(Photo by David Monahan)

If you ever wanted to see how results of a survey can be fashioned in such a way as to reinforce the answers the survey organizers sought, the latest Irish Times poll on emigrants fits the bill.

The paper trumpeted its findings that the majority of those emigrating were doing so voluntarily. They noted that 59 per cent said they were voluntary emigrants while 41 per cent were involuntary.

That fact that four out of ten people leaving were forced out of the country is the statistic that leaps off the page to me.

Not for the Irish Times analysts however.

They even quote approvingly, the Minister of Finance Michael Noonan's recent statement that emigration is a lifestyle choice for many.

Of course it is but for many more, such as the four in ten who are forced to leave, it is decidedly not.

The blunt fact is that any country where four in ten of its emigrants say they have been forced to leave because of economic hardship is a complete mess

With massive unemployment , huge government debt and ceding sovereignty to European overlords, Ireland fits the bill.

The recent image of thousands lining up for job fairs for Australia and New Zealand increased the sense of a sadly hollowed-out country.


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Many of the Irish in power of course do not want to acknowledge that.

The Irish Times analyst is also charmed that 72 per cent wish to come back,

Isn't that splendid altogether, that the unfortunate savages who leave still love their native shore?

Here's the money statistic.

"A total of 93 per cent who had jobs before they left Ireland are now employed in their new destinations. Asked if their new job was better than the one they had left behind, 75 per cent said better, 10 per cent said not as good and 14 per cent about the same."

In other words, Irish jobs are often the bottom of the barrel type jobs and moving abroad becomes a no-brainer even if you are employed.
That points to a massive political failure.

It is clearly an inconvenient truth for the Times that so many , four in ten, leave involuntarily. Instead they focus on the utterly misleading statistic that six in ten leave happily.

Either way you look at it it is a stunning indictment of failed economic policies that so many leave for whatever reason, like they did in the 20s, 50s 80s and now again.

But don't tell the Irish ruling class that.