How Stands the Republic? Grim verdicts at the MacGill summer school

 

During a visit to tropical Donegal a couple of weeks ago I picked up from Johnny Boyle in the Highlands Hotel this year’s programme for the Patrick MacGill summer school in Glenties, now just under way.  Instead of the usual summer school  diet of history, literature and nostalgia, for several years now,  in the programme’s own words –  “ especially since the sudden and brutal fall of the Celtic Tiger, the MacGill School has focused on reform of the institutions of the state – political, social and economic. And as the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising approaches, what better time is there to look at the republic which came about as a result of that event. “

“ How Stands the Republic?” is a comprehensive agenda for reviewing the  state of the Irish nation . Browse the agenda for yourself and join me in picking up reports in the Irish Times and elsewhere.

Diarmaid  Ferriter

The Government’s push to abolish the Seanad, rather than to seek reform of it, seemed to be a “grubby power-grab..  Those who seek to abolish the Seanad should be asked a simple question – have you learnt nothing about the dangers and consequences of the excessive centralisation and abuse of power in this State?”

“One of the chief causes of the contemporary crisis is the absence of alternative views and insufficient scrutiny of flawed decision-making,

, thejournal,ie

Eoghan Murphy  and he’s a Fine Gael TD!

The new people in politics will get frustrated and they will walk away and the ones who remain will eventually and unfortunately… be broken by the system and eventually forget why they got involved. Twenty or thirty years down the line we risk losing it all again

and of course  Fintan O’Toole

Partition, which was both inevitable and tragic, and produced perhaps two failed states, he said. “The North failed in obscene violence but the South failed in a slower fashion and the southern State has also lost legitimacy.”

He urged the summer school to look at the three pillars of democratic government and he suggest each was failing.

“The Dáil is not a legislature; it doesn’t initiate legislation, it is poor in its ability at accountability and it has got worse since the start of this crisis.

“Secondly, the legal system, which gets away with more than most. It has failed in relation to the crimes which have done most damage to society.

“No bishop has been prosecuted for facilitating child rape. There is systemic corruption of the planning system. There is complete failure of the justice system. People are not individually corrupt but there is systemic failure.”

All of then spoke after the Taoiseach’s opening address  but a more agile  mind might have done more to anticipate the avalanche of criticism than the boilerplate he offered.

In a few short months, Ireland will be the first Eurozone country to successfully emerge from a bailout programme. That will be an important moment for our country for many reasons, not least because to be a real republic, Ireland must be a sovereign republic.

Now is a good time to reflect on the sometimes painful steps we have already taken to retrieve our economic sovereignty, the challenges that remain; and the changes we need to make to ensure that our country will never be in this position again.

On my election as Taoiseach I set out my vision of this Republic.

That by the centenary of the 1916 Rising we can prove to world that we can be the best small country in the world in which to do business, to raise a family and to grow old with dignity and respect.

 

Not  a bad warm up for the rest of the week. Can the Coalition pull the  usual trick of politicians  and write off criticism as the ravings of mere intellectuals?

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  • Mick Fealty

    Brian,

    It’s well worth following live on the Donegal County Council webcast page… Currently there’s a session on governance in Denmark… http://www.donegalcoco.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts

  • Mick Fealty

    I should add there’s a speech coming up from Micheal Martin in the 8.30 session, which gets interesting after the ritual bashing of the government.

  • Ruarai

    Brian,

    don’t any of the Big Ticket topics have an international context and focus? (If so, can you list here?)

    One aspect of Irish behavior, north and south, that remains unaltered by partition and its manifestations over the subsequent century, is the regrettable tendency of writers who write in Ireland and of Ireland to assume they’re witnessing “Irish” events rather than the knock-on consequences of broader global forces.

    This is somewhat true about Europe in general, the level of introspection is itself a sure sign of coming problems that could be avoided but won’t be.

    But in Ireland it can be particularly problematic and limiting. Talking to Irish travelers who, when home, work on or write about on politics, its arresting – at times exhausting -to experience their focus on people rather than ideas and trends. Who said what; who’s “going up or going down”; who’s the next whatever and who’s time is up.

    This focus on people while charming in non-political contexts is itself both a cause and manifestation of the broader culture of clientism and cronyism and toleration for incredible levels of corruption and system-failure.

