Labels are just so HiCo

By | November 19, 2006

Having gone to bed early, I didn’t get to see the first episode of The Pope’s Children on RTE. But there was no way I was missing the second. Any programme attacked in double-page spreads by almost every broadsheet newspaper had to be worth a look.
I knew David McWilliams had made an impact when I produced an organic rice biscuit for one of the children when visiting friends last Sunday. The six adults all shrieked in laughter. “Organic! That’s so HiCo,” hooted one, a reference to the Hibernian Cosmopolitan stereotype coined by McWilliams. While I didn’t let my sense of humour fail totally, I did go on the defensive. “But there are no additives. And they eat Jaffa Cakes at home all the time,” I said. Privately I resolved to become the anti-HiCo — no one was going to label me.

Everyone else seemed to have an organic rice biscuit moment last week too. A nation reared itself up in collective indignation at McWilliams’ claim that we are creatures of mass hysteria. Well, the nation didn’t rear up; the media did.

Anyone I met thought The Pope’s Children provided an amusing insight into a society that has undergone a profound revolution in the last 10 years. Commentators, however, were divided only on the precise nature of McWilliams’s crime. Either he’d gotten it completely wrong, or everything he said was absolutely right but others had been saying it for years.

I tuned in eagerly last Monday. My husband and I alternated between sniggers and gasps. The sniggering came as we recognised the stereotypes McWilliams described. There’s the Kell’s Angels, well-educated, well-travelled, long-distance commuters. Then we have DIY Declan, the high priest of DIY found in Woodies every Sunday, and Robopaddy, the Irishman who owns 15 properties in English cities or on Bulgaria’s coastline having borrowed on the value of his Dublin home.

McWillams points out our foibles with an engaging wit which makes his stating of the obvious look all too easy.

Our gasps were when McWilliams used well-proven economic theories to explain how the Celtic tiger is following a standard pattern of behaviour which may end in disaster.

By the end I was hugely relieved. I’d missed the boat in the mid-1990s by not buying property in Dublin. According to McWilliams, the property boom is bound to collapse and I can get back in again in 10 years’ time.

Of course, if I was a journalist living in Dublin who’d just paid an enormous sum for my house, I might see things differently. If my newspaper’s well-being was dependent on advertising earnt from the weekly property supplement, I might be worried about the effect a property crash would have on my job. If I was being wined and dined by bankers, developers and auctioneers, all insisting this bubble will never burst, I might start to believe it. Hey, I might even write a few thousand words attacking McWilliams. I worked too long in PR and know too many journalists with rental properties to believe all comment is made from a neutral position.

The bottom line is this: McWilliams must be wrong. He has to be wrong. Too much depends on him being wrong.

I am not saying that everything McWilliams says is right. Indeed, Vincent Browne points out that a property crash may not be disastrous once unemployment levels stay low. Browne observes that the value of your house is irrelevant once you can make the mortgage repayments.

I’d contend that a crash in property values will trigger a general recession in which people lose their jobs. A lot of our spending is based on the liberation of equity from those homes now mortgaged to the hilt.

The point is that all theories are open to analysis and debate. But when you see such uniformity of vilification, then you know someone hasn’t said something inaccurate — they’ve said something dangerous.

The clearest sign is when the comment shifts from the merits of the argument to the flaws in the presenter’s personality. When a consensus on the daftness of McWilliams’ economic observations had bedded down, we moved swiftly to personal attack. Eddie Hobbs suffered the same experience when he exposed our crazy spending habits and the vested interests of retailing in his Rip-Off Republic series. When they’d finished tearing up his theories they moved onto his involvement with Tony Taylor’s investment group. The accepted history was that Hobbs was a whistle blower. The spin put out last summer was that he was one of the guilty himself.

The same strategy applied to McWilliams. Not only was he wrong, but when he was right, he’d only ripped off what someone else said. We heard again that “he didn’t invent the term Celtic tiger”. But McWilliams has never claimed he did. It was erroneously attributed to him because in 1994 he predicted that Ireland’s economy would “grow like an Asian tiger” — Asian tiger being a recognised economic phenomenon indicating rapid growth.

