“The consequences for jobs and revenue, particularly in the Border region, are profound”

The BBC report on the Northern Bank’s Consumer Confidence Index notes that “People in Northern Ireland remain cautious about spending in the run-up to Christmas”. So it’s probably just as well that consumers in Ireland are picking up the slack here. From the Irish Times

SOME 250,000 households in the Republic are now regularly doing their grocery shopping in the North, up 25 per cent since the end of last year, according to new figures. There has also been a major increase in cross-Border alcohol shopping, the latest figures from market research firm Nielsen Ireland show. Off-licence sales in the North have risen by 30 per cent in the year to August, while off-sales in the South are down by 7 per cent.

Separately, figures compiled by InterTrade Ireland, a North-South business development body, show the proportion of Southern-registered cars in shopping centre car parks in Newry, Enniskillen and Derry has increased from 40-50 per cent over the summer to 70 per cent now. Cross-Border shopping will cost the Republic’s economy over €810 million this year, it is estimated, compared to €640 million last year and €393 million in 2007.

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  • The Raven

    I’ll be interested to see how Black Friday/Cyber Monday is this year. If online spend is down, it’ll be lonely this Christmas on the high street.

  • DC

    M’on up yousens.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Irish government should open up retail stores in the Northern Territories on the thousands of properties owned by the Irish taxpayers via NAMA – the southern Irish taxpayers could then benefit by spending in their own shops in the Irish Northern Territories.

  • fin

    DC, are you sure about that. Think about it. Unionists should be very very concerned, so there’s no will in the South for a united Ireland, a united Ireland would prevent the loss of revenue to HMG via Northern shops, the more money spent in NI by Southern shoppers the stronger the case for a united Ireland, the more tax revenue loss the better the package offered to unionists to say yes to a united Ireland. Come on up indeed.

    Ain’t nothing like hitting someone in the pocket to focus their mind.

    Think Southerners aren’t concerned over the North, they are concerned about a few billion taken out of the economy

  • Nordie Northsider

    …it’s probably just as well that consumers in Ireland are picking up the slack…

    Er, I think you’ve lost situational awareness.

  • John

    This is somewhat nonsensical. While the collapse in sterling to third world status does indeed bring a temporary advantage to retail outlets north of the border, the effects will be cancelled out over time by much high inflation north of the border. For example, these are the Eurostat figures for changes in prices of basic commodities in Rep. Ireland and the UK since August 2007 (the month prior to the start of sterling’s collapse):

    food: Rep.Ireland +0.3% , UK +15.6%
    meat: Rep.Ireland -1.2% , UK +17.9%
    tea,coffee: Rep.Ireland -1.1% , UK +16.4%
    electricity: Rep.Ireland -1.0% , UK +20.8%
    gas: Rep.Ireland +0.7% , UK +40.5%
    furniture: Rep.Ireland -10.0% , UK +12.3%
    postal services: Rep.Ireland +1.1% , UK +17.1%

    Thus, while prices of basic commodities have remained stable or falling in Rep. Ireland, they have soared in the UK. Following sterling’s latest fall, combined with the restoration of last year’s VAT cut, this trend is going to accelerate. The percentage increases are less than the percentage fall in sterling, so retail outlets north of the border are still deriving some advantage from it, but this is gradually being dissipated. Perhaps 2% of the north’s population, those who work in retail outlets, are benefitting from this. In contrast, consumers and struggling households north of the border are having their standard of living massively eroded.

  • Greenflag

    raven ,

    With the current outlook for sterling NI border shops should have a ‘profitable ‘ Christmas . Mr Lenihan will not be pleased but there’s shag all he can do about it.

    fin,

    It could be good for the Republic’s consumers as stores may stop gouging customers given the extra competition brought about by a devaluing sterling and better road connections . The Belfast train is scheduled to return to service in November so that’s good news for Belfast stores but not good news for Dublin stores.

  • Greenflag

    John,

    Ouch those inflation figures look terrible . I did’nt realise they were that bad . But the pound is hardly third world status not yet anyway well not until the financial speculators have done with it probably coming up to the next election.

  • fin

    Greenflag, if Southern stores stop ‘gouging’ customers it won’t be at the expense of shareholders or executives but at the expense of the ordinary workers, who in turn will swing behind a solution to the Northern shopping problem.

