Health is Wealth

The swingeing cuts in health funding that have been – and continue to be - implemented over the past couple of years have seriously debilitated the public health service. Its overall prognosis continues to decline as does the outlook for those of us obliged to avail of its failing facilities. Even if the economic situation in Ireland should improve, the damage that has been inflicted on the health service will make it far more difficult and costly to restore in the future.

As we entered the New Year, the health service was once more on the front page for all the wrong reasons.

Kevin O’Rourke gets it just right

I'm not one for really long quotes on this blog, but O'Rourke's post today deserves to be clipped and remembered. The comments are not worth reading. O'Rourke quietly, but angrily, gets it just right: capital walks away scot free.

"[T]he real cleavage in Europe is between European taxpayers and bank creditors (with the ECB being a third interested party, as another body which could help to fill the holes which have emerged in the European banking system).

Take the survey - concept for Politico magazine

On the relaunch of Magill in October 1997, former editor Fintan O'Toole wrote:

"By giving journalists more space and time than are generally available in the newspapers, Magill could look beyond the news. Sometimes it could set its own agenda by investigating stories that remain untold. Sometimes it can stand back and try to provide a context in which the endless flow of sensations acquires some shape and meaning."

New magazines on Politico

Last week we added three new titles to the magazine archive on Politico - Changing Ireland, LookLeft and Voice of the Traveller. This brings to six the number of titles on Politico - Nusight (1968 - 1970), Magill (1977 - 1998) and Village magazine (2004 - 2008) are also available.

Human Rights and Free Trade

50,000 people a day die from poverty related causes. 22,000 of these fatalities are children under the age of five. The current global financial and food crises have greatly aggravated the plight of the world's most impoverished and vulnerable people. The United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that these international instabilities resulted in a massive increase of over 11% between 2009 and 2010 - 915 million to 1.02 billion - in the number of chronically hungry people.

Barry Andrews: A failed Minister for Children?

Minister for Children Barry Andrews was in the news in mid-December congratulating himself for a job well done in continuing to record the plight of poor Irish children while doing very little for them. By Evin Daly of One Child International

The tiresome conceit of Jody Corcoran

Jody Corcoran's political reportage reads like an autobiography in which he claims to be squarely placed in the political establishment.

(Left: A photo of Jody Corcoran with Brian Cowen that accompanied a Sunday Independent interview in December 2009 when Corcoran wrote that he  "bounced the Taoiseach into doing a one-to-one interview with [him]" while other journalists were consigned to a round-table chat.)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender People and Mental Health in Ireland

The mental health concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) are similar to those of the rest of the population. Of course, being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in no way constitutes a mental health issue in itself. Furthermore, although LGBT people are frequently referred to as a single category, due to the similarity of stigma and discrimination they face as a minority group, they are not an homogenous entity. The sexual orientation and gender identities of LGBT people are different and at the individual level they can experience varying mental health problems.

More on American exceptionalism

As the slow but interminable drip feed of Wikileaks revelations continues, there has been a lot of coverage of American reaction to the release of diplomatic secrets. Some interesting pieces include this in The Economist, which was inspired by a piece in The New York Times here.

Continuing Split in Ivory Coast Threatens West African Democracy

A sadly typical headline flashed up on the newswires recently - 'In Ivory Coast, Two Presidents Claim Office'. This is a disastrous outcome for the recent elections in the country, but not completely unexpected, considering the political situation in the West African country.