April 5, 2017

Brexit is too important to be left to Bureaucrats

Posted in Irish Independent · 93 comments ·
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The upcoming Brexit negotiations will be the most important negotiations that any Irish representative has been involved in since Michael Collins went to London.

There is so much at stake for Ireland. Outsourcing responsibilities to the EU, in the belief the EU will negotiate on our behalf, seems a very risky strategy. It is not clear that the interests of Ireland and the interests of the EU 27 are aligned.

There is a real risk that the EU moves to “punish” the UK and, in so doing, punishes Ireland too. And there is also a real fear that our negotiators will want to be seen as “good Europeans”, leading them to sign this country up to a deal that is damaging to Ireland.

We can understand historically why the Irish establishment might try to keep us away from London’s clutches by siding with Brussels. This is in keeping with 50 years of Irish foreign policy. However, fear of London is based on historical insecurity and we shouldn’t be insecure any more. Per head of population, we are a much richer country than the UK, but sometimes we still behave like poor cousins. We have nothing to fear.

A confident Ireland should be able to isolate our own interests (even if these put us closer to the UK position on certain matters) and articulate these to Brussels in negotiations where we have much more “skin in the game” than any other single nation.

Worryingly, recent talk of “compensatory funds” for Ireland suggests that some have already pre-ordained an outcome that will be deleterious to us.

Politically, if Brexit tells us anything, it is that when a government loses touch with the interests or attitudes of its people, it loses control.

If the deal that emerges over the next two years is good for Europe but bad for Ireland, clearly the economic impact will be such to give succour to those looking for an “Irexit”. This would not be in our national interest but could become mainstream quite quickly.

Remember that one of the electoral lessons of the past two years is that at tipping points, what was once radical becomes mainstream and what was once mainstream becomes redundant.

Maybe a way to help Ireland’s negotiators would be to politicize the process and suggest a referendum of the Irish people North and South on the terms of Brexit. This would not be a referendum on the EU. We stay in; but it is a referendum on the degree of damage a deal would have on all the Irish people. If the EU is really concerned about its citizens as the Commission’s guidelines prioritized last week, then this plebiscite would be perfectly consistent with the EU’s ideal. We could also execute this under the auspices of the Belfast Agreement.

Such a move to politicize the result would focus the minds of everyone, our politicians and bureaucrats, the people in Brussels and those in other capitals of the EU. The last thing the creaking EU wants now is another referendum on anything European!

That’s our opportunity. It could strengthen our hand.

Politics is as much about changing the way the debate is framed, than about the debate itself. The debate has already been kicked off with Brexit, now it is all about the angles.

The fact is that in these negotiations, Ireland is in a very different position to the rest of the EU, not only for economic and mercantile reasons but because of deep historical and cultural reasons.

Many Euro-enthusiasts in Ireland tend to wish away the facts and pretend that we are a core EU country, positioned at the heart of Europe, continental in all but name. This is quaint and kind of flattering in a sophisticated, multi-lingual way, but unfortunately the facts suggest otherwise.

Equally, deep in many Euro-enthusiasts lies a latent anti-British bias, which would secretly like to see manners put on those insufferable Brexiteers. Believe me, I share that sentiment every time I hear some deluded, Surrey-based, golf-club reactionary spout off. But indignation is not a strategy.

Whether we like it or not, we have to accept some facts, which put us at odds with the EU 27. We have to figure out the best way to protect Irish interests.

First off, we are very similar to the British in a way that is not the case for any other continental country. Deep culture tells us this. Even our taste buds are aligned in an odd sodden Atlantic way, whereby British and Irish diets are almost identical. The reason that forty percent of Irish food is eaten by British people isn’t just because they live beside us, but because we have the same palates.

 

We are beer and butter people. In contrast, southern Europeans are wine and olive oil people. People up here in the islands also share a similar love of beef and dairy because we share the same grass-based diets — a function of thousands of years living in the same grass-friendly, damp, yet warm, Gulf-stream heated, maritime climate.

Continentals don’t share our meteorological heritage and, as a consequence, have different eating habits.

As a result, the UK is still by far the biggest single trading partner we have. For indigenous industries like food, booze and tourism, the relationship is overwhelming. While other Irish exports to the UK have been falling as an overall percentage of exports, still thirty percent of all our imports come from the UK.  Altogether, we do just over a billion Euros worth of trade a week with our neighbour.

These are the facts. And these have to be at the heart of the Irish negotiating position. We need free trade with Britain.

The facts on the ground don’t mean that we follow them out of the EU (as some might like), but it means that we have to box clever within the EU. And this is before we talk of the North and the Border.

There is simply too much at stake for Ireland to outsource this negotiation to a French federalist in the pay of the EU Commission.

We should be talking to the British officially and openly at the highest level, not hiding behind the EU, which is demanding that only the EU can talk to the UK. This is nonsense from an Irish perspective.

And maybe a referendum on the outcome of Brexit might embolden our politicians to do the right thing? What do you think? This is political, so let’s politicize it.


  1. Renewal Experience with Brexit

    Emasculating feelings and the fear of asphyxiation and being denied oxygen to breath to live is the political / economic reality on the social path ahead as a member of a wider community on ‘The Isles’ we have learned to share with up to now. Should these be the collective radical thoughts as islanders to become mainstream tomorrow?

    Claiming to be ‘a part of’ ‘any part of’ ‘The Isles’ no longer matters because it will ‘all move together’ , together. If not you are a dead matter.
    Water is cohesive and arrives from below, around and above us, so there is no escape from this capture that will determine your field to be able to align independently steadfastly with the landmass of the continent. In the order of things that was never meant to be and will never happen.

    ‘Change’ is the hope to cling to, to be buoyed in a turbulent water, and that must be done together otherwise in a fatal situation the sailors code of the seas prevails ‘when the fight for survival is inevitable cannibalism is the only option’. In another time this was called ‘The Reformation/ Cromwell’.

    The real task under Brexit can be easy as the time the apple fell from the tree and gravity was discovered. Knowing where it lands and what it holds around it can bestow a light of assurance in this long journey.

    Our host proposes a referendum without the details of a pre- ordained ballot paper so should he mean that he is deleterious to us in this article? What can we agree to ordain the ballot paper with to make the effort worthwhile? Remember it should be simple.

    Our hunger is for a united kingdom of communities as it once was in an ancient time. This ancient call is The Kingdom of Kerry enthroned in Windsor.

    This is the Pi solution to an exact decimal point and the mathematical enigma is solved.

    • We may feel we have something to say and maybe we do . But what we say in reality doesn’t matter . Because we don’t matter ‘in the order of things’ .

      Le Quay D’Orsay is so busy .There are more Irish files on the Brexit agenda in this ministry that the what the Irish Administration have themselves.

      Irish small firms supplying to the UK are being abandoned to make their own way to survive and some professional firms are drumming up ‘quick fix ‘ to advise on ideas to create a paper trail that is more frail to dissipate when it reaches the real air. Bloodbath would be an appropriate word and self inflicted at that.Cromwell may become a saint after this event.

      Our discussions are only a copy paper for a merry go-round and no more.

  2. zeedonk

    “…..the most important negotiations that any Irish representative has been involved in since Michael Collins went to London.” And look what happened to him; got his brains blown out by his fellow Irishmen for his troubles.

    • Deco

      This statement is an open admission that nobody involved in the ECB Bank bondholder debacle tried to negotiate anything for Ireland.

      To make the insult even worse, FF heriditary politicians actually refused to stand up for Ireland, when a British government minister asked for Ireland to get a better deal.

      And then there was the incident when a Lib Dem MEP stood up for Ireland in the European Parlaiment, and FF/FG stayed silent.

      Possibly the ONLY negotiations that occurred on Ireland’s behalf since Albert’s big bribe to pass Maastricht.

  3. Deco

    [
    Outsourcing responsibilities to the EU, in the belief the EU will negotiate on our behalf, seems a very risky strategy. It is not clear that the interests of Ireland and the interests of the EU 27 are aligned.
    ]

    From fisheries, to water taxes, to banking, to not having the navy fully committed to seizing and restricting the flow of cocaine through Ireland, and hundreds of other areas, our interests are routinely sold out.

    Often for as little as a photo with a EU fool like Juncker or Merkel or Hollande. Or so that the likes of Pee Flynn or Phil Hogan can be with the big boys making big money.

    And with Brown Envelope party installed as the back seat driver of the government, this is now certified to happen again.

    [
    If the EU is really concerned about its citizens as the Commission’s guidelines prioritized last week, then this plebiscite would be perfectly consistent with the EU’s ideal.
    ]

    The EU is not interested about it’s citizens. The bank deal removed that pretence. The EU is interested in the obedience and control of EU citizens, and the scripting of good news to endorse the EU’s power, and the manipulation of bad news to prevent any accountabilty linked to EU blunders.

    The EU has become another power and influence racket.

    The central role players in the center of the racket (like Juncker, Verhofstadt, Schulz, etc..) are behaving like leaders of a ridiculous cult, proclaiming the same predictable mantras, and identifying everything that questions their authority as immoral, disrespectful, uncivilized, and evil. And behind this pretence they continue to stumble along, drunk on power, and arrogance – oblivious to their own stupdity.

    The fact is that all of Southern Europe since the great centralization in 1992, has been an abysmal underperformer. And in the case of Italy, Greece and Spain, the underperformance is reaching unprecedented levels. In the case of France, and French speaking Belgium, underperformance has been consistent and mitigated by interventionism.

    These countries, like Ireland are governed by a political establishment, whose main expertise is disbursement of goodies to cronies, and the release of propaganda to the rest of their controlled populace. There is a political culture problem in these countries. And a media culture that is highly effective at shoring up support for corrupt political party machines. And in Ireland we are also suffering from this.

    The same political machines that wrecked the PIGIS, are sending comfortable smug chancers into the EU commission, where their role is the continuance of funding for corrupt political party machine vote harvesting.

    The EU as a model of government is not merely too big to be successful, it is too flawed to arrest corruption, and waste.

    Several EU societies have been facing the wrong direction for decades. Facing into increased dependency, increased corruption, and increased underperformance. And this has been copperfastened by corrupt political party machines.

    The smartest thing that Greece can do is walk away from the debt.

    The smartest thing Italy can do is leave the EU, and simplify it’s entire administration so as to focus scarce resources on it’s industrial sector.

    The smartest thing Spain can is to shift it’s entire economy out of agriculture, and drop corporate tax rates to a level that will divert industrial investment out of Northern Europe, whilst staying in the Euro. Spanish graduates are just as good as Northern European ones, and in many cases better.

    And probably the best thing Ireland can do is step back from the EU, and advocate a free trade based arrangement with the UK and IRL on one side, and the EU on the other.

  4. Deco

    The dual engine model of EU governance on the road to the ideal of “more Europe” is failing. Without it, we are told that EU policy wuld be overcome by smaller countries exercising their rights to veto in defence of their vital interests.

    Merkel + Hollande = Merde.

    And that is what we have witnessed in recent years.

  5. Deco

    [
    There is simply too much at stake for Ireland to outsource this negotiation to a French federalist in the pay of the EU Commission.
    ]

    Exactly. Bang on the money. We have another French Euro-empire-centralizer ready to shaft us, just like occurred under Trichet, for the sake of the racket that is never-to-be-compromised, according to the French governing elite.

    And we have the brown envelope party machine standing in the shadows, ready to screw the Irish people over once again. The corrupt gang that always put clique before the dumb party membership, and party before the people.

    I see failure, as a virtual certainty.

    Ireland is about to get FF’ed over. Again.

    There is an air of inevitability, over this.

    • barrym

      So, you think we are “safer” with an emaciated, post brexit, UK? One way or another the UK will go through a long adjustment process to being outside the EU, we would not be considered friendly to either UK or the EU if we throw in our negotiating lot with UK. Faced with some tough decisions in the course of their exit,the UK would ditch us.

      • Deco

        The bank bondholder shambles has shown that we are NOT safe in any way, when dictated to by European institutions – whether they are the ECB, or the EU commission.

        To those that say, sovereignty is an obsession, I point to the incident where only Ireland’s welfare state was instructed to pay up in full for private sector debts, and only in Ireland did the political establishment proceed with the instruction, and only here did the political establishment fully survive it.

        ‘Sovereignty-pooling’ is a blanket term that describes a mechanism whereby Ireland’s political party machines make the people submissive to a corrupt, power grabbing racket, for the sake of the poltical party machines.

        The UK has no obligation to a country, whose political establishment pushes it’s unemployed to the UK, everytime that same poltical establishment screwed up. They have been bailing out Irish political machines, from having to deal with the consequences of gombeenism, since the 1930s.

        Then there is the issue of CJ Haughey, and the arms trial, and the problems in the north.

        Sorry, but we are being poorly served by a collection of useless gombeens, whose primary skill is in preventing the people know what a shambles they operate.

        We see it now again with regard to the cops. And in that regard, the UK has to deal with Ireland operating a conveyor belt for directing cocaine from South America, into Britain.

        We don’t respect ourselves. No wonder nobody else does.

        • michaelcoughlan

          “The bank bondholder shambles has shown that we are NOT safe in any way”

          What really demonstrated that was when the gubernment raided the private pensions.

          Michael.