    There will be two solutions reinstate the border or get rid of the border, in difficult times (as the next 10 years will be) a Dublin government would be unpopular putting customs and revenue posts along the border and very popular been the government who unites Ireland

    As the UUP conferance speakers repeated constantly this weekend it’s all about the money,

  • Scaramoosh

    ‘In the midst of a recession, and with 420,000 people on the dole, Irish consumers are up to their oxters in about €136.4bn of personal debt. This debt includes mortgages, credit cards and other personal loans.’

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/new-836414bn-debt-bomb-just-about-to-explode-1923998.html

  • Pete Baker

    Nordie

    You’ll have to explain what you think I’ve said that you’re taking issue with.

    John

    “since August 2007”

    Since August 2007 the expenditure of Irish consumers in Northern Ireland has gone, roughly, from €393 million to €810 million.

    You seem to be making the mistake, in your “nonsensical” comment, of assuming this post is a comparison between the two economies. It isn’t. But percentage changes since 2007 isn’t a guide to either comparative costs now or to future prices.

    fin

    “a united Ireland would prevent the loss of revenue to HMG via Northern shops, the more money spent in NI by Southern shoppers the stronger the case for a united Ireland, the more tax revenue loss the better the package offered to unionists to say yes to a united Ireland. Come on up indeed.”

    Except the evidence suggests that “Southern shoppers” are more interested in getting better value than the “tax revenue loss”.

    “Ain’t nothing like hitting someone in the pocket to focus their mind.”

    Indeed. They seem to like the option provided by a border.

  • fin

    Yes Scaramoosh and the UK is £1457 Billion, meaningless stats, the story could have been more interesting if they done a few end to end comparisons like stacks of Euros reaching to the moon of 5 Euro notes end to end going twice around the world.

    Maybe its me but can you translate this story into anything meaningful apart from a lot of people owe a lot of money?

    Heres a clue after stating a fact the story descends into ‘would’ ‘could’ ‘might’ words

    Heres an outcome the entire population COULD contract Swine Flu the ecomony WOULD collapse, the government MIGHT go broke.

    Obviously a slow news day

  • fin

    Indeed Pete as the British shopper was when the EU opened up, fortunately the British Govt. (killjoys that they were) put restrictions in place, the Irish govt. has more choices and as I said re-establishing the border is not a vote winner, neither is allowing the loss of tax revenue to continue and so the obvious decision is to be patriotic and opt for a united Ireland and remove the happy shopping grounds under the guise of been following Pearse and Tone.

    Pete in short, the Irish shopper has not the political clout of the Irish government or Irish Business the two losers in this.

    Politics wise an Irish government will escape a lot easier by going into debt uniting Ireland than going into debt borrowing to replace lost tax revenue.

  • Pete Baker

    fin

    “the obvious decision is to be patriotic and opt for a united Ireland”

    Not to the Irish shopper voter, obviously.

  • Pete Baker

    Read the Irish Times report, fin.

    The lobbying is for a reduction in the costs to Irish businesses and consumers [through Irish taxes].

  • foreign correspondent

    I think it´s reading too much into things to say that people actively WANT a border, because they go shopping where´s it cheaper. There´s a world of difference between pragmatism and aspirations.

  • DC

    Oh I didn’t realise the Irish shopper shopping up here spent close to 8 billion worth of lost revenues, as that’s what the Republic would need fork out if it opted for unification. But by all means – the southern English wouldn’t mind at all. And actually neither do I.

    You see the 8 billion fills the mouths that need fed in NI, which as you know comes from a very British subsidy.

    Vote for a united Ireland to regain your taxes for the government but you take on everything else not least of all the old backward looking northern mindset, which comes with many untold costs and of course many a life too.

    But i think shopping revenue losses may pale into insignificance with the actual running costs in NI. Not to mention your stance is a bit neurotic after all we are part of the EU it’s open market and free trade not just central command and control gobbling up of little neighbours. Sorta brutish swat you made there Fin. Gobble gobble. But be prepared for indigestion and many a foul smelling burp after, I imagine.

  • fin

    “The consequences for jobs and revenue, particularly in the Border region, are profound. Our industry supports 90,000 jobs across bars, restaurants, manufacturing and supply. Many of these will be at risk as a direct consequence of cross-Border shopping.”

    Hi Pete, yeap read it, did you, or are the 90,000 voters whose jobs are in peril not worth mentioning.

