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Lisbon parties’ hypocrisy on funding

Even before the Irish people’s democratic decision to reject the fatally-flawed Lisbon Treaty, (which would have deepened the democratic-deficit in Europe still further), the source of Libertas funding was a bane of “yes” campaigners. To the elite, the possibility of the ‘mainstream’ parties being so decisively outspent by this upstart pro-business group with financial interests [...]

What now boss? That pending WTO deal

The WTO talks are a little like the Tribunals. For the most part, progress is confined to a tiny box on page 8 of the Irish Times or Indo unless the leading lights drag it up the agenda. While both are meaningful in themselves and have great symbolic (on the perception of cleansing politics or [...]

On the incomprehensibility of the Lisbon Treaty

I’m one of those people who hasn’t quite decided which way they’re going to vote on in the referendum. This is because I haven’t got around to reading all of the text I’m voting on yet. However, there’s one incredibly stupid argument the no camp is bandying about right now. It’s an argument that does [...]

Dali Lama to Address Dail*?

*Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs. Fine Gael Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Bill Timmins met with the Foreign Minister of the Tibeten Government in-exile today and suggested that the visit of the Dali Lama to the UK (May 20-31) represented a great chance to have him address the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs. Why not the [...]

Behind the headline – The Treaty Con

Libertas have an outraged press release accusing the Irish government of a systematic campaign to hide information on the Lisbon Treaty based on what they call “an email from a very senior Irish official to his British counterpart” which the Daily Mail published today. Headlined the Treaty Con, this story is picked up by a [...]

A “case study in distortion through selective quotation”?

Despite operating under the slogan, “Facts, not Politics”, eurosceptic organisation Libertas have been accused by EU Commissioner Margot Wallstorm in her blog today for carrying out “a case study in distortion through selective quotation”. Essentially, Libertas quoted a speech she gave where she said “Whatever we win in efficiency we might lose in democratic legitimacy [...]

What’s gone wrong? Irish-North Korean relations collapse

Unless one is a fan of some of the organisations which generally only come to our attention courtesy of the Cedar Lounge’s Irish Left Archive, chances are you don’t generally follow the Korean Central New Agency. Unfortunately, you would be a lesser person for that, as the voice of the world’s most secretive regime is [...]

Next time he might ask for the government jet

With all the weighty constitutional matters of the week, something on a lighter note: UK foreign secretary David Miliband says that an unnamed foreign minister told him during the EU ministerial in Slovenia last week that he had lost his bags in transit at Heathrow T5.  The media seem to think that it was a [...]

Did Bertie tell George that he’s leaving?

At the Saint Patrick’s Day reception – President, as we say good-bye on this occasion, but hopefully we’ll keep in touch over the years, I will remember — and I hope that everyone in Ireland will — how kind, how favorable you’ve been, how really open you’ve been to helping us, and the amount of [...]

Rendition in Ireland

From RTE. Amnesty International has said Ireland is clearly contravening international law by allowing its territory to be used to facilitate the practice of extraordinary rendition.The group is basing its claim on the findings of its latest report.Amnesty in Ireland claims Shannon Airport was used to refuel an aircraft that the following day was allegedly used to [...]

Discretion and diplomacy

Interesting reading in the Financial Times today. First, a short comment piece by Quentin Peel on Bertie and the Lisbon referendum; nothing that we don’t know in Ireland but since it reflects chatter in Brussels, perhaps indicative of growing nervousness amongst the Eurocrats about Bertie’s handling of the vote. Second, an article looking at the [...]

China in Chad – An interesting comment from Minister O’Dea

While his row with John Deasy was the one which caught the headlines, the interesting comments from Willie O’Dea last week were his comments on the Chinese involvement in Chad’s civil war: The rebellion is supported by Chad’s powerful neighbour, Sudan, whose regime is in turn by the Government of China. … Approaches to the [...]

Junket watch

One wonders if the Cabinet have decided to collect their deferred pay raises as travel benefits. Just in the last few days: Mary Hanafin postpones a trip to the USA by a day to appear at a Dail debate on autism; Dermot Ahern still says he’s travelling across the world to East Timor even with [...]

A few questions about the deployment in Chad

It’s very rare for Ireland to have a potential military dilemma given that any overseas military activities are always under the colour of the United Nations.  While there have been occasional concerns expressed about whether European Union military operations might breach neutrality, those concerns have never been able to overcome the general momentum of EU [...]

Whats the storm about.

It was greeted with shock last week when it was “revealed” that Albert Reynolds stopped of in the Bahamas and how no one knew this. How it all seems a bit of cloak and dagger. And the way RTE put it. In a statement this evening, the Fianna Fáil TD, Martin Mansergh, who was a [...]

So Irish Blogosphere: What do you think of America?

Over at the Washington Post Global website, Amar C. Bakshi is investigating how the world sees America. He’s looking for contributions so if you’ve got an opinion on America, Americans or American culture, just go here. Amar has just finished up a stint in England and is currently touring India in his attempt to understand [...]

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