Sunday, March 26, 2023

FT 1000: 7th ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing companies 2023

Ireland has no native-born firms in the tech categories. The only entry is in the Food & Beverage category: Bevcraft Group (181), a specialist process and packaging business. Last December it merged with a Norwegian firm — Cubicle 7 Entertainment (192); System.I0 (271); Zoosh Digital (423) — these 3 Irish firms were founded by foreign nationals.

The Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) last month reported  an estimate that venture capital investment "in Irish tech firms and SMEs in 2022 totalled €1.33bn, no change on the previous year." The data are not reliable as it includes foreign firms, mainly American, that become Irish for tax purposes. 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says "Ireland has a large population of very low-productive SMEs that co-exist with high-productive large firms (mainly foreign firms)." Employer firm births are low (even including foreign firms) and the number of firms that export is also low (separate article pending). 

The Financial Times's FT 1000 published in March 2023 with Statista, a research company, data on the European companies with the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2018 and 2021.

The minimum CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) required to be included on the rankings, was 36.2% — slightly below the 35.5% in last year’s ranking.

The Big 4 countries Italy (260); Germany (217); the UK (155) and France (140) accounted for 772 of the 1,000 firms or 77%.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Children of 1960s refugees/asylum seekers to UK push for migrants to return to Africa

Their parents fled Africa as refugees in the 1960s. Now they want to ship migrants to Rwanda

Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary in the Johnson administration, and Suella Braverman, the current Home Secretary, all support sending refugees to the African country of Rwanda, even if they had no family ties in that East African country. In the 1960s their parents fled Africa and likely broke the then-British laws.

Last year Suella Braverman said, “I would love to have a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession.”

Britain abolished slavery in 1807 but existing slavery remained in the British Empire until 1834-1838. In effect for Indians a form of slavery remained called an indenture. Many Indians agreed to become indentured labourers to escape British-controlled India's widespread poverty and famines. Some travelled alone; others brought their families to settle in the colonies they worked in. 

Between 1834 and 1917, Britain took more than 1mn Indian indentured labourers to 19 British colonies, including Malaya, with its tin mining and rubber plantations.

In Africa, they settled in South and East Africa. Mauritius was successively a French and a British Colony during the period 1715-1968 and under British rule, Mauritius became a sugar-producing island.

White South Africa got its independence from Britain in 1961; Tanzania / Tanganyika in 1961-1964; Uganda in 1962; Keyna in 1963 and Mauritius in 1968.

Both the newly independent states in East Africa and the Republic of India did not want the Indo-African populations. Free Indian migrations in the 20th century had become elites in the countries.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Plunge in Irish rental residential properties raises prices

On February 1, 2023, it was estimated that the number of housing units for rent in Ireland was just over 1,000. This plunge in the market has resulted in pushing up the rents of the existing stock of rental properties.

Until land reforms in Ireland by the British administration, in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, the Anglo-Irish "absentee landlord" was a hated figure in Ireland. Today the term "landlord" is still a pejorative for some of the population.

There is a misleading notion that most landlords are making a lot of money, squeezing poorer people.

However, in 2021 the CSO (Central Statistics Office) reported that landlords (86%) owned only one or two properties. Most of them owned one. It added that half of all landlords earn less than €10,000 on these investments after allowable expenses — such as mortgage interest, depreciation on fittings and furniture, repair and maintenance costs and letting costs.

If an individual was taxed at a higher rate the net annual income from their investment was €5,150 or less. If the lower tax rate was applied it could be as high as €7,150.

The median price of a dwelling purchased in the 12 months to July 2022 was €295,000.

The return of 1.75% is not extortion.

The lowest median price for a house in the 12 months to July 2022 was €145,000 in Longford, while the highest median price was €610,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

According to Ronan Lyons of Trinity and producer of the Daft rental report, "Fewer than 1,100 homes were available to rent on February 1, 2023. This is largely unchanged from the number three months ago, at the time of the last report, and down almost 22% on the figure available on the same date a year ago.

