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Ireland’s Economy Or The Story Of The Lying Liars Who Lied

No bullshit please, we're Irish
No bullshit please, we’re Irish

Ireland is officially out of its economic recession. Well, that is the somewhat tendentious claim made by the majority of the Irish news media over the last 48 hours in one of the more bizarre PR spins we’ve seen in recent times. The reports are based upon a statement from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) detailing a seasonally adjusted +0.4% rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2013 compared with the first quarter. On the back of this economic crumb newspaper, radio and television reports are proclaiming a technical end to the recession that began in 2008 (though technically we are actually in a depression).

Except here’s the problem. The truer and more accurate guide to Ireland’s economic performance is the Gross National Product (GNP) which for the same period showed an adjusted -0.4% fall. The facts of the Irish economy are obvious enough and defy any amount of political and media-friendly spin: flatlining and but for emigration and “imaginative” government book-keeping damn near terminal.

15 comments on “Ireland’s Economy Or The Story Of The Lying Liars Who Lied

  1. an lorcánach

    rté’s seán whelan is proselytizer for neo-liberal orthodoxy (“fiscal austerity”) and euro federalism (“european project”) – look at his performance on radio during the libson2 programmes – one major bollo….!


  2. European federalism doesn’t have the same negative connotations as British unionism due to our colonial history with the dual monarchical state next door. It’s seen by many Irish people as countering British influence that pervaded the free state until the 1960’s……….


    • an lorcánach

      Right you are, Mark – that old chestnut has been used since Lemass’ time: but worrying that’s just the headline for greater narrative – all we’re doing is replacing one Union with another and confirming the bogus neo-colonial trope that we’re incapable of governing ourselves – it’s all pervasive, from Ó Cuív’s suggestion we join British Commonwealth to the current “regaining our sovereignty” (within an expansionary EU) by Labour as well as FG, FF etc — the really scary thing was seen in 2009 during Lisbon debate when the likes of Seán Whelan at Arnotts on Henry Street (i think rté radio) angrily derided the non-conformists (we cannot question the concensus), and where only after the vote is “European Project” the phrase of choice — this ‘project’ is deliberately paced so not to “frighten” the population with supposedly ‘progressive’ and ‘business friendly’ measures masked as enculturtion, with metric measurements replacing Irish miles, single currency replacing punt, (schengen) workers uniformly displacing Irish educated graduates who are incapable/unwilling of adapting to the multilingual, low wages economy — we’re screwed unless we start standing up for ourselves (but then we’re not allowed to say ‘níl’ – can’t be negative!)


      • Tend to agree with all of that. As I said here before, I was an ardent pro-EU true-believer. Having my vote in a referendum overturned, being told that in a democracy I voted the wrong way and must vote again while being threatened with dire consequences if I refused to do so… Sorry, that killed my ardour for the European project and Europe as a whole.

        I notice now that more and more young Irish people talk about Europe as another place: that place over yonder. I hear less and less people talking about Europe as if we were part of it. You could call it a new found insularism in the more literal sense of the word. Being Irish and being European are no longer necessarily equated.


  3. an lorcánach

    There has to be a defference between a European and a citizen of the EU – we knew British banks aggressively lent on the streets but convenient for Indo and Angocentric press (Sunday Times, Irish Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror) to bash the Germans — Really want to know who I blame for anti-Irish language, mathematically and multilingual illiterate jobseekers? Teachers! Same people who rejected Haddington Road that still buffers rubbish teachers, allows principles the freedom to be creative in managing their school timetable in instilling a life-long learning instead of life-long chip on their shoulders – like Fintan O’Toole and Irish – students will burn alive without ideological bushcraft skills: understanding the principles and values of republicanism and tír ghrá — in a vacuum, we get Newstalk’s Dil Wickremasinghe and
    “global village” – the leftist-libertarian model of multi-culturalism – music to the ears of big business free-marketeers…. ! @


    • Jesus, reading/re-reading those three links I’m ready to chuck the laptop through the window. Where is a Brigate Rosse or Red Army Faction when you need one? Honest to god what does it take to spark a revolution? An Piarsach and his comrades were right. The propaganda of the deed.

      Occasionally working on nights I’ve heard Dil Wickremasinghe, she had an excellent show a good while back about the LGBT community (LADT as Gaeilge!). She seems quite well informed and covers some interesting subjects. But I wonder would she have a show dedicated to the concerns of the Gaeilgeoir community? Does she have a view on Irish and the rights of Irish-speakers? I’d be genuinely interested. She is an Irish citizen now, I think. Would she accord people in Ireland with an indigenous identity the same respect she rightly expects to be given to the new immigrant communities? And does she believe those immigrant communities should contribute to the Gaeilgeoir one? That would be interesting to know.


