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To be honest, I really do not know

By Mike Cunningham On August 3rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm

A book was touted and discussed on the Today Programme upon which for the life of me I cannot make my mind up.

The stories are about the five-odd thousand Irish servicemen who left their posts to join with British Army, Navy and Airforce operations during World War 2. It seems as though they were all treated as deserters when the War ended and were court-martialled, dead or alive, and when released, they continued to be ostracised from Irish life, as were their children.

Many of the children were placed in ‘Industrial Schools’ which were of course run by? Who else but the Catholic Church, and we all know what happened to a whole bunch of kids who were ‘under the protection of the church’.

But my query is simply this, was the ultra-strong reaction of the Irish State towards the returning deserters because they were deserters, or was it because they had left to join the Forces who were fighting against Nazi Germany, the deep and true friends of many in the upper echelons of the Irish Government?


By David Vance On August 1st, 2011 at 9:24 am

Fascinated to read that Israel is getting the blame for the wheels coming of the campaign of Irish wannabe Presidential David Norris;

ISRAEL was last night forced to deny any involvement in the controversy that has left Senator David Norris‘s presidential campaign in tatters. His hopes were badly hit over the weekend after it was revealed he wrote a letter seeking clemency for his former partner Ezra Yizhak Nawi, who was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old boy. Despite the furore, Mr Norris promised to continue his attempts to gather the 20 nominations he needs to enter the presidential race. But many of his backers were silent last night and key members of his campaign team have quit. Key supporter and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said Mr Norris had been “targeted in a particularly nasty way”. As the internet went wild with claims of Israeli involvement in publicising the case, the Israeli embassy in Dublin intervened to deny involvement.

Ah, blame the Jews, the default argument for all too many in Irish politics.

Thing is, it was Mr Norris’s former gay lover who was found guilty of raping a 15 year old boy. That pesky detail seems to be overlooked by some as they rush to conjure up all sorts of anti-Semitic fantasies. Norris chose to use his position to try and get this convicted rapist off that charge and it is this which is the inconvenient truth that some would rather we ignored. In a sense I couldn’t care less who the Irish elect as President but Norris – the darling of the liberal left – is out of the running now.


By David Vance On July 31st, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Senator Norris, aspiring President of Ireland, has a few problems;

The Sunday Independent today publishes a letter which was written 14 years ago by Senator David Norris to the judges of the High Court of Israel in which he pleaded for “mercy” for his then 45-year-old former lover who had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old male.

The letter, which was give to the Sunday Independent by Senator Norris on Friday, is written on Seanad Eireann notepaper.

In the letter, Senator Norris, then 53, stated he himself had been mentioned at the time, 1997, as a possible candidate to be President of Ireland

To the chagrin of the left, this means Ireland will not be getting it’s First openly gay President. Seeking clemency for male rapists is not the conventional route to the Presidency.



By David Vance On July 28th, 2011 at 9:16 am

OK, here’s a simple economics lesson that we can all understand. You cannot keep spending what you do not have otherwise you get deeper and deeper in debt. This applies to us all as individuals and it also applies to Governments. Trying to keep splashing the cash when you do not have it leads to Greece, and Ireland, and Portugal, and..need I go on? However I read these curious thoughts over on the Irish Independent and though them of comment. The article is headed ” Let’s be grateful that Ireland does not have US Style politicians”…

“The roots of this week’s US debt crisis reside in the actual political system set up by the founding fathers. With the house of representatives and the US senate both needed to pass a budget package, the result is gridlock and a growing fear of default. Essentially, the US needs to get a budget reform package over three hurdles; the house, the senate and of course the White House. When you add in one final toxic element — the Tea Party’s ridiculous opposition to any tax-raising initiatives — you get a system that is not nimble enough to cope with a make-or-break moment like the $14.3 trillion (€9.94trn) debt-ceiling issue.

Staring a default in the face from next week may yet change rigid positions and, thankfully, polling evidence is now firmly coming to the aid of US President Barack Obama. Even those who believe the US debt position is out of control do not favour the Tea Party’s brinkmanship tactics. Unfortunately, having a political system to get required work done is only worth so much. This week the bond market showed the US still able to borrow for 10 years at 3.1pc, while Ireland was looking at 12%”

If only the US founding fathers had the wisdom of the Irish liberal elite, eh? From the same article…

“In a parliament populated by ex-arms smugglers, indebted builders and pot smokers, one could be forgiven for thinking that the colourful, but chaotic, Irish political system is among the reasons the country won’t escape from its current crisis.How does one build a political consensus to cut €18bn out of an economy on a political culture that thrives on parochialism, posturing and short-term hysteria?”

Cute hoorism superior to the Founding Fathers? Well, each to their point of view I suppose.

At the heart of this deluded article is the evasion of the central fact that the Irish economy has melted down BECAUSE of reckless lending and spending, BECAUSE of corrupted politicians and bankers, BECAUSE of fiscal denialism.

I invite our US and Irish readers to comment on this. If you know me at all, you know I consistently argue for fiscal responsibility and I am 100% behind the Tea Party argument that Obama can’t spend what he doesn’t have. Those who argue for further bloated State expenditure need to ask themselves why it doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps Ireland should wish it DID have some “US style politicians” – the sort that understand the basics of how an economy functions? Just sayin’….


By David Vance On July 25th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

The Vatican has recalled its special envoy in Ireland after a damning report on the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse by priests.

Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza has been called back to Rome to discuss the impact of the recent Cloyne Report. It showed how allegations of sex abuse by priests in Cork had been covered up. The report led to angry condemnation of the Vatican by Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Irish Parliament. In a blistering attack, Mr Kenny accused the church of putting its reputation ahead of child rape victims.

