Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. And thanks to the guys at IrishElection for linking in. Glad you found it worth a read.
Next up is Lisbon and NAMA. I suport both though with slight qualifications in each case. I think NAMA is going to work and work reasonably well and I’ll say why in a longer post over the weekend. Although I’m not entirely sure what will happen to our developer friends and the associated business interests and downstream dependents (e.g. Employees, Creditors) as NAMA does not appear to do much for them. They still owe a bundle on many worthless sites. On Tuesday they owed AIB 10M for a site worth 3M, On Wednesday they owe NAMA 10M for a site worth 3M. The difference is the rest of the banks (in theory) can then restart lending to ‘normal’ or at least more probably profitable business iniatives. Caveat emptor as regards the builders and the 3M sites but NAMA is not a panacea for anyone.
Lisbon, well I thought it was a good deal last year and still do, although I still have reservations over a second referendum so soon after the people voiced their views on the first one. Right or wrong, it does weaken the democratic process somewhat if you keep going till you get the ‘right’ answer. Does anyone seriously think we would be having a second referendum if the answer was ‘Yes’ last time? Otherwise the treaty still stands on the merits (I felt) it had last year. Housekeeping by and large and the union should be more streamlined and efficient as a result Lisbon coming into force . Ironically I felt it was an eminently sensible decision to reduce the number of commissioners, to form a workable group size, having said that it is hard not to be pleased Ireland will not retain a permanent seat at the table.
Also whilst there is nothing specific in the treaty either way, there is no doubt the outcome will affect investor confidence and international views on Ireland which are fundamentally important as we try to navigate our way into safer waters. Critics may point at FDI figures since last year but a second ‘No’ would be a bridge too far for that to continue. Also I feel most the naysayers are actually fighting a different battle. Many of them are opposed to the European project full stop. I even have sympathy for some of their arguments (soverignity being one) but that ship has sailed, it left port in the seventies and rejection or otherwise of Lisbon will not alter those issues.
On balance the European project has been a profoundly positive experience for Ireland. Areas such as workers rights, an expanded market for our goods, greatly lessened economic dependency on Britain, progressive environmental legislation, funding from ECB for our banks and from Europe in general for our infrastructure projects, enhancement of Ireland’s strategic attractivenes ref EMEA and many other reasons all mean I will be voting Yes on October 2nd. More on this anon.