There are many things we could teach in schools and don’t. We might, for example, from P4 up to GCSE offer a class in Handyperson Skills. Few of us will go through life without needing a washer changed or a broken window mended or…A thousand tasks of a similar nature. There’s also a case […]
Simon Coveney: he’s a team player, right?
Is it possible that Leo Varadkar might find being leader of Fine Gael is something tougher than a stroll along the prom? Dismissing Mary Lou McDonald as a Marine Le Pen in disguise suggests Leo is fonder of not-terribly-effective name-calling rather than argument; a great number of his rural party members may not be as completely comfortable […]
Ruth and Leo stick some pins in Mary Lou
Well. Mary Lou McDonald is coming in for her fair (or maybe unfair) share of criticism these days. First we had Ruth Dudley Edwards fretting that Mary Lou had had “an expensive education” and that somehow that wouldn’t go down well in South Armagh. Ruthie can point out this class gap because of her own […]
Nicola was just one plate at the Killough banquet
When I was a lad I used to admire Time Magazine. I liked the variety of its coverage, its lively style, its tone of authority. Then one week they made Ireland the cover story. What I read bore little resemblance to the Ireland I knew. It was still lively and authoritative. It was also selective […]
Michael O’Leary: finally eating crow?
I like Michael O’Leary. He’s a skinny package of energy, full of put-downs and surprises, a master at getting publicity for his airline without paying a penny. But then Boris Johnson is also a package of energy (although not so skinny) and is a master of how to get publicity for himself. The danger is […]
Clement Cuthbertson and non-inclusivity
Some unionist politicians worry me. Individually they are often pleasant people, good company even. But when a matter comes up which might be faintly linked with the constitutional question, they tend get shirty. Some of them, like my good friend Nelson McCausland, very shirty. This shirtiness could be either because the politician being shirty believes […]
The shrinking British politician
There was a time when British football managers ruled the footballing waves. Brian Clough, Bill Shankley, Alf Ramsey: it was hard to think of more gifted managers. But look through managers of Premier League clubs today and what do you find? Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp: European coaching talent has totally eclipsed anything Britain can produce.Ditto for […]
Leo Varadkar: he’s different, isn’t he?
Let’s start with a silly statement, shall we? There’s never been a Taoiseach like Leo Varadkar. No, I’m not suggesting that former Taoisigh have been secretly gay or of Indian parentage. I simply mean that since no two human beings are the same, so no two Taoisigh are the same, and when people go on […]
Micheal Martin: a moral man
There’s something boyish about Micheal Martin. Press photographs of him tend to show a bright-eyed figure smiling a little shyly – a daycent man, you might say, having looked at the photograph for a minute or two. A man with the welfare of others at heart. In many ways like his fellow-Corkman and former FF […]
Harry West, Arlene Foster and Robbie Burns
Seamus Mallon is famous for his wry comment that the Good Friday Agreement was “Sunningdale for slow learners.” I’ve always assumed he was aiming his jibe at Sinn Féin, his political opponents. But in the light of recently-released documents, he may have had unionism in mind. These documents should have been released a long time […]