UK weighs billions of loans to Ireland



Scipio

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It's been almost a century now. When do the Irish start taking responsibility for their own destiny?
Ireland is one of the richest countries in the world as well as being one of the United Kingdom's most important trading partners. I would suggest that they started "taking responsibility" quite a long time ago.

The constant failure of a small section of the Irish population to see which way the wind was blowing in Europe and getting involved with an enemy (France & Spain) who had no interest whatsoever in Ireland other than a platform for an invasion of England might have something to do with that. Ireland remained, thanks to a minority and out of their own selfish reasons (Wolfe Tone spring to mind) in a state of perpetual war.
The main driver behind "perpetual war", an exaggeration, was the economic state of rural Ireland until the early 20th century.

It's no surprise that the various violent and/or revolutionary organizations throughout the years, the Defenders, Ribbonmen, Rockites etc. were all linked one way or another to the land, and hence the pitiful economic state of most Irish people.

The fact that things became worse after 1801, not better, is an indictment. For all its faults, the Ascendancy never let a disaster such as the 1845-1849 Famine take place, indeed when one did break out during the 1780s, the Irish parliament stopped exports to England and took concrete measures to stave off starvation.

The fact that the common Irishman was better off under corrupt local rule, than under ostensibly democratic foreigners, says it all.

The link you posted suggests reasons for this large emigration. None of which strike me as a symptom of our being British. It is of course very subjective. We have no way of knowing whether or not these symptoms would have existed in an Ireland free from any country. In fact the link you posted seems to suggest it was a problem within Ireland itself.
Our very economic state was in large measure dictated by our subordination to Britain, or more particularly, England.

In the early 1700s, people like Jonathan Swift and William Molyneux railed against English interference in the Irish economy, and the overly negative effect it had on the Irish, both Protestant and Catholic.

Little had changed come 1900, indeed the fact that A Modest Proposal was still relevant in Ireland at the turn of the century shows just how much domination by and membership of the United Kingdom retarded our progress.
 

Anglo Celt

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Ireland is one of the richest countries in the world
You better let the IMF know that when they show up tomorrow.


The main driver behind "perpetual war", an exaggeration, was the economic state of rural Ireland until the early 20th century.
and yet the link you posted suggests otherwise.

The fact that things became much worse after 1801, not better, is an indictment.
Again, the link you posted suggests otherwise.

For all its faults, the Ascendancy never let a disaster such as the 1845-1849 Famine take place, indeed when one did break out during the 1780s, the Irish parliament stopped exports to England and took concrete measures to stave off starvation.
Regrettable obviously. But again, it's pure speculation. It's not possible for us to know what an Irish Government would or wouldn't have done. The population in 1740 was dramatically smaller than it was a hundred years later.


The fact that the common Irishman was better off under corrupt local rule, than that of ostensibly democratic foreigners, says it all.
Again, your link.




Our very economic state was in large measure dictated by our subordination to Britain, or more particularly, England.
It's all themmuns fault. Ireland and Irish society seems to have had it's own problems (if that link you posted is anything tog by).

Little had changed come 1900, indeed the fact that A Modest Proposal was still relevant in Ireland at the turn of the century shows just how much domination by and membership of the United Kingdom retarded our progress.
Again, read the link you posted.

Sorry for repeating myself, but you posted a link to back up your previous post. That link seems to contradict what you're saying.
 

Scipio

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You better let the IMF know that when they show up tomorrow.
The IMF had to "bail out" the United Kingdom in 1976, was the U.K. no longer a "rich country" at that point and time? Don't be ridiculous.

and yet the link you posted suggests otherwise.
No, the link I posted details the conditions Ireland existed under from 1870 onwards. That improvements in certain areas like education and health were made is undeniable, but the overall economic state of most of the country remained dire (and for an integral part the richest and largest Empire the world had ever seen even more so), thus Ireland being the only European country to experience a drop in population as compared to 1800.

