Be part of it…or else!

 The lo-fi celebratory capitalism of The Gathering - carefully calibrated to win broad appeal by tapping into reservoirs of local pride - comes precisely at a time when its opposite number, disaster capitalism, is busily taking advantage of economic turmoil to ensure that when the dust settles, established power remains unchallenged. By Mark Cullinane and Eoin O'Mahony.

Claims that privacy legislation would curtail investigative journalism are laughable

Arguably, it is in its role in the continuing subjugation of women that the media is at its most insidious. By Vincent Browne.

There is more to the publication of the topless photographs of Kate Middleton than the breach of her privacy or the hilarity of a long-time dedicated porn pusher, Richard Desmond, finding a principle here, or Independent News and Media (INM), publisher of the Sunday Independent and the Sunday World, suspending an editor on ethical grounds.

We need alternatives, but the Irish left is a joke

One of the reasons why we are stuck with the same politics and the same old codgers - in spite of ongoing austerity and deepening inequality - is because the Irish left is a joke. By Vincent Browne.

Four years ago this month, Paul Tansey died suddenly while playing tennis with Shane Ross. Paul had been a brilliant economics commentator first with the Irish Times, then with the Sunday Tribune (where I got to know him in the mid-1980s), and finally again with the Irish Times.

Speechifying! A matter of confidence.

While being caught up in the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics, not for the first time I found myself wanting to be an athlete rather than a writer. The incredible sight of the disabled aesthetic being so celebrated in a public – indeed, a worldwide – forum left me emotionally energised. Just for a moment I found myself amongst the group being lionised.

The danger of brushing extremism under the carpet

Last month the Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik was found guilty of killing 77 people and wounding 242 in a murderous rampage last year. Breivik’s actions were undeniably wicked and grotesque. However, Breivik was found to be sane – in other words, this was the work of a rational, intelligent human being. No sinister voices in his head; no obscure songs played backwards issuing subliminal murderous missives.

Shake it til the facts spill out

There is no measurement which can come even close to justifying Frances Fitzgerald's claim yesterday that we are one of the biggest spenders on public services in the industrialised world. By Michael Taft.

Sometimes you just want to pick up the radio and shake it until the tiny little people inside start talking sense. Take Minister Frances Fitzgerald onthe Pat Kenny show yesterday:

It's one law for them...

While some sectors of our society are allowed to break the law with impunity, others who act in an entirely lawful manner are harassed by the gardaí because their actions are a political irritant to the Government. By David Johnson.

Scraping the bottom of a broken barrel

We have had cuts in both public and private sector pay. The problem is that too few people ask the fundamental question – why is it that after all the cuts of past, we still are where we are? By Michael Taft.