But that figure from 2022 was itself a complete outlier in a series that stretches back to 2006. Between 2015 and 2019, a time when supply was very weak relative to demand — pulling up rents — there were typically 3,800 homes available to rent at the start of February. The average for February 1st over the full period 2006-2021 was 8,500."

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Jon Stewart on gun control and Irish useful idiots

Jon Stewart is an American comedian, political commentator, actor, director and television host. Stewart hosted The Daily Show, a satirical news program on Comedy Central, from 1999 to 2015 and he is now the host of The Problem with Jon Stewart, which premiered in September 2021 on Apple TV+.

In an episode, "Chaos, Law, and Order" on gun control with Oklahoma state senator Nathan Dahm, Jon Stewart argues Dahm's support of anti-drag show laws directly conflicts with the logic he uses for loosening gun restrictions.

Dahm and other Republicans want to shield children from drag but firearms are the biggest cause of death among children in America.

During the pandemic, firearm-related deaths rose among children, with seven children per day dying by firearm in 2021. From 2011 to 2021, nearly 18,500 children ages 17 and younger died by firearm.

Dahm has introduced several bills loosening gun restrictions, including the first anti-red flag law against restricting gun access to those deemed dangerous.

Jon Stewart: “And what you're telling me is you don't mind infringing free speech to protect children from this amorphous thing that you think of. But when it comes to children that have died, you don't give a flying fuck to stop that, because that shall not be infringed. That is hypocrisy at its highest order.”

Not only does he want to protect the Second Amendment, but he also believes that more guns make Americans safer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Putin follows Peter the Great as Russia's 1% own 59% of wealth

Peter the Great (1672 -1725. He modernised Russia and visited Western Europe in 1697 and 1717. His eldest child and heir, Alexei, was tortured and executed in 1718. Alexei had a poor relationship with his father. 

The Russian war against Ukraine is a year old and it's the biggest land war in Europe since 1945.

On April 30, 1945, in an underground bunker in Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. After the death of the beast Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces,ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich (empire).

Another insecure dictator in 2022 wanted to restore the Russian Empire and he too had a record of mass murder.

It was not on the scale of the Austrian-born Hitler but Putin and his henchmen have no mercy when it comes to targeting civilians.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said this week that nearly 18mn people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Some 14mn people have been displaced from their homes while 8mn have moved abroad.

Vladimir Putin, the current Russian dictator, has compared himself with the tsar, Peter the Great (1672-1725), in their historic quests to win back Russian lands.

“Peter the Great waged the great northern war for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned [what was Russia’s],” Putin said last June after visiting an exhibition dedicated to the tsar.

The revelation of imperial ambitions showed that the alleged grievance of the eastward Nato expansion was a facade for a conventional war of conquest.

Peter's rule, Putin suggested, was proof that expanding Russia had strengthened it.

"It seems it has fallen to us, too, to reclaim and strengthen," Putin concluded, with a near-smirk (according to Sarah Rainsford, the BBC's Eastern Europe correspondent) that left no doubt he was referring to Ukraine and his aims there.

Friday, February 03, 2023

Populist agitator Paddy Cosgrave hates Ireland

Ireland and 12 other European countries are Full Democracies: only 21 in World

Paddy Cosgrave, chief executive of the Web Summit and the most prominent business backer of the Sinn Féin political party, seems to spend a lot of time seeking material to support his claim that the Irish Government "is the largest organised crime cartel in Ireland, maybe Europe" and "the corruption & criminality of the old economy is seeping into the new economy of Irish tech."

This delusional partisan says most Irish journalists are "sycophantic, bootlicking, propagandist[s] for the crony class." In his dystopia, the Irish Government operates like Mexican drug cartels and the Italian Mafia.

Cosgrave has copied the tactics of the far-right.

