Has housing 'turned a corner'? Biden's welcome, Green Party disharmony
It's St Patrick's Day week and ministers are flying off to press the flesh around the world. Jack Horgan-Jones and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to talk about everything that's going on back home in politics including: Joe Biden will visit Ireland next month. How will he be received North and South? Tanaiste Micheal Martin says Ireland has 'turned a corner' on housing. Is he right?An errant tweet has landed the Green Party's communications director in hot water and put the spotlight on divisions within the party.
Eviction ban, congestion charges and the state’s inability to look around corners.
One issue has dominated the agenda on what was an already busy week for politics. The decision to lift the eviction ban was a shock reversal of what was expected from Tuesday's cabinet meeting, according to Jack Horgan-Jones. The maelstrom of personal stories from worried renters gives the opposition an easily-understood attack line from now until the next election. Coalition tensions are also mounting over plans to reduce private car usage, with Green ambitions to introduce congestion charges. Cormac McQuinn also highlights the potential minefield for the government if it opts for holding three referendums relating to gender equality in November. Plus the panel choose their Irish Times article of the week:Kitty Holland's explainer on referendums relating to the constitution's article on 'women in the home' Fiona Reddan's deep dive into why Ireland has Europe's most expensive housing marketConor Capplis' passionate article in favour of Paul Mescal taking the Oscar for Best Actor at this weekend's Academy Awards
'We are out to provoke' - PBP's Richard Boyd Barrett on policies, politics and trusting Sinn Fein
People Before Profit TD for Dún Laoghaire Richard Boyd Barrett talks to Hugh and Jen about a pamphlet recently published by his party that set out its unashamedly radical politics and questioned how far the electorate could trust Sinn Fein to implement left-wing policies if in government.They also discuss Richard's views on the need to nationalise industries, how to tackle the housing crisis and when it is appropriate to object to housing in a politician's constituency.
Questions for Niall Collins, Holly Cairns's opportunity, PBP stakes its territory
Jennifer Bray and Pat Leahy join Hugh to talk about the week in politics:Minister of state Niall Collins fails to put questions over a planning application to bedPeople Before Profit publish a remarkable documentWhere new Soc Dems leader Holly Cairns can find votes for her partyPlus the panel talk about their favourite Irish Times pieces of the week:Matt Hancock's leaked Whatsapp messages Harry McGee talks to a Louth councillor who was targeted online for her stance on refugeesDenis Staunton paints a picture of springtime in Beijing
A pivotal moment for Northern Ireland
The Government and the European Union expect British prime minister Rishi Sunak to proceed with the new deal on the Northern Ireland protocol even if the DUP ultimately rejects it, according to sources in Dublin and Brussels.But where would that leave politics in Northern Ireland? To talk about the deal and how it is going down in Dublin, London and Belfast, Hugh talks to Pat Leahy, Mark Paul and Sarah Creighton.
'When you go to a Social Democrats convention, you're struck by how young its supporters are'
Holly Cairns is seen as the most likely contender to succeed Roisin Shorthall and Catherine Murphy, who announced they’re to step down as co-leaders of the Social Democrats this week. Harry McGee observes the party’s younger generation of TDs and councillors may better reflect the profile of the party’s membership. The first Irish Times poll of 2023 is reassuring for Fine Gael and Sinn Fein while perhaps offering a jolt for Fianna Fail, which has seen a slight drop in support since Micheál Martin departed the role of Taoiseach. Pat Leahy says the poll is also noteworthy for the number of undecideds, suggesting there’s a large group of voters still to be won over before the next election. We were expecting a deal on the NI Protocol this week but it appears the British PM’s biggest stumbling block may be overcoming the objections of his own backbenchers. And there was embarrassment for Fine Gael in the Dáil this week after Minister of State, Kieran O’Donnell, forgot to oppose a PBP bill which allowed it to pass to the next stage.
How the world sees the war in Ukraine
How the war in Ukraine is seen in Europe and around the world is complex and always changing, but there's no doubt that global perceptions. and motivations will play a role in how the conflict plays out and ultimately comes to an end. To discuss the global aspect of the war, Hugh is joined by China correspondent Denis Staunton, Brussels correspondent Naomi O'Leary and Berlin correspondent Derek Scally.
Northern Ireland Protocol: how close are we to a deal?
Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to talk through some of the biggest political stories of the week including Nicola Sturgeon’s shock resignation and what it might mean for Scottish independence. They also discuss the latest Mick Wallace controversy which surfaced following a viral TikTok video. But first, progress continues on the protocol talks, but how close are we to a deal and what hurdles still remain?
David Runciman on Brexit's 'phoney war' and the urgent need to tame states and corporations
The political debate around the impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom and its future economic relationship with Europe is 'just on hold at the moment' according to one of the UK's leading political scientists, Professor David Runciman.He talks to Hugh about UK politics today, including Keir Starmer's cautious leadership of the Labour Party, Rishi Sunak's unpopularity, and what he calls a 'phoney war' as populist and Brexit issues lie dormant - but haven't gone away. He also talks about his lecture at UCC last week, where he argued that it is states and corporations, not individuals, that must adapt to avert the existential crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University. He delivered the annual Philip Monahan lecture at University College Cork. Thanks to UCC for helping to facilitate this episode.