How Far Ireland Has Come 

How Far Ireland Has Come

A piece in Slate that is a bit amazing--at least to me.

Northern Ireland, traditionally wealthier than the Republic, has now become quite a bit poorer. It depends on a substantial subsidy from Britain, and in fact, one obstacle to a union of the island is that the Republic does not want to assume the cost of this subsidy.

There is a potential upside to unity:

Plunk Ulster into the Irish Republic, with its low corporate taxes, and it starts to look like a Celtic Tiger cub with a hungry, well-educated, English-speaking workforce. The scourge of paramilitaries clouds the North's future, and a mafia empire could emerge, but real economic opportunity would make organized crime less alluring.

Gladstone was proceeding on the assumption that all of Ireland could be granted "home rule," with no special status for counties that happened to be predominantly Protestant. Joseph Chamberlain, father of the famous appeaser, and Randolph Churchill, father of the famous Churchill, united (improbably given their histories) to lead a demagogic campaign to keep the Empire United. "Ulster will fight. And Ulster will be right."

This nightmare may finally come to an end in the near future.

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Comment when you say it like that it makes a lot of sense

Wed Apr 5, 2006 2:18 pm MST by bob stevens

Comment when you say it like that it makes a lot of sense

Wed Apr 5, 2006 1:53 pm MST by bob stevens

Comment I know I'm off topic but today is the best day as she has said

Mon Apr 3, 2006 3:45 pm MST by tim smith

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