Shane Greer awakens a hornet’s nest over NI’s £7 billion annual ‘dig out’ from England

Just been listening to Shane Greer getting it in the neck on the Nolan Show… It was extraordinary, for the amount of raw abuse he took for, wait for it, his mid Atlantic accent… He had to go early to catch a business flight to DC… Here’s some quotes from callers:

“Nolan is mad for having you on… You need to take lessons in speech.. All Americans are stupid anyway”

“Your accent is not like any American accent I have ever heard… It’s because you are ashamed of where you come from…”

And more on the topic of conversation (the £7 billion subvention from HM Treasury), from ‘Robert’:

“England owes us and they will have to pay to rectify it. Until the people are united whether you like it or not”.

Several things strike me:

  • Some of this ill-tempered reaction may have arisen from the shock of being aggressively presented with the raw facts of Stormont’s deeply embedded parent-child relationship with Westminster;
  • How inadvisable it is to completely lose your accent when you leave if you want anyone to listen to what you have to say when you come home (and that goes for the pub as well as the TV or Radio);
  • There is something in this smouldering English resentment at being paymasters for the Union that is serving to fuel emotional fires that have always been there culturally, but now have political impetus, certainly in Scotland where the Tory gloves have been off for some time.

And what’s fascinating too is that he was getting it in the neck from everyone, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter…

So, my hmmm… at the end of yesterday’s post is not so much aimed at the coherence of Shane’s economic argument (let the private sector grow), so much as whether the new Conservatives actually care about the political life of the United Kingdom any more, or is the electoral reality forcing them to act as the England only party they have been for more than a generation now?

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  • Old Mortality

    As you seem to be acquainted with Shane Greer, can you tell us if his mid-Atlantic accent is purely an affectation, or has be lived in the US for any length of time. If the former, I would find him deeply irritating as well.
    I speak from experience since I once had to work alongside a man who happened to be married to an American resident in the UK. He had never been to the US for longer than a few weeks holiday but on the strength of that he affected a mid-Atlantic drawl and insisted on using American slang and pronunciation. I wince at the recollection.

  • Hello Mr Fealty

    What’s with the pratice of opening a new thread or multiple threads for an already existing topic. This is the latest example as there is already open:- Is Northern Ireland really a corporate beggar?

    Is some sort of productivity performance indicator being massaged here?

    Are you subconsciously emulating the NIAO where the quantity of recommendations is more important than the quality?

    Do you love clean white paper as well?


  • Cynic2

    Aye shoot the messenger.

    Problem is that he is right. I run a business here. About a third of staff are fantastic. A third do their job and are fine – we can ask no more of them. The remaining third demonstrate just the problems Shane refers to.

    For them work is a brief and distasteful interlude between periods of benefit. They are poorly motivated no matter what we do. Some want to spend all day on smoke breaks or their phone or both. Others are just totally unreliable. We are about to fire another one because for the second time in three weeks he just ‘forgot’ to come in to work. When we managed to track him down on the day it was clear that he was drunk or stoned – at 3pm

    Every time we advertise for staff we get applicants asking ‘can I subcontract’ or ‘any chance of cash in hand’ – a firm ‘No’ and you never hear from them again. If we use the JobCentre for an advert we get a report from them afterwards asking us for feedback on perhaps 10 to 20 ‘candidates’ who have sworn that they have applied but been rejected. We have never heard of 80% of them.

    You can blame us for selecting some of these staff but they come with good qualifications – it’s an attitude problem and it seems to be deeply ingrained. It runs through a significant part of the population on all sides of the community. Anyone who works is regarded as a mug. The assumption is that you can milk the state for everything or work in the black economy and not pay tax.Doing the double is de rigeur

    We need to face it. England or Ireland (or the US or China) owes us nothing and if they can take our jobs and our profits they will. They have their own children to feed and their own problems.

    Some of our politicians are starting to slowly realise this but not, I fear, fast enough.