    I’ll prove it. Ask someone who works on or writes about Irish affairs their opinion of issue A, B, C and just watch how they answer by taking the opportunity to allude to their own personal proximity to various protagonists. The desire for and tendency to project personal connectivity (rather than offer systematic critiques) is evidence of how much the root of the problems remain.

  • Greenflag

    Have to agree with Ruarai above .Ireland is not an island except in the geographical sense .More particularly in recent decades as the world economy has changed and another 2 billion people across the globe have joined the ‘market ‘economy now known as globalisation .

    Ireland (both Republic and NI) are both towards the bottom end of the economic pyramid when the economic crap rolls downhill from either the EU or USA . To be fair those who call for Irish politicians or intellectuals to come up with systematic critiques and more importantly effective ‘solutions ‘ may want to examine how in those larger economies -the UK , USA , and even Germany the political class remain largely bereft of ideas /proposals as to how to stop/slow down/reverse the current Western world trend of the emisseration of the middle and working classes in the West and the growing income disparities in those societies as wealth accumulates for the few and what used to be called ‘democracy ‘ becomes a consumer product to be purchased and trussed up by financial capitalism and corporate oligarchs .

    And the Kenny’s , Obamas , Camerons , and Merkels are all up the same creek without the proverbial paddle.

    Even now Obama is giving serious consideration to appointing Larry Summers as next Federal Reserve Chairman .Yes folks the same geezer who instituted ‘deregulation ‘ of the US banking system which delivered the financial chaos of the past several years .

    Jesus wept and was then crucified 🙁 . The same fate awaits Americans and Britons?Irish and Germans etc if our politicians cannot tame the sociopaths of international finance 🙁

  • aquifer

    So if we want to manage maybe we should measure some stuff to keep the politicians and bureaucrats honest. A monthly graph of income distribution for example, or imports.

    Transparency is a great antidote to waste and nonsense, and it does not seem that we can afford either.

    We are entitled to know, we own it all, including the banks.

    Lets start by publishing the salaries of all public posts. Those that are worth the money need not be embarassed.

    Like virginity, sovereignty is getting rarer over the years, and may not be worth holding. The Tiger was an Atlantic Tiger, not a Celtic Tiger. It responded to commands in plain English and a stick.

    Put those spare lawyers to work on regulation and get the big beast back in harness. It wants big meals (excessive profits) and sleep (unearned rent) but it has to do those tricks or we make a rug of it.

  • terence patrick hewett

    @ Greenflag. I don’t know about the “emisseration” of the middle and working classes but professional engineers have never been paid more; and doctors ain’t doing too badly either.

  • Barnshee

    How Stands the Republic? where it always did

    Get a globe -find the Island of Ireland on it

    Hint — Its a pinpoint up from Africa on the left from a bigish land mass -probably labelled “Europe”

    Check its history -Its a wet speck whose inhabitants tend to procreate recklessly beyond the limirted resources available to them (and then murder each other.in mutual recrimination blaming everone else but themselves)
    A land of brown envelopes and planning favours.

    Its sole function is to extract goodwill (and cash) from the larger speck to the right and the area labelled “Europe”

    How Stands the Republic? where it alway stands

  • Greenflag

    @ TP Hewett,

    True re prof engineers and doctors and bishops but these comprise only a small percentage of the working population. .There are those who may even suggest that bishops are overpaid .The overall trend re mc/wc emisseration is transnational and has even impacted Germany .Those in the upper echelons of the public sector have also been least affected..

  • Greenflag

    @Barnshee.

    ‘then murder each other.in mutual recrimination blaming everone else but themselves’

    That would be Northern Ireland not the Republic .

    Its sole function is to extract goodwill (and cash) 10 billion pounds a year from the larger island to the right and more precisely the area labelled “London’.

    Again that would be Northern Ireland

    ‘whose inhabitants tend to procreate recklessly ‘

    Rubbish -its only immigrants nowadays who get up to that sort of thing and those NI Fenians who have to because the Jaffa heads don’t breed enough to replace themselves and leave all those empty houses and schools to urban decay .

    Reports of the Republic’s death have been greatly exaggerated .It has been shaken but not stirred by it’s latest setback . Still there is stirring in the air and hope springs eternal as always .On the other hand Barnshee’s ilk will remain as always until doomsday .

