“If Labour can hold its nerve, stay focussed, and navigate cleverly between its twin positions of government partner and sensible left-wing option, it will survive the expected storm. Keeping Alan Kelly out of national sight is an essential element of this plan”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The bags have been packed for weeks around Leinster House, and Drapier has been chomping at the bit since budget day. There was never going to be any (...)

Karl Marx: his warning that history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce has modern application. Any populist government in Europe might succeed in raising growth with banking policies – but this make them so dangerous. Photograph: Imagno/Getty

Rereading John Weitz’s biography of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s Banker, I noted some interesting parallels between the 1930s and now that I had not cons(...)

A lot of nerve: Bruno Le Maire and  Nicolas Sarkozy. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

For such a polite, well-bred young man, Bruno Le Maire has a lot of nerve. The conservative deputy in the National Assembly, a former high-ranking civ(...)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Republican ideologues complain, is not a true conservative; indeed, he is a populist. Photograph: Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Losers have votes, too. That is what democracy means – and rightly so. If they feel sufficiently cheated and humiliated, they will vote for Donald Tru(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel: The Christian Social Union (CSU), which is allied to Merkel’s governing CDU party, opposes her perceived “open door” policy on migration. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Angela Merkel has mastered many challenges in the last decade, from the financial and euro crises to the Kiev-Moscow military standoff. But none was q(...)

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo: Solidarity founder Lech Walesa says her government “acts against our freedom, achievements, democracy”.Photo: REUTERS/Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta

Twenty-five years ago next month, the leaders of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia gathered in the small Hungarian town of Visegrad on the banks of t(...)

The rise of “Trumpism” would be a potential cause of geopolitical upheaval and conflict. Photograph: Reuters/Brian Snyder

There is a great deal of ruin in a nation. Thus did the wise Adam Smith rebuke a correspondent’s worry that ruin was bound to follow reversals in the (...)

Migrants and refugees paddling a rubber dinghy approach the beach at Psalidi near Kos Town, Kos, Greece, on August 21st.  Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The images of 2015 were of people on the move. Families clinging on to rubber dinghies as they approached the Greek shore. Exhausted young men and wom(...)

Dutch right-wing anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders:  warned that Dutch workers faced being priced out of their jobs. Photograph: Martijn Beekman/AFP/Getty Images

It’s an indication of the enormous gap between perception and reality when it comes to potentially explosive issues such as immigration that a new su(...)

Marine le Pen:  beheading picture vanished from her Twitter account. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The mother of James Foley, the American hostage beheaded on camera by Islamic State last year, said on Thursday she was angry at French far-right poli(...)