CrisisJam #2

  • 21 January 2011

ESRI forecasts have a notoriously wide margin of error, so their prediction this week that 50,000 people would leave Ireland this year may be way off the mark. Not least because of one of those 'unforeseeable events' that can throw statisticians' forecasts off - this time the unforeseen was a series of absurd political meltdowns that, whatever their effects on economic stability, will surely have had hundreds thinking about escape from the lunatic morass that has become Irish public and political discourse. 

Curated by Patrick Barry, this week's CrisisJam humbly hopes to offer some respite. Read on...

  • The Emperor is a fighter, not a golfer - - Gavan Titley
  • Shadowboxing in the halls of power - - Patrick Barry
  • Singeing the bondholders -- Malachy Browne
  • We still can't all live on a small island? -- Piaras Mac Éinrí
  • The socio-economic realities of ill health, Part II -- Justin Frewen & Anna Datta
  • How the Irish economy became addicted to cheap money -- Aidan Regan

At a stroke, with a stroke, the provisions of the Finance Bill, the 437,000 on the live register, the 50,000 set to emigrate and planning permission for the final stage of the Corrib gas pipe: all disappeared. And in their place: a beleaguered fightin man appeared; a man from the 'real world' making brave appeal to the battered, courageous truth behind 'lazy media narrative'; a man committed to overcoming his own marginalisation and wresting some degree of power for his downtrodden, sidelined tribe.

In a week that saw Brian Cowen stomp angrily from studio to studio, mouth afroth, horns lowered and tail swishing dangerously, Patrick Barry wonders if our home-grown Rageguy might be less a slave to his own passions, and more a skilled and expert manipulator furious with a purpose.

Malachy Browne reports on the banks and investors keeping the loan pyres burning. 

In 1987 Brian Lenihan Sr told us sternly: 'We can't all live on a small island'. With the publication this week of the ESRI's forecast that 50,000 people will leave Ireland this year the spin machine, which has been chuntering along steadily since recession hit, has burst into one of its periodic spurts of overdrive. Piaras Mac Éinrí traces a history of emigration, and the governmental obfuscation that seeks to characterise it as individual choice, and not the consequence of systemic failure.

According to a 2008 report by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, 'Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.' Justin Frewen and Anna Datta examine the health effects of inequality, and argue that an equitable health service alone is not enough to ensure equal health for all.

Rumours of this special little island's special ability to perform economic miracles were, as we all know by now, greatly exaggerated. Aidan Regan outlines the peculiar alignment of stars that led to boom, and the choices made that guaranteed spectacular bust.


Damien Mulley on how this election will not be 'on the internet'