Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 30, 2014

The Orwellian spin in Irish politics


Irish Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald has been accused of misleading the public and of engaging in a “disgusting slur” against her former government party colleagues, when she discussed the abortion issue yesterday on the country’s Newstalk Radio’s Pat Kenny Show.

Minister Fitzgerald represents the truly ugly face of Irish politics and the Orwellian double-think at the totalitarian heart of its so-called liberal establishment.

In the course of the interview, Minister Fitzgerald said in reference to last year’s abortion legislation: “It’s hard to believe that it generated the kind of controversy and that people would leave a political party because we were legislating to save the lives of women.”

Former minister, Lucinda Creighton, and several of her colleagues, left the Party because as a matter of conscience they could not support legislation which everyone knew was simply the introduction of abortion by sleight of hand – and was the breaking of an electoral promise to boot. The legislation was passed because the bolshevik segment of the government coalition held a gun to the head of prime minister Enda Kenny. It was the next best thing to a coup d’etat.

Commenting on the Minister’s remarks, Pro Life Campaign Deputy Chairperson Cora Sherlock said:

“The Government has misled the public on this issue from day one. But it’s a particularly shameful and disgusting slur for Minister Fitzgerald to turn around and accuse her former colleagues of leaving Fine Gael over legislation ‘to save women’s lives’. Minister Fitzgerald knows perfectly well that the Government of which she is part of introduced abortion in the case of threatened suicide even though there is no medical evidence to back it up. In fact the peer reviewed evidence points to the adverse consequences of abortion for women in these situations.

“It’s very frustrating having to listen to the misinformation on this issue day in day out in the media. It is why we need a new kind of politics in this country where groupthink and the false presentation of issues is properly exposed and challenged. Fine Gael would like to pretend otherwise, but there is a huge public appetite for a new politics built on trust. I remain very hopeful that we will see big changes in this regard before the next general election.”


There is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage says European Court of Human Rights.

From the Iona Institute:
A couple of years ago, former Tanaiste and Labour party leader, Eamon Gilmore, described same-sex marriage as “the civil rights issue of this generation”.

However, in a ruling this week, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has said no right to same-sex marriage exists in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Strasbourg court is the same one that found Ireland’s law on abortion violated the Convention and helped pave the way for the ‘Protection of Human Life In Pregnancy Act’. Therefore, the court cannot be accused of being conservative.

The Court, in the case of Hämäläinen v. Finland, Application no. 37359/09, reaffirmed that the European Convention cannot be interpreted “as imposing an obligation on Contracting States to grant same-sex couples access to marriage”.

The Court had previously found that no such right exists in the Convention. This time it went further and explicitly stated that Article 12 of the Convention (dealing with marriage):

enshrines the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman [and] cannot be construed as imposing an obligation on the Contracting States to grant access to marriage to same-sex couples (§ 96).

In addition, and contrary to the plaintiffs, it found that no consensus in favour of same-sex marriage exists in Europe because only ten of the 47 signatories to the Convention have legalised same-sex marriage.

While the ruling still leaves it up to signatory countries to decide what form marriage should take in their legal systems, it makes it harder for campaigners to argue that same-sex marriage is a ‘fundamental right’ let alone “the civil rights issue of this generation”.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 7, 2014

Is this where the gay narrative finally begins to crack up?

As another corrupt narrative seeks to assert itself in the canon of political correctness we may be tempted to ask ourselves if this might not be the beginning of the unraveling of an earlier narrative which has been poisoning our culture for nearly half a century.

Andrew Gilligan in the Sunday Telegraph last weekend suggests that while “there really is now no shortage of evidence about the harm done by child abuse” we should still ask ourselves if, in the context of the latest frenzy about the crimes of the past, it is not worth watching whether we could, in the future, go back to the intellectual climate which allowed them.

What is he telling us? His article is revealing an open secret: that there has been, and there currently is, an under-the-radar current in the academic world which is seeking to destigmatise paedophilia. Gilligan accepts that academic inquiry is supposed to question conventional wisdom and to deal rigorously with the evidence, whether or not the conclusions it leads you to be popular. He is right about that and the academic discourse which he is revealing to us – and which many will find shocking – may well be doing us just such a service.

