When it comes to voting for independence via referendum, most people appear to vote with their wallets. At least that was the assumption behind David Cameron’s last-minute promise of untold riches on the eve of the Scottish independence referendum.
If that is so, maybe it’s time those who pay taxes into the British Exchequer (remind me again how much we pay, George?…You’ve forgotten. How convenient) had a look at the financial benefits and drawbacks of funding the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family. Aka the Windsors.
To take an instance: Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s visit to the south recently. According to the journal.ie, his appearance among the Irish people cost very nearly €25,000. Over €20,000 went on transport – car hire, to visit Galway, Clare, Sligo and Dublin. You might argue that while Iarnrod Éireann fares are brutal, they’re not that brutal. And you’d be right. But what’s the point in being a S-C-G if you have to get on a noisy old puff-puff to take you to meet the hoi-polloi? And don’t say that he was visiting the Irish President and the likes of Gerry Adams – he was visiting the Irish, and the S-C-Gs find stroppy paddies very hard to take. Hence the car.
However, spend a sprat to catch a whale, or whatever that saying is. Tourism Ireland is certain that exposing Prince Charles and so the world’s TV cameras to Ireland’s Wild Western Way and other places will pay off marvellously. Despite the fact that tourist numbers fell after the visit of Charles’s mammy, Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
Mind you, the Brits themselves have to fork out to send various royals around the world: over €5 million annually, is the latest word. And in the course of visits with his missus to Mexico and Colombia and the US, Charles and his trouble-and-strife racked up very nearly €1 million.
The economic argument behind this is that the S-C-Gs bring in all sorts of income in the form of business, investment and tourism. It could well be. But isn’t it a bit depressing to think that the world’s hard-headed business people make investments on the back of a short chat with Charles? Or that tourists flock to Ireland after they’ve seen Charles do it? To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I’m not sure I’d want to have tourists that dumb come here. As to his role in investment, I’ve yet to hear of a business person who decided a place was a profitable investment site on the grounds that Charles and Camilla had called into the place and had a simply splendid cup of tea, marred only by the appearance of that ghastly fellow Adams.
Mind you, they argue that the Saxe-Coborgs-Gothas are good for the economy & bring in much more than they cost.
But recently I learnt that bees do a better job than the inefficient Germano/British Royals.
A study by Reading University revealed that the humble, self-effacing little bee brings in £150 million more annually for the British economy. Bees are more democratic too, but they do have a queen. How she gets her title I’m not sure. Killing off rivals I hear. So not much change there.
Still in terms of value for money, I’m for the bees. At least they’re native to these shores unlike the Saxe-Coborg-Gothas.
Haven’t I been banging on about the importance of my wee honeybees for an age Cushy …I think each one of them deserves a medal…..now where would I get about 500,000 OBEs….?
I thought of you immediately, PK – I think you should be the royal consort at least…
I think “Emperor of Bees” has a bit of a ring to it, Jude…
Totally agree, Jude; I have never bought that spurious argument that hosting the Royals promotes either tourism or investment. Most certainly nott he latter since these decisions are consistently taken on a hard-headed, monetary return basis. Visits from the likes of Bill Clinton might hasten inward investment because he comes from a power base. Sport such as golf and films also influence the holiday destinations of tourists. Tourism is important to the Scottish economy particularly in the Highlands but Balmoral has not had any significant impact on the choices of tourists that I have met over the years.
This talk of counting the cost of Operation C.A.C., Esteemed Blogmeister, is not something we go in for much, down here south of the B.S.D.
In truth, we sniffy types on Liffeyside consider it an activity more suited to the vulgar cohort of the demographic in the Free Southern Stateen. The sort who are attracted to the crass itemising of loose change much in the way that tattooed and musclebound shootists of gangland are attracted to, say, the carparks of gyms.
The fact that the sartorial taste of these two cohorts tends towards the tracksuit, and the shinier the better, might indicate a certain overlap.
Thump ! Thump ! Thump !
Schrodinger again, Perkie’s pernickety pet pussycat, with his explanation-seeking thumper of a tail on the Axminster. This time, in relation to the back to back acronyms in the opening salvo.
