Why SF is stuffed in the Republic

Just highlighting a wee thing from the morning post.

Opposition’s proposals for the Republic’s economy

    Sinn Fein
    * End subsidising of the private practices of consultants in public hospitals.
    * Take control of some useful resources, such as the Corrib gas pipeline.
    * Renationalise the telecommunications network.

FG and Labour’s are a bit of a hodge podge, but renationalise telecoms!?? Good grief.

  • Peadar O’Donnell

    ‘ renationalise telecoms!?? Good grief.’

    We had one of the best telecom networks in Europe when
    Telecom Eireann was around – fully state owned.

    Under private Eircom: bugger all broadband in the west of Ireland – Nemeton TV company in Rinn Co Waterford have to move their shows by delivery van to customers in Galway because the network can’t handle the files.

    Why: Eircom was a vehicle for mindless speculation and corporate plunder.

    Sorry Kensei, that bit of neo-liberal common sense has had its day. The dynamic entrpreneurs have run the country so far into the ground that we can’t afford remedial teachers in the schools.

    (and I have no brief for the Provos here).

  • Nomad

    Kensei,

    “but renationalise telecoms!?? Good grief.”

    I’m no Sinn Fein fan, but there are probably a ton of other reasons why they’re stuffed in the south. Broadband is notoriously bad there if you’re outside a town. See mulley.net for some long term complaints..

    It might not be the best solution, but it’s one.

  • Peadar O’Donnell,

    We had one of the best telecom networks in Europe when Telecom Eireann was around …

    Unless of course you were waiting up to six months to get a line installed! Curiously enough, the areas worst served by TE are the same ones that are still waiting for proper broadband.

  • Kensei

    It’s not simply telecoms. It’s the fact that their “solutions” really bear no relationship to the problems at hand. And they seem to jump straight to the same answers: Natioanlise this, seize control of that.

    But on the specific point, I’m not against Nationalised utilities per se, particularly where there are natural monopolies. but the privitisation of telecoms in the UK was more or less a great success. It is very easy for me to switch broadband providers. that suggests to me that if it isn’t working in the Republic, it was done wrong.

    A stimulus spend on broadband and actions to promote better competition in the secor may eb good policy. but ti doesn’t imply Nationalisation si the answer.

  • An Lochlannach

    I’m not sure people potential protest voters really care about SF policies. Everyone knows that they don’t have a chance of getting into Government and that, even if they were a junior coalition partner, all the radicalism would be quickly forgotten (just ask the Greens). I agree that SF are stuffed in the Republic but only because most of their candidates are tongue-tied halfwits.

  • jone

    A re-nationalised telecoms sector could surely be no worse than what we have at the moment.

    In the past 10 years telecoms in the Republic have been run a bit like the pub sector in the UK – it’s all been about financial engineering for the benefit of the shareholders with zero focus on delivering to customers – that’s what the broadband network is so unutterably shit – South Korea have over 90pc broadband penetration we have about 25pc.

    Every time Eircom has been floated or sold in the last 10 years – and that’s happened more times than I can accurately recall – it has been loaded up with more debt and the long term investment in the network hasn’t happened.

    Frankly the market has failed to deliver a public good.

    (And I too hold no brief for the Shinnners.)

  • Carson’s Cat

    “Take control of some useful resources, such as the Corrib gas pipeline.”

    And what exactly does this little gem mean?

    I suppose we have to assume that “take control of” is also akin to nationalisation. Its just that they either don’t know exactly all of what they want to ‘take control of’ other than Corrib, or are unwilling to tell.

    Voodoo economics doesn’t quite sum it up really….

  • Unfortunately for Sinn Féin, economics will be, yet again, their Achilles Heel. Surely they can attract (and listen to?) a few literate economists? Or do they think that the extra votes that economically illiterate populism will give them outweigh the lost votes of the economically literate?

  • Kensei

    Horseman

    They’ll get tanked. Which is a shame, because they clearly hit a nerve with regards broadband form the comment here and there are undoubtedly sensible policies to pursue – it’s ainfrastructure project taht could provide stimulus and help Ireland in the long term.

  • dub

    ken,

    I think you are showing your own out of touchness here; almost everyone in business down here regrets the privatisation of Eircom: it has been a complete disaster.

    There’s far too much ad hominem stuff with sf: here they are just talking common sense. How dare they?