Liberal society is confused, profoundly confused, by the phenomenon of paedophilia. On the one hand it demands what it calls sexual liberation and the right for all to express their sexual preferences as they chose to do so. On the other hand they cannot be seen to tolerate the sexual abuse of minors. The twisting and turning being recounted in Gilligan’s article in the Telegraph reflects this quandary at the heart of today’s dominant culture.

“Paedophilic interest is natural and normal for human males,” and “At least a sizeable minority of normal males would like to have sex with children … Normal males are aroused by children”. These are two quotations from a conference held in the University of Cambridge this time last year. At the same conference one of the presentations was entitled “Liberating the paedophile: a discursive analysis.”  Another was: “Danger and difference: the stakes of hebephilia.” Hebephilia, it appears is the sexual preference for children in early puberty, typically 11 to 14-year-olds.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) produces the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is a standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals.  The APA has rejected a proposal to include hebephilia as a disorder in the new edition of the manual. The proposal arose because the age at which children now reach puberty has come down in recent decades.  As a result many more children were now becoming vulnerable because charges of paedophilia – pre-pubertal sexual attraction – could not be brought against child abusers.

Ray Blanchard, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, who led the APA’s working group on the subject, said that unless some other way was found of encompassing hebephilia in the new manual, that was “tantamount to stating that the APA’s official position is that the sexual preference for early pubertal children is normal”.

Some of those who successfully defeated the effort to change the definition said hebephilia would be abused as a diagnosis to detain sex offenders as “mentally ill” under US “sexually violent predator” laws even after they had completed their sentences.

The real shock-wave at the conference came from Philip Tromovitch, a professor at Doshisha University in Japan. Dealing with the “prevalence of paedophilia” he stated that the “majority of men are probably paedophiles and hebephiles” and that “paedophilic interest is normal and natural in human males”.

All of this is deeply unsettling to the liberal mind. The liberal left’s house of cards is falling apart because of a fundamental flaw in modernity’s analysis of the human condition. Its search for a solution to their quandary is a doomed one.  By identifying this as an exclusively biological and/or psychological issue the search has tied itself up in knots. The problem is a moral one and if they were not locked in their relativistic prison they might have some chance of seeing that.

Gilligan observed that last week, after the conviction of Rolf Harris, the report into Jimmy Savils’s years of predatory activity, and claims of an establishment cover-up to protect a sex-offending minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet, Britain went into a convulsion of anxiety about child abuse in the Eighties. But, he added, unnoticed amid the furor is a much more current threat: attempts, right now, in parts of the academic establishment to push the boundaries on the acceptability of child sex.

He pointed out that a key factor in what happened all those decades ago in the dressing rooms of the BBC, the wards of the NHS and, allegedly, the corridors of power was not just institutional failings or establishment “conspiracies”, but a climate of far greater intellectual tolerance of practices that horrify today.

Norman Tebbit, a confidant of Margaret Thatcher and a minister at the very heart of her Government said on the BBC on Sunday that there “may well” have been a cover-up of abuse implicating politicians in the 1980s. Lord.Lord Tebbit added: “At that time I think most people would have thought that the establishment, the system, was to be protected and if a few things had gone wrong here and there that it was more important to protect the system than to delve too far into it.” Asked if he thought there had been a “big political cover-up” at the time, he said: “I think there may well have been. But it was almost unconscious. It was the thing that people did at that time.”

It is a separate story, but I wonder if the media will pursue the political establishment in his instance as they pursued every sniff of scandal in the Catholic Church, right up to the hounding of the Pope himself.

Gilligan reminds us that in that era, on the Left, there we many for whom the prohibition on sex by or with children was just another repressive boundary to be swept away – and some of the most important backing came from academia. With the Pill, the legalisation of homosexuality and shrinking taboos against premarital sex, the Seventies was an era of quite sudden sexual emancipation.

It is here that the crux of the inherent contradiction within modernity’s reading of modern man lies. Is our culture’s corrupt narrative about sexuality now about to fall apart?

Sexuality is a force within us that modernity has placed at the centre of the meaning of our lives. In doing so modernity legitimizes all those things that Gilligan lists. But the reality is that it is Love that is at the centre of all that gives meaning to our existence. Sex is just one of many modes through which we may realize that great centre-piece. Modernity has grossly equated sex with love and demanded a freedom for it which subordinates all else to it. With this identification come demands for all those inter-related things which have been tearing us and our society apart – the destruction of monogamous marriage, divorce, co-habitation, the redefinition of marriage out of existence, abortion, the destruction of the family, and many more.