  • Barnshee

    ‘then murder each other.in mutual recrimination blaming everone else but themselves’

    That would be Northern Ireland not the Republic .”

    Er no I think the history of the last oh say 400 years of murder gangs of various hues would tend to deny that

    “Its sole function is to extract goodwill (and cash) 10 billion pounds a year from the larger island to the right and more precisely the area labelled “London’.”

    Indeed —
    1 this is required to support those “inhabitants tend to procreate recklessly ‘ and as you identify these as ” those NI Fenians ” who am I to argue

    ps The absence of “reckless procreation” in the ROI is a relatively recent

    Until 1964 10 or more children in a family was relatively common
    http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/otherreleases/thatwasthenthisisnow.pdf

    Do take the broad view

    2 The funds are essential to buy off the various murder gangs who continue to infest the place.

    (And of course the ROI never received any thing from Europe)

    I know lets star selling each other houses again we will all make a fortune.

  • Greenflag

    @ Aye Yer Ma,

    ‘I think the history of the last oh say 400 years of murder gangs of various hues would tend to deny that’

    Rubbish .The greatest murder gangs in Ireland’s history have been British Crown forces .British historian Samuel Pepys estimated that between 1550 and 1700 some 685 ,000 people ( a third of the population ) were killed in Ireland in the Second Conquest the overwhelming majority by British Crown forces .A small number an estimated 4,000 to 12,000 were Protestant ‘settlers ‘ who were killed in the 1641 attempt to overthrow British imperialism on Ireland . We’ll not include the million or so Irish famine dead while being part of the richest country on Earth at the time . There are those who would claim it was genocide but I don’t subscribe to that view .It was just ‘imperialism ‘doing what imperialism does best -be it British or otherwise.

    ‘Until 1964 10 or more children in a family was relatively common’

    Let me try to recall our small neighbourhood . The Reids had 7 -the Tyrells 8 -the Coopers 2 -we were 4 – the Bowes were 12 – the McGranes were 5 and the Keoghs were 11 . I make that a total of 49 from 6 families or an average of 8 – If I include the Protestant Elliots who lived close by that would add another 2 but bring the average down to 7 .

    Today the average is just slightly over 2 children per family with some 20% of all births deing delivered by mothers whose national origin is either Polish ,Lithuanian , Chinese , British, African etc etc .

    ‘The funds are essential to buy off the various murder gangs who continue to infest the place.’

    You may not have been around when I first told this Dublin ‘joke ‘ on slugger so as a reminder here ‘s the repeat .

    Question :

    What’s the difference between a Northern Irish Catholic and a Northern Irish Protestant and Nigel the Englishman in London SW3 ?

    Answer :

    When you hit the NIC (Norn Irish Catholic) on the head with a sledgehammer you have to tell him to fall down .

    When you hit the NIP(Norn Irish Protestant ) on the head with the same sledgehammer you have to explain to him very slowly several times as to why he must fall down .

    When you hit NIgel from London SW3 with the same sledgehammer he replies ‘

    ‘Thanks very much old bean -Could you do it again please ”

    Cos he’s the poor sod whose taxes pay 70 pennies out of every pound being spent in the Northern Ireland economy

    For the sake of NI I trust Nigel keeps the dosh flowing to keep the NI denizens from eating each other or worse . And so ungrateful too -Biting the hand that feeds them no less .

    Loyal to the crown my rear end:( .

  • Harry Flashman

    “20% of all births deing delivered by mothers whose national origin is either Polish ,Lithuanian , Chinese , British, African etc etc . ”

    Wow, is that true? Anyone else see a problem in the future for Ireland?

    How did Ireland, which for so long and at such cost had been able to maintain its national character, so quickly get to the stage that within a generation a fifth of its population will consist of foreigners?

    Cue the right-on brigade telling us about the joyful multi-cultural “New Ireland” of the future. I mean look how well mass immigration has worked out for places like France, Britain and Sweden. What could possibly go wrong with repeating that model in Ireland?

  • tuatha

    Flashy – depends wotya mean by foreigners, does that include West Britons? ArtisteTax Shelter residents? Returned Yanks?
    Hybrid vigour is good, ask any gardener or stock breeder. Ya just gotta be ruthless about eradicating the failures.
    Don’t forget that, for a century & half, those with any brains or get-up’n’go … got up and went, leaving behind the less gifted to breed. If by genetic chance those threw good stock, they also left asap.