Interestingly, The Daily Telegraph quoted McWilliams and lampooned him for suggesting such a ridiculous notion. He turned out to be right then. I bet he’s right now too.
McWilliams’ stereotypes, such as HiCos, are being compared to the famous Bobos, the Bohemian bourgeoisie identified by David Brooks, a popular American economist he frequently quotes. The practice of categorising people by lifestyle is a long-established habit of strategic-marketing managers. Bobos are simply the descendants of the 1980s’ Yuppies. HiCos are the Irish Bobos.

And there’s the rub. The commentariat has taken offence because McWilliams has highlighted the rather obvious fact Ireland is not much different to anywhere else. We all conform to established patterns. We laugh because we know HiCos and DIY Declans. But none of us likes to think those labels apply to us.

When it comes to property we are in the fifth stage of a pattern identified in 1945 by the renowned economist Charles Kindleberger. It’s the bubble phase. Six is the stage of distress. Seven is shut-the-door panic.

The merit of McWilliams’ thesis is its very lack of originality. So why the collective denial? Whether McWilliams is right or wrong, he has annoyed the establishment so effectively you have to think he’s doing something right.

42 thoughts on “Labels are just so HiCo

  1. Darren Mac an Phríora

    I was wondering about that.

    The programmes are good, but reading the book is really essential if you want a broad knowledge of what he is saying. For example, Hi-Cos clearly don’t all drink fine wines and eat organic food.

    The people in the programmes are mostly actors, but he interviewed the principal of Lios na nOg in Ranelegh in the first programme. He asked her about the alleged exlusive thing about gaelscoileanna. She said that she is aware that it is there but that gaelscoileanna are open to everyone are found across the country in both rich and poor areas.

    The guy from NUIG on Q&A after the the first programme pointed out that a study of the working class and underclass areas and people is needed. McWilliams agreed acknowldeging that his book and series doesnt do that.

    In my experience, labels are not Hi-Co at all but Decklander.

    It is the only study of contemporary life in recent years that is any good but obviously- given the fact that he dosen’t really cover poor people in it- it is not TOTALLY broad.

    What about the Gaelscoileanna in poor areas? 1/3 of them in Cork, Dublin and Limerick are in working-class areas. Are their parents yummy-mummys?

    I am not knocking him- I live in Castleknock- but his background really shines through.

  2. Darren Mac an Phríora

    “In my experience, labels are not Hi-Co at all but Decklander.”

    I mean that geuine Hibernian-Cosmopolitans don’t steretotype and are cultured. Many Decklanders are not cultured or very educated and, as their description says, are more interested in their back garden than reading and taking part in deeply intellectual debates. I hate Decklanders!!!

  3. Billy

    Darren Mac an Phríora, if you dislike the stereotypical Decklander so much why are there so many fundamental and childish grammatical errors in what you commented? Surely you are one of the very educated class?

    Too, many, commas, in, what, you, wrote, and using the word very is a word too far. A person is educated or not educated. To say somone is very educated means nothing. Like being very pregnant. You are either pregnant or not. Saying someone is very educated says more about the prejudices of the writer and nothing about the subject.

    I suspect you live in Deckland or are afraid you will have to. Decklanders read. Decklanders debate. Decklanders are not as thick as you would like them to be. Decklanders are as they are because to educate them to the standard that you believe yourself to be at would create an equal society and to Hi-Cos this would be horrid.

    Hi-Co people are as likely to be as full of horseshit as anyone else Decklanders included.

    I think that your comments highlight you as a snob. My advice is to stop looking up your own arse and sneering at anyone that does not conform to your narrow reality and realise that the modern Ireland is a protected bubble full of people with little to be worrying their little heads about.

  4. Darren Mac an Phríora

    I couldn’t be arsed being pedantic about grammar on a blog.

    “A person is educated or not educated.”

    No, there are all kinds of levels.

