Politics »

  • Roman Polanski and the Ryan Report

    September 29, 2009 @ 10:09 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Somebody please explain what is the difference between Roman Polanski and the sex abusers, clerical and otherwise, who have been the subject of the Ryan Report as well as innumerable court cases and other investigations in this country and elsewhere over recent years?


                             Roman Polanski: under arrest


  • Final days

    @ 9:39 am | by Harry McGee

    I have kept the title of this morning’s offering broad because it suits the two slightly disparate themes – though the outcome of both will be the same if the Government messes up on either.

  • The poll: green shoots for coalition?

    September 25, 2009 @ 10:07 pm | by Harry McGee

    Below are extracts from Stephen Collins’ report on the poll. In a broader context Government figures are dismal but they can take some consolation from it. Nama and the Late Late have helped a little. Core vote has increased to 18, on a par with Labour. Still doomed to opposition, of course. The real question is how much of a beating will FF and the Greens take? And when it will happen?

    “Brian Cowen’s satisfaction rating is up eight points to 23 per cent but 70 per cent of voters are still dissatisfied with the way he is doing his job.

    When people were asked who they would vote for if there were a general election tomorrow, the adjusted figures for party support, compared with the last Irish Times poll on September 3rd were: Fianna Fáil, 20 per cent (up 3 points); Fine Gael, 31 per cent (down 3 points); Labour, 25 per cent (up 1 point); Sinn Féin, 9 per cent (down 1 point); Green Party, 4 per cent (up 1 point); and Independents/others, 11 per cent (down 1 point).

    The poll was taken on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.

    The core vote for the parties (before undecided voters are excluded) compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fianna Fáil, 18 per cent (up 2 points); Fine Gael, 23 per cent (down 3 points); Labour, 18 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin, 9 per cent (no change); Green Party, 3 per cent (up 1 point); Independents/ others, 8 per cent (down 1 point); and undecided voters 21 per cent (up 1 point).

  • Gordon Brown informs Brian Cowen about Rody Molloy’s severance package

    @ 2:25 pm | by Harry McGee
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  • Pat Kenny’s new show and the (other) only show in town.

    September 22, 2009 @ 8:53 pm | by Harry McGee

    I didn’t get to see Pat Kenny’s new show, the Frontline,  last night (link here)  but will look at it on the RTE player tonight when I get home. My colleagues thought it was very worthy and very heavy and didn’t have the ping you would expect from a brand new show.

    What did ye think? (more…)

  • What’s stuck in Cowen’s craw?

    September 21, 2009 @ 10:15 pm | by Harry McGee


  • When Push Comes to Shove

    September 19, 2009 @ 12:43 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The conventional wisdom now is  that the Lisbon Treaty will pass by a respectable margin. The opening of the Nama debate in the Dáil seems to have calmed nerves. Suspense is not good for politics and the fact that we now know the extent of the “haircut” on the loans and the level of long-term economic value has stabilised the situation.


     Hope for Cowen after all? (Photo: Brenda Fitzsimons)


  • The time is nigh…

    September 16, 2009 @ 3:42 pm | by Harry McGee

    It’s 3.36. Brian Lenihan should have been on his feet 20 minutes ago but the Dáil is still trying to finish Order of Business.

    The sense of anticipation is enormous. The chamber is packed. The press gallery is packed. Gerry Adams is sitting in the distinguished visitors gallery and the public gallery – high above the chamber – is also packed.

    This is one of the most important days in the history of the Dáil. There were a few days like (more…)

  • Good Ship Nama Sails Close to the Rocks

    September 14, 2009 @ 4:02 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    On the face of it, the Government would appear to be in considerable difficulty after last weekend’s Green party deliberations on the National Asset Management Agency. But although the voting figures in the “Preferendum” (see below) are very negative, some Green sources keep insisting things aren’t as bad as they look. 

    What in the Nama Gawd are we gonna do now? (Photograph by James Flynn/APX)


  • Walking the plank, Greens preening on the banks, Cycling from the ranks.

    @ 12:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    John O’Donoghue

    John O’Donoghue’s statement is just out and I’ve read it and it’s long enough on volume but short enough on substance. Essentially, he refuses to engage on the subject of his travel expenses other than a half-apology at the end for some of those that ‘seemed’ high. There has been a strange silence from opposition parties about this, save for Aengus O Snodaigh and Paschal Donohoe.


  • The Outlook is Blue

    September 10, 2009 @ 10:07 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Nothing is certain except death and taxes but the polls do suggest that a Fine Gael-led government is a strong possibility if, as many currently expect, a general election is held in the next six or nine months. 


    Enda Kenny – not everyone’s cup of tea? (Photograph by David Sleator)


  • The Lion of Irish-America

    September 9, 2009 @ 7:15 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Having been out on sick leave for the last number of weeks having a minor operation, blogging was not one of your humble scribe’s priorities. But there was one major event I would like to comment on, even at this late stage.


     Coffin of Edward Kennedy leaving Hyannis Port for Boston


  • Another idea that won’t fly here

    @ 9:26 am | by Harry McGee

    From this morning’s Guardian. A radical idea. See below. Politically suicidel here. The documentary on advertising on RTE last night featured the first Ryanair aid, the one that claimed that Aer Lingus was charging nearly a hundred quid for breakfast. The cheap Ryanair alternative was a £95 return fare to London. Taking inflation and all other indices into account, the cheap fare seems ludicrously high.


  • Tax Commission report

    September 8, 2009 @ 11:13 am | by Harry McGee

    There are 230 plus recommendations in the Commission for Taxation Report. Many of them are the kind you would find nested in the Minister for Finance’s speech at Budget time.


  • Irish Times poll on Lisbon – mind the gap!

    September 4, 2009 @ 8:41 am | by Harry McGee

    The gap is closing. But as last year, it’s in which direction the don’t knows jumpthat will determine this referendum.

    Some 46 per cent backing the treaty isn’t where the Yes camp thought they would be at this stage of the game. The only consolation that they can take from the eight point drop in support is that it has not migrated to the No camp but rather into the Don’t Know group. But the experience of last year will show us that even though there is a 17 per cent gap between Yes and No, which is at 29 per cent, that gap is not insuperable.


  • Where is the silver lining? And a bit on NAMA…

    September 3, 2009 @ 4:34 pm | by Harry McGee

    There is none. Silver lining that is. See the bit on NAMA at the end.

    We have the result of the next election already and it is this: change of government. The only question is: when. Some of my colleagues believe as early as the New Year. I say the end of 2010, at the earliest.


  • The Irish Times poll

    September 2, 2009 @ 9:11 pm | by Harry McGee

    The findings are abysmal for the Government. If you stick to the core vote (which I believe is the important index) Fianna Fáil falls below Labour for the first time ever. 

    Brian Cowens satisfaction rating is 15 per cent. Incredible. John Gormley’s showing of 19 per cent is little better. And 75 per cent of people want a change of government. 

    This is more than a snapshot in time. It’s career ending for many of the Cabinet. Cowen wil never lead Fianna Fáil into a General Election. His only hope is to survive another 18 months and hope the economy turns a corner. Then posterity may remember him more kindly than the public. 

    It wasn’t all his fault but Bertie and Charlie McCreevy are no longer around to blame. 

    FF will get slaughtered next time out. Fine Gael’s wipeout in 2002 may actually look good!

  • Never underestimate the voter etc

    @ 5:02 pm | by Harry McGee

    As a quick follow-on to this morning, there are a number of strands to the Fianna Fail campaign other than the nuclear option of: vote Yes or else we’re all goners. Brian Cowen’s delivery of the speech won’t have Barack Obama quaking in his boots but the content was interesting… and substantial (devoid of a lot of the cliched guff to which he can be prone). You can read it for yourself HERE . 

    So here are my own observations, without having had the luxury of proper contemplation.


  • Lisbon kicks off

    @ 11:23 am | by Harry McGee

    I’m sitting in the Royal College of physicians in Kildare Street moments before the Fianna Fail launch for the Lisbon campaign starts. I am writing this post onmy iPhone so excuse typos!First impressions are that FF is going to offer voters a winne- take-all-gamble, a kind of political double or quits offer.It’s looking at European Union membership as a whole rather than engaging with issues with white the same degree of detail. Military neutrality and the Commissioner will play a part but my guess is that FF won’t major on the minors.Micheál Martin is speaking now. All the Ministers are here including Taoiseach Brian Cowen.Slogans are Ireland Needs Europe and We’re stronger with Europe.A big question is how will the debate and unhappinness with the Government and NAMA will play into the debate?

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