This current flash-point around paedophilia brings an inherent fallacy into focus for us. Sexuality is a constant in human nature. It is a good of enormous significance. But like so many goods – even the goods of the earth itself – it is open to exploitation. In the frenzied effort – more frenzied every day – of modernity to elevate sex to the status of that which gives meaning to our existence, every form of sexual activity imaginable has been brought into the canon of the acceptable and allowable.

All decaying and decadent civilizations have ended up in this kind of morass. This one is an exception only insofar as it is attempting to cover is abuses of sexuality in a veneer of equality, legality and sanctimonious rights jargon. Nature is not fooled. Neither is logic. The narrative that homosexuality is something innate is breaking down in the face of the contorted thinking about paedophilia now being agonised over.

There are two sexes, male and female. There are varying intensities of sexuality experienced by humans and different experiences when it comes to sexual attraction. In some cases these produce confusion but if we are responsible we will deal with these confusions in a rational and sensible way.

The husband who experiences attraction to a woman who is not his wife can deal with it in two ways – surrender to that attraction and act the maggot, or restrain himself and be faithful to his promises. There is no doubt but that some humans find this a bigger struggle than others – just as some find it more difficult to control their temper. In neither case is difficulty a valid excuse for behaving badly.

The same goes for humans experiencing same sex attraction and for those who experience paedophiliac attraction. Decadent western society has created a narrative to make the adulterer happy. It is called divorce. It has also created a narrative for the person indulging his or her same-sex attraction. It is called homosexuality and is being legitimatized by the redefining of marriage. The search is already on to create a narrative for those who wish to indulge their sexuality in other ways. This is all madness and nothing more than a symptom of decadence.

We have now reached the last frontier and modernity is hitting the buffers. It is unlikely – at least this side of total degeneracy – that we will cross this last frontier any time soon. But if we continue to pander to our lusts we surely will.

The way forward for the rational and sane can only be the restoration of human virtue and the best code of morality the world has ever seen, that based on the teaching of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 3, 2014

Dreadful Obama – so thinks America


I know that I can sometimes come off as unrelentingly anti-Obama, but here’s proof that one or two Americans dislike him, too. The Quinnipiac University’s latest presidential poll says that Barack Obama is the least favourite president since the Second World War. That’s right: he ranks beneath Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George W Bush. George W Bush. Those surveyed said that Mitt Romney might’ve done a better job if elected in 2012. Which means that Americans actually prefer terrible hypothetical presidents to the real one they’ve got now. They’re taking a second look at the devil they don’t know.

That is Tim Stanley talking. Read more about why American think this man is so dreadful here.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 3, 2014

Deadly guidelines for doctors in Ireland

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny

Ireland’s ironically designated Department of “Health” took a further step today in prescribing death for countless children awaiting birth in their mothers’ wombs.  It has published its guidelines for doctors to follow when women come to them seeking abortion on the pretext that they are about to commit suicide because of an unwanted pregnancy.
This time last year the Fine Party led by Prime Minister Enda Kenny forced legislation through the Irish parliament, bludgeoning many of his party’s members into submission to support the bill against their consciences. He did so to keep his ideologically-driven socialist partners on board in his coalition government.
He did this in the face of massive public street protests from the pro-life movement in the country and has since paid a considerable electoral price for this. Independent candidates were victorious in the local and European elections in May and with the defenders of the unborn continuing to mobilize support he has every reason to be edgy about his political future.
The Pro Life Campaign today issued a statement accusing  the Government of misleading the public “every step of the way” over abortion. Deputy Chairperson, Cora Sherlock said:

” The law introduced last year was presented as emergency legislation needed to save women’s lives. If this were true, it wouldn’t have taken a full year to draw up the guidelines. The truth is the legislation was never about life-saving treatments. It was always about Fine Gael capitulating to the Labour Party, who had campaigned for 20 years for an abortion regime in Ireland. The assurances sought by some Fine Gael TDs prior to the passage of the legislation have now been shown to be worthless.”

Ms Sherlock added that the guidelines “confirm that all it takes to sign the life of an unborn baby away is for two like-minded psychiatrists to sanction the abortion without having to produce a shred of medical evidence that it would help save the life of the mother. Abortion is now legal in Ireland up to birth, based on a threat of suicide, even though the Government knew before the law was passed that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal feelings. No amount of spin from the Taoiseach or anyone else can change this sad reality.”

