Mooney on Irish Politics
By Derek Mooney
Mooney on Irish PoliticsJul 18, 2022
When you have a government determined to drive away support…
Welcome to my first podcast in several weeks, in this episode I consider the penchant of both main parties in government to pursue policies that make it difficult for their supporters to stick with them... This podcast is based on my recent column:
Because leadership matters… SocDems poll bounce is about more than just a new leader
While it may be fleeting, the SocDems poll bounce is a reminder that Fianna Fáil’s persistently poor poll ratings since 2019 have not happened despite Micheal Martin, they are a direct consequence of decisions he made as leader. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2023/03/06/because-leadership-matters-socdems-poll-bounce-is-about-more-than-just-a-new-leader/
Fine Gael reckons when they are explaining, you are snoozing
In my first podcast of 2023 (apologies for the delay) I look back at the first few weeks of the Donohoe #Postergate saga and explore how Fine Gael has taken the old political dictum: when you are explaining, you are losing, and turned it on its head. Though they may feel it is working in the short-term… I believe that in the longer term, it will not. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2023/01/26/fine-gael-reckons-when-they-are-explaining-you-are-snoozing/
The perils of the mid-term #reshuffle
In this podcast episode I discuss the principal factors a party leader should consider when contemplating a mid-term reshuffle. I manage - almost - to refrain from engaging in speculation about who may be in or out next Saturday… or next week when the junior ministries are announced. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/12/15/the-perils-of-the-mid-term-reshuffle/
Fine Gael’s triple lock three card trick
Small wonder Fine Gael would rather have some pie-in-the-sky discussion on the triple lock than discuss the realities of their political neglect of defence. It’s a political three card trick from the party that brought us the triple lock, treble flip-flop. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/11/25/fine-gaels-triple-lock-three-card-trick/
Might Varadkar's pact threat wake-up Fianna Fáil?
In this episode I draw together a range of recent political moves and manoeuvres in an attempt to find a path back to viability for Fianna Fáil. It's a struggle... as the party's problems date back to 2018 and beyond. It is just possible... but it will requires new leadership from Fianna Fáil and a serious drive to reconnect with its lost working class base. This week's podcast is not based on a blogpost, the blog will follow the podcast, however.
A Timely Tale of Two Speeches
In this episode I take “compare and contrast” look at the recent party leader speeches of Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and An Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader, Micheal Martin, T.D. - and conclude that Sturgeon comes out much better. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/10/18/a-timely-tale-of-two-speeches/
My thoughts on the demise of the FF/SDLP partnership
My observations and comments on the lead story in last week’s Belfast Telegraph which says that the three year long political partnership between the SDLP and Fianna Fáil has come to an end.
Derek Mooney’s Summer 2022 political reading list
I am pleased present tis year's Summer Political reading list - my sixth one since 2017. This episode is also available as a written blog with links to all the books mentioned: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/07/25/derek-mooneys-summer-2022-political-reading-list/
Fianna Fáil looks defenceless in Government while increasing defence investment
This episode is based on two recent blog posts. Both addressed ongoing issues in Fianna Fáil, while one looked at the plans to increase defence investment and the other looks at the history of Programme for Government reviews and concludes that they are a good thing:
Here’s an appalling vista – a politics dominated by Sinn Féin and Fine Gael
Mooney on Politics featuring the "Here's How" #Podcast
If you haven't already checked out the Here's How podcast, then listen to this highly rated episode from a few years back and check out the series at https://blog.hereshow.ie/ or searchs for "Here's How" on your favourite Podcast host.
Goodbye to Broadsheet – and hello to cuckoo clocks and the 3 Fianna Fáil truths I set out 2 years ago!
In this episode I revisit the three Fianna Fáil truths which I set out exactly two years ago (in June 2020). This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/06/14/goodbye-to-broadsheet-and-hello-to-cuckoo-clocks-and-the-3-fianna-fail-truths-i-set-out-2-years-ago/
Why is Dublin city’s infrastructure gradually falling apart?
