It’s a clenched-teeth laugh, the way politicians try to dress up self-interest as selflessness/ sacrifice in the party’s/country’s interests/ a decision taken with a considerable degree of reluctance.
Take David Milliband. He’s quitting British politics and going to the US. His wife is American, both his children were born in America. But nice young(ish) David still makes it sound as though he’s clearing off for the benefit of his brother and the Labour Party. It seems he ‘passionately’ wanted Labour to return to power and that he’s ‘proud’ of his brother Ed’s leadership. (David’s wife, on the other hand, is mooted to have described Ed winning the Labour leadership as an act of ‘unforgivable treachery’.) While David’s been kicking his heels on the back benches of the House of Commons, he’s managed to make near to £1million (on top of his MP’s salary) on the speech-giving circuit (£20,000 a pop, apparently). But if you think that’s nice money, get this. In the country he’s heading for, CEOs in big companies earn an average of nearly $13 million. You don’t need to be a mathematical whizz-kid to spot the difference. David’s on record as saying he felt he could be “most helpful to the [Labour] Party on the front line, in South Shields and around the country”. It’d be reasonable to assume that pulling an annual $13 million salary would be even more helpful to the David Milliband household.
Meanwhile, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were in Downing Street, trying to persuade David Cameron to let them lower the the corporation tax here. The south of Ireland has a 12 1/2% rate, as you probably know, while the north here is saddled with the British rate of 24%. Again, you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to see which is more attractive to investors. Cameron didn’t say yes – he said I’ll tell you after the Scottish referendum, which is well over a year away. Did he say that because he’s concerned for our economy here in the north? Uh-uh. He did it, not surprisingly, in Britain’s interests – or more specifically in England’s interests. Peter and Martin were disappointed, it’s said. They shouldn’t be. Yes, they’re right that a corporation tax of 12 1/2% , like that enjoyed by the south would have been beneficial here in the north. But surely they weren’t surprised that Cameron acted with an eye to England/Britain’s welfare rather than that of the north. Self-interest: that’s what David Milliband went for, that’s what David Cameron went for, that’s how the political world works.
Which is another good reason for us running our own affairs.
Perhaps you would elaborate on the specifics of running our own affairs.Does that mean on an All Ireland basis?Is it economically feasible to “run our own affairs”?
Anon 11:19 – As the politicians say, I’m glad you asked me that. I think when people are grown up, they should run their own affairs. Sometimes they screw up, sometimes they succeed, but it’s all part of being a big person. Ditto with countries (my country is Ireland): they should be in charge of their own affairs – government – rather than having someone else/another government – run those affairs (or key parts of them). In a rapidly shrinking world this will involve close and even intimate ties with other countries, which is fair enough; but just as Alex Salmond believes the Scottish people should be in charge in Scotland, I believe the Irish people should be in charge in Ireland. As to economic feasability, I don’t see why not. If Whitehall would come clean with the figures on how much we contribute to the British Exchequer and how much they actually give us, it might be easier to answer that question. But I have sufficient faith in the Irish people north and south (the sum of the two being more than its two parts) that they’re capable of running a successful country. Final thought: finance is of course a vital part of any country’s make-up. But just as my life involves more than my pay-cheque/pension, so too the running of a country is about much more than balancing the books.
What of those whose country is not Ireland?
You mean people from other countries? I think they should run their own affairs too. Not other people’s – their own.
You must know exactly is meant by people whose country is not Ireland – the unionists’ country is the UK. Have you any better answer to that than dismissive contempt?
Anon 15:24 – Sorry if I’ve allowed my gaze to wander beyond these six little counties. You’re entitled to think of wherever you think of as your country. As am I. I’ll leave you to puzzle out how you can live in Ireland and not be Irish.
If you can’t get past the first sticking points of our conundrum, there’s not much point to you.
Given the inadequacy of our local Assembly ,can you really be confident that even in your utopia of a New Ireland that politicians here would step up to the mark.You may say that the Economy is not the be all and end all of any country but it is still crucial when so many jobs are in the public sector.
Isn’t it nice to see the Irish Army Air Corps are offering theirs services to the Six Counties farmers free of charge. Unlike the RAF who are charging the Department of Agriculture for their help.
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