  • perseus

    confused as thought it was £12 billion
    whatabout the lowering of corp tax?
    is this happening?

    I suppose from a british POV, NI are the neighbours from Hell,
    all on social security, anti-social , DLA ponces etc
    you don’t want em, but are stuck with em;
    and by gollies does it cost alot to keep em.

  • dwatch

    Shane Greer & Steven Nolan are two of kind. Both have Masters Degrees at SH!T STIRRING and I love me who do you love. What amazes me is the mugs who keep promoting their narcissistic personality disorder in the media.

  • Mick Fealty


    Just site search Slugger for NI Water, and you’ll get the idea. Now try and behave yourself. Or be quiet if you have nothing to add.

  • I add,for the most part, whimsy. It seems, in addition to your many talents, you can do grumpy as well. Every diamond is flawed.

  • Dilettante

    We’re at least an England and Wales party, give us some credit, and there are plenty of committed Unionists in the Conservative Party yet.

  • Neil

    Nolan’s show. My God where to start. The people who screen the callers obviously delight in digging out the most unrepresentative people around. Taking today’s example the ‘all Americans are stupid’ lady rang in to say Steffan was talking utter shit (I paraphrase). Then when another lady rang in and said ‘I agree utterly with Steffan’ the ‘Americans are stupid’ lady said ‘yeah well I agree with her, but not with him’. So a walking talking paradox then.

    The same thing when they discussed the Red Hand on Black Mountain idea. The callers range in to say ‘Who needs public art anyway?’& ‘Why isn’t it representative of the area?’ So we’re talking art to people who don’t get art and would prefer a to scale model of the place where they’re actually standing, like a three dimensional map.

    On Greer’s point, some good counter arguments there, like all the tax lifted by Asda, Sainsbury’s, English/Scottish banks is not counted as money raised in NI.

    But the most basic point is the fact that in any country the cities generally provide subvention to the rural areas. The rich pay towards the poor. That’s just how it is. In Britain they have forced these various areas together as an entity for their own benefit. If NI were part of ROI (as nature intended) then Dublin would be paying for us, just as they pay for villages in Donegal, just as London pays for the upkeep of villages in Scotland and currently NI. The problem is of their own making, if they hadn’t decided that they had to take Ireland for their own (military primarily) gain, they wopuldn’t be paying for it now. If they’d stayed in their own borders they’d only have to pay for the villages in England and that would suit us fine.

    Greer’s argument boils down to ‘we’ve taken what we wanted but the benefit is now not what it once was, so we’d like to stop paying for it.’ OK, then remove your claim and begone. Otherwise, you broke it, you bought it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Old Mortality,

    At risk of inviting people to further play the man rather than the ball, I’ve known Shane for about six years, and in all that time his accent has not changed.

    My father worked in Robinson’s for 25 years in the 40s and 50s. He used to first port of call for people from ‘home’ after landing in the GNR station across the road.

    I remember him talking about one old friend of his calling in with barely more than the clothes he stood in. Then ‘six months’ later, a Yank walking in in new suit, American cigarettes calling him ‘Mick’ and offering him a smoke.

    It took my dad a second or two to work out this was the same poor Donegal lad he’d seen only a few months before.

    I don’t think it’s affectation. There are oul lads from Galway living in the Bronx who speak the same way they did when they left home sixty years before, and ones who lose the accent almost within months.

    I think it is something to do with age of leaving and the degree of assimilation you engage in with the overseas community you embed in.

  • otto

    It does make you look a bit of a dick though

    Liam Neeson gets it just right and Jimmy Nesbitt wildly overcompensates

    If you really have to talk to English people just slow down and enunciate. You may need to turn down the volume as well as they’re delicate and our accent alarms them but that has the added benefit of making you less high pitched.

    No need to start talking like Hyacinth Bucket

  • “Some of this ill-tempered reaction may have arisen from the shock of being aggressively presented with the raw facts ..”

