Republic’s bank collapse is no reason for smugness in Northern Ireland

Given the fraught nature of cross-border relations over the years, it would not be that surprising if a few smug glances were being directed southwards from Northern Ireland.

The financial mess the Republic has got itself into is truly staggering.

But the truth is that Northern Ireland has nothing to be complacent about.

For starters, the economy up here is hardly in a good state.

It’s worth remembering its estimated £8bn annual subvention — the difference between taxes raised from the province and the outlay in public expenditure here.

However, the main reason why smugness is not appropriate rests with the prime reason for the South’s crisis.

It has been called a property bubble, but that makes it seem too benign.

Collective property mania is a more appropriate description of the condition that afflicted society.

Let it never be forgotten that the same delirium was getting a firm grip on Northern Ireland too.

Think back to those days not that long ago when the Ulster middle classes were in permanent ecstasy over the rocketing value of their homes.

Want a second or third house? Step right this way.

Prices were going to keep on rising, after all. What could possibly go wrong?

True, the mania did not do as much damage up here.

Unlike the Republic, Northern Ireland does not have large-scale ‘ghost estates’ — unoccupied housing developments that nobody wants.

But maybe this part of the island just got lucky.

Perhaps it was primarily about timing — that the madness was only properly taking hold when the over-inflated market finally collapsed due to external factors.

And what would have happened if devolution had been in place years before it returned in 2007?

Would MLAs have sounded timely notes of caution, as the property market here started spiralling out of control?

Hardly. The main contribution from Northern Ireland politicians was to act as cheerleaders for developers.

There were repeated calls for the planning system to be sped up, and for more land to be zoned for housing.

It was also argued that official development blueprints for different parts of the province should be rewritten to permit yet more house-building.

In short, the pesky planners were virtually being told to get out of the way and let the great housing bonanza rip.

There just might be a case for thanking those pesky planners now, and for being quietly relieved that the planning system was cushioned from local political pressures up to 2007.

If the pro-development lobby had had its way here, ghost estates could now be an all-Ireland phenomenon.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    We’re bailed out by our own government, the South’s bailed out by, er, our government too. I can’t speak for them, but I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs. What price ‘independence’, eh? Turns out you *can* put a number on it.

  • A.N.Other

    I met some “construction workers” on the plane yesterday (BMI – London – George Best). They spoke of how the back lash against the Irish in the UK has already started; they said that it was now easier to say that they were N.Irish, than Irish. They were both of the green persuasion; they would never normally have made this concession.

    On the way back from the airport to the city, I took a cab, also driven by person of green persuasion. He happily told that businness at the executive end was slow, but that on the lower level, it had held up, because the North had weathered the storm so much better than the south,

    There you have it, Irish persons, more happier in the present climate to see themselves as N.Irish; rather than affiliate themselves with the anti-democratic robber barons south of the border.

    I think that it should not be forgotten, and time and a good investogative journalist will reveal this, that much of the money and persons that drove the N.Irish property boom, came from the South.
    Certainly a good proportion of the market in the Shankill and East Belfast districts was driven up by acquisitive Southerners.

  • Mack

    So, you are a damn site happier because your taxes bail not only bail you (NI) out but also us (RoI)?

    Would it make you happier still if you gave me a fiver?

  • “cheerleaders for developers”

    David, just look at all that money the Department for Social Development could have scooped if the Ballee bungee jump had gone ahead. What was it? £50 million and rising?

    A few months back I offered to publish a story at the request of some SF councillors provided they supplied the name of the developer. The story never arrived.

  • DC

    It would make me happier if Bono and U2 did 🙂

    Does Geldof have any potential Irish revenue he is avoiding?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Slow on the up take today I see. ‘I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs’. There, that wasn’t really so difficult, was it? All you had to do was read as far as the 2nd line. Oh dear, it’s still the 2nd line. Ah well, something tells me that were it tattooed on the inside of his eyelids Mack still wouldn’t read it.

  • Mr Brightside

    I heard a remark that the North looking at the south is like a guy on the dole being smug at his neighbour losing his job. Better to try stand on your feet and fail, than to let someone else just carry you all the time.

