DUP says hand over the cash or there will be no devolution

The DUP have made it clear in their election manifesto (PDF document) that, as far as they are concerned, there will be no devolution in Northern Ireland unless the British government stumps up the cash for a financial package so that local taxes don’t have to be raised and so the region can compete with the Irish Republic.

“We have made it clear that resolution of this issue is a precondition for establishing devolution. Northern Ireland will never have a better opportunity to make up for the decades of underinvestment during the Troubles or to help us compete economically with the Republic of Ireland.”

The DUP believes that without the cash bale-out, the good burghers of Northern Ireland will face the prospect of massive local taxes, being economically uncompetitive and lacking the funding for essential infrastructure.

Naturally, they don’t like the idea of any incoming Executive having to deal with such a reality so have decided to be the only party to make a financial package “a precondition” for devolution.

“Negotiations have already taken place on this issue but it is vital that the matter is resolved in advance of devolution. If a satisfactory financial package is not secured now, it is unlikely to be obtained after devolution returns when the pressure is off the Government.”

On the issue of transforming the Northern Irish economy, the DUP believes that there are several structural weaknesses that must be overcome. These include:

• over dependence on the public sector
• a higher proportion of economically inactive people
• low levels of investment in research and development
• a shortage of many appropriate skills

The first step on the road to solving to these problems seems to be “a financial package to underpin any possible political settlement.”

It also outlines how it hopes to alter Northern Ireland’s economic fortunes even if much of what it wants is beyond its gift to deliver:

• a cut in the corporation tax rate to entice foreign direct investors to set up in NI and existing companies to expand
• other fiscal incentives to encourage, for example, enhanced research and development
• assurances on public spending levels going forward
• a massive investment in our roads, rail,water, sewerage, energy and telecommunications infrastructure
• a radical reform of the planning process so strategically important developments can be fast tracked
• investment in NI’s skills base
• exploiting fully NI’s tourism potential

Naturally, the DUP once again “insists that a suitable financial package is a necessary condition before political progress can be made”.

On the issue of cutting the cost of doing business, the DUP supports:

• a simplified tax and benefits system
• an electricity market within a British and Irish context delivering competitive energy prices
• a cap on industrial rates
• reduced business banking charges
• special emergency fund for businesses having difficulty obtaining insurance cover
• lower fuel duty
• concerted action to reduce business crime

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Typical begging bowl mentality – let us manage our own affairs without this madness.

    The DUP are aying we won’t take charge because taxes will go up, of course if we don’t take charge taxes will go up even more – why does anyone vote for this shower?

  • Yokel

    Tiresome

  • kensei

    All the parties are guilty of this, but none of this is policy. It’s all aspiration. They have no authority to deliver 90% of it. What exactly, assuming they have control of the relevant ministries, are the parties going to do?

  • Alan

    “Spongers ‘R’ Us”

  • Rory

    The first structural weakness of the NI economy which they identify is:

    • over dependence on the public sector

    and how do they propose this be dealt with?

    Increased dependence on public sector funding.

    If they had applied the same rationale to IRA decommissioning there would be a Republican navy and airforce by now.

  • wu

    And still no answer on whether they’ll go into government on 26th March or not! It’s all just hot air without that commitment – date is only a few weeks away now.

    They must be really worried about trying to hold their party together for them to go into an election like this without any understandable policy on the most important issue! The whole manifesto is hostage to the likes of Jim Allister and Willie McCrea who are totally out of tune with mainstream unionism.

    For unionist voters there will be a striking contrast to choose between this no-commitment document from the DUP and the UUP’s quite policy-rich manifesto.

    Also the UUP can promise devolution whereas the DUPs cant/are too scared – and on that the UUP are much more in tune with the mainstream of Unionism. So may be a few surprises in store come election day!

  • Crataegus

    Kensei

    They have no authority to deliver 90% of it. What exactly, assuming they have control of the relevant ministries, are the parties going to do?

    I have been having similar thoughts. He who controls the purse strings……

  • joeCanuck

    Mammy

    If you don’t give me what I want, I’ll run away from home and I might shoot myself.

    Pathetic.

    Forward to the past might be a good DUP slogan.

  • Greenflag

    Rory’

    ‘over dependence on the public sector

    and how do they propose this be dealt with?

    Increased dependence on public sector funding.’

    YOu took the words outta me gob Rory 🙂 The economic contradiction inherent within unionism in NI- laid bare for all to see . But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    Roll on repartition . Northern Ireland’s nationalists and republicans should not need specs to see through this false charade of a powerless and utterly dependent Assembly . It appears that many have been sold a mix of SF economic claptrap and Unionist dependency syndrome for so long now that any other approach is inconceivable

    Time to walk away from this undemocratic charade of an Assembly and State and be done with it !

  • Does it strike anyone as odd that there is rarely anyone contributing to this site who is supportive of the DUP or the evangelical protestant right wing? Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of loyal and proud Brits happy to defend the union and the queen, but few who defend the DUP. Is that because the site’s a little bit too green, or more accurately a little too centrist for those lads and lassies?

    Maybe I’m wrong – I don’t have the time to read everything, though I’ve been reading quite a bit for a couple of years now. Can anyone correct me?

  • IJP

    Well said all, so far!

  • abucs

    How can you have a fully fleshed out election manifesto when you won’t dare admit you might actually be thinking about going into government ?

  • abucs

    And what is even funnier … they will top the poll. :o)

  • Papist lovin’ Romanist

    And this week, the DUP will be performing an adaptation of Oliver Twist.

    “P-p-p-please sir, Can I have some more?”

    MORE!!!

    Next week they will hope to bring you an adaptation of Cinderella (played by Paul Berry), where they hope more public spending will turn the pumpkin into a gold-tinted carraige similar to m’am’s wheels.

    Remember to leave reality and rational thinking at the door, and to shout very loudly, ‘He’s behind you!!’, every time you catch a glimpse of Gerry Adams skulking around the stage.

  • Greenflag

    Abucs,

    ‘And what is even funnier … they will top the poll. :o)

    Not funny abucs it’s actually sad and pathethic . I’ve no problem with a Unionist party topping the poll It’s just that the last message which Northern Ireland needs to send out to the world is to be seen to elect a cleric as First Minister .

    It’s *#&*%@#*& insane . Thanks of course are due to Adams & Mc Guinness and co for their sterling efforts in helping to deliver this result . Thanks also to Messrs Trimble and Mallon and the whole litany of semi colonial Secretaries of State for finding the ‘solution’ 🙁

  • Sean

    The DUP’s manifesto only consists of 2 things
    NO and GIMME

    they wasted a lot of words to say those 2 simple phrases

    As for the largest party uhhhhh, largest unionist party sure but they might have a bit of a fight on their hands as the voters seen awful keen on devolved government and if the DUP wont commit to delivering it then the vote splitting might be a little harsh out there

  • Crataegus

    abucs

    And what is even funnier

    I think we are in for a long and tedious Greek tragedy played by a bunch of comedians. Lets hope that for the final show they don’t decide on a Japanese style NOh production.

    This lot are that detached from reality they are dysfunctional.

  • Paddy

    Who are the DUP trying to convince in their manifesto?- the electorate or themselves. Are they are trying to instill a unionist feelgood factor? If so it seems that the unionist cold house has warmed considerably.