1. C.A.C. of course stands for Charles and Camilla and has absolutely nothing, repeat, NOTHING to do with the leprechaun for stool: cac. (Stool, in the sense of that s-word one sits down for rather than that s-word one sits down upon).
2. B.S.D, needless to say, are the initials for Black Sow’s Dyke. An acronym which has only quite recently entered an already overcrowded market and has yet to carve out a niche for itself among all the other B.S.D.’s such as Bomb Sniffing Dog, Bermuda Shorts Day, and of course, the longer established, amongst many others, Back Seat Driver.
Though that day cannot be far off, if Perkie inner pride-bursting breast-beater is any judge.
Witness the diffident and low-profile thousands, including the shy, timid Timmies in their coy shimmering ladyboy outfits to the inhibited Tamaras in their de rigeur dungarees of the Dworkin Class, who thronged the streets of Dublin’s fair pair of Bristols last Saturday in their thing-hugging thongs. Oh, but hadn’t they the gaiety at Phil the Fluther’s Ballroom.
Was anyone so crass as to raise the cost of policing this,erm, Assembly?
And which Assembly emphatically said: PRIDE is never out of the question, somewhere over the Rainbow. No longer can that coloured arch in the sky be solely associated with the leprechaun and its crock of state-funded gold south of the B.S.D.
In short, and indeed shorts: Gay rather than Gaelic, Thong rather than Teanga.
In other words, a Free Southern Stateen fit to put Operation C.A.C. into critically-acclaimed effect without the tedium associated with counting the cost. How, for instance, could one even begin to tot up the cost effectiveness of, say, the ten-minute excerpt from DruidShakespeare? Specially mounted for the noted literary scholar, Camilla of the Face-obscuring (for whatever reason) Mantilla.
(Itinerary note: Chuck, was not present at the particular event, as he likes to disengage himself occasionally during these overseas trips to the Colonies, from his, erm, Wagon).
Indeed, if was this very decade of DruidShakespearean minutes which reminded Perkie of another Pride march, a solo one in this instance, back in early 1978. But an important one, made in earnest. One is clear of the timeline in what one is still pleased to call one’s mind, as the King had, erm, left this earthly premises in the previous August and so: it was a case of: Long Live the Queen.
Alas, the Queen, if one had but known it, had put a short spell to go before Micheal Mac Liammoir (for it was he !) was to shuffle off the moral coil. Even as he shuffled with a distinct lack of luas across the east side of O’Connell Bridge, heading in a northerly direction, towards his beloved GATE Theatre.
By a quare twist of fate, O’Connell Bridge was closed to last Saturday’s celebration of amour propre (and propre order too) as it is currently undergoing a make over with the installation of the LUAS lines.
(Though why it did not opt for Butt Bridge rather than Capel Street Bridge as an alternative route one shall never know. Isaac, Isaac, none of that now !)
Apart from being a solo effort at a Pride March, Michael Mac Liammoir’s stately galleon-like progress was in every other way akin to last Saturday’s joyous ego and ham event in that it took the nark completely out of the narcissism.
Certainly, if the impish wink the Queen bestowed on Perkie’s awe-struck inner playgoer was anything to go by.
Though, in fairness, going forward: there were differences between that sighting of the Queen (in early 1978) and the near-sighting of the Queen to be (in early 2015). And it would be churlish to deny them.
By way of a backstory: in 1978, the GATE and the ABBEY were still known as Sodom and Begorrah. And for reasons which will not require a carpet thumping interruption by Schrodinger (see above). One has a certain criteria when it comes to one’s selected readership.
While the inclusive Abbey of today has gaily embraced both S and B it is only right to say that the GATE of Sir Michael Colgan would never, ever dream of countenancing such a concept (inspired thought it may well be) as DruidShakespeare.
In this it is but clinging to the linguistic ideals of its founder: the Queen. Micheal Mac Liammoir was firm in his belief, as a true born English man, that leprechaun was the language most suited to the Irish and the Q’s English the language ditto suited to the English. Imagine !
This led him to founding not only the GATE theatre on Liffeyside for drama in the Q’s English but also An Thaidhdhearc in Galway for drama in the leprechaun. (Though G. Hynes, Bachelor of Arts and Druidess in chief might choose, in her critically-acclaimed wisdom, to ignore the latter)
Truly was he, The Queen, odd in more ways than one.