    Never mind the reaction, go back and listen to Greer’s contribution on Friday’s Nolan. A Conservative boot-boy approach to, essentially, NI public servants – beggar, beggar, beggar – was bound to generate a reaction. It also flies in the face of a lesson he apparently learned while he was growing up here:

    I was fiddling with the radio at the time, and I remember a politician coming on. I can’t remember who it was, but he was talking about the situation and how we had to calm it down – de-escalate. That reinforced the importance of dialogue and engagement, rather than the adversarial process I could see unfolding in front of me.

    I’ve never really taken much interest in Northern Irish politics, or even Northern Ireland, necessarily. But that event really reinforced the importance of dialogue and democratic debate.

    Can we assume that he would call Londoner’s beggars too seeing as they receive significantly more per head of the population than those who live in England’s South-East region? Or is he London-based?

  • Mick Fealty

    Only at home. In broadcast terms, John Cole was the master.

  • nightrider

    reading through Harold Wilson’s ‘spongers’ speech, the subsidy in 1974 was £ 300million. So we’ve become quite a burden since then, even allowing for inflation. Compare that *annual* £7 billion with the republic’s IMF bailout. And NI is less than a third the size of RoI.
    This subsidy seems to get very little coverage in the MSM.

  • Obelisk

    Between the SNP’s march for Scottish Independence and the increasing resentment in England at bankrolling the rest of the UK, part of me wonders if blogs such as these with their comment sections will prove an invaluable resource to future historians over the breakup of the United Kingdom.

    I mean devolution as introduced by Labour over a decade ago was supposed to kill the Scottish Independence movement, not put it in the position where their final goal is within tantalising reach and where political and economic factors on both sides of the borders are pushing them further apart.

    And if Scotland leaves, what is the United Kingdom but England +appendages? The English will still have to pump billions into grumbling Celtic lands, something which probably won’t be a vote winner. And the Celts won’t appreciate it for the most part.

    You see, it’s the wider context that disproves Alex Kane’s repeated notions that Unionism in the north has somehow ‘won’. (Personally I believe it has stalemated with Irish Nationalism) because he seems to always looks at the North in a vacumn separate from the rest of the UK (which is an ironic position for a Unionist to hold, although to be fair the circumstances of Unionism here are much different than in Scotland or England).
    The battle is out of our hands here and it has moved to Edinburgh. If Alex Salmond succeeds (and he very well may) he will fundamentally reshape the nature of Unionism throughout these islands.

    In a situation where England is overwhelmingly dominant over Wales and Northern Ireland, devolution will become ever more important so that we can safeguard our own interests. Maybe both legislatures will demand more powers, reducing England’s role to merely paymaster to two regions who will jealously guard their powers.

  • nightrider
  • Turgon

    Re accents. A lot of it has to do with ear for music. People who are musical tend to pick up accents much faster and smeem to loose their accents faster. Clearly some people deliberately try to loose or not loose their accents or afect ones they do not have.

    I think, however, in most people it is not a concious thing. Also we get used to accents not from here if we are used to the person. No one complains that Martina Purdy has an American accent (quite rightly as she is an excellent political journalist).

  • vanhelsing

    Have to say I heard part of the programme on the way into work and was frankly appalled at the treatment of Shane Greer by some of the people [from across the communities] in NI. My favourite perhaps was the lady who was so fond of generalities whilst personally critiquing his accent as being stupid and he couldn’t talk proper. Needless to say her own tenses and grammar left a great deal to be desired.

    Other notables were that only one caller seemed to understand basic economics and partially raised the question regarding the centralised collection of taxes through HM Treasury.

    A further point that wasn’t mentioned is that the London Metro area generates about 30% of the UK’s GDP per year. . In effect London PLC subsidies every other part of the UK. Shane talked much about the handouts from England. Perhaps he should have talked about the handouts from London PLC to every other region in England as well as Northern Ireland.