“Though they may try and play it down, Fine Gael knows that their support for abortion was a significant issue with voters in the recent local and European elections. I can assure them it will be an even bigger issue come the next General Election.”

If the Irish government coalition regime does not unravel before then, Kenny will be facing the electorate again in early 2016. Recent polls have shown that the socialist partners in the coalition are at their lowest  level in living memory. Their leader, Eamon Gilmore, has resigned and one of their top ministers, Ruairi Quinn, has also announced his resignation.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 3, 2014

Architectural Abominations

Architectural Abominations.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 3, 2014

Now we know where the septic tank is


Louise Mensch @LouiseMensch tweeted recently:
“So that story about all the Catholic babies of unwed mothers dumped in a septic tank? Completely false. AP retracts. Shameful, shameful.”
Any chance of the Irish media which launched this slanderous juggernaut retracting as well? Some hope!

Posted by: Michael Kirke | July 1, 2014

Harry Potter was just more time wasted


They said Harry Potter had started a revolution and had got kids across the world back to reading books. It doesn’t look like it if this chart for American kids can be relied on.


Is this disturbing? Surely it is. Is it not regression for us to be going back to infancy – before the time when we could read and think about what we read? Is it not a frightening thought to reflect on – that our society is slowly becoming illiterate?

This frightening trend is reported in an article in on the general question of how Americans spend the 24 hours of their day. Sadly it looks like another battlefield in the culture wars where western civilisation is having the ground cut from under its feet.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | June 19, 2014

The way forward…


In a conversation with some friends recently about the perilous state of our world and its social institutions, the very elements which hold it together this side of chaos – especially the family and marriage – the following point was made:

We know that reason is on our side when we argue for the protection of the family, and for the institution of marriage which is one of its most important pillars. We know that the natural family has been crippled with things like divorce, the normalization of cohabitation and the latest paralysing threat to it – the removal of the complementarity of the sexes as one of the defining elements of marriage. We can explain all this in rational terms. But we also know that none of the explanations we offer is helping us turn the tide.

Christians know these things on two levels and they have two powerful sources on which they can base their convictions and present their case – faith and reason. With reason they can win the argument but seldom change the heart. They should rely far more on their faith, and its beauty, to win, not just the argument, but the heart as well. That will be when the tide will begin to turn.

The case was made that while the campaigns now in progress in the culture wars – the campaign for the human rights of the children in the womb who are awaiting birth, any campaign to protect children for the plague of divorce which shatters their homes, any campaign to disabuse those who think that the best way to marriage is the experimental one of cohabitation, a way which is leaving millions of children without fathers – all these have reason on their side but there would be no campaign at all if there were not people of faith behind them. Christian faith is the motive power behind them all.

The conclusion was that the surest way to bring the world back to its senses on all these issues was to try to bring people back to the faith. In so doing the world will then again be breathing with two lungs rather than one. Then, and only then, will we grasp the complete vision of humanity and all things truly human, enlightened by the beauty of that mysterious thing which faith is. Only when such a vision is restored will we find a way of living which is truly human.

Shortly after having this conversation I read an article, a personal testimony which seemed to be, on the one hand, a portrait of our self-destructing society, and on the other hand, an illustration of transforming power of faith. It was posted some days ago on Garvan Hill’s Twitter platform and on Garvan Hill’s Facebook page. It is so good, so powerful, that it deserves maximum exposure for it impels us to be courageous about speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when we set out to bring western civilization back from the brink of suicide.

It is the somewhat frightening but very moving and very revealing story of an American woman, Catherine Quinn. Read it here and listen to an interview with her here.

Posted by: Michael Kirke | May 28, 2014

Waiting for the aftershock

An electoral earthquake took place in Europe last week, we are told by media across the world. And in Ireland? A severe tremor perhaps, but it will be the aftershock from that tremor in two years from now that will change the Irish political landscape. It is on its way and the dead hand of historical mythologies which has crippled Irish political life –  for half a century at least – will at last lose its grip. Real political choices will then be open to the Irish electorate once again.

The tremor which Ireland felt last weekend brought its casualties and there was little mourning for them. The deputy prime minister (Taniste), Eamon Gilmore,  bit the dust and resigned as leader of his left-wing party. The electorate’s preferences swung wildly towards independent politicians and it was clear that they were not to worried about the kind of independents they chose – it was a matter of anyone but the political establishment in power.