  • Kensei

    dub

    I think you are showing your own out of touchness here; almost everyone in business down here regrets the privatisation of Eircom: it has been a complete disaster.

    It does not follow form this that the answer is to renationalise. And to be fair, it’s not the only point where they are reaching for the public ownership button.

    There’s far too much ad hominem stuff with sf: here they are just talking common sense. How dare they?

    I’d just like them to up their game.

  • Kensei.
    SF are surely “stuffed” in ROI, but not for the reasons you cite IMO.

  • Greenflag

    Might as well ‘nationalise ‘ the other banks as well as Anglo Irish while we’re at it and telecommunications .

    Moving beyond Ireland it’s possible that this particular economic crisis will not end until the US Government ‘nationalises ‘ the American banks as well . Having thrown billions of taxpayers money at them -credit availability has not improved . Obama’s present economic stimulus may do no more than jolt the comatose economy into life for a brief period before the next round of major revelations throw the market into another drop the Dow to 6000 or lower .

    What we have seen over the past 20 years has been a continuing ‘pillaging ‘ of the economy by the financial services sector among others mostly with either the connivance of elected politicians not just in the USA but right across the Anglosphere (including Ireland ) and also in other major economies.

    This has resulted in a massive loss of trust not just between the people and banking and political institutions but also between banks themselves .

    America and the UK decided back in the late 1980’s that the way forward for their economies was not manufacturing nor agriculture but in ‘financial services ‘ i.e creaming off as much of the ‘new ‘ wealth being produced in the fast developing East Asian nations . This has come at the cost of the USA dollar now depending on these Asian giants to prop up the dollar’s value .

    The excesses of the market will have to be rained in and the consequences of this for global trade and foreign investment are not easily seen . Already we are seeing minor outbreaks of political protests resulting in at least one Government being forced to resign . We can expect more of the same if this crisis lasts several years .

    No Government is safe when tens of millions of formerly ‘middle class’ lifestyles are reduced to poverty . When Governments fail to act ‘responsibly ‘ which is what we have seen in the western world for the past 25 years give or take a few then the ‘people ‘ will put people in charge who will .

    Instead of exporting ‘democracy ‘ the USA has been exporting tranches of collectivised debt obligations which had suspect value . And they’re still trying to figure out 5 months later just how much more of this ‘waste paper ‘ is out there infecting the worlds economy .

    The task facing all western governments will be to maintain political stability in the face of rising disenchantment by large sections of an increasingly emisserated population over the next several years . If we’re not out of the woods in 5 years time -western capitalism may find it’s head on the block -being replaced by an Eastern more Statist version .

    And I too hold no brief for SF .

  • Eircom, as it currently stands, is handicapping the country with its sub standard broadband – and that’s when you actually get it. Renationalising it mightn’t be the solution – but the problem has been identified. If anyone’s to blame it’s the motley crew of FF and the beknighted Tony O’Reilly who committed a huge crime of national sabotage when he bought Eircom over ten years ago.

    These are fine policies by SF – but they have no credibility in making them happen. Once they get into government, they will become FF. Like they’ve to all intents and purposes become the DUP in NI.

  • Kensei

    Phil

    Care to elucidate, or is that all we get?

    Concubhar

    These are fine policies by SF – but they have no credibility in making them happen.

    correct. but not for the reason you cite. The reason is they haven’t a hope on hell of getting into government with them.

    70+% state dependent economy in the North. This is the best financial package we are ever going to get. If they’ve shifted right, it’s because a big dose of reality has landed on them.

  • Mack

    There is an argument for the state to provide critical cutting edge infrastructure of the type that is required for business growth and quality of life. Private enterprise rarely takes the lead in this regard (but should allowed to innovate on the network once it exists).

    Eircom are dinosaurs wrt to broadband. So there could well be a role for the state in providing telecoms infrastructure (as long as it is cutting edge) and leasing it’s use to private enterprise. The problem with SF’s proposal is it is couched in the language of Marxist idealogy. They’re not focusing on what the pratical benefits they hope to achieve would be. Which suggests to me that they don’t really know what the benefits would be, and are proposing it because they dogmatically adhere to Marxist idealogies.

