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Smyth, Patrick

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

The Irish Times - Ireland | 21/09/2014

Scottish trigger revolution in England

The Scottish independence referendum will cause a political earthquake after all - but it will be in England, the left-liberal daily Irish Times argues: "Both the enhanced powers and the promise of maintaining the generous terms of the Scottish financial settlement have added fuel to the raging fire fuelled by Ukip over Europe - the issues of Scotland and the UK's future in the EU are intimately intertwined. Cameron's Yes victory by no means gets him out of the woods. And such is his concern at an English backlash that the prime minister promised twice in his short speech that English reform must take place 'in tandem with, and at the same pace as' the settlement for Scotland. That is no mean challenge, given that the Scots have been promised legislation by the spring, and it also raises the prospect of the issues becoming fodder in next year's general election campaign."

The Irish Times - Ireland | 15/06/2014

Monarchy still popular not just in Spain

Felipe VI will be crowned the new Spanish king on Thursday. Spain is just one of many countries where the monarchy is still a popular institution, the left-liberal daily The Irish Times comments: "In the royal democracies the institution remains reasonably popular. Republicanism thrives, particularly at times of succession debates, but is largely a minority viewpoint, probably at its strongest in Australia. ... What is remarkable, however, is the extent to which this quaint institution, the hereditary monarchy, a symbol of privilege in a largely egalitarian world, a redundant, profoundly undemocratic relic of medieval times, still thrives in so many modern societies and in many cases is so important in different ways to their political life."

The Irish Times - Ireland | 21/04/2014

Patrick Smyth on how free elections can fuel conflicts

Elections have been held or will take place this spring in a number of crisis-ridden states. But rather than solving these countries' problems, such votes only threaten to exacerbate them, columnist Patrick Smyth writes in the left-liberal daily The Irish Times: "If elections can be the culmination of a healing political process, they can also, paradoxically, the democratic impulse notwithstanding, feed disintegration, fuel conflict, and legitimise dictators. ... And there is not a few of those on the go at the moment. Polls this month and next in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Algeria and Egypt are, if anything, likely to deepen political crises or consolidate dictators' positions.... Ukraine's presidential elections on May 25th are likely to be more democratic and representative than any of the above, but the process is unlikely to aid reconciliation. Essentially it will recognise and reinforce new realities, emphasising the country's east/west division by electing a westerner and giving a democratic legitimacy to the government in Kiev that it has lacked so far."

The Irish Times - Ireland | 18/08/2013

Tories still seen as party of the upper crust

The economic recovery and internal quarrels of the Labour Party have been a boost to the governing Tories in Britain. But there's no call for euphoria among the Conservatives, the left-liberal daily The Irish Times writes: "And, despite his efforts, David Cameron, who famously pledged as he took over in 2005 to 'detoxify' his party's brand, has not succeeded in shaking the 'party of toffs and middle-aged, Middle-England' image - his party is still toxic in minority communities, has only one seat in Scotland, and just 20 of the 124 urban seats in the midlands and the north. ... In truth, no matter the upbeat mood of Tories and their media friends, as The Spectator put it: 'Whatever troubles [Labour leader] Miliband is having, Labour will be competitive in 2015'."

The Irish Times - Ireland | 23/06/2008

Irish alternatives

Patrick Smyth analyses in the Irish Times the possibilities open to the Irish government after the referendum: "The Brussels EU summit ... clarified the options facing Taoiseach [head of government] Brian Cowen after the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. ... Brian Cowen was getting plenty of sympathy in Brussels on Thursday and Friday and the sort of breathing space that a grieving man needs to begin to put his life back together again. ... But Sarkozy and Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel sent out clear ... signals that they see Cowen's options as very limited. Eventually, and well before the European elections next June, the Irish people would again have to be asked to bring Lisbon's institutional reforms into force."

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