Politics »

  • Democracy and Economics

    March 31, 2009 @ 10:02 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The reason Ireland’s credit-rating has gone down is largely to do with the guarantee to the banks and the fact that we really couldn’t meet the debt if they all collapsed at once. That’s my reading of what the analyst from the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency said on radio this morning. (more…)

  • Labour on the Cusp of Office?

    March 30, 2009 @ 11:06 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    An old editor of mine use to discourage us from writing stories about the Labour Party and the trades unions because he found them boring. But you couldn’t really dismiss  Labour as boring these days.

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     Eager young faces at the Labour conference (picture by Cyril Byrne) (more…)

  • Pat Kenny’s New Politics Show: a cri de coeur

    March 28, 2009 @ 6:43 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Pat Kenny showed that he can keep a secret. His announcement that he was quitting the Late Late Show to take over the Monday-night politics slot on RTE television caught everyone by surprise.

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  • Sectarianism and the Commonwealth

    March 27, 2009 @ 10:57 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The old debate about this State rejoining the Commonwealth has started off again. I have already stated my view that, if it were necessary for complete and final reconciliation on this island, it would be worth considering. (more…)

  • Brian Cowen and the Naked Truth

    March 26, 2009 @ 10:33 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The silly season usually arrives in August. At that time, parliament and the courts and the other institutions are on their summer hols and the most wild and wonderful stories have a chance of surfacing in the news media.cowen.jpg

    National Gallery visitor reads caption under Brian Cowen caricature

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  • A stitch-up pure and simple

    March 25, 2009 @ 7:59 pm | by Harry McGee

    The oppositon was quite right to point out the bizarre tax arrangement that saw Gerry McCaughey dispatching his wife to Italy for six months (out of a calendar year) to save himself €4.7 million in capital gains tax.

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  • Prague Problem for Lisbon Treaty

    @ 10:37 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    With all the economic problems that exist, the last thing Brussels wanted was another question-mark over the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The imminent collapse of the Czech Government has created further uncertainty. (more…)

  • A Terrible Beauty Is Gestating

    March 24, 2009 @ 10:45 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    We are about to see a major event in our political and industrial history. Or then again, maybe not. The one-day national strike could still of course be called off, but if it goes ahead it will amount to the political equivalent of climate change. (more…)

  • Shakespearean Spamodrama

    March 23, 2009 @ 10:23 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Like the rest of you, I normally just delete these begging letters that turn up as spam on my email. But because the guy’s name was similar to that of someone I know, I opened this one and read it. Macbeth, Hamlet: eat your hearts out. (more…)

  • Dying on the Front Page: Jade Goody (5 June 1981 – 22 March 2009)

    March 22, 2009 @ 11:33 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The death of Jade Goody early this morning is of course an occasion of great sadness. In the words of John Donne, anyone’s death diminishes us. Her decision to leave the stage of life in such a public way helped to heighten awareness of cervical cancer and that is to her credit. (more…)

  • Let Joy Be Unconfined

    March 21, 2009 @ 10:19 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    This is not a sports blog but moments of great national emotion and pride tend to have political overtones too. It was entirely appropriate that our head  of state, President Mary McAleese from Belfast should have been in Cardiff this evening to celebrate Ireland’s historic Grand Slam victory over Wales. (more…)

  • Those Senators on the ‘Late Late Show’

    @ 12:57 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    People who couldn’t get through to RTE to complain about the Senators on the Late Late Show last night were ringing The Irish Times instead. It’s very hard to blame them. To watch the programme, click here (item is about one hour into the programme.)

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  • Teutonic Knights on White Chargers Rescue Celtic Tigress

    March 20, 2009 @ 10:28 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    If Ireland finally goes hopelessly, completely broke, will somebody come the rescue and who will it be? An article in a leading international publication this week suggests that the Germans will be our saviours. (more…)

  • Bás Tragóideach i Nua Eabhrac/Tragic Death in New York

    March 19, 2009 @ 11:15 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    (English Summary below) Seo an chéad bhlog go bhfios dom a scríobhadh i nGaeilge ar láthair an Irish Times (nó “Trathscéal Éireann” – an leagan Gaelach is ansa liom). Ós rud é gur blog polaitiúil atá ann is dócha gur cóir scríobh faoi imeachtaí na Dála nó staid na tíre i gcoitinne. (more…)

  • The Politics of Clint Eastwood

    March 18, 2009 @ 10:43 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Is Clint Eastwood atoning for past sins? That’s the feeling I got after seeing his latest blockbuster, Gran Torino. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should do so. (more…)

  • Obama’s Running-Mate in 2012?

