Ken Patronises Irish as Navvies

Last month Ken Livingstone was an unwanted gate-crasher at an event in London with the President of Ireland, undiplomatically grabbing a photo-op with the Irish Head of State, to put on his leaflets without asking permission. The Office of the Irish President told The Irish Times: “There was no contact made about using the photograph in the literature” and Ken didn’t bother to have the courtesy to stay for the speech once he got his photo.

This week he was asked in an interview with the London Irish Post what he would do for the Irish, old Ken is about as patronising as it gets:

“Two two thirds of the jobs that have been lost in London have been in construction. This hits the Irish community hardest. What they and all Londoners need now is for London to start building again.”

As if all the Irish in London are still “navvies”…

Enda Game On

Ireland has just tossed a mighty spanner in the EU-works.  The Taoiseach has confirmed in the Dáil that the Attorney-General has advised a referendum is necessary on the EU’s fiscal union plan, “The Irish people will be asked for their authorisation in a referendum to ratify the European stability treaty”, Enda Kenny told the Irish parliament. Cameron was unable to veto the plan but the Irish people might just be able. The last time a €urozone prime minister promised a referendum on the EU, the EUrocat dictators replaced him with unelected technocrats. That won’t happen in Ireland.

Currently 20 cents of every euro of Irish taxes is going to pay the interest on the €uro-bank bail-out debts. The Irish bail-out plan is costing €54,800 per Irish household. Ireland’s future thus looks a lot more bleak than Iceland’s path of debt default and a devaluation of 60% two years ago which has seen the country rebounding: exports and manufacturing are growing by 20%, tourism is back near all-time highs, real wages are rising, unemployment is declining sharply, interest rates fell from 18% to 5.5% and the stock market has rebounded 50% from its lows. The bond rating agencies have already re-rated Iceland investment grade. In contrast the €uro-banker’s bail-out will only burden the next generation of Irish who don’t flee the crushing debts not of their making…

Ireland’s long love affair with Brussels has come to an end. It is not inconceivable that Ireland could vote no… making it stick is the problem…

Irish Budget Decided in Berlin

Today Dave is off to see Chancellor Merkel as we learn that advance copies of the proposed Irish budget were circulating for approval in the Bundestag in Berlin before being seen in the Oireachtas in Dublin. Elected Irish politicians will rubber-stamp the budget once German politicians have approved it.

German approved regimes have now been appointed in Italy and Greece, the Irish finance ministry is run by the Bundesfinanzminister with German “advisers” in Dublin acting as financial Gauleiters. In September 2008 the Irish government was instructed to guarantee the bad loans made by German banks who lent to the failed Anglo-Irish Bank and the Fianna Fáil government submitted, sacrificing generations of future taxpayers on the altar of the €uro. The Irish electorate kicked them out bringing in a Fine Gael government which promised to renegotiate the debts. In government Fine Gael too have bent the knee to Berlin.

As smaller sovereign states succumb to the German finanz-blitzkrieg it is difficult to see how the interests of those nations outside the developing German co-prosperity sphere are well served by the EU, particularly given that France’s AAA credit rating looks about as secure as the Maginot Line. It is Britain’s age old role to be a check on German domination of Europe, if Germany wants to reform the EU in its own image the British people should be given a referendum on their continuing membership…

Welcome to Low Tax Ireland

Downing Street will not be best pleased that Twitter has chosen Dublin not London as its European base. Dave and Boris invested in a joint Twitter charm offensive, with No. 10 briefing the Telegraph: “All that matters is that they come to London.”  They didn’t and Ireland’s business Minister Richard Bruton says it “is a massive win and shows there is real ground for Ireland’s claim to be the internet capital of Europe”.

Twitter joins Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Linked-In, Zynga, PayPal, eBay, AOL and Yahoo in Dublin, where the internet hub is generating thousands of high-tech jobs of the future. Can you blame them? Lower corporation tax rates and lower personal tax rates made it an easy decision for Ali Rowghani, the chief financial officer of Twitter. The UK has to become more tax competitive if it wants to attract geographically mobile internet firms.

