By Damien Thomson.
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly were elected to the European Parliament in May last year, and they’re on a roll with their groovy new podcast, which brings the European Parliament to you through your earphones.
As the host of I4C Trouble, I have the fun role of moderating a weekly conversation with Europe’s two biggest troublemakers. The Independents 4 Change (I4C) Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have certainly already made a reputation for themselves in Brussels.
Both Mick and Clare are in the top 10 speakers in the whole Parliament (out of over 705 MEPs) and it’s not only in the hemicycle that they’re talking their socks off – in their weekly podcast they discuss everything from EU foreign policy to the Eurozone and everything in between.
With a slick musical intro of montages of spicy plenary speeches, Clare and Mick aim to bridge the democratic deficit by explaining what actually happens in the EU and what they’re doing to change it.
What goes on in the EU, and the European Parliament in particular, is woefully under-reported in the Irish media – which comes down to a lack of dedicated and properly funded journalism and a lack of understanding about how this place works.
It’s a complicated legislative process, but this podcast aims to make sense of it. There’s so much that happens, so much that has a huge impact on people’s daily lives, that doesn’t make it home in the news. But it’s not a heavy policy discussion, Mick tells a story and Clare has a laugh as we talk about the news that didn’t make the headline and the latest shenanigans in the European Parliament.
Here are some of the highlights:
Clare and Mick discuss European exceptionalism and the real values of the European project. What is going on with coronavirus tracking apps and why are they a threat to civil liberties? Why is the EU fast-tracking bailouts for airlines but overlooking workers rights? What is Europe doing in the Sahel region of Africa and why are the Irish Defence Forces involved?
In this episode of I4C Trouble we have our very first guest – Iranian-British writer and anti-war activist Ali Alizadeh. Our MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace talk sanctions and Iran, with attention to the current coronavirus crisis. Alizadeh invites us to rethink what we think we know about Iran. Is Iran just a “rogue state” or is this term part of a prolonged campaign to delegitimize Iran?
The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster for the whole world but one of the reasons it is hitting so hard in Europe is the economic policy of the European Union. We speak to Emma Clancy, a researcher and activist on economic policy and tax justice, about why now is the time for a radical upheaval of EU economic governance.
Disability and autism activist Jane Johnston tells Clare and Mick how the pandemic has impacted carers and the people they care for, and gives her thoughts on what’s included in the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael joint framework document.
“We’re all in this together” is one of the mantras we’ve read and heard most over the last month in dealing with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. But are we really? In episode 6 of I4C Trouble Clare and Mick take a closer look at modern day solidarity and some of the issues that would suggest not all individuals, businesses and Governments are in it together.
Have a listen on your podcast platform and get in touch on Twitter @I4Ctrouble to send in your questions and feedback.
I4C Trouble with Daly and Wallace is available on your podcast platform (Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts).
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Damien Thomson is a contributing editor at Irish Broad Left and host of the @I4Ctrouble podcast. Follow him on Twitter @dmacthomais.