    Usually manifestos are about making promises on policy which the party may or may not adhere to if they get into government. This is saying to the people that one party i.e. Sinn Fein has a veto on the creation of a devolved assembly by not supporting the police. I just think it’s totally ludicrous!

  • heck

    another excuse not to share power with fenians

  • abucs

    Agreed.

    I just hope there comes a time soon when politicians (from all sides) are elected for their constructive politics.

  • alan

    “precondition for establishing devolution”

    SF couldn’t have said it better!

  • Hobbiton

    “Who are the DUP trying to convince in their manifesto?- the electorate or themselves”

    Definitely themselves which I think is the whole problem here is that it is aimed at their supporters to prove they are still tough and still beating their chests!

    Some horrific stuff in it, like the stuff on gays, a mere one short paragraph on tackling racism and very little on the environment – they aren’t even calling for an environmental protection agency!

    And 16 mentions of the UUP slagging them off despite saying they are irrelevant – weird shit!

  • rick

    DUP = Spongers. lol

  • gram

    I’m definitely not a DUP supporter but it amazes me why they are being slagged off for trying to screw some more money out of the British government. For once the DUP are behaving like politicians.

    We’ve got longer waiting lists, worse roads and public transport than the rest of Britain. We are at a major competitive disadvantage to the Republic when it come to inward investment due to our corporation tax rates.

    If you are looking for real spungers don’t pick on workers in the public sector. The real spungers are the city of London execs who contribute nothing to the economy and get bounses of millions of pounds for gambling with our pension funds. Or the banks who make profits in billions yet insist that they are doing us a favour because some of this profit finds it’s way into our pension funds, which are managed by themselves.

  • another_pleb

    Where do the DUP imagine the British Government are going to get the money for the “massive investment” in the infrastructure?

    And why od they imagine for even one minute that the taxpayers of Surrey and Hampshire would be at all keen on seeing their hard-earned cash going west?

  • gram

    another_pleb:And why od they imagine for even one minute that the taxpayers of Surrey and Hampshire would be at all keen on seeing their hard-earned cash going west?

    I don’t see them on the streets complaining about the billions being spent on the war so I don’t think a few quid going to N.I. will cause them to lose much sleep.

  • Wrigleys

    “I don’t see them on the streets complaining about the billions being spent on the war”

    No, thats right, there have been no anti war protests at all in the UK and no London bombings, no terrorist plots uncovered etc

    What a stupid comment!

  • Crataegus

    Quite a wish list. The more I think about this the more stupid it becomes. They should be asking for tax raising powers and virtual independence. With regards,

    a radical reform of the planning process so strategically important developments can be fast tracked

    No all that is needed is a radical reform of the planning service so that all applications can be processed within a reasonable time, say 2 months.

  • nmc

    16 Bn in 08. A few quid? You any good for a tap?

  • Henry94

    gram

    I agree with you. The DUP have something the British government wants. The more they can get them to pay for it the better they are doing their jobs and the easier they can sell power-sharing to their own crowd.

  • Crataegus

    Gram

    I don’t see them on the streets complaining about the billions being spent on the war

    If you want very strong complaining about war and the cost you need to go to the Greens on youtube. I put up the link elsewhere. Its http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eggaY2YuFUg&mode=related&search=

    It is a vicious little video, be warned it is not for the squeamish.

  • gram

    Wrigleys:No, thats right, there have been no anti war protests at all in the UK and no London bombings, no terrorist plots uncovered etc

    What a stupid comment!

    I think you’ll find that the protests prior to the war focused on the legality and the moral nature of the war rather than the cost. The tax payers were so incensed with the government that voted them in for a third term.

    Apathy eventually rules and now that the population can’t be bothered anymore to get off their arses and complain about the war I don’t think a few million going towards NI will even register.

  • wild turkey

    The fundamental function of government is make two inter-related decisions; how to raise revenue and how to spend it. The devolved government here has in effect no real autonomy in raising revenue, so…

    Do churches here pay rates on property on tax on income generated? Don’t think so, though i may be mistaken.

    Wanna raise some revenue guys, tax the capital assets and income streams of churches. Hey presto, additional revenue!

    Start passing the basket and/or bucket around or get off the gravy train once and for all.

  • another_pleb

    Not wishing to get off topic but essentially it boils down to a question of self-respect. Why can’t the DUP just allow N.I. stand on its own two feet for once instead of sitting around complaining about how the Irish are evil and the Brits won’t give them any money.

    Does any party have the answer? The DUP don’t. Any ideas?

  • Alan

    “If you are looking for real spungers don’t pick on workers in the public sector. The real spungers are the city of London execs who contribute nothing to the economy and get bounses of millions of pounds for gambling with our pension funds. Or the banks who make profits in billions yet insist that they are doing us a favour because some of this profit finds it’s way into our pension funds, which are managed by themselves.”

    OK – so go ahead and lie to people and tell them that they don’t have to pay for anything!

    We’ll sit back and wait on the DUP economic miracle (I hope it’s more substantial than Colmcille’s miracles). I’m sure some academic will document the abject failure of this cargo-cult public financing.

  • ifhtdup

    Those city of london execs are the ones who generate the vast majority of the wealth in the UK.

  • You have to (Red) Hand it to the DUP.

    Sinn Fein has passed through all the hoops and the DUP come up with another scheme to avoid power sharing.

    Give us the money or else.

    If the Brit govt agree’s to £16 billion the DUP will say it was a printing error and the true figure is £160 billion.

    Classic DUP !

  • gram

    ifhtdup:Those city of london execs are the ones who generate the vast majority of the wealth in the UK.

    Yes just like the way the vegas casino owners generate tax revenues for the American Govt.

    The city is not much different from the vegas strip but provides less fun. They are paid to gamble with money generated by us e.g. our pension funds. They create nothing, produce nothing and give little back to the economy (bonuses taxed at the same level as we are).

  • heck

    nothing has changed.

    I remember Harold Wilson in 1974 calling unionists spongers.

  • A £1.2 billion a year stone in the shoe.

    Like seaside rock, NI has DUP to its core.

    Paying the DUP is nothing short of DANEGELD as they will keep coming back for more.

    So, what exactly does the British taxpayer get for the £1.2 billion Danegeld given to NI each and every year?

    The Brit govt should turn the tables on the DUP and threaten to withdraw all funding for NI.

    The honest fact of the matter is Unionists are about as welcome as a “Fart in a Spacesuit” for the vast majority of British people, who are sick and tired of paying Danegeld to some colonial outpost, thats unfortunatly too close for comfort.

    Any notion that Gordon Brown will continue to prop up an expensive colonial plaything is pure folly.

    The DUP are in the last chance saloon, it is make your mind up time, the clock is ticking.

    Tick tock.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Anthony B: “Does it strike anyone as odd that there is rarely anyone contributing to this site who is supportive of the DUP or the evangelical protestant right wing? Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of loyal and proud Brits happy to defend the union and the queen, but few who defend the DUP. Is that because the site’s a little bit too green, or more accurately a little too centrist for those lads and lassies? ”

    Mayhap its simply the fact that it requires using technology more complicated than the wheel… Big Ian may not have even signed off on fire as a valid advance.

