Macron, Le Pen, De Gaulle and the French paradox: Why a centrist leads in an election where the centre didn’t hold
This time, French voters have clearly chosen to move their elections away from the post-WWII battleground between centre-right and centre-left. The constitutional implications and the lessons for democracy are profound.
16th Apr, 2022 - 7 min read
“It cost me friendships. It cost me business. It cost me time taking on Charlie”
Businessman Paul Mackay battled Charles Haughey over his finances and was a founding member of the Progressive Democrats. More recently, he has sought to highlight the massive erosion in value at the Irish Credit Bureau. He tells his story to Tom Lyons.
22nd Feb, 2022 - 9 min read
Barnier on Brexit, Europe and the French presidential election: “We must stop being naive”
Former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier now runs the international campaign of presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse. He sat down with The Currency in Paris to discuss British and unionist attitudes to the NI Protocol, changing the EU, corporation tax and identity politics.
19th Feb, 2022 - 13 min read
A frustrated electorate, a divided opposition: The French election is Macron’s to lose
Divisions on the far right and on the left favour French President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election chances in two months’ time. Can the Gaullists return and challenge Macron's stance as the last man standing against extremism? Thomas Hubert reports from Paris.
12th Feb, 2022 - 16 min read
Loans, fees, shares: What we know – and don’t know – after an afternoon of questioning on NBI
The government has provided some answers to the questions surrounding the financial structure of NBI, including conditions for the debt funding provided by private investors and the calculation of fees paid to a company controlled by David McCourt.
27th Jan, 2022 - 6 min read
The fox and the hedgehog: Mary Lou McDonald, Leo Varadkar and the polarization of Irish politics
Soon after I started to work in government, a very senior official confided that the reason the civil service rules the roost in Ireland is that the political system is “immature”. Regardless of who is in the next government, it is time for politics to assert its primacy.
14th Dec, 2021 - 4 min read
Climate change, frustration and the illusion of intergenerational solidarity: “The analogy of war is relevant”
In a special podcast following COP26 and the publication of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, four of The Currency’s writers focused on climate change discuss the vast distance left to cover between official discourse and reality – and its implications for the role of the state.
17th Nov, 2021 - 6 min read
Ed Brophy: Time, the climate-fiscal state and a new enlightenment
Humanity’s latest experience of climate change was the Little Ice Age in the 17th century, which resulted in widespread upheaval and loss of life – but also led to the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, with lessons on the role of the state.
16th Nov, 2021 - 4 min read
Housing for All, Hanlon’s razor and the battle between good and evil: Why any policy must hinge on compromise
Under the us-versus-them approach favoured by conspiracy theorists, no policy decision can ever be made. Yet it underpins a lot of the reaction to the Government’s Housing for All plan among those who won’t settle for a step in the right direction – only a full leap into Nirvana.