    One final comment – clearly some of the contributors were from a nationalist / republican persuasion talking about the past sins of England, colonialism, the 6 counties – the usual. These were the most vociferous about the obligation of ‘England’ to pay its way as we were as entitled to the money as any other region. Yet their political ambitions lie far away from their puerile financial argument. The South will NEVER be able to afford us and if it weren’t for the mainland [with its handouts] we’d be in a real pickle.

    As mentioned in a previous thread and I have the maths if anyone is interested the tax payers in ROI would be looking at a hike in the region of 25% to their income tax to go some distance to the economic equivalence of the Barnett subsidy. Or a more simple equivalence imagine the current ROI recovery plan going on infinitum – except 30% worst.

    Imagine if Gerry and Martin got their way and tomorrow Cameron said ‘ Enda see those 6 counties they are all yours – enjoy yourself’ – how exactly would SF plan to fill the 7.5 billion pound gap left by the extrication of the Barnett Funding? We haven’t even felt the full effects of the current cut in NI yet! Two years into the project those SF voters who couldn’t get operations in hospitals because the list had extended by a year, whose social security had been cut by 75%, who couldn’t get a job because unemployment had risen by 15%, whose children were in class sizes of 40+ and were travelled 20 miles to their primary school – they be whining to get back into UK PLC.

    So I’d like [and I’ve asked for it before on 3 different economic threads on Slugger] someone who believes in the UI project to come up with the economic case for it.

    We’ve never had it so good…:)

  • otto

    Three key numbers needed for this discussion

    1. Basis for the block grant – does NI get more per head than elsewhere under Barnett. I’ve read elsewhere that as we have a growing populatio we get less than we oughta.

    2. Basis for the “tax take”. As corporations don’t provide a regional activity breakdown for their taxes there is no way to allocate a percentage of nationwide firms’ UK profits to NI operations and very few pay their taxes at the NI tax office. Same for employees and PAYE. I imagine that the PAYE office for Stephen Nolan is White City or wherever the BBC does its payroll. Does that make Stephen Nolan a subvention? Do NI citizens pay less for their BBC licenses?

    3. Percentage of the population in private sector work. This is the only one we can get any figures for and even these are pretty rubbish as they’re the National Statistics figures which are filled out by the latest joiner to the finance dept if at all. Again you need to be careful – NI Water isn’t private but it does the same job as a private Water firm in GB. Same for Translink, bits of Road Service etc.

    Bottom line is it’s impossible to know what if any net subsidy we really receive but A) it’s a lot less than £7Bn and B) the percentage public employment numbers are overstated as a result of lower privatisation here.


    We could spend our grant much better and we certainly don’t need to pay GB average wages to NI employees to compete with wages in the wider, private economy, so a bit more of the grant should be building productive infrastructure.


    I was born, raised and educated in NI but went to GB for university and paid all my taxes there (higher rateexcept right at the start) for a couple of decades before a bout of madness and romanticism brought me back again. I’ve never been in hospital or prison and I’m pretty sure my fuel tax paid for my bit of road use so I’m counting my entire contribution to the UK exchequer to date as a subvention from NI to the lazy south east english whinger.

  • “If you really have to talk to English people just slow down and enunciate.”

    It may well depend on which English people you’re talking to, Otto. How intelligible are they to one another? Also, how intelligible are we to one another here? In his later years my father was hard-of-hearing – a family inheritance. We were in conversation with a neighbour who spoke very fast and in short phrases – possibly in Ulster-Scots. I explained my father’s problem and Jim replied, “Aveonlygotonespeed, Nevn”.

  • Mac

    “A vibrant private sector economy” was a phrase that Mr Greer used an awful lot.
    What qualifies as private sector?
    Capita opposite city hall? Fujitsu? Northgate Information Service owned by KPG venture capitalists? Or any of the other dozens of ‘private sector’ companies here that employ people in generally well paid jobs that can best be described as tape worms in sacred cows.

