Time for Ireland to align with London rather than Boston or Berlin?

It’s a brave taoiseach that would abandon years of coaxing investment from the US, to begin to cultivate a closer relationship with the British. You might say that one of the critical differences between Greece and Ireland is that Ireland’s export industries(seeded with US capital) have far outperformed its indigenous industries. Nonetheless, Paul Allen argues that:

…with our relationship with the UK stronger than ever, at last there can be open discussion about the possibility of joining the Commonwealth or ditching the Euro for Sterling, without cries of treason.

Indeed, the question is — why can proud, successful and powerful nations, such as Australia and Canada, have no problem when it comes to benefiting from the Commonwealth and the resulting deep economic ties with the UK while Ireland has for years balked at the very idea?

John Kay’s argument warning of the dangers of a Scottish pound pegged to the Bank of England would seem to apply. Fiscal rules will and must apply whichever currency you peg yourself to… A return to British fiscal rule may just be a line too far [unless, of course – Ed]…

  • constitutional publican

    “West Brit with post-colonial inferiority complaex that clearly watches too much SkyTV justifies anglophilia” – the Irish people are tired of these people…..

  • OneNI

    Brave man Paul Allen. Fair play to him.
    I see the diatribes have started

  • Greenflag

    Ditching the euro right now for sterling would be like jumping off the sinking Titanic and clutching on to the anchor instead of a lifebelt .

    It’s early days yet and ALL options should be considered even a temporary withdrawal from the Eurozone -but first the Greek tragedy has to be played out .The ‘new ‘conventional wisdom appears to be that whereas the Euro can survive a Greek or Irish or Portuguese exit/exits it would not survive Italian or Spanish exits . With unemployment now over 20% in some mediterranean economies and civil strife underway or mounting the political cost of remaining in the Eurozone for some of these countries may be a price that none of their politicians can afford .

    As for the Commonwealth ? Why not rejoin it anyway ? The more links we have with the outside world the better surely and for the sportspeople and educationalists it would broaden their options and opportunities .

    As for the Irish people being tired of the Anglophiles -that might be true of a minority but theres a much bigger number of Irish people who are and have more than good reason to be tired of our ‘elected ‘Hibernophiles’ who been running the country with their proverbial snouts in the trough for the last decade with all the forward planning and fiscal and economic nous of a retarded salamander 🙁

    sheeeeesh:(

  • Republic of Connaught

    I seen an article today that the north of Ireland remains the most heavily subsidised part of the UK.

    I don’t see the logic for rest of Ireland to go the same road of endless dependency on London.

  • pauluk

    I was looking for something smart to say to those who oppose the idea of the ROI rejoining/becoming part of the Commonwealth when I came upon this rather weird-looking map of Ireland. Another good reason in favour, I humbly suggest. 😉

  • andnowwhat

    As i have said elsewhere, the Republic needs to forget the waterwings of the past and look to the new buoyant economies around the world.

    GB has it’s it’s own problems, as does the US but this is the 21st century with all the emote technology and communication to make the world a smaller place.

    The Republic also needs real industrial jobs. I’m a big advocate of ensuring the thickest (an unkind term, I know) have jobs and the rest takes care of itself. Hell, the Republic could even, for once, have indigenous mass industry.

  • ayeYerMa

    Republic of Connaught, the south hasn’t recently had decades of Republican bombing systematically designed to destroy its economy. That will take time to recover from.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Ayeyerma,

    The subsidies will decrease as quickly as the peace walls.

  • andnowwhat

    Andyerma

    In 30 years, the provos never made Royal Avenue look the mess that dysfunctional business practices and astonishingly greedy (not to mention, short sighted) landlords have done.

    Mind you, from what I’ve seen on TV, that’s pretty much the same in all regional cities in GB

  • MrPMartin

    All countries have regional imbalances in net contribution to its treasury. In the US, Arkansas or Alabama would be net benificiaries of the US Treasury. Does anyone use this as an excuse to expel them from the Union?

    I’m afraid its the curse of the periphery. All nations have a poor periphery and the further one is from the capital, the poorer things are.

  • andnowwhat

    UK (and France among others) have just been put on “negative outlook” by one of the ratings agencies. Apparently this means they think there is a 1 in 3 chance of the UK losing it’s triple A status.

  • George

    Ah the incredibly lazy the Commonwealth is good for you argument trotted out yet again by someone who obviously hasn’t a clue what the Commonwealth has to offer because, surprise surprise, they don’t offer a single fact to back up the premise of their belief.

    We’ve had this time and again on Slugger, in fact it’s almost as popular as the football eligibility discussion.

    But, heh let’s ask the questions again in the hope of getting an answer from perhaps even Paul Allen, if he’s bothered reading this thread, or other fans of the Commonwealth.

    After all, surely at least he could back this belief of his up by showing how it has benefited others?

    To start, perhaps someone could show how we are lagging behind in our trade to India (or insert Commonwealth country of choice) in comparison to other Commonwealth members?

    Maybe someone could show how Commonwealth membership has boosted trade between members?

    Or it could be shown how Ireland’s absence from the Commonwealth for 60 years has restricted its own international dimension?

    In doing so, maybe it could be explained why the businessmen and women of Northern Ireland haven’t been going on Commonwealth trade delegations to India in recent years but instead have been forced to tag along on the ones the Irish Republic has organised and sent out.

    I also wouldn’t mind an answer as to why the business people of Northern Ireland looked to the Irish Republic when they wanted to forge better business links with Canada.