Dublin faces a Catch-22: a city infrastructure that is creaking at the seams because it cannot serve the needs of those who depend on it, but which cannot be expanded because the labour needed to rebuild that infrastructure cannot be found as the wages cannot reasonably cover the cost of living in or around this Dublin. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/06/02/why-is-dublin-citys-infrastructure-gradually-falling-apart/
Happy the opposition when a government cannot effectively promote its own achievements…
In this episode I again make the point that the government is not addressing the Irish housing crisis at the scale (or speed) required to stop housing being an election issue at the next general election in 2024. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/05/26/happy-the-opposition-when-a-government-cannot-effectively-promote-its-own-achievements/
NI Assembly result was historic – just not era changing
This episode looks at the May 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election results. It is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/05/11/ni-assembly-result-was-historic-just-not-era-changing/
No more no-go in Dublin City Centre
In this podcast I look at the problem of random vicious attacks and anti-social behaviour in Dublin city centre. It is just one of an increasing number of problems which - combined - are detrimentally affecting the quality of life of people who live and work in Dublin city. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/04/28/no-more-no-go-in-dublin-city-centre/
DUP Is Down – But Don’t Count It Out Just Yet
This podcast was recorded two weeks before polling in the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/04/21/dup-is-down-but-dont-count-it-out-just-yet/
Irish public 100% understands that defence costs
When it comes to defence policy and the thorny issue of spending more on Irish Defence, the Irish public is far ahead of its political leadership. They know that military neutrality today means higher defence costs. The political obfuscation needs to stop... and this includes shelving the plan to set up yet another Citizens Assembly to debate neutrality. This risks being another kick to touch to save Fine Gael's embarrassment over its decade of neglect. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/04/19/the-irish-public-100-understands-that-defence-costs/
Why eat your words when you can delete them?
Just catching up on some unposted blogs and podcasts. This one is from mid-March 2022 and looks at Sinn Féin's bulk deletion of many 1,000s of old press statements and comments. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/04/13/why-eat-your-words-when-you-can-delete-them/
How Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine undid two decades work in a few days… for no gain.
In this episode I examine how Putin's brutal, but faltering, invasion of Ukraine has in only a few days managed to undo his two decade long project of weakening and splintering the western alliance through sowing disunity and distrust within the EU and US polities. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/03/07/how-putins-brutal-invasion-of-ukraine-undid-two-decades-work-in-a-few-days-for-no-gain/
Putin: the Czar of false flags
The false flag is one of Putin’s favourite political tactics. Indeed, he may well owe his tight and long-lasting grip on power in Russia to a vicious and blood curdling false flag operation that targeted and killed many 100s of innocent Russian civilians. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/02/22/putin-the-czar-of-false-flags/
The Painful Sting Of A Fading DUP
While the DUP has the capacity to inflict damage and delay the restoration of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, it still faces a political and demographic shift that spells its ultimate decline as a major force. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/02/21/the-painful-sting-of-a-fading-dup/
Defence: the sleeping dog that’s no longer content to stay sleeping
In this episode I consider how a decade of political neglect of defence is coming back to haunt the government. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/02/02/irish-defence-policy-the-sleeping-dog-thats-no-longer-content-to-stay-sleeping/
Promises to keep when you have mid-terms to avoid?
In this episode I consider the beleagured leadership of Boris Johnson and suggest that he may limp on until May when his fate could be sealed by a bad mid-term local election result. Meanwhile, the three Irish government party leaders will be happy that the next local and european elections are not due here until 2024 and so they face no mid-term electoral test in 2022… except…
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/01/20/promises-to-keep-when-you-have-mid-terms-to-avoid/
Sinn Féin discovers public sector reform, a decade after everyone else… late, but still welcome
This is the second episode of 2022 and looks at Sinn Féin's decade late discovery of the need for public sector reform. It is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/01/17/sinn-fein-discovers-public-sector-reform/
For Both Taoiseach and Tánaiste The Question is: To reshuffle, or not…?
