The 'new politics' looks much like the old

Rather than the media being to blame, it is politicians who are the real culprits in trivialising, distorting and denigrating our political process and discourse. By Vincent Browne.

Pat Rabbitte, in wistful recollection of Michael McDowell, recently quoted with approval from a newspaper article in which the former Progressive Democrat leader had written about "the over-weening power of the media as principals in our politics".

A handy stick to beat us with

The Government has been carefully reticent about signing up to an amendment to an EU treaty last month - one that is potentially very threatening to Ireland's interests. By Vincent Browne.

Just over four weeks ago, on 2 February, the Government signed a modification to an EU treaty that, according to Government ministers, contains a provision potentially very menacing to Irish interests.

Why this really is an Austerity Treaty

The opening salvos of the debate about the Fiscal Treaty from the right-wing political parties and the establishment media have attempted to ridicule the argument that this is an Austerity Treaty. Leo Varadkar called on the Socialist Party not to "lie about the treaty and what it's about" (quite a serious charge, especially considering it's over a week since I wrote to him seeking a public debate and have received no reply!).

Greece: The Workers' Newspaper

Socialist MEP Paul Murphy is in Greece this week, meeting with workers, trade unionists and members of parliament. He is reporting on his experiences for Politico. You can read his previous installments here and here; part three is below.

Irish politics: Continuity through stupidity

Last week brought several reminders of the ineptitude of Irish governments, past and present. By Vincent Browne.

A sense of hopelessness was in the air last Thursday. The announcement that the proposed Children's Hospital at the Mater site had been refused planning permission, on such palpably foreseeable grounds, confirmed the comprehensive ineptitude of the former government.

What's happened to Joan Burton?

Thus far, Joan Burton has been a major let-down as minister for social protection. By Vincent Browne.

Joan Burton was disappointed not to have been given a senior finance position in the Fine Gael-Labour government last March, according to media reports at the time, which she did not deny subsequently.

We need a referendum on this undemocratic Austerity Treaty

The timeframe to build significant political pressure to force them to hold a referendum is short, but it needs to be done. By Paul Murphy.

Leo Varadkar’s comments about referendums being undemocratic raises a question about the government’s understanding of democracy. Presumably getting elected on the basis of not giving “another red cent” to the Anglo bondholders - and then proceeding to hand over billions to them - is more democratic than allowing the people to decide on a vital question like joining an Austerity Club.