          • barrym

            +1 and the bank bondholder bailout was –

            1. Because they funked doing what the US did, wash someone down the to1let.
            2. We brought the whole thing on ourselves and then sent McCreevy to Brx. We needed to be punished.

  6. David,
    A great article, to be sure. I am sure you have the ear of those that matter. I do believe though that the assumption that “In” is better then “Out” should not be accepted as dogma. The EU is less and less representative. Very few Irish people know who their MEP is, never mind what they stand for or where they are on important issues. We are not empowered when it comes to Europe. The benefits of a super state are becoming less and less in a multi polar world. Globalisation has reduced the importance of hard national borders and the future economy is more likely to be driven by trade verticals then national boundaries. States no longer exist in isolation, they are expressions of cooperation. You can not have a common currency without a common tax base and banking system. I would opt for Irexit on the basis that the Euro project can only fail due to the utter lack of unity of its underlying peoples. Britain, sadly, will leave and in doing so it will hurry the demise of the Euro project. I think we might be wise to consider a cut and run before the house caves in on us. Stephen

  7. Mike Lucey

    ….. but what question/option would appear on the ballot paper?

    I seriously can’t think of anything that both the Republic and Northern Ireland could vote on jointly with the exception of a united Ireland and in this case, I feel both are far from ready for such a vote.

    In order for a ‘pressure’ ballot to work, I feel, only the Republic needs a referendum which might be along the following lines.

    Would you consider voting for the Republic of Ireland, along with its territorial waters, leaving the EU if Brexit proves to be detrimental to its trading status with the UK?

    As regards Northern Ireland, I feel the only thing they could vote on currently might be in relation to holding on to the current open borders with the Republic.

  8. Yddrggou ask for the rights of a sovereign nation. Self determination. Wrapped in the EU flag it is not available. Ireland to be independent must be independent and free. There is only one solution, a free sovereign Ireland can then negotiate a position of trade to enter a league of nations rather than be suffocated and extinguished by Brussels bureaucrats, gaspingly begging for crums from the table.

    This could be the end of Ireland as an entity. Only the people can save themselves from extinction.

  9. barrym

    [A confident Ireland should be able to isolate our own interests (even if these put us closer to the UK position on certain matters) and articulate these to Brussels in negotiations where we have much more “skin in the game” than any other single nation.]

    A confident Ireland must look after our interests, primarily, and not look over our shoulder.

    [The fact is that in these negotiations, Ireland is in a very different position to the rest of the EU, not only for economic and mercantile reasons but because of deep historical and cultural reasons.]

    So what? the EU is an economic union. There is absolutely no reason why non-economic facts should change. A new economic liaison with the EU and the UK is the best result of brexit for us. Some bureaucratic funding fudge will be just that, a fudge. We need to change our focus, even without brexit, and look to develop markets in the richer parts of Europe, and the EU.

    A referendum, regardless of the question, itself a ball-breaker, would be highjacked by the political interests, and the meaning would be lost. Maybe if we add the x million in the diaspora we might get an interesting answer? ;)

  10. ross81

    even if the EU collapsed tomorrow, our political class would stick their fat heads firmly in the sand and pretend it didnt happen.

  11. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I ON THE POSSIBLE TRAP IN THE REFERENDUM – CASUS GREECE

    Regarding David’s idea of a referendum on the conditions of Brexit, it is very important that questions would be formulated clearly (so called closed questions) – otherwise we end up in a situation like Greece after their referendum, where the population said they disagree with Troika conditions – without specifying what is it exactly that they want. Greece, which for years has been cheating on a massive scale on their subsidies – i.e. the famous plastic “olive” trees – and thanks to which Greece and Germany we experience this wave of refugees (who bring war rather then escape war – Greece blackmailed the rest of Europe that they will deliberately let in Jihadists if they don’t get more money) – the very same Greece was surprised that post-referendum, it didn’t get much sympathy from the rest of Europe, including Ireland.

    So Ireland would have to be very careful in formulating the referendum question (even more so because everything is in statu nascendi, so by the time Ireland would organise a referendum on Brexit deal, things may change – considering that here, unlike in poker-face eastern Europe, everyone apart from Vincent Browne smiles – and I love that; at the same time everything takes twice as long – it took 410 days to build the Empire State Building, while it’s been taking longer to connect the only two tram lines Dublin has than it took to defeat the Nazi Germany; and traffic disruptions are probably even worse in Dublin than in Nazi Berlin).

    II ON WHY GERMANY IS THE MOST NATIONALISTIC COUNTRY IN EUROPE USING NON-NATIONALISTIC RHETORICS AS A PROPAGANDA TOOL TO CONTROL THE LESSER COUNTRIES

    Contrary to what Elmar Brok from CDU was saying on Agenda that nationalism means war, it was the “non-nationalist” Germany that breached the Maastricht Treaty when it suited their national interest, and having breached the Regulation No. 604/2013 – the so called Dublin Regulation – they are now asking Europe to undo for Germany what they screwed with the refugee crisis (and Mr Schulz wants “to implement it by force”). A good example of how this tool is used is the Lisbon Treaty – as I have described on multiple occasions, when forcing the Lisbon Treaty on Europe, they made sure at the same time that in some EU law is held unconsitutional by their Tribunal in Karlsruhe, the Tribunal can stop it for Germany – so theoretically, a situation is possible whereby Germany would force some EU law on the rest and they will not have to adher to it themselves (Maastricht Treaty deficit rules was a precedent, though not using this mechanism).

    Basically, what differs German nationalism from the nationalisms in other countries in their amound of hypocrisy – Britain’s PM position in Brexit negotiations is also nationalistic, but Britain says so, and it does not hide behind rhetorics of “rising nationalism” in lesser countries, “the threat of fascism”, or “post-truth populism” that seems to be a problem is all countries apart from a country with the least freedom of press in Europe – Germany, where – as revealed last month – state-controlled media concern Ringer Axel Springer ISSUED – via its boss – AN INSTRUCTION TO JOURNALISTS EMPLOYED BY RINGER AXEL SPRINGER AS TO HOW THEY SHOULD REPORT ON THE POLISH GOVERNMENT IN THEIR NEWSPAPERS (this link doesn’t even give a foretaste of the most tasty morsels: such as Mr Decan given specific phrases on how to comment on Poland’s voting against Donald Tusk re-election):

    http://www.thenews.pl/1/2/Artykul/298456,Poland-seeks-explanation-over-memo-by-GermanSwiss-publisher-report

    This comes in keeping of what Stephen wrote above:

    “The EU is less and less representative. Very few Irish people know who their MEP is, never mind what they stand for or where they are on important issues.”

    Nothing illustrates that better than two Poles who have the highest (well on paper of course, because in reality important issues, such as conditions of Greece’s or Ireland’s bailout, were decided by the European Working Group, currently managed by Dr Thomas Wieser) positions in the EU): Messrs Tusk and Lewandowski; both losing elections in Poland, and both involved in massive corruption scandals in Poland (in Mr Tusk case, apart from phone tapping I described, there was also a scandal with the company called Amber Gold where his son was employed – basically that company has stolen savings of dozens of thousends of Poles who believed they would be able to save in a “gold bank”, whereby it turned out that the gold is gone and so is the company ans people’s savings).

    ON WHY, WHILE BILATERAL RELATIONS ARE THE BEST, IRELAND WILL NEVER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY IN THEM UNLESS ALLIED WITH BIGGER PARTNERS OR AS A TROJAN HORSE

    Ireland on its own cannot get the upper hand in a bilateral deal between herself and the UK (now more in a competition with Ireland than ever before) or the EU (let alone the US): bilateral deals only make sense if two partners are EITHER roughly equal or if one is a vassal of the other – so the way out of this conundrum is that Ireland needs to ally with other countries and:1. Find out which of their national interests are shared with Ireland’s, and pursue it2. Find out which of their national interest are contrary to Ireland’s, and try to compromise3. Find out on what of her national interest Ireland cannot AFFORD to compromise – and – if they can’t compromise either (and folks: the Carolingians won’t compromise before their elections) – oppose other countries on that – allying with yet another countries.

    Ireland doesn’t have friends, neither it has enemies – it only has its interest. If the Taoiseach is looking for friends, he should visit ISPCA, for which I was raising funds in 2008, and get a cat or a dog (they even had a donkey). Ireland should therefore play the UK and/or the US against the EU WHEN it suits Ireland (did you see Ms Merkel’s humiliation in Washington following Poland’s humiliation in Brussels regarding Mr Tusk?:

    https://twitter.com/maxkolonko/status/844233919113449474

    ) and play the EU against the UK WHEN it SUITS Ireland – mindful of the fact that only 3% of EU’s GDP comes from exporting to the UK while 13% of UK’s GDP comes from exporting to the EU (all delusions that Ireland can have non-vassalised bilateral relations with the US or the UK will end up with more humiliations like the one Ireland received from the US this month – yes, Mr Trump’s mother did speak Gaelic as her first language and yet it turned out that no, that doesn’t mean that Mr Trump will believe the Celtic Tiger times Dunnes Stores add and treat the Irish illegal immigrants in the US any different than Mexican illegal immigrants).

    There is something missing in the latest columns of David McWilliams – he correctly points out that Ireland’s is tied more with the UK more than with the Continent, but he never entertains an idea that in the long run, Ireland spending all her trades surpluses from her trade with the US and the EU on imports from the UK is not a healthy arrangement for Ireland. I see the same lacuna in otherwise very good post of Mike Lucey, when he writes that:

    “if Brexit proves to be detrimental to its trading status with the UK” (btw, I’m intrigued by his statement “As regards Northern Ireland, I feel the only thing they could vote on currently might be in relation to holding on to the current open borders with the Republic.” – that would imply no referendum on re-unification; I wonder what reasons would render the idea of such referendum impossible…).

    Both him and David McWilliams do not seem to take into account that Ireland’s trading status with the UK is ALREADY DETRIMENTAL TO THE IRISH ECONOMY, with or without Brexit.

    Even though UK is a very important trading partner for the UK (albeit NOT AS important as the US or the EU as a whole – for example, Irish exports to the UK are much smaller than to Benelux), it is a trade on which Ireland has been systematically losing (everyone here talks about how Ireland is losing on fisheries because of the EU – and rightly so – but no one on this blog, including our host, has noticed that the country that Ireland is losing the most on fisheries is the UK: in 2014, Ireland has exported only €56m of seafood to the UK and imported a massive €145.1m; while at the same time Ireland has exported €124m worth of seafood to France and imported €18.2m); Ireland’s main imports from the UK are products that are not advanced technologically, most of them Ireland could produce here in this country (and this when Irish exports are still driven by multinationals – imagine what happens when (when rather than if) President Trump closes down this US pharma and IT bonanza in Ireland and Ireland starts having the same trade deficits with the US (Ireland biggest and most lucrative trade partner) as it’s been having with the UK since times immemorial (David can write as much as he likes about Irish food exports – and lest he gets me wrong, I keep eating the Irish beef and therefore I wish it continues to be produced here -

    BUT

    but David, total Irish food exports are only $3bn compared to total Irish exports of $124bn (Ireland get 10 times more from pharma exports than from meat exports, and almost twice as much from aircraft exports), so food exports are but a trifle on the larger economic landscape (in short: an ideal would be to negotiate a deal whereby Ireland continues its food trade with the UK, but it reduces all other trade with the UK – here an energetic independency is probably more important a question than Irish agriculture, which is overreliant on the EU subsidies – thus improving its trade balance with the UK).
    .

    THIS, AFTER ALL, IS WHAT IS AT THE CORE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP POLICIES – TO IMPROVE NEGATIVE TRADE BALANCE WITH THOSE COUNTRIES WITH WHICH THE US LOSES ON TRADE; SHOULD THE SAME NOT APPLY TO IRELAND’S TRADE WITH THE UK,

    Of course, he knows better than me that post-Brexit UK is more a competitor to Ireland than its ally on things like regulations, corporation tax or jobs. But the solution is not to kneel down before the UK (even less to dance “to the Prussian drum”, as he once aptly wrote), neither it is to embark on “Dunnes Stores economy” style delusions on an even bigger, global scale. Ireland’s main export market is not the UK, but the US. And UK’s main export market is also the US, not Ireland (while Ireland imports way too much from the UK of products it could produce on her own, it still less than Holland imports from the UK). Therefore your conclusion should not be that Ireland should remain in post-colonial independence from the UK (which is what it is, considering that only the United Arab Emirates has a bigger trade deficit with the UK than Ireland does – UK’s trade surplus with Ireland is $5.3bn), but that it should replace the role the UK played for the US after 1945: that is become Mr Trump’s Trojan Horse in the EU (after all, the only reason really that the US companies are here is because of the access to the single market with low taxes: even the English speaking population is not an advantage as actually they are looking for multi-lingual staff). But how can Ireland do it without putting herself in a position of bending for a soap? Like I said: simple – play them against each other. Say to Germany: you want to bully us with the Common Travel Area? Just remember what happened to Merkel when Mr Trump refused her a handshake. Say to the US: you want to deport our illegal immigrants in the US? Very well – we will back visas for the US, since the US still has visas for some of the EU citizens. And pray, what is this Facebook been doing censoring us? That’ll be 100bn in damages or (if a judge in Brasil was able to ban Facebook for 24hrs for exactly this, then why not Irish?). Say to the UK: so you think you can restore a border in Newry without consulting us? Well, that’s fine – just bear in mind our customer data for TV, internet providers, shops and grocery stores are processed in the UK, and we don’t really like this Investigatory Powers Act 2016 yous have just introduced (in legal circles called the “snoopers charter”); and that last Friday, papers in a legal case taken by Jolyon Maugham QC along with three Green party politicians from Northern Ireland, England and Wales have been lodged with the Irish High Court. So if you bully us, this will end up like the Safe Harbour ended up – and if it does, Irish data transfers to the UK be put on hold: and we do not sell that stuff to you – you sell all that stuff to us.
    So what I am proposing is a bit contrary to all Irish political experience of the last 70 years. For the last 70 years, Ireland didn’t have to have any foreign policy: when it turned to the US, it received praises, investment, technology transfers and preferential visa treatment, and occasionally, Geithner; when it turned to EEA, it received praises, subsidies and occasionally, pat on the head. So being Ireland’s foreign minister meant basically two things: have a good sense of humour and not to fart in public. But now foreign politics it is back to normal: wolf eats hare, hunter traps the wolf. 