    I’n one way I’m surprised at the amount of coverage Mr Greer gets, pointing out that NI gets a lot in a block grant is hardly a revelation, coming across as smarter and smugger than the average caller on this mornings Nolan show is not difficult by any stretch of the imagination, coming up with suggestions beyond sound bites is another matter entirely. The Nolan show is Jeremy Kyle with a little bit of politics half the time, and emotional porn the rest.

    Mr Greer’s real ‘talent’ seems to be for publicity, but posting something controversial on the interwebz is not exactly a rare talent these days.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    There is no question about whether not the Conservative supports NI he has been unequivocal about his position and remains so.

    There is however no desire to continue with the status quo without a plan to address the situation that we are now in.

  • perseus

    the railways in ireland are virtually 1/2 of what they were in 1920.
    get the fat baldy DLA slugs to rebuild them,
    say Derry to Sligo, save alot of money in benefits
    grow those areas, esp for tourism
    there’s a start for irish unity econmy.

  • DC

    Perhaps the BBC needs to look at how much it pays presenters such as Nolan and then the subvention might be less – or more public money diverted towards better causes, than into Nolan’s hands and out into property!

  • Neil

    And all the cash he spends on grub in Sainsbury’s all ends up being counted in head office and more tax taken for England.

  • vanhelsing


    Point taken but as you say it’s just a start:) Just to further elucidate my point – clearly I have no problems with parties campaigning for a UI. I have many friends who hold those views – my issue is more with SF who talk about referendums like it’s happening tomorrow and then campaign on the basis of that. Although I would expect nothing less from any political party it is disingenuous to say ‘let’s have a UI – it will be great’ without putting the entire case. I’d prefer them to say ‘let’s have a UI and your standards of living and the new GDP Per Capita of ‘Ireland’ will bottom out – they’ll be massive unemployment and the public sector will be shot to hell’. That is in fact their policy.
    I suppose we could save some money on Stormont and reduce the civil servants and ‘special advisors’ at least to a level that is comparable with the President of the USA..

  • qwerty12345

    Perseus what the hell is a DLA ponce?

    Also since you seem to know something about disability living allowance “fat baldy DLA slugs” perhaps you could explain the governments own figures on abuse of this benefit. If i remember rightly they put abuse at being around 1%.

    Of course even someone like myself who has worked in that field will admit that there IS abuse but I’d be very interested to hear your response sans the bile ( it makes you look like a tool)

  • Skinner

    otto – excellent post!

  • HeinzGuderian

    Nolan is the latter day equivalent of putting someone in the stocks,and inviting passersby to throw rotten vegetables. Utter dross.

    That unprovoked attack by querty pays no relation to the ball whatsoever. Step up and play the ball sir,I beseech you !!

  • qwerty12345

    When people can get away with referring to others as slugs and ponces it hardly does much for debate does it?

  • qwerty12345

    It’s funny when unionists greatest defence of Northern Ireland is “No one one else could afford us we are such an utter basket case”

    At least they are being honest.

  • USA

    I think it is something to do with age of leaving and the degree of assimilation you engage in with the overseas community you embed in.

    I totally agree. If an individual remains in strong contact with an “Irish community” when abroad, or works with other Irish folks, I think this can also serve to maintain the Irish accent longer.

    Speaking of Robinsons, I walked in there about 8 years ago. Sitting at the bar waiting for a friend, ordered my drink. The young girl behind the bar asked me what part of America I was from. It was like she had run a sword through my heart. But 24 years is a long time away. I would say I also have a “mid-Atlantic” accent now.