  • Harry Flashman

    I mean by foreigners people who are not Irish, fairly simple I would have thought. And according to Greenie’s statistics within a generation almost a fifth of people living in Ireland will have had little or prior familial connection with Ireland.

    If you think that’s a good thing, and I do understand that it’s simply an object of liberal faith that it is a good thing and anyone who even dares to challenge it is a racist, fine. Others might look at places like Tower Hamlets or Bradford in the UK, the banlieus of France or the recent problems in Sweden and question whether that really is a good option for Ireland’s future.

    I’m all in favour of leavening the gene pool every now and again, hey I’ve done it meself and I’m pleased as punch with the results, but that’s not what is occurring, is it? There isn’t a handful of Chinese physicists, Indian software engineers, Italian fashion designers, French chefs etc coming over to Ireland marrying a local lad or lassie and settling down as contented Irish people, is there? It is once again the mass importation of cheap, low-skill labour living in unintegrated ghettos and fighting for the crumbs with the economically deprived natives.

    Meanwhile the elites congratulate themselves on their enlightened attitudes and the marvellous ethnic restaurant that has opened nearby which they visit while little Feachtna and Caoimhe are looked after by their darling Filipina nanny.

    Ireland always studies the ideas of Britain, the US and Europe and invariably opts for the lousy ones.

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry Flashman,

    ‘And according to Greenie’s statistics within a generation almost a fifth of people living in Ireland will have had little or prior familial connection with Ireland.’

    Math nor Genetics are not your strong points HF eh ?
    While approx 20% of births have been to mothers born outside of Ireland (the Republic ) a large number of them would have been born to women born in the UK or Northern Ireland who are now resident in the Republic .Also many Irishmen have foreign born wives so your notion that 20% would have little prior familial connection with Ireland is factually incorrect .I would guess between 5 and 10% would fit your no prior familial connection with Ireland in the first generation anyway . Also some have left in the wake of the economic recession .

    Why in any event should that matter ? There are many people who have contributed much to Ireland without the benefit of having purely Irish familial ancestry . Think of just some of the more well known at least in Ireland . Patrick Pearce (father English ) , De Valera ( Cuban/Spanish, Charles Burgess (Cathal Brugha ) mother from Yorkshire , the Briscoes , Goldbergs (Jewish ), .Erskine Childers ( English & American ), Charles Stewart Parnell (American mother ) etc etc etc.

    There is some truth to your other comment though

    ‘It is once again the mass importation of cheap, low-skill labour living in unintegrated ghettos and fighting for the crumbs with the economically deprived natives.’

    That HF is the nature of what you would call free market capitalism and it’s not only an Irish problem . It is the inevitable outcome of people in western countries not ‘reproducing ‘their numbers again a complex multi faceted issue which goes back to the aftermath of World War 1 and

    ‘Ireland always studies the ideas of Britain, & the US and invariably opts for the lousy ones.’

    Some truth in that unfortunately . The Dutch and Danes and other Scandinavians have done better but then they are ‘insulated ‘ from the Anglosphere to a much greater extent than Ireland . That Japanese bamboo curtain was effective in it’s time too and still is to an extent .

  • Harry Flashman

    Can you give us a link to the source of your original 20% figure GF? Does it break it down into where the mothers came from? If the vast bulk is made up of people born in Northern Ireland or indeed British-born but of Irish ancestry then indeed as you say those women would to all intents and purposes be regarded as Irish.

    If as I mentioned above many of the foreign-born mothers are married to Irish spouses then again the children would be rightly regarded as Irish.

    However if as many as 10 to 15% of the new births are currently to foreign born couples with no link to Ireland, then yes I do think that will cause problems in the future, especially as that figure will rise exponentially, as it has done in every other western country.

    London today, the capital city of England, is no longer an English-majority city and outside of the posher areas I am not convinced that has been to the unalloyed benefit of the native population. You speak of Scandanavia as being a good example of how importing vast quantities of unassimilating low-income immmigrants has been a success. I can only assume you didn’t see the news from Sweden last month.

    If Sweden, the acme of enlightened, liberal social policy, can’t pull this trick off without mass unrest and social disorder, I shudder to think what poor old Ireland has in store in a few decades hence.