    “Decklanders are as they are because to educate them to the standard that you believe yourself to be at would create an equal society and to Hi-Cos this would be horrid.”


    Did you actually read McWilliams book, or do you base your knowledge of what Hi-Cos and Decklanders are on after watching his two programmes?

  5. Darren Mac an Phríora

    “and realise that the modern Ireland is a protected bubble full of people with little to be worrying their little heads about.”


  6. Billy

    I bought the book the day it came out. I read it that week.

    I work serving the Hi-Co market. A shower of nit picking, non bill paying shower of whingers and moaners I have never encountered in my life before. The worst possible type of customer. At least you know Decklanders will pay their bills. Hi-Co customers have a list as long as your arm of excuses.

    Hi-Cos want the status quo to remain the same. Education has always been used as a weapon against the poor in Ireland, see Tom Garvin’s book Preventing the Future to educate yourself about this. The Church and Dev and his Hibernonazis used education to promote their own in their perverse little universe.

    The sense of moral and educational superiority here is sickening and condescending. I stand by my point that a person is educated or not educated. A person that goes to college and stops learning at 25 when they leave the institution is not educated. They are schooled. Your poor grasp of English is not my concern. Who writes letters anymore? Why reserve thought and punctuation for somewhere else? There is no excuse for lazy writing even on the internet. Some of the best writing is on the Internet.

    My point about Ireland being a bubble was made because we are self obsessed and money obsessed and choose to ignore the rest of the world because we like it the way it is now. Cushty. Who cares who had to die in Angola for the diamond engagement rings we give to our girlfriends, who cares about the genocide inside Sudan. Who cares if someone is tortured far away and transported through our airports, we won’t say anything because the Americans are big employers here.

    As long as we are higher up the property tree than some other Paddy monkey and we can sneer at them we don’t care. Our compliance has been bought.

    I was at a party a while back when some idiot piped up about how good it was to have “help at home”, “we are finally middle class” he gleefully chirped. What an idiot. Having a poor girl from a poor village in Asia to clean your jocks and wipe your kids arses is not middle class. Its modern slavery. And keeping their money and passports is imprisoning them for being from a poor country. Slavery is condoned in Ireland.

    That is what we have turned into. Ungrateful snobs who have not learned from the past and are not prepared for the future. We are prepared to put up with anything as long as we can have our toys. I’m all right Jack is alive and well and living in Ireland.

  7. faolain

    Gerry Daly says that Ireland is the WORST place for decks – because of our climate, they become slippy and slimy, people put a foot on them and break their necks – they are literally decked.

  8. Darren Mac an Phríora

    “Hi-Cos want the status quo to remain the same. Education has always been used as a weapon against the poor in Ireland, see Tom Garvin’s book Preventing the Future to educate yourself about this. The Church and Dev and his Hibernonazis used education to promote their own in their perverse little universe.”

    But the point that McWilliams made is that Hi-Cos are not Dev-styled Hibernians. They blend Hiberniasism with Cosmopolitism.

    I know that there are a pack of wannabe Hi-Cos (particularly women) walking around wearing green jumpers and Celtic necklaces trying to make out that they are cultured but genuine Hi-Cos’s are educated ie. cosmopolitan and mindful of our own indigenous culture.

    “The sense of moral and educational superiority here is sickening and condescending. I stand by my point that a person is educated or not educated. A person that goes to college and stops learning at 25 when they leave the institution is not educated. They are schooled. Your poor grasp of English is not my concern. Who writes letters anymore? Why reserve thought and punctuation for somewhere else? There is no excuse for lazy writing even on the internet. Some of the best writing is on the Internet.”

    I write letters to newspapers. I’m 25 and over the last couple of years I have got about a dozen letters published in the national media. Debate on the internet is usually just chat that has not big effect. I generally don’t use my best diction when talking to my friends either, and do not do so when chatting on the internet.

  9. ben

    “Privately I resolved to become the anti-HiCo — no one was going to label me.”

