Some thoughts on ‘Inside the department’ – posted by Matt Wall

A link here to the RTE Player’s version of ‘Inside the Department’, a documentary that provides some interesting insights into the realities of governance in today’s Ireland. Among other things, it documents the difficulty of leading a department that you have verbally eviscerated in opposition (“malevolently dysfunctional” is a particularly good catchphrase).

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What Next?

Posted by Matt Wall

In today’s Irish Times, the editors of this site published a co-authored piece, calling on the next government to get off on the right foot in implementing their reform plans. We suggested several steps that a new government should take from the get go to demonstrate that campaign promises of political reform were more than just empty rhetoric. The parties have to be praised for taking on these issues, and for publishing their reform plans (admittedly in varying levels of detail) before the election took place. The parties put their plans on the table, and the people voted. In as much as the new government can claim a mandate for any action from the election, this government can claim a mandate for rapid and comprehensive reform.  What we need to see now is the will and the courage to make some changes from the victors of the election. They must do so, because our politics is at the root of all of our current collective problems, and it will be at the heart of any eventual solutions.

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The Croke Park deal and the death of Partnership

by Peter Stafford (June 14, 2010)

The current debate about the Croke Park public sector pay deal reveals much about the state of the Irish economy, but it also reveals something new about the state of Irish policy-making.

Firstly the venue of the pay talks is significant. Whereas previous pay deals have been negotiated long into the night in Government Buildings under the auspices of Social Partnership, these most recent pay talks were held in a conference venue on the other side of Dublin amongst a vastly reduced number of participants. By choosing to limit the participants and change the venue of the talks, Government has finally buried Social Partnership a year after it died.

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