    I’m not saying that Ireland should become a hunter – I am merely saying that it should not become a hare, neither with the EU, nor with the UK, nor with the US: rather, it should become a Golden Retriever that generally likes everyone and is liked by everyone, but occasionally, it will bite when not given a treat. As Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his “On War” (and this applies to Brexit tough negotiations):

    “But there is still another cause which may stop action in war, that is an incomplete view of the situation. Each commander can only fully know his own position; that of his opponent can only be known to him by reports, which are uncertain; he may, therefore, form a wrong judgment with respect to it upon data of this description, and, in consequence of that error, he may suppose that the initiative is properly with his adversary when it is really with himself. […] The possibility of a standstill brings into the action of war a new modification, inasmuch as it dilutes that action with the element of Time, checks the influence or sense of danger in its course, and increases the means of reinstating a lost balance of force. The greater the tension of feelings from which the war springs, the greater, therefore, the energy with which it is carried on, so much the shorter will be the periods of inaction; on the other hand, the weaker the principle of warlike activity, the longer will be these periods: for powerful motives increase the force of the will, and this, as we know, is always a factor in the product of force.”

    • Deco

      Excellent post (once again).

      You are correct. We should not be the hare.

      We have a self-respect problem, from top to bottom.

      From the village drunk, to the spoofers in corporate boxes in Landsdowne Road posturing in a green jersey, to the hereditary aristocrats in Kildare Street, we have a massive “self-respect” deficiency up and down society.

      Pride is not self respect.

      Posturing as somebody to be respected is not self respect.

      Buying junk that was not needed, with money that was not earned, is not self respect.

      And partying like an idiot, is not self respect.

      • 95 percent of people wouldn’t understand what they are voting on – a referendum would be a pointless charade.

      • Deco

        Adam,

        Our politicians usually reduce every referendum to a collection of hard-sell sound-bites, plus loads of “the end of civilization” fear mongering.

        They reduce elections to auctions, for the advance sale of extortion based theft.

        And the media stands by, and lets most of this lying proceed unmolested.

        I actually do not blame the people. The political parties seemd to do everything possible to reduce democracracy to a farce. And then when this is over they run the country on the same basis.

        • Yes, but who voted in those very same parties?

          • Deco

            Fair point. It seems that there are people who can be bribed, with their own taxes – or indeed other people’s hard earned taxes.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Who voted and why…

            I tell you why:
            Alexander Fraser Tytler Lord of Woodhouselee was a Scottish advocate, judge, writer and a historian (he wrote “Inquiry into the Evidence against Mary Queen of Scots”), who lived around the time when Krystyn Lach-Szyrma, whome I am quiting below, visited Scotland, and was rather more impressed with it than with England at the time (I won’t translate any more passages from him though, reflecting what he wrote on Scotland: even though those I translated were very short, I find it exhausting considering I also do tons of other on a regular basis, a lot of them involving pages full of numbers and dates :-(.

            He has a special place in my professional heart as the author of “The Essay on the Principles of Translation” (1791); interestingly, he influenced the most famous Chinese translator Yan Fu, who translated Darwin into Chinese in 19th century – the Chinese translator’s dictum of fidelity, clarity and elegance came from Lord Tytler.

            There he writes, on page 216, why
            -the Irish voted for the “If I have it, I’ll spend it” the Dunnes Stores “because we are Irish” economy,
            -the Americans voted for Mumbama,
            -the Poles voted for Donald Tusk (albeit his program had been different to the one he implemented: Donald Tusk 2005 election program was 3×15 – 15% VAT, income tax and CIT),
            -the French vote for the same economic program regardless if its name is Le Pen or The Pain (like I said multiple times, the only difference between Madame Le Pen and Messieur Macron is that Madame Le Pen says: “socialism yes, but only for the French”),
            -and the Germans vote for politicians who make the whole Europe pay for the politicians they had voted before, and call it the “Europeisation of Europe”;

            they all vote for the same thing over and over again, because:

            “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

            Even though this but a rephrasal of Plato’s reflections from the Republic, it is a brilliant rephrasal (some people attribute to Tocqueville, but since it is in the spirit of Plato, the discussion is rather academic).

            Plato on democratic mind:

            “And so the young man passes … into the freedom and libertinism of useless and unnecessary pleasures. … In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature…unnecessary pleasures and appetites I conceive to be unlawful. Everyone appears to have them, but in some persons they are controlled, while in others they are stronger; and there is no conceivable folly or crime – not excepting incest or any other unnatural union which, when he has parted company with all shame and sense, a man may not be ready to commit.”

            “He was supposed from his youth upwards to have been trained under a miserly parent, who encouraged the saving appetites in him … and then he got into the company of a licentious sort of people, and taking to all their wanton ways rushed into the opposite extreme from an abhorrence of his father’s meanness.

            Neither does he receive advice; if any one says to him that some pleasures are … of evil desires, he shakes his head. He lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour. His life has neither law nor order – he is all liberty and equality.”

            This mentality led to higher echelons being populated by “elites” so stupid, that the Spanish El Pais has recently condemned Polish moderately conservative government for publishing a full list of all supervisors of concentration and death camps in Poland, along with their addresses and country of origin, because… the names were all German (why didn’t the Polish government publish any Polish names of Polish Nazis in concentration camps, wonders a leading moron from the most prominent Spanish newspaper? – perhaps because there weren’t any: if the Spanish have such newspapers, no wonder that the Spanish students are 25th on PISA ratings in reading, behind EVEN the US: and I’m saying this as a fan of Fernando Alonso for 5 years…).

            This mentality of, well, stupid societies voting for politicians that make them even more stupid, always, according to Plato, leads to tyranny:

            “Last of all comes the tyrant. In the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes every one whom he meets, making promises in public and also in private, liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to every one. This is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector. Hinting at the abolition of debts and partition of lands”

            And here you can see a current tyrannt in making, saying that nationalisms in Europe have to be removed by force (sadly, there is only a video in German, with no English subtitles, and most of them have already been removed – so those who speak German, pray, watch it till you can):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPt-fMB6EtY

            But here is where I am optimistic about Ireland: Irish politicians are too lazy and too settled in their ways to become tyrants (of course, we can always have a foreign tyrant).

            Lots of things can be said about Messrs Gilmore, Kenny, Ahern and Martin, but fortunately, rather to Plato’s description of a tyranny, they fit Plato’s description of oligarchy (there is always Vincent Browne, I know ;-); I wonder if your grin will be as wide as mine as to how much this description fits Oirish elites:

            “They invent illegal modes of expenditure; for what do they or their wives care about the law? Their fondness for money makes them unwilling to pay taxes. And so they grow richer and richer; the less they think of virtue … and the virtuous are dishonored. Insatiable avarice is the ruling passion of an oligarchy.”

            “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. … When he is contending for prizes and other distinctions, he is afraid to incur a loss which is to be repaid only by barren honor.”

            “The ruling class do not want remedies; they care only for money, and are as careless of virtue as the poorest of the citizens. Families have often been reduced to beggary – some of them owe money, some have forfeited their citizenship. Thus men of family often lose their property or rights of citizenship; but they remain in the city, full of hatred against the new owners of their estates and ripe for revolution. They hate and conspire against those who have got their property, and against everybody else, and are eager for revolution.”

          • “And here you can see a current tyrannt in making, saying that nationalisms in Europe have to be removed by force ..”

            Amen

  12. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “First off, we are very similar to the British in a way that is not the case for any other continental country. Deep culture tells us this. Even our taste buds are aligned in an odd sodden Atlantic way, whereby British and Irish diets are almost identical. The reason that forty percent of Irish food is eaten by British people isn’t just because they live beside us, but because we have the same palates. We are beer and butter people. In contrast, southern Europeans are wine and olive oil people.” Amen.

    David McWilliams
    (Irish economist, geopolitical writer, traveller – but in a good sense, past host of “The Big Bite”, future President of the island of Ireland lest we are approaching the Apocalypse and thus turmoil worse than post-Brexit and post-reunification, which I’m afraid we are: chipping of people is already taking place on an experimental scale, and I predict it can be done permanently using forehead or forearm, using the differences of temperature between those body parts – which are the coldest – and other body parts, as the Apocalypse predicts:

    “And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name.” Revelation/13-16).

    Regarding the Irish palates: it’s spooky that I was thinking about the same thing this week as David: European cultures being divided into butter/milk and olive cultures, and how that might affect culture. In French cuisine as well as throughout the Mediterranean, until the era of Le Cuisinier François, butter was an element of simple and rural cuisine. In the zone where olive oil was dominant, butter was supposed to be homespun, and thus it was rejected by the elite consumer circles. The value of this fat has changed in the seventeenth century, when its palatability was recognised and it was placed among the most important delicate culinary products. In the Polish cuisine, which was a part of the northern cuisine, butter played a different role: it was used in small quantities as it was an expensive and luxury product. Butter in Polish culinary culture played a role in terms not so much aesthetic, as moral: it was associated with fasting, as it was banned in the fast. At the end of the 18th century Jedrzej Kitowicz wrote about the rigors of Polish post: “Poles strictly kept the fast, you would not see any butter on the table of an aristocrat, but they were all with olive or oil, which was pressed out of linseed, hemp, poppy and almonds. Olive oil in the seventeenth century was not yet a particularly popular product in Poland, probably because Stanis?aw Herka complained about her poor quality, writing: “the old olive as it is sold in Poland, is suited not as much for the stomach as a lubricant for a cart, or for ointment”. The only acceptable olive was the young and fresh olive oil, which according to Herki: “the appetite for food makes, dishes seasoned with it are more gracious (yes – he actually uses that word in Polish: ‘wdzieczniejsze’, which literally means ‘more filled with grace’), and it not as harmful as old butter.”

    Olive oil in 17th century Poland was treated as a spice – and it was classified as a… root!

    So if we stick to Mr McWilliams’ division, Poland would be strictly butter and milk; as well as of pork/chicken/beef (primarily pork). Perhaps due to rain, Irish beef (and definitely quality of potatoes) is on average of better quality in Ireland than it is on the continent (also, Irish butchers have everything nicely cut for their customers – though I’m increasingly worried by this new trend of even well established butchers adding chemicals to their beef to make it look red). Regarding beef, I’m not sure why it’s impossible to buy veal in Ireland, something customary served to children in Poland on rare occasions such as Sunday dinner or being sick (is there a law against it? – I only knew of one butcher that was sells it in Dublin – for 60 euro/kg, and even that is imported frozen from France – in strict Dublin City Centre you won’t get veal anywhere).

    There was less choice of veg in Ireland when I came in even compared to Poland under communism – though its quality is high (Irish veg such as carrots, radish, chives and tomatoes are more lush and juicy and, on a surface, look much nicer, although their taste is somewhat bland due to lack of insolation – Irish veg is better to be eaten on its own, Polish veg is better for soups; generally, if for example an apple is all glossy and shiny and thus has not been penetrated by a worm, it means that it has so much chemistry that it is not tasty for the worm). Ireland is, as David noticed, a milk and butter country – and in that way, it is located on the line that goes from Ireland through Holland and ends in the Czech Republic in the south and Russia in the east (these are all massive dairy products eaters, unlike China – most Chinese cannot digest dairy products). Irish dairy products are very good – I think the only dairy products in Polish shops that are of a higher quality than Irish are mountain butter called Oselka that comes, like in old times, in small paper and it so dense that taken out of fridge, it’s as hard as stone; and cheese spreads (there are like 10 different types, while in Ireland in most shops there is only this incredibly dreary Philadephia). I buy Irish dairy products and vegetables in 90% of cases (ham is of much better quality in Polish shops though), but when I am cooking a soup, I always buy those small, old-looking, wrinkled, dirty carrots from a Polish shop because their taste is much more intense (btw, Irish supermarkets don’t sell parsley root – only parsnip).