    Besides, its hard to defend someone who doesn’t really stand for anything — the DUP hold no ground, shifting and morphing and moving the goal-posts so they don’t *have* to defend a position.

    wild turkey: “The fundamental function of government is make two inter-related decisions; how to raise revenue and how to spend it. The devolved government here has in effect no real autonomy in raising revenue, so… ”

    Firstly, that is not the function of government, its merely what the lot of layabout deign to do.

    Secondly, you need a government that functions before you’re even allowed to discuss the function of government.

    gram: “Yes just like the way the vegas casino owners generate tax revenues for the American Govt. ”

    Wealth, not tax revenues, gram. There is a difference — words mean things, usually specific things and should be used appropriately. There is nothing sadder than listening to an incoherent individual trying to present a position… the more heart-felt the position held by the incoherent, the sadder it is.

    As for those casinos in Vegas, I do believe that they generate a great deal of tax revenue, what between sales taxes, occupancy taxes, income taxes on the merest janitor up to the Steve Wynn’s, taxes on stock dividends, excise taxes on the alcohol and tobacco products the casino-hotels buy on the wholesale level, property taxes, etc.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Art Hostage: “So, what exactly does the British taxpayer get for the £1.2 billion Danegeld given to NI each and every year? ”

    Danegeld, AH? Perish the thought — the DUP have absoultely no connection to violence — Big Ian said so!!

    /SARCASM = OFF

    Seriously, tho. Calling it “danegeld” gives this pathetic extortion effort a bit too much in the way of dignity.

  • Canaan Banana

    Well of course, the one thing the DUP have always been scared of is truely answering to the population on bread and butter issues, this way with the British Government stumping up some cash, it buys them enough time to the next election to develop another excuse to collapse the assembly and blame it on themmuns!

  • Greenflag

    I’ve heard of the Surrey with the fringe on top from the Broadway musical Oklahoma but I’ve never heard of the fringe pulling the Surrey even if the fringe has been bleeding the Surrey taxpayer dry for decades 🙁

    In the movie version the Surrey (a four wheel covered carriage, in this case pulled by two horses) is initially seen in a brief fantasy sequence,( which somehow seems appropriate for matters economic in NI ) but appears for real at the end when Paisley and and his DUP voters ride off in it to their honeymoon in powersharing bliss courtesy of the English Surrealists (What are people from Surrey called anyway ?)

    An exchange from this duet:

    DUP voter : “Has it really got a team of snow white horses?'”
    Paisley : “One’s like snow, the other’s more like milk and there’s no Fenians getting anything but horseshite from now on ”

    Exit from stage as sunset drops over northwestern fringe and they all live miserably ever after .

  • Yoda

    Paisley : “One’s like snow, the other’s more like milk and there’s no Fenians getting anything but horseshite from now on “

    You owe me a new keyboard, you bastard.

  • I thought there was meant to be a drought, man.

    Green flag been on the Rastafarian Golden Virginia?

  • PaddyReilly

    I’ve heard of the Surrey with the fringe on top

    Greenflag, I have searched all through this post and cannot find the word repartition in it anywhere. Would you mind posting it again in suitably amended form?

  • Yokel

    I’m thinking of knocking up one of those Downing Street petitions over this basically saying no more ‘special’ money solely to ‘underpin’ this ‘peace process’ or ‘devolution’ or whatever they want to call it.

    Whilst there’s nothing wrong with getting money under some kind of existing framework that other parts of the country get, I’m just about fecked off with this constant demand for more money for precisely nothing.

    Anyone any ideas on a form of words?

  • Greenflag

    Paddyreilly ,

    My apologies re the omission -here suitably amended by special request .

    ‘In the movie version Northern Ireland (a three wheeled uncovered carriage, in this case being pulled by two horses in opposite directions ) is initially seen in a brief fantasy sequence as being pulled in the same direction by the DUP Stallion and the SF gelding ,( which somehow seems inappropriate for matters economic and political in NI )! At the end of the nuptials when Paisley finds another excuse the third wheel will be spun off the power sharing axle and the English surrealists will be asked to dig once more into the ditch to drag the wreck of another Assembly back onto the road -after an interlude of 35 or 40 years of course 🙁

    By then the Repartition Coach will of course have rolled on via the District Council Reform and we’ll have a 30 county Republic and a 32 county Unionist rump state. Thank Christ !

  • A case of biting the hand that feeds you.

    I bet the Brit govt thought it was comic relief day when the DUP sent word of their demands.

    If anyone spots Lord Lucan riding Shergar towards stormont then we are going to get devolved powersharing, until then it will be one thing after another.

    Thought the DUP would urge everyone to vote Sinn Fein so they become the biggest party, then the DUP can refuse to share power on the basis of a Sinn Fein first minister.

  • Greenflag

    Yoda,

    ‘You owe me a new keyboard, you bastard. ‘

    T’would be easier for Yoda to stick a half pund of butter up a porcupines arse with a red hot needle as to get GF to part with a euro 🙂

    PS – GF may be a bastard but he’s a legitimate one – and has documentary proof of same.

  • Greenflag

    Error alert:)

    ‘and a 32 county Unionist rump state. Thank Christ !

    Sorry divide by 16 i.e 2 county size URS with the Red Hand Flag motif reduced to a two fingered V sign on an orange background.

  • Greenflag

    ‘then the DUP can refuse to share power on the basis of a Sinn Fein first minister.’

    Oh B*&*%#*@ cks the DUP secret is out now 🙁

    Very clever Art very clever 🙂

  • abucs

    It’s just that everyone knows in their heart of hearts the DUP don’t want the power sharing as largely defined in the GFA.

    At the same time they have no real leverage at the moment to implement anything else. And if nothing is implemented then they are a political voice without any power. And NI is a political entity without any definite political or economic direction.

    The best hope for their way of thinking is to hold out for an administration change in Westminster and hope their leverage also changes and that everyone else will accept a DUP chosen executive.

    But even this hope has been dashed as Westminster (in consultation with Bertie) has forshadowed local politics will be the focus if there is no assembly.

    But in the meantime, their is no real NI assembly politics and no prospect that there will be any time soon.

    The DUP are in a great position right now to determine the local powers and direction of an assembly within the GFA, and set the scene for political and economic development of NI for the next few generations. Cannot it be said that they are wasting that opportunity on their principals of not wanting to share power, though they daren’t say that out loud ?

    I understand their principals, but those principals come at a cost. And that cost is getting more expensive with every year that passes without implementation of the GFA.

    There should be local power in NI now to enhance education and in connection with local government supported industry start building local areas of excellence for the future. Be they I.T., genetic engineering for agriculture, physics research, water conservation, sustainable development, alternate power industries – whatever the future industries will be that will bring wealth to the local economy.

    There could even be a focus on solving technical problems encountered by the hugely growing Indian and Chinese economies that should provide lots of opportunities and cash in the next 50 years.

    You need education and you need business incentive and most of all you need local power to establish both of these.

    Be it a scandanavian NOKIA or a ROI IT industry or a French aeronautical industry or whatever.

    The concentration should be on a prosporous NI and a more healthy private business sector. Once you get wealth flowing into NI then you can sit around and have normal politics on how it should be distributed.