Kenny is right and this decision by the Vatican is welcome although I would add that when it comes to putting reputations first politicians are not exactly as white as Caesar’s wife. The Catholic church in Ireland needs morally power-hosed out and those who put the reputation of the Church before the need to protect innocent kids jailed.


By David Vance On July 15th, 2011 at 9:16 am

Irish PM Enda Kenny is delusional if he thinka that Ireland can “create” more than 10,000 new international-finance jobs over the next five years — despite the country’s battered reputation.

Enda Kenny’s comments came as he revealed a new strategy to attract more companies to the IFSC and encourage those already here to take on more workers. If another 10,000 jobs can be created over the next five years, it will mark a near-doubling of the 6,000 new positions that were created in the IFSC in the five years to 2011. It already employs about 33,000 people. Mr Kenny yesterday dismissed suggestions that the target was too ambitious and said Ireland was entirely capable of “rebuilding” the financial reputation it had spent decades creating. “The target of 10,000 jobs is a credible estimate based on expert assessment,” he insisted. “It is well within our achievement in the (next) five years.” The latest effort to reinvigorate the IFSC comes a year after former Taoiseach John Bruton was appointed as chairman of the industry group IFSC Ireland, so that he could act as its ambassador and lure new business here. The new strategy document includes relatively detailed plans for attracting new business in areas such as fund management, international insurance and reinsurance and payment services. The document also identifies several major challenges for the industry, including high personal taxes, which it says are making it difficult for IFSC firms to “attract and retain” highly skilled jobs.

I see no prospect of this unless Ireland was to cut personal taxation levels, something the EU would not countenance for one second. In fact the liklihood is that the Irish government will be INCREASING personal taxation. Week by week, Kenny shows a pretty lamentable grasp of economics and I wonder if his Coalition will hold together? Fianna Fail may have been criminally reckless  with the Irish economy but to be honest I find the new masters little better.


By David Vance On July 4th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

It’s so painfully obvious and yet most governments fail to appreciate that the ONLY way for them to boost their tax take is to…CUT TAXES. The Republic of Ireland has just CUT the VAT rate for the tourism sector to 9%. I believe this is an excellent step forward as it will reduce prices, provide improved value for consumers and thus encourage extra expenditure of disposable income. In turn this will help grow the stagnant domestic economy. VAT is just one of the many iniquitous taxes we are forced to pay although in fairness at least it is on consumption. The Republic should now cut personal taxation, seek to protect low corporate taxation, and reduce welfare costs. This is the simple recipe for economic growth. Oh – and leave the Euro because without that nothing else can be achieved. The high tax economic model so beloved of the Brussels elite will keep Ireland enslaved. Liberty, if it means anything, means telling the EU where to go. However I doubt that the political cast in Dublin have the guts to do anything about it.


By David Vance On June 30th, 2011 at 10:16 am

This is a fascinating statistic in my view;

Ireland’s population has grown by over 220,000 people in the last five years despite emigration due to the recession, the latest Census shows. The Central Statistics Office will today publish the first results from the 2011 Census of Population held on April 10 last. Two million households took part in the survey which was managed by over 4,800 Census Enumerators who delivered, explained, and collected the forms. The last Census, in 2006, revealed record population growth and almost 4.25m people living in Ireland. However, since then the country has undergone a dramatic economic collapse as well as a reversal of migration trends.

So, as the Irish economy sinks in the mire, the population booms. I suppose it passes an idle hour but without economic growth, who pays for this boom? Then there is the pesky question as to who exactly is having all these babies and for what reason. It’s strange to see a country that is hemorrhaging jobs, in fiscal penury, having a population increase. I suspect that the figures require more detailed scrutiny. With falling national revenue, with fewer jobs, with more cuts to come, how can Ireland afford this?


By David Vance On June 29th, 2011 at 9:30 am

Well, she follows in the not-so-illustrious footsteps of Dominque Strauss Kahn but these International Central Planners do like their coronations…

French finance minister Christine Lagarde has been chosen as the first female leader of the International Monetary Fund. Her selection was assured early yesterday when she was endorsed by the U.S. shortly before being elected by the IMF’s 24-member board. She had also won support from Europe, China and Russia. Miss Lagarde, 55, takes over as IMF managing director from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is under house arrest in the U.S. on sex charges after an alleged assault against a hotel maid.

What of Lagarde? Well, were I Irish, I would be a little concerned;

Here she is speaking back in March…

Lagarde conceded Ireland’s tax rates were a “tricky” subject. While EU member states are unified by a shared currency, they jealously guard their sovereignty on tax issues. Ireland has resisted raising its 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. Dublin this week signaled it would consider ratifying EU-wide rules that would pool tax collection across countries in a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCTB), a change it had previously resisted. Lagarde said the issue was not just Ireland’s corporate tax rate but also its tax base. “I hope we will see good common interest in really arriving at a more level situation,” Lagarde said.

With the IMF holding the purse-strings to Ireland’s bailout, one wonders what the future now holds?


By David Vance On June 28th, 2011 at 9:49 am

The population demographic of any country is the future but it seems to avoid any sensible media scrutiny for some odd reason. Take this statistic;

25% of all babies delivered during Ireland’s baby boom were from women born outside the country.

Figures show Ireland had the highest birth rate in Europe in 2009 and almost 24% of births were to the country’s “new Irish”. The figure was 17% four years earlier.

There is a troubling truth here that needs pointed out. The ONLY reason why Ireland’s fertility rate is at replacement level is because of these births to non-Nationals. Ireland’s own indigenous population is below replacement level, a feature it shares with all other European countries. So the Irish population declines even as the birth rate rises – a suitable memorial to the multicultural “dream” embraced by the Irish political elite.  Given the parlous state of the Irish economy, one wonders how it can afford such financial generosity to so many from outside the Republic?