  • Barnshee

    “‘I think the history of the last oh say 400 years of murder gangs of various hues would tend to deny that’
    Rubbish .The greatest murder gangs in Ireland’s history have been British Crown forces .British historian Samuel Pepys estimated that between 1550 and 1700 some 685 ,000 people ( a third of the population ) were killed in Ireland in the Second Conquest the overwhelming majority by British Crown forces .A small number an estimated 4,000 to 12,000 were Protestant ‘settlers ‘ who were killed in the 1641 attempt to overthrow British imperialism on Ireland . We’ll not include the million or so Irish famine dead while being part of the richest country on Earth at the time . There are those who would claim it was genocide but I don’t subscribe to that view .It was just ‘imperialism ‘doing what imperialism does best -be it British or otherwise.”

    Classic mopery

    “The greatest murder gangs in Ireland’s history have been British Crown forces”

    Where there are battles between “armies” either both or neither are murder gangs

    Just a short reminder to you of the chronology of Irish History drawing as we will draw a quick veil over the “irish slave raiding in England)

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ATq5_6h2AT0C&pg=PA368&lpg=PA368&dq=irish+slave+raids+on+england&source=bl&ots=5MR7q4YPt1&sig=lTscuuh11XWoGx9p1o8vW1EQmpw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=M6z7UbHzGcWa0AWD-IHoAg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=irish%20slave%20raids%20on%20england&f=false

    Note

    The “ Irish” invited the Norman “Strongbow” in Disliking his activities they copound the error by inviting in further Normans Being authors of their own misfortune (Note there are no “English yet) they continue to blame everyone else when they instigate quarrels which are inevitably ended by someone else.

    (England evolves to a nation state 1485 is sort of recognised as starting point. Ireland signally fails to do so)

    The “Irish” the spend centuries supporting the enemies of the British succession eg Spain, France (twice) James II etc They even flirt with Hitler On each occasion they are roundly booted up the arse. We then have e.g “republicans” moping about how that arch republican Cromwell treating Royalists badly
    Who said Irony was dead

    By the way the English treated the Scots much worse that they treated the Irish
    Eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Potato_Famine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances

    A brief glance at what N Ireland spend its money

    http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/revised_budget_-_website_version.pdf

    shows that the main costs are in Education Health and Social security It is clear that larger families of whatever hue will be the main drivers in these costings . I would thus invite you to identify the section of the community most likely to be creating the pressures on these areas producing the need for a “subvention” You may of course wish to refer to your previous erudite comment.

    “Rubbish -its only immigrants nowadays who get up to that sort of thing and those NI Fenians who have to because the Jaffa heads don’t breed enough to replace themselves and leave all those empty houses and schools to urban decay .

    And as you so eloquently put it (though particularly apt to those consuming the British Largess)

    And so ungrateful too -Biting the hand that feeds them no less .
    All those Closet unionists s

  • Greenflag

    @ barnshee,

    ‘Classic mopery’

    Not at all – just factual history which no British historian denies .

    ‘Where there are battles between “armies” either both or neither are murder gangs’

    I’m trying to think of all those Irish armies laying waste to British towns and cities since 1485 . Can’t think of any can you?

    Northern Ireland spends London’s taxpayers monies ? What a surprise .

    Large families are not the main reason for the subvention and haven’t been for a decade or more even in Northern Ireland .The main reason is the inability for multiple reasons for the failure of the NI economy to create sufficient private sector employment which would provide a sufficient tax base to reduce or get rid of the ‘London’ crutch . Realistically at least in the next 20 years or so that may simply not be possible . From it’s earliest foundation NI has always relied on London’s Exchequer -It’s just that it has become much more dependent in recent decades .

    Anyway if you really want to show your loyalty to Brittania -just stop having any families at all at all . Imagine the savings for the British Exchequer if Northern Ireland became ‘extinct ‘

    Would this be a case of the ‘cure ‘ being worse than the ‘disease ‘ ?

    Anyway away with you lad to consume your eh ‘largesse’ and don’t bite any hands and be grateful for it .As for all that money being spent on education ? A good investment no doubt but it’s providing a highly educated workforce for England and the Republic and Australia , Canada etc and not Northern Ireland .

    As for the closet unionists – given what we have seen and heard recently from uncloseted Unionists I’m not surprised at some ulster protestants cringing these days . But don’t get too upset , We all know that it’s almost a natural proclivity for some of the more outspoken NI unionist politicians to squat with their spurs on both the cowboys and more recently even a cowgirl 😉

    It’ll pass -just like your breakfast – for the crap it is sooner or later .

