Politics

Another day in the spin factory

The Government's Infrastructure Stimulus, announced last week by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, is mostly spin with little substance. By Michael Taft.

A deadbeat minister for a deadbeat nation

If James Reilly had been offered the health portfolio anywhere else but Ireland, the course of action available to him would have been clear and simple - either get rid of the interests in private nursing homes and health clinics, or don’t take the job. By Philip O'Connor.

The real problem with James Reilly appearing in Stubbs Gazette is not the fact that he is officially a deadbeat minister in our deadbeat nation.

It is our moral bankruptcy when it comes to his conflict of interest.

No hope of government accountability in our screwed-up system

The inquiry system we have is like an accused person deciding which judge can hear their case and who the jury members should be. By Vincent Browne.

If Adrian Hardiman of the Supreme Court needed an illustration of the incapacity of Dáil Éireann to conduct a fair and independent inquiry into a matter of current controversy, he could not have wished for a more vivid example than the shemozzle over the holding of an inquiry into the banking crisis.

Rousseau's distrust of representative democracy was well-founded

The idea of democracy was to make the people sovereign but its modern trajectory has been to make people subjects again. By Vincent Browne.

A former “best friend” described him as “false, vain as Satan, ungrateful, cruel, hypocritical and wicked”. He arranged for his five children to be given over to a foundling hospital immediately after their birth. He was vain, truculent, obsessive and solitary.

Sinn Féin, expenses, and why the party has to do better than this

A lack of transparency around the policy of Sinn Féin TDs taking only the average industrial wage, and a succession of irregularities in the financial methodology used by both individual TDs and the party itself around expenses casts a cloud of uncertainty over the party's claims to represent a break with the traditionally corrupt practices of the oligarchs of our political kleptocracy. By David Johnson.

Mick Wallace's Dáil statement on under-declaration of VAT

I would like to thank the party whips and the government for giving me the opportunity to speak today. In relation to my company’s under-declaration of VAT in 2009, M&J Wallace Ltd sold apartments in 2008 and 2009 and the proceeds from the closings of the sales were pledged to the bank. Normally, the business cash flow would have allowed us to deal with the VAT liability but not on this occasion. In early 2008, the company had got the go ahead to build a large project on the North Circular Road, which gave confidence in its potential to go forward.

Plans to censure Wallace are brazenly hypocritical

The hypocrisy of our political class over plans to censure Mick Wallace is quite breathtaking. By Vincent Browne.

Over the years, many of us have become inured to the serial hypocrisy of our political class but every now and again the brazenness of that hypocrisy becomes so breathtaking that our tolerance for it breaks. Now is such a moment and it concerns the plans to censure Mick Wallace.

Getting to the bottom of Mick Wallace's defence

The claim by Mick Wallace that he needed to make a false Vat declaration because of cashflow difficulties raises questions. By Vincent Browne.

There are questions about TD Mick Wallace's explanation for having made a false Vat declaration on behalf of his construction company.

He said he needed to do that on a short-term basis to ensure a positive cashflow for his company, which was in financial trouble, and he said that he intended to correct the falsification and pay the tax due at a later stage.

Role of left in securing Yes vote should not be underestimated

There was a coherent case to be made for the No side in the Fiscal Treaty referendum campaign, but it went unargued. By Vincent Browne.

The role of the left in securing a Yes vote in the referendum should not be underestimated. The scale of their waffle and incoherence contributed substantially to the success of its opponents. The left's failure to deal with the central issue of funding for the Irish state beyond 2013 - with even a smidgen of credibility - was a clincher.

Poor performances by both sides in referendum campaign

The Yes side deserves to lose on Thursday for the way they have conducted themselves in the referendum debate: combining exaggeration threats and falsehoods. But the No side have been hopelessly inept at explaining how Ireland would fund its budget deficits if denied ESM funding. By Vincent Browne

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