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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 23 August, 2014

Today’s News

Aaron McKenna: To combat crime, we must make prison softer

After taking away a person’s freedom as punishment for their crimes, we should move on to the practical question of how we can reduce their likelihood to reoffend.

Saturday 16 August, 2014

Aaron McKenna: We should aim to do less, not more, trade with Russia

We shouldn’t be focused on Vladimir Putin’s bullyboy ban on many EU foods – we should be making ties with ambitious countries that share our values.

Saturday 9 August, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Animal circuses are a shameful cruelty that you should avoid funding

Hopefully in 100 years we’ll look back on animals in circuses like we now do about Victorian ‘freak show’ performances using disabled people.

Saturday 2 August, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Why are we still rewarding failure and sparing punishment in the public sector?

The public sector employs hundreds of thousands of people, yet it rarely if ever actually dismisses anyone. It’s bizarre.

Saturday 26 July, 2014

From Business ETC Aaron McKenna: Massive state intervention in house building? Welcome back to 2007 NAMA

Aaron McKenna: Massive state intervention in house building? Welcome back to 2007

In the normal course of things, Nama would be wound down and consigned to the history books…

Saturday 19 July, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Gender, geography, age – focus on everything but quality in government reshuffle

Conspicuously absent from the talk about the reshuffle was an evaluation of intelligence, skills, capabilities or temperament.

Saturday 12 July, 2014

Opinion: Reluctance to repossess homes just drags out the misery for those in serious debt

Politicians are bemoaning the fact that older people might now have to carry debt onto their pension books – but that’s the risk of re-mortgaging.

Saturday 5 July, 2014

Aaron McKenna: The good times must be back if we’ll turn away 400,000 concert goers

We’re clearly feeling more bullish about the economy if we’re cancelling sold-out shows. But should we be so confident?

Saturday 28 June, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Protesting outside politicians’ homes cheapens your argument

Politicians do not deserve to be deliberately intimidated, which is essentially what protesting at a person’s house is designed to do.

Saturday 21 June, 2014

From Business ETC Aaron McKenna: The opposition has missed the chance to expose the banking show trial Banking Inquiry

Aaron McKenna: The opposition has missed the chance to expose the banking show trial

This ‘inquiry’ has no credibility whatsoever and a decent opposition would have resigned en masse in protest.

Saturday 14 June, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Can we have a ban on banning things, please?

Banning ice cream and caramel Frappuccinos will not solve our obesity problem – we need to get to the root of the what’s causing it.

Saturday 7 June, 2014

Aaron McKenna: The nation, not just the Church, bears responsibility for horrors of the past

For Irish people who lived through these times to claim no knowledge of what went on in places like Tuam is disingenuous – and smacks of “I was only following orders”.

Saturday 31 May, 2014

Aaron McKenna: It’s time to revisit E-Voting machines, and here’s why…

Our troubles with e-voting occurred ten years and two local elections ago – the technology has moved on a lot in recent years.

Saturday 24 May, 2014

Aaron McKenna: A citizen’s guide to fighting the scourge of cable ties left on lamp posts

Political hopefuls call for better public spaces, clean streets, motherhood and apple pie – but many are happy to leave their campaigning rubbish about.

Saturday 17 May, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Domestic violence is just that – violence. Why not treat it that way?

In Ireland, as with most social issues, we treat the matter of domestic violence as a pariah topic that occasionally gets an airing. It’s just not good enough.

Saturday 10 May, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Paying any new tax is galling, but water needs to be paid for

The more we pay for water, perhaps the more we’ll think about how we use it, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 3 May, 2014

Opinion: Be careful of wishing for a Sinn Féin after Gerry Adams

Adams might be the last roadblock to Sinn Féin managing to uncork its potential to conquer the left wing, working class and republican ground in Irish politics.

Saturday 26 April, 2014

Column: We’re forced to bring skilled workers from abroad because of our educational failures

At a time when so many are unemployed, we have no choice but to to bring workers from abroad to Ireland. Why? We simply don’t have the skills ourselves.