    Which illustrates perfectly, I think, why Sinn Fein are stuffed in the south. They are not conveying any deep message about the benefits to society they hope to deliver, they’re just spewing rhetoric and it looks like something a group of idealistic first year college students would produce…

  • dunreavynomore

    Plenty of spots in the 6 co,s including parts of sth Armagh, where we are told we are ‘too far from the exchange’ to recieve anything but dial up. Complaints about new proposed cross border power connectors and demands to put them underground but no complaints about the existing one which runs through sth Armagh. Sometimes I get the feeling that no one gives a f….

  • Paddy Matthews

    horseman:

    Unless of course you were waiting up to six months to get a line installed! Curiously enough, the areas worst served by TE are the same ones that are still waiting for proper broadband.

    Even in terms of things like getting lines fixed, the privately-owned Eircom is way behind the pre-privatisation TÉ in terms of service – I know people who’ve been left waiting weeks for a line to be repaired.

    The company has been passed as a plaything from one owner to another and the interests of the customers don’t really matter that much. The current owners, Babcock & Brown, are in financial trouble that makes Anglo-Irish look like a model of financial stewardship (share price gone from $33.60 to $0.14 in the space of a year) so matters look unlikely to improve soon.

    I’d agree with a lot of the other (I suspect Southern) posters here – renationalisation would be a vote winner rather than a vote loser.

    The prospect of another Eircom is also going to be in the mind of Southern voter hearing calls for the privatisation of the ESB or An Post. It’s one thing to be without a landline for a week in the age of mobile telephony – it’s quite another to be sitting in the dark for a week.

  • Paddy Matthews,

    I am no longer an Eircom customer, but I was a long-time waiter in state-owned days, and family members are still enjoying the privilege of dial-up internet access in the same area. I see little difference, to be honest. In rural areas, though, there is little chance of real competition, so the lack of service is probably due to the cost of providing the service. To provide a decent service requires other areas to effectively subsidise the remoter rural areas, and for that you need either state ownership or a public service obligation (or maybe a new technology?).

    So Sinn Féin’s proposal would be popular in the rural areas, but less so in those areas which would have to pay more to subsidise the rural service provision. Maybe they’ve one the maths and decided that the net effect will be positive for them?

  • dunreavynomore

    Talking of ‘competition in rural areas’ it’s almost surreal that the ESB can supply customers in places like Crossmaglen with electricity much cheaper than NIE can when we understand that the electricity the customer recieves comes from NIE power stations and comes down NIE wires!! All that comes from The ESB is the bill.Isn’t modern business wonderfull and is it any wonder we are in a mess.

  • kensei

    Mack

    I don’t see that state support for broadband infrastructure should mean that the state owns Eircom. There are a number of ways it could be done. If Eircom has a monopoly it is abusing then I think there is fair grounds for it to be broken up. But that’s another issue.

    Anyway, at least someone understands the point.

  • Paddy Matthews

    horseman:

    I am no longer an Eircom customer, but I was a long-time waiter in state-owned days, and family members are still enjoying the privilege of dial-up internet access in the same area. I see little difference, to be honest. In rural areas, though, there is little chance of real competition, so the lack of service is probably due to the cost of providing the service. To provide a decent service requires other areas to effectively subsidise the remoter rural areas, and for that you need either state ownership or a public service obligation (or maybe a new technology?).

    I’m not talking here about anything as advanced as broadband provision – I’m talking about a wait of almost two weeks to get a line repaired (in a rural area but not an especially remote one).

    The lesson of Eircom privatisation is that the infrastructure should not be left to a monopoly owned by a succession of rent-seekers. How you organise service provision using that infrastructure is another matter entirely.

  • Bretagne

    “There are a number of ways it could be done. If Eircom has a monopoly it is abusing then I think there is fair grounds for it to be broken up.”

    A regulator that is competent would help, of course.

    This is strightforward – having seen this done in the UK – on a more successful basis

    Comreg must specify the termination price for competitors to TE, for dial-up internet – to be £0.00p (NOT COST) So TE would therefore bear the cost of terminating calls to ISP’s but have no revenue stream – watch how quickly they will then move on broadband.

    Also – Comreg should specify the target -80% of homes in 2 years or the regulator should not release TE from any PSO, including payphone provision, and make could specify fines. The problem here is the regulators are far too cosy, and lazy, and cowed.

    The SF proposal betrays the mindset of state control of everything is insane – the controls are already their in terms of regulation – but the WILL is not there to use the controls. A proposal that says – we will set targets such as above for the regulators – if they fail, they do not get paid bonuses, would be a far quicker solution to the issue.