    So Pete the other alternative is a further drop in tax revenue through VAT cuts, that border just gets more and more annoying can you actually give the Irish government a better route out of this than getting rid of the border, obviously with a your idol leading the charge on the benefits of a all-Ireland economy and a falling Sterling increasing the flow North the government needs to act fairly quickly so far the choices are

    a) continue losing tax revenue over the border
    b) lose tax revenue by a VAT cut and crossborder shopping
    c) get rid of the border.

    Obviously by removing the border the government has less competition on the island as will the likes of Tesco and the other retailers.

    getting rid of the border gets a windfall in money from the US and EU

    getting rid of the border makes you famous and any cockups are forgiven and for a while people forget the hardships

  • Pete Baker

    foreign correspondent

    There’s a difference between saying that people can see, and use, the benefits a border presents, in comparison to saying that people will support the removal of that border because of the benefits they can see, and use.

    DC

    You should look more closely at the Conservative Party’s objectives with a view like that.

    Not that you’d be speculating widely with sweeping generalisations about “the old backward looking northern mindset”.

    No. Not at all.

  • Pete Baker

    fin

    “a further drop in tax revenue through VAT cuts”

    You’re not really thinking this through are you?

    As for the rest of your wishful thinking…

    Just convince those pesky Irish shoppers voters.

  • fin

    Open market and free trade DC? obviously you’ve not taken a car loaded with booze through Dover.

    DC do you own a property, its the same concept, lose a couple of billion a year in people shopping North of the border and get nothing in return OR spend 8billion ayear and gain 1,000,000 potential taxpayers and increase your landmass by 20% as a homeowner I know what I’d go for.

    Plus the fame of been the government that united the country and the payoff from the EU and US (as I mentioned)

    And DC the *defeated* SF are busy (with the DUP) in turning NI around, no violence, attracting foreign investment etc. in fact the DUP are doing their best to make NI attractive to investors.

    One last thing DC put a business hat on, businesses often buy other businesses that are doing badly and turn them around, they are especially attractive if they have assets, rough guess on how many 100’s of billions NI is worth? NAMA already own 5 Billion of it and thats a drop in the ocean.

  • DC

    “the old backward looking northern mindset”.

    Well I’m speaking of course about our political caste aren’t I. I mean, please point me in the direction of a political cohort or organisation say of 10 or more in number that isn’t status-quo / status quo ante or uber conservative in any shape or form?

    And what’s this about the Tories, I tend not to pay that much attention to them ever since that party’s euro bedfellows, they’ve been a bit desultory on a lot things; Red Tories, Vote Blue Go Green, Compassionate Liberal Conservatism, Save the Pound and of course there is Willy Hague once a boy wonder but has still to move on in life and act like a grown up.

    Mind you I did pick up on VAT going to 19-20% and a smaller levy on food for a while, guessing around 5% or so – who knows?

    Now that is change, change indeed. Change for the effin worse!

  • fin

    Pete, sorry fella, I know stalking Gerry is your strong point but if you’re going to engage in this debate you need to move beyond just repeating ‘the shoppers love us, the shoppers love us’

    The shoppers love you because they are cheating the Irish government of tax revenue (used for building hospitals and schools etc) I’m afraid its you who is not thinking it through the only logical endpoint of your thinking is that the ‘shoppers’ will defeat the Irish government and Irish business leaders and maintain a border that leeches money from the state.

    By the way Pete, this mighty body of shoppers you have so much faith in do they by chance need to earn a salary or are they all independently wealthy and so unaffected by the loss of jobs caused by crossborder shopping.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Try engaging in the real politics of what is going on.

    Rather than your imaginary, preferred, scenarios.

  • DC

    “And DC the *defeated* SF are busy (with the DUP) in turning NI around, no violence, attracting foreign investment etc. in fact the DUP are doing their best to make NI attractive to investors”.

    All well and good but there needs to be private sector jobs in Northern Ireland so that people aren’t dislodged from employment – public sector – and, well, dumped into long term unemployment for the sake of a few shopping trips by hypermobile borderites. Otherwise I fail to see how people, particularly the educated catholics who run the civl service here, will opt for losing 50,000 a year jobs plus flexi to end up doing nothing and getting nothing back in return.

    The commodification of unification. We don’t want saints or scholars – just your euros, pounds and dollars!

  • Pete Baker

    Yeah, fin.

    The charge towards Irish Unity is just around the corner after this…

  • Pete,

    any interesting spelling/grammatical errors to be found in Sinn Féin press releases of late? Go on wee fella: we’re gaggin for some more Gerry-bashing!!

