Bruce Arnold

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

Any new party would have to be Eurosceptic to gain real support

The Government, from tomorrow, faces the substantial challenge of assuming the presidency of Europe for a six-month period. It's a challenge that will weigh heavily on its formal duties and impinge significantly on other domestic objectives, including new laws to deal with abortion.

There is no real benefit in the task. Power has been taken from the presidency by the unelected bureaucrats and the major powers, leaving what is only a titular event. Changed times are emphasised by the fact that we celebrate better past times tomorrow – the 40th anniversary of Ireland joining Europe. Read More...

The Coalition is the only game in town – someone must tell Labour

Colm Keaveney's decision to vote against the Budget is clearly an exercise in nonsense politics.

The disarray in the Labour Party has reached a worrying point, according to political commentator Noel Whelan. He identified the threat posed by it, saying it was big enough to undermine the cohesion of the Government and shorten the lifespan of this Coalition. Read More...

The public understands that road we must travel will contain a few bumps

The long process of doom-laden Budget speculation and analysis has been more dramatic this year, fuelled by arguments that this Budget would be the worst-ever, reinforced by the familiar hysteria in the media that the outcome would shake Ireland to its political foundations and nothing would be the same again.

Fine Gael and Labour would not hold together. The right and the left were stalking in opposite directions and it was only a matter of time before the Coalition would fall apart. Confidence would be lost irretrievably. The centre would not hold. Things would undoubtedly fall apart. All we needed was the ghost of William Butler Yeats to arise from whichever grave his bones lie in and take the blame – 'Did words of mine. . ?' Read More...