A coalition pact in the Republic awaits wider approval

15 Apr

So the two traditional parties of government in the Republic have struck their coalition deal. They’ve taken their time. Southern government formation now looks more continental than ever. They’ve had the great excuse of tackling something even more important than  creating a new government after an election.  Fianna Fail and Fine Gael profess the need for a national  coalition in response to Covid 19. But in truth the emergency  does no more than give them cover for what would have … Read more

Varadkar is having a good crisis. This it seems, is not the time to object.

29 Mar

The Republic are doing things a little differently: joining an EU  initiative to procure much needed ventilators, sending an Aer Lingus plane to China for hospital workers’ PPE; the Gardai Commissioner calling for people in the streets to produce IDs, off licences to stay open  in contrast with  GB. The North at first followed the GB rules but has now fallen into line with the south. The consequences if the northern ban remained in force if a hard Prohibition border … Read more

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit

12 Feb

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. The success of Sinn Fein in the recent Irish general election was built on a deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the quality of social provision in health, housing, childcare and other ‘quality of life’ issues at a time of a booming economy. The party’s traditional … Continued

Now the counting is over, what does the Irish political landscape look like

11 Feb

Change. Such a simple word, yet if we could sum up this election, it really was about change, not just for its own sake but ambitious change. A sense that the country was heading in the wrong direction and despite record growth rates, a large section of the electorate opted to take a punt. Fed up of paying high rents, having their children living with them and the cost of everything rising, they looked at who embodied that ambitious change … Read more

Sinn Fein deserve their chance to satisfy the huge expectations their victory has aroused

11 Feb

Let’s stand back. With just one seat fewer than Fianna Fail but with quotas to spare, Sinn Fein’s claim to have gained the moral advantage has credibility in spades.  Another reading is just possible. The two centrist parties outnumber them by rather less than 2 to 1. Twice in France the  right and left  united to defeat the far right, once by joining together and last time by forming a new political party to achieve the desired result.  But France … Read more