Fiscally Ireland is doing what has to be done, an expansionary fiscal contraction is well on its way, GDP growth is well above the €urozone average, there is a healthy trade surplus. If the Irish political elite would steel themselves to exit the €uro, implement a controlled default on the bank debts and re-introduce an Irish punt pegged loosely against a basket of $, £ and €, the country would be free to thrive again. With UK banks holding £133 billion of Irish debt (equal to 6% of UK GDP), much of which is secured against London property, Britain’s fate is far more closely tied up with Ireland than Greece. The €uro as we know it is doomed, it is in Britain’s interest to focus on its trading near neighbour and leave Greece to Germany.

Returning the Favour

The EU press office reports on yesterday’s European Parliament discussions on Libya:

“EU governments need to stand ready for a decision in the UN Security Council on further measures, including the possibility of a no-fly zone”, in compliance with a UN mandate and coordination with the Arab League and the African Union stressed MEPs in a widely-backed resolution (584 in favour, 18 against, 18 abstentions). During the debate, only the GUE/NGL group was against this idea”

And who is this GUE/NGL group Guido hears you ask? Well the European United Left–Nordic Green Left of course. Big players like the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, the Communist Party of Greece and the French Communist Party. Oh and Sinn Fein predictably…

Not a bad trade for shipments of 9mm Brownings, Glock and Beretta handguns, AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles, MP5 submachine guns, RPG-7 anti-tank rocket launchers, Soviet made DShK heavy machine guns, FN MAG machine guns, Military flamethrowers, Semtex plastic explosive and Strela 2 man portable SAMs.

Via The Quizzical Gaze.

13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate a coalition at the same time. The markets wouldn’t have taken kindly to that…

Centre-Right Triumphs in Irish Elections

The Irish election results (and Guido should caveat this by saying on the basis of RTE’s first preference exit poll) show that left-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough with Labour, Sinn Fein and the Greens combined getting 33% of the vote, less than Fine Gael 36%. Adding the Fianna Fail vote the parties of the centre-right got 51% and can count on support from many of the independents.

This will stiffen the resolve of George Osborne to persevere with spending cuts, Fine Gael ran on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and Lansley style reform of healthcare provision to a more marketised system. Fine Gael are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and promising that income tax will not be increased. The Irish result shows that voters understand the need for spending cuts and deficit reduction.

Irish Election: Vote None of the Above?

Front runners Fine Gael are running on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and reform of healthcare provision based on the Dutch model where money follows the patient. They are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and that income tax will not be increased. Sounds good, but Guido just doesn’t believe ‘em, particularly if they end up in coalition with Labour.

Discredited Fianna Fáil are running on “substance” with no new spending commitments, but they’re widely and rightly seen as a bunch of crooks and shysters. The Irish Labour Party are worse than the crooks and shysters – they’re incompetent socialists. Sinn Féin are the only party that are in any way EU-sceptic and opposed the bail-out of bond-holders, at the end of the day they’re just too left-wing to stomach. Unless Fine Gael win outright, they will probably end up in coalition with Labour. Theoretically Fianna Fáil could support a Fine Gael centre-right government, and that might be for the best…

Quote of the Day

Gerry Adams wrote to John Bercow…

“A chara,

I hereby resign as MP for the constituency of west Belfast.

Go raibh maith agat.”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Iceland Shows the Way Forward for Ireland:
Decouple, Default, Devalue and Develop

Iceland’s President, Olafur R. Grimsson, told Bloomberg TV on Friday that his country is better off than Ireland because they allowed the banks to fail two years ago and devalued the krona:

“The difference is that in Iceland we allowed

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Feck Off Euro-Socialists

Euro-Socialist and Green MEPs have tabled a motion calling on Ireland to double corporate tax rates as part of a quid pro quo for a bail-out. Not a single Irish MEP has supported the motion. Ireland should just tell them […]

+ READ MORE +

End of an Éire

Thousands died in the transition from being England’s first colony, to an Irish Free State and finally an independent Republic. The ironies arising from the situation in Ireland are many. Joining the Euro, hugging the state tight to the whole […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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