Politics »

  • Fiscal Exhaustion

    May 29, 2012 @ 12:36 pm | by Harry McGee

    The texts of European treaties will never make it onto the bestseller shelves at airport bookshops. The prose can be horribly dense and inaccessible –under such a torrent of tortuous sentences even the most impermeable EU anoraks can feel the soul-destroying dampness seep through. (more…)

  • The 40-year-old intern: ‘working for free’ as a grown-up?

    May 22, 2012 @ 9:31 am | by Mary Minihan

    I got some interesting statistics from the Department of Social Protection on the age profile of people signed-up to JobBridge, the Government scheme which allows people to work as interns while receiving the dole and a €50 allowance. (more…)

  • Green Party Conference

    May 19, 2012 @ 4:54 pm | by Harry McGee

    The Green Party conference is taking place this weekend in Kilkenny. It’s a low key event with a a few hundred delegates, with a good deal of self-examination and talk of renewal.
    There could be few more suitable opportunities for a party in search of its soul than to go in search of its stance on the fiscal treaty.


  • Thinking Negative, voting positive

    May 17, 2012 @ 5:41 pm | by Harry McGee

    The latest polls have all been trending towards Yes even though there is still a lot of volatility and a greater number of undecideds than you would expect at this stage of the campaign.


  • Referendum

    May 8, 2012 @ 4:28 pm | by Harry McGee

    There’s just over three weeks to go to the fiscal treaty referendum. And it’s the only show in town at the moment, with Eamon O Cuiv and Fianna Fail providing a fascinating sideshow.
    The Irish Times, as part of its online expansion, will be hosting a major debate on video between Simon Coveney and Mary Lou McDonald. It will be uploaded to our website tomorrow morning and will be one of a number of new innovations to our service we will be introducing during the referendum.


  • Watering it down?

    April 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm | by Harry McGee

    A little later this afternoon the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan will give a briefing on the status of the Government’s plans to introduce water charges. It’s expected he’ll give a timetable for rolling out the project (yep the predictable phrase); an indication of how the new utility company Irish Water will shape up, and reconfirm that there won’t be any upfront charges for punters.


    (*UPDATE 16.50: Phil Hogan held a press conference this afternoon in which he confirmed that Bord Gais Eireann were the successful tenderer to rund the new water utility company. He also confirmed that there will be no upfront charge for water metering but that it will be paid by way of a standing charge of approximately €39 over a period of 20 years. He also said that the vast majority of meters will be installed by the end of 2014 and that the first bills will begin to be paid at that time, or possibly in early 2015. Also strenuously denied that there had been any confusion last weekend, even though obviously there was!)


  • The Mainstream and Groupthink

    April 10, 2012 @ 11:57 am | by Harry McGee

    In the world of domestic politics, two words – both of them compound nouns describing a collective experience – have stood out for me in the past few weeks.

  • So who’s to blame for the household charge fiasco?

    March 29, 2012 @ 2:09 pm | by Harry McGee

    I read an article in The Observer a few weeks ago that examined the acceptance (or, more accurately, the non-acceptance) of blame in politics. It quoted a book on the subject. Its title told you everything you need to know about politics and politicians (and quite a number of other professions too).
    It was called: Somebody is to Blame (But Not Me). (more…)

  • Household charge: the final countdown

    March 27, 2012 @ 9:14 am | by Mary Minihan

    The deadine of midnight on Saturday is looming. It’s no exaggeration to say the household charge issue has been the first test of the Government’s authority, and it’s been fascinating to see readers’ judgements of the Coalition in the huge response to this blog. (more…)

  • RTE’s tweetgate

    March 13, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | by Harry McGee
    YouTube Preview Image

    In the British Open in 1949, the Irish golfer Harry Bradshaw hit a
    poor drive and his ball ended up settled against a broken beer bottle.
    He chose to play the ball from where it lay.


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