All that has happened in the world economy in the almost 4 months since I wrote those comments have done nothing but confirm my analysis that the prevalent culture of taking on heavy debts, on the assumption that wages would remain high and house prices keep rising, was foolish and dangerous.

I’m not entirely clear what you are trying to say with regard to Lisbon but, again, I stand by my point that there is a big difference between voting No out of genuine principle and voting No out of a general sense of dissatisfaction, rebellion and petulance.

Just as with complex software, complex organisations and systems need to be continually adapted and tweaked to ensure smooth running. It made no sense to punish the EU for it’s inefficiencies by stopping them applying the “bug-fix” needed to remove many of those inefficiencies. It is unfortunate that the EU needs to face a vote every time they want to apply tweaks but it is a full-blown tragedy that the Irish electorate could be so easily manipulated by a campaign funded by foreign organisations who are only interested in derailing the European project and who have, in the past, frequently campaigned against the principle of larger countries funding the infrastructural development of smaller countries such as Ireland.

Nothing glorious happened here, the mischievous “trickster twist” that you think plucky Ireland pulled off against the EU goliath will have far-reaching consequences. You also say that the Irish “… have never cared about international views of us”. Well, you must have grown up in a very different Ireland from the one I grew up in.