In the first Mooney on Politics episode of 2022 I look at the contrasting approaches that both Taoiseach and Tánaiste appear (from their public comments, at least) to the possibility of a reshuffle of their ministesr when the government mid-point/turnabout comes next December. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2022/01/11/for-both-taoiseach-and-tanaiste-the-question-is-to-reshuffle-or-not/
We Can’t Spite Ourselves On Covid Restrictions
In this episode I look at the latest government responses to the Omicron variant and ask if we are taking sufficient notice from what our government, and others across Europe and across the globe, have sometimes done wrong, and often done right. I specifically urge the re-establishment of the Special Dáil Committee on Covid-19, which was, in a most short-sighted move, disbanded in October 2020.
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/12/23/we-cant-spite-ourselves-on-covid-restrictions/
Martin and Johnson… a lot more alike than you’d think
In this episode I make a comparison I'd never have thought possible just two years ago - but I explain why the two leaders - who do not share many other characteristics - regrettably share one very large negative one. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/12/16/martin-and-johnson-more-alike-than-youd-think/
Yes, filter NPHET but filter the air in classrooms first
Micheál Martin, the managerial minimalist
This week's podcast looks at how Micheál Martin may enjoy the trappings of being Taoiseach, but eschews the political leadership responsibility that goes with it in favour of managerial minimalism. This podcast is based on this article: https://derekmooney.ie/2021/11/19/does-mm-stand-for-micheal-martin-or-managerial-minimalism/
The Shinners ready themselves for government… but are we ready for them?
In this episode I dismiss the easy speculation that Sinn Féin is set to be in govt North and South soon, but I warn that it cannot be ruled out... unless one of the two traditional big parties finally comes to its political senses. I also take a quick look at the most recent Sunday Business Post/RedC poll and see where this sits in the recent series of political polls. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/11/02/the-shinners-ready-themselves-for-government-but-are-we-ready-for-them/
This week’s Covid19 reopening should have gone ahead
I refer to a BEERG Byte podcast on the Italian Green Pass in my Podcast. You can listen to it HERE. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/10/19/this-weeks-covid19-reopening-should-have-gone-ahead/
Fail to define yourself and others will do it for you
In this episode I look at Fianna Fail's problems in defining itself, particularly the seeming unwillingness, or inability, of its leader to do it. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/10/13/when-leadership-colours-matter-fail-to-define-yourself-and-others-will-do-it-for-you/
Maybe We’d Believe Them More If The Numbers Were Smaller?
In this episode I look at the NDP launch and the October Budget and reflect briefly on the latest Irish Times poll showing Sinn Féin moving 10pts ahead of Fine Gael. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/10/07/maybe-wed-believe-them-more-if-the-numbers-were-smaller/
Women of extraordinary honour and courage
In this episode I discuss the stories of rape, bullying and discrimination as related in RTÉ's Women of Honour radio documentary and the failure of the Irish military command to pursue these cases and deliver justice to the victims. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/09/28/women-of-extraordinary-honour-and-courage/
Three more reasons why President is right to decline
This Mooney on Politics podcast looks at the recent faux controversy over President Higgins declining an invitation to a NI100 church service in Armagh. I show how former Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, set out the right approach to commemoration in a speech in May 2010 and show how President's decision is in keeping with this approach.
This podcast is based on this recent blogpost: https://derekmooney.ie/2021/09/21/three-more-reasons-why-the-president-is-right-to-decline-invitation/
You can get a copy of Brian Cowen's May 2010 speech, here: https://dsmooney.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/brian_cowen_institute_for_british_irish.pdf
The Coveney No Confidence Motion
In this Mooney on Politics episode I look at the recent no confidence motion on the day after the vote, using my column from a few days before. The column on which this episode is based is available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/09/16/a-brief-history-of-the-no-confidence-motion/
The pubs are re-opening, so normal politics is resuming… and endgame is near
This is my first Mooney on Political podcast since the Summer break. My last one was about five weeks ago… and what an eventful five weeks it has been. In this episode I look at the fallout from the mishandling of Zapponegate and explore how the return of norrmal politics post Covid restrictions means we are nearing political endgame for the leaders of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael This podcast is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/09/07/the-pubs-are-re-opening-so-normal-politics-is-resuming-and-endgame-is-near/
Polls, Zappone and political cop-on
In this Podcast I look at the political issues I raised in my latest Broadsheet column, but omitted from my 2021 Summer Political Reading list Podcast. Here I look at Micheál Martin's bizarre use of polling to contend that all is well for Fianna Fáil and his absence of political cop-on when confronted (or blind-sided) by the proposal to appoint Katherine Zappone as a special envoy.
