Once held up as a 'poster child' for untrammeled capitalist globalisation, the Irish Republic has more recently come to represent a cautionary tale for those tempted to tread the same neoliberal path. The crash in the world economy had especially grave repercussions for Ireland, and a series of austerity measures has seen the country endure the most substantial 'adjustment' ever experienced in a developed society during peacetime. This book delineates the reactionary course that Ireland has followed since the ignominious demise of the Celtic Tiger. It argues that the forces of neoliberalism have employed the economic crisis they caused to advance policies that are in their own narrow interests, and that the host of regressive measures imposed since the onset of global recession has fundamentally restructured Irish society. The book discusses the mechanisms by which finance in Ireland sustains and reproduces itself, in particular how it was able to protect itself during the 2008 crisis. Property was at the centre of the second phase of the Celtic Tiger boom after US investment in manufacturing began to decline, leading to the Irish economic crash. The years since the onset of the recession in Ireland in 2008 have been characterised not by passivity and quietism but by extreme violence. In December 2009 as part of the first wave of austerity, the Community Development Project was informed that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs proposed not to continue funding the project beyond the end of 2009.
As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.
economy’, with close ties to both the UK and US, rooted in colonialism and
migration.5 However, these international relationships have become more complex
over time. Ireland deliberately relocated itself in the global economy as part of its
strategy of economic development. While it retained close ties to the UK, the Irish
state firmly repositioned itself as a ‘gateway to Europe’ for US corporations. Ireland
became a significant hub for USinvestment networks from the 1970s to the 2000s.
However, from the early 2000s, these international ties changed as
Class polarisation and neo-liberalism in the Irish Republic
. According to
Bradley, the Irish state did not primarily select ‘segments of indigenous
industry with the objective of gaining in efficiency and capturing greater
export market share’ but rather it adopted ‘policies designed mainly to
encourage export-orientated foreign direct investment inflows’.6 The consequence of this strategy was that the primary impetus for growth came
from a number of highly specialised sectors in which US capital was
dominant. By the turn of the century, Ireland had by far the highest level
of direct USinvestment per manufacturing worker of any
, but within three years the future of the British cinema was one of independent actors and directors using the studio facilities. The ‘Britishness’ of such actors, including overseas-born stars, was emphasised in newspaper advertisements and studio publicity at a time when USinvestment within the UK film industry was ever-increasing. The Eady Levy 3 of 1950 included US-backed productions (Stubbs 2009 : 5) and between 1954 and 1956 the proportion of British films distributed by US firms doubled (Harper and Porter 2003 : 30).
In 1962 Vincent Canby stated that
Communities (FitzGerald 2002). Earlier legislative and taxation
changes also served to attract international – specifically US – industrial investment to the state. In the decade of the 1960s more than 350 foreign-owned
industrial concerns – mostly US – were established. These firms, by the mid1970s, employed more than a quarter of the manufacturing workforce,
accounted for more than 65 per cent of all non-UK destined exports, totalled
Global citizen and European Republic
more than $2 billion in USinvestment and represented the largest per capita USinvestment in
backed Cromwell and Young Winston (Richard
Attenborough, 1972), Hal B. Wallis produced Anne of a Thousand
Days (Charles Jarrott, 1970) and Mary, Queen of Scots (Charles Jarrott,
1971) for Universal. These films were expensively produced but in
most cases did not make profits, thus impacting on the subsequent
withdrawal of USinvestment from the British film industry.43
A number of historical ‘Carry On’ films were also made during
the decade, such as Carry On Henry (Gerald Thomas, 1971) and
Carry On Dick (Gerald Thomas, 1974). But these films only ever
‘play’ at being
to lend truth to the claim that ‘a
rising tide lifts all boats’.
The third phase, the Celtic Tiger, was even more spectacular in its success and
ultimate failure. It began fortuitously when the formation of the single EU
economic market encouraged US firms to seek a location inside its borders. They
chose Ireland because it was English-speaking, had a relatively educated workforce
with comparatively low wages and, crucially, had a low tax regime. When the flow
of USinvestment began to run out after the 2002 economic recession, Fianna Fáil
attempted to prolong the
amendments to the 1934 Securities Exchange Act in August 2004. These amendments permitted the non-bank affiliated holding companies of the US broker-dealers the alternative of ‘voluntarily’ committing themselves to having the SEC as supervisor. They then became ‘consolidated supervised entities’ (CSEs) and continued to operate in the EU and the EEA. All of the Big Five USinvestment banks became CSEs.
Regulations for the consolidated supervised entities
The new regulations for the five stand-alone investment banks are set out in the
unemployment as national industries collapsed,
but by the 1990s a new era of prosperity seemed to begin. Officially, the
boom began in 1994, when, in an obscure European investment assessment bulletin, the USinvestment bank Morgan Stanley asked, perhaps
tongue in cheek, whether there was a new Celtic Tiger about to join the
family of East Asian tiger economies.
So, the Celtic Tiger emerged just when ‘globalisation’ was beginning
to make itself felt in earnest. This does not mean that globalisation produced the Celtic Tiger, whose origins lay, as we saw in the bare outline