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A few good pieces on Youth Defence November 30, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
123 comments

An excellent recent piece from Bock The Robber.. Youth Defence — The Forbidden Love-Child of Left and Right.

Here’s a murky story for you. It starts with a demented old woman in County Cork and ends with the death of a beautiful young woman in a Galway hospital. It spans three generations of a family raised in a hothouse of religious intolerance, who went on to poison rational debate in Ireland to the present day.

This is a story of intolerance, intimidation and ignorance.

A man is shot dead. There are bank robberies.

A government minister stands trial for gun-running but astonishingly, later goes on to lead the country.

This is the story of how a small religious pressure-group, founded by a religious fanatic, managed to subvert a western European democracy without anybody noticing.

Also another interesting piece from a while back on Come Here To Me

Una Bean Mhic Mhathuna; Over 40 years of reactionary politics

and finally an old one from this Parish

Another fall in residential property prices… November 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
5 comments

Residential property prices fell in October, bringing an end to a three month upswing in house values.

Some upswing. 0.2 per cent in July, 0.5 per cent in August, 0.9 per cent in September. But now it has gone down by 0.6 per cent in October.

The figures suggest a two-tiered market is operating in the State, with property values outside Dublin down by 0.9 per cent in the month and 8.9 per cent on October 2011.

The market in Dublin continues to be more stable, with house prices falling by 0.2 per cent in the month. House prices in Dublin are 7.8 per cent lower than at the same point last year, with apartment prices 7.1 per cent lower.

By the way, as regards cash transactions, would they be higher or lower than the asking price of estate agents? Anyone know?

Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers argues that:

The figures highlighted the fact that consumer confidence regarding the housing market remains fragile.

But disappointingly he then goes on…

He said the Government “cannot afford to be complacent and needs to tread very carefully” when unveiling any new tax measures in Budget 2013.

“Media reports at the weekend suggest that there are fears in official circles that a property tax combined with the withdrawal of mortgage interest reliefs, will put people off buying a house and kill the tentative recovery in the market that we’ve seen in recent months,” he said.
“Indeed, the uncertainty over how a property tax would be imposed may have been a factor in the fall in house prices in October.”

I wonder is that credible? People would not buy a house because of a potential property tax? Seems somewhat unlikely to me.

It also seems unlikely that there has been a ‘tentative recovery’. Not when the Irish Times notes that:

The Residential Property Price Index, published by the Central Statistics Office, shows that residential property prices were 15.1 per cent lower at the end of last month than at the same point in 2011.

And:

The data shows that house prices in Dublin are 55 per cent below the high point recorded in February 2007, with the value of apartments in the city now 63 per cent lower than they were five and a half years ago.

It seems doubtful that there will be anything like a ‘recovery’ – and really, what is a recovery in these circumstances – until the broader economic picture begins to improve, that is a significant drop in unemployment, growth in the economy and genuine stability. To talk of recovery now, when we still have at least three and potentially many more austerity budgets ahead of us is so precipitate as to be almost laughable. Moreover one Alan McQuaid knows this, for this April he noted the following:

“Although the March data are a step in the right direction we don’t see any significant improvement in the housing market until the employment situation gets better and bank lending returns to some sort of ‘normality’, which is still some way off in our opinion.”

And continued:

The bottom line is that Ireland remains a long way from where it wants/needs to be as regards credit demand/availability to get the domestic economy moving again. The reality is that until the banking sector crisis is fully resolved and things improve on the labour market front then the supply/demand for credit will stay subdued in our view, severely hampering the overall recovery prospects for the economy as a whole in the process.”

Unemployment? 13 per cent in 2015 according to the government’s own projections. So what fundamentally has changed sufficiently to make McQuaid more optimistic? Nothing is the answer. Nothing has changed.

**********

BTW, the good news never stops, does it? Though, and this could be my fault, I can’t find an overall figure for overall mortgage arrears.

The CLR Political Quiz ………… Number 12 November 30, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in CLR Political Quiz.
5 comments

1. In the 1989 European Elections what party did Dermot Guy stand for?

2. Who delivered Charles Haugheys Graveside Oration?

3. Who was Co-Opted to replace Proinsias De Rossa when he resigned his MEP seat when in Democratic Left?

4. How many seats did Libertas win in the 2009 European Elections?

5. What party site does the url http://www.ripoff.ie redirect you to?

6. What party would you associate The group ‘the Campaign against the Pay Deal’ with?

7. How many seats did the SLP win in Dublin in the 1979 Local Elections?

8. Who wrote the novel ‘Acts of Subversion’ ?

9. What TD had “For a New Politics” as his election slogan?

10.Who is this?

This Week At Irish Election Literature November 30, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Election Literature Blog.
2 comments

From the 1990 Presidential Campaign an Anti Mary Robinson and Austin Currie Leaflet from a group called Clann Na bFinini (The Family Group).

From the 2011 General Election campaign a letter from Phil Hogan assuring the recipient that “Fine Gael is opposed to the legislation of Abortion”.

From 1992 a fairly extreme pro life leaflet criticizing the Bishops Statement on Abortion, that goes on to say “The Supreme Court Judges who approved abortion in the X-case committed the mortal sin of murder.. ” , “we must not have innocent blood on our hands like Albert Reynolds” and more.

From the 2004 Local Elections a leaflet from Gino Kenny of the SWP who was running in Clondalkin.