  • Mack

    I read it, and the joke is totally congruent with what you actually wrote. If you meant the wider situation then you should probably say so, but even then, even after all this, people are still better off south of the border. So I’m not sure that’s a particularly valid point either.

  • The Belfast Telegraph is a tabloid newspaper. I am sure that the Bel Tel knows, better than anybody, what sort of article is appropriate for its average reader.

    What maybe sufficient for the average Belfast Telegraph reader is unlikely to satisfy the intellect of the average broadsheet reader or, indeed, the average commenter on Slugger O’Toole. Broadsheet journalists do not indulge in the vernacular.

    I would be very surprised if there was a NI based Slugger reader, apart from those looking through a sectarian prism, who felt any “smugness” over the ROI banking crisis.

    In relation to the planning system, just because it was tardy, that does not autonmatically mean that there was not good business being held up or that the system was not inefficient.

    As to the question of whether we were lucky for these delays to occur, we really dont know. At least the developers here were never short of work. Most of those that operated in Northern Ireland during 2008 ended up becoming bankrupt, in any event.

    Perhaps it would be easier to form an opinion about the “pesky” planners if this post contained some analysis.

    Finally, the “property bubble” in the South was not the “prime reason” for the South’s crisis. It was a symptom of it. There is no need for me to re-hash the actual prime reasons.

  • Drumlins Rock

    David, on the planning issue, politician are of course obliged to represent their constituents, but mainly are glad they don’t have to make the decisions and more or less agree with the planners on principle. The basic law of supply and demand has remained in place up here, as the rising cost of rents indicate. There was probably an over supply in the apartment sector, but generally there is very little unoccupied residential property across the country.

  • Drumlins Rock

    yeah but the guy in the North is still living with mummy and daddy whereas the guy next door has a whopping mortgage he cant pay, drives a sports car, has a wife who enjoys the highlife and has a holiday apartment on the Algarve all to pay for too.

  • Neil

    Being a Tory and laughing at the same time usually means someone somehwere is suffering. But as we know LTU, ironically, has fuck all sense of humour so a bland statement of miserable, depressing fact is Billy Connolly at his best.

  • Anon

    Do you still ive with your ma, DR?

  • White Horse

    Laughing Tory Unionist

    It seems that the basis of your union with Britain is that they pay for your obnoxiousness here to the Irish and Catholics and Nationalists.

    When the basis that you honour is their obnoxiousness to the world, how long will it be before they decide to be obnoxious to you?

    Perhaps when the price becomes too high to pay they will show you that obnoxiousness is no basis for any union.

  • JR

    The guy in the north has all that and more, just mummy and daddy pay for it all.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Third time lucky perhaps: ‘I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs’. Really, do please try reading it this time. You’ll find things so much easier to understand that way. Also, if you learn nothing else, do learn the difference between ‘sight’ and ‘site’.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    ‘This comment was brought to you today by the National Council for the Promotion of the Word Obnoxiousness, and by the number 7 billion’.

  • JR

    Given that the Uk is borrowing the money at 1.5% to lend to ROI at 5%. on a 6bn loan thats 210million per year the UK will be making off the ROI. That works out at about €200 per household per year. Equal to the entire new property tax. It is also worth noting that The south will contribute more to the UK coffers next year than the North has in it’s history.

    A friend in need is a friend indeed.

  • Mack

    Repeating the same nonsense won’t make it mean something different.

    What position? Second behind Russia in Group A? It would seem that you group sentences from different contexts together to form paragraphs. Don’t be surprised that people take a different interpretation of what you write.

    It’s pretty desperate to attack an internet commentor over typos. Especially using site instead of sight, when used in conjunction with damn. In all seriousness what normal person would give a flying proverbial? Neither spelling makes much literal sense..

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Perhaps the Chinese would offer a better rate? If they will, and I were Biffo, I’d bite their hand off, what with the Free State’s desparate need for the lolly n’all. Mind you, if, here in the boring old real world, the Reds won’t cut them a sweetheart deal the way we will, I’d keep saying thank you and talking about ‘what good friends we are, and have been for ever such a long time’. And then I’d bite my lips, bow my head, look at my shoes good and hard, and say not much else for the rest of the decade. But then again – see me up above – I’m not them, so there you go. Mind about you.