    You’ll find both Great Britain and the ROI will be jumping at the chance to trade and be involved with the place.

    And politicians will actually have done some good for the place.

    If the DUP want to turn back the clock then great. Turn it back to the 19th century when the place was at the forefront of modern industries. And combine it with a civic inclusiveness and confidence.

    Now that would be a noble direction for the DUP to follow.

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:gram: “Yes just like the way the vegas casino owners generate tax revenues for the American Govt. “

    >>Wealth, not tax revenues, gram.

    No tax revenues as you indicate in your second paragraph below? Your reply is all over the place I’m afraid.

    Always good to provide an opinion on a forum like this rather than just disagree with everyone else.

    >>There is a difference—words mean things, usually specific things and should be used appropriately. There is nothing sadder than listening to an incoherent individual trying to present a position… the more heart-felt the position held by the incoherent, the sadder it is.

    >>As for those casinos in Vegas, I do believe that they generate a great deal of tax revenue, what between sales taxes, occupancy taxes, income taxes on the merest janitor up to the Steve Wynn’s, taxes on stock dividends, excise taxes on the alcohol and tobacco products the casino-hotels buy on the wholesale level, property taxes, etc.<< Yes just like the city execs the Casinos might generate some tax revenues (and certainly not as much as they should) but they produce nothing, don't innovate and have a generally negative impact on society. Some how we put them on a pedestal yet when our politicians ask for some of our tax revenues back from the govt to assist with rebuilding we are called spungers. Strange. We are part of Britain. We should share the benefits of the current economic success and unprecedented investment in public services. In addition the British goverment has a responsibility to pay for their decades of mismanagement and under investment in N.ireland.

  • Greenflag

    Abucs,

    ‘You need education and you need business incentive and most of all you need local power to establish both of these)(wealth /opportunities etc etc( ‘

    True . This is what the Irish people voted for in 1922 . However despite getting the local power it took a generation or more before ‘business incentive and education’ became prioritised as instruments for economic expansion.
    Not all local power is the same . The powers proposed for the NI Assembly are a pale image of what the Dail had in 1922!

    ‘The concentration should be on a prosperous NI and a more healthy private business sector. Once you get wealth flowing into NI then you can sit around and have normal politics on how it should be distributed. ‘

    Sorry Abucs -in today’s world there is no sitting around not if you want to be part of the 21st century global economy . And although everyone wishes (or almost everyone) for NI to have ‘normal politics’ there is probably a better chance of getting a two leggged stool to stand erect than ‘delivering ‘ normal democratic politics to NI. When the very system of Government ‘forced power sharing’ is inherently undemocratic how can you expect to have a ‘normal ‘ democracy ?

    ‘You’ll find both Great Britain and the ROI will be jumping at the chance to trade and be involved with the place. ‘

    This is already the case – Most of NI’s trade is with the UK and the Republic . Investors from the Republic have already driven up property prices in NI .

    ‘If the DUP want to turn back the clock then great. Turn it back to the 19th century when the place was at the forefront of modern industries.’

    No matter how much the DUP might want to turn the clock back whether to the 19th or 17th centuries they can’t . It is unlikely that Northern Ireland as presently constituted politically will ever be at the forefront of industrial or scientific advance ever again . But that’s not to say that NI can’t do a lot better than it’s doing at present . However as long as NI is part of the UK political set up it will probably be impossible for it to ever be more than a ‘regional’ off shore area with virtually no political clout at Westminster . This is just another of the inherent contradictions within political unionism in NI which unionist voters would rather not think about or face up to !

  • Greenflag

    Gram,

    ‘Yes just like the city execs the Casinos might generate some tax revenues (and certainly not as much as they should) but they produce nothing, don’t innovate and have a generally negative impact on society. ‘

    I agree . There is a reason why Las Vegas is also known as Lost Wages . Casino’s are not an answer -they are just a diversion . More games but not much bread except for the owners and the one in a million lucky winner .

  • Greenflag

    Gram,

    ‘We are part of Britain.’

    Wrong – You are part of the UK which is a separate political entity from the Irish Republic . Britain is an island which includes England , Scotland and Wales.

    ‘We should share the benefits of the current economic success and unprecedented investment in public services. ‘

    And you should also pay for these ‘benefits’ just as other areas in the UK do .

    ‘In addition the British goverment has a responsibility to pay for their decades of mismanagement and under investment in N.Ireland. ‘

    Well yes as long as Unionists also get to pay for decades of political mismanagement in NI .However as the British Government will never again allow any Unionist party to wield single party ‘majority ‘ rule in Northern Ireland ever again , this is a moot point.

    ‘There is nothing sadder than listening to an incoherent individual trying to present a position… the more heart-felt the position held by the incoherent, the sadder it is. ‘

    Well said Gram . You have summarised in a single paragraph the state of political Unionism in Northern Ireland .

  • DK

    Well the DUP know that the assembly cannot raise money, so the only way to get money is to ask – or in their case bluster – for it.

    And for the voters, the bottom line is that the DUP are trying to get central money so that our taxes are lower.

    The average voter is not going to think “well does that make us a dependency culture and is the public sector too bloated”, they’re going to think “great, maybe I can now afford that big TV I was after”.

    They’ve seen that the government only listens to threats. They don’t have an army to constantly disband so the the only lever they have is to screw up Peter Hains reputation and Tony’s legacy.

    I still won’t vote for them as they are a bunch of sectarian arseholes, but if they can pull this off then I might consider it.

  • gram

    Greenflag:
    And you should also pay for these ‘benefits’ just as other areas in the UK do . < < We do. We pay exacly the same tax levels as elsewhere in the UK but in return we have to put up with longer waiting lists, public transport, investment in roads compared to the rest of the UK. >>Well yes as long as Unionists also get to pay for decades of political mismanagement in NI .<< I'm not a Unionist but this is hokum. This place was run and mismanaged out of London. While the unionists delayed change the decision making and thus responsibility resides in London. What is the harm in trying to get parity with other regions before we start to compete rather than having to compete with one hand tied behind our backs?

  • abucs

    Greenflag,

    i think if the NI parties can stop fighting yesterdays quarrels, they have the chance today to push for local powers that will give them the opportunity to shape the future. The British government isn’t holding that back, the unfinished squabbles among parties are holding increased powers back, to the detriment of all IMHO.

    In NI a lot of the civic re-alignment has been or is being completed. It was sorely needed IMHO. Hopefully in time social re-alignments will follow.

    Shared politics, equality watch dogs, parity of esteem, willingness to open up policing (from a certain date) etc. Some people think this is not enough, some think its way over the top. But it creates a framework to move forward together, which has to happen and i think is the best chance to move forward together.

    NI is the poor mans Great Britain, and it is the poor mans Ireland in economic and political circles. To Britain it is a drain on the exchequer, to the south it is a place to park their euro’s from the over heated southern economy.

    In some ways it is an economic colony without any political power to change things. The best chance to get out of that is to work with eachother towards common interests in a common framework of understanding IMHO.

    If you swap London for Dublin then personally i agree that there would be great synergies and much increased local political benefit, although for a while it would still be an economic colony. But you won’t get that any time soon and very importantly any talk of heading in that direction will increase the quarrels again and NI will go nowhere fast.