    I heard that he eats muesli for breakfast followed by a swift pint of Protestant blood in between crying his eyes (with laughter) out after perusing The Pennyburn Messiah’s glorious website. Can you confirm or deny said reports?

  • Greenflag

    fin ,

    ‘There will be two solutions reinstate the border or get rid of the border’

    Eh whats with this ‘reinstate ‘ . It’s still there- as it was and as it will for a long time to come unless my preferred big R solution becomes ‘popular ‘

    ‘in difficult times (as the next 10 years will be) a Dublin government would be unpopular putting customs and revenue posts along the border ‘

    Very true .We don’t like party poopers or kill joys . Richard Bruton knows this from his short tenure as Finance Minister when he decided to tax children’s clothes as a budgetary economising measure . Spending the next 10 years in opposition was his just reward for such a dopey move 🙁

    ‘and very popular being the government who unites Ireland’

    Eh ? I don’t believe in a general all round NI communal levitation based on hype nor do I believe that wishful thinking will achieve political objectives . And to be honest any Irish Government at present who offered to pay for a UI with more taxpayer’s monies on top of the present gouging ( forgetting for the moment that Unionists would rather eat grass than contemplate a UI ) would be levitated from most of the lamposts surrounding Merrion Square with the assistance of ropes around their necks and their gucci shoes a modest 3 feet above ground 😉

    As for getting rid of the border ?

    I think the arsenic analogy applies in this case . A little removing of the border could be good and a tonic whereas too much removal like too much arsenic could be toxic and perhaps even terminal in present circumstances .

    If said ‘border was moved say 40 miles north from Dundalk and 50 miles east from Derry then that would reduce the number of stores selling via sterling overnight by a considerable number.

    On the other hand former NI residents now awash with Euros would immediately benefit from lower inflation and a strong currency . Unionists in the smaller NI would benefit from having a weaker currency but you would have even more Southerners (including former Northerners ) then going north to shop and buy groceries at bargain prices . This would reduce living costs for the large number of people living say 20 to 30 miles south and west of the new border ? A smaller NI would probably depending on how low sterling sinks against the Euro be able to afford to impose a local NI sales tax (thanks to Fenian shoppers ) to finance it’s local governance ?

    I have previously considered a repartition solution mainly as a political benefit to Northern Nationalists but now it would appear to have considerable financial benefits as well 😉 ?
    even for Unionists 🙂

    Of course former nationalist business owners in places like Newry etc would be livid seeing their southern customers driving further north to Banbridge or Bangor while also seeing their former local customers following close behind the wheels of driving through southerners ?

    ‘it’s all about the money’

    Indeed . Was it ever about anything else when push comes to shove ?

  • fin

    Pete, my point was (and still is) that the loss of tax revenue which can only increase with a weakening of sterling, coupled with the loss of retail jobs in the South makes a economical arguement for the Irish government to become very much pro-unity, in reply you’ve only withered on about ‘the Irish shopper’ interperse with sarcasim.

    Will more people cheating the Irish government of tax revenue by shopping in the North bring about a united Ireland, well by itself no, in tandem with a lot of other favourable factors, well yes actually, it may well do so.

    If you have a reasoned arguement as to why it won’t I’m all ears, I have been for some hours.

    DC, I asked to put a business mans hat on, following your logic, why would anyone buy a loss making company? In fact following your logic you appear to be saying this is it for NI it can never improve, it can never get better.

    Ever occur to you that the Catholic civil servants might want something better for their kids, OR that a more attractive package would be put to them for a united Ireland OR that the likely future for NI under a Labour or Tory government isn’t going to give them job security anyway.

  • Pete whitcroft

    Newry, Derry and Enniskillen shops tell the tale.
    Shoppers want to live as freely as possible.
    Irish unity is a secondary consideration.
    Surely Irish nationalists must see that the general welfare of the Irish people is paramount.
    Idealism is for the rich.

  • Pete Baker

    fin

    “If you have a reasoned arguement as to why it won’t I’m all ears, I have been for some hours.”

    That reasoned argument again,

    “my point was (and still is) that the loss of tax revenue which can only increase with a weakening of sterling, coupled with the loss of retail jobs in the South makes a economical arguement for the Irish government to become very much pro-unity”

    Good luck with that.

  • fin

    ah Greenflag, repartition again!

    The border at the moment is political, when I was a kid it made my neighbours travel 15 miles to reach farmland 2 miles from their homes. THe solution to shoppers is to closed the border again erect customs checkpoints and restrict allowances for what can be imported.