Anyone who doubts that need only check out his Iago in Orson Welles’s filmed Othello. Not a single, solitary bejabers or a ‘don’t I be after wearing my heart on my sleeveen’ in sight of indeed, in sound.
Needless to say OW was repaying an old debt to the Queen. For it was Mac Liammoir who first gave him a break in the leg-breaking trade when the precocious teenager from Kenosha, Wisconsin first came a knocking on the stage door of the GATE in the non-gay Parnell Square.
(As the Queen’s Iago is not without merit, it may be worth one’s time checking it out before one, erm, go goes).
To conclude: the tedious point of the foregoing, Esteemed Blogmeister, is that down here in the FSS we do not tend to put a price on shtuff that matters, like.
Like, say, our Two Official Languages: the Q’s English and Hiberno-English. The twin tools of our national tongues.
And if one seems to b egetting the nod over the other at any given time, we duly redress the balance to tossing the dosh at the other.
Thus, while DruidSheakespeare might well be making the headlines, not least by staging a ten minute theatrical triumph for the Queen Bee to be, Camilla, the awash with dosh Dublin City Council continues to fund the IMPAC Book Award for books in the Q’s English: to the tune of (gulp) a mere 100,000 smackeroos. Making it -when one tots up the makes – the biggest literary pot of gold On. The. Planet.
This is in logical keeping with the FSS Governments’s key linguistic policy of supporting minority languages currently under threat.
And who could peck at that?
PS IMPAC rhymes with C.A.C.
The Chief Executive of Sligo County Council has said that overall spending for the recent visit would be at least €300,000 and could be as high as €500,000. The costs to the council include landscaping, footpath and road repairs, crowd control barriers and marquees. There was also quite a lot of work carried out both outside and inside The Model Arts and Niland Gallery Sligo. There is also likely to be a bill for overtime for council employees.
A Euro Health Consumer Index, which looked at 36 countries, said it decided to use Irish patient organisation feedback to score Ireland on waiting times, and this accounted for the big drop in its placing.
The report refers to 2014, but waiting times have deteriorated further in 2015. The report found Ireland’s waiting list data “lacks credibility” after six years of persistent patient criticism. Healthcare in Ireland has been ranked worse than in Estonia and Slovenia – dropping from 14th to 22nd place in a new league table.
Administrative staff in the field of education may be obliged to take two months unpaid leave in order to save money in the north of Ireland.
As we await the still-unpublished anti-racism strategy, PSNI figures show there have been more than 1,000 xenophobic attacks and insults directed at immigrants as funding is withdrawn from anti-racist projects.
Perhaps it is time to direct elected representatives take unpaid leave?
Being one of those Irishmen not impressed nor enamoured by so called ” Royalty ” or ” Celebrities ” I don’t give two hoots who visits these shores as long as they don’t disrupt or impede on what I’m in the process of doing. However fate took me to Mullaghmore last week , a rather unimpressive place with seemingly little character . However , for miles around , “Classiebawn castle ” summer home of the late Louis Mountbatten jumps out from every direction. This edifice was once described as “ a hideous blot on the wild and beautiful Atlantic shoreline” and I couldn’t agree more. The history of the place is somewhat facinating and one could be persuaded to believe in Karma. At the time of Cromwell’s psychopathic rampage through Ireland the original castle and over 10,000 acres of land was ” confiscated ” from the O’Connors for having the audacity to oppose his blood letting…..it eventually made it’s way into Mountbatten’s hands and in a final twist to the story , he offered to sell it to the Irish State in 1975…..If they had accepted his offer…..well history could be somewhat different !
The royal family are like marmite, personally I can not stand the sight or sound of them, they are in my opinion a bunch of foreign spongers who, for some bizarre and as yet unknown reason, are worshipped by the British and by half the population in the six counties. The reasons for their support over here is much easier to understand, but the way they are treated by the media across the water is staggering. At various times they have been accused of racism, infidelity and greed yet all it takes is the merest rumour of a wedding or a birth and the British population turns to mush. There must be something in the water.