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.
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.
Economic fundamentalism is alive and well in Ireland.
Every day, as evidence of the hard landing mounts, a soothing spin is being manufactured which dismisses worries about the economy. The spin contends that a slump is unlikely here because the economic fundamentals are very strong. Let’s call the subscribers to this creed the ‘fundamentalists’.
When I was a kid there were only three types of football fans where we lived: Leeds fans, Man U fans and Liverpool fans. Okay, so there were a couple of Chelsea and Gunners supporters, but they were only mid-table FA cup teams and really didn’t matter.