Politics »

  • Oliver Cromwell and the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis

    February 28, 2009 @ 11:14 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Someone asked me what the Fianna Fáil ardfheis was like. “It was like a very large country wedding,” I replied. (more…)

  • Jade Goody and the Death of Privacy

    February 26, 2009 @ 7:40 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    As a former cancer patient,  now happily in possession of a clean bill of health, I have to say I find the whole Jade Goody melodrama quite disturbing. Obviously one has to feel great human sympathy for someone in her predicament but . . . whatever happened to dignity? (more…)

  • Read my Lips…

    @ 5:41 pm | by Harry McGee

    Brian Lenihan has said at least twice already that there will be no tax increases (ie a mini budget) before the main Budget next winter. (more…)

  • A modest proposal

    @ 5:17 pm | by Harry McGee

    Two stories about blogs in the paper today! What’s gone wrong? Have we flipped?

    One is about the Obama’s web designer; the other about the blogger who was given the full-press treatment by Ryanair’s stormtroopers, who called him a lunatic among other things.It’s timely for this reason. (more…)

  • Blogroll: Other political bloggers

    February 25, 2009 @ 7:49 pm | by Harry McGee

    We are currently building up our slightly skeletal blogroll. If you have an Irish political or current affairs blog and want to be included, please respond and then queue in an orderly fashion!


  • Misery continued…

    @ 1:16 pm | by Harry McGee

    Watch the video to find out why the theme of misery has coursed through this blog this week. (more…)

  • Hamas or IDF: Killing Civilians Is Wrong

    @ 10:55 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The Gaza episode is over but the memories remain. Very haunting memories at that. You should read an excellent and very balanced piece from Tom Clonan in today’s Irish Times by clicking here. (more…)

  • Neverending unrelenting misery… and a chink of wonder

    February 23, 2009 @ 9:32 pm | by Harry McGee

    The Secret of Kells

    Before the mini blog came into being, the verb “to twitter” belonged to two species: birds and broadcasters who fill in the 9am to 10am slot on Radio One.


  • The Time is Out of Joint

    February 21, 2009 @ 11:33 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    One imagines the Cabinet watched the TV footage of today’s trade union protest in Dublin with a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Bad enough to have the economy gone pearshaped and the banking system ensnarled by unpaid debts and wide-boy behaviour but now the proletariat is in revolt.  (more…)

  • Brian Cowen and the Temple of Doom

    February 20, 2009 @ 9:12 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    I was sitting practically nose-to-nose with Brian Cowen today at a press conference. Need I tell you that he looked sombre? (more…)

  • PWC

    @ 3:25 pm | by Harry McGee

    The report is out later this evening. I’m afraid I won’t be able to summon up a John the Baptist type peroration or start licking my chops in anticipation. I don’t think – given what we know already – it’s going to amount to a hill of beans.


  • Drawing a bead on Obama

    February 19, 2009 @ 8:58 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    There’s a row going on in the ‘States about an anti-Obama cartoon featuring a monkey. I have to say I find it quite offensive. See for yourself by clicking here. (more…)

  • And then there were…

    @ 8:49 pm | by Harry McGee


     I think anybody who follows politics and finance closely could probably guess the identities of at least half of the ten bankers involved (I hasten to add that I have no inside knowledge as to their identities).


  • Who are the Anglo Irish Ten?

    February 17, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | by Harry McGee

    The unfolding drama of Anglo Irish Bank has dominated political debate in the Dáil today, with both main oppostion leaders, Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore, quizzing Cowen about it. (more…)

  • Twitter? Twipe? Or Am I not Getting it?

    February 16, 2009 @ 9:02 am | by Harry McGee

    This is a little off-subject.  I joined Twitter recently. I wanted  to explore its possibilities for political commentary. (more…)

  • Rating the Presidents

    February 15, 2009 @ 9:37 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    This only just came to my attention although published a few months ago. It is a rating of all the US presidents in terms of best, worst, etc. It was a link on my AOL email homepage today. See what you think by clicking here.


  • A snapshot in time?