Why all this happened and what we may expect in the future was well analysed by Professor Ray Kinsella in one of the country’s daily newspapers yesterday.

“Voters observed, up close and personal, what happens to individual TDs of real ability and principle when they voted with their conscience on the Coalition’s Abortion Act. It sent a message: this Government will not tolerate individuals who think for themselves and dissent from ‘The Party Line’. This message was further reinforced by the Coalition’s effort to consolidate political control by abolishing the quasi-independent Seanad. It is not so easy to push around Independents and threaten grown-up legislators with the Party Whip system.

“Voters observed that Fine Gael abandoned its foundational values, based on supporting families and fairness, while the Labour Party ditched the ethos of solidarity with working people struggling to make ends meet. Voters could not understand how Labour would enact the procession of cuts and charges on families and the self-employed. What they also saw was how both parties acquiesced in a deeply flawed ‘adjustment process’ that delivered a reduction in the fiscal deficit but at a terrible cost, including an ongoing debt burden that will stifle growth for the next two generations.”

In this hard-hitting article in the Cork-based Irish Examiner, Kinsella, Professor of Banking and Finance in the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, UCD analyses the Irish election results.

Voters observed that Fine Gael abandoned its foundational values, based on supporting families and fairness, while Labour ditched the ethos of solidarity with working people

The outcome of the local council and EU Parliament elections demonstrated just how far the Coalition partners had become detached from the day-to-day experiences of families and, also, from their own foundational values.

The immediate response to the results equally showed how little they have learned. The Labour Party stated that: “The Irish people have sent the Government and the Labour Party a message…” Really?

Does the Government really need to be sent a message about what has been happening to living standards and to public services across the country: the scale of emigration, the dreadful legacy of long-term unemployment and the impact of cutbacks in healthcare and education?

The old stock alibis won’t work:

‘We’ve taken the hard decisions’. No. They were the wrong decisions.

‘We didn’t communicate our policies’ — well, the six austerity budgets gave the Coalition plenty of scope to ‘communicate’.

‘The country was bankrupt’ — so you put more than $17bn from the National Pension Reserve Fund into a malign ‘bailout’, skewed towards the interests of those who contributed to the crisis in the first place.

The medical card shambles is, as the feature in the Irish Examiner last Friday demonstrated, a potent symbol of the insensitivity of policy and the arbitrary manner in which cards have been removed. What makes this worse is the ‘retrospective spin’ by government — featured in that same article — as the medical card debacle continued to unfold.

The medical card shambles was a flawed and arbitrary process, based on ‘Management by Press Release’, long after the damage had been done. It was a metaphor for the wider health system. It was a pity more attention wasn’t paid to the press release of the heads of four Dublin hospitals, who publicly warned about the threat to patient safety, of what was happening, and continues to happen, in hospitals around the country.

And these pressures have been driven by the troika.

Voters have observed the deference to overseas interests who contributed to the banking crisis, against the background of the escalating number of orders for repossession of Irish homes.

The acquiescence by the Coalition in ‘troikanomics’ — a blinkered and short-sighted strategy criticised many times in this column — is the reason for their rejection by the electorate. It is at the heart of the breakdown in public trust in mainstream party politics. Instead, voters have turned to Sinn Féin and to Independents.

The political system itself is skewed in favour of established parties, making it very difficult for new entrants with fresh ideas.

The result of this is that shifts in the percentage support for these parties do not necessarily reflect anything other than a lesser dislike of one, compared with the other. Hence the relative performance of the two members — Labour compared with Fine Gael — of the Coalition.

It would be a great mistake to dismiss the increased support for Independents as simply a ‘protest vote’. The contribution of Independents, such as the late Tony Gregory, to value-based community politics can hardly be overstated.

Long serving and hard-working MEPs stood for re-election this time around. The growth in support for Independents is not alone a reaction against hegemony of the ‘old politics’ which young adults, in particular, do not understand — because they have no way of knowing what they stand for, other than power.

It is, more importantly, a statement about the loss of trust in mainstream politics.

