That's 'Ulster Soviet Socialist Republic', of course – one of the last remaining examples of state control of the economy in the world. And it's getting worse rather than better:
The public sector in Northern Ireland will account for 69.2 % of total GDP in 2010-11. Even in communist Cuba the state accounts for only around 60 %. Northern Ireland is probably second only to North Korea worldwide in terms of state control of the economy.
David Cameron is right – the state share of the economy is too big – but he is too timid. The state share in Northern Ireland is grossly too big, and shows Northern Ireland to be an economic basket case of colossal proportions. Frazer Nelson, writing in The Spectator, has created a graph that shows how far off the scale of 'normality' the Northern Irish economy is:
The question is not whether there are cuts coming, because there are – but rather what people in Northern Ireland are going to do to get out of this hole of dependency. It is a disgraceful situation for any people to be in, and anyone who argues that this is 'normal' or 'justified' or even 'acceptable' is irresponsible.