  • Barnshee

    I’m trying to think of all those Irish armies laying waste to British towns and cities since 1485 . Can’t think of any can you?

    ER you lost the battles that`s why you towns were “laid waste

    “Northern Ireland spends London’s taxpayers monies ? What a surprise .

    Large families are not the main reason for the subvention and haven’t been for a decade or more even in Northern Ireland .The main reason is the inability for multiple reasons for the failure of the NI economy to create sufficient private sector employment which would provide a sufficient tax base to reduce or get rid of the ‘London’ crutch . Realistically at least in the next 20 years or so that may simply not be possible . From it’s earliest foundation NI has always relied on London’s Exchequer -It’s just that it has become much more dependent in recent decades .

    Again you economic education is lacking –

    A sufficient tax base to remove “London`s crutch” would not remove the fact that the expenditure required is produced and exacerbated by those section of humanity whose activities put pressure on:-
    Schools
    Hospitals
    Social security

    I leave you to identify those sections which are creating the pressures

  • Greenflag

    ‘I leave you to identify those sections which are creating the pressures’

    Schools ,

    The problem here is children -all children .They have to be educated both for their own good and that of society and to ensure they are able to compete and adapt in an ever changing world. As of now in Northern Ireland a majority of schoolchildren are of the Green background section so they consume more dosh than those who are non green .Children are known to grow up to become adults and in turn pay the taxes to provide the revenue for the provision of services for the elderly etc. You may not like children especially the growing ‘hordes ‘ of non unionist children or you may not have children yourself but I assure you they are necessary if society is to continue to function . The Bible that book beloved of many of Northern Ireland’s seasonal marchers is very precise on this issue . It states quite clearly ‘Go forth and multiply ‘ It does not state ‘ Have only 1.7 children per family so that the labour force will be deficient in later generations and thou wilt be required to import a more youthful population from other corners of the Earth in order to provide the funds for a dignified old age for God’s chosen people ‘.

    Mandatory sterilisation would of course reduce costs in this area and you may be in favour of this option . However you must be aware that this course of action much favoured by a mustachioed dictator back in the 1930’s/and 40’s is now considered non compatible with what are called human values .Of course there are some who may find ‘mandatory sterilisation ‘ perfectly acceptable .Some may even have done the necessary to their own reproductive parts in which case they should at least merit society’s gratitude for reducing the tax burden on the denizens of London SW3 etc.

    Hospitals ,

    The problem here is again people . You may find this concept difficult to grasp as I’m having serious doubts re your ‘people ‘ status . As I’ve yet to meet an extra terrestrial however I’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt. Everybody gets sick and eventually dies and it does’nt matter what section of society or creed they are from . As of now a majority of the elderly population in Northern Ireland is of the Unionist section so they consume more dosh than the non unionist section. Geriatric services are expensive and Alzheimers , Dementia and associated problems are prevalent among the elderly. Mandatory Euthansia would reduce costs in this area and the tax burden but may not yet be socially acceptable or politically popular but hey give it time .

    Social Security .

    The problem again here is people . A nuisance I know but there you have it . Perhaps being an extra terrestrial or not a ‘people ‘ I understand thismay be difficult for you to grasp but there are upwards of 7 billion on this planet and they all need to eat to stay alive and morever they need sufficient dosh to keep the consumer society in existence ..

    Someday if /when you become a people you may understand that the private sector is unable /unwilling / can’t afford to provide social security for their employees and thus the public sector has to help out .In an ideal world of course ‘people ‘ would provide their own social security through earning and saving their wages or salaries etc etc . But alas the world is not ideal and never has been nor ever will be . And people are historically noted for making errors of judgement and can adhere themselves to all kinds of crazy notions like God’s Chosen people , the Rapture , King Billy is God -Gerry Adams is the devil , Banksters are not sociopaths etc etc

    And while there may be some on the neo conservative side who see no problem in the elderly and the poor and disadvantaged dying of starvation in the street or being homeless most Christians and even Jews and Islamists and Atheists would find that eh ‘unchristian ‘

    As for

    A sufficient tax base to remove “London`s crutch” would not remove the fact that the expenditure required is produced and exacerbated by those section of humanity whose activities put pressure on:-

    So whats your solution then for those sections of humanity who are creating the pressures ? Should they not be bailed out like the banksters ? or subsidised like the Crown? or incentivised like the tax evading financial sector ?

