David McWilliams: A Swift lesson in Irish economics

What would Jonathan Swift make of today’s anti-multinationals lunacy? Not much

Portrait of Dean Jonathan Swift. Swift lived through and lost money on the world’s first global financial boom and bust, the South Sea Bubble of 1720. Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

Portrait of Dean Jonathan Swift. Swift lived through and lost money on the world’s first global financial boom and bust, the South Sea Bubble of 1720. Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

Today is Dean Jonathan Swift’s birthday. He was born on November 30th, 1667, in the parish of St Werburgh’s in Dublin. Last weekend, I was asked to speak at his cathedral, St Patrick’s, as part of the Swift Festival.

It’s not every day you share an altar with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (or indeed, with a former president of this country, Mary McAleese). The subject was identity and, specifically, Irish and British identity after Brexit.

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