    March 16, 2009 @ 5:32 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Just when you thought the wide boys and fatcats were having it all their own way, here’s a feisty voice of the people in the person of Virg (short for Virgil) Bernero, Democratic Mayor of Lansing, Michigan who showed how to get the better of those pesky Fox News interviewers. 

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  • Who’s Behind the Conspiracy Theories?

    @ 11:01 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    When the world starts falling apart, the conspiracy theories flourish. It’s a source of comfort for the bewildered. Back in the 1930s there was a ready audience for wild and wonderful scenarios and nowadays public opinion is ready for some new ones. (more…)

  • Q&A goes but comes back under another name

    March 14, 2009 @ 11:55 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    There’s a big debate going on about the end of newspapers, at least in their print form. That’s alarming enough but now people are starting to talk about the end of television. (more…)

  • When will they ever learn?

    March 13, 2009 @ 10:42 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The worldwide reaction to the killings of the British soldiers and the Craigavon police officer has been very striking. One senses a deep international disappointment that a problem which seemed to have been resolved is now unravelling. (more…)

  • Three more names on the long list of casualties

    March 9, 2009 @ 11:46 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

     There is shock and outrage throughout the media. There had been threats and warnings for some time, so it was not altogether surprising that the Real IRA, after a lengthy period in the shadows, succeeded in killing two British soldiers in Northern Ireland on Saturday night. In a further grim episode, it is reported that a police officer has been shot dead in Craigavon tonight (Monday) and I have updated this blog accordingly.  (more…)

  • The Greens and their difficult second album

    March 7, 2009 @ 8:02 pm | by Harry McGee

    Every party convention has two distinct audiences. The first is its own activists. The second is the wider public out there in tellyland and beyond. (more…)

  • Senator Edward Kennedy, Friend of the Irish

    March 6, 2009 @ 10:49 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    As you all know, Senator Ted Kennedy has been struck by a serious illness. He was recently awarded a British knighthood. Given his interest in Ireland and his service to good causes in this country, including peace efforts over several decades, it seems to me this appeal from Trina Vargo, one of his former staffers, is worth bringing to your attention:-

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    Irish Times photograph of Senator Kennedy at Stormont 8 May 2007 by Dara MacDonaill.

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  • If Power Starts Slipping to the Streets …

    @ 10:56 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Not for the first time, one wonders why politicians agree to appear on the Vincent Browne show on TV3. You can watch his interview this week with Labour deputy leader and finance spokeswoman Joan Burton by clicking here. (more…)

  • Beware what you wish for…

    March 4, 2009 @ 6:36 pm | by Harry McGee

    Brian Cowen this morning said something he will regret later this year. He told the Dáil that this wasn’t like the 1980s when unemployment rose to 17 per cent. (more…)

  • A Mini-Budget By Any Other Name …

    March 3, 2009 @ 6:57 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Today Brian Cowen announced that, by the end of this month, there would be what everyone other than himself and his Government colleagues are calling a “mini-budget”. There is even less money in the State kitty than previously thought. (more…)

  • The Biggest Talking Point of the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis is…

    @ 3:49 pm | by Harry McGee

    …No, not Brian Cowen’s speech. Or even Noel Dempsey’s sulphuric warm-up act. Or Mary Hanafin’s impressive act. Or the worrying age profile. Or the subdued atmosphere. Or the extraordinary profile given to Dublin City Council candidate Averill Power over the course of the weekend. No it is this… (more…)

  • Dem Greens are slick

    March 2, 2009 @ 6:20 pm | by Harry McGee

    Thanks to greeninkpen and mamam poulet for this. Is this the smoothest and most natural party political broadcast you have ever seen?

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    Ok. Ok. It’s a bit amateurish (I love the photographer getting in the way as they go in the door and the way it just fizzles out at the end). But at least they are trying. In fairness to Ciaran Cuffe, his political blog is brilliant – a step above any TD or Senator in the Dail. And he uses Twitter as well as anyone I know.

    At least they are trying! And Fianna Fail’s website hasn’t ran that smoothly so far, despite all the yoyos they have put into it.


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