John Bruton is a former Irish prime minister and an international business leader. He has held a number of posts in the Irish government, including minister for finance; minister for industry and energy; minister for trade, commerce and tourism; and minister for the public service. During his term in the Prime Minister's Office between 1994 and 1997, Bruton was deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He served as the European Union ambassador to the United States from 2004 to 2009. Bruton is an adviser to Fair Observer.
Two important Conservative prime ministers have often received bad or little attention in recent years. Both made mistakes but their achievements were significant as well. A biography of Neville Chamberlain and Edward Heath’s autobiography are highly instructive not only to understand the past but to draw lessons for the future.
The 1998 deal that brought peace to Northern Ireland now stands suspended because of post-Brexit tensions. The main Protestant party has been boycotting the power-sharing arrangement instituted by the agreement. Creative new thinking, a revision of the 1998 deal and symbolic gestures are the need of the hour to maintain peace and harmony.
A book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa shines the light on the crisis in American democracy. Polarization and partisan loyalty threaten the common bonds of citizenship essential for democracy to succeed.
Tensions between the US and China have been rising for many years. As the Taiwanese president visits the US, China is not pleased. Statesmanship is the need of the hour to cool down the global geopolitical temperature.
King Edward VIII is known for abdicating the throne because of his love for an American divorcee. Less well known is his entanglement with Nazi Germany and his traitorous role in World War II.
Great Hatred by Ronan McGreevy is a book about the assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson in 1922 during a truce and while a peace treaty was being ratified. McGreevy concludes that Michael Collins authorized it as commander of the IRB.
The EU insists the judicial systems of its member states must be independent to ensure equal rights and protections for all citizens across member states. This issue lies at the heart of disputes between the European Commission, Poland, and Hungary. The European Court of Justice ordered the Polish government to halt the appointments of new judges over concerns about the independence of the...
Vernon Bogdanor has written a history of Britain before World War I that is pertinent not only to England, Scotland and Wales but also Ireland. Many of the problems we sense as being unique to our era were around more than a century ago. We need to understand the past to make sense of the present and work for a better future.
Poland: A History by Adam Zamoyski highlights the unique aspects of the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth, including a limited monarchy and veto system that worked well until consensus broke down. The book also discusses how Poland's historical grievances with Germany are being exploited for nationalistic sentiment, which is divisive for Europe.
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