  • dwatch

    ‘David Gordon argues that Northern Ireland has nothing to be smug about. There but for the grace of a thoroughly dysfunctional polity go we. First published in the Belfast Telegraph.’

    First time I knew Northern Ireland could be used to speak on behalf of all the citizens of the State of 1.7 million people.

  • Mack

    Did you notice our taxes are still going to be invested in infrastructure projects north of the border? Or don’t you follow your own advice?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    To be shure, how can we be free and spell rite? And as is now traditional – ‘I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs’. If you honestly can’t see the difference between what that clearly says and meant, and your loopdyloo take (“So, you are a damn site happier because your taxes bail not only bail you (NI) out but also us (RoI)?”), illiteracy and insolvency are merely problems in a queue. Or ‘kuw’ as you probably prefer. Go on, I dare you, stop huffing and puffing and admit you were being a bit silly, a bit het up, and in an understandable moment of outraged, albeit misplaced patriotism, mouthed off without thinking. It’ll be a real moment of personal growth.

  • Mack

    This is what you actually wrote.

    We’re bailed out by our own government, the South’s bailed out by, er, our government too. I can’t speak for them, but I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs

    I’m sure you’ll repeat your snippet again, so go on, you can have the last word.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    ‘Your taxes’? You’re bust, broke, gone cap in hand not merely to Brussels, not merely to Berlin, but to us. Your taxes are paying for nothing, *we’re* paying for you – you can’t pay for yourselves, That’s Why You’ve Had To Be Bailed* Out. By us. Because we’re beautiful. If, from the moolah we give you, you give us a small slice of that back, c/o of sixlet infrastructure projects, that’s jolly nice of you, but it’s still our wonga you’re sending home. We’ll mark the bills if you want us to prove it to you. But all the same, I slightly admire you for being the last man online in Ireland who doesn’t realise what’s happened.

    *You probably prefer “Baled” because words is just talk.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Reading that was a bloody nightmare.

    That might have been because of some kind of arbitrary restriction requiring that each paragraph be kept to one sentence.

    Maybe I’ll try it myself.

    On second thoughts, maybe not.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Last *and* right, sorry, rite. ‘I’m a damn sight happier being in our position than in theirs’, which caused you to become slightly precious (and plainly, very indignant), and so you squeaked: ‘So, you are a damn site happier because your taxes bail not only bail you (NI) out but also us (RoI)?’. Because you, with the greeny-red mist upon you, weren’t capable of understanding the hardly obscure meaning of what I had said.

    As I’m on a mission to explain, let’s go through this super slowly: I’m – that’s me – happier – that’s a feeling – being in our – that’s me and mine again – position – that’s one of the bigger words thus far: try google – than – this is an absolutely *key* word, indicating the relative nature of the point being made – in theirs – that’s them, or, you. D’ye see now? It’s *not* proclaiming delight at the east German state of the north. It’s not extolling the virtues of being a mendicant region within a larger polity. It’s saying, and the Saints Themselves preserve me from my presumption, simply that I’m glad we’re in our, rather less bad hole, as opposed to being in their, all too quantifiable one.

    But then again, maybe you think your hole is better than our hole? Gawn then – tell us why. Tell you what, I’ll play the Braveheart theme when you do.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Meanwhile, where would we be without the insights of Eamonn Mallie? ‘However difficult savings and cuts might be here* they may well be small beer compared to the Republic of Ireland’ the sage intones. ‘Might be’ and ‘may well’, there’s the genius to the man. Imagine if he had tweeted that without the qualification. Where would we be then? Where indeed.

    *For my close and personal friend on this thread, here is here, not there.

  • pinni

    Maybe Mr Gordon can enlighten us as to who, exactly, is being ‘smug’ about the problems in the ROI. Something of a ‘straw man’ I would suggest.

  • Mack

    So that would be no then.

    Incidentally, do you understand the meaning of the word loan?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You’ll find that the people making it usually do. Oh if only you could have found someone else who’d make you a ‘loan’ of the sort we have, then you’d have been saved not just the interest but also this thread. Such sorrow.

  • Reader

    JR: A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    Since the rest of the world was offering you 9% you can cut the sarcasm. Especially since half of the southerners here on Slugger are planning not to repay the loan, let alone pay any interest.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Maybe Mr Gordon can enlighten us as to who, exactly, is being ‘smug’ about the problems in the ROI.