    I think this new political paradigm, once bedded down, should be given every chance to deliver a better future. It has the enormous benefit of uniting rather than dividing the population, which is a huge factor in progressing.

    To not give it the best chance i think is to let certain people on the other have a valid reason to not co-operate

    So i have to respectfully disagree with some of the things you highlight.

    Other than that, we can have repartition then :o)

  • George

    DK,
    I agree with a lot of what you say.

    Nobody was complaining about how unfair it was when Albert Reynolds came back screaming from the rooftops about how he got 8 billion from the EU back in the 90s.

    But it was undignified and caused serious discontent with our European neighbours that took years to put right.

    The DUP is being equally undignified and this type of behaviour has a tendency to come back and bite you on the arse.

    Also, rather than the normal reaction of not believing your luck that somebody thinks you deserve such largesse but trying for it anyway because it’s there, the DUP have put largesse as a precondition.

    It would be the equivalent of the Irish Republic telling the EU it won’t ratify the European Constitution unless the country maintains Objective I status for a further decade.

    Might I point out that there is always another way.

    In the maelstrom of preconditions and Blair-Chirac ego-bashing last year, Ireland arrived boasting that it would be a strong contributor and left with a cheque for 14 billion from last year’s EU round.

    No shouting from rooftops this time round, just Bertie licking his lips like the cat that got the cream.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Gram: “No tax revenues as you indicate in your second paragraph below? Your reply is all over the place I’m afraid. ”

    If you re-read the post you responded to, the original commenter stated that the London folks were producing wealth, which is not the same as producing tax revenue. It is you who are trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Gram: “Yes just like the city execs the Casinos might generate some tax revenues (and certainly not as much as they should) but they produce nothing, don’t innovate and have a generally negative impact on society.”

    So, because they’re not involved in money-losing heavy industry, their work doesn’t count?

    As for a negative impact on society, imagine how much more money the state would have to remove from the population at large to redistribute to those whose pensions were poorly managed by the state. Sounds like you have more invested in class-warfare than actual knowledge of the topic at hand. Hint: poor men very rarely sign pay-checks. You get very little in the way of job creation out of paupers.

    Gram: “Some how we put them on a pedestal yet when our politicians ask for some of our tax revenues back from the govt to assist with rebuilding we are called spungers. Strange.”

    Not really — its the inevitable response to the need to subsidize the less productive portions of society through the taxation of the more productive. Inevitable really — those who work and succeed are resented by those who do not, who, in turn, resent having their pocket picked to support a region dominated by a poorly run State-dominated economy, where something on the order of a quarter of the population lives in what UK economists euphemistically referred to as “voluntary poverty,” i.e. they sit on their arses and collect the dole, full stop.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Greenflag: “I agree . There is a reason why Las Vegas is also known as Lost Wages . Casino’s are not an answer -they are just a diversion . More games but not much bread except for the owners and the one in a million lucky winner . ”

    Ah, but Gram was saying they do not produce tax revenue, which is hardly the same thing.

    Whilst the table games merely redistribute wealth (and I thought the bolshie set was approving of redistribution of wealth…), the casino also creates jobs, creates a market for the sale of goods, creates spaces for restaurants — more jobs unrelated to the casino, not to mention the tradesmen employed in the construction of the facility, the maintainence folks, etc. Ergo, there is an economic benefit to them, along with good streams of tax income flowing into state coffers as a result.

    They are also usu. a fair investment, if you’re into stocks.

  • Greenflag

    Abucs,

    ‘It has the enormous benefit of uniting rather than dividing the population,’

    I cannot see how you can come to that conclusion when all the evidence from every survey carried out in NI over the past decade or more shows the population of NI more divided than ever before !

    Voluntary power sharing could as you put it unite however shotgun marriages are notoriously short lived ones particulary when the gun goes off ! The children of these shotgun marriages are thus also at higher risk of achieving orphan status 🙁

    I respect your faith Abucs in the last chance Assembly saloon but I can’t share it . To me a house built on sand will never be stable for long enough to allow the residents to step away from behind their respective walls !

  • Greenflag

    Gram,

    ‘What is the harm in trying to get parity with other regions before we start to compete rather than having to compete with one hand tied behind our backs?

    None but that’s not how the world works . The political /economic/business/investment world will stop and wait for NI to achieve what you call ‘parity’ and then start .
    You have to compete with what you have now . And having a house divided against itself as a Government is not a good omen for success IMO.

  • DK

    Oh I don’t know Greenflag – you can sometimes have united countries with more than one grouping – Belgium and Switzerland spring to mind. But to counter them you have the endless pain of Canada with Quebec, Spain with the Basques, Jugoslavia, Iraq, Czechoslovakia, even England and Scotland are separating (apparently).

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu>>As for a negative impact on society, imagine how much more money the state would have to remove from the population at large to redistribute to those whose pensions were poorly managed by the state. Sounds like you have more invested in class-warfare than actual knowledge of the topic at hand. < < You actually believe they are doing the state a favour by managing our pensions? Where do their excessive salaries come from, our pensions. The reason our pension system is in such a mess is because of the way it's currently managed. I think it's generally agreed that more involvment in the pensions system by government is required not less. By your logic lets privatise the health service as well cause private enterprice can always do things better than government. >>
    Hint: poor men very rarely sign pay-checks. You get very little in the way of job creation out of paupers.< < Give me a break. Entrepreneurship is not the preserve of the wealthy. Microsoft/Amazon/Google were hardly started by wealthy men. What is required and what should be rewarded is innovation. You could hardly call what takes place in Banks and on the City of London strip innovative. >>Not really—its the inevitable response to the need to subsidize the less productive portions of society through the taxation of the more productive. < < Who said we need subsidised. We need parity of services with the rest of the UK. If these cost more to deliver in NI tough shit. >>Inevitable really—those who work and succeed are resented by those who do not, who, in turn, resent having their pocket picked to support a region dominated by a poorly run State-dominated economy, where something on the order of a quarter of the population lives in what UK economists euphemistically referred to as “voluntary poverty,” i.e. they sit on their arses and collect the dole, full stop.<< Ah now we know where you are coming from, everyone on the dole are spungers and wasters. Nothing to do with the fact that due to the low wage jobs on offer in the N.Ireland economy (wao wee another call centre!) it's beneficial for many to remain on the dole.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “You actually believe they are doing the state a favour by managing our pensions?”

    Compared to the dismal returns of government managed programs? Absolutely

    gram: “I think it’s generally agreed that more involvment in the pensions system by government is required not less.”

    Absolutely not — I want my investments / future in the hands of someone who does not have a political axe to grind. Money left in the government’s hands will be replaced by cut-rate government paper — a government issuing itself an IOU, and the monies spent.

    gram: ” By your logic lets privatise the health service as well cause private enterprice can always do things better than government. ”

    Not a wholly bad plan – access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare.

    gram: “Who said we need subsidised. We need parity of services with the rest of the UK. If these cost more to deliver in NI tough shit. ”

    Ah, nothing like the thinking of an outcome-oriented focus without regard for realities… What do you do for an encore, a five-year plan?

    gram: “Ah now we know where you are coming from, everyone on the dole are spungers and wasters.”