    Yes, consciously changing your lifestyle and acting contrary to how you want to, all because of a phrase David McWilliams popularised, that’ll show those labellers. Be strong.

  10. Darren Mac an Phríora

    “Gerry Daly says that Ireland is the WORST place for decks – because of our climate, they become slippy and slimy, people put a foot on them and break their necks – they are literally decked.”

    David McWilliams said that in his book. I have no problem with people having decks. I have friends and family that do and will probably have my own (maybe) someday.

    I have a problem with many of the “Decklanders” that David McWilliams wrote about in his book.

    As I said:
    “MANY Decklanders are not cultured or very educated and, as their description says, are more interested in their back garden than reading and taking part in deeply intellectual debates. I hate Decklanders!!!” (Emphasis on many.)

    If you want Billy I can copy up some sad characterists of the type of Decklanders that Williams talked about in his book and that I don’t like.

    I find your generalistions basically childish or ignorant Billy. Don’t preach to me about generalising.

  11. ben

    If it’s generalisations you want, David McWilliams is your man. Create a label based on the observed behaviour of some people you know, extend it to include large swathes of the population, and then pour scorn on them. Stage three: Profit!

  12. P O'Neill

    Playing the pedant for a moment, Sarah, David Brooks is not an economist, although sometimes he tries to sound like one.

  13. Darren Mac an Phríora

    David McWilliams admits that a separate study of working class- and underclass- people is needed. I don’t know why he did not do that in his book, but at least hes honest about it.

    He is correct broadly in his analysis of Hi-Cos and Decklanders (I have no real interest in Robo-Paddys). Maybe it takes someone like me- one of the Popes Children- to see the Hibernian Cosmopolitism in my generation and point it out. Many (although by no means all) older generations- in particular the 30-40 yr age-group- seem to think that because they had bad experiences of State Hiberniasism we do also. Yes, we are all still studying Peig in school…blah, blah, blah…As if we really give two f*cuks whether you had a bad time studying Peig in the poverty-stricked ’80’s. The only thing we don’t like about it is that some of yous- quite aggressivley- live to remind us about it.

  14. Darren Mac an Phríora

    “live to remind us about it”

    Like to remind us of it.

  15. Pete

    I stopped taking an interest in the utterances of David Mc Williams about a year ago, when he finally completed the move from “economist” to “entertainer”.

    His economics are sound, but don’t bet your future on his predictions. He’s been predicting an imminent property crash for at least 6 years now, during which time property prices have at least doubled. He’ll be right eventually, but prices will never drop back to what they were when he started shouting “crash”.

    His entertainment is dire. Makes Eddie Hobbs look good.

  16. Billy

    Bad experiences reading Peig? Excuse me? I am not that old.

    It goes a lot deeper than than having a bad hair day in the 80’s and it is trite to dismiss it as such. I am sorry for ruining your prawn sandwiches but this is the country you live in and what is happening now is a result of what happened in the past. The only difference between the eighties and now is the fact that there is more cash.

    In the eighties you could not give away land in Hi-Co areas in Dublin. In 1984 it was almost impossible to sell land for a decent price. I am not that old enough to remember that first hand but I know from a reliable source that this was so.

    Nothing else has changed. The same old farts are running the joint and the government no matter what it protests stood by like an idiot and watched the money wash in in the mid to late ninetys. When it rolls out it will do the exact same except this time blame someone else for the malaise.

    The ruling classes raped, lied, pillaged and destroyed peoples lives and deliberately kept Ireland poor. Ireland was a shithole for so long because it was in the interest of the ruling classes to keep it that way. And I am not talking about the traditional enemy the Brits but our own wonderful people. They who wish to hurt you, Work within the law (Morrissey)

    Decklanders are Decklanders and less cultured and “educated” because Irish and Religion was and still is rammed down peoples throats and wasted school time that could be spent teaching Science or Philosophy like in France. Irish is the original language of the people but the people have decided that English is the lingua franca. There is no amount of cajoling that will change that. School became irrelevant and Decklanders tuned out in droves.