    In general, I think that the immigration of eastern Europeans have forced the Irish supermarkets to broaden their vegetables offer a lot, because I clearly remember how 15 years ago it was impossible to buy radish and chives (and even blueberries) in the much-vaunted SuperQuinn (also, coffee in Ireland was undrinkable 15 years ago: it was usually an instant sachet, even in the likes of Hilton); same with the Italian cuisine influences in Ireland (it goes both ways – I remember how shocked I was when 10 years ago my late mum told me she saw Kerry butter in her supermarket – unlike Kerry butter though, most food that came from the west was of lower quality – like tasting like cotton-wool Dutch tomatoes and blueberries; the abhorrent Cadbury chocolates that tasted exactly like chocolate products in the Martial Law, because they were chocolate-like products; or German atrocious, full of phosphorus, cheap, EU-subsidised potatoes for 1 euro/kg, which have undercut better quality Polish potatoes due to foreign owned supermarkets (with 10 year long tax exemptions), and now the only good potatoes you can buy in Poland in smaller place are – for 3 euro/kg – imported from Cyprus (so this is as if German potatoes cost 3 euro in Ireland and were soft as a soap, proper Cyprian ones 9 euro, and all good Irish potatoes would be gone because all supermarkets would be Carolingians and British-owned: a food for thought to every reader who thinks that eastern European agriculture benefited from the EU, and Irish agriculture collapsed; while corporate people and public serpents only buy potatoes from Cyprus, Polish pensioners cannot afford them: when I once brought a bag of roosters from Ireland (similar to Cyprus potatoes, but much bigger), my late mum’s neighbours came to see them, and they all wanted to grow them in their gardens – my mum, who brought up on a farm, did it successfully)…

    Of course, a lot of that has to do with geography – but on the other hand, Austrian and Italian Tirol and northern Italy are not that far from each other.

    COLDBLOW,

    All of that prompted me to translate more passages from Krystyn Lach-Szyrma book on his journey to England and Scotland in years 1820-1824 – this time on his impressions of the British food:

    From Chapter II:

    “We stayed for dinner in Rochester town. Here we had the opportunity to sample the English cuisine. We were served some soup, neither black, nor white, which – enough said – no one was able to eat, neither could they guess its ingredients; having been unable to break down its chemical components, we called it a sister soup of the Spartan soup (Lach-Szyrma makes a jocular reference to Plutarch’s “Life of Lycurgus”, where in Chapter 21 he describes how Spartans had communal meals where the elderly were giving the meaty bits to the young ones, so that they remain strong warriors – G.K.), of which ingredient none of the learned philologists was able to investigate for the lack of sufficient evidence. After soup, a roast-beef was brought, which as it is well known is a lynchpin and crowning achievement of the English kitchen table, and without which John Bull cannot even fathom a good dinner. It was supposed to be a counterpart of our roast-beef, but it was not similar to it at all: it was a huge, beautiful piece of fat beef, not roasted, but merely warmed up, so that when you cut it with a knife, blood would ooze, and therefore, although it was perhaps prepared according to London’s cuisine recipes, it failed to tickle our fancy; furthermore, its sheer sight was abhorrent to us. Again, no one dared to touch this dainty. Having been once so discouraged, thenceforth, wherever we sojourned, we would send a delegation to the kitchen to keep our beef roasting a little bit longer. I don’t mention it with the intention to offend the English cuisine in any shape or form, or so that I would attribute the Englishmen national inclination to boxing, cruelty and murders to their inclination to half-raw meat, as many writers do; indeed, bearing in mind the saying “every country has its customs” and that I myself sometimes fancied such a cuisine, and I found it stodgy and healthier from the more sophisticated French and German cuisine; I mentioned it only to give a hint to those travelling to England to, before they get used to the English cuisine, they should stop at other meals, more agreeable with their national tastes, that they can get at every station, such as: splendid corned beef ripen in soil, hams, ox tongues, fish, butter, cheese.”

    From Chapter XXIX:

    “Although life in London is so expensive, yet I didn’t have to pay for eating and accommodation more than seven pounds sterling for a month (equivalent of 555 pounds today – G.K.), while in Edinburg it was ten. In general, it would be immensely more comfortable and cheaper to live in such houses in London, if it wasn’t for side expenses, such as paying the servants, drinks and junkets, which the guests are buying themselves, which altogether, trying to save the most, amounted to 2 pound sterling a month (158 pound sterling today – G.K.). […] Price of the rooms depends on their size and location on the first or second floor. Breakfast is served at 9am; it is served in the dining room and everyone comes down. For breakfast there is, according to the English custom, tea, toast bread, soft boiled eggs, corned beef ripen in soil or some cold roast. Everyone eats and drinks as much as they like, because English breakfast is filling, and they interrupt it with reading newspaper, which are still wet, because they have just left the printing press.”

    Then he gives prices: coffee and tea for breakfast:
    Tea and coffee: 1s 6d – 3 s (6-12 pounds today – G.K.)
    Bottle of porter 9d-1s (up to 4 pounds today – G.K)
    Bottle of wine or sherry 5-6s (20-25 pounds today – G.K)
    Separate room – 2-3s a day (8-12 pounds today – G.K.)
    Chamber maid 1s (4 pounds today – talking of influx of cheap labour to England: THAT was cheap labour! – a chamber maid for a day costing 1/3 of coffee and 1/6 of wine); waiter 1s – 1 ½

    Typical menu (in pence):
    Mock turtle soup – 10d (less than 4 pounds today – G.K.)
    Oxtail soup – 8
    Chicken broth – 6 (2 pounds – interestingly, we still have that soup in Poland, and it’s gone from Ireland and England – G.K.)
    Peas soup – 6 (again, still in Poland)
    Potato soup with mutton – 6
    Fish with sauce – 1s (4 pounds)
    Venison in jelly – 1s 6d (10 pounds)
    Rump steak – 10 (we have that in Poland)
    Steamed roast – 10
    Lamb cutlet – 5
    Beef or mutton cutlet – 5
    Liver with ham – 9 (3 pounds today)
    Calf’s head with ham – 9
    Chopped ham – 9
    Mutton with marrow fat – 10
    Roast pork – 1s
    Goose – 1s
    Duck – 1s
    Roast chicken – 1s
    Roast turkey – 1s
    Roast rabbit – 1s
    Chicken pâté – 1s
    Dove pâté – 1s
    Eel pâté – 1s
    Plum pudding – 4d
    Roll and butter pudding – 4d
    Melspeis (kind of roast apples – I remember eating that in childhood, it’s is still used in Poland for top layers of baking) – 4d
    Pease, faba beans, beans – 1d
    Potatoes, lettuce, etc – 1d (30 pennies in today’s money! – G.K. No wonder Ireland – where food was even cheaper – got into trouble after potato blight)
    Carrot, parsnip – 1d (so parsley root has never really reached England – G.K.)
    Salad – 2d
    Salad with egg and olive (6d – 2 pounds today: with these prices of food and accommodation I would be spending 1/10 of what I am spending on rent and food – this is, mind you, all prepared, cooked and served for you; btw, olive in England?)
    Bread – 1d
    Cheese – 1d

  13. There won’t be any meaningful negotiation from the Irish quarter – they simply don’t have the wherewithal to pull it off. They are craven imbeciles.

  14. Deco

    Brexit is too important to be left to party machine politicians.

  15. michaelcoughlan

    Hi,

    What do you think?”

    I think your question isn’t well thought out. You say we would declare up front we stay in then you ask the question about how much damage we would take and express that in a referendum. If we declare we are in they won’t take us seriously. If we say this is the amount of damage we will accept before we pull out how do you measure the damage?

    For example; I am Mr average Irish family man with four teens/ early 20′s kids. I can accept that 2 will have to emigrate to Canada to get well paid jobs in secure employment because their jobs here in Eireuba were taken by lower cost eastern European labour so I will stay in since I can take 50% damage.

    Or I am Joe average Irish farmer. Last year I sold 200 heifers to the UK. This year I will stay in if I can sell 100 heifers to the UK since that won’t be more than 50% damage!

    Rather academic observation don’t you think?

    As for “And there is also a real fear that our negotiators will want to be seen as “good Europeans”, leading them to sign this country up to a deal that is damaging to Ireland”

    Exactly for example; The bank bailout here to save banks in Europe. An Irish politician being paid top Euros to unleash havoc on Ireland to keep in with his puppet masters in Europe. Same thing with; “It is not clear that the interests of Ireland and the interests of the EU 27 are aligned”

    regards,

    Michael.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “You say we would declare up front we stay in then you ask the question about how much damage we would take and express that in a referendum. If we declare we are in they won’t take us seriously.”

      One thing is staying and another thing is declaring that we will stay. I’m not sure if David declared the latter. Of course, declaring up front that we stay would be removing the ace card, and Greece has done precisely that – they had this stupid referendum, but they declared upfront that not only they will stay in the EU, but also they will stay in euro no matter what; and even that they have no contingency plans for leaving the euro.
      How can then complain they were not taken seriously afterwards?

      But declaring leaving ALSO means removing the main ace card.
      UKiP has done that, and – contrary to what they declared, they cannot stay in the single market while renenging on 4 freedoms – and this is only a beginning of them realising how hard the negotiations will be (Mr Farage realised that immediately and resigned immediately after the referendum).

      Don’t get me wrong: PM May speech setting up Britain’s goals was decisive and what not, and an attempt to restore national sovereignty is something I am in favour of, but ALL that Ms May has managed to do for all that time after the referendum was:
      1. Decrease Britons purchasing power (pound plummetted)
      2. Increase British debt (higher taxes in the future or see point 1).

      Zero economic reforms. No leaving CAP for example, as declared by UKiP (that would be a huge boost for British exports long-term, but it would piss off the British farmers).

      Before the Brexit referendum, I said that the question whether Britain stays in the EU or leaves is the wrong one: the REAL question is what Britain does after leaving? And I predicted: it either reforms and becomes a Singapore-like, the richest, most free-market country in Europe) and it doesn’t reform and it becomes Greece.

      So far it has not reformed.

      Debt is higher than during Winter of Discontent, Jihadists cut people heads in the front of a more and more shitty British police (and this is not the first case the British police is inept), there are no new trading deals with outside the EU and the chances are that there won’t be any until there is a deal with the EU, while inflation starts to rise its ugly head.
      As for good quality jobs, all that we know for sure are the plans of some multinationals to leave London.
      True, an aggregate demand has risen after Brexit – but that came from debt. And I don’t think that boosting an economic growth works in the long run (because the multiplier on which it is based does not work, as it is based on the wrong maths, as I proved twice).

      So what do I propose?
      I propose the same what the famous chess player Aron Nimzowitsch: ‘A threat is more effective than the actual implementation’

      Neither declare that we will stay, not declare that we will leave.
      IRELAND SHOULD MAINTAIN THE CAROLINGIAN EUROPE IN UNNERVING UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHAT IRELAND WILL DO, WHILE TRYING TO GET FROM THE EU AND FROM UK AS BIG SLICE OUT OF THE CAKE AS IRELAND CAN CUT.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      boosting an economic growth works = boosting an economic growth through debt, of course.

      Truth is, Michael, that Brexit does not really start until Britain gets a deal with the EU, or does not have a deal: deal or no deal, only after we know something more specific about Britain’s international arrangements, the Brexit will start, and all that comes with it (good or bad: it depends on the deal and on whether the UK reforms – it hasn’t started yet).

      The people of Britain have spoken. But will the investors?

  16. McCawber

    David poses a question towards the end of his article.
    Will we get to vote on Brexit?
    It’s likely that Michael Martin will be Taoiseach when that question gets to be answered.
    Michael said that had he been David Cameron the English would not have got their Brexit referendum.
    I’ll leave ye to join the dots.

  17. Having one government is enough for a group of people. Why layer government one one top of the other. There are plenty of examples of what a super national government does to a subservient state. It over spends, overtaxes and over regulates everything it touches.

    Take the US. This is a group of individual states allowed to operate as a sovereign entity. The State runs all the necessary departments to operate as a separate entity, indeed as a separate country.

    Then enter the federal government that places a governing mantel over all the states and demands allegiance from the states to the central authority. This allegiance is enforced by the military and security forces. All is paid for by “free” money provided by the Federal Reserve, central bank.
    We can see that the the US is devolving into a dictatorship run by executive orders from the White House.

    Canada is another examples of individual states (called Provinces) that operate all the necessary government enterprises to be Sovereign. They are also over laid by a federal government that intrudes more and more until it is able to interfere in provincial jurisdictions thus controlling them.

    Europe is evolving into a collection of individual sovereign states under the control of the European government. This government like all others will exercise more and more control over the countries until it is the sole governing power.

    The EU will evolve into a dictatorship as will the US and other federal organizations.

    The question the Irish must ask is whether they wish to be subsumed into the greater whole of as a non entity or whether they wish to retain their national identity. Do they prefer subservience to individuality. Is it slavery or freedom?

    PS There is a wonderful article written by Hugo Salinas Price, Titled The Future of the US dated March 11th 2011 that I have read in his book Essays on This and That. I cannot find it online so if you can , please read it.

  18. “If the US federal government were to shut down and never reappear it would be one of the most wonderful moments in human history. Wars would cease and millions of people currently held in concentration camps in the US for “victimless crimes” would be freed. And trillions in funds would no longer be wasted and could be put to productive use which would cause a worldwide boom unlike any seen before.
    But, before that happens we’d have to see a collapse of biblical proportions.”

    “but it does lead to the question, what would happen if the US federal government shut down for good?

    In other words, what if the United State(s) actually was the United States… and not the United State.

