‘A pretty bruising contest’: SNP leadership race uncovers cracks within the party
The contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon has been heating up over the last number of weeks, as the three candidates vying for the position, have clashed over policy issues and the future of the party. The first leadership contest in 20 years; it’s generally believed to be a two-horse race between current Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, with former Minister for Community Safety Ash Regan, trailing behind in popularity.
So what can we expect from the final days of the contest, will the next leader unite or divide the SNP and how will the emerging cracks be covered over?
To discuss all this and more, Hugh is joined by Scotland Editor of The Spectator Alex Massie and London Correspondent Mark Paul who is following the contest from Edinburgh.
Ifac warning, IRA commemorations, and is James O'Connor a Jekyll & Hyde figure?42:55Pat Leahy and Harry McGee join Hugh to talk about the week in politics, including:Ifac cautions coalition on expenditure and its potential consequencesSinn Féin defend IRA commemoration in South ArmaghIs James O'Connor a Jekyll & Hyde figure within Fianna Fáil?Plus, they share their favourite Irish Times piece of the week:Kiss rocker Gene Simmons visits House of Commons as Ian Paisley's guestFAI request huge investment commitment from governmentGerard Howlin highlights parties on the wrong side of history for climate change
Who speaks for 'middle Ireland'?46:48The podcast takes a look at the concept of ‘middle Ireland’, a concept that has been around for a long time in political discourse here, and one that has proved to be quite potent politically when comes to getting votes - but who exactly falls into the category of ‘middle Ireland’?Do Fine Gael alone speak for this cohort? Or perhaps each party, much like the CSO or Grant Thornton, has their own definition of who the ‘squeezed middle’ is.And could introducing some income tax reform lighten the load for middle earners here?Political Correspondent with The Irish Times, Jennifer Bray, and Political Economist Aidan Regan from UCD, join Hugh Linehan to give their thoughts.
Missing climate targets, Census talking points, and Helen McEntee returns34:23Jennifer Bray and Cormac McQuinn join Hugh to talk about the week in politics, including:Ireland is on course to miss its 2030 carbon emission targets by some distanceSome interesting takeaways from Census 2022, including lowering home ownership and fewer CatholicsHelen McEntee taking back the reigns as Minister for Justice Plus they share their favourite Irish Times piece of the week:Malachy Clerkin on why he misses the officeJustine McCarthy on new frontiers in the hatred warsDáil suspension over 'organic farmer' remark
Decoding the culture wars - with Bryan Fanning52:42In his new book Public Morality and The Culture Wars, academic Bryan Fanning analyses what he calls the ‘triple divide’ between conservative, liberal and progressive viewpoints, how the moral views of those three groups differ and how they clash with growing intensity in what we call the culture wars. He talks to Hugh Linehan about public morality, the debate over the limits of freedom of speech and why liberal and progressive thinking has diverged.Bryan Fanning is Professor of Migration and Social Policy at University College Dublin.
Serving 'middle Ireland': Leo Varadkar on tax break controversy, prioritising homeownership and the next election26:23The coalition Government still has plenty of time to run but, if the past week is anything to go by, the remaining months could be characterised by less cooperation and more shaping up for the electoral battles to come.On today's podcast Pat Leahy and Hugh Linehan take a listen back to an interview Pat conducted with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday in which a picture emerges of how Fine Gael will differentiate itself come election time.In the interview the Taoiseach talks about a controversy over three Fine Gael junior ministers' decision to publicly call for a tax cut in the next budget, why Fine Gael supports lowering taxes for those on middle and upper incomes, why boosting the numbers of homes available to purchase is Fine Gael's housing priority, and how a decision will be made on the timing of the next general election.Mr Varadkar spoke about other subjects - you can read the full article here.
How will the Electoral Commission reshape Irish elections?56:57The Electoral Commission is a newly established state body set up to oversee elections in Ireland. Taking on a range of existing electoral functions, it will also be responsible for deciding on the number of TDs in the Dáil and the boundaries and size of each constituency and local election area. The first report from the Commission on constituency boundaries is due out at the end of August. So what can we expect from it? To talk through the changes coming down the tracks for the electoral system and the wider impact on political parties, Hugh is joined by Cormac McQuinn, political scientist and lecturer with UCC Dr Theresa Reidy and Maynooth University lecturer Dr Adrian Kavanagh.
Migration and voters, Matt Barrett's posts, a good day for Sinn Féin31:11Jack Horgan-Jones and Pat Leahy join Hugh to talk about the week in politics, including:Government reaction to the agonising migrant accommodation shortage crisis. Will voters react too when they get a chance? Matt Barrett's apology for making jokes about King Charles III's coronation while there as the Taoiseach's +1At the time of recording, local elections in Northern Ireland are looking good for Sinn FéinPlus they share their favourite Irish Times piece of the week:Alex Kane on the need for Unionism to broaden its appealJustine McCarthy on the political motivations of news organisationsJoe Humphreys on the schism between liberalism and progressivism
State facing a summer of strife over migrant accommodation44:47The ongoing crisis over a shortage of accommodation for International Protection applicants is an acute problem that risks becoming a chronic one for the State. After a week of violent clashes, arson and blockades taking place at accommodation sites, the podcast panel looks again at what's been happening, how bad the problem is and how the political system is reacting.
Government speaking loudly and carrying a small stick on prices43:04Jack Horgan-Jones and Pat Leahy join Hugh to discuss the big political stories of the week.