    They became Decklanders because their only point of reference was other people in their immediate area. Its easy to sail through life with 98fm as your soundtrack. No bumps on the road, no politics to worry about just your immediate surroundings and your holiday home in Spain.

    OK so lets feck all the Decklanders out to the suburbs and let the suave sophisticates run the city and keep the riff raff out. Its snobbery and it is the chilling realisation that nearly everyone has access to money and to be different and to rise above the crowd people need to have to be seen to be smarter than their lower class neighbour that yanks your chain.

    Ireland is a country wasted chasing imaginary rabbits and crazy aspirational goals. We deny the truth and live the lie at its expense. The same reason we keep Aer Lingus up on a pedestal rather than seeing it for what it was a huge social welfare gravy train for the Northside. Its a runty little regional airline.

    I note nothing was said about the new slavery of foreign domestic staff in Ireland. I note nothing was said about anything of consequence apart from the fact that you don’t like a certain type of person having the same economic power as some other group that you aspire to belong to. Tough shit. Its the way it is and Decklanders are here to stay.

    And if you did get letters published BULLY FOR YOU!

  17. EJP

    I agree with Ben in that McWilliams is a sound economist, I would even say talented, but it seems he has consciously, and profitably, converted to sloganomics for the purposes of entertainment.

    I found his book to be heavy on pigeon-holing swathes of the population into often embarrassingly termed categories, and light on the scientific reasons for doing so. He would seem to be somewhat sensitive to accusations along these lines gven his reaction when the NUIG law professor on Q&A, the night after the first episode aired, accused him of taking the dismal as well as perhaps the science out of economics.

    However the book certainly pushed someone’s buttons, given the hugely impressive sales figures, and if it and the series do nothing else than provoke debate and some constructive national self-examination, then it will have been a worthwhile exercise for someone other than Mr. McWilliams.

  18. Ray

    “The Pope’s Children” is such a stupid name for the current generation. The Pope was religious and a traditionalist, completely the opposite of the generation McWilliams names after him.
    The only other McWilliams phrase I’ve heard before now is ‘the Wonderbra effect’, describing how everyone is supposedly pushed up and pushed together. But the purpose of an actual Wonderbra is to create a visible _cleavage_, to emphasise a _division_, right?
    Someone so cack-handed with analogies should stop making them.

  19. gerry

    Hey billy, give us all a shout next time you’re having a party – you sound like pretty relaxing company.

    As to Mc Williams, I saw the programme and thought it was trite. Descriptive for sure of some semi-recognisable groups but with no real viewpoint apart from “it’s all going to end. Maybe”. What might have been worthwhile was an analysis of what that might mean. Browne’s short article in the IT was far more thought-provoking than McWilliam’s hour of TV. He seems like a nice fella though and very articulate. The constant creation of neologisms is becoming self-parodying though.

    It’s probably also worth pointing out that people have always lived in suburbs, they’re just further out now. I can’t see what’s changed apart form there having more money than they did when they lived in the suburb I grew up in.

  20. John of Dublin

    I read the Pope’s Children and it’s amusing but a bit infantile in my opinion. I didn’t find that I learned much. I read another McWilliams piece in a Sunday paper maybe 4 months ago which comes to mind now. He was going on about how people aged in their 50s are now artifically wealthy because of the value of the property they are sitting on and that their original mortgages are low. Implying it’s just an accident of time and property value growth that they are wealthy. He made it sound like something new. It’s been like that for half a century and more for anyone who ever bought property. My parents bought their humble house in 1962 at a big struggle and by the time my wife and I bought our first humble house 19 years later their own house was at least 10 times higher than it’s original value and their mortgage looked tiny. Their mouths were agape at the price we were paying and us both needing to work to afford it. Now two house moves and 25 years later and we are in similar position with a big equity-to-mortgage ratio and wondering how our kids will make a start. So, people down through the decades struggle when younger and then get some property value reward when older. So what? It’s nothing to get bitter about, property weallth is always a struggle and wait approach.