    First, all of the countless wars and occupations undertaken by the Department of Offense would cease. It’d be hard to imagine that the states of Texas, Vermont, and Idaho would feel the need to protect their particular interests in Syria and pay directly for the costs. In fact, it sounds silly, doesn’t it? Could you imagine hearing the news that Idaho had just accidentally blown up a school full of 200 children in Syria while fighting the CIA’s ISIS?”

    The larger the government, the bigger the problem. Ireland as well as all other states need to reduce the size of government for the good of all.

    I’m for Irexit. A strong, independent sovereign people rather than a ward of the EU, in economic serfdom forever.

  19. “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.” … Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter

    Who are the real rulers in Europe?

  20. False news of Gas attacks in Syria endorsed by EU before any evidence emerges. Another false flag event to stir the dogs of war.
    as a member of the EU you are implicated in the false news announcement. Just another reason to Irexit the EU and not be associated with the crooks and scoundrels appointed to rule over you.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46801.htm

    • Deco

      The media wants a war between NATO and the SCO Shanghai Cooperation Organization [ China, Russia, India, Iran, and others ].

      The impetus for this is to do with the distribution of power and wealth within Western society in our present era.

      Those in control need to have an outside threat to keep the subjects submissive, and obedient and “patriotic”.

      The SCO is NOT the aggressor.

      Trump represents the possibility that the war would not happen. No wonder the media went absolutely apesh!t. Look at the drivel from the NYT or the WaPo. Hillary Clinton was the militarist candidate. The corrupt Democratic party declared that Russia was interfering in US elections – but they never commented on the millions received by the corrupt Clinton Foundation from various corrupt, repressive petromonarchies, where questioning the wisdom of the ruling family can end up earning an individual prison time.

      Trump, and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, indicated that they were dropping the “Assad must go” policy. This was an end to Neo-con regime change, and an admission that Assad was NOT the problem. CIA backed “fake” moderates were the problem.

      And now it appears, that an incident has occurred that just happens to put the Neo-cons policy back on the agenda, even though it was previously clearly for the bin.

  21. Deco

    This is farcical. It is also highly accurate.

    The genius of the internet is that we can see information and analysis from experts in other countries, when that analysis would never be broadcast here unless it dovetailed with the objectives of insiders.

    https://econimica.blogspot.ie/2017/04/euro-saved-germany-slaughtered-pigs.html
    or
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-05/euro-saves-germany-slaughters-pigs-feeds-blics

    There is a new term – for countries with virtual GDP, corrupt governments, highly leveraged debt markets, highly manipulated labour markets, and lots of dodgy finance houses. The BLICS. And we are in it.

    The key result here is that the Northern members of the Euro have robbed industrial activity from the Southern members. The real cheats are NOT the Greeks or the Spaniards (despite what the Dutch Labour party bully Djisselboem has stated). The Greeks and Spaniards misled themselves. But they did NOT cheat the system. Their politicians fed them lies, and they believed it. And now they are paying dire consequences.

    And it appears that Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Caymans, Switzerland have facilitated Ponzi-economics on steroids. The problem for Ireland is that we have also cheated ourselves, thanks to a combination of the TASC lobby group advocating a fat institutional state, plus corrupt political party machines, plus a willingness to trade superficiality for dodgy business activity – to sustain a deeply dysfunctional system.

    In other words, Ireland has gone for a bailout plan of epic proportions in order to bailout it’s official “bailout” of banks that it could not afford.

    The difference between Ireland and Iceland is one letter, and an awful lot of lies.

    The EU is highly regulated, and it is loaded up with pretence. In a situation like that somebody is left being cheated, routinely, as a matter of planning and consequence. And that is the private sector PAYE worker, and the lower layers of the public sector.

    End result the majority of people have no money to show for their efforts.

    The people in charge of the Irish institutional state have created a phantom economy of shuffling income transfers, a fat institutional state to feed off and a deeply dysfunctional internal market that cannot produce an operating market in essentials like residential real estate, pharmaceutical products, or transport.

    Whatever you do, do not believe a word of what they tell you any more.

    • Deco

      By the way, the concept of the BLICS exists because there is enough political corruption in Germany, France, and Britain to enable this sort of activity to occur.

      Liekwise the destruction of competitiveness of clube Med has occurred because there is enough political corruption in Club Med, and enough subservience to the ECB, to allow it to happen.

      Without political corruption (which is increasing) in the EU, this would not be happening.

      It would seem that the English and Welsh working classes, have seen through the illusion, and sussed out that something was fishy. It took being shafted by Bliar and New Labour, for a decade from them to figure this out.

      The EU is rotten, and Ireland’s commitment to such a rotten entity is built on access to financial resources, in return for a washout of real resources like fish and independence of mind.

      We are are part of a Faustian pact with financial fiddling.

      We should call Landsdowne road after Seanie Fitz, because that is now the ultimate national sport. And like Seanie Fitz, the finances are dodgy, the media endorsment is there, and the green jersey is put on in moments of emotional euphoria (often accompanied by abject failure, and a denial to admit that).

      • “Witness the export of QE globally by the USFed via the unlimited vast Dollar Swap facilities (massive slush funds). The new 5 BLICS nations under Western thumb are being used to purchase huge tracts of USTreasury Bonds, surely using Dollar Swap funds, on behalf of the USFed master criminal organization.”

        http://www.silverdoctors.com/gold/gold-news/jim-willie-china-moving-to-executioner-of-king-dollar/

      • BELGIUM, LUXEMBOURG, IRELAND, CAYMAN, SWISS

        The hidden evidence is coming to the fore. The challenge is to identify which entities are buying USGovt debt in the form of USTreasury Bonds. The USFed is no longer permitted to purchase additional USGovt debt issuances due to its ownership limits, unless it changes the portfolio rules. Or else, the USFed chooses not to add to its $4.5 trillion toxic balance sheet, since wrecked beyond repair. In recent months, six nations have been carrying the load of maintaining USTreasury yields at ZIRP. Those nations are Japan and the BLICS: Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Cayman Islands, and Switzerland.

        From June 2011 to January 2015, the USFed has bought $825bn in USTreasurys, while the BLICS have quietly bought $818bn in USTreasurys during the same timespan. These are small nations without huge trade surpluses. The source of data is the Treasury International Capital (TIC) Report provided by the Federal Reserve itself. The only remaining offices for purchasing USTreasury debt securities comes down to just Japan and BLICS nations. The USGovt and USFed have conspired as a Ponzi Scheme, using digital counterfeit to purchase perhaps all net new USTreasury debt since July 2011. QE has been exported in a den of thieves and a nest of lies.

        http://www.silverdoctors.com/gold/gold-news/jim-willie-china-moving-to-executioner-of-king-dollar/

        • addition…

          “SOLUTION & PROTECTION IN GOLD

          The solution to the untreated Global Financial Crisis is the gold device. The Eurasian Trade Zone will be built upon the gold route. The heralded Gold Trade Note used as Letter of Credit in facilitated trade will become a critical piece to the emerging platforms.

          The movement cannot be stopped, not by war, not by sanctions, not by toxic monetary spew, not by hidden channels, not by rigged markets. The global rejection of the USDollar continues. The nascent Eurasian Trade Zone will soon include Germany and whatever nation follows its prudent lead. The preservation of Greece might be done in order to draw Germany into the new trade union, along with Greece, without deep wounds. A strategic stroke rises into view. The King Dollar is dying a horrible death, as Gold will return to its rightful throne. The toxic USD will be chucked into the dustbin of history. Bond fraud, financial market rigging, bizarre features like negative bond yields, and expanded QE will be exposed, certainly not to continue as the system enters the next phase of failure.

          The climax will be two-fold, in the arrival of the Gold Trade Note, and the launch of the New Scheiss Dollar. The current USDollar will soon find a shut door on trade settlement, as Eastern nations will demand proper payment for products sold in good faith. When you go to the hardware store to purchase a hammer, they will not take fancy toilet paper in payment at the cash register.”"—Jim Willie

  22. Irish PI

    Another great article…But will change nothing for the simple reasons..We are under the control of an alcoholic dictator [Junkner] in an organisation that makes its decisions on how us peasents live in so called Trilogues in Brussels.Unaccountable,secret star chamber sessions with no record of conversations or minutes of proceedings. Our govt made up of glorified county councillors and pot hole fixers ,and former school teachers.Is so out of depth when it has to deal with realpolitik in Brussels just folds and goes into “Begorrah,yes your lordships,three bags full.”Mode and always has..It has been the unoffical policy to let the EEC,EC and EU,make all the “big decisions” on Ireland’s behalf and let our lot play politics at home,and like a child parading its latest trick or costume,the adults ooh and ahh at little Ireland’s new cowboy or leprachaun outfit,then get back to grown up talk. Until we start electing Trump like politicans and hopefully statesmen,who put nation first and personal trousering very much down the list,we will have this same hideous nation for ever..It is a VERY sad state of affairs thst the only person with any passion for defending Ireland intrest in Brussels is a little pot smoking hippie who cuts turf as a hobby.Known as “the Viking” in the parliment or Ming Flannagan…We are truly screwed!

  23. coldblow

    “Insufferable Brexiteers “Insufferable Brexiteers… some deluded, Surrey-based, golf-club reactionary”

    I, on the other hand, am beginning to see more and more good in them.

    ‘Deluded’ One could write a book about the EU and delusion. In fact, someone already has. I just finished Christopher Booker and Richard North’s classic, long and very detailed examination of Britain’s relations with ‘Europe’ (The Great Deception – an apt title) and it confirmed all of my suspicions and more. The final chapter, ‘Delusion or Self-Delusion?’, summarizes it all quite brilliantly, yet it would take an hour of my time and four or five pages to set it all down here. I haven neither the time nor the energy as everyone at work is suddenly demanding (mysteriously) my wisdom and advice and my mother (who turned 101 yesterday and says that she got a nice silver medal from the wee man in the Park) is calling it a day on living alone, independently, and Decisions will be made. I’ll be away next week and perhaps longer. Seriously, is there some kind of planetary alignment going on up there?

    Delusion or Self Delusion? Well, of course Booker knows the answer. It has to be both. Just one of the images that springs to mind: Tony Blair was determined to be ‘at the heart of Europe’ (heard that one before? Crotty mentioned it in an Irish context in his 1986 Ireland in Crisis) yet when he finally got there he found that he and his officials were completely lost and defeated by the labyrinthine workings of Brussels and the hypocritical deviousness of their European ‘partners’. Most people have heard of Raymond Chandler’s trick for getting out of a plotting cul-de-sac when writing one of his impossibly complicated thrillers: a strange man with a gun enters the room. The Euro equivalent would the Commission, the Euro Parliament and, say the Germans, coming up with some mad new idea for ever-closer integration out of the blue. Or the French president would astonish everyone (but especially the Brits) on the big day at the Summit by handing round a wholly new set of proposals that he had failed to mention during the previous afternoon’s cordial policy get-together.

    Grzegorz. Interesting culinary comments. Feck it, I just spent ten minutes writing about that and it vanished! Summary: Polish ham excellent, hot-dog sausages woeful, can no longer get good rye bread in local Polish shop, never heard of parsley root, don’t share Irish pashion for floury potatoes (need too much butter or milk to be edible, and I eat a whole plate of mashed spud after the rest of my dinner) parsnip is excellent well roasted, vegetables should be very well cooked, warned against senseless new fashion 30 yrs ago of ‘crisp’ veg, surprised eating half-cooked beef in Rochester in early 19C, Dickens association with that town, food sounds very good in Pickwick Papers, no mention of beer. Why? Never drank a decent pint of Shepherd Neame when lived in historically Kent part of London and regularly visited Kent pubs but tasted sublime pint of same years later in Wales. Have you heard of the distinction between a Man of Kent and a Kentish Man? The latter is I believe W. Kent, nearer London. Once heard a man on the telly from deep Kent talking about hops and he had what sounded like an authentic rural accent (ie not typical Southern/London/Estuary).

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I’m sorry to hear about your vanished comment. I’ve found out that pre-writing comments in Word gives me peace of mind, even for the reason that this website has then and again a tendency to show that you are logged in, it would allow you to write a comment, only to inform you that you must log in to post a comment – with no way of going backwards to your unposted comment…

      As to food:
      1. The best Polish ham (and I claim, the best ham in the world – and I did try lots of German meat too) is a Silesian ham called “Kindziuk”, which is now almost unavailable even in Silesia (only in some specialised shops or small local shops in Poland – though I sometimes see it in Polish shops in Ireland, but veeery rarely). Kindziuk has like 145g of meat in 100g of product; to compare it, the best Irish hams have like 95g of meat in 100g).
      2. A great tragedy for Polish agriculture was
      2.1 Taking over Polish breweries by foreign multinationals like Heineken in the 90s (suddenly all beer started to taste the same due to preservatives aimed to prolong its expiry date – now there is a return in Poland to local breweries with unfiltered, unpasteurised lager – actually, I see that in Ireland a bit too).
      2.2 Taking chocolate factories by the US companies (they are now trying to recreate the old recipies)
      2.3 Adapting to EU CAP standards combined with the invasion of German and French supermarkets and Tesco. OMG, that was a quality disaster for Polish meat in terms of quality. For example, in terms of sausages, the EU quality standards are an incredible 20-30 times lower than the old Polish standards (you can now have veal hot-dogs with a few percent of veal).