For comparison, try the period beforehand:

Ireland, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was coming to the end of a long period of economic expansion. Rising demand for food—first from the British and French colonies in the West Indies and from the steadily increasing volume of shipping crossing the Atlantic, later from the new industrial centres of Great Britain—had encouraged a dramatic expansion of agriculture. There was also a growing industrial sector: an export-based linen manufacture, a woollen industry meeting most domestic needs, food processing enterprises such as brewing, distilling and flour milling, and luxury trades such as silk weaving, glass-making and coach building. When, in the 1770s, English cotton manufacturers developed steam and water powered machinery for the spinning of cotton thread, Irish manufacturers responded with impressive speed, setting up factories using the new technology in a wide range of locations.

By the end of the eighteenth century, the effects of agricultural, industrial and commercial expansion were everywhere to be seen. Dublin, Cork and other centres had expanded rapidly, with narrow crooked streets and timbered houses giving way to broad avenues lined with substantial town houses and public buildings. In the countryside, likewise, land was drained or reclaimed, fields were enclosed by ditches and hedges, and landlords invested their growing wealth in new mansions set in carefully laid out demesnes. The population had risen from less than 2.5 million in the early eighteenth century to perhaps 5 million by 1800.
That is not to suggest that pre-1800 Ireland was laudable - it wasn't.

It does show however that local control over own economic affairs, and increased local democracy, was much preferable to rule from across the water - a fact most Irish recognized whether it was through the Repeal movement, or, later, the Home Rulers.


Again, the link you posted suggests otherwise.
Taken on the whole, it doesn't. Ireland became an agriculturally dominated economy reliant on Britain for nearly all its exports, and on the British exchequer to subsidize us otherwise.

That there was a Land War over the lack of tenant right on their land, and the concurrent domination of agriculture in most of Ireland's economy isn't a step forward in my book.

Anglo Celt said:
Regrettable obviously. But again, it's pure speculation. It's not possible for us to know what an Irish Government would or wouldn't have done. The population in 1740 was dramatically smaller than it was a hundred years later.
The population in the 1780s was around 4 and a half million people, and rising.

I can't see how an Irish government could possibly have done a worse job than Whitehall. 1 million dead, another million gone on coffin ships. Relations between Ireland and England poisoned for generations. It's a trifle more than ''regrettable".

It's all themmuns fault. Ireland and Irish society seems to have had it's own problems (if that link you posted is anything tog by).
Of course it did. It's a pity it wasn't able to sort them out alone.

If Grattan's parliament had to have remained, and the franchise eventually extended to the entire population (and Catholic Emancipation would surely have come a lot quicker than 1829), Ireland would still be united today and there would have been no 1916 et al.

So saying it's "themmuns fault", while an oversimplification, still bears a large degree of truth.
 

Dub guy

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Top story on BBC News at Ten a few minutes ago... UK Banks are up to their oxters in it here (like the Germans)... two of which are majority owned by the UK Government..
RBS / Ulster Bank and Lloyds Banking group (Bank of Scotland Ireland/ Halifax)..
and other UK Banks would have lent large amounts direct to Irish Banks during the bubble. No wonder George Osbourne is taking an interest in our situation. The previous UK Government sat on the sidelines earlier this year during the Greek crisis, insisting it was a ''Eurozone'' problem.
 

Dub guy

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sorry, i made a mistake in above post - the UK Government owns approx 40% of Lloyds Banking Group.. our mess still means a possible huge loss to them..
 

Anglo Celt

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The IMF had to "bail out" the United Kingdom in 1976, was the U.K. no longer a "rich country" at that point and time? Don't be ridiculous.
We're a rich country by what standard? Compared to Eastern Europe? We might be. But trying to argue that Ireland is one of the top countries in the world, as you argued on other threads is being "ridiculous". Do you live here by the way?