    Regarding vote winning moves there is nothing to compare with going to war or bringing about peace and the worse the economic situation the more popular those vote winning moves are.

  • fin

    Yes Pete as opposed to ‘the shoppers, the shoppers, the shooppers will save Northern Ireland cos they love the prices’

    Following your ‘reasoned’ arguement there exists no limitations on importing cigarettes or booze into the country on account of ‘the shoppers’ won’t introduce them.

    Pete, next time your over on the ‘mainland’ can I get you to drive a vanload of booze through Dover for me, if customs stop you just inform them you’re ‘the shopper’ and the government couldn’t possibly have any laws against your shopping freedom

    Pete when you’re explaining you’re shopping/voting thingy, well ‘Good luck with that’

    Cos I think in the real world the nice customs officer will inform you that the government closed down that little shopping experience.

    So, now what is your arguement that the Irish government won’t close down the Irish crossborder shopping experience, and what is a complete and permanent solution to it – blow up border backroads? permanent customs posts? …..

  • John East Belfast

    fin

    All this stuff about the ROI Govt being more Pro unity on the basis that it will solve the “border problem” – what is it exactly you propose they do ?

    I of course have no sympathy with the plight of ROI Govt coffers – they have hoisted themselves on their own petard. Their desire to be anything but British including their embracing of the Euro without the UK and the recklessness of their banking and property developing industries combined with the incompetence and corruption of their governments has created this mess.

    The only thing they have that stops them going the same road as Iceland is their membership of the Euro.
    All posters on here slagging of sterling should remember where the Punt would be now if it still existed.

    Therefore the 26 counties will just have to suck it up – just as the legal NI border fuel trade disappeared in years gone by.

    However on a positive note the issue isnt all bad – ROI shoppers are getting the opportunity to buy their weekly grocery shop and have a Happy Christmas – what would be the pressures on the ROI economy if they were being forced to pay ROI prices at the minute ?

  • DC

    Fin, do you own a Spar along the border or something?

  • igor

    Oh Sammy I admire your confidence that the Irish Government is fit to run a corner shop

  • igor

    The Irish could always apply to rejoin the UK. Think of the costs they could save without all those Government Departments. And the benefits of being integrated into a market of 70 million consumers – almost as big as Germany.

  • igor

    By the way, any measures the Irish take to restrict free trade across the border breach the treaty of Rome and community law.

  • foreign correspondent

    John East Belfast, you seem to portray the decision by the Republic to join the euro as purely negative, and anti-British. But it was a good idea to join the euro. The Uk is not the universe, you know, not everything revolves around London.
    To turn your argument around, if the British weren’t so obsessed with being anything but European they would have joined too. Now with the Tory bandwagon on the roll again, the chances of the British wising up to the common currency look slimmer than ever.

  • Greenflag

    fin ,

    ‘the solution to shoppers is to close the border again erect customs checkpoints and restrict allowances for what can be imported.’

    Can’t see that happening not with both entities being in the EU . Now if the Tories in power decide to exit the EU , and some of them are nuts enough to consider such a move, then our Government could take ‘trade ‘ restrictive action . Likewise the NI authorities would take action to reduce ‘tax losses ‘ on petrol sales .

    ‘why would anyone buy a loss making company? ‘

    Two reasons only . If you buy it cheaply enough you can strip it of it’s hard assets , plant , equipment , machinery ,etc and sell it off piecemeal to other businesses at a good profit and put the cash into a higher yielding investment . ( All the rage during Mrs Thatcher’s term iirc )

    The second reason would be to remove the previous incompetent management which is often the case and to turn the business around to make a profit. Then either run it as a profitable business or sell it off to another business who may use the reformed entity to enhance their core business , increase market share , secure a parts supply chain etc etc ,

    ‘following your logic you appear to be saying this is it for NI it can never improve, it can never get better.’

    I agree with your assessment of Pete’s read here but he’s not alone in his thinking for that is the standard unionist position i.e to accept a rise or fall in economic status as the UK economy rises or falls . Economically prior to Ireland joining the EU back in 1973 the Republic was also in the ‘standard unionist position’ for 90% plus of exports went to the UK and we shared a common labour market with our larger neighbour and the Irish pound was basically a regional variety of the Sterling not too different from NI or Scottish banknotes . We (ROI) have escaped that degree of dependency – NI has’nt and at least a small majority of it’s residents are not interested in escaping .