      But after 1990s short period of enchantment with well advertised big companies products, now there is a return to small amidst Polish customers – but there is a problem: all supermarkets are foreign, so like in communism, it is a higher initiation now in Poland which shops sell true meat, bread and eggs.
      I wish there was a return to local, more diversed food products in Ireland, but there is not – everywhere you go in Ireland, you’ll get the same food whether it is a shop or a pub; the exceptions are restaurants where you would pay like 50 euro or Saturday markets…

      Here some might come with dozens of counter-examples: yes, I am aware with many of them (there was a 5 series long documentary done by Polish TV on the Irish food by Robert Maklowicz), but I am talking about good quality local food products for low to middle class, not for those households where the girl comes down twice a week to clean the house.

      Of course there are places like Avoca – but realistically, the only reason I sometimes buy things there is because my friend works there: spending half a Saturday going to Wicklow’s border would be time and money more wasted than watching the grass grow.

      3. “can no longer get good rye bread in local Polish shop” – try a Polish rye bread called Crusty, that comes sliced and packed, which you can get downstairss in the shopping mall down Moore St in a Polish supermarkets which name I cannot remember.
      Most of Polish shops in Ireland now have mixed ownership – i.e. Polonez is Russian-Polish-Lithuanian sort of a shop and most, perhaps 60%, people working there are Russian, but they learned Polish (Lithuanians usually speak Polish anyway, partly for historical reasons, partly because in USSR they had been reading all the western literature via Polish translations), so sometimes it’s hard to tell.

      “Crusty” should satisfy you. I agree with you on the quality of the Polish bread in Dublin, and I raised that subject with a guy who worked in a bakery – he said that it’s got something to do with a flour here.
      Crusty can easily last 3 days while still tasting fresh (all Tesco breads for example will by that time either fall apart all go rock hard).
      I usually freeze it for the rainy days lest I won’t get a chance to buy it.
      It’s full name is
      Crusty
      Chleb Zytni (Rye Bread)
      Manufactured in Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, and I think it’s something like 2 euro 70 – but it has no preservatives like all Irish breads such as Brennan’s have, except for the one from somewhere in Wicklow I think, that I get from my local veggie Irish shop with a guy who also, for some reason, has authentic Italian products (they virtually distribute only like 5 breads a day for people like me, and I pre-order it!).

      4. “never heard of parsley root” – parsley root is essential for a soup the Poles eat at least three times a week called ‘rosól’ (it looks like parsnip, but twice as small and very thin; parsnip is also grown in Poland, but that’s to feed animals, and there was a famous scandal of a supermarket selling parsnip passing off as parsley root – in Ireland, only Polish shops have it, and even there they also sell parsnip – for their Irish clientele), which as follows from my translation, was also eaten in 1820s England:

      http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/rosol-broth

      I tried to teach how to cook that soup my Irish and Welsh ex-girlfriends. The Irish one, despite her best intentions, has totally wasted a 10 euro SuperQuinn anti-biotics free chicken though while cooking it for the first time: rather than preparing the chicken to winkle out bones that give rosól a flavour, she just… threw in the whole chicken and left it for one hour!
      Her second rosól was perfect though.

      The Welsh girlfriend, living in Tamworth (I lived in Wales) and a former player of the Welsh National Women Rugby team, looked at the recipe and said “this is too fucked for me to even think about it”, so I had to cook.

      5. “vegetables should be very well cooked” – here my Continental upbringing differs somewhat – i.e. I think that grated uncooked carrot is not only healthier, but tastier, however, living in the British Isles climate for like two decades I actually reached the conclusion, that cooked vegetables suit the British Isles climate better – although there is no reason to fry them on an old animal oil as most venues do.

      An excellent Irish website categorising history of food in Ireland says this about 1970s/80s:

      “Most provincial hotels had a restaurant, where the menu varied little, not just from day to day but from place to place (excuse me, has anything changed in that respect???! – this D4-head has clearly never left Dublin – G.K).

      The fare on offer was dull – meat, vegetables (invariably overcooked) and potatoes, stodgy flour based sauces and the ever popular ‘mixed grill’, a heart attack on a plate in the form of grilled lamb chops, sausages, bacon, sometimes fried kidney, fried onions, fried mushrooms, fried egg, fried potato or chips, fried tomato and, somewhat incongruously, a token lettuce leaf or two.

      Anything that wasn’t fried to death was boiled to tastelessness. Vegetarians were offered an omelette if they were lucky (i.e. the main restaurant in Tullow apart from Mount Wolseley has two kind of breakfast – Irish and vegetarian; vegetarians is Irish brekfast minus meat with the same old animal oil; coffee is worse than the cheapest instant; 14 pubs in a town of 3,000; very nice people though – all Dorans, Farells and Walsh’s – and they have BOI building made out of… granite! – G.K.).

      The selection widened in the 1970s, but not a lot and again the fare was much the same wherever you went. A starter of paté or prawn cocktail, a main course of steak, chicken or scampi followed by apple tart or, for the more adventurous, Black Forest Gateaux, would have been a typical restaurant meal.

      Towards the late 70’s and into the 80’s change was fairly rapid. At one end of the market the food multinationals – Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken – arrived (well, that’s a change like being transferred from a concentration camp into a death camp – G.K.).

      At the other end (at the very long end, unless we talk about Dublin or Kinsale ), good restaurants began to appear

      (yea, but who can afford them?; and there worst thing is that even when you do go to eat in them, they often turn out to be a dissapointment – i.e. Avenue has a fantastic bread, but everything else is mushy, and even if you pay 50 euro, you’ll still end up hungry!; of course, I’d love to visit Mulberry Garden my posh friend tells me that I must, but with the old cognac I like and a taxi – which’d be 60 euro to my gaff – it’d be like well in excess of 200 for two people: what?????),

      where food was prepared in new and interesting ways, lightly cooked vegetables, game, fish and meat properly cooked, sauces that tasted of something other than flour.

      Irish people, who were now travelling more and more to Europe and becoming interested in food, began eating out more regularly.”

      6. “warned against senseless new fashion 30 yrs ago of ‘crisp’ veg” – I think that you have been discouraged to the idea of crisp veg by the French nouvelle cuisine (which is not even particularly healthy), which is like the most stupid culinary idea since the Romans, who actually did eat mice stuffed with almonds and baked.

      I think that if you had the same crisp veg with a warm hearty beef or pork and a proper sauce, it would taste differently.
      For example with often eat that with cutlets:

      http://allrecipes.com/recipe/223244/mizeria-polish-cucumber-salad/

      To allay any doubts – my food tastes are more Irish now than Polish – i.e. I love the full Irish, but it cannot be cooked in oil like Eddie Rockets does; but noone will convince me that cucumbers taste better cooked (yuk).
      Cooked carrot – I do it all the time, but for the soups and stews, not salads.

      And raw onion get cure you from flue!

      “Have you heard of the distinction between a Man of Kent and a Kentish Man?” – no, and I have never been to Kent, but funny you should mention that – for everyone from the SAS base in Beacon Mountains in Wales, where I ended up was telling me “you would have better fit in in Kent”.

      Speaking of Wales – I have noticed that an unvisible border begins in Wales that stretches all the way to Ireland: once you live, say, Birmingham, people are not able to tell you the directions accurately, nor they know where they are, nor what are the places called (i.e. I asked more than 20 locals of the name of the mountain I saw and no one knew).

      A typical way of giving directions in the non-English parts of the British isles, but particularly south of Ireland, would be: “you see that road over there? Don’t go there, that will do you no good”; followed by “do you know Doran’s pub?” – “no” – “it’s past old Soldiers Road, where pump used to be”.

      Having said that, Welsh people I found to be much warmer at heart than the English. They are not as suave though;
      Londoner’s greeting: “How are you my darling, long time no see, how have you been doing – it’s fantastic to see you again”
      Welsh greeting: “All right?”
      Northern Irish greeting: “’bout ye?”

      And they say eastern Europeans are gloomy…

      7. Regarding Irish potatoes – I read a history of Famine and basically they had more varieties of potatoes until shortly before the Famine, when they started to grow the cheapest and most efficient one.
      The problem with Irish potatoes is that they cook and cook and then they fall apart completely in like 2 minutes.
      But, having been so floury, they are great for baking.
      But who has time for baking potatoes?
      Noone, that’s why you’ll usually get frozen and defrozen chips, even in restaurants, which are cancerogenic:

      http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/how-a-weekly-visit-to-the-chip-shop-and-your-burnt-toast-can-give-you-cancer-35389558.html

      Having said that, it was from my Irish friend that I learned the best, healthiest and tastiest way for potatoes – steaming (I suppose in Poland this was not used because the Russian were selling us gas for the highest prices in Europe, until recently).

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        too fucked for me = too fucked up for me
        you would have better fit in = you would better fit in
        once you live Birmingham = once you leave Birmingham
        raw onion get cure you = can cure you

        Tiredness
        I should have gone to bed a long time ago

        P.S.
        I came across a funny exchange of opinion on British v Polish food:

        https://community.justlanded.com/en/Poland/forum/British-food-is-better-than

        But when they say British food, they cannot include London food really. I lived in London too and very few Londoners actually eat “British British” food on a regular basis…

        For middle-upper middle class, there are too many temptations in London to eat just one type of food – you’d be crazy too.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Oh, by ‘crispy vegetables’ you must have probably meant the opposite – golden-brown fried vegetables!
      Stupid me.
      For some reason when I hear the word crispy, I always think of Sauvignon Blanc, of which one wine connoisseur told me that a very good one should smell a bit of “pipi de chat” and it is supposed to be crispy.

      You know, even though it does smell a bit of that (I cannot drink it anymore since she told me and I realised that), I hate when D4 people recite these expressions because these are buzz-words that do not communite any real experience, but rather an inferiority complex of someone who, since he made lots of money on landlording, wants to pretend he is actually smart and classy.

      “What do you think of that wine, darling?
      I can smell shaved pencils, wet gravel and it is rather nettley”

      What is this really communicating is not anything about fine wines – because those people know nothing about them (the people serving them do) but it says: “look, I declare that I now belong to the upper class, I am entitled to treat a waiter with disdain, and since I am too stupid to have an intelligent conversation, I’ll use 3 or 4 of these words that will make me look I have culture: hopefully I’ll score with that, if not, I’ll have me auld good wank watching what I always have been watching: Emmerdale”

      Yea – da fuck those D4 heads can smell any of that – sure most of these people can neither cook nor clean after themselves.
      In those moments, I always want to say “Shut up yous bleedin dirtbirds” – but that might be considered rude.

      • coldblow

        Grzegorz

        No, I mean undercooked. I remain to be convinced that it is healthier and I doubt it even. I heard some Italian on the radio (BBC it must have been) years ago, when this regrettable new food fashion must have been starting off and he said that his mother used to overcook the spaghetti. I remember it because even then I said to myself that his mother was cooking it properly and he only thought she wasn’t because ‘informed opinion’ said so.

        The Irish food history or style guide you quote leaves me equally cold. I have no doubt that food in the 60s and 70s was fairly dull and I remember prawn cocktail and scampi as being regulars on the menu. I had a particular dislike of little pieces of pineapple on the end of cocktail sticks with cheese. There was also an ubiquitous wine called Lutomer Riesling which was simply horrible. And even in those days restaurants showed their class by serving steaks oozing blood, to the disgust of most people who felt obliged to eat it. I also detested the way they would put a sprig of parsley on your plate as I was brought up to clear my plate always (I still find it strange how most people order expensive food just to leave most of it uneaten).

        Yet I still don’t think food is that much better nowadays, if it is better at all. Writing the menu on a blackboard in coloured chalk using expressions like ‘darns of fresh Mayo salmon’ or ‘Kerry spring lamb’ means nothing more to me than arranging the food on your plate in delicate configurations using under-sized portions. I for one don’t eat with my eyes, no matter how often they assert it. I also dislike ‘cool’ musical vibes, bluesy and hip, assaulting my senses.

        This is the equivalent of the old way, say at the stations, that country people would serve rolls of butter. Cubed sugar is still widely known as ‘the priest’s sugar’. My mother still likes telling the story of one local stations mass where the woman sitting next to the priest took his cup and tasted his cup of tea before he got the chance to drink it himself and pronounced. “‘Tis sweet enough, father.”

        I am also reminded of an old farmer neighbour of my wife in South Kerry who used to eat his dinner in the local pub. One day it was closed and he was advised to go to the local posh restaurant (Cahirciveen/ Cahersiveen). The waitress asked him if he wanted the menu and he said, “Give me mate and give me spuds. And fuck the menu.”

        There is a place in Killorglin I will avoid forever after they appeared on an RTE food programme and were advised to cut down on the size of the servings. What a stupid idea.

        There are two excellent restaurant scenes that stay in my mind, which are alike in some respects. One of them is in McGahern’s The Dark and the other is in Queneau’s Les Fleures Bleues. They match my own views.

        I bought some parsley root in the local Polish shop today, by the way, and some of the scrawny carrots and will let you know when I get back.

        • coldblow

          Thinking about it further, I wouldn’t take the blindest bit of notice what chefs say or food columnists write, no more than I’d pay attention to what the Taoiseach says. In fact I’d nearly do the opposite if anything. Notice the parallels?

