Never let it be said that this column is inward-looking or parochial in outlook. Today, as I write, my wife and I are on the high seas, midway between Dublin and the port of Cherbourg. As our ship, the W.B.Yeats, pride of the Irish fleet but proudly registered in Limassol, embarked on its epic 19-hour crossing, the news came in that Ireland was ready to announce its preparedness – willingness would be too strong a word – to raise its rate of corporation tax from 12.5 per cent ­– one of the lowest in the developed world – to 15 per cent, as demanded by the EU.