No, the link I posted details the conditions Ireland existed under from 1870 onwards. That improvements in certain areas like education and health were made is undeniable, but the overall economic state of most of the country remained dire (and for an integral part the richest and largest Empire the world had ever seen even more so), thus Ireland being the only European country to experience a drop in population as compared to 1800.
The population was unsustainable. But back to your point. You claimed Ireland had gotten continual worse since the Act of Union but the link you posted contradicts that. In fact, in reading the link that you posted, it suggests Ireland was a highly socially progressive society introducing reforms which wouldn't been seen in England or Wales for another 100 years. If we take infant mortality rates as being amongst the lowest in Europe in that period (as your article suggests), we went backwards after independence.

It does show however that local control over own economic affairs, and increased local democracy, was much preferable to rule from across the water - a fact most Irish recognized whether it was through the Repeal movement, or, later, the Home Rulers.
I take your point, but it also shows that Ireland greatly benefited from the Empire

That there was a Land War over the lack of tenant right on their land, and the concurrent domination of agriculture in most of Ireland's economy isn't a step forward in my book.
Which resulted in legislation that put Irish farmers and tenants in positions far stronger than their counterparts in England, Wales or Scotland and that by 1908, land ownership in Ireland was bigger than it was on the mainland. But given what went on in Ireland previous to that, it's unsurprising that people who cohorted with a selfish interest enemy would bare the brunt of their defeat.


The population in the 1780s was around 4 and a half million people, and rising.
From what I can see, in 1740 (during the Great Frost) the Irish population was 2.4 - 2.5 million

Of course it did. It's a pity it wasn't able to sort them out alone.
That's convenient. Ireland was very capable of solving internal problems itself. Many of the problems were localised problems.

If Grattan's parliament had to have remained, and the franchise eventually extended to the entire population (and Catholic Emancipation would surely have come a lot quicker than 1829), Ireland would still be united today and there would have been no 1916 et al.
It's a "what if..." again and difficult to know how things would have panned out but I do take your point and agree. We could also suggest that if successive Irish governments had done what their Protestant counterparts in Europe did and outlaw Roman Catholicism as a treasonable offense it might well have been to the benefit of the country (given a generation or two).

So saying it's "themmuns fault", while an oversimplification, still bears a large degree of truth.
Not really. It's a cop-out. We bear none of the responsibility for our actions? Who will we be looking to blame next? The EU? the Germans?


I think prehaps we should start a new thread. I don't want to hijack a current affairs discussion
 
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Tomas Mor

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Looks like Biffo will not be here to curtesy to her majesty when she arrives.
 

McDave

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Sweden is also prepared to offer us bilateral loans. In one sense this is welcome. Non-Eurozone countries are prepared to give us options. This helps further diversify the ECB/IMF fund. Thus helping keep more powder dry for dealing with Portugal and Spain.

On the other hand, it truly is an awful indictment of those Bodenstown Gasbags (i.e. FF, for those who do not remember FG's John Kelly's priceless characterisation of FF's gombeen barstool "republicans") that anyone in the UK would now have a legitimate right to question the value of our breaking free of the UK.
 

McDave

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And while we're at it, it might be instructive to actually read Kelly's Dail contribution: Dil ireann - Volume 354 - 14 December, 1984 - Adjournment of Dil: Motion (Resumed). [scroll half way down to "Mr Kelly"]. FF were just as fiscally flatulent 26 years ago:
Previous speakers on the Government side drew attention to the childish performance of the Opposition, particularly since the summer, in racking up enormous totals of public expenditure on promises, while fighting shy of any suggestion on how to pay for them. They talked about the PAYE burden, the VAT burden and the excise burden, and demanded a reduction in the tax levels generally, while also refusing to explain [3090] exactly where the money would otherwise come from except by borrowing, either domestic borrowing which, as we discussed here last week, has the necessary effect of pushing up interest rates if it gets too high, or foreign borrowing which has far more serious consequences, with exposure to exchange risks, and the fact that the debt service on foreign borrowing goes out the window and is lost to the economy for good. In other words, it creates jobs somewhere else.
Plus ca change...
 


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