In England, the fancy French train snails through the Kent countryside at around 80 kilometres an hour, shuddering periodically on second-rate, privatised infrastructure (supplied by the now bankrupt Railtrack).
Next week is the 400th anniversary of the battle of Kinsale in which the English monarchy defeated Gaelic Ireland. This English victory marked the beginning of the remarkable story of the British Empire.
In fact, there is a direct link between the discovery of the dead refugees in Wexford, the amount of borrowed cash spent at the tills in the next week and the price of houses in Dublin. All three are products of globalisation and will change utterly how this economy and society works over the coming years.
Although a budget has ceased to matter materially to the performance of the economy, it still gives us a great insight into the heads of our rulers. The picture revealed on Wednesday was rather frightening.
The bank’s entire economic fraternity crammed into a small office and giddily jotted down figures to assess the impact of the various numbers pronounced by the minister.