My 2021 Summer Political reading list
This episode features my fifth annual summer political reading list. As the name suggests, the books on the list have a political theme or connection. All the books in this year’s selection are non-fiction and reflect my own tastes and prejudice It is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/07/29/my-2021-summer-political-reading-list/
My interim review of Fianna Fáil's by-election campaign
The Dublin Bay South by-Election result shows that Fianna Fáil is facing a crisis of relevance and viability, one that its leader of over 10 years is unwilling to address or acknowledge. The party is now waiting 18 months for a review of the disastrous GE2020 campaign, so I offered this as an interim independent review of what I think went wrong in the by-election.
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/07/14/my-interim-by-election-review-for-fianna-fail/
Here is the link to the video on the FF and FG twitter feeds I mentioned in the section on social media: https://youtu.be/qYfpkqkyU2M
Why does Martin’s Fianna Fáil have such a stubborn problem with young people?
I look at the argument on Fianna Fáil’s real and demonstrable problems with young voters that mysteriously leaked out from the parliamentary party. I also take a final look at the Dublin Bay South By-Election. This Podcast was originally produced as a Blogpost: https://derekmooney.ie/2021/07/07/why-does-martins-fianna-fail-have-such-a-stubborn-problem-with-young-people/
It’s very testing to go travelling
In this episode I look at the cost of the PCR tests required to travel in and out of Ireland and the complexity of getting PCR tests while abroad. Ireland should (a) be using rapid antigen testing for travel and (b) should have joined the EU Covid Digital Certificate process from the July 1st start. Delaying participation until July 19 was an error, but missing that deadline and taking even longer to sign up to it would be a massive mistake. This is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/07/05/its-very-testing-to-go-travelling/
Why does an unpopular party have a popular leader?
This week I look at the paradox of Fianna Fáil's poll ratings showing it in thid place, while its leader's ratings increase... and I wonder, doesn't this mean that what is in his interest, is not in his party's.. and vice-versa? This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/06/22/why-does-an-unpopular-party-have-a-popular-leader/
Fake Pollsters Do Not Mean Fake Polling
Why fake pollsters does not mean fake polling. Was this really as big a scandal as some thought... or, rather than being something "sinister" was it just a "paradox". This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/06/20/fake-pollsters-do-not-mean-fake-polling/
The Dublin Bay South By-Election
I take an early look at the line-up of candidates in the Dublin Bay South by-election and conclude that this is too close to call between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin. Logic suggests that this race is Fine Gael's to lose, but has their portrayal of their candidate as a Terenure Trudeau left him vulnerable? In my view this comes down to who comes 3rd, 4th etc and that there potentially will be enough transfers in play to let Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan snatch a last count win.