  4. an lorcánach

    I always understood republicanism to be about inclusiveness, tolerance, egalitarianism, celebrating commonality and a *shared* valued system; yet Dil V.’s libertarian multiple-culture-centrism is about “celebrating difference” and “Ireland’s 199 shades of green” – Pluralism should be the ideal, not Multi-Culturalism! – The problem with Dil’s EU sponsored ‘open borders’ and federalised ‘integration’ policy is that any contrary opinion in this state is evidence of ‘Irish racism’, debate over (unfortunately Saturday’s “racist” attack on Aungier Street of Palestinian by Algerians doesn’t fit this narrative)


    • I tend to agree. From a political or philosophical point of view I prefer the French way of doing things at an official level when it comes to immigration and society/culture at large. Though, that said, in the last few years the French state has gone WAY too far in some restrictions and policies of integration (banning the veil, etc. and non-recognition of national or ethnic minority cultures or languages). I dislike the burqa and view it as a symbol of female oppression and fundamentally anti-democratic but I would hate to see us go down the road of bans and such like. Head-scarves and similar seem perfectly acceptable to me. Though all that is an aside.

      I agree that the siren call of “racism” is simply an excuse for a lack of conversation, of communication. It is an artificial and quite mendacious roadblock to mutual understanding and respect.

      I did a quick search on Google. According to this 2010 release (Word doc, auto-download):

      “Global Village is the only live equality focused space on Irish media which discusses social justice issues, human rights and equality in its entirety. Presented by a social activist and entrepreneur, Dil Wickremasinghe, the show is dedicated to creating an inclusive Ireland by giving a voice to those who are often ignored by mainstream media. Recent studies show that discrimination and social injustices thrive in times of recession and it is our mission to create awareness of these issues which affect all residents in Ireland.

      In addition to in-depth thought provoking discussions, Global Village also has regular monthly features such as the expertise of Brian O’Reilly, Radio Solicitor. Listeners receive initial legal advice which promotes awareness of rights and entitlements. The editorial team of THE Magazine, Ireland’s newest gay magazine, are in studio to discuss LGBT issues. Malcolm Quigley of VSO Ireland focuses on international news and Irish volunteer experiences from overseas. Recently, Dil has committed to learn the Irish language and she aims to keep her listeners abreast with her development each week.”

      If true I would be very interested in hearing her views. If pluralism (as you and I would probably prefer to term it) or multiculturalism is to mean anything then the Irish-speaking community should be at the forefront of it. I think these lines would apply to some or many Irish-speakers: “the show is dedicated to creating an inclusive Ireland by giving a voice to those who are often ignored by mainstream media”.


  5. an lorcánach

    Incidentally Dil is now an Irish/EU citizen, along with the 40-odd thousand naturalized since FG-Labour coalition came into power – curiously roughly same number of illegal Irish resident in the U.S. – says it all!


  6. an lorcánach

    “Recently, Dil has committed to learn the Irish language and she aims to keep her listeners abreast with her development each week” – news to me! Without implying any offence to Dil, can’t understand why that was tagged onto article (doubtless representative of bogus irish ‘version’ re. site) – similar is on marc coleman’s newstalk microsite with “Agus, anois agus arís, píosaí as gaeilge” []; no update on his linkedin page [] but he’s gone now apparently and hasn’t been on for weeks []


    • an lorcánach

      Education vs. Training! – No reason why we couldn’t get university grade education at second level – third level for disciplines, professions…. Thanks to Bertram Ahern ape-ing Britain’d New Labour (and 90s points race drop off), most of boom time generation are screwed!


      • As I always say when it comes to education in Ireland, look to what An Piarsach wrote a century ago and then look to Finland. We are in the educational stone age here.


    • Yes, the pledge to learn Irish did seem a wee bit “tokenistic” and I’ve seen no other mention of it or her interest in Irish. It would be nice to know if it actually did happen or was just a meaningless bone thrown to the “indigenous dogs”. What was her motivation for learning Irish and did it reflect her multicultural philosophy? It would be very positive indeed if it did happen and out of a genuine belief/commitment to integration and pluralism.

      I’ve had a mixed experience with non-Irish nationals in relation to Irish. Some seem very pro-Irish (and may well make a significant contribution in the future of our natively-expressed culture), many seem indifferent, a minority are actively hostile. Much like the Irish population as a whole then 😦 Though thankfully most are free of our post-colonial baggage. But then some have a rather nasty supremacist or racist attitude of their own in relation to Ireland and the Irish despite coming to live here.

      Marc Coleman is an interesting case. Sound enough on Irish, language and culture, but oh so wrong on social and economic issues. As someone who is instinctively of the liberal Left I find myself more often than not disagreeing with him. The rumour mill over the Night of the Long Knifes at Newstalk continues to rumble. The arrival of Pat Kenny seems to have instigated some serious cost-cutting exercises elsewhere to pay for his upkeep.


  7. an lorcánach

    it’s a changed demographic-landscape, sionnach – a social experiment of sorts with the results to be seen decades ago in england – and currently played out with predictable outcome in the northern irish counties…. “‘No sympathy for foreigners, get out of our Queen’s country before our bonfire night and parade day [or] your building will be blown up. Keep Northern Ireland white. Northern Ireland is only for white British.’ Letter sent by youth wing of the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association to Belfast Islamic Centre, Polish Association and Indian Community Centre, 10 July 2009.” –


  8. an lorcánach

    eu police force in 26 counties: paranoia?

    “IRELAND is one of seven EU countries offering a temporary home for the headquarters of a European police college. Justice Minister Alan Shatter has offered the Garda College in Templemore to CEPOL as a temporary base for its headquarters”


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