Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sayonara Paddy

David McWilliams has a deeply distressing piece in this morning's Independent. McWilliams points out that all this brouhaha about getting the unions onside for Ireland's greater economic growth is a bottle of smoke. "Partnership" doesn't matter outside the public sector, where the Unions will continue to béal bocht even when their begging bowls are made of actual gold. What does matter, however, is the country's tremendous reliance on multi-nationals, and consequent dearth of native industry on which to fall back should the multi-nationals pull the plug.

Right now, according to McWilliams, Microsoft, Dell and Intel acount for twenty per cent of the Irish Gross National Product, and 87.6 per cent of our exports. Partnership doesn't matter a rooty-toot-toot to the multi-nationals. And while we're protest marching about the war in Iraq the Nike sneakers on our marching feet are paid for by Yankee dollar. It begins and ends in the States - we're only making up the numbers on a spreadsheet on someone's desk back in the States whose name we don't even know.

And back in those United States, in a back room in some steel and glass office in Houston, TX, or St Louis, MO, or even New York, New York, itself, there's a guy called Hank wearing hornrimmed glasses and a seersucker suit. All Hank does all day is sit in front of a great big set of scales with a leprechaun in one basket and a green eyed yellow god of the mysterious orient in the other. Right now the leprechaun has the balance, but as India and China get more and more computer literate that green eyed little yellow god gets heavier and heavier. Until the balance tips, at which point Hank picks up the phone and says "Mr President? Hank here. Yes sir - it's sayonara Paddy."

An Spailpín Fánach notes that his countyman, Mr Kenny, if elected, will give the bums the rush to troller sleepers, drunks and wasters - I wonder what he, or any of those other buckaroos in Dáil Éireann, are going to do about all these Irish eggs in one multinational basket?

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