Pixie Headcount


This morning.

The European Parliament published its first results of its post-election Eurobarometer survey.

Asked if “taking everything into account, would you say that Ireland has on balance benefited or not from being a member of the EU?”, 89 per cent of Irish respondents said “yes” – 21 per cent more than the EU average.

The programming really works.


The survey can be read in full here

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41 thoughts on “Pixie Headcount

  1. Zaccone

    “The programming really works.” — that, or, y’know, people in Ireland can objectively judge the many, many benefits EU membership has brought the country.

    Infrastructure investment, human rights, access to the common market, freedom of movement, trade deals… take your pick. Ireland outside of the EU would have been both much poorer economically, and much more worse to live because of a lack of things like environmental protection or workers rights.

      1. theo kretschmar schuldorff

        Good point.
        Since Iceland became a member state of the Schengen Area (EFTA signatory), it is also much easier to travel to thanks to our Membership of the EU : )

      2. Qwerty123

        Bodger, do you realize Ireland is a nation of 5 million people, 6.5 if you include the north with varied and diverse regions. We are diversified, open economy that has benefited greatly from EU membership.

        Iceland has 380k, and relies solely on fishing and aluminium. It is a large town/small city in Ireland in terms of size.

        1. Joe Small

          Bodger just throws in one-liners about Hitler or Iceland because he doesn’t actually have a cogent argument. He just doesn’t like the EU or the current government or whatever, and he’s awfully thin-skinned about it..

      3. Zaccone

        Just to double down on the other replies – even aside from the very valid population comparison point, these are Iceland’s top 5 exports:

        Aluminum: US$2.2 billion (40.2% of total exports)
        Fish: $1.9 billion (34.4%)
        Food industry waste, animal fodder: $217.4 million (3.9%)
        Iron, steel: $201.5 million (3.6%)
        Meat/seafood preparations: $131.5 million (2.4%)

        So 84% of Iceland’s exports are either metal or fish. Their economy is no way comparable to Irelands.

        1. Jonickal

          That’s not correct as you are excluding services exports. The two economies are fairly similar.

          Goods exports in 2017 = $4.8bn (41%)
          Services exports in 2017 = $6.9bn (59%)
          Per capita exports in 2017 = $35k
          (source https://www.nordeatrade.com/dk/explore-new-market/iceland/trade-profile)

          Goods exports in 2017 = €122.1bn (42%)
          Services exports in 2017 = €159.7bn (58%)
          Per capita exports in 2017 = €58k
          (source CSO)

  2. Stan

    The 59% for the UK is interestingly higher than the highest ‘remain’ total in any recent opinion poll. Maybe some people think that the UK has benefitted, but still want to leave?

    1. george

      Yes. Some people also believe not leaving would now be anti-democratic and that there should be no second vote even if they supported remain.

  3. class wario

    why did broadsheet delete the post about Trump being on the cusp of revealing aliens exist the other day?

    1. Bodger

      class wario, it was a light-hearted post but a number of literal minded readers (some quite unpleasant and insulting, imagine our shock) assumed it wasn’t. As it was a Friday night and we were unable to moderate and I don’t personally believe in alien visitations, we wearily removed it.

      1. B9Com From No

        that was a nice piece from fluffy btw


        Can we have more stuff from him please?

  4. eoin

    That is not a good survey question

    “taking everything into account, would you say that Ireland has on balance benefited or not from being a member of the EU?”

    If you had asked “weighing up the disadvantages and benefits of being a member of the EU, would you say Ireland has on balance been disadvantaged or not”

    I think the responses would have been significantly different.

  5. class wario

    tbf it’s a bit weird that some wing of the EU is polling people about how great the EU is

    1. Chris

      Really? A large important institution like the EU should be looking at what it’s member countries views are on it in general so it can help understand better what areas need to be improved. And if you look at the presentation so can see that in almost all measures the belief that the EU is a positive thing has increased in almost all countries quite dramatically in just a couple of years. Thank Brexit for that!