  • Actually Bretagne, apparently the controls aren’t there. Otherwise the banks couldn’t have gotten us into this situation.

  • Bretagne

    Garibaldy – “Otherwise the banks couldn’t have gotten us into this situation”

    Its a different regulatory framework/different remit from telecoms – and outside my experience.

    But you do illustrate the point that there no use in even bothering creating more controls for the banks – if no-one with balls is there to enforce/regulate.

    In Telecoms – they are there, but Comreg doesn’t bother to regulate properly. Chicken or egg?

  • Greenflag

    bretagne ,

    ‘if they fail, they do not get paid bonuses, would be a far quicker solution to the issue.’

    Execution by firing squad following a poor performance review might help 😉

    The present ‘crisis ‘ was caused by both not having sufficient regulations and not even imposing the ones they had with any sense of responsibilty . The difference between Government imposing standards for the public and a private concern e.g a bank regulating themselves is that if and when the balloon goes up the Government can be booted out of office . The bankers meanwhile head for the hills with as much loot as they can get away with and if their businesses fail they appeal to the state for handouts ?

    You cannot trust any of them too far either Government or the big corporations and financial manipulators . The former are often short term opportunists and the latter as we have seen while outwardly the pinnacles of ‘respectabilty ‘ many would make Al Capone sem like a model citizen .

    As the US senate committee continue to hear testimony on the Bernard Madoff case a New York retired garment manufacture one Mr Goldstein all of 76 years of age has told the committee that said Madoff has made off with alomost 4 million dollars of his Goldstein’s retirement fund forcing the latter to sell his house because he can no longer afford the mortgage and to ask his sons to help him financially while he considers what kind of job might be available for a 76 year old retiree ?

    There are tens of thousands if not millions of cases like Goldsteins all across the USA and the developed world .

    Anybody who still believes that the financial services sector ‘ can best regulate itself and be trusted to do so in an ethical manner either has a hole in their head or is looking forward to another communist revolution 🙁

  • Bretagne,

    We might say the whole problem down below has been the fact that the state has been run in the interests of the builders, banks and foreign corporations for the last two decades, so I agree that it is necessary to have people prepared to take action. I’m not holding my breath.

  • sammaguire

    Anyone remember the nurses’ strike down here before the last election? SF were the only party to back the 14% pay claim (nurses being such nice people and all that). I suppose they thought it was an easy way to pick up a few votes from the nurses but showed up SF’s weakness in the sphere of economics as someone pointed out earlier. Still the way things are going another half a billion extra of deficit would hardly be noticed…

  • eranu

    I wouldn’t worry about eircom, they could be on the way out! this week eircom signed an agreement with irish record labels to pass on the ip of illegal downloaders, and so identify them to the record companies. this is shooting yourself in the foot big time. id give them about 6 months for all their subscribers to change to another ISP!
    although id probably give it one month for a file sharing app to appear that is fully encrypted and hides the ip of the user so it cant be traced. if you think thats technically impossible then think about all the DVD copy protection and application activation crap that ‘cant be broken and is totally secure’, they are all cracked within hours of appearing on the internet. There is a way round everything when a computer is involved.

    just wondering, is there anyone out there that hasnt at sometime downloaded music or films illegally?

  • Mack

    Eranu

    I don’t think that’s the case. What will happen is the music industry will identify ip addresses and pass them onto Eircom. Eircom will not pass information on the owners of the IP addresses to the music industry. Instead they will issue them a single warning, then if they continue to persist in piracy they will be disconnected from the service.

    This agreement will be put in place with all ISPs in Ireland.

    The goal is to make it a template for solving piracy throughout Europe. As a strategy I suspect it holds more promise than suing downloaders..

  • eranu

    oh i see, so only the ISP will take any action. still, i think its a mistake. if my isp gave me any gip then id be off to another one in a shot. i think anyone looking for a new isp will stay well away from eircom.

  • The key point here is that “Good grief” is no longer an adequate response to proposals for renationalisation. I don’t know anything about the particular case of TE, but it doesn’t sound from the comments as if privatisation has produced massive improvements in servic

    In general, the financial arguments for privatisation now have about as much credibility as the investment banks, accounting firms and ratings agencies that pushed them. That is, less than zero.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that SF deserve credit for anything deeper than picking up on popular sentiment and capitalising on the fact that they’ll never have to implement their policies.

