Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Cheap at half the price

SURE there’s no bargain quite like an entire country. And, the estate agents must have been licking their lips at the prospect of putting the For Sale signs up on Northern Ireland...

One journalist, tongue in cheek, we are led to believe, said that if Northern Ireland was ‘sold’ to the Republic of Ireland for a nice round fee like £9billion, then it would help reduce the Treasury’s mounting debts, do away with all those broad northern Irish accents in Parliament and give someone else a headache instead.

We on the other hand think that selling to the Republic represents a narrowness of vision that has too often afflicted the political elite.

Why just focus on the Republic of Ireland, and instead hold out for the highest bidder. Has not one member of the NI Executive ever pulled a sickie and watched Homes Under the Hammer? The concept is fairly simple. Someone turns up at an auction, buys a rundown property, spends a few quid doing it up and hey presto an estate agent tells them at the end of the show how much their renovations have added to the value.

Next we hope to pitch to Sky One, or a rival US channel, the concept: Countries Under the Hammer.

With Northern Ireland as the pilot show, the producers will invite countries along to an auction to bid to buy ‘our wee country’. The presenter will outline all the positives such as outstanding natural beauty, friendly folks, the annual pageantry of summer rioting, and wonderful views of twilight in Twinbrook and dawn over Derry’s cultural shoplifters.

We’ll let the population pick those countries we would want to invite to the auction, and almost everyone will plump for the US (except the TUV, who will denounce it as a republican plot until they realise Obama is a Democrat). But we’ll make sure it is countries that can afford to be there. China is a cert; they’ve the money. As has India. Iran may also be interested, as it will save on developing intercontinental ballistic missile costs, and we have a few ‘fixer-up’ sub-let properties with in-house skills in things that go boom.

However, knowing our luck we’ll end up being auctioned off to North Korea, and every day we’ll be expected to acknowledge an all-powerful leadership that demands respect, brooks no challenge, requires we exist to fund the ruling classes and regularly expects nothing much from the leaders. Question is, whether anyone would notice the difference?

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