    And yes there will be a property value freeze or even depreciation. It happened in the 80s and before that, it’s all in cycles. Nothing new. I think because we’ve had a good growth run of maybe 15 or more years that adults even in their 30s now think it’s all very shocking to have a property re-adjustment in value. There might be some job loses in certain areas as Sarah says, but the World re-adjusts and moves in different ways, the only constant is change. Property always returns in value eventually.

  21. Sarah Post author

    I confess I have only flicked throught the book, but the odd paragraph I did read made me smile. McWilliams is making some observations in a funny way, but because he’s holding a mirror up, the sense of humour deficit section of the population say “So what! He’s just stating the obvious!” One man’s trite is another’s lite. My point is, where’s the harm? Yes, he is entertaining! He is engaging. He is dumbing down some economics. The serious people can keep reading the Financial Times. What’s wrong with the rest of us learning about Kindelberger in a refreshing amusing way. I think everyone should just lighten up. Especially Billy. Don’t be such a humbug!

    How has Brooks managed to pass himself off as an economist then? What is he? At least McWilliams IS an economist. Even if it is the people’s economist 😉

  22. Sarah Post author

    just one more thing. The Browne article stood out because it was a thoughtful column which addressed some of McWilliams’s points and he gave his view as to why they might be flawed. His point about low unemployment rates was bang on. This distinguished it from the SINDO and Tribune who instead interviewed alleged HiCos/Decklanders etc who were outraged at being labelled or the Billys who are outraged at people having money. The stereotypes do exist. If you can’t stand back, recognise yourself and laugh then you have a problem. I exaggerated my defensiveness to make a point but the people I met who were being slagged off for being a HiCo or a Decklander or whatever all thought it was hilarious. There was a such a gap between what people were saying and what was in the papers that I thought that had to addressed.

  23. John of Dublin

    Yea, I love a bit of humour. And I enjoyed McWilliams on the Big Bite. He’s good on TV, a likeable personality. I’ve learned almost as much economics and had as good a laugh by watching “Only Fools and Horses”. Yes, there are stereotypes you can recognise. I’m not complaining, it’s just people shouldn’t think he says anything groundbreaking. Keynes he is not.

  24. gerry

    to be fair Sarah I think we all agree that he is entertaining. I don’t think there is any harm. I don’t think he is dumbing down economics, I just don’t think he is engaging in an economic argument at all, or if he is I missed it. It creates a bit of a “so what” feel about the programme. As to journos atacking it as they have a vested interestin in the propoerty market. Well don’t the publishers, the owners of Tyrone Productions and the RTE all have the same vested interest?

  25. Sarah Post author

    Deckland is the outer suburbs – Navan, Kells, Naas etc. where people move out of town and work really hard to move up a class. They have decks, patio heaters, loads of garden furniture. Decklanders put in long hours, work overtime, have long commutes. They are extremely productive workers. They work for big corporate companies, the Intels etc. But I think they are worker class, not executive class. Drive Time radio is directed at them. These are the people dropping the kids at the creche at 7.30 in the morning. They have a second child and a kitchen extension at the same time. They release equity from their houses to buy a bigger safer car for the children. Then they campaign for speed bumps in the estate.

    That sort of thing. If you are not a Decklander but you know one, then you go hee hee, that’s so Deckland. If you ARE a Decklander and have no sense of humour, you get all annoyed because how dare anyone sneer at your hard work and new kitchen. If you fancy yourself as an intellectual you say, Oh for God’ sake! So he’s stating the obvious. Big deal. I can’t BELIEVE people want to hear this guy.

    My view is this: That McWilliams is simply presenting AN insight into our society/economy. It definitely has something, because a lot of people I have met claim to recognise it and find it entertaining. Nothing is ever bulletproof, and he does leave out certain things. He says himself his property theory MIGHT be wrong. But what concerns me is that if he was simply wrong or shite, he would have made it into the TV reviewers slot and his programme criticised. If he gets the double page spread, then he’s hitting a nerve.