Saturday 19 April, 2014

Column: Why 14 year old Twitter ‘terrorists’ have nothing to worry about

There is such a thing as being too sensitive and overreacting when people do stupid things on social media, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 12 April, 2014

Column: For our education sector to thrive, it needs to get commercial sense

We need to construct curriculums with international relevance and figure out fairer ways of funding education in order to compete globally, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 5 April, 2014

Column: Don’t believe the hype – the Irish economy remains a high cost one

As business costs begin to rise again, we need to remember that nobody owes us a living, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 29 March, 2014

Column: Pride, arrogance and the impotence of political leadership in GardaGate

This is the arrogant nature of permanent government. It gets too used to running the show and always being right, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 22 March, 2014

Column: Fred Phelps’ hateful legacy is a gift to freedom and democracy

Many people loathed the Westboro Baptist Church’s message, but the USA rightfully protected their right to be seen and heard, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 15 March, 2014

Column: Relationship and sex education should be consistently provided in all schools

Early relationships and sexual adventures – or the choice to avoid them – can have a formative effect both on a personality and on a life. As such, young people need access to consistent sex education, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 8 March, 2014

Column: Awarding top athletes extra CAO points makes total sense

We live in a society, not just an economy – and giving additional points to people for accomplishments beyond the academic makes sense, write Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 22 February, 2014

Column: Is the Socialist Party cloaking itself as ‘Anti-Austerity Alliance’?

At its core, the newly-registered AAA is asking people to vote for members of our already-established Socialist Party, says Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 15 February, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Ban the school tuck shop and watch childhood obesity plummet

The Department of Education has stopped short of taking a concrete step that would reduce the amount of junk food eaten by children in schools: banning junk food vending machines from schools.

Saturday 8 February, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Without proper investment in defences, we might as well abandon flood zones

There’s money for capital spending to defend our most vulnerable cities from flooding – the trouble is the government wants to toss it down the drain to keep a few seats in Leinster House.

Saturday 1 February, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Why do the Irish courts not care about women?

Our courts seem to have affected an uncaring view towards violent and sexual crimes against women – allowing offenders to escape jail sentences by simply giving their victims a payoff. It is horrific and unacceptable.

Saturday 25 January, 2014

From Business ETC Aaron McKenna: Capitalism didn’t create poverty, it inherited it (and now it’s fixing it) Money Money Money

Aaron McKenna: Capitalism didn’t create poverty, it inherited it (and now it’s fixing it)

Oxfam won a PR coup this week with the simple line that the richest 85 people in the world have more wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion. But there’s one problem with that message – inequality isn’t actually keeping people in poverty.

Saturday 18 January, 2014

Aaron McKenna: We’re a nation of mass dog murderers

About 5,500 dogs are euthanised in Ireland every year – most are perfectly healthy. The only reason they have to die is because otherwise ordinary people are happy to turn a blind eye to the appalling consequences of their actions.

Saturday 11 January, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Why does government make it safer to invest in houses than jobs?

Capital Gains Tax is a good way of making the rich pay their taxes – but it isn’t only the rich that invest into start-ups. This tax should be treated completely differently for job creation initiatives.

Saturday 4 January, 2014

Aaron McKenna: Calls for rent controls are blatantly stupid

Proposing a simplistic solution to arbitrarily attempt to solve one facet of Ireland’s housing problem is just bad policymaking, writes Aaron McKenna.

Tuesday 31 December, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Ask your council candidates to pledge to publish receipts for their expenses

The only way to affect real change in politics is at the ballot box. Ask you local council candidate whether they plan to voluntarily publish receipts for their expenses. If they will, tell them you’ll vote for them. If not, good luck and goodbye.

Saturday 21 December, 2013

Aaron McKenna: A functioning charity sector needs to pay well

People working in charities have mortgages and kids and wants and desires. The sector can’t hope to recruit and retain top class people, capable of running very complex operations, if they offer significantly less than the private sector.

Saturday 14 December, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Reports of drug users shooting up on public transport stops people using the service, not class

People’s negative impressions is preventing people from taking the bus, train and tram, writes Aaron McKenna, who says it’s nothing about how ‘snobby’ they are.

Saturday 7 December, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Drop Irish or go full native – it’s time to decide

The Irish language is either a waste of scarce public money, or it is a national treasure that we must make it our mission to revive into daily use. Either way, it’s time to get off the fence.

Saturday 30 November, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Essential utilities like the ESB should be protected from strikes

Without power, our modern society cannot function normally – which is why workers at the ESB ought to be banned from striking and causing a total or partial power failure, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 23 November, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Jealousy of the successful is not a viable economic policy

There are many reasons why a Swiss-like pay proposal is a bad one. For one, the top one per cent of income earners in Ireland pay 20 per cent of the income tax, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 16 November, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Our government hides its actions by obstructing Freedom of Information

To hide public service deficiency and ensure that ‘accountability’ remains a word in the dictionary, senior public servants have been waging a long war on Freedom of Information, writes Aaron McKenna.

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