      1. V

        for me
        A higher Court & Equality Legislation
        the EU mark on consumer products & better consumer rights
        Freedom of travel, work,
        and of course Spanish Wine

        only one – that we don’t know all the MEPs at well as we should; likewise with the Commissioners

        1. eoin

          Cons, cost of membership (we are net payers) and the spending of our money is not transparent, strictures on our freedom to spend, for example, to address housing crisis, the way we were shafted in the bank bailout,

          And the question isn’t are we better off than in 1973, it’s would be better off in 2019 if we hadn’t joined the EU or if we were to leave today.

          1. V

            True E
            We should test on today’s metrics
            But the Ireland you have today is on the shoulders of EEC legislation (s)

            Of which I am, and many many others of my generation of working women are the beneficiaries of.
            Remember when I did my leaving cert a number of career opportunities weren’t available to me, but were for lads
            Or and this one still gauls me;
            The Married Man’s tax allowance was called the Unmarried Woman’s allowance or for girls entitled to the same value

            The Paddies would have got there in the end, accepted.
            However why should it have taken a directive from Brussels
            Or why did I have to wait until my 20s to be treated equally?

          2. B9Com From No

            You’re talking about monetary union there Eoin but that’s not the same as EU membership

    1. Zaccone

      Thats the most amusing thing about people criticising Ireland’s membership of the EU from the hard left. Do they really think EU membership is making Ireland MORE right-wing?

      Without the EU’s moderating influence Ireland would have been more Catholic, more socially conservative, and much more American in terms of corporations vs workers rights.

      We’ve never once had a government that wasn’t center-right in the history of the state like, the EU is if anything dragging us towards political centrism – thankfully .

      1. Qwerty123

        This is it, when the hard left and right don’t like the EU, it is doing something right.

  6. Termagant

    Is kissing the hem of the EU’s skirts for helping build the M50 really any different from the parochial people who’ll vote for whoever fills the potholes on their road? Ignoring the bigger picture in favour of the small conveniences. I can’t fathom the mindset whereby the state for all intents and purposes subservient to an organisation in which we have only a token say and it’s considered a great thing because we get trinkets.

    1. Chris

      You think that the only reason Irish people are in favour of the EU is because of spending on infrastructure here? You sound like Ann Widdicome. The main reason most are positive is that it has opened us up to the single market, helped liberalise our backward sectarian state and judiciary, provides freedom of movement so we can live and work in any country we like in the EU and brought in precious needed labour to our towns and cities, keeps agriculture in Ireland alive when it would have been decimated long ago, allows us to entice multinational (mainly American) companies to Ireland so they have direct access to 27 developed nations, defended human rights across all countries and kept Vladamir Putin in check, not to mention saving the continent from outright financial Armageddon in 2008-2015.

      1. McVitty

        “not to mention saving the continent from outright financial Armageddon in 2008-2015” – sorry buddy, but that acknowledgement goes to the future generations of Ireland and that should never be forgotten. And yes, during the boom it was estimated that by that time we had received EUR21bn in capital infrastructure investment from the EU but on the flipside, we were at the mercy of the monetary policies of Frankfurt and the bailout ended up costing EUR64bn. We had 23% national debt before the crisis. Yes, people were greedy, the govt was inept but the capital flows from within the EU funded our banks and they were increasingly cautious with rolling their bond investments after the US subprime crisis happened in Feb 2007.

        Other considerations…

        1. we surrendered our fisheries
        2. the free movement of people has not been without its challenges in recent times (2002-2006 in particular…when 400,000 people migrated from the accession states – 122,515 from just Poland) – too much, too quick
        3. on agriculture, the story is not that simple.
        4. on Brexit, we joined the EEC largely because Britain was (at that time) about to join and we feared being left behind. Had we never joined, the whole “back stop” issue wouldn’t be.
        5. on MNCs and FDI, we would have done this anyway – what is interesting is that the EU allowed us to pursue favorable tax agreements in the 80’s/90’s, though now the EU Commission is (rightly) getting involved and raising questions around competition.

        In short, we have indebted our future generations and surrendered sovereignty to a structurally undemocratic institution – recall Ireland was the only EU member state that held public referendums on the Treaty and the process is always revealing.

        “liberalise our backward sectarian state” and now we are an “socially regressive secular state”

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