    Perhaps I could be told how many times NI businessmen and women have gone to Africa in a Commonwealth capacity and explain why this has achieved more than the delegations that went from the Republic?

  • FuturePhysicist

    From the person who brought you …
    http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/allens-ireland/cutting-irish-celebritys-pay-could-be-damaging-to-irelands-fragile-psyche-133873053.html

    I’m sorry if this is “playing the man” here, but I don’t see the benefit of joining the Commonwealth.

    Does the UK not have its own financial problems…?

    Is it helping Malta or Cyprus compete better than Ireland in global markets…?

  • weidm7

    A really very silly idea for the reasons outlined above, if nationalists are delusional in expecting a united Ireland, unionists are just as delusion to expect the south to join the commonwealth, do we really want to join a club alongside the mighty, stable, prosperous nations of The Gambia, Pakistan, Rwanda and Dominica?

    Do we expect the Irish debt crisis to be magically allievated when the British are going through a similar economic crunch and 40-50 years of membership hasn’t done much for a number of African countries.

    How often is commonwealth membership listed as the key reason for recent Indian economic growth?

    How about we shed our post-colonial inferiority complex, turn off the British TV, stop reading British newspapers and remember where we’re from?

  • weidm7,

    How about you stop speaking English?

    The Commonwealth is not an economic club. It is a cultural club, based around the English language. The closest international equivalent is the Francophonie, the club of French-speaking countries. Yes, the English language and British culture were exported by colonialism, but that’s water under the bridge. Ireland, like India, has always embraced foreign influences and made them its own. Many things that we think of as Irish came from elsewhere – the Commonwealth is merely a recognition of the fact.

    It always amuses me to see people dress up cultural arguments as economic straw men in order to knock them down. The same specious arguments that unionists use against the Irish language are being repeated on this thread by nationalists against the Commonwealth. Unfortunately Paul Allen has given them plenty of ammo by misrepresenting what the Commonwealth is about…

  • Greenflag

    weidm,

    ‘How about we shed our post-colonial inferiority complex, turn off the British TV, stop reading British newspapers and remember where we’re from?’

    Okay King Canute and while you are at it we’ll stop playing soccer and rugby and darts and holidaying on the Costa Del Sol and Cyprus and Malta .

    Some Commonwealth countries that are doing well i.e have faster economic growth rates than Ireland or Britain include Australia , Canada , New Zealand, India , Botswana , Ghana. Greece , Slovakia and Slovenia have their limitations as export markets at this time and I would’nt think many Spanish or Italian folk are exactly flathuil with the dosh these days .

    BTW ,

    Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent . You should’nt have consented now should you.

    .

  • Greenflag

    Futue physicist ,

    ‘Does the UK not have its own financial problems…?

    It does -the same if not worse than others and not so bad as some . There is more to life than economics despite what the masters of disaster in Wall St & the City of London would attest and it’s in the cultural and educational fields that commonwealth membership would have some benefits . Many Irish people have family ties in commonwealth countries and Australia is now the favoured ‘destination’ for those many young Irish people who have had their future working lives and prospects dragged out from under them by this international recession.

    Can’t do any harm which is perhaps not a comment that people might say these days about Eurozone membership given recent outcomes.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Andrew Gallagher (profile) 14 February 2012 at 11:26 am
    weidm7,

    How about you stop speaking English?

    The Commonwealth is not an economic club. It is a cultural club, based around the English language. The closest international equivalent is the Francophonie, the club of French-speaking countries. Yes, the English language and British culture were exported by colonialism, but that’s water under the bridge. Ireland, like India, has always embraced foreign influences and made them its own. Many things that we think of as Irish came from elsewhere – the Commonwealth is merely a recognition of the fact.
    ————————————————————————————–
    It’s a political club based around the crown, sure it has the occasional republics but essentially it gets status from the crown.

    I think Anglosphere is probably a bit of a bad terminology, Germany has more second tongue English speakers per head of population than the likes of Nigeria, and nearly 40% more than Canada. And why the hell are the likes of Ghana included when only 6% speak English?

  • FP,

    There are more republics than kingdoms in the Commonwealth. And the Crown has no status – QE2 is the current head, but in an individual capacity.

    Wikipedia is useful sometimes. I’m surprised more people don’t read it.

  • FuturePhysicist

    FP,

    There are more republics than kingdoms in the Commonwealth. And the Crown has no status – QE2 is the current head, but in an individual capacity.

    Wikipedia is useful sometimes. I’m surprised more people don’t read it
    —————————————————————————————

    There’s always a problem with open source data, but essentially the Crown as head of the Commonwealth obviously does have a key status.

    Not unsurprising that most are republics but I think the likes of the United States have managed quite well without it.

  • FP,

    The Crown is not the head of the Commonwealth. One person currently holds both offices, but they are separate offices.

    I take Wikipedia with a pinch of salt too, but it is a useful repository of links to more credible sources.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Head? Figurehead? I can barely care now.

  • ‘You shouldn’t have consented now…should you’

    Excellent point. You can just imagine the gloating from unionist politicians if the Republic did rejoin the CW. An economist on UTV news late seems to think the worstyt of the austerity will be behind Ireland by the end of this decade as the potential investors have confidence in it as seen by the chinese visit. Poor old grim Allister must be disappointed that the ‘basketcase ‘ he called the south, isn’t mentioned in the nightly euro crisis round up with the other bailed out countries. The investment friemnndly conditions down there will still hold when the world recession is over so all the talk of going back to the UK or commonwelth is just wishful thinking by unionists.They should look east instead…..and be very afraid.