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 Post subject: The Metrostate
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Of Systemic Importance

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One of the stand out statistics of new Ireland is that a hundred years after the 1916 Rising, 40% of the citizens of Ireland now live within a mere 50 km of that same GPO. The equivalent figure in 1911, just before the Easter Rising, was 21%. One of the lesser discussed topics of Ireland’s journey into nationhood over the last century is the extent to which the country has become centralized around Dublin.

But this is not just the story of demographic centralization, the real story of this journey over the last century has been the relentless drive towards the centralization of power. What we have seen emerging is not just a country centred largely on the east coast of Ireland but a de facto Metrostate where power and decision making is increasingly concentrated in the hands of an ever decreasing circle of connected people.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Ireland’s political elites. Fine Gael’s political representation is highly concentrated on the east coast – 27 of their 50 TDs or 54% represent constituencies in the province of Leinster. However, the concentration of power is even more acute when one looks at the composition of the cabinet, the fifteen member executive which effectively runs the country. Seven out of fifteen cabinet ministers – 47% – represent Dublin constituencies.

When two other ministers are included – Simon Harris (Wicklow) and Regina Doherty (Meath East) – we are left with a situation whereby 60% of the cabinet is drawn from what is effectively the Dublin metropolitan area. An interesting sociological overview on the composition of this same cabinet is obtained when it is considered that 40% of them attended private fee-paying secondary schools – a figure well in excess of the general population.

At a time when ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ have been elevated to the status of dogma in Irish political culture, the supreme irony is that the political executive supposedly charged with driving this same agenda is about as far removed as it is possible to be. An examination of the make-up of Ireland’s other power elites in areas such as the media, banking and the NGO/quango sector is likely to come up with a similar finding – namely, Ireland’s rulers tend to be drawn disproportionately from the elites of the Dublin metropolitan area.


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The Dublin property market – a constant source of fascination for Ireland’s power elites – is testimony to this growing social and economic divide within Dublin. When it’s examined up close, one of the most striking features of this market is just how polarized it is.

A MyHome.ie study in 2017 based on actual prices paid for properties showed that the highest average prices in the capital were in Dublin 4 (€890,000) making them approximately 6 times greater than those in Dublin 10 (€153,000). Both postal districts are less than ten kilometres apart!

However, even this doesn’t capture the growing chasm between Dublin’s ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ as the city’s transient rental population and the homeless don’t even make it on to the bottom scale of this measurement of economic and social inequality.

The Dublin housing crisis and more particularly, the city’s homeless crisis, is about much more than a shortage of bricks and mortar. While Dublin’s elites have prospered in the wake of nationhood and more recently, the opportunities presented by globalisation, it is quite obvious that this same trend has been disastrous for what might be termed Dublin’s traditional working class. One of the reasons why Dublin’s homelessness crisis is so acute is because the economic viability underpinning much of its traditional working class has been undermined.


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For many, the notion of social welfare as a temporary ‘helping hand’ has long since been replaced by the reality of social welfare maintaining large sections of the population in a near permanent state of charity. This is as much true for Dublin’s traditional working class as it is for people living in economically disempowered regions beyond the capital.

One of new Ireland’s self-sustaining myths about itself is that of an inclusive and socially progressive country, the scale and extent of the country’s welfare budget is often pointed to as evidence of this. However, a less benign interpretation might be that the ultimate beneficiaries of this largesse are, in fact, the political elites who end up with a massive stockpile of cash with which to placate and manipulate sections of the electorate for their own benefit.

The journey from Proclamation to a new, ‘socially progressive’ and ‘inclusive’ Ireland centred on an east coast Metrostate has indeed been a long one. Whatever way you look at it, centralizing so much economic activity, population and power in one area has only served the interests of the power elites who now effectively run Ireland.


https://burkeanjournal.com/welcome-to-the-metrostate/

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 Post subject: Re: The Metrostate
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:45 pm 
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Neo Landlord

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Fair enough but the move to large metropolitan areas in the last 100 years is not unique to Ireland or even Europe.