    And what would *YOU* call those who have chosen “voluntary poverty,” gram?

    gram: “Nothing to do with the fact that due to the low wage jobs on offer in the N.Ireland economy (wao wee another call centre!) it’s beneficial for many to remain on the dole.”

    Low wage jobs are a starting place, gram — a place where someone learns the ropes and works their way up. Sitting on one’s corporulent arse and sponging off the state does nothing to prepare one for opportunities. No skills learned, no contacts made. Sitting on one’s ass and collecting the dole — “voluntary poverty” for those without the stomach to call it sponging — is an ending place.

  • Greenflag

    DK,

    ‘you can sometimes have united countries with more than one grouping – Belgium and Switzerland spring to mind. ‘

    Having more than one ‘grouping’ in any country is not the cause of failure or success of it’s constitution /polity /economy. Having ‘groupings’ which have totally opposed constitutional aspirations is . The German speaking Swiss are not trying to unite with the German speaking Austrians or Germans nor do the Italian speaking Swiss aspire to being ruled from Rome.

    Czechoslovakia , Jugoslavia, and Iraq were all created in the aftermath of World War 1 with the dissolution of the Ottoman and AustroHungarian Empires . These States were created to suit the needs of the victorious powers , Britain, France ,USA . They did not represent the wishes of the various peoples who inhabited these contrived lines on a map. Of the three states then created the Czechs and Slovaks have parted amicably . Jugoslavia could only be held together by totalitarian communism . Iraq seems to be on the verge of partition via civil war .

    Both Spain and Britain became Empires formed initially from the inclusion of contiguous areas (Scotland , Wales , Basque country, Catalonia , Galicia etc) and not so contiguous (Ireland , Balearic Islands , Azores ) under centralised control from Madrid /London. In some cases the ‘inclusion ‘ into Empire was forced and in others there was little opposition to the imperial adventure.

    The end of Empire has meant an inevitable re-assessment of the political structures in both Britain and Spain as to what the replacement /if any should be. EU membership has made the adjustment easier in many respects. The British -IMO are farther advanced along the road than the Spanish. The dominance of England economically and politically within the UK is greater than that of Castille within Spain so perhaps that is a clue as to why the Spanish are so reluctant to grant the Basques full independence . An Iberian Peninsula with 7 or 8 separate States including Portugal begins also to look positively Balkan ? At the most Britain is looking at 3 States and Ireland at 2 .

    I’m not sure if ‘endless pain’ are the words to use as regards Canada /Quebec. An irritant for some no doubt but I don’t recall any lives being lost not in the last century or this one for a Quebec Libre ?

    The above comparisons help to point out some of the directions which Northern Ireland might follow. It seems to me that either of the Czech/Slovak , Canadian/Quebec solutions could work best for NI.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    GF: “Czechoslovakia , Jugoslavia, and Iraq were all created in the aftermath of World War 1 with the dissolution of the Ottoman and AustroHungarian Empires . These States were created to suit the needs of the victorious powers , Britain, France ,USA . ”

    Given the United States’ stance that the peace that ended the First World War should not be punitive — a stance ignored by the European powers — and its subsequent lapse into isolationism, pray tell, just what was the “need” of the United States for *ANY* of the above nations?

    GF: “I’m not sure if ‘endless pain’ are the words to use as regards Canada /Quebec. An irritant for some no doubt but I don’t recall any lives being lost not in the last century or this one for a Quebec Libre ?”

    Then mayhap you weren’t paying attention… or blinked at an inopportune moment. From Yahoo.CA

    “For most Canadians under 40 or so, the story of the FLQ is just the compressed narrative of the October Crisis. In the shadow of that drama, it is easy to forget that between 1963 and 1970, the FLQ exploded over 200 bombs in Montreal, killing at least five people and wounding dozens of others, before finally flaming out. The FLQ was inspired by other sixties-era revolutionaries like Che Guevara and the anti-colonial movements in Algeria and Palestine, but its demise tracked that of American militant leftist groups such as the Weather Underground, an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society.”

    There is a story on the return of the separatist movement and threats of violence, actually…

    Andrew Potter: The very very brief history of violence in Quebec

  • Greenflag

    ‘just what was the “need” of the United States for *ANY* of the above nations? ‘

    Woodrow Wilson if I recall just needed to get back to the States .This was his most pressing need . He was becoming pissed off with the French and Italians and was irritated by the Irish , Hungarians and others . The Wilsonian ideal of the right of small nations back in 1919 is uncannily similar of the present US Presidents policy objective of the rights of Middle Easterners to democracy USA style . Both nice theories in themselves but both failing to take account either deliberately or through ignorance of the histories of the peoples of Europe or the Middle East .

    Thank you for your update on the French Canadian Resistance movement . Five people killed in a population of some 30 million ? All I can say is that if other ‘Liberation Armies ‘ had been equally as successful as the French Canadians then the world might be a less unhappy place for millions of people . I guess I must have blinked !

  • Dread Cthulhu

    GF: “Woodrow Wilson if I recall just needed to get back to the States .This was his most pressing need . He was becoming pissed off with the French and Italians and was irritated by the Irish , Hungarians and others . The Wilsonian ideal of the right of small nations back in 1919 is uncannily similar of the present US Presidents policy objective of the rights of Middle Easterners to democracy USA style .”

    Wilson envision self-determination, not a groups of disparate peoples squeezed together into a nation like leftover meat into a sausage skin. The creation of such was the work of France and England, who, rather than self-determination, wanted larger nations — a thought that might have worked better had subsequent administrations not been so cowardly as to sell of these newly minted nations to the Nazis piecemeal. He most certainly did not evision carving up Africa and the Middle East into spheres of control to become parts of the French and British colonial systems.

    GF: “Both nice theories in themselves but both failing to take account either deliberately or through ignorance of the histories of the peoples of Europe or the Middle East .”

    Not wholly accurate — World War I was more an indictment of the Bismark “treaty system” than the danger of small countries. Do you honestly think that not crunching, what, three or four small states into one large state creates that much of a hazard. As for the Middle East, I would point out that it is a more rational explanation that European colonialism and parochialism did more to poison the well, although there are other problems — religion, patterns of marriage and a long tradition or repression that make the region difficult.

    Short form — the European solution of creating these nations by arbitrarily and capriciously drawing lines on a map was no solution and laid some of the roots of current difficulties.

    On the other hand, would matters be any better if a cynical “business as usual” exploitation were continued?

    GF: “Thank you for your update on the French Canadian Resistance movement . Five people killed in a population of some 30 million ? All I can say is that if other ‘Liberation Armies ‘ had been equally as successful as the French Canadians then the world might be a less unhappy place for millions of people . I guess I must have blinked ! ”

    Realize that the Quebecois, for lack of a better description, don’t have the same history or mythology as do, say, Irish nationalists. Nor did Canada have the equivalent to Loyalist counter-gangs to help gin up the bloodshed. No, it wasn’t the equivalent of the Troubles, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:And what would *YOU* call those who have chosen “voluntary poverty,” gram?

    I’m happy we agree that the benefits system places people in poverty?

    But I don’t know anyone who would choose voluntary poverty as a lifestyle choice.

    How is a single parent to pay for child care, housing, food etc on a minimum wage job? Sometimes it’s better to remain on benefits.