    Mostly certain unionists saying “let’s point and laugh at the RoI and their need to be bailed out” forgetting that we get a subvention approximately equivalent to half of that being loaned (not granted) by the British government to Ireland every year.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    But, were you ever to read things before smugging at the rest of us, you’d notice that Unionists are boasting about precisely that too. That’s the whole point of the Union and its ism. What the point of a separate, independent Irish Republic was remains, however, a mystery.

  • Drumlins Rock

    nope got the mortgage, but not the rest, and I dont think we got carried away just as much, but its not pretty either.

  • jtwo

    Once again with the near mythical southeners who bought up all the houses.

    If you want a good idea of who was doing the speculative buying you can easily find details online of who booked all the apartments in the Obel.

    You will also struggle to tell me who from Dublin was doing a lot of speculative commercial and residential development. Face it this was our own mess.

  • Comrade Stalin

    That’s the whole point of the Union and its ism.

    What, soaking money off the Brits ?

  • Drumlins Rock

    It was bad enough when NI had to pay for 2/3rds of it now the UK will be paying for it all, plus probably funding ESB buying NIE. logical.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Golly, it really is Slow Learners on Slugger Day. ‘Forgetting that *we* get a subvention approximately equivalent to half of that being loaned (not granted) by the British government to Ireland every year’. We being them, they being us. You might disagree with that, dislike, or even, God help us, given the slabbering volume of fantasists on Slugger, deny it, but it remains unquestionably the point of Unionism. Keep on smugging though, the place wouldn’t be the same without you.

  • Drumlins Rock

    we give them Gloria, Eamonn, Christine, Besty, Higgins, Lembik, Hans Sloane, Duke of Westminster, etc. and they give us £9B.

    Win win!

  • jtwo
  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I wish our beloved fellow countrymen would stop giving Nolan back to us. Indeed, I’d give the South Tyrone/take Donegal if they’d take him off our hands. In fact, I’d have made it a condition of their loan – a sort of “reverse collateral”. Is it too late? Fingers crossed, maybe the South will need more money: we’ll attach the Nolan clause then. And the money we save on his bloated BBC salary will doubtless cover the 2nd bail-out.

  • Drumlins Rock

    we could end him as a peace envoy to Korea 🙂

  • qwerty12345

    What a great thread, thoroughly enjoying unionist responses on here. The sheer gall to sneer with their history of being unadulterated scroungers. Jesus, theres no brass neck like the long ones in the praavince.

    I’m also amazed reading that the Republic has the 2nd largest trade surplus in the EU with 2010 being a record year for exports. Surely theres some hope, I mean Britian didnt fold after the 76 IMF bail out.

    Also, why are people calling into question the validity of or aspiration to Irish independence when Ireland is only as guilty as many other nations in our changed world – that of being in hock to others. “At the end of March 2010 (UK) general government debt was £1000.4 billion”

  • White Horse

    It seems to me that it’s not so much an artificially created state as an artificially created identity that hasn’t got over the British granting them somebody else’s land and keep coming back with their cap in hand.

    They even have the gall to suggest that they’re giving something in return and not extorting conscience money out of a British people that simply doesn’t know what to do with them, their anxieties, their obnoxiouness and their never-ending demands to be called British, itself an artificial creation of the god of Money.

    It has to be said that when Peter equals Martin, where goes the -isms they boast about. The Union is just a life-support system.

  • Alanbrooke


    but you want to merge with them and pick up their bills.

    How are you going too get them back to work ?

  • White Horse


    No, I want the unionists to merge with us and start picking up their own bills.

    The Irish are good workers. They work all over the world. They’ve earned their own way in history and not by prostituting themselves to the British Crown.

  • JJ Malloy

    But when the floodwaters have subsided and we look across the landscape, we see again in all their glory, the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone. Only the integrity of their quarrel remains undiminished…

  • Alanbrooke


    Yeah but to get that the Republic has to start from a new settlement.

    NI has a crap economy, RoI couldn’t absorb it in the foreseeable future, since the state itself is struggling to stay above water.