The demonisation of groups is the tactic of the authoritarian and if one person behaves badly, they are all tarred with the same brush. If the pattern in the US follows, public officials will be exposed to violence. Dr Anthony Fauci, America's recent top medical expert on the coronavirus pandemic, had to get police protection.

George Orwell in 'As I Please: 1943-1945' wrote “Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet régime, or any other régime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.”

Mainstream journalism is not perfect in a free society but Cosgrave's abuse is from the Trump playbook.

India used to be proud of its democracy but the Hindu nationalist government "Through its control of the media, monopolization of campaign finance and harassment of opponents, India seems set on a path to becoming an illiberal pseudo-democracy similar to Turkey or Russia." The present prime minister ordered a raid of the BBC bureau as he was upset with a TV documentary. Reporters Without Borders ranked India 150th worldwide for press freedoms in 2022, down from 142 the year before. China is at 177.

Ireland has a ranking of 6 among 180 countries

The Irish and Finnish states despite their achievements or faults were the only two new states after the First World War to survive as democratic states in the period 1918-1945.

In November 2021 Cosgrave opened the web summit in Lisbon with "evidence" of Irish corruption. The Portuguese government provides about half of the company's annual revenue.

Last November the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD: a club of mainly advanced countries) said that since "the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention entered into force over 20 years ago, Portugal has not had a single foreign bribery conviction. Detection remains low and Portuguese authorities prematurely closed foreign bribery cases without investigating relevant allegations thoroughly and proactively, with the number of cases terminated having increased significantly compared to Phase 3. Notwithstanding recent reforms, Portugal has not addressed longstanding Working Group concerns regarding its legal framework, and sanctions for foreign bribery against natural and legal persons do not appear to be effective, proportionate or dissuasive."

It's ironic that to Cosgarve, the Irish Government "is the largest organised crime cartel in Ireland, maybe Europe" when Sinn Féin was the political front for Provisional IRA, and together with other Republican paramilitaries, they were responsible for 60% of the deaths in what were called the Troubles in 1966-1999. Both the Provisional IRA and ProvisionaSinn Féin were led by the same people.

2022: Web Summit chief calls Irish government a crime cartel

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Michael Hennigan's year of 1953 and 70 years later

"Tour Bus made a short stop here. A small village near Galway. May 14, 1953"
Photo by Martin J. Walsh Jr on a trip to Ireland in 1953, from Minnesota

The Irish Times newspaper reported on Saturday 17 January 1953 that weather conditions would be good and this was the day my mother gave birth at St Anthony's Hospital, in the southwest Irish town of Dunmanway, County Cork. I was named Michael Anthony Hennigan with the first name after my father. I had two older brothers and Maurice the eldest had been named after his paternal grandfather while Thomas was named after his maternal grandfather.

My parents had a farm east of the town and the quality of the land was not good.

On 16 January, a resolution in the US Senate called for the end of Irish partition. The future Irish American president co-sponsored the resolution.

On 18 January 1953, a political group calling itself Sinn Féin, (Irish: 'We Ourselves' or 'Ourselves Alone') said it would contest all 12 constituencies in the next Westminster elections in Northern Ireland (this Sinn Féin was a separate entity from the Provisional IRA and its political wing called Sinn Féin, that were created in Belfast in January 1970).

On 31 January, Dublin Airport's weather station showed a jump in rain and high gusts of 61.9 knots per hour. However, the Republic of Ireland escaped the massive storm damage that day, and into 1 February. The MV Princess Victoria ferry sailing between Stranraer, Scotland and Larne, Northern Ireland, sank during a storm with 133 lives lost, including every woman and child aboard while 44 men survived. In the North Sea, the storm caused extensive flooding. There were 19 deaths in Scotland; 307 in England; 28 in Belgium, and 1,836 in The Netherlands where the dykes were breached.

This event resulted in the greatest storm surge in the North Sea, on record.