    February 14, 2009 @ 2:27 pm | by Harry McGee

    If by chance monsoon rains had fallen on Friday and the carpark of Leinster House was under several metres of water, it would not have deterred Eamon Gilmore. He would have waded through it  (or maybe walked on it!) without breaking a stride in order to get to the scrum of reporters waiting on the plinth (a raised platform outside the front of Leinster House where most media interviews take place) (more…)

  • Tales of a Fortune-Teller

    February 13, 2009 @ 1:17 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    I dreamt about a visit to the fortune-teller last night. It wasn’t my love-life she was interested in, or indeed any other aspect of my personal situation. No, this was a political seer, looking to the future of the country. (more…)

  • Opinion Poll

    @ 9:03 am | by Harry McGee

    I’m still reeling from the results of the opinion poll. It was jaw-dropping, eye-brow arching and whatever you are having yourself. Fianna Fail’s fall from grace has been more spectacular than any other government in this corner of the world, save for Iceland. (more…)

  • Celtic Tiger R.I.P.

    February 12, 2009 @ 1:05 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    I’m looking for reasons to be cheerful in this recession and not finding too many. Not only is there no light at the end of the tunnel – there ain’t no darned tunnel. (more…)

  • A note on our trade

    February 9, 2009 @ 3:36 pm | by Harry McGee

    Newspapers (and especially blogs) don’t pretend to be history treatises. We are constrained by enormous pressures of time. An example of that was the story I did last week on Cowen’s speech. He began his delivery . at 8.10. It ran until nearly 8.30pm. I had to hotfoot it back to the office. I arrived back at 8.50pm. I then had to write a 650 word story on the speech from notes and had to do it in 20 minutes to make the 9.10pm deadline for the international edition. That’s getting the intro right.. making sure you get it all the major points he made… and all the quotes. That is as momentary, as ‘of the moment’ as you can get in print. (more…)

  • Can Parliamentary Democracy Rescue Private Enterprise?

    @ 11:32 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Got an intriguing email from Padraig Yeates, formerly a colleague of mine on The Irish Times, now a press spokesman for the Siptu trade union. The heading was, “The Only Economist Who Got It Right”. Who could it be, I wondered? Morgan Kelly? Michael Casey? Paul Sweeney? (more…)

  • On the rebound

    February 6, 2009 @ 4:48 pm | by Harry McGee

    Brian Cowen has had a good few terrible weeks in the 35 weeks since he became leader (about 32 I’d say). But this has been a great week for him. Twice he has dispensed with the scripts he hates and spoken from notes and from the heart. And it has worked. (more…)

  • Gaza, Hamas and UNRWA

    February 4, 2009 @ 8:56 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

     I was tied up with other matters so did not see the original story on the wires. But just when I thought I was being over-critical of Hamas, I received the following statement in my email from Proinsias De Rossa, Labour MEP for Dublin, who has been a longtime sharp critic of the Israeli Government over its treatment of the Palestinians. (more…)

  • Eaten bread…

    @ 11:45 am | by Harry McGee

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the novels of John Updike, who died last week, though the writing itself was always remarkable. The stories themselves, the characters, never really gripped me. I interviewed him about 15 years ago and asked him a lot of stupid and forgettable questions. (more…)

  • Cowen, Churchill and Yogi Berra

    February 3, 2009 @ 8:56 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Well, he’s done it. Brian Cowen finally took the advice of the commentariat, not to mention the evening newspaper which ran the headline today: “Just Do It”. The unions couldn’t or wouldn’t sign up, so he went ahead and imposed the paycut disguised as a pension levy. (more…)

  • 24 hours

    February 2, 2009 @ 7:35 pm | by Harry McGee

    Kiefer Sutherland’s mug appeared on the cover of one of the weekend magazines (I’m not sure was he promoting a film, his TV series or his band). It didn’t really matter. There’s only one thing we identify him with nowadays. Since early this morning, Brian Cowen has slipped into the Jack Bauer bracket, with 24 hours to save the world. OK. He no longer has a square jaw. But don’t forget his ability as a lead vocalist and his one time legendary heroics as an air guitarist in the UCD bar. (more…)

  • When Kenny met Carey

    February 1, 2009 @ 12:59 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Before it fades from memory, the interview Pat Kenny did with Government Chief Whip Pat Carey on RTE Radio last Tuesday is worth a listen. Eamon Gilmore is on for about 12 minutes at the start but when Carey comes on, things start to get hot. Click here.

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