  • Mack

    John Quiggin

    In general, the financial arguments for privatisation now have about as much credibility as the investment banks, accounting firms and ratings agencies that pushed them. That is, less than zero.

    That’s not the case. There are many services a government shouldn’t run and even when there are strong arguments for government involvement in managing a service it does not mean they should run the whole thing. God knows it is incredibly frustrating dealing with expensive government monopolies where customer service is just non-existent.

    Take Eircom for example. Sinn Feinn have suggested renationalisation. This is just lazy thinking. They aren’t addressing the problem areas where Eircom are failing to deliver (and they’d destroy the areas where privatitisation has actually helped – for example you can now lease your line from many carriers and purchase broadband where available from many carriers. If one mistreats you, you can move.).

    The question mark is over Eircoms desire/ ability to keep Ireland’s telecommunications network up to date. We are already massively behind countries such as Sth Korea! Why do we even need standard telephone lines when we the phone system can delivered via the internet on high speed optical cables (VoIP)? These can also deliver data at much higher speeds than is possible on Eircoms network.

    What is the point, in purchasing at great expense to the public, an out-dated technology?

  • Mack

    To give an example of how important this is.

    The web as we have it today is a fairly basic technology. The web browser displays text and images, we have plugins to add videos to a page. The metaphor is something like reading an inter-connected book. It’s good enough to spark conversations like this, but I expect as the hardware gets more powerful and the software evolves the experience that can be delivered (and thus the types of businesses that can be facilitated in that universe) will grow massively.

    I think web technologies are going to evolve significantly over the coming decades. If we are down the curve in terms of broadband speeds available (in Asian countries TB lines are common, while substantial numbers in Ireland languish on dial up or 1MB connections) and adoption levels – then we simply won’t have a market that allows local companies to innovate and take part in driving the evolution of the web. If we’re not taking part in the innovation, then the next generation of web companies will be founded elsewhere.

    To give an exmaple (totally hypothetical) but based on putting together current technologies. We have a conference industry today – which tends to involve companies sending their employees on flights across the world, putting them up in hotels so they can see industry leaders speak and network with people in their industry. This is reasonably pricey for companies. Imagine a world in which you put on a head set at your desk and there you are at the conference (Gaming technology facilitates this today), you network with other conference goers (video networking), hand them documents or other information from your virtual store (haptic technologies like the Wii, standard internet file transfer and storage), you go see conference speakers talk but retain the ability to interact as if you were actually there. The same tech would facilitate more interactive tele-working etc.

    We might be able to grab small niches without being at the fore-front of the internet revolution (e.g. the way Dublin based Havoc are the go-to company for physics in games), but it’s less likely we’ll be generating our own Google’s, Linden Labs or even Twitters if we aren’t.

  • Nomad

    Mack,

    “Imagine a world in which you put on a head set at your desk and there you are at the conference (Gaming technology facilitates this today), you network with other conference goers (video networking), hand them documents or other information from your virtual store (haptic technologies like the Wii, standard internet file transfer and storage), you go see conference speakers talk but retain the ability to interact as if you were actually there.”

    Sounds awful! 😉

  • We’ll know more about their viability in the euro elections. Mary Lou’s seat in Dublin is seen as the most vulnerable due to the constituency dropping one to 3 seats. Libertas are reportedly considering running there, but I don’t understand why they would in a constituency with a very anti-Lisbon MEP. Looks like Ganley will run in northwest and they are looking for somewhere for Caroline Simons to run, but if so, they would do well to look in East where FG MEP Avril Doyle is running. South already has one anti-Lisbon MEP. I think the current demographic of SF voters is a coalition of former hardleft Workers Party/DL voters who didn’t migrate to Labour when the 2 parties merged on the one hand, and young former-FFers annoyed at the party’s perceived move to the Right in coalition with the PDs (which are now no more). In that context, you would think the euros and locals would constitute an opportunity for FF to recover lost ground, but the fallout from incompetent leadership of the economy and party have conspired to lessen that prospect. In my opinion, appealing to eurocritical sentiment, and to public-sector workers opposed to reform and erosion of their preferential pay, pensions and work-practices will be key to their prospects down here, as will a more prominent role for their southern wing.