There’s only one issue that matters... it's housing
In this podcast I look at how housing has once again emerged as the key political issue concerning voters, now that worries about Covid-19 are starting to ease. I consider how Fianna Fáil's only hope of avoiding annihilation is to show voters that it grasps the scale of the crisis, though Micheal Martin's party has seeming unwilling, or unable, thus far to do that. You can read the blog version of this Podcast at: https://derekmooney.ie/2021/06/03/theres-only-one-issue-that-matters-and-it-is-housing/
Doing national cyber defence on the cheap costs more… put @defenceforces in charge
This episode looks at the recent cyber attack on the HSE and Dept of Health IT systems. It is also available as a blog post with links to various reports mentioned: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/05/18/doing-national-cybersecurity-on-cheap-costs-more/
Like Brezhnev… many in Fianna Fáil Are Riding The Rails With The Blinds Down
The Brezhnev wing of Fianna Fáil will soon have to decide if keeping the blinds down and pretending they're heading somewhere is preferable to finding a fresh driver and a radically improved engine. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/05/11/riding-the-rails-with-the-blinds-down/
There’s no big secret to good government communications
This podcast appears two weeks after it first appeared as a blog. Apologies for the delay. It looka t the art of good government communications as is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/05/05/theres-no-big-secret-to-good-government-communications/
1 week until the most consequential UK election... and a major SNP win
In this episode I look at the upcoming Scottish Parliament election and argues that it will be one of the most consequential U.K. elections of modern times for the politics and future of these two islands. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/04/28/1-week-to-the-most-consequential-uk-election/
When loyalism’s loyalty is rejected
In this week's podcast I look at the recent disturbances and incidents across the North and consider what they us about what is happening in the leadership of both loyalism and unionism. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/04/15/when-loyalisms-loyalty-is-rejected/
Time’s Up for Martin… But It’ll Take A Little Longer To Play Out
This episode is based on my latest weekly Broadsheet column. You can read this on my website, here: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/04/01/times-up-for-martin-but-itll-take-a-little-longer-to-play-out/
This is an important week for relations across these islands
This episode looks at how events in the week after St Patrick's week may have a deeper long term impact on relations across this island than all the fine words spoken over Zoom to the US. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/03/25/this-is-an-important-week-for-relations-across-these-islands/
Why Leo Varadkar’s future as leader is now no more assured than is Martin’s
Even before The Sunday Times front page story about the Tánaiste being the subject of criminal investigation, Fine Gael TDs were starting to imagine what a world without Varadkar as leader might look like. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/03/22/varadkars-future-no-more-assured-than-martins/
Why An Taoiseach must act to defer second vaccine doses so we can unlock sooner
We have endured the longest lock down, closing all but essential workplaces for 200 days so far (and counting) - so, coming seventh or eighth in Europe when it comes to vaccine roll out, is just not good enough. We need to be at the top of the vaccine roll out league. That means we need to have a greater percentage of our people vaccinated, even if only with one dose, by the end of April or May.
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/03/09/why-michealmartintd-must-act-to-defer-second-covid19vaccine-doses-now-so-we-can-unlock-sooner/
Johnson’s Duplicity Will Not End With Brexit
This podcast is based on an article I wrote in December 2020. Here I predict that duplicity and mendacity will be the hallmark of Johnson's future relationships with Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. Events would seem to be proving me right. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/01/18/johnsons-duplicity-will-not-end-with-brexit/
As Taoiseach, Micheál Martin’s negatives far outweigh his positives
This episode is from late November 2020, but the doubts I express about Martin's continuing leadership of Fianna Fáil expressed then are sadly just a valid today. It also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2020/12/01/taoiseach-martins-negatives-outweigh-his-positives/
No defence of defence relationships
In this episode I look at the political indifference underpinning the difficult relationships in the Irish defence establishment. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/02/27/no-defence-of-defence-relationships/
Normal Political Service Will Resume When Pubs (ie Wet Bars) Reopen
In this episode I suggest that we will not see a return to the normal exercise and discussion of ordinary politics until we are all able to safely have a pint or a drink without food in a non-gastro pub (the so-called Wet Bars). For that to happen, the vaccination programme will need to roll out much faster.
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/01/20/normal-political-service-will-resume-when-pubs-reopen/
Government is bidding against itself on top officials pay
I look at the row over increasing the pay of the Secretary General at the Dept of Health by €80k. While some commentators are fixating on the personalities involved, I argue that the focus should be on (i). what is the role of the Sec Gen in the department of health and (ii) how is this value for money and (iii) how was this vacancy allowed to arise (and run for almost eight months) in the midst of a major public health emergency.
This episode is also available as a blog post: http://derekmooney.ie/2021/02/16/government-bidding-against-itself-on-top-officials-pay/