Trying to catch the Celtic Tiger by the tail…

We spoke to Mitchel McLaughlin last night, on the same day his party launched their manifesto. He was at pains to note the major problem (under performance of the private sector here, does not require downsizing our massive civil service but a boosting of the private sector – although he was decidedly hazy on how that might achieved other than suggesting the UK needed to join the Euro, and an expansion of cross border bodies. Interestingly the balance of the party’s pitch appears to moving towards economic benefits rather than the anti imperialist rhetoric of old.

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  • Wilde Rover

    I remember being in Newry around seven years ago when Mitchel McLoughlin said going into the Euro would be a bad idea.

    Credit where credit is due, but it still took long enough for the “penny” to drop.

  • Wilde Rover

    oops, McLaughlin

  • In a sense, the economic argument is the best anti-Imperialist rhetoric of all, since many of Northern Ireland’s problems reflect the fact that economic policy is based around the south-east of England.

    I’m glad to see both the nationalist parties moving on to this ground. It’s where they need to be if they are going to do anything other than cross there fingers for the next census.

  • mickhall

    “I was saying to Martin (McGuinness) just now: look at this place here. What price the Union now?
    “When there used to be a shipbuilding industry and a linen industry there might have been some value in having a connection with the Union, when it was an empire”

    What reactionary fellow Adams is, can you believe such twaddle, an Irish republican looking back on the British empire through rose tinted glasses, it has got to be a first.

  • Elk

    I think depends on how you interpret it. I see two things from those statements:

    1. Sinn Fein understand and can at least somewhat empathise with unionist thinking it would appear. 2. It would seem (more likely to me at least) that he is suspending belief in such a comment – as in, how our we still part of the Union? i.e. its really the Unionists who have been the reactionary force, whereas at least before, even if supporting empire was reactionary, it was also possible to construe as positive and understandable, now they have very little to hang on to.

    Personally I thought the Mc Laughlin interview was fascinating by showing how he thought. He seemed mix an economic determinist type of analysis with a pragmatic and reformist political agenda. Eurocommunism arives in Ireland 20 years late?

  • slug

    “In a sense, the economic argument is the best anti-Imperialist rhetoric of all, since many of Northern Ireland’s problems reflect the fact that economic policy is based around the south-east of England. ”

    If you are still talking about monetary, then only for the economically illiterate, since Dublin’s rates are “based around” Germany and France.

  • slug

    PS Dublin’s interest rates have been too low for the last few years.

  • Slug,

    I should have clarified that I was thinking primarily of fiscal policy. Having said that there is an argument that London’s interest rates have often been too high for most of the manufacturing regions of the UK.

    There could well be a nasty bust in the Republic, that might change the terms of this argument again, but its never going to go back to what it was before the 1990s.

  • mnob

    We had 70 odd years of the UK (incl NI) outperforming the Republic economically. It didnt convince the ROI to rejoin the Union so why should the reverse convince Unionists to become Nationalists ?

  • George

    mnob,
    Top figures are years. Middles ones are GDP growth for Ireland and the UK:

    60-70|70-75|70-77|70-78|70-80|70-81|70-82|

    IRL
    4.2 | 2.8 | 3.4 | 4.9 | |4.0 | 3.8 |

    UK
    2.9 | 2.3 | 1.5 | 2.1 | 2.0 | 1.7 | 1.5 |

    The Republic has been pretty much outgrowing the UK for nearly 50 years now, using the GDP measure at any rate.

    http://www.rrojasdatabank.org/gdpgrw1.htm

  • We had 70 odd years of the UK (incl NI) outperforming the Republic economically. It didnt convince the ROI to rejoin the Union so why should the reverse convince Unionists to become Nationalists ?

    The debate is a bit more finely poised in the North than it would have been in say the Republic in the 1950s.

    The economic argument may not convince unionists but it might convince people uncommitted to either ideology. Even if that’s only a very small percentage of the population, it could be significant at the margins.

    I don’t say it will be decisive, but its surely an obvious approach for parties that are committed to pursuing a united Ireland within the principle of consent.

  • jamestwo

    small country interest rates are always going to be closely linked to the dominant local economy. For decades ROI was closely related to London rates whether linked to sterling directly or not. Today its the franco-german axis. Thats life for small nations. Even Norway which is not even in the EU let alone the euro has its currency pegged to the euro simply for reasons of stability and free access to eu markets. dont believe all that nonsense about small nations like Norway and Switzerland doing fine outside the EU/Eurozone. They pay a substantial price in their economic independence via umpteen treaties and agreements for free access and also make direct financial contributions too.