  26. gerry

    Sarah, genuine question. Where are these people getting annoyed? I’ve googled mcwilliams, decklander and I can’t find any criticism more trenchant than the mild stuff on here.

  27. Sarah Post author

    Double pages in the Sunday Tribune and Sindo. So one example is the SHOCK HORROR angle that actors were used when they were describing the stereotypes. But em, so what? Its perfectly obvious which are the actors and which are the real people. Pathetic line of attack if you ask me.

    They are just SOME of the articles in the SINDO. Check out the for more. (on the 12th Nov).

  28. Darren Mac an Phríora

    You REALLY have to read the chapters about Hi-Cos and Decklanders in the book. The first two programmes only provided a glimpse.

  29. Darren Mac an Phríora

    The only thing Hibernian that he portrayed of the Hi-Cos is that they are super-rich, like buying expensive Irish goods and art and send their kids to gaelscoileanna.

    He is only showing some Hi-Cos (and I would say they are very weak re. Hibernianism) and in his book he talked about them broadly.

    Also there is no mention of the Decklanders that are Nationalists or Hibernians. It is a great analysis but it throws open loads of issues and things about people that are worth being analysed more.

  30. J. Haslam

    Tribune Links

    HiCo silver, away!

    Michael Clifford

    Diarmuid Doyle

  31. Leon

    It is not a great analyis. McWilliams is unattractive, his voice grates and his thought is tedious to say the least. He is a ginge for Gods sake.
    HiCos have been around for generations, maybe the likes of McWilliams and Carey didn’t know any but I certainly did.

    First Gilroy and now McWilliams-what is it with these TUFTS
    (Too Ugly For Television)

  32. Sarah Post author

    Funnily enough, my eldest son has what some people called ginger hair, but I prefer to call strawberry blonde. Perhaps this increases my sympathy for McW. I wouldn’t say he’s ugly. Kind of cute in his own way.

  33. John of Dublin

    I must say re. Brendan O’Connor in the Indo – I do agree with his statement below – and I’ve written before about moany mary George Lee…….

    “Much in the way that prophecies of doom and gloom from the likes of David McWilliams and George Lee will eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies. The more you keep telling people that it’s all going to go pear-shaped, the more people believe it and the more the whole thing does go pear-shaped. Like property booms, booms in general are largely in the mind.

    If people become convinced a boom is over, the chances are it will be over.

    The economy is all about confidence, stupid.”

  34. Leon

    Brendan O’Connor brilliant
    He is king of the Tufts.

    He should insist on no photo in his Sindo Column.

    Please Brendan never have children!!!!

    Sarah I agree Dave McW is a ginge but he is no Gilroy or Brendan O’Connor.

    Why are all these ugly ugly people on my television.


  35. Daniel K.

    Sounds like Brendan O’Connor only got into investing in property for capital returns in the last few years and is scared Davey Mc will kill his retirement fund.

    If the economy is all about confidence doesn’t that make it so much easier for someone to pull a confidence trick.The economy is partially about confidence but it also about something call fundamentals and your house is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it when you go to sell it.

  36. Leon

    As long as Brendan isn’t hoping his kids will look after him!

    Please Brandan Adopt.

    King of the TUFTs

  37. Darren Mac an Phríora

    Anyone can be a Hi-Cos. In his series he only protrayed them as super-rich.

  38. Seán

    Billy and Darren- much of this page has been consumed by your spat- please find a suitable venue where you can take them out and measure them. It is simply not possible to categorise people into two boxes- therefore you are arguing about generalisations. Both of you have made good points and appear to be intelligent people, however each of you have labelled the other and apparently fail to realise that there may be a bit of HiCo and Decky in all of us. Your debate drifted beyond the HiCo-Decky arena into social injustice, ethnic minorities, morality and wealth distribution…. stand back from the information, filter out emotion and consider the data from several perspectives- yours, Bertie’s, Bush and someone else.. I am interested to know if you try this and also if you find it offers any fresh insights into the debate?

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