“I do say that we have to back our own..”

With a rush to label produce from the Republic of Ireland exclusively Irish, the Irish Times notes Taoiseach Brian Cowen striking a patriotic pose. Interestingly, although he doesn’t define who “our own” are, Brian Cowen suggests that there may be problems with the public procurement process. From the Irish Times report.

In comments which suggested the current system may go against some Irish companies, he said he had been contacted by people, both at local and national level, who said the current system had led to Irish enterprises finding themselves excluded from tenders. He said jobs were at stake as a result, and the same situation did not pertain in other countries facing a recession like Ireland was facing.

Stressing that the public procurement process needed to fair, he nonetheless went on to say: “We have to be mindful of that, to try to make sure that we put out our tendering processes in such a way that it encourages our people to put in. Many good people out there provide a good service down through the years and there is no reason to go elsewhere when they know in their heart and soul that there are good products among our people at home.”

*Gobble gobble*

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Shortsighted, free-state hypocricy from the Republican Party (Ta ar la imithe).

  • John East Belfast

    How can he say with a straight face

    …there is no reason to go elsewhere when they know in their heart and soul that there are good products among our people at home.”

    ….I do say that we have to back our own and not be expectant on what comes from abroad”

    and then say

    “Export growth is a dynamic process and, in order to maintain and step up growth in overseas markets, it is essential to encourage and support companies to widen their horizons and seize the opportunities for selling abroad.”

    What a moron to link those two concepts in the one speech.

    Total hypocrite and against the spirit of Free Trade, The EU and on the assumption that northerners are not “our own” then totally against any notion of a 32 county Ireland.

    Let him have a Trade War with the UK and see who comes out the worst

    Not to mention asking people to buy what is potentially a poorer quality and more expensive product is hardly going to bring the ROI out of recession.

  • skullion

    What would you have preferred him to say Sammy in the middle of the recession?”Tell ye what lads go buy from Taiwan.They’re cheap as feck and theres no jobs or money in it for us!”
    By “our own” Pete he means Irish firms i mean how difficult is that to work out?

  • skullion


    You’ve obviously forgotten Gordon Brown and his ‘British jobs for British workers’moment.

  • John East Belfast


    He didnt say British Purchases for British Sellers.

    Cowan is talking about Trade not employment or immigration isues which is a totally different matter.

  • skullion

    So trade and employment aren’t in any way related?Jeeez.

  • Yani

    Good luck to them I hope the Spud Republic does well with this (Tar Ra Boom Tee Hay).

  • slug

    The attempt by the Republic of Ireland to misappropriate the term Ireland is shameful and must be resisted by us north of the border!

    Ireland for all the Irish!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    re. “Tell ye what lads go buy from Taiwan”

    if Taiwan was included in the GFA then certainly.

  • Dave

    Why is Cowen encouraging the Irish people to buy Irish when the actual issue is that the Irish state is not buying Irish?

    That’s simply because it is illegal under EU law (Public Procurement Directives) for the government to buy Irish goods on the grounds that buying Irish helps indigenous Irish companies to create jobs, helps create wealth, helps keep wealth in the country, and allows the state to reclaim some of the money it spends on goods via taxes, etc. The EU bans the Irish state from pursuing the national interest by supporting Irish companies and Irish jobs.

    The government must allow all EU companies to tender for goods and services over a specified value, and it must not ‘discriminate’ in favour of tenders from Irish companies. So, it cannot, for example, factor the return in taxes that it will get from an Irish company into the equation, meaning that it must say goodbye to the full amount of the tender as the wealth is exported from the Irish economy to another EU state, creating no jobs in the Irish state (and lenghtening dole lines) and allowing for no reclaiming the expenditure via procurement (which is usually around 40% of what the government spends).

    It’s a good example of how the EU destroys the Irish economy and how the government covers up that destruction. Mr Cowen could simply say that we can’t support Irish industry because that is illegal under EU law but being a europhile he will never say anything that would damage the EU – but, of course, will do plenty that will damage Ireland since his greater loyalty is not with the Irish state.

    While the flaw is with EU law, Mr Cowen has no power to amend the flawed EU law. That is what happens when bad government orginates with those that the state has transferred its sovereignty to – the people must just suffer under the bad law because they have no sovereign power to change it.

  • igor


    If you want to make efficient use of capital then buy the Taiwan product if it does the job. If you don’t someone else will, they will be cheaper and more competitive than you and you end up broke. rather like Ireland today

  • Joe

    [i]The attempt by the Republic of Ireland to misappropriate the term Ireland is shameful and must be resisted by us north of the border![/i]

    Ulster. 9 counties.

  • skullion

    Igor we’re discussing politicians.Reality isn’t their thing.

  • igor

    Ha…they cant even have a news conference together and we expect they will run a Government. And why do we have to settle it in New York? Wont Belfast do any more?

    I hope they are flying there economy. I will bet Peter goes on either BA or Virgin and Martin on Aer Lingus.

    Ah the joys of politics

  • Dave,

    What a wonderfully one-sided view of international trade. You neglect to mention value for money or the corresponding export industry.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “I do say that we have to back our own”

    Isn’t that the way it’s always done, or is it a plea for bigger brown envelopes?

  • Patrick Egan

    so still no coverage on slugger of Hillary’s upcoming visit to Northern ireland — still not able to say you got it way wrong Peter and Stanage and Co? Its even in the Belfast Telegraph today if you look…. she’ll be there before you report it

  • Jer

    Excellent stuff Brian C.

    Is south of Ireland now pursuing protectionist policies.

    Are we trying to cut ourselves off economically?

    How Brian C can argue for yes so that we are at the heart of europe while at the same time hinting we need to go back to the failed FF protectionsism of the 30s is beyond me.

  • Dave

    “What a wonderfully one-sided view of international trade. You neglect to mention value for money or the corresponding export industry.”

    Value for money is not limited to price. Value for money includes factors that the state is excluded from considering under EU law. The government recoups an average of 40% of its public spending in the national economy through taxation. That is the same as a 40% discount, yet the government is prevented from accepting it. It must go with, for example, a 5% cheaper tender from a foreign tender but lose the ability to reclaiming its expenditure from taxation, meaning that the cost of the ‘cheaper’ tender is substantially higher than the national tender. Factor in capital lost to the Irish economy and the jobs lost to the Irish economy as the real cost is higher again.

    This arrangement offers some benefits to the larger states within the EU who have indigenous companies but it offers no benefit to a small economy where 94% of its exports are controlled by foreign-owned companies (who repatriate the profits abroad). In fact, it kills indigenous industries because it denies them the domestic markets that are vital to growing their business.

  • Dave,

    foreign-owned companies (who repatriate the profits abroad)

    The profits of any successful company are minuscule compared to its wage bill (and the associated payroll taxes). Trade => jobs. This has been proven again and again.

  • Dave

    I don’t think anyone has denied that foreign-owned export companies create jobs. However, only 82,000 of Ireland’s 2 million workforce are employed here, so that is circa 4% of the population. The real value of exports is that they create wealth for a country that is retained within a country – but only when they are not foreign-owned. The value of these foreign-owned exports is now highly dubious due to high levels of recent immigration which means that the Irish taxpayer pays substanial amounts of money to these companies in order to create jobs for foreign workers (who in turn export their wages). The issue is indigenous Irish companies being handicapped by EU laws preventing the State from supporting them.