    >>Low wage jobs are a starting place, gram—a place where someone learns the ropes and works their way up. Sitting on one’s corporulent arse and sponging off the state does nothing to prepare one for opportunities. No skills learned, no contacts made. Sitting on one’s ass and collecting the dole—“voluntary poverty” for those without the stomach to call it sponging—is an ending place.<< What's the weather like today on big rock candy mountain? Get back in the real world.

  • kensei

    “Compared to the dismal returns of government managed programs? Absolutely”

    Government managed programs are typically designed to provide low-risk and stable growth, not huge amounts of growth with high risk. Now who is comparing apples and oranges?

    “Absolutely not—I want my investments / future in the hands of someone who does not have a political axe to grind. Money left in the government’s hands will be replaced by cut-rate government paper—a government issuing itself an IOU, and the monies spent.”

    If governments default on any of their paper “IOU”‘s then the entire system collapses. Have a look at them dollar bills you have. they are just another “paper IOU”.

    “Not a wholly bad plan – access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare.”

    Not having access to health care because you have no money is not having access to health care. And No one goes bankrupt under the NHS:

    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.w5.63/DC1

    “Low wage jobs are a starting place, gram—a place where someone learns the ropes and works their way up.”

    A nice theory. Too often though, low wage jobs are just a route to low wage jobs.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “Government managed programs are typically designed to provide low-risk and stable growth, not huge amounts of growth with high risk. Now who is comparing apples and oranges? ”

    Not making a comparison, kensei, but responding to Gram’s question over who does a better job managing pension funds… do try to keep up.

    When I can do better with government issued bonds than government pension fund perfomance, then there is something wrong.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Gram: “I’m happy we agree that the benefits system places people in poverty? ”

    You think that living on the dole should be better than having a job? It should be a safety net, not a hammock. By making the dole a better alternative to working, you guarantee folks will remain in poverty.

    Life on the dole does not teach a person to get up for work, manage their time, learn any skills — all you do is learn the TV schedules.

    gram: “How is a single parent to pay for child care, housing, food etc on a minimum wage job? Sometimes it’s better to remain on benefits. ”

    Short term thinking, since it will keep her on the dole and, in all likelihood, her offspring will end up there, making it a generational problem, since that will have been the example the child has been given.

    As for your other comment, I’ve worked everything from cleaning service to fire salvage to fast-food. Learned to keep a schedule, plan my time, the etiquette of the workplace — things that sitting on one’s fourth point of contact and watching the television all day don’t teach. Your hypothetical single-mom will be on the dole, using your logic, for decades. Any skills she might have had will, at best, get to better — they will likely atrophy. She needs no discipline, since the state is picking up the tab. When her child reaches majority, what will her job prospects be then?

  • Sue

    The DUP are sponges and not stones which is why there is no place for <Former R.E.M. Drummer>

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:
    >>You think that living on the dole should be better than having a job? It should be a safety net, not a hammock. By making the dole a better alternative to working, you guarantee folks will remain in poverty.< < Who is it that makes the dole better than working? Yep it's the businesses paying minimum wage. Increase the minimum wage to a decent standard and I'm sure you'll see plenty of people come off benefits. Curtain twitchers like yourself always amaze me. If living on benefits is so wonderful why don't you try it? >>Short term thinking, since it will keep her on the dole and, in all likelihood, her offspring will end up there, making it a generational problem, since that will have been the example the child has been given.< < Sorry, that's just not true. I know plenty of children raised by parent(s) on benefits who have become valuable contributers to society. Child care is a crucial job which benefits society and it's best done by a parent rather than the state. Single parents on benefits still do a very important job IMO. >>As for your other comment, I’ve worked everything from cleaning service to fire salvage to fast-food. Learned to keep a schedule, plan my time, the etiquette of the workplace—things that sitting on one’s fourth point of contact and watching the television all day don’t teach. << Well done I'm sure your mothers proud. What you haven't learned is how to remove that huge chip from your shoulder.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “Who is it that makes the dole better than working? Yep it’s the businesses paying minimum wage. Increase the minimum wage to a decent standard and I’m sure you’ll see plenty of people come off benefits. ”

    I see you learned your economics the same place as you learned to speak Enochian…

    Firstly, it is the state that has made being on the dole more advantageous than working, since they, not business, set the rates. Secondly, arbitrarily raising the rate price of labor will have a ripple effect, leastwise in markets without heavy central planning. Either prices will rise to address the increased costs or else marginal workers will be let go, to cut costs back.

    If a hike in the minimum wage is a good thing, why not just have the government mandate that all jobs will pay 100,000 euro a year and makes everyone wealth? Cure the whole problem with a wve of the statist wand.

    gram: “Curtain twitchers like yourself always amaze me. If living on benefits is so wonderful why don’t you try it? ”

    You’re the one who said it was a better deal than working, not I.

    gram: “Sorry, that’s just not true. I know plenty of children raised by parent(s) on benefits who have become valuable contributers to society. ”

    I know people who say they know Jesus and I have seen space aliens — doesn’t mean I use them as a basis of a world-view. A couple of anecdotes does not invalidate a population study, gram.

    gram: “Child care is a crucial job which benefits society and it’s best done by a parent rather than the state. Single parents on benefits still do a very important job IMO”

    And yet, you have under-educated single moms playing mommy on the state’s tab, getting knocked up to get a council flat and the dole. It becomes a self-sustaining problem — the next generation, seeing that this behavior is acceptable, does the same, ad infinitum et nauseum.

    gram: “Well done I’m sure your mothers proud. What you haven’t learned is how to remove that huge chip from your shoulder. ”

    Why should the productive class indulge and subsidize another’s indolence?

  • Sean

    Oh I don’t know Greenflag – you can sometimes have united countries with more than one grouping – Belgium and Switzerland spring to mind. But to counter them you have the endless pain of Canada with Quebec, Spain with the Basques, Jugoslavia, Iraq, Czechoslovakia, even England and Scotland are separating (apparently).

    Posted by DK on Feb 22, 2007 @ 03:00 PM

    Realize that the Quebecois, for lack of a better description, don’t have the same history or mythology as do, say, Irish nationalists. Nor did Canada have the equivalent to Loyalist counter-gangs to help gin up the bloodshed. No, it wasn’t the equivalent of the Troubles, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

    Posted by Dread Cthulhu on Feb 22, 2007 @ 09:31 PM

    As a Canadian I can say

    The Quebecois problem was never ever going to be raised to the level of the troubles because we did not repress the french they have free votes no gerrymandering and were at one time a sizeable part of the population and drove the political agenda out of proportion. Now with the enormous growth in economic and political power of the west their voice is being overshadowed and we will see an increase in the calls for seperation from Quebec.

    As a westerner, and I believe I speak for the majority but certainly not everyone, we have no particular attachement to Quebec. We would like it if they stay but if they insist they must go then as long as they take their share of the national debt, so long suckers. By the same token I do not believe we will ever see the back of Quebec because they understand all too well where there economic interests lie.

    The last time they held a referendum and it appeared they might succeed there was a mass exodus of business head offices from Montreal and this showed them more than words ever could the effects of leaving Canada.

