Bruce Arnold

Chief Critic of the Irish Independent, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Apr 2007

Government Hemmed in by Opinion Polls

How have things gone so wrong for the Fianna Fail-led coalition? What has happened after 10 years of solid, confident government? Why is the old and universal argument, that "it's the economy, stupid," not giving electoral sustenance? Why has a gap developed between wealth and performance? Why have we seen a series of panic-stricken ministers making eleventh-hour public appointments, issuing promises of expenditure, and challenging the credibility of the opposition parties, when none of this is fitting or proper or relevant in the run-up to an election?

Opposition Need for Caution

During the course of Enda Kenny's ard fheis speech I was at first troubled by what I thought of as the over-use of the word "contract".

The emphasis had a resonance about it but its meaning remained unexplained. It was not good enough to tell us that the Fine Gael leader wants a contract with the Irish people for a better Ireland. I think we all want a contract along those lines. The problem is, with whom do we have it, and how do we discover the necessary trust and dependency in the chosen bearer of contractual responsibility for our lives? Read More...