Ireland Callingby John Spain
- Abortion reform Irish style - Women still have no rights over their own bodies, continue to travel to the UK for procedure
- We’re total abortion hypocrites - proposals for new legislation were laughable
- Catch 22 for Irish abortion law - navigating Ireland’s rigid, Catholic influence legal framework and Savita Halappanavar’s case
- The late Baroness Margaret Thatcher had her good points
- Letters from the tax man - the mounting cost of Ireland's property tax and running the country
Fianna Fail, the party which has dominated politics in Ireland for so long, could be consigned to the garbage can of history. If they come in fourth place behind Fine Gael, Labor and even Sinn Fein in terms of the number of Dail (Parliament) seats they win, it will be a disaster for the party.
It seems incredible -- it's just a few years since Fianna Fail totally dominated the Irish political landscape -- but the level of anger in the country at the extent of the economic disaster means that the party is facing a political blood bath in the vote on Friday.
But no one believes them.
Everyone knows there's no money. So all the talk about spending hundreds of millions on this new program and a billion or two on that new program has zero credibility.
This should have been an election that no political party would try to buy. It should have been an election free of promises about tax cuts or extra spending, neither of which we can afford since the country is broke.
But that has not stopped our politicians. Not a bit of it.
There's only one question that really matters in the general election campaign now beginning in Ireland. It's the €85 billion question -- the question of what the various political parties here will do about the €85 billion bailout fund put together by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU to stop Ireland going bust and accepted by the outgoing government.
Fianna Fail says it's the best deal that was available. Fine Gael and Labor say it's a poor deal and must be renegotiated. Sinn Fein says it's such a bad deal we should tell the IMF and the EU to take their billions back.