500 episodes

The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times journalists, political thinkers and the occasional politician. Hosted by Arts & Culture Editor Hugh Linehan.

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The best analysis of the Irish political scene featuring Irish Times journalists, political thinkers and the occasional politician. Hosted by Arts & Culture Editor Hugh Linehan.

    How will global tax reform affect Ireland?

    How will global tax reform affect Ireland?

    For decades, Ireland has used a low corporation tax rate to attract foreign direct investment. That is now threatened by a major tax reform plan announced by US president Joe Biden, which proposes to tax the overseas earnings of US corporations at 21 per cent. Talks are also taking place at the OECD on a global minimum level of corporate tax, which is expected to be higher than the 12.5 per cent rate defended by successive Irish governments. To discuss the changing face of global tax and what the implications will be for Ireland, Hugh is joined by Feargal O’Rourke, tax expert and managing partner at PwC Ireland, and John Christensen, a co-founder and director of the Tax Justice Network.

    • 43 min
    Foster's exit bodes poorly for north-south relations

    Foster's exit bodes poorly for north-south relations

    What led to Arlene Foster's ouster this week, who will succeed her and what will it mean for politics on the island? To find out we talk to Sam McBride of the Belfast Newsletter.

    Then Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray look at the other big political news of the week: the major moves towards reopening the country, and the surprise resignation of Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy. The former housing minister's departure means an intriguing byelection will happen later this year.

    • 44 min
    Heroes or Zeros? Discussing Ireland's Covid strategy with ISAG's prof Aoife McLysaght

    Heroes or Zeros? Discussing Ireland's Covid strategy with ISAG's prof Aoife McLysaght

    For much of the pandemic, the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group (ISAG) has recommended that Ireland should aggressively suppress virus transmission as part of a zero-Covid policy. That strategy has, however, failed to find favour with either the Government or health officials. As we prepare for the next phase of reopening in May, ISAG spokesperson, professor Aoife McLysaght, talks to Hugh about what the group would do differently, why one wrong step now could quickly lead to disaster again and why ISAG's zero-Covid campaign has been worth it, even if it fails.

    • 52 min
    'Politics on the Couch' - with Rafael Behr

    'Politics on the Couch' - with Rafael Behr

    To what extent can political beliefs and behaviour be understood through the science of psychology and the study of human cognition? In today’s episode, Hugh talks to award-winning political columnist and host of the excellent Politics on the Couch podcast, Rafael Behr, about the way our minds respond to politics and how psychology drives everyone’s political thought and behaviour.

    • 46 min
    Should we worry about the deficit? - with David McWilliams

    Should we worry about the deficit? - with David McWilliams

    Since coronavirus, governments around the globe have abandoned traditional concerns about deficits and enacted emergency measures in the interest of saving countries from the devastating effects of lockdowns. But in a post-pandemic Ireland, what should the role of the state be? Will the Covid crisis help bring to an end the old economic orthodoxies, or will there be return to a smaller state, balanced budgets and deficit reduction? Economist and The Irish Times columnist David McWilliams joins Hugh and political editor Pat Leahy to discuss.

    • 48 min
    US politics special with John Dickerson, CBS reporter and author of "The Hardest Job in the World"

    US politics special with John Dickerson, CBS reporter and author of "The Hardest Job in the World"

    CBS News political reporter, Slate Political Gabfest panelist and proud Irish-American John Dickerson talks to Hugh about the office of President of the United States, which is the subject of his book "The Hardest Job in the World".

    He explains how the role has evolved in complexity and now places impossible demands on whoever holds it.

    They also discuss how the Trump presidency warped political journalism, and the significance of President Biden's Irish-American identity.

    • 45 min

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