Numbers game

It’s been bothering me for a while, but until tonight I never bothered to do any research on it. Here’s Brian Lenihan’s version of it, as paraphrased by The Journal earlier today: “The Finance Minister said Ireland’s taxation system was no longer “fit for purpose”, saying that the upper 8% of taxpayers accounted for 60% […]

Remember this?

Brian Lenihan said the bank guarantee scheme was “a necessary first step” and “the cheapest bailout in the world so far” compared with bank rescues where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions”. “It allows us to move on and examine other questions which may have to be addressed to […]

Swinging

Sometimes, the internet intrudes on the “real world”. And sometimes, the real world intrudes on cyberspace. The Crystal Swing phenomenon began when they came to the attention of ‘pantibliss’, the blog account of Pantibar, a Dublin gay bar. [Pantibliss in turn gives the credit to Robert Popper]. From there, word spread across twitter, and the […]

Failure Is Good

Way back in September 2008, I wondered what had become of free market philosophy, as the US government scrambled to rescue crumbling banks. Two weeks later, Ireland guaranteed bank deposits and bondholders. A lot has happened since then. Back in 2008, I asked what happened to the belief in creative destruction. I’m still wondering. Capitalism […]

Tomorrow’s News

With the Blog Awards approaching, it’s time to revist an idea I’ve been toying with for some time. Blogs are fine, but even the finest blog in Ireland has a limited readership. Unless yuou’re lucky, you may never stumble across some of the best writers out there. The result? many well written articles are overlooked. […]

Basic Law

In a attempt to appear radical, Fine Gael are pitching a series of constitutional amendments if elected into government. Some are cosmetic. Reducing the president’s term of office from seven to five years, the right to petition the Oireachtas. Some are welcome. More powers to (some) Oireachtas committees. Some are sheer populism. Cut the number […]

Eircom’s Net Loss

By all accounts, Eircom has been hacked. The telco has confirmed that there was a domain name server (DNS) outage on its website last night. Internet users throughout Ireland complained they were being redirected to bogus sites. Eircom customers have noticed slowdowns since the beginning of the month, and noticeably since this weekend, due to […]

That Lisbon Non-Event

I arrived at Heathrow last night to find someone reading an Irish Independent front page announcing that a ‘Cowen-Brown rift deals blow to key Lisbon talks’. Happily, the impasse (which didn’t even make the inside pages in any British paper I read) was resolved, and the EU agreed a statement that says, in effect, that […]

Learning How The System Works

I had an interesting conversation with some (mostly Fianna Fáil, some Labour) local activists at the Kildare County Council election count yesterday. We started with the BNP results in the UK, and I mentioned that it seemed to be due to Labour voters staying at home. Apparently the BNP vote is actually down, but Labour […]