    Add to that there is now a clearly delineated path over how any province could leave the dominion of Canada their is no need for violence as the political path is well marked

    So to make a long story short Quebec and Northern Ireland are in no way equivelent nor can one be used for an example on the other.

    Infact Quebec would be much more a narrative for the Unionists in an United Ireland

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:
    >>I see you learned your economics the same place as you learned to speak Enochian…

    Firstly, it is the state that has made being on the dole more advantageous than working, since they, not business, set the rates.

    If you think the minimum wage is set unilaterally by govt without business consultation I think you are pretty innocent.

    >>Secondly, arbitrarily raising the rate price of labor will have a ripple effect, leastwise in markets without heavy central planning. Either prices will rise to address the increased costs or else marginal workers will be let go, to cut costs back. < < Before the Labour govt came into power with the promise of the minimum wage the CBI said that it would cost the ecomomy thousands of jobs. This didn't happen. >>I know people who say they know Jesus and I have seen space aliens—doesn’t mean I use them as a basis of a world-view. A couple of anecdotes does not invalidate a population study, gram.< < Can you provide details of this population study you refer to and that I've tried to invalidate? >And yet, you have under-educated single moms playing mommy on the state’s tab, getting knocked up to get a council flat and the dole. It becomes a self-sustaining problem—the next generation, seeing that this behavior is acceptable, does the same, ad infinitum et nauseum.< Another anecdote perhaps? >Why should the productive class indulge and subsidize another’s indolence? < Raising a child is not indolence but then you'd hardly know because with your attitude and level of self interest a woman is hardly likely to go near you.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “If you think the minimum wage is set unilaterally by govt without business consultation I think you are pretty innocent. ”

    Quite the contrary — I’m a cynic.

    Likewise, I look around and even the spotty-faced teens at the fast-food joint are making better than the minimum wage.

    The minimum wage is an artificial construct. Look at what mandating a “living wage” has done to those districts where it has been mandated 00 it ends up looking like a donut — a hole where its been mandated with business pushed to the borders. Ironically, most organizations pushing a “living wage” don’t pay their folks one.

    gram: “Before the Labour govt came into power with the promise of the minimum wage the CBI said that it would cost the ecomomy thousands of jobs. This didn’t happen. ”

    It does happen — usually hits the part timers and teens first. But then, you’ve already stated that if you haven’t seen it, it must not exist, preferring anecdote to analysis.

    gram: “Can you provide details of this population study you refer to and that I’ve tried to invalidate? ”

    Typical spunger — want me to do your research for you? The links are back somewhere on the board — should be an easy search, assuming the comments they were in didn’t get mulched in the various re-builds of the board.

    gram: “Another anecdote perhaps? ”

    More like an ugly stereotype, but, like all stereotype, one that has a core of truth to it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5217634.stm

    That said, the wife suggested I toss out one of hers — she went to the Universtiy of Manchester, where one of her class-mates — a girl with a degree in chemistry, so no lack of marketability there — said she was going to go one the dole for a bit following graduation. So much for the best and brightest.

    gram: “Raising a child is not indolence but then you’d hardly know because with your attitude and level of self interest a woman is hardly likely to go near you. ”

    Cheerfully married, so there’s another one you’re wrong on, gram. Gainfully employed, paying off the house and saving for the future.

    As for the other, pregnancy is now a near volutary state, in case you hadn’t noticed. If someone chooses to bear a child they cannot afford, why should the populace at large pick up the tab?

    The only answer I’ve ever come up with is that not doing so punishes the child, which is hardly fair. That said, I have no use for the “spungers,” such as those in the Joseph Rowntree Foundation research — playing mommy so as to avoid the real world at the state’s expense.

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:
    >>Likewise, I look around and even the spotty-faced teens at the fast-food joint are making better than the minimum wage.< < I think you'll find many are being supported by their parents and certainly not paying a mortguage on the fast food pay. >>gram: “Can you provide details of this population study you refer to and that I’ve tried to invalidate? “

    Typical spunger—want me to do your research for you? The links are back somewhere on the board—should be an easy search, assuming the comments they were in didn’t get mulched in the various re-builds of the board.< < So you lied then. >>Cheerfully married, so there’s another one you’re wrong on, gram. Gainfully employed, paying off the house and saving for the future.< < I note you don't mention children. Has she not let you near her? Cheerfully rather than happily married. An unusual turn of phrase. I wonder why? >>As for the other, pregnancy is now a near volutary state, in case you hadn’t noticed. If someone chooses to bear a child they cannot afford, why should the populace at large pick up the tab?<< Who's gonna be paying taxes when you retire?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “I think you’ll find many are being supported by their parents and certainly not paying a mortguage on the fast food pay. ”

    That’s because operating the fry-daddy at the Bob’s Big Burger is not a grown-up job.

    gram: “So you lied then. ”

    Nope — just figured getting you up off the metaphorical couch to do some honest research would be educational. Broaden your horizons and skills.

    gram: “I note you don’t mention children. Has she not let you near her? ”

    Aw, poor gram… can’t come up with a better rejoinder than a half-assed ad hominem slap? Tsk tsk tsk. Reduced to petty slagging. Go get yourself a forty-ounce and watch a soap opera, maybe read a comic book — you’ll feel better.

    gram: “Who’s gonna be paying taxes when you retire? ”

    *I* will. Lesee, sales tax, property tax, income tax, excise tax, car tax — I get to pay them all. When I die, they’ll tax my accumulated wealth — what was left over in past years after all the other taxes. I can reduce some of this with smart planning and some personal choices, but the gov’t will be picking my pocket right up until they bury me.

    On the other hand, the gov’t pension fund / ponzi scheme will have tipped over, so I will, like as not, be funding my own retirement. Fortunately, I made other choice, rather than forty ounces and comic books and spunging, so I will have the resources to do so.

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:>>More like an ugly stereotype, but, like all stereotype, one that has a core of truth to it.<< Thanks for admiting your use of ugly stereotype as it sums you up really, oversimplified and prejudiced. I take it your career isn't going as well as it could. Struggling to make that next move, passed over for a promotion, need to blame someone else for your problems? Why else would someone receiving benefits annoy you so much? Tip for you. Concentrate and focus on your own life, career and goals (no matter how bad things are at present). Picking on others less fortunate might in the short term make you feel superior but really.....

  • gram

    Dread Cthulhu:>>Aw, poor gram… can’t come up with a better rejoinder than a half-assed ad hominem slap? Tsk tsk tsk. Reduced to petty slagging. Go get yourself a forty-ounce and watch a soap opera, maybe read a comic book—you’ll feel better.<< Ah. No I wanted to check if you had kids. So now I know you don't have kids but you feel you have the right to spout about how easy unmarried mothers get it. Case closed.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gram: “Ah. No I wanted to check if you had kids. So now I know you don’t have kids but you feel you have the right to spout about how easy unmarried mothers get it. ”

    When under-age girls are getting knocked up for a council flat, an allotment and the chance to play mommy, as supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation research (see BBC link above), what am I supposed to believe? Your finger-wagging moralizations or the girls who actually get knocked up for a council flat and the chance to play mommy and those foundations who study the matter?

  • Iano

    Northern
    Irish
    People
    Pathetically
    Leeching
    Extravagent
    Subventions