The Financial Crisis – From The Outside Looking South

Time was when I was growing up that we all knew when we were crossing the border south because the car dropped several inches on the road whilst simultaneously, our heads jumped several inches in the direction of the roof of the car.

Well, that was the generalisation which was indicative of many northern attitudes of the time and I’m not talking about Big Sam and Wee Rab in Ballyblackwilliam either. Maybe Nationalists along the border always knew the truth but you only had to move away a little and there was a superiority complex that somehow we were just that little better off, that bit more advanced and of course we had a work ethic to explain our advantage.

Utter bollocks the lot of it needless to say;  and shameful that we were so gullible as to buy into this thinking which was peddled by the very people who were lying to the rest of the world about us. Funnily enough, they were the very same people who changed to telling us a few years ago that the Republic wouldn’t want a millstone like us around the Celtic Tiger’s neck.

Move forward again to 2010 and shock! Horror! ‘Forget about a United Ireland, the south can’t afford to look after their own people, never mind us!’ We are left to wonder at just what level of economic prosperity we might be permitted to put forward unity as an option without ridicule.

So, how does the average person living north of the Mason-Dixon view the current situation below? Answer; they don’t, there is no average opinion but I would attempt to give you an idea of how some consider the situation.

On the extremes, there is one school of thought who says regardless of anything, we must have unity by all means and at all costs. Mirroring this is a contented Unionist sneer that enjoys the sight of a nation dying and proving it should never have left the security of the Empire.

Both positions ignore just exactly how closely the two jurisdictions are linked and the impact recession in either will have on the other. Further than that, anyone who stops to think for a second will recognise that the Republic, at least in the meantime, has an actual economy which can be improved upon. The north, on the other hand, gets pocket money from Mummy and plays grown-ups distributing the cash around its different departments.

For many people I would encounter on a daily basis there is undoubtedly an amount of pity and not in a condescending way, Christ what have we to crow about? There is anger too, anger that financial organisations can bring our countrymen to the brink of disaster and that the administration facilitated and were downright complicit in the crimes.  Mind you, the notion that politicians in Dublin were not looking after the wider interests of their people did not come as a bolt from the blue in 2008!

It would be easy to say, ‘butt out Nordie, you have a cheek considering the history there!’ and indeed elements of the press and government are already trying to spin that protests in the south are being hijacked by violent Republicans and by extension, northerners but maybe you need to think about it from the other direction; If someone from a basket-case like the six counties is in a position to criticize, then something is really rotten.

I never felt any jealousy when, in the 1990s I suddenly noticed a massive improvement in the standard of living and the infrastructure around parts of the Republic, a levelling of the road if you like, I was delighted and will be equally delighted to see prosperity return albeit in a fairer way this time hopefully, north and south and maybe even together.

Still, I bet the roads in Cavan will still be shite!

Good luck to you all.

5intheface – 21.11.2010

8 Responses

  1. The Financial Crisis – From The Outside Looking South « Political ……

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. Great post 5. The entire island is caught up in this mess. That is why the British Government is offering a loan. 40% of “exports” from the North go to the South. Two of the biggest banks who print sterling in the North have their HQ’s in Dublin. There is nothing for anyone to gloat about and everything for everyone to be angry about.

  3. What ever about nationalists who are content in the union, I don’t think the desperate state of the south will affect unionists in their outlook. If they weren’t keen on unification pre-bust then they aren’t swayed by economic conditions. Only now they have a very logical excuse…on top of their emotional decision.

    Despite all the wealth in those years, I still don’t think the south caught up to the north in an infrastructure sense. The motorways, sure, but some of our other roads are atrocious…I didn’t notice that in the 6 at all. The health service down here is bursting at the seams as well, along with a sub standard public transport system outside of Dublin.

  4. First of, good post 5. Here’s another view from the 6C.

    I’ll be honest here, I’m finding it hard to care when so many in the 26C seem to be apathetic or just resigned to their fate. A vote for FF/FG or Lab is a vote for the IMF/EU taking control for the foreseeable future. It seems very likely that FG and Lab will form the next administration.

    I also, as an Irish republican, hope for the death of both rotten states on this island but not this way and neither side alone. It must be done in unison. Neither do I want my family and fellow citizens to suffer.
    But that is exactly what is in store with the 4 year plan. (esp as I believe the first budget will be a gentle one compared to those that will follow.)

    On the issue of unity, unionist will never budge with the backing of the mothershit (no that’s not a typo). Britain needs to forced out and the Irish people as a whole to have their say.
    I don’t doubt the existance of a fair few unionists in the 26C either btw.
    Finances on either side of imaginary line will never have any say in our future.

    On a brighter note, I live in west Belfast and would just like to ask all the people of Louth to vote for Gerry and please keep him there.
    Many thanks in advance.

  5. Nice post 5. You couldn’t resist the old dig at the Cavan roads though! I was up that direction for a few days during the summer and I didn’t think they were that bad at all. One of the days we went up to Enniskillen to check out the shopping. Spent a few hours having lunch and wandering around. I haven’t been up there in donkey’s years and was blown away all over again by the ‘difference’ of the place.
    Quiet very well dressed affluence; no ‘non Irish’ of any description, English shops and hardly any southies except for a an odd family with small kids looking around the shops.
    It felt like we had just been transported across the water to some middle England town where they play cricket on Sundays. Then drive back down 20 minutes to Belturbet and its back to a different world again. Culture shocked I was!

    • Feck paddy I hope that’s real subtle sarcasm.
      Otherwise Belleck is one confused wee town, Blacklion is in the twilight zone and Bundoran really isn’t west Belfast in the summer.

  6. I never got that motorway that appeared to head south out of Belfast and then did a sneaky sweep away west..

    I like the idea of a United Ireland that would come about automatically when the tarmacadam on both sides of the border finally levels out. It would keep it simple and achievable. In the meantime we have to mind the bump.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tj zz greene, Political World. Political World said: The Financial Crisis from the Outside, Looking South. PW Blog post by 5intheface – […]

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