The CLR Political Quiz … Number 11 … The Answers November 30, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in CLR Political Quiz.
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1. Who released an album “Third Adolescence”
Dan Boyle

2. Who was the first woman to become Lord Mayor of Dublin?
Kathleen Clarke (widow of Tom Clarke)

3. Which candidate used the slogan “Understands our past, believes in our future” ?
Gay Mitchell

4. What Party published a paper called ‘Unfree Citizen’?
Peoples Democracy

5. ‘The Planning Reform Party” have fielded which candidate in General and By Elections?
Noel O’Gara

6. ‘GANG’ were a faction in the Green Party in the mid 80s that eventually split from the party. What did the initials ‘GANG’ stand for?
Green Action Now Group

7. Which former Presidential candidate was related by Marriage to one the group “The Dubliners”?
Patrick McCartan. He ran as an Independent in the 1945 Presidential Election. His daughter Deirdre married Ronnie Drew.

8. How many different Party logos did The Progressive Democrats use from 1987 to 2007?
Three

9. Who is the only Nobel Peace Prize winner who served as a TD?
Sean McBride

10. Finally, whats unusual about this flyer?
Noel O’Flynn didn’t actually stand in the election.

Those DUP speeches… November 29, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland.
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Some will have missed the DUP party conference, which is perhaps a pity. Because the speeches of party leader Peter Robinson, deputy leader Nigel Dodds and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster are well worth a read. And not just because they are the single largest political formation in the North – or at least command the greatest degree of support.

Let’s do some number crunching. In their three speeches the term island was used once, this by Arlene Foster, in the following context:

It is also vital that Tourism Ireland starts to promote Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom on the island of Ireland.  For too long officialdom has been afraid to promote Northern Ireland as a country with all its rich cultures and traditions. 

A most interesting analysis, I think many will agree – not least because the use of the term ‘country’. That term is used 10 times in the three speeches – ‘our Country’ [capitalised on the transcript on the DUP site], ‘our wee country’. It’s not always clear whether the use is referencing the UK or NI, though how about this which introduces yet another element – courtesy of Peter Robinson:

Ours is a nation that is made up not just of those from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland or those for whom English is the language of their birth, but of those who have come to live here and who share our values and ideals.  I’m proud that Britishness is about diversity and inclusivity.
That’s why the story of Mo Farah was an inspiration to us all.
Born in Somalia, he moved to the UK when he was just eight years old.  He ran for Britain and became a national hero overnight winning two gold medals in the London Olympics.
When asked by a journalist whether he would rather have run for Somalia, he replied, “look mate, this is my country.”
His story epitomises the spirit of this nation.

Only two ‘nations’ and both in that paragraph above. 5 Ulsters. 5 ‘British’ or ‘Britishness’. 12 ‘United Kingdom’. A raft of ‘internationals’.
2 ‘First Minister’.
No ‘South’. No ‘Republic’. No ‘Irish’ other than Irish Open and Northern Irish. 4 ‘Borders’. These latter in the following context:

The one party that seems oblivious to the shifting sands of opinion is Sinn Fein.
One of the most bizarre developments in recent times has been the Sinn Fein call for a Border Poll.
Now, I know opinion polls are not a perfect gauge of public opinion, but when the last one showed that fewer than 10% want a United Ireland now, republicans really should take the hint.
Republicans asking for a border poll makes turkeys voting for Christmas look like a carefully considered strategy.
As a unionist, sure of the outcome of such a vote, it would be easy to support a referendum, but that would not make it the right thing to do.
At the heart of the St Andrews Agreement was the knowledge and strength that what was agreed allowed politics in Northern Ireland to move away from issues about the existence of the border.  What Sinn Fein is doing only drags us back into that sterile and divisive debate.

And this:

I see Gerry Adams is running around, even going to America, calling for support for a united Ireland and demanding a border poll. Talk about being out of touch! Poor old Gerry is so self deluded that he’s the only one left who still thinks he wasn’t in the IRA!

1 ‘Dublin’.

Belfast is now among the world’s top 10 cities for financial technology investments ahead of Dublin, Glasgow, Toronto and even Bangalore.

4 ‘United Ireland’s’. But no ‘North’.
9 ‘Sinn Fein’s’ – that caught me on my first check, they dropped the fada. Mostly uncomplimentary. And the following is an example of a sort of back-handed compliment – at best:

Some people still wonder, after all that has happened, how we can work with Sinn Fein.
The answer’s simple: it’s really not about us; it’s about making life better for the people we represent.
It’s not always easy, but it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Northern Ireland is stronger when we work together at home and abroad.

2 ‘Declan Kearney’. 5 ‘Republicans’. 6 ‘IRA’. No ‘violence’. 5 ‘peace’ or ‘peaceful’. No ‘democracy’. 5 ‘democratic’. 5 ‘dissident’ or ‘dissidents’. But wait… one of those was in the following sentence:

And none of this progress would have occurred if republican paramilitary dissidents or unionist political dissidents had got their way.

And look, just after that paragraph there’s this sentence:

Because working together means working for every citizen of this Province and getting things done. 

Province? ‘Province’. 11 references seeing as you asked.
1 ‘Protestant’.

I don’t need to remind you what it was like a decade ago.
Stormont stumbling from one suspension to the next, unionists divided and dispirited, the IRA still armed and active.
Defeatism and despair were common-place, but today we have the confidence of knowing that a majority of Protestants and Catholics alike support our constitutional position within the United Kingdom.   They know they are better off with Britain.

2 ‘