They make a desert and they call it peace

Radical analyses of the Irish and European debt crisis can benefit from engagement with some mainstream (or even right-wing) analyses – there is much to be learned there, and sometimes a surprising amount of common ground. However, where the mainstream falls down is in its misunderstanding (wilful or not) of the politics of the way in which the debt crisis is being managed – it does not recognise (or chooses not to recognise) the instrumentality of the debt response for the furtherance of corporate power and wealth. In other words, what good does it do, and for whom?

Values added: bland

The election campaign has now begun in earnest, and the performers have shuffled on stage and begun their well-rehearsed hymn to hopeychange. But Patrick Barry finds them woefully out of tune.

Still dodging the abortion issue

Political and media amnesia may soon be impossible, thanks to the wealth of archival information now at our fingertips, but sometimes humdrum human memory is the best archive of all.

The politics of counting and the myths of migration

Writing about statistics in the 1950s, Darrell Huff noted: "There is something fascinating about [them]. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." As it was, so it ever will be, as Mary Gilmartin finds.


Closer to Boston than Berlin

With an election only weeks away, five ministers have announced their retirement (with healthy pensions) from political life. But what level of destruction have they left in their wake? Justin Frewen assesses Mary Harney's reign of terror.

The Emperor is a fighter not a golfer

At a stroke, with a stroke, the provisions of the Finance Bill, the 437,000 on the live register, the 50,000 set to emigrate and planning permission for the final stage of the Corrib gas pipe: all disappeared. And in their place: a beleaguered fightin man appeared; a man from the 'real world' making brave appeal to the battered, courageous truth behind 'lazy media narrative'; a man committed to overcoming his own marginalisation and wresting some degree of power for his downtrodden, sidelined tribe.

Shadowboxing in the halls of power

In a week that saw Brian Cowen stomp angrily from studio to studio, mouth afroth, horns lowered and tail swishing dangerously, Patrick Barry wonders if our home-grown Rageguy might be less a slave to his own passions, and more a skilled and expert manipulator furious with a purpose.