    Any sensible Northerner would see the current situation is an island wide disaster. But you won’t find that many of them and they are all too cossetted by UK Danegeld to worry about having to work for a living. It’s pointless singling out unionists or nationalists, they are all welfare junkies and they all expect you to pay their way. Now add in that they will conttol the balance of power in a Dail and the lunatics take over the asylum.

  • qwerty12345

    It IS slightly amusing seeing a worldwide economic crisis boil down to the same old hatreds, however, you have just quoted fat Winston so I must quote him too, just for some insight into HIS ancient hatreds, and because I LOATHE that particular quote of his about Ulster.

    I happened to be reading about the Spanish – American war last night and came across this doozy of his from “The Saturday Review” in 1896. On Cuba he wrote:

    ” A grave danger represents itself. Two fifths of the insurgents in the field are negroes”

    Oh dear.

  • JR

    I don’t think the plans of half the southerners on slugger have alot of sway in the matter.

    Don’t get me wrong though. As I have said on other threads on this site the UK’s money is to be welcomed, as is the solidarity of the majority of people in the UK with the situation in the south.

  • pinni

    Certain Unionists, eh? Like …? Come on, let’s hear!

    Straw man, I tell you. Ya know what I think? Gordon had a column to fill, so he just made something up.

  • Bungditin

    ” politician are of course obliged to represent their constituents”

    But not when they also hold positions like environment or finance minister! The lobbying of Sammy Wilson on behalf of developers and his attempts to undermine planning policy is very questionable.

    I wonder how much Sammy has cost the NI tax payer now that his ill advised ministerial statement, which allowed planning policy to be overturned for economic reasons, has been declared illegal by the courts? Not only will the DoE have to pick up the tab for the Judiial review, but may face further bills if challenges are mounted against all those planning applications approved under this illegal statement.

    How’s about a wee FOI request DG?

  • White Horse


    The Republic is getting a new settlement today. The lunatics will have little or no influence on its future.

    The North needs to continue with the peace to ultimate self-sufficiency. Its dependency, both business and private, is heavily reliant on the morality of conflict.

  • mopphead

    Tom Elliott in the Assembly on Monday, challenging a Sinn Fein MLA: “… is he not, at this stage, pleased that we are not part of an all-Ireland state that is going down the tubes financially and politically? I am sure that he is, for once, pleased to be part of a Northern Ireland that is part of the United Kingdom.”
    Smug enough for you?

  • qwerty12345

    Good old Tom, lets hope his pensioner pals from Ballinamallard have difficulty finding a space in the Enniskillen ASDA car park this xmas, because southern money is about all Fermanagh has going for it.

  • Johnny Boy

    I don’t feel any smugness about ROIs current troubles, but no matter how you cut it, NI will always be better off economically being British.

  • jfcb

    Northern Ireland is bailed out every single year by westminister ,left to it’s own devices it would sink instantly – the population of England cheering as it sinks – hopefully washing away all the small minded sectarian bigots.

  • jfcb

    Northern Ireland is a leech on the uk – it’s a cripple in a union Jack waist coat – cap in hand beggar to west minister.

  • Comrade Stalin

    We being them, they being us. You might disagree with that, dislike, or even, God help us, given the slabbering volume of fantasists on Slugger, deny it, but it remains unquestionably the point of Unionism.

    “We” receive a £5bn subvention from “them”, the people who pay for it out of their taxes. “them” in this context being the City of London and the south of England.

    It’s certainly very convenient for unionism, but is it the point ? I’d like to think there is more to it than that, and certainly something more compelling for the other participants in the union called upon to cough up the cash.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    How delightful, and sincerely honest on your part, that you’d ‘like to think’ that there’s more to unionism than ‘that’: there’s loads! heaps! I’m suprised after a lifetime spent in Norn Iron you haven’t heard any of us tell you about it. It’s almost as if you weren’t listening, or possibly, just possibly, haven’t cared to listen because your mind was long ago made up. But keep on pretending to be open-minded: truly our wee pravince wouldn’t be the same without you. Bigoted liberals: “only in Ulster”.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Now, now, plainly we’d be better off leaving the Union, Right Now, and entering a a 32 county Irish Republic. Just *think* on how much better off we’d be. And as for the Free State! They’d be *even* better off. Given how solid the economic arguments are for nationalism it must be sectarianism pure and simple that keeps us unionists so hopelessly blinkered. I pity us, I really do.

