Bruce Arnold

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

I don't want to be governed by unions or this Taoiseach

I do not want to be governed by David Begg. I am sure he is a fine fellow. He seems to be sober in his behaviour, but perhaps spends too much time talking about how the country should be run.

I don't doubt his general interest in the country's future. However, he was not elected by the people and the only mandate he has derives from ICTU of which he has been general secretary for rather longer than those we elect to govern. Read More...

Ireland remains one of the two least stable European countries in its relations with Israel

There has been no consistent condemnation, of Hamas, no condemnation at all.
Given recent events in Gaza, the most pertinent part of Barack Obama's inaugural speech in Washington was his focus on the Muslim world, calling for a new way based on mutual interest and respect.

I listened intently to his expression of a new path to the Middle East, since only a few hours earlier I had breakfasted with the Israeli Education Minister, Yuli Tamir, on a mission to Europe with Dublin her first port of call. Given the day, I asked her about Obama, what expectations she had and where they would lead. Read More...

Martin has woven a web of deceit on Gaza and Lisbon

It is difficult to work out which is the more stupid: Micheal Martin's current views on the conflict in Gaza, or his current views on the EU and the Lisbon Treaty. Both are facile, in both analysis and expression. The first is dangerously distorted; the second appears to be mistaken but is, in fact, deliberately misleading.

At no time -- with just one exception -- in the past 40 years, during which I have been directly involved in commenting on Irish policy, have I witnessed the Department of Foreign Affairs behaving in so superficial and ignorant a way as it has done during the past year, over the Lisbon Treaty, and in recent weeks, over the Gaza invasion by Israel. (That one time was under Haughey, during the Falklands war, a situation salvagedby Noel Dorr.) Read More...

Cabinet and Opposition must unite to salvage the economy

Brian Cowen's retreat into the comfort zone of the social partnership in order to solve the key issue of wages and address the economic crisis facing the country is a denial of democracy. The law and the Constitution require that he govern through the houses of the Oireachtas. It is where, in the end, our whole future will be worked out; it must be worked out there, and the sooner those who govern us adjust to this the better. Read More...

Fianna Fail Do Not Know How to Govern

The most depressing prospect of all, as we go into the unarguably difficult problems of 2009, is a political rather than an economic factor. This is that Fianna Fail does not know how to govern. It has lost the knack. It has difficulty making any decisions, and, when it does, they are either wrong, or too feeble to do any good. Read More...