Podcast: Strategic Communications Unit blurs lines between politics and civil service

Inside Politics podcast looks at Border’s return to Brexit centre stage

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launching Project Ireland 2040 at Sligo Institute of Technology. Committing €116bn over a 10-year period, the plan has the potential to address many infrastructural issues. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launching Project Ireland 2040 at Sligo Institute of Technology. Committing €116bn over a 10-year period, the plan has the potential to address many infrastructural issues. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The role of the Strategic Communications Unit has come under the spotlight thanks to this week’s controversy over a series of promotional articles placed in media outlets concerning the new national development plan, Project 2040.

To discuss this story, Hugh and Pat are joined by Gerard Howlin, a public affairs consultant, Irish Examiner columnist and former senior political adviser to the Ahern government who says the origins and characteristics of the SCU suggest an unwelcome blurring of lines between politics and the Civil Service.

Also on the podcast: cans last seen flying down the road towards Brexit are reappearing this week. The Border question is back and is posing a major threat to UK-EU negotiations.

Inside Politics is a regular podcast from The Irish Times. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, on Android, on Stitcher, on ACast or on Soundcloud.