It will only get worse with the growth of 'smart cities' where even more of the population may be kettled in a permanent state of hyper connectivity and surveillance.


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 Post subject: Re: The Metrostate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:20 am 
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Too Big to Fail
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In ways I think this trend has peaked, but it's just not borne out in yet in figures.

Back in 1916 many towns were alike, many communities, especially in the west actually got by on trading labour and goods, one estimate I read reckon that only 15% of economic activity was transacted through money.

Now everywhere is in the system.

What people now look at is what's available in every regional centre.

International Airport, Dublin, Shannon and Cork; Belfast if Partition ends.

Colleges and hospitals, pretty good spread, even from what I've seen densely populated England regional Ireland does pretty well.

I reckon we're going to start seeing an escape from Dublin to these regional hubs, and not just retirees. Dublin isn't far away for that team meeting once a week.

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 Post subject: Re: The Metrostate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:46 am 
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Nationalised

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Interesting subject, raises a few things. The world has had a rush to cities for better lives for quite some time.
Accommodation and commute times are pretty bad in alot of these places as a result now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_pop ... r_province
When Irelands population last peaked in the 1840s Munster had somewhere in the region of 2.3 million people, Connacht 1.4 and Leinster 1.9.
Cork had a population of 850,000 while Dublin had 372,000 (1841 census figures https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_pop ... r_province )

Population was far more evenly spread. We have plenty of regional cities, does it all need to be based in Dublin in the modern era? Is it really economically beneficial in such a small country?

This is a blog but it shows new thinking among planning/development consultants:

https://justimagine.aurecongroup.com/ho ... need-city/

Quote:
As technology advances and the nature of workplaces and jobs radically change, and fewer jobs require a physical presence, the need for people to continue flocking to cities could diminish. Could we see the start of counter-urbanisation with the world’s population increasingly living rurally instead of in cities? Could this be the answer to the monumental task faced by cities under enormous pressure from population growth, urbanisation and climate change?

But, with advanced economies reliant on services, people’s livelihoods are no longer linked to the land or the production of goods, but rather to managing the underpinning transactions. In the future, say 50 years from now, why wouldn’t people gravitate to rural areas where there is more room, when it is perfectly feasible through technology to manage all those transactions remotely?


https://justimagine.aurecongroup.com/ho ... al-cities/

Quote:
As urbanisation increases, cities around the world are becoming congested and overcrowded. Inhabitants are fed up with hours in traffic and paying extortionate rates for accommodation. Against a backdrop of Brexit and increasing global volatility, are we starting to see a case for anti-urbanisation? Globally, more people live in urban than in rural areas and, by 2050, the United Nations predicts that 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. Are we making a mistake by accepting these statistics as inevitable? Is a blind headlong rush into urbanisation the best course of action?

Recent thinking confirms that the division between those who have captured the majority of the benefits from global integration and those who haven’t runs between major cities and smaller communities. The Brexit vote confirmed this growing disillusionment – the sector with the highest ‘leave’ vote experienced stagnating median household incomes for nearly two decades.



there is some rubbish about the gig economy in there but nonetheless with internet penetration almost all encompassing and the possibility of environmentally friendly private transport like electric cars there could well be a change over time counter to recent urbanisation.


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 Post subject: Re: The Metrostate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Too Big to Fail
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I lived in Dublin for a few years for university and I didn't miss it when I left. It's a got the choice of courses but I found that from a social and lifestyle point of view regional towns and other cities delivered a much better package. If I want to see a bunch of shows and exhibits in Dublin I'd probably be able to afford to see more on a weekend visiting from a much lower cost base than struggling to pay a Dublin rent.

All through the bubble years the only time I'd see Dublin was as I was bypassing it on the M50 on the way to the airport.

We're abroad again possibly planning a return next year and thankfully her job allows us a good choice outside Dublin. Aside from the courses and some specialist medical facilities I can't think of any reason to put Dublin before many other alternatives in Ireland. Before when we were living in a regional town both our commutes were walkable and the housing stock far more bang for your wage.

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Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are doomed to watch everyone else repeating it.


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