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We had good company

The Irish Times has a nice set of articles on the papers released under the 30 year rule, which cover 1982 — quite a year in Irish politics. Among the points of interest is the strain in UK-Ireland relations caused by the Falklands War. Deaglán de Bréadún gets perhaps a tad ambitious though in seeking [...]

French still want renegotiation: German press

The Government’s claims that EU leaders agreed not to renegotiate the Fiscal Compact – due to be voted on on May 31st – have been met with silence from French and EU officials. German newspaper Suebdeutsche Zeitung claims that the French want to keep renegotiation on the table as a bargaining chip to gain German [...]

Irish delegation to Bahrain creates further complications

For the past few days (ending on Friday), an Irish delegation of doctors and politicians was in Bahrain to seek the freedom from detention of doctors imprisoned during the protest crackdown in that country. The link arose because the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland has a long-standing partnership to train Bahraini doctors and some [...]

Concern at Saudi school plan

Concerns have been raised at plans by the Government of Saudi Arabia to establish a school with an Islamic ethos in Dublin, according to the Irish Times. The plans have been announced in Arabic on the website of the Saudi embassy in Dublin which opened in September. From the Irish Times on Wednesday: According to [...]

Lisbon: Equal airtime abolished

Update: Official Press Release here. – In a decision sure to spark furious condemnation from “no” campaigners, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has announced new regulations on airtime set to grant the political-parties the vast majority of airtime during the campaign. Broadcasters are not required to allocate exactly the same amount of time to both [...]

Overseas aid: death by a thousand cuts

Last night I attended a lecture in Trinity College on Ireland’s role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals given by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power. The topic was unfortunate given the recent savaging of the overseas aid budget, which means that Ireland will be spending 22% less than in 2008. These [...]

By the way, Lisbon still isn’t ratified

As BNIFFO-gate rumbles on, it’s easy to forget that the European Union is essentially in crisis today.  People are racking their brains to remember the last time that a government collapsed while holding the EU Council Presidency, but the Czech government has certainly picked a most inconvenient time to do so: half way through its [...]

They’ve still got it

There’s one trick Fianna Fail can still manage: media management.  The Brian Cowen trip to the USA is Exhibit A, with much of the glowing coverage achieved by the simple expedient of getting hacks represented at the same booze-flowing events attended by the politicians.  Here’s today’s Irish Times editorial working straight from a press release [...]

Libertas on Lisbon II – Euroscepticism in a cheap tuxedo

At the time of the first Lisbon referendum, Declan Ganley marched out on front of the cameras with three tickets for the leaders of the pro-Lisbon parties. We were, Ganley told us, to send these politicians back to Brussels to renegotiate the treaty. Many journalists mistook Ganley’s pro-social behaviour for a political stunt. After all, cheap stunts are to politicians what concrete blocks are to builders, but these commentators failed to remember that Ganley is not a politician.

Bernard Madoff: the Irish angle

The collapse of New York trading and investment advisory firms bearing the name of their founder, Bernard Madoff, is making news around the world.  Madoff has apparently told federal investigators that he ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme i.e. in which the principal of new investors is used to pay returns to previous investors.   [...]

How’s your Czech

The office of Czech President Vaclav Klaus has published the transcript of what apparently was a blazing row that erupted in a meeting between him and MEPs Daniel Cohn-Bendit (the ’68 veteran) and Fianna Fail MEP Brian Crowley.  Elements of the row are reported on in the Irish Times today but Klaus has since decided [...]

Leaders of the Opposition

Enda Kenny and David Cameron met for just under an hour yesterday.  It’s an interesting pairing (photo).  As Enda told the Irish Times, they have the common predicament of being in opposition against a long-standing incumbent party.  The actual common policy areas are tricky.  As Guido Fawkes has emphasized, the un-Labour approach to coping with [...]

Republicans prepare to rig election?

Peruse the diagram above. The green/yellow states are those voting with DREs with a voter-verified paper-trail (VVPR) (except in Tennessee, Colorado and Maryland where the relevant legislation has been passed but doesn’t come into force this year) and with/without (respectively) a paper audit-trail. The red-states are those requiring neither a paper-audit-trail nor a voter verified [...]

Second Lisbon Treaty on its Way?

Brian Cowen is talking to the EU Legal Service about drafting opt-outs and protocols to make the Lisbon Treaty “palatable to the Irish public” according to Jamie Smyth and others this morning. Cowen, who said the France, which is the current president of the EU, had also asked the Council of Ministers’ legal services “to [...]

Appeasing Russia will not work

In a week dominated by harrowing scenes of civilian suffering in the ongoing Russian-Georgian conflict over the separatist region of South Ossetia. There are shades of the Sudetenland crisis in 1938, when Hitler, on the pretext of defending a ‘persecuted’ German minority in that region of Czechoslovakia, was appeased and allowed to annex it, followed [...]


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