  • D

    The smarmy, idiotic, smugness of certain posters on this forum is embarrassing. They fail to see that the reason the UK has bailed out the Republic is because if Ireland fails it drags the UK crashing into the abyss with it, due to the amount of British exports bought by Irish customers and the huge sums of money UK banks have invested there. In essence Eire holds the UKs economic health in its hands (got them by the balls, if you wish). The Brits had no choice but to help Ireland. Certain posters also ignore (or missed, probably due to their own stupidity) that the UK is estimated to be debt to the tune of £1 trillion, with other estimates closer to £4 trillion. With deficits like that a UK bailout in the near future is a distinct possibilty. But please, don’t let me stop the unionist fantasy that Britian is just helping those poor stupid southerners out of the kindness of their hearts and that Northern Ireland will be prosperous forever more!

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Now stop it, everyone! All those repeated assertions about the Perpetual Prosperity of the Sixlet: no more! There have been simply nozens and nozens of them on this thread, and D doesn’t want to have to read another none. Meanwhile, let’s just sit back and admire Baldrick’s, sorry, I mean, the Republic’s cunning, ball-cupping plan. I don’t know which aspect of it was smarter: not having any money themselves and needing to ask other folk for it, or, ensuring that the other folk – who are even worse off them, as D reminds us – somehow do. Despite being even worse off. Cunning isn’t the word.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    The economic arguments in favour of a unitary 32 county, ideally Marxist, Irish Republic are now so overwhelming that I hereby declare that it has already happened. It must have done. No one could possibly stand in the way of so much self-evident common sense. A nation once again! Danke schön und gute nacht!

  • D

    L (T) U,

    Hmmmmm……. post after post of sarcastic tripe and a reference to Blackadder? Are you the comic book nerd from the simpsons? ”Worst. post. ever!”

    Such mountains of cynicism and delight in others misfortune tends to be the mark of an angry loner. Take the keyboard off your lap mate, clear away the used pizza boxes from your front door and come out into the light. Get some colour into your pasty skin and engage with some ‘real’ people. You might find your brand of humour can get old. Fast.

  • White Horse

    A laughing unionist?

    That must be why there’s all those marches.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “Northern Ireland is bailed out every single year by westminister”

    As is Scotland, the North East, Merseyside, Wales etc.
    It’s called a fiscal union.
    RoI was not part of a fiscal union with unfortunate consequences.

  • Neil

    Laughing? I doubt it, bile tends to interfere with a good old giggle. Let him spout shite and ignore him, a reasoned debate is clearly far beyond his intellectual means (you can tell by the thoughtless spamming on this page, do you think you’d ever be able to say something to him that he wouldn’t have an answer to?). Retards also laugh.

    And given his steamrollering over the fact that the British are in debt to a tune of four times the Irish debt and his party of choice has just fallen 2 points behind in the ICM poll before the cuts even start to bite, and his ingenious party is aping the Irish approach of savage cuts (as they’ve been proven such a success over the border) one can safely assume come the next general election our Tory Unionist friend won’t be laughing for some time.

  • jfcb

    the uk would love to get rid of northern ireland – it costs them a fortune every year – for what – the English tax payers despise proping up northern ireland

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I fear with this doleful offering, poor D’s shivering hands no longer squeeze any balls at all.

  • JJ Malloy

    Yes. I find him fascinating, at times courageous and at others disgusting… he obviously was stuck in the 1800s in terms of his opinions on imperialism and his racism. But I couldn’t think of a better man for the job he found himself in in Jun 1940.

    BTW Why do you loathe that quote? Overuse?

    I think it is one of his better ones. There could be an earthquake that destroyed half of Europe and somehow the same old hatreds would manifest themselves in Ulster in the aftermath.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I’ll always have this thread. Unless we have to give it to the Germans. Mind you – and I’m say nuffin, merely noticing it, that’s all – we’ve thus far had a swipe at “cripples” and now at “retards”. I’m beginning to worry that a return to poverty is taking Oireland back to some of her sorrier habits. Watch out teenage mums, there’s laundries coming yer way!