          The Irish don’t do ‘terroir’. You won’t find traditional local cheeses or even beers like you would elsewhere in Europe, and if you do it is probably by French or Germans. They don’t eat a wide range of meat or fish. Kevin Myers noticed this. They also, in places like Connemara, didn’t eat shellfish from the beaches during the Famine even it would have kept them alive. They don’t sit around for hours at their meals or have a café culture. None of this is (or was) important. I suppose the change is reflected in Kenny’s recent words to Trump about Ireland having abandoned its narrow insularity and ‘opened up to the world’. This is just meaningless cliché.

          They didn’t say things like, ‘That souffle was absolutely exquisite. Do please share the recipe!’ Sunshine makes them sick and rain is refreshing.

          Myers, Mears. Did you ever watch Ray Mears, the ‘bushcraft’ man who lived off the land? He was on the English telly. He had a side kick who would try the exquisite delicacies he would prepare from local berries and tree bark or whatever. He’d always, “Mm. That’s really rather good!”

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I forgot to add:

            “Writing the menu on a blackboard in coloured chalk using expressions like ‘darns of fresh Mayo salmon’ or ‘Kerry spring lamb’ means nothing more to me than arranging the food on your plate in delicate configurations using under-sized portions.”

            This is an excellent observation!!!

            This was very well spotted too in the Supersizes Eat 1980s episode: watch a few minutes starting from 24.14:)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG0YG7d1ddc

            By the way, my favourite episode of Supersizes Eat was “Wartime”: I was stunned how much the 1940s life in England was similar to 1980s life in Poland in cities (when it comes to food and daily routine, for culturally you had all this avant-garde and pop western stuff: but so what?). Well, maybe 1980s Poland was not THAT austere like wartime England, but not far from it. A person from a WWII time-warp England would understand a person from 1981 Poland very well (i.e. the emphasis of saving and thinking in terms of weeks ahead survival-wise, self-sufficiency and everyone being generally suspicious towards everyone else, with – a paradox! – a great sense of “we and them” community at the same time)!

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Interesting stories you tell. Sometimes I like to rest from events taking place on other continents and savour the concrete, that is stories and anecdotes relating to real people.
          Yours I particularly like, because they are conveying the impressions of the worlds as seen by an writer with a knack for detecting what’s quirky in different cultures including the one around you, rather than rushing into generalised conclusions (regardless if they left, right or centre) before one actually begins to watch – I think that you know what I mean: I am talking about intellectuals so imbued with preformed concepts due to their unhealthy doses of newspapers (regardless if the glib generalisations are PC or not) that their consciousness seems to be conceptualised before they become individuals.

          You often spot that when people write about themselves as “we”: we do not want this, we want that, Irish people want this and do not want that – the truth is that there are no “people” as such that would actually WANT anything: there are some national traits, differences, tastes and identities (now diluted): the concept of people wanting something is just a tool used to justify undermining of sovereign states – because if you recognise the post Peace of Westfalia concept of a sovereign states (true, immediately broken by Swedish invasion on Poland a decade later, but still), then you cannot use “the people” to justify your agenda; however, if you assume that the sovereign are “the people”, then it is easier to undermine national state’s sovereignty because you as a foreign empire are acting against the sovereign, but you make it morally right by sayign that you are acting on behalf of “the people” (this is very visible in the information war led by the Carolingians against the current Polish government: people do not want the government (even if PiS won the election), people are opressed under the new regime (even if Donald Tusk regime was much more a police state than moderate and internally conflicted Kaczynski’s regime), people are protesting on streets (even if the photo illustrating that in the Anti-Irish Times was actually depicting a pro-government rally).

          The peak achievement of such shift of sovereignty from the government to the people was a letter written by a leader of an opposition party Nowoczesna, Ryszard Petru (known in Poland for being the main advocate of taking loans in Swiss francs while he himself converted his mortgage from Swiss francs into Polish zloties shortly before Swiss franc’s appreciation), shortly after his visit to the German embassy in Poland: in it, he is stating that the current Polish budget is illegal and hence he is asking Mr Guy Verhofstadt to put sanctions on Poland as well as strip it from structural funds “as long as the Polish government does not change its policies” (Mr Petru mean mainly Poland not willing to force “refugees” to settle in Poland if they do not want to and reducing pensions of the communist spies).

          Under the so called Westphalian sovereignty concept, this would be treason, but when you put sovereignty into the hands of “the people”, Mr Petru can say that he is representing the people (what people? Sure he has been a stoodge of the banking sector in Poland since 1990s, a collaborator with Mr Jeffrey Sachs) against the sovereign.

          Tasting priest’s tea before he would drink stands out, it reminds of rituals on monarch’s courts and among the Italian mafiosos – except in this case, it was probably care rather than poison-fear motivated.

          As to cooked v uncooked vegatables, I think that at the end of the day, it remains a question of taste and upbringing. Like I said before, Polish quisine has both – cooking carrots or parsley root in meat-based soups to lend them extra flavour (although cooked carrot also appears in second courses, but mixed with other cooked veg), and eating them raw as a side salad.

          There are two sides of the argument.
          On the one hand, there is no doubt that cooking destroys key vitamins from vegetables and some beneficial live enzymes. On the other hand, it breaks down tough cell walls and make nutrients easier to absorb of whatever vitamins and enzymes are left.

          This question of culture affecting the eating habits is interesting because if you look at the Polish climate, you’d think that its cuisine should be divided into two different: winter (when everything would be warmed up and cooked) and summer (when everything would be raw and juicy, apart from meat and spuds, of course).
          However, it does not follow this idea: raw veg is eaten in winter (like grated carrot or mizeria, for which recipe I posted above) and cooked veg is eaten with temperature 30 and over (cooked carrot).

          What I would like to point out though is the notion of a traditional national cuisine is largely a myth: the perusal of English B&B 1820s menu I translated above indicates that it is pretty much like Polish cuisine of today, and much more diverse than what we think is a traditional English food.

          Except Polish 1820s menu would have been different too; I read memoirs of someone who was born a peasant in countryside Poland 100 years ago (his account covers years shortly before WWI and WWI), and from what he says, Polish peasants cuisine in around 1910 was almost identical to Irish peasants cuisine – that is almost entirely consisting of potatoes and cabbage (the addition of lard was the only difference), occasionally meat.

          The accounts of pre-famine Irish diet reveal that those people ate practically only those two things: potatoes and cabbage, which didn’t prevent them from being the strongest and tallest recruits in the British Army according to army’s own records. Missing from their diet was what we think no serious Irishman can live without under the pain of losing his national identity: lamb and beef.
          Than this Polish peasant goes to high-school to an Austrian family (the whole thing takes place under the Austrian occupation) and – boohoo! – here he learns about dishes that the Poles would think are typical Polish country-side dishes: rosól (chicken broth) and kotlet schabowy (pork chop) – except it is Winner Schnitzel).

          The whole Austro-Hungarian empire thing was a fascinating one, because in it, a few different cuisines merged into one and very diverse (Austrian, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Czech); yet with some regional differences retain. You would be surprised how many common dishes you can eat if you go to a restaurant in Vienna, Kraków, Lwów, Prague or Budapest – yet in all of those cities there are many that you could not order in another city.

          This sadly is not a trend in hotels nowadays (at least not in the corporate ones): what is emerging is some sort of an international menu, where everything tastes the same: furthermore, because “aristocrats” of today lack the curiosity Krystyn Lach-Szyrma or Tocqueville, they think that this homogenous dullness is something positive.

          Like I said before: how come 1820s London’s B&B (so this was England strained after fighting a few wars) would have its menu 4-5 times more diverse than today’s London B&B (so one of the wealthiest places on the planet, with much bigger mobility of people?). Perhaps the answer lies in more and more ingredients being prepacked and corporate branded (like I said, in general, 2017 Poland is richer than 1997 Poland – yet due to corporate invasion and forced adoption of CAP rules, the quality of many products is lower than in 1997).

          What I am strongly convinced that is not healthy, neither it is tasty, is those vegetables that are fried on oil in many outlets in Ireland (heart attack statistics in Ireland are devastating). In fairness, that is not a feature of all places to eat lunch, but still too many – and furthermore, some with seemingly good reputation (i.e. Eddie Rocket’s is, you have to admit, not the cheapest of the cheapest places to have a bite – far from it, I know some lovely Italian or Polish restaurants in Dublin where you can get much more for 15 euro than a burger with fries and even some pubs would serve you a large plate proper dinnger for that with cooked, not sachet sauces; yet they fry everything in this 3 days old fat animal oil that makes everything taste the same).

          In general, the spices that no Polish household can function without, are parsley root, dill, marjoram, allspice (called ziele angielskie in Polish: English herb – because some of the traditional Polish cuisine is what the traditional English cuisine used to be) and caraway seed, plus potatoes and cabbage.
          Also twaróg (in England known as “farmer’s cheese”). Twaróg is made by buying the actual product called twaród (which comes in 5 degrees of fat content) and mixing it with a bit of milk, salt, sliced chives, sliced raddish and a bit of pepper – it is very tasty with fresh rolls for breakfast; on its own, it is not so good.

          As a curious fact I can say that there is this traditional mountain chees called “oscypek” (hard, tangy, smoked sheep milk cheese) that the EU wanted to ban (the French specifically), so Poland rushed to obtain Protected Designation of Origin for it in 2007, for the best weapon against bureaucracy within the bureaucratic structure is to choke it with its own rules: French argued that this is not a… cheese (in fact, it has more cheese in it than most of French cheese – btw, when I lived in the UK, I devoloped taste for some of their cheese, especially red Leicester and some blue cheese)!
          As to Ms Creighton, I know that she is one your favourite butts of jokes; I think you and me share a very similar sense of humour, jumping between understated and absurd; however, I’m not really in a position to comment on that as she actually is an acquaintance of mine…

          http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Parsley_Root_2026.php

          • coldblow

            Grzegorz

            Just a quick line as I am packing.

            Deep fried from the Simpsons:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph7UKFlgHl8

            Poor sound though.

            I wonder what was Lucinda’s reaction to the poisoning of his own people (mar dhea) by the evil Assad. Launch the missiles? More halting sites (in somebody else’s neighbourhood)? Irish nationality for everyone? Maybe it’s time we had a grown-up conversation about the Irish language.

            She is no worse than the rest (and better in some ways, but not re EU) but it is that trance look that gets me. You often get it in women if you mention immigration.

            James Kunstler and Peter Hitchens have uncannily similar reactions to this lastest madness.

          • coldblow

            I heard that Trump’s daughter Ivanka saw the pictures and said something had to be done. I haven’t had a chance to follow the story.

  24. goldbug

    APRIL 6th 2017

    100 YEARS AGO WHAT HAPPENED?

    PURE CHANCE?

    -> HA!

    TO UNDERSTAND THE PRESENT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE PAST

    -> TO UNDERSTAND WAR YOU MUST UNDERSTAND HOW WARS START

    https://archive.org/details/TheBadWarTheTruthNEVERTaughtAboutWorldWarII

  25. Tull McAdoo

    Just wondering if anybody thinks that the Bureaucrats in Dublin with their D4/ Gombeen mentality will take care of Ireland’s best interest any better than the Bureaucrats in Brussels with their slavish adherence to a failed neo-liberal agenda.

    The neo-liberals have been found out. There are NO free markets. Tacit co-ordination ensures that the markets are rigged with the exception of the “market for lemons” and thats whats leaving a bitter taste in all our mouths.

    • barrym

      Ha, ha.

      We get what we elect, first of all, then we get who we appoint, then we send SOME to Brx. They are then only one of 27, good at elbow squeezing in the corridors/bars, but small beer. The mentions of the borders in the summary of the negotiating position is posturing following lobbying by us, designed to warn the UK that there are sticky items vis a vis immigration, etc.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Maybe that’s it !!!!

      It’s not so much that the D4 adopted the sliothar as in previous article, but that they became Gombeens. I would even suggest that they became ” more Gombeen than the Gombeen’s themselves”

      From West Brit to Gombeen in a generation……dont believe me, then you put forward a reason why they voted for Mary Hannifin. Mary you might recall informed us that FF were not just a party but a “movement”.

      If FF are a movement then we should ease off on the laxitives ha ha

      • coldblow

        Hanafin sticks in my memory because of her prominent role in trying to foist a halting site on an unfortunate S. Dublin cul de sac. This was in the wake of the picture of the drowned child that caused a Facebook storm and led directly to Merkel admitting huge numbers of so-called refugees.

        Readers might recall double-page opinion pieces from Harris and Cooper both sayint that there are times the heart should rule the head. Sarah Carey was dissolved in tears, and still is by the look of it. Lucinda Creighton moved around like a zombie with that give-away 1,000 yard stare and a permanent horizontal crease of concern etched becomingly into her attractive forehead. I don’t know what Noddy was doing but we can guess.

        Hanafin was one of those who wanted to prove their goodness by forcing a halting site on this small road. Not where she lives of course.

        • Truthist

          Ref.
          “I don’t know what Noddy was doing but we can guess.”

          Licking …
          … stamps ?

          a la

          in Belgium with beau before playing happy families & then winning Ar’s by conspiracy against the flawed-in-other-aspects FF candidate truly leading the race.

  26. michaelcoughlan

    @ Adam.

    Your hole is for sitting on and not talking through.

    Climate change is happening. The tillage farmers in the middle of Ireland are harvesting the wheat a full month earlier in only 10 years because the weather is warmer and more temperate.

