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A modest proposal

Mark Devenport | 15:32 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010

Earlier this month I noted the number of people who had suggested to the Treasury that Northern Ireland should be given away as a money saving measure. In today's Independent the columnist Mary Dejevsky follows suit, arguing that wiping out the £9 billion annual subsidy "would make a nice dent in the UK's £900bn national debt within 30 years".

In her smooth prose, Mary manages to make the proposed territorlal handover appear not only logical, but also trouble free. However I think she knows that in reality this wouldn't be the case. Instead I detect a certain amount of tongue in her cheek, although maybe not as much as Jonathan Swift had in his when he he made his rather more alarming "Modest Proposal" back in the eighteenth century.


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