    One thing I have noticed with some people in Ireland is a virulent anti-American sentiment. I have seen it here on Slugger and for the first time last month when an old friend, much the worse for beer, made some overt (and unneccessarily detrimental) remarks about the US. Part of it is America’s fault yes, but most of it is just down to an ignorance of American society. Also the media has a habit of finding people who are on the perifory of US society, and portraying them as the American norm. I guess it feeds into the “stupid” stereotype and makes people in Ireland feel superior. Another big thing is I think the folks at home can often miss the American sense of humor. IMHO many times this is interpreted incorrectly as “stupidity”.

    I can assure you the Americans are by no means all stupid. By and large they are a very industrious, hard working, creative and yes, intelligent lot. Well my two kids are anyway 🙂

  • Mick Fealty


    I think it was a failed attempt at humour.


    This is a forum for serious conversation.

  • HeinzGuderian
  • vanhelsing

    qwerty12345 – It’s funny when unionists greatest defence of Northern Ireland is “No one one else could afford us we are such an utter basket case”

    Q – I could make a strong qualitative case but in this instance I prefer to point out the irony in others and the outstanding quantitative arguement.

  • qwerty12345

    HG, yeah I read it all right. You could argue all day about the level of subsidy, but the fact that NI IS heavily subsidised is pretty much beyond doubt.

    A cynic might say that its an institutional scrounge much worse than any “dla ponce” or “slug” could ever pull off.

  • perseus

    my bad mick, qwerty
    my point really is that we’ve been through and lived in worse times,
    if the enthusiasm is there all shades of irishmen
    can come together and make the island prosperous.
    we are pioneers folks, remember
    I’ve a particular passion for trains;
    grew up in Dun Loaghaire. by the tracks

  • HeinzGuderian

    If you look at it that way Q,you could say the whole planet is scrounging off one another.
    I mean to say,is there a Country who ISN’T in debt to the IMF or the World Bank ?

    Northern Ireland is subsidised by England. Your solution would be a ui,be subsidised by Europe,The IMF,World Bank ……………..and Dublin ??

    I don’t listen to Radio Ulster. I prefer BBC Radio 4………….the rantings of a felow called Shane is highly unlikely to change that. 😉

  • Somebody should tell this guy, that it is the price they pay for colonization. Had the English in the past, distant past, stayed in their own back yard, they would not be in this position.

  • Old Mortality

    The size of the subvention is very much a consequence of the direct rule years. If you care to examine the accounts of the old Stormont government, you will find that the subvention consisted mainly of subsidies to maintain social security payments at the same level as the rest of the UK. Under direct rule, the NI public sector was used as a job creation scheme and the executive has been left with the bloated legacy. You could argue against Mr Greer that the current mess is the responsibilty of successive direct rule administrations and that Westminster ought to have culled the public sector ahead of devolution. Of course, the precious process would probably not have survived such tough love.

  • lamhdearg

    Anyone that listens to nolan ( more that once) needs there lid felt.

  • lamhdearg

    Off subject, or is it,
    Asil nadir is to receive legal aid.
    now that is begging.

  • qwerty12345

    HG wrote: “Northern Ireland is subsidised by England. Your solution would be a ui,be subsidised by Europe,The IMF,World Bank ……………..and Dublin ??”

    Alas I dont have a solution.

    “I don’t listen to Radio Ulster. I prefer BBC Radio 4………….the rantings of a felow called Shane is highly unlikely to change that”

    What passes for daytime entertainment on Radio Ulster can be pretty bloody dire apart from Anderson who can still surprise with a rude quip or two.

    Radio 4 is grand, the World Service even better.

  • Henry94

    There ca never be an economic case for a united Ireland as long as the Republic is in the eurozone. Fortunately that won’t last. The problem for both parts of the island is to create jobs in the private sector and you can only do that by being competitive. NI is prevented from being competitive by being in the Sterling zone. The subsidy from London is compensation for that.

    In the south the real Celtic Tiger started when we broke with Sterling. It turned into a property bubble when we joined the euro. A united Ireland with its own currency would succeed economically. But so would a partitioned Ireland with two currencies.

