A very interesting interview between RTE’s Ryan Tubridy and David McWilliams took place last Friday. The author of ‘The Pope’s Children’ and books on the Celtic Tiger has seen a new way of moving the country forward from the present negative state.
Here in Waterford we suffer from a similar paralysis. McWilliams cites Israel as a great country for supporting fellow Jews. American Jews support Israel financially and politically and he says we should get the internationally based Irish to do the same.
Invite major investors and bosses of Irish extraction and bring them over and sell them a case to invest again the home country as others have done before them.
Could we do the same for Waterford now that Waterford Crystal has closed. Waterford has never been so in need of support from ex-pat Waterfordians, whether in Dublin, London, America, Australia or elsewhere. Get them back and get them to invest in their home county. They will understand how much the Glass means to the people and how we need to bounce with some new ideas for jobs and business.
As we have written about our opposition to NAMA previously, we note more pundits and the public are getting sceptical of this idea and seeking other options.
The Greens to be fair will debate it but will they go to the country on it. The big issue now is that we need to get credit flowing, as one farmer told us last week.
Voting for NAMA and not having any extra credit will still lead to business closures and job losses.
How about getting some new foreign banks or a Government bank here to start lending to current businesses?
The focus should be less on the past and NAMA, and more on the future for what is left in the living economy, not on the empty property. They will be bought eventually when there is demand.
We read on CNN’s website that last week that the Chinese Government will buy $2 Billion of the $200 Billion worth of toxic assets. Here in Ireland they want the taxpayer to commit to $90 billion euro for a small Government. The figure is too big and not affordable.
More realism is needed. International banks and investors are required to buy the assets it should not be all down to the taxpayer.
The idea is almost medieval in concept in that a leader would put such a burden on a population; back then it was mainly due to expensive wars waged by a war-hungry king, but here in Ireland our debt is down to mere speculation.
Tourism opportunities abound
We met some press and tourism operators from Birmingham England, the second largest city in the UK, and they saw great potential here with the Aer Arann flight and also Ryanair connections.
They see great tourism options within the UK to boost business as people can get here for less than a train fare to Cornwall in the UK. We need great Waterford people to get behind the city and follow the David McWilliams example.WIT has an alumni sections which is doing valuable work. These contacts can be built more to benefit the city now that we are in a crisis.
We need to have the confidence to go forward. Cork people everywhere are known to support their home place, cannot we do the same in the Deise? We are great to support hurling so how about reviving the city and county too.