Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Ask an honest question for a straight answer on Lisbon

The Lisbon Treaty is a constitutional document. It establishes a new federal state of Europe. It makes us citizens of that state with dual loyalties drawing us into a new status that compromises our present citizenship of Ireland.

This immutable reality is being deliberately tampered with and misrepresented by our politicians, not unexpectedly, but also in the recent opinion poll in 'The Irish Times' over the St Valentine's Day weekend, which seems to have found a change in attitude based on a change in the question. This asks us what we want to answer but leaves out what we might be fearful of. Read More...

Brash Martin shows he has yet to master the art of protocol

The Department of Foreign Affairs makes up most of its protocol as it goes along. We don't do protocol. We've always done the opposite. We think a casual, 'Whatever-you're-having-yourself', approach is rather charming. The British, masters of the art of protocol, have it for almost everything and have taught it to the rest of the world. This teaching has been least successful here, where we have spent most of our history trying to undermine the protocol of our nearest neighbour.