Fine Gael and Labour have vested interests in concealing what they might do in government – that is if they know
With the 1916 commemoration approaching there are calls for debates on what it means, its legitimacy, and its relevance in contemporary Ireland.
If we had a credible opposition, it would be setting the agenda for the next election. Instead it is a member of one of the Government parties, Michael McDowell, that is doing that, and doing it with vigour and ingenuity. On Friday 24 February in a speech to members of the Progressive Democrats in Waterford, he sought to define the issue in the forthcoming election as who will be the junior partner in the next government, because, he argued, it was always the junior partner that defined the ideological colouration of a government.
Michael McDowell's real, if coded, message to Bertie Ahern last week was this: win the next election for the existing Government by delivering transparent tax cuts to middle income earners in the next budget.
On 9 February Minister for Justice Michael McDowell delivered a challenging lecture to the media in Ireland, which got surprisingly little media attention. It raised issues pressingly relevant to the media in general and to the role of the media in politics. Here we reproduce some of the key elements of the lecture, along with a commentary
Bertie Ahern is allergic to decisions; the political system is conditioned to create jobs for the girls and the boys
In 1977 there were only seven Junior Ministers, now there are 17. At least seven of these positions are non-jobs
Charlie McCreevy, your time has come. Your place in history awaits you. Fate has decreed this. Being sacked by Bertie Ahern wasn't the end of your political relevance. It was only the beginning and catapulted you onto a far bigger stage to boot.
Having espoused Marxism and nationalisations, Sinn Féin is now just a vaguely left-of-centre social democratic party. If Bertie Ahern needs to 'discover' a policy convergence between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin after the next election, he will have little difficulty
The self-styled liberals of the Progressive Democrats missed two great chances to prove their worth in recent weeks.