    However what is in doubt are the reasons. The data is showing the figures going of the chart in the last 100 years.

    Michael.

  27. Yeah well you know what I mean lads, man made climate change – no need to be so pedantic.

  28. The reality of Brexit is that it may be more detrimental to the EU than to the UK. I like that!!! :-)

    “Perhaps these realities were aired in the meeting of the remaining 27 states in Malta last weekend, when the Commission presented its draft negotiating guidelines. At that point, the bluster came to an end, and the reality of the EU’s position must have become obvious to all the delegates. The Commission’s President, Donald Tusk, gave a press conference after that meeting, responding to the Brexit letter. His mood was certainly downbeat and conciliatory in tone, a far cry from his colleagues’ bravado of recent months.”

    http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-eu.aspx?article=10694476468H11690&redirect=false&contributor=Alasdair+Macleod&mk=1

    • “”That’s probably what galls Langley most: Russia and China are becoming powerful enough to overturn American hegemony in Europe, not through military prowess, but through economic power. China, with Russia in tow, is destabilising America’s post-war regime, and America is losing her grip on global dominance. Her post-war European project has lost its relevance. The European Union will begin to decline both in political importance and in nominal GDP terms when Britain leaves. Compared with the resurgence of the Sino-Russian axis, it will continue to decline in relative terms as well.”" MacLeod

  29. coldblow

    Correction to a post above. Booker and North’s final chapter (about EU) is not Delusion or Self-Delusion but Deceit or Self-Deceit. Same thing really, it is all part of the big fantasy, which is a polite word for insanity.

    Talking of fantasies, as Tony mentions above the US ‘strike’ on Syria is another example. This cannot end well.

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/04/peter-hitchens-our-noble-cause-dropping-bombs-on-behalf-of-al-qaeda.html

  30. Truthist

    Henry Makow whilst deploring Kill-ary Clinton as USA President candidate, he was to also give him his due was very circumspect of Donald Trump in that contest.
    .
    Makow has given Trump a very fair chance.

    Now, he justifiably calls matters for what they definitely are known to be ;

    Trump is a Double-Cross.
    Stephen Bannon is the “USA” nationalist of Trump’s team.
    Bannon wrote Trump’s “USA” nationalist speeches.
    Bannon has been banished by Trump this week.
    The husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanika, Mr. Jared Kushner, is now controlling Trump’s administration.
    True, Bannon is a “make Israel great again” [MIGA ] nationalist too.
    But, he was the only member of the administration who was sincerely a “make America great again” [ MAGA ] nationalist.
    Aside from striving to help enlargen Israel to expel the Palestinians, Bannon was trying to retract USA from military engagement elsewhere in the world.

    The vast number of supporters for Trump to win the Republican Party nomination for President are not for the MIGA agenda ;
    But, rather for the MAGA policy ONLY.
    And, they are not racists.

    Trump is a “rat”.

    https://www.henrymakow.com/2017/04/my-trump-victory-scenario.html

    Most

  31. Truthist

    Very probably that Trump is just like Kill-ary Clinton in this aspect too ;
    PEDOPHILE

    And thus, The Dreadful Few have their handle on him :

    X]
    evidence of activity by him [ probable ] in that regard with which they can easily blackmail him so as to force him to do as they say.

    & / OR

    Y]
    niche [ probable ] with which to entice & / or reward him for doing as they say.

    AND, WHAT OF THE SENIOR IRISH STATE CIVIL SERPENTS & IRISH STATE POLITICIANS & OTHER POLITICIANS SINCE IRISH STATE’S DISCUSSIONS TO JOIN THE EEC ?

  32. Truthist

    Typo ;

    & OTHER POLITICIANS = & OTHER POLITICOS

  33. The Keynesian’s fetish for monetary inflation is now demanding the removal of paper money and base metal coins from the market place.
    ——————————————————————————–

    “”Why are some people fixated on gold? The huge chasm that divides those of us who the world calls “gold bugs” and those of us who think little of gold and silver is their awareness of the history of money.

    There was a time when money didn’t exist, trade was conducted by barter. Grain and cattle from the country side were traded for textiles and pottery produced in the cities. Trade by barter can be difficult, as when a farmer wishes to purchase only a half cow worth of cloth.

    By necessity, it wasn’t long before gold and silver entered commerce. In Genesis 23: 12&13, about four-thousand years ago Abraham purchases Sarah’s grave from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver. But this exchange using silver was done by weight, not four hundred shekel coins.

    History’s best guess of who made the first precious metal coins for commerce is the city state of Lydia in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) around 600 BC. Lydia became famously rich using its coins as producers and consumers of goods and services came from far away to Lydia’s markets, because economic transactions conducted there could produce change acceptable to all: in coins.

    The coins used in trade were worth their weight in the market place as they are actually as hard to come by as raising livestock or grain by the farmers, or textiles by the weavers or ceramics by the potters. In fact, coins are harder to produce as someone has to first go out and find the gold and silver before the metal could be minted into money. Exploration of precious metals has never been easy, but when successful, very profitable.

    Here’s a point missed by most people; money itself is not an economic good or a service, but a catalyst in economic transactions. Market participants will soon consume the food traded in the markets; services contracted will be performed. However the coins used in these transactions remain unaltered as they flow from one hand to another in the market places from one day to the next.

    And so it was. Until the king realized that by diluting his coins’ precious metal content with base metal, the state could increase its revenue to the extent it inflated the supply of coins without increasing taxation. Thus began the state’s perpetual war against its own unit-of-trade, a war that continues today.

    Inflating the money supply increased the state’s footprint in the market place; which the king liked. But inflating the supply of coins in the market place didn’t increase the supply of food stocks or services available for purchase. The king didn’t give a damn about that.

    When market prices increased because the public’s footprint in the market place was reduced by the king’s new “monetary policy” of coin inflation – His Majesty could always execute the “greedy bastards” selling food and consumer goods in “his market” at exorbitant prices. That made everyone happy; until the day came when suppliers of goods and services went elsewhere to trade in honest coin.

    Today, we all know that the above model of a market place using a stable unit of exchange, such as gold or silver coinage is simplistic, not really applicable to today’s complex economy. Of course we know that as the people who made today’s economy complex are the same people teaching economics; Keynesian economists.

    The Keynesian’s fetish for monetary inflation is now demanding the removal of paper money and base metal coins from the market place. In today’s digital markets, where “policy makers” desire only to increase the supply of currency and credit to facilitate “economic growth”, why bother with a printing press to print money with ink on paper when a keyboard can do so at no cost.

    In a world now plagued by computer hacking and identity theft, the best and brightest in current economic thought now want all personal wealth, and the money it’s dominated in, to be stored on computer hard drives controlled by our ethically challenged banking system. Good Grief!

    Keeping all the above in mind, lets study the history of gold as money in the United States as recorded in the dusty old pages of Barron’s in the chart below. Dollars in gold are plotted in Red. Dollars in paper (CinC) are plotted in Blue. CinC data from 1925 to 1931 are annual statistics from Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s Monetary History of the United States. CinC data after December 1930 are as published in Barron’s.

    The 1920s was a very inflationary decade, but the banking system used bank credit rather than CinC to inflate market values. This was the decade where the Singer sewing machine company coined the slogan; “buy now pay later” as the banks showered consumers with cheap credit, and speculators with margin debt for the stock market.

    So, from January 1925 to September 1931 we see the red plot (gold dollars) above the blue plot (paper dollars) as was demanded by the gold standard. But when Mr Bear went to work deflating inflated valuations in financial assets and real estate, banks and individuals were forced to take huge losses in the financial and real estate markets during the Great Depression.

    I don’t remember the issue in Barron’s, but in the early 1940s, there was an ad for an estate on acreage overlooking Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia. It had a barn for horses and a guest house. Obviously a very nice place, and as I recall in the early 1940s, one could purchase it for $10,000. The ad had a little note on the bottom; this property went for a million dollars in 1929.

    In late 1930, Washington’s political establishment response to deflating market prices was to flood the economy with paper money, as seen below. This did little to support the market’s over inflated prices, but eventually it did result in a run on the US gold reserves (Red Box) from 1931 to 32.

    The monetary system stabilized in the following years, but with more dollars in paper than in gold circulating in the economy. This was a huge imbalance that was not allowed under a gold standard. A situation everyone knew must be corrected, which it was in 1934, when Roosevelt devalued the US dollar from $20.67 to $35 an ounce; a70% devaluation in the dollar.

    After the devaluation of the dollar, Roosevelt now had more dollars in gold (Red plot) than in paper (Blue plot). But it was the wrong thing to do, an act of infamy that the dollar still suffers from to this day.”"
    MARK LUNDEEN

  34. terryhewett

    Where are all these deluded, Surrey-based, golf-club reactionaries spouting off? Shum mischtake shurely.

    As an engineer by profession but an etymologist by disposition, it seemed to me that something interesting was happening in language. so I compiled a list of invective:

    “Senile old farts, fruitcakes, loonies, nutters, gadflies, fascists, dullards, Nazis, blazer wearers, Colonel-Blimps in blazers, BNP in blazers, Brownshirts in blazers, anti-EU-Taliban, clowns, racists, bigots, closet racists, poor blue-collar losers, saloon-bar bores, right-wing nitwits, coffin-dodgers, golf-club bores, swivel-eyed loons, computer illiterates, little Englanders, know-nothing loudmouths, ill-educated, ill-qualified and pretty unpleasant and odd people

    Boggle-eyed collection of malcontents, vacuum-cleaner-onanists, d*kheads, knobs, grumpy old men, the disappointed elderly, rats, the lycra clad-tattooed, whinging, vile, despicable, abhorrent, whining, rabble-rousers, boors, twats, un-British, lily-livered-doormats, daft, self-pitying, xenophobic, four-ale- bar drunks, intellectually-frightened-milksops, bigot-chimps, filth, extreme nationalists, racist halfwits, protectionists, backward-looking, cultists, Euro-bores, rabid, weird people, populists, a bacillus, a rabble, English flag wavers, brutish and low-grade, friendly people waiting to die

    Angry people, pariahs, Tory toxins, beer-swillers, sour-lipped populists, the Tory fifth-column, an infection, damaged goods, absurd, ignorant, neo-fascists, the septic and the geriatric, the empty-headed led by the foul-minded, cynical, corrosive, pond life, thick, pernicious, racist filth, disgruntled elderly, dog-end voters, nativists, knuckle dragging, scum-bigots, nutty Brexiteers, Faragebola.”

    I did come to some conclusios;

    One looks askance at the road to ruin of the ubiquitous and emblazered retired Colonel of the military. Once proudly dispensing boredom at the golf club and Saloon; he was banished to the alleged drunkenness and depravity of the Four-Ale-Bar; presumably keeping company with vacuum-cleaner onanists, d*ckheads and grumpy old men. But finally the good Colonel fell to the level of a mere beer swiller evicted from the bar to presumably stagger along the road clutching a can of special brew in one hand and a bacon sarnie in the other. Although hopefully, for his own safety, not in Brick Lane, Southall or Bradford. By this time he appears to have contracted some infection or bacillus which was sadly diagnosed as the incurable condition of the dreadedFaragebola.

    But if the unfortunate Colonel’s fate was dire, spare a thought for the political class and their journalistic catamites.

    Despite all the advantages which Oxbridge and Prof. Vernon Bogdanor can confer, they appear sadly to be not very good at what they do. Having to look back at the great achievements of their illustrious predecessors must indeed be an embarrassment. J R R Tolkien gives us an insight:

    Tolkien was thrust into the trenches of the Great War and lost most of his friends. He remarked that the inspiration for the Bagginses came from his contact, for the first time, with those lower down the social spectrum and admired their courage and tenacity in extremis an experience that nearly all of the post-war generation of politicians had in common: the understanding of the extraordinariness of the ordinary.

    The present crop of Westminster politicians lack that experience and seem to regard everyone else with contempt. The strands and narratives that they have aimed at sections of the electorate: those of stupidity, insanity, poverty, age, senility, racism and disease reveal a very different attitude to that of their predecessors in regard to those which they have the privilege to serve.

    The poor old journo fares even worse. To paraphrase Michael Flanders: “O tempora, O mores – Oh Times! Oh Daily Mirror!” Newspapers were once the stamping ground of great wits and writers such as Michael Wharton, Brian O’Nolan, J B Morton and the incomparable Ivor Brown of the Observer. They caressed words as a lover because they were hopelessly in love with language: not for them the language of the student privy.

    The notorious article by Matthew Parris in the Times dismissing the people of Clacton and the contemptuous article by the author Toby Young concerning Wales (Telegraph Blogs 05/09/2014) seem to encapsulate a total incomprehension of humanity. It was the sheer casual lack of charity which shocked even me; whom I thought un-shockable.

    However the revolution in computer-generated journalism, encouraged by advances in artificial intelligence and natural language generation, is now well into the task of rendering these unpleasant professional chatterers an endangered species. How many now use computer-generated journalism software to take the heavy lifting out of writing multiple scenarios in advance to be tiddled up later as required? My bet is most of them.

    When the media stops challenging power and begins to serve the interests of power it always signifies a rotten, corrupt and failing political system. By using the intertubes we can change the way we are governed for the better. In the end this is a battle about power and who shall wield it

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