The secret of economic ‘comedy’…

So passing from the magnificent work of collaborative fiction that too often passes for Northern Irish politics, here’s some real news. The tax take in the Republic has dropped by €430m, caused mostly by a short fall in VAT returns. Income tax on the other hand is up by €32m. And, according to the OECD, unemployment is likely to rise from 4.5% last year, to 5.7% this year to 6.5% next. The party’s over, it’s 7 in the morning, and the husband and wife team from Northern Ireland, having sorted out their latest little tiff, is finally turning up in all its best democratic finery for the all Ireland boom just as Brian Cowen is reaching for the nasty medicine cabinet…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty