Politics »

  • Gordon Brown’s gaffe

    April 29, 2010 @ 4:07 pm | by Harry McGee

    There are few spaces in the world, visual or aural, that are now free from prying eyes and ears, most of them electronic.

    It’s more dystopian than the world poor old Winston Smith encountered in George Orwell’s 1984.

    Gordon Brown found that out to his cost yesterday. The video above give the full narrative of the toe-curling episide with pensioner Gillian Duffy in Rochdale. (more…)

  • Is everything hunky-dory for women in politics?

    April 27, 2010 @ 11:58 pm | by Mary Minihan

    I paid a rare visit to the (very beautiful) Seanad chamber this week because the topic under discussion was one I’m interested in: the low number of women in Irish politics.

    The Green Party’s newish Minister of State for Equality Mary White was delivering quite a thoughtful speech, saying Ireland had made no measurable progress in relation to women’s participation in political life in the last 15 years.

    But nevertheless I found my attention wandering. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I felt when I saw a series of billboard, bus-stop and online video advertisements for what I consider to be a snack food consumed mostly by young girls and boys: crisps.

    Weirdly, despite what I would imagine to be the target market, the ads feature gorgeous grown-up women playing rugby while wearing the type of skimpy outfits normally seen on female beach volleyball players. The sort of thing Benny Hill, the late English comedian, might have designed in the ’80s had he been an advertising executive: lots of cleavage and partially-revealed bottoms.

    There’s a logo claiming the product is a proud sponsor of Irish rugby – whatever that means.

    Now I don’t know much about rugby culture (despite my former colleague George Hook’s best efforts!) but I have female friends who do. So I called one and asked her to check out the ad online while I waited for her reaction. She didn’t like it. She said how she felt at that moment wasn’t at all typical of how she feels at rugby matches.

    What’s this got to do with politics? I’m not sure. But back in the Seanad, as the Minister said Ireland, “for such a progressive country”, was lagging very far behind others in regard to what she described as women’s role in political decision making, I was thinking about…crisps.

    I can only tell you how the ads made me feel: a little bit sad, slightly stunned and very embarrassed for those who produced them. Am I being illogical? I must be supposed to think it’s all hunky-dory.

  • Pensions

    @ 7:53 pm | by Harry McGee

    It’s 7.45pm. Today was like looking at at one of those elaborate Japanese domino games. One domino is tipped over and, WHAM, BAM, it sets off a torrent.

    As of 24 hours ago there were 21 former ministers still retaining their pensions.


  • Geoghegan-Quinn: no comment whatsoever. Cowen: no opinion whatsoever

    April 26, 2010 @ 11:41 am | by Harry McGee


    If somebody ever asks you to define arrogance, just roll out the following incantation:

    “Well that’s a question that I’ve refused to comment on up to now and I will continue to refuse to comment on it.”


  • Russian Roulette

    April 25, 2010 @ 8:29 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    It has been said that the reason academic politics is so bitter is that the stakes are so low. But this episode leaves even your humble scribe – who thought he had seen everything – quite gobsmacked. For more, click here and here.


  • Getting the Message at Last?

    April 22, 2010 @ 10:11 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Maybe the establishment in this country is at last beginning to get the message. The decision by senior banker Richie Boucher (51) to forego his Eur 1.5m pension top-up sends out a badly-needed signal that the sacrifices aren’t confined to the lower orders. (more…)

  • Grounded by the Volcano

    April 21, 2010 @ 9:19 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Not being a scientist, I cannot pronounce with any certitude on the lengthy cancellation of flights by the airlines and their rather sudden reversal of that decision.   (more…)

  • Power Beckons for Labour

    April 19, 2010 @ 11:27 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

     Eamon Gilmore  . . .  on the way to Government?
    Eamon Gilmore . . .  walking into Government?

    The big talking point after Eamon Gilmore’s main speech to the Labour conference in Galway was the party’s demand for a place in the televised debate between party leaders in the next general election.


  • Huntin’, Shootin’ and Fishin’

    April 16, 2010 @ 10:16 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    That was a lively debate on Prime Time last night between Trevor Sargent of the Greens and Liam Cahill on behalf of Rural Ireland Says Enough (Rise!). One got the feeling it wasn’t the first time these two had crossed swords.  (more…)

  • Westminster Balance of Power

    April 15, 2010 @ 6:23 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    We have long experience of Northern Ireland MPs holding the balance of power, or part of it, at Westminster. Back at the end of the 1970s, Labour really annoyed nationalists by conceding extra House of Commons places to placate the Unionists.


  • South Africa’s Mugabe?

    April 14, 2010 @ 10:52 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Have to say I’m with the journalist on this one. Scary stuff. Click here.

  • Mind Your Language

    April 13, 2010 @ 6:35 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The issue of foul language usage in the media and the public sphere generally is something I have written about in our print edition. Let me assure readers I am far from being a paragon of pure speech but the casual use of expletives when, say, children could be listening, is something I would deplore. I see it is becoming an issue in the US. For more click here

  • No Election

    @ 10:41 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    No general election for two years, a senior Labour Party person told me yesterday. Can this be? Will the people tolerate it? Will the Opposition be happy to wait until all the “dirty work” is done by the present administration?

  • Polish Tragedy

    April 11, 2010 @ 10:23 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    A contributor to Karen Coleman’s programme on Newstalk this morning was lambasting the newspapers for failing to carry the death of the Polish president on their front pages. The Sunday Times was the honourable exception tho’ another paper did have it as the top item in the “Index” and there may have been deadline issues as well. (more…)

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