  • jfcb

    the uk is bailing out the republic of Ireland becuase it is in the uks long term interest – as for northern ireland – the uks long term interest is to be rid of it –

  • Neil

    Well LTU strictly speaking I wasn’t intending on having a go at retards just pointing out that they do laugh quite a lot and usually at not very much, but now realise having used the word retard in the same paragraph as criticising your pish sense of humour some might take it that a comparison had been made.

    As such I offer my unreserved apologies to any morons out there for that slight, most of them are nothing like yourself and fine people with much to offer.

    I’ll be making a point of not responding to anything you type from here on in so fill your boots big son, needless to say I’ve enjoyed your ‘joke’ as that’s as apt a description for LTU as we’re likely to get.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Quite right Neil, off you scuttle and earn some pfennigs. The retards, btw, will be happy to hear that you love them. Well the retards here in the North. Presumably in the South you’re having to leave them on hillsides again?

  • Driftwood

    I wonder if Howard Flight had ‘retards’ in mind when he made the mistake as Lord Young in saying what he thinks?

    Can anyone guess the name of another peer who-back in the day- said the massive discrimination in employment and allocation of public housing for Catholics existed because “they breed like rabbits and multiply like vermin”.

    Good company those ermine clad folks.

  • jfcb

    lets get back on thread – the Republics bank collapse very obviously brings out a great deal of smugness – from laughing tory unionist + your comments are now making little sense

  • qwerty12345

    Hi JJ,

    Apart from overuse I hate the quote because it’s basically a lazy arrogant British absolution from involvement – “their quarrel” – I also dont like the obvious allusion that the basis of “their quarrel” is religious. It also I think betrays his opinion of Unionists as much as Nationalists.

    When you think that this pearl of wisdom dropped from the mouth of a man who was pretty horribly racist and talked about empires that would last a thousand years you come to the conclusion that the bloated oul fart had some cheek ever opening his mouth.

    Oh, and he got my great grandfather killed at Gallipoli.

  • Mark

    Just got out of hospital ( got circumsized , would not recommend it even to laughing (tory) unionist ) . Spite is a horrible trait !

  • Alanbrooke


    so basically the English hate NI
    the people in the Republic hate NI
    the people in NI hate each other

    but everyone wants to fight over it.

  • Dr Concitor

    Has anyone pointed out the striking similarity between you and a well known failed TUV candidate(E.Belfast) an erstwhile poster on this site? Are you related? I think we should be told.

  • JJ Malloy

    Can’t disagree….Good answer.

  • JJ Malloy

    Oh….and of course it was his own father who coined “Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right”

  • jfcb

    the first three parts speak a lot of truth.
    but everyone wants to fight over it – not so
    the only people left squabaling are the people in the north of Ireland – every one else is walking away having had enough

  • jfcb

    “its called fiscal union”
    an english man in london calls it sponging ,
    if all of ireland was part of the fiscal union it would be called far two much sponging

  • “It seems that the basis of your union with Britain is that they pay for your obnoxiousness here to the Irish and Catholics and Nationalists”

    Do you mean that DLA payments in West Belfast are a sort of reparation?

  • Glencoppagagh

    We are but a region of the UK not a sovereign state as the RoI formerly was, and if you care to check the historical statistics you will find that the subvention is very much the creature of direct rule.

  • Erasmus

    I remember my father, awed by its farsightedness, recounting that quote……in 1969.

  • Erasmus

    ”the people in the Republic hate NI”

    Not true. We pine after our separated Northern brethren. Honest.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Mmm – I suspect that GA is going into Louth in the hope of getting enough seats to be a partner in the next Dail – and if he does perhaps his cunning plan is to withdraw the 4 -5 billion propping up of the property market here by NAMA. This will cause more damage to the economy of the six counties and Britain than any amount of bombing ever did. The British will have a higher price than the loan from which they will profit to pay.

    So let us hope that the loan given to Dublin serves its purpose and that Dublin continues to underwrite the basket case economy of the six counties

  • mopphead

    This looks a bit on the smug side from Sammy Wilson, What do you think pinni?

  • “If the pro-development lobby had had its way here, ghost estates could now be an all-Ireland phenomenon.”

    David, the developers haven’t gone away, you know, and Portballintrae has a rather ghostly appearance in the wintertime.