From Cradle to the Grave

From Cradle to the Grave

“Death, taxes, and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” — Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind. We all know we’re going to die, so why aren’t we preparing for it? Death is going to come for us at some point and we know that disposal of remains in this day and…

Our Seanad, Saved

Our Seanad, Saved

Ireland has voted to retain its upper house of parliament with a vote of 51.73% against the government’s abolition proposals to 48.27% in favour. When you consider recent polls in the media and the multitude of mainstream political parties advocating the vote to abolish, this result is somewhat surprising. Frequent readers of this blog would be…

No Representation Without Taxation

No Representation Without Taxation

A precursor to the American War of Independence was the debate on the fairness of those in the Colonies being taxed by the British Crown and Parliament without actually being represented in the latter; they had no say in electing, or being elected as, members of parliament who created laws and imposed taxes that they…

Unicameral Differences

Unicameral Differences

A referendum to abolish one half of your bicameral legislature will always be a testy, competitive, and frankly dishonest campaign; facts will be deliberately misrepresented to suit either side, and politicians from across the spectrum will recite the same factoids daily in a never-ending saga of bitter exchanges.  That’s not supposed to be an attack…

A Wavering Alliance

A Wavering Alliance

Despite it being an amazing show of parliamentary democracy in action, tonight’s House of Commons defeat of a Government motion to tentatively support the principle of military intervention in Syria will have long lasting and potentially quite serious consequences, not just for the Syrian people of course, but for Britain’s foreign policy agenda and its…

The Syrian Question

The Syrian Question

With thousands of innocent civilians dying in Syria each month as a result of the civil war currently ravaging the country, it’s beyond question that the international community has to do something. The situation has now devolved to a point where condemnations and conferences are all but futile. A state has a responsibility to protect…

Security v. Privacy

Security v. Privacy

It is inevitable that one’s personal freedom will come second to the security of one’s state; not just one’s own state, I suppose, but any state’s security. As unpopular as this may be, I fundamentally don’t have a problem with this principle. Yes, I have problems when it’s unnecessarily and over-zealously applied, or abused really,…