    For unionists – NI is just like ‘lichen ‘ on a rock . Ambition is desultory – idealism is perfunctory- they just want to be . The movers and shakers are in London and that’s where they have always been and for unionists always will be . This is why you have UCUNF . On their own the UUP have run out of political options , ideas , strategies for renewal etc which is why they have leapt aboard the new Tory rescue vessel which thanks partially to the recession has now hoved in to view and is close enough to board .
    Lichens want to survive ‘ Don’t ask me why but they do .

    Longer term of course a rising euro and a shrinking pound will result in an outflow of capital from NI to the Republic which will have consequences of it’s own on investment . Corporations tend not to invest in countries where it’s government policy to continually devalue it’s currency . Think Zimbabwe for an extreme example .

  • Greenflag

    pete whitcroft ,

    ‘Idealism is for the rich. ‘

    It isn’t 😉 That’s why they’re rich .

  • Pete Baker

    Greenie

    Fin’s “assessment” of my “read” here is a complete strawman.

    But don’t let that stop you agreeing with it.

  • Mack

    Cross-Border shopping will cost the Republic’s economy over €810 million this year, it is estimated, compared to €640 million last year and €393 million in 2007.

    All we are doing is importing groceries, that can be produced and sold cheaper elsewhere.

    Importing cars from Germany will cost the Republic’s economy over €1bn this year.

    Importing clothes from China will cost the Republic’s economy over €800 million this year.

    etc..

  • kensei

    This is just a sophisticated form of carry trade. You cannot build an economy on it. Eventually market forces will force prices back into line. The impact of the North will depress wages in the South around the border area. It will force cost cutting and productivity in the system. Prices will move back into line. They might swing back to favouring the Republic. Even Peter Robinson acknowledges it. What’s the figures for the past 30 years, because its the long term that is really significant to the debate. Conditions for unity hampered by this now? So – it could easily be the other wya in 2,5,10 years time.

    The only way I can see this process not happening is if the currency imbalances are so strong as to overpower it. If Ireland was till ont he Punt it would have already happened. But that has other consequences too. Just as weak Sterling does, and we’re still living in the unrelaity of huge deficits. that won’t last and who knows what will happen?

    Course, Pete is more than smart enoguh to know all this and while the figures are interesting, the debate surrounding it is childish and he;s quite content to fuel it.

  • Mack

    Btw, it is massive leap to suggest that the Irish fiscal crisis was caused by (or even significantly affect by) cross-border shopping..

  • Mack

    By the way –

    The Quay’s in Newry are now charging for parking, so add that two yer Drogheda Toll, yer M50 toll (both ways) & fuel costs. Factor in reduced prices in the south, sales etc and it’s not that much cheaper (if it all – last time we were in Tesco’s in the north some products looked expensive).

    Price deflation continuing apace. Lot’s of offers and vouchers. e.g. €7.50 main course @ Milanos.

  • Greenflag

    pete ,

    ‘Fin’s “assessment” of my “read” here is a complete strawman.’

    I know 🙂

    ‘But don’t let that stop you agreeing with it.’

    Correction -I agreed with SOME of his conjecture but not in way that would agreed with his stated political objective.

    And there I was enjoying some conjectural whatiffery and Mack and Kensei have to butt their heads in and bring us all back to the realities .

    Still it’s more fun than a thread on Stormont’s foibles or Gerry Adams latest reach out -as it actually impinges on the real lives of people and how they are adapting to the paradigm shift in the world economy and it’s ramifications closer to respective homes .

  • youcanstopnow

    Pete. Why do insist on refering to RoI/southern Irish people/business/elector as ‘the Irish’? They are Irish. But there other Irish people too (ie. in northern Ireland). Or by that, do you mean ‘thee (better part of the) Irish’? Which, if true, would be blatantly biased of you.

  • borderline

    I talk to a lot of southern shoppers. Half of the daft bastards are driving hundreds of miles to get one over on the rip-off republic, and show they’ll do something about it and tell the folks back home. It’s therapy they need, not cheap pampers.

    The reason sterling is going down the pan is that Gordon Brown has the lads printing sterling on continuous shifts. He calls it ‘quantitative easing’. I believe its known as the Mugabe mild method by those lads who understand these things.

    Lenihan would do the same but that blonde bird in Berlin has the keys of the printing press. So it’s get real time down south, they’re in the deutschmark zone.

    Could stand to ’em though…….

  • I have read his works, and I still think he is the opposite side of the same coin as the preachers in car parks, promising eternal salvation and threatening eternal damnation in equal measure.
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