whole way of life.

          • Good commentary , Stephen.

            Review this Chris Hedges video with a lecture , question and answer session, as he describes the current economic and political systems. Corporatism and the international banking system are discussed but without going as far as explaining the fiat money system of the central banking system of debt based money.

            However he advocates a peaceful revolution as a moral people overcome the amoral, evil, system in place.


        • Mike Lucey

          Thanks for that link to Chris Hedges: The Algebra of Revolution. It further opened my eyes as to what has been and is happening.

  25. McCawber

    Turkey coup d’etat – Discuss.

  26. http://usawatchdog.com/weekly-news-wrap-up-7-15-16-greg-hunter/

    More Islamic Terror in France, Black Lives Matter is False Narrative, Phony Stock Market Highs

    All governments lie to their electorate. Plus market support by central banks distorts the markets. Ditto bonds.

    There is no free market anymore–Chris Powell, http://www.gata.org

  27. ‘If even one percent of London’s economic activities migrated here, we would be absolutely crippled’


    McAuliffe relates a litany of shortcomings, from a dearth of properties for sale or rent, patchy public transport that causes daily traffic gridlock to the existence of a single runway at Dublin Airport.

    The annual Web Summit that used to attract tens of thousands of heavy-hitters from the global tech world announced last year it was decamping from Dublin to Portugal to ensure participants had access to hot showers and wifi, among other staples.

    “After three years of asking and asking we still don’t have even one single page outlining even a basic committed plan for the city,” the event’s frustrated co-founder Paddy Cosgrave told the government.

    Says it all really.

    • McCawber

      You are surely not suggesting that Government and Civil Servants actually employ and listen to some strategic thinkers/planners.

      The French education system actually teaches it’s students lateral thinking because they perceive this to be something they lack and the anglo-saxon has naturally.
      Perhaps we need to apply the same approach to Strategic Thinking.
      Identifying, in the short term, people who are natural Strategic Thinkers would be a good start. I’m sure there must be some kind of test that could do this.
      Obviously the longer term strategic plan (hahaha) would be to groom at least some of our younger citizens in this skill.

      As an aside – Do economists consider themselves to be strategic thinkers?

  28. If everything in the world economy is in the realm of ludicrous, where every aspect of investment in financial instruments is in a bubble, why would anyone invest anything? Stocks are in a bubble, bonds in a bubble. This being so indicates ate least one is cruising for a bruising.

    Record stock prices reflect a booming economy while record bond values reflect a stricken economy. Which is correct? Both , neither, one or the other. Who knows as they are highly manipulated by the central bankers. There is no such thing as a free market, only distortions.


  29. Haha the Garda confidential line, which is supposed to be anonymous, is an answer phone which askes you to leave your details so they’ll “get back to you”. That’s really going to clean up the streets.

    Meanwhile, Grzegorz is wondering when the Irish Air Force (or lack there of) is going to stop those pesky Russians from flying nuclear weapon-bearing bombers up and down the West Coast.

    Like I said previously Grzegorz, give it 10,000 years and they still won’t do anything about it.

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