Voters observed, up close and personal, what happens to individual TDs of real ability and principle when they voted with their conscience on the Coalition’s Abortion Act. It sent a message: this Government will not tolerate individuals who think for themselves and dissent from ‘The Party Line’. This message was further reinforced by the Coalition’s effort to consolidate political control by abolishing the quasi-independent Seanad. It is not so easy to push around Independents and threaten grown-up legislators with the Party Whip system.

oters observed that Fine Gael abandoned its foundational values, based on supporting families and fairness, while the Labour Party ditched the ethos of solidarity with working people struggling to make ends meet. Voters could not understand how Labour would enact the procession of cuts and charges on families and the self-employed. What they also saw was how both parties acquiesced in a deeply flawed ‘adjustment process’ that delivered a reduction in the fiscal deficit but at a terrible cost, including an ongoing debt burden that will stifle growth for the next two generations.

It is two years until the next scheduled General Election.

This is too long for people numbed by austerity and a ‘recovery’ about which they read but have not experienced. It is hardly long enough for a Coalition that is in office but has lost any claim to legitimacy to truly re-engage with their foundational values.

There are three priorities for whatever new political consensus emerges from the radically different political landscape.

Firstly, demand from the eurozone establishment a €60bn debt write-off. There is broad consensus among international economists that such a write off is justified and appropriate. Peter Mathews TD, perhaps Fine Gael’s most qualified and professionally experienced banking expert, has continually made this point. But, of course, he was expelled from his party (and from the Banking Inquiry) for having a mind of his own.

The Coalition simply hasn’t got the debt-write off message. It is now too divided and jaded — too cosy with ‘our friends and partners’ in the eurozone — to deliver the demand for a write-off with any conviction. Independents and Sinn Féin are unlikely to be similarly inhibited.

The second is this: both Fine Gael and Labour have been willing, in the interest of power, to ditch their traditional values. At a time when the focus of Government should have been on the economy, they engaged in a damaging, divisive and wholly unnecessary campaign to legislate for abortion on the X case. For anyone who actually took the trouble to read the ECJ judgement on the ABC cases — or who listened to the informed views of the medical and psychiatric evidence — this was an exercise in ideological ‘power broking’ and one that the country could ill-afford.

Their proper responsibility was to support families, struggling with the consequences of six regressive austerity budgets and cutbacks in services and supports that hit primarily those on the outside — including single parents and the homeless.

Later in this year the Coalition will be at the same crack; pushing the same ideology and pressing for changes in the Constitutional status of marriage and the natural rights of children to a mother and a father. This would be bizarre to traditional Fine Gael.

In fact, the fundamental freedoms that every citizen have are not the gift of governments; they are the result of the courage of individuals from outside of the establishment, people like Raymond Crotty, Patricia McKenna, Mark McCrystal, and Kathy Synott; individuals who were brave enough to go to the Supreme Court to vindicate these freedoms and to hold government to account, over and over again.

This should encourage ‘new democrats’ because the research shows that the integrity of public institutions is fundamental to growth and development.

The third challenge for the emerging political forces is to get their head around how best to adapt the Irish economy to an external environment that is heavy with risk.

The EU, and particularly the eurozone, is mired in financial repression. Forecasts for growth continually fall short of outcomes.

Any momentum rests on the assertion two years ago by Mario Draghi that the ECB would ‘do what it takes’ — when, in fact, Mr Draghi had no mandate to make such a pledge.

In the markets, sovereign spreads have declined — but it will take something more than an adventurous pledge to sustain economies mired in sovereign debt There are also significant risks, including political risks and a ‘liquidity trap’ stymieing monetary policy.

The Coalition’s post-bailout strategy, published earlier this year, is simply not robust to these challenges. That is why securing debt write-off is absolutely central in the new political consensus.

In the run-up to 2016 (if the Coalition lasts that long) an emerging values-based ‘new coalition’, to counter the old failed orthodoxy, may have to be built.

Such a grouping is now likely to comprise of Sinn Féin, a ‘new’ Fianna Fáil — and a much stronger and more assertive group of Independent TDs.

They should begin their dialogue with the eurozone establishment by declaring that they would like our country back.

Meanwhile, Cora Sherlock of the Irish Pro Life Campaign writes on that Fine Gael’s losses a direct result of betraying pro-lifers on abortion.

As the dust settles from Ireland’s European and Local elections, it’s a good opportunity to examine what the results mean from the pro-life perspective.  While there is always the temptation to overstate the political implications for a single issue, the results of recent days have far-reaching consequences for the life issue.

Read what she says here.

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