    Lets all hear the Barnshee ‘final ; solution again 🙁

  • Barnshee

    GF

    “And while there may be some on the neo conservative side who see no problem in the elderly and the poor and disadvantaged dying of starvation in the street or being homeless most Christians and even Jews and Islamists and Atheists would find that eh ‘unchristian ‘”

    You are generalising from the particular and proving my point in so doing (and are carefully avoiding the issue)

    The famous” subvention” arises because the present tax base in NI is insufficient to meet the demands on (particularly) the health, education and social security budgets. It is (or should be) the duty of Government to ameliorate this position.

    There is a clear relationship between economic activity , population size and budgetary requirements It is thus appropriate to examine these variables and promote policies which create a balance between the needs of society and the resources to meet these needs. and removing the situation where
    “in the elderly and the poor and disadvantaged dying of starvation in the street or being homeless”

    Examination may identify areas where sections or sectional interests are disproportionate consumers of resources (Money spent on social security cannot be spent on health.)

    Such information should be highlighted inform the political process. To ignore it is in keeping with the “shoot the messenger “syndrome

    Any clues then as to where money is disproportionally spent on sections ? sectional interests?

    PS There is no such item as “government money” Its all ours removed by legalized theft known as taxation- Taxation levels have limits -the rejection of the NI begging bowl is welcome as is the appearance of someone apparently numerate (with a grasp of accounting ) at the talking shop in Belfast

  • Greenflag

    Barnshee ,

    It is (or should be) the duty of Government to ameliorate this position.

    Of course assuming it’s practical and more importantly in a polarised /divided and barely democratic province like NI -politically possible .And again for a devolved institution like the NI Assembly the key taxation powers and financial issues are decided in London . A review of the Corporation Tax Reduction controversy shows how limited is the Assembly’s powers.

    ‘Examination may identify areas where sections or sectional interests are disproportionate consumers of resources’

    I’m sure it would and does .Off the top of my head I can see that huge amounts of taxpayers money is wasted on cleaning up after hundreds of bonfires , police overtime , property damage during the long hot marching summers . one could of course withdraw the police service from these rituals and just allow the poorest communities to kill each other and resume the Troubles .But that would be a false saving as the cute would cost more than the disease soon enough.

    There is the widespread abuse of disabilty benefits which is not just an NI phenomenon but is also extant in the UK , the Irish Republic , the USA etc . Locals simply won’t work for the wages that immigrants are prepared to work for particularly in the USA . Then again the modern globalised economy bar some niche sectors has been unable to provide employment for a huge cohort of the older white male and now black population .

    ‘There is no such item as “government money”

    I did’nt say there was . But they do print ‘money ‘ of the paper variety e.g what the Fed has been doing in the USA (quantative easing ) .

    ‘Its all ours removed by legalized theft known as taxation’

    I take it you wrnt to school and have been to the doc and drive on public roads and may even use other public services which have enabled you to earn a living etc .Then again you rely probably more so in NI on the police and army to provide security on a scale not generally provided in the rest of the UK (on a per capita basis )

    ‘Taxation levels have limits ‘

    Indeed which is why even if the NI Assembly had taxation powers there is not a lot they could do as people are simply not earning the levels of income which could provide much of an increase in state revenues . Which of course is why the subvention is necessary and will be for some considerable time .

    Remember it took more than half a century for NI to get into it’s current predicament -political , economic and it may take a similar timespan for it to extricate itself . The critical point is though it does’nt have that amount of time . Long before 2063 the game will have been given up -the economic , social and demographic contradictions will have become too obvious even for the Assembly members to ignore or gloss over or wish away .

    ‘ the talking shop in Belfast’

    Ten years ago or more Belfast would have been seen as the perhaps sole example of a talking shop disguised as a Assembly /Parliament . Today it’s been joined by Dublin , London , Washington and elsewhere as across the western world elected politicians have become the representatives of corporate and financial sector interests and are no longer concerned by the needs of the common people . They don’t have to as many of the latter have even stopped voting. . Most are like highly paid prostitutes providing comfortable conditions and relief for their clients . It’s the free market ffs !