Love him or loath him you have to admit that Vincent Browne has done the state some service. He is one of the few presenters who can unnerve even the most seasoned media performer.

Like a cranky, scruffy old dog with a well chewed bone he just won’t let go – even when the rest of the pack has drifted off in search of more meaty morsels.

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What a difference a year makes. Early 2015 was a moment of enormous optimism for the Left in the eurozone periphery.

Syriza had swept to power in Greece on 36% of the popular vote. Sinn Féin and Podemos were riding high in the Irish and Spanish polls and looking like potential leaders of left led governments.

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History is not a straight line. Events do not simply evolve one after another. Periods of apparent stability are riven with antagonism. Tensions accumulate. Crises erupt. New moments are born.

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After Irish Water

Posted: March 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

The general election has thrown up many uncertainties. One thing not in doubt however is that a majority of people voted to scrap water charges and abolish Irish Water.

A majority of TDs in the 31st Dáil are committed to ending water charges and replacing Irish Water. No Government, including the current caretaker administration, has a mandate to continue with these failed policies.

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Although unfinished at the time of his death, Peter Mair’s Ruling the Void, is an important book. It tells the story of the slow death -or what Mair calls the ‘hollowing out’- of Western European liberal democracy.

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General election 2016 presents voters with a straight choice – a Fine Gael or a Sinn Féin led government.

The idea that the outcome has all but been decided is not only insulting to voters but runs contrary to the facts.

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The centenary of the 1916 Rising can be an occasion of great importance, but only if we use it wisely. The coming months provide us with the opportunity for reflection on our past and understanding of our present.

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