Bruce Arnold

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

Martin's actions prove he was never right for top job

Micheal Martin was the wrong choice to lead Fianna Fail. He was the worst choice of the four contenders in the leadership contest at the end of January of this year.

I said so, clearly and emphatically, in an article in this paper at the end of that month, putting him at the tail-end of the available candidates, a long way behind my first nominee, Eamon O Cuiv. My second, Mary Hanafin, failed to get elected in my own constituency due to the party's madness in running two ministers instead of Hanafin on her own. The third option, Brian Lenihan, is no longer with us. Read More...

Why our 'friendly' airline has lost me as passenger

I went to London for a short holiday in July, relaxed and looking forward to the break. I travelled by Aer Lingus and it was my first experience of Terminal Two, that vast extravaganza, costing us a wasted fortune and now, in cool and indifferent splendour, presided over by our own airline.

The airline is changed, becoming more authoritarian and rigorous, as I was to discover. I took the bus from Dalkey having ascertained the journey would take 50 minutes, bringing me to the terminal between 10 and five minutes before the hour, 45 minutes before my flight at 14h40. Read More...

Latest Fianna Fail stroke backfires badly on Martin

A friend and well-wisher sent me an email on the announcement by Gay Byrne that he was withdrawing from the presidential race. It contained the comment: "Irish people have been deprived of a chance to show their stupidity." Apart from adding to the end of this the word "again", it seemed a good enough summary of the circumstances to date.

I thought we had run the full course of summer madness about the presidential election with David Norris, but clearly the appetite for savaging our own intelligence and judgment was by no means exhausted by the first run at it, and a second fell into the public lap with the invitation to Byrne from Micheal Martin to run for president. It was a typical Fianna Fail stroke, one that has back-fired badly on Martin. Read More...

Why Gaybo should never be voted into the Aras

Do we have a new presidential candidate in Gay Byrne? Characteristically, he is putting his toe in the water to see if it is too hot for him, and waiting for the noise of approval that will send him on his way.

His position is an entirely passive one. Everything he has said so far indicates that, while David Norris was the front runner -- as he was -- Byrne would not be seeking the job. With all that changed, it suddenly seems a good idea, half-decided by the opinion polls, a deal that could be clinched by Fianna Fail support. A gentle mindless canter to the Aras would follow. Read More...

Faulty judgment and anti-Israeli bias leave Norris unfit for Aras run

It remains a singular example of Norris's lack of judgment that we did not know about Ezra Nawi's life and career from the beginning of his candidacy

David Norris is not a suitable person to stand for election to the office of President of this country. He has poor judgment. He has not been completely upfront about his personal relationship with his one-time lover, Ezra Nawi, or his presentation of Nawi to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Oireachtas in respect of criminal charges against him. Read More...