  • “Looks like Ganley will run in northwest and they are looking for somewhere for Caroline Simons to run, but if so, they would do well to look in East where FG MEP Avril Doyle is running.”

    Where she is retiring I meant to say.

  • Mack

    Nomad

    You don’t work for Eircom by any chance?

    😉

  • Nomad

    Mack,

    While it might be more secure than my current job, I’m glad to say I don’t!

  • Comrade Stalin

    I believe EU competition law these days doesn’t allow telecoms to be nationalized; note that it has been privatized pretty much everywhere. Renationalizing it is not likely to be the solution; however the government may need to get involved by using the regulatory system together with capital grands to install the necessary infrastructure.

    Some points :


    Under private Eircom: bugger all broadband in the west of Ireland – Nemeton TV company in Rinn Co Waterford have to move their shows by delivery van to customers in Galway because the network can’t handle the files.

    I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Eircom do leased lines and that capability will have gone back to the TE days. The price might not be competitive, but that ain’t the same thing. The trouble appears to be that all investment in the network essentially stopped immediately prior to the conversion to eircom and the selloff.

    South Korea have over 90pc broadband penetration we have about 25pc.

    South Korea have the best consumer broadband network in the world. The British come close to the top of the pile, and when 21CN is completed it will be even easier and cheaper to provide broadband services.

    Mack:

    Private enterprise rarely takes the lead in this regard (but should allowed to innovate on the network once it exists).

    BT have consistently shown the lead on this in the UK. They took a risk to push broadband out to all the exchanges, but they are taking a strategic long-term view towards the future when their revenue will not be derived from fixed-line residential telephony services. The competitive environment and the inherent economies of scale in the UK are, admittedly, more compelling than those in Ireland. What scared BT was the cable competitors building their own networks in major cities. If they did the eircom rent-collection trick they’d be out of business within years.

    The Irish government should have used the money raised through Eircom’s privatization to build up the access network to support broadband connectivity. If 21CN works out for BT, there will be a good opportunity for them to do this within a few years at quite a low cost.

    The problems that people are talking about in relation to getting repairs done in Ireland are, to me, something to do with a more general problem you guys have. It sounds like the same problem as the one where the bus drivers won’t change their routes to match changes in travel patterns; the train drivers won’t drive new trains; the driving testers won’t let new driving testers be recruited. I won’t say the North is some sort of utopia but none of this crap would be tolerated up here. A reckoning, particularly with the public sector and former public sector, is required; it’s not the rich people who are losing out.

    Why do we even need standard telephone lines when we the phone system can delivered via the internet on high speed optical cables (VoIP)? These can also deliver data at much higher speeds than is possible on Eircoms network.

    Standard telephone lines are absolutely fine and providing they are good enough, and you’re close enough to the exchange, they’ll train up to a reasonable rate. The reason why optical cables aren’t being installed is because the cost of digging up the whole country to do it would be massive, and the benefit realized would be miniscule relative to the cost. The real bottlenecks of today are no longer in the access network; they’re in the core of the internet. The aggregate bandwidth that residential users can collectively suck down far exceeds what most websites are capable of delivering.

    What we might see in the near future is VDSL2 and fibre to the street cabinet. You’ll still have a copper pair but it’ll do 100Mbit/sec. But this is all academic. Web browsing and emailing do not require high bandwidths. Future applications, like video on demand, may well do but these are some years off before the core network is able to handle them.

  • runciter

    South Korea have the best consumer broadband network in the world. The British come close to the top of the pile

    13th is not ‘close to the top’.

    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:vo7r4y0lKVEJ:www.itif.org/files/2008BBRankings.pdf+top+broadband+nations+itif+2007&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

    Avg speed in France: 17.6 Mbps

    Avg speed in UK: 2.6 Mbps

    Price per Mbps France: 0.33

    Price per Mbps UK: 1.24

  • Maeve

    Why would first world Ireland accept a party from third world Ireland?

  • Is that a southern from the failing state down below – and which was a failing state for all its existence save the last 15 years or so plus a brief period in the 60s and 70s judging by the emigration statistics and level of services – calling the North the third world?

  • Maeve

    Yes, we do not need a party from the part that has ALWAYS been a failure.

  • I do love the arrogance that comes from getting lucky from a uniquely favorable set of external factors and corruption giving control of planning to a small group of developers to make a fortune.

    NI may well have been a failure, but at least it’s part of a first world country from day one 🙂