    But getting out of Sterling will be harder for the north. So the economic case for unity has to be based on re-launching the Punt and sticking with it. Eventually the south would be able to match the British subsidy but also offer a way to replace it with genuine prosperity.

    Of course other policies matter a lot too and would have to be right but the currency is key.

  • andnowwhat

    How intelligent is Nolan.

    Well, during handover to Gerry Anderson (after Nolan had been in the south covering QEII’s visit) Nolan stated that he was “down in Ireland”.

    Anderson is still in shock at such stupidity

  • I’m sorry I missed that, a.n.w. Nolan’s always good for an unintentional laugh. btw Faroe Islands sent a warning shot to Nigel over next month’s match.

  • qwerty It would be a good one if the six counties of England [Home Counties] seceded and went independent from the UK and they would be able to without the rest of England never mind the UK.

  • andnowwhat

    Will anyone save us from the professional contrarians, the Shane Greers, Ruth Dudley Edwards, David Vances of this world?

    It has become tiresome and only the foolish, such as the callers to Nolan, fall for it any more.

  • Mick Fealty

    From Twitter:

    “Why, in this @SluggerOToole thread, does nobody pause to ask what the subvention from SE of Eng is to elsewhere in UK”

  • vanhelsing

    🙂 Slow learners eh Mick? Hope my first post deals with the matter although I referred to it as London Metropolitan Area which encompasses ‘Greater London’ and brings in 30% [slightly more] of UK GDP.

    In fact the subvention then supports all regional areas of the UK including geographic areas of England.

  • HeinzGuderian

    1. Basis for the block grant – does NI get more per head than elsewhere under Barnett. I’ve read elsewhere that as we have a growing populatio we get less than we oughta.

    Otto has that covered.

    Sterling and the Euro caused the republics downfall ? Really ? Here was me thinking it was inept politicians.

  • John Ó Néill

    If I was going to imitate being a smart-ass historian type, I’d point out that since the dismantling of the Irish fishing industry (to the advantage of that from Scotland) just after the Act of Union added to the long term trend of quashing Irish textile production, then the necessity of an east to west subsidy was always going to come home to roost (even across a couple of centuries).
    You then have to factor in the cost of duplicating services, disconnects in production, distribution and marketing that were caused by the creation of the border in the early twentieth century. Ironically, the Irish Free State (as was) traded a waiver for the pro rata transfer of British public debt in return for suppressing the Boundary Commission report, so it began with a clean financial slate, as did NI.
    Can it be so coincidental that there are failed economic entities on both sides of the border?

  • vanhelsing


    “You then have to factor in the cost of duplicating services, disconnects in production, distribution and marketing that were caused by the creation of the border in the early twentieth century”

    Are you advocating that ROI returns to the Commonwealth:)


  • Dewi

    “Slow learners eh Mick? Hope my first post deals with the matter although I referred to it as London Metropolitan Area which encompasses ‘Greater London’ and brings in 30% [slightly more] of UK GDP.

    In fact the subvention then supports all regional areas of the UK including geographic areas of England.”

    We pay £8bn a year to sudsidise their transport system, have our lottery spending slashed to pay for the London Olympics and CrossRail etc do not get Barnettised.

  • John Ó Néill

    VH – eh, no. Plan B…

  • HeinzGuderian

    Plan b is a non starter John.
    The vast majority of people don’t want it.
    Even if they did,who pays for it ? Sovereign ireland ?

  • Cynic2

    “Had the English in the past, distant past, stayed in their own back yard, they would not be in this position.”

    You assume that this country is yours. Where is the everything for that? The genetic evidence shows that we have all been sleeping with each other and genetically we are all one people – a mix of Norman, Scandinavian, Celt, Spanish and even north African. There is no genetic evidence of some once great Celtic nation that ruled these lands and from which you descend. It’s all nonsense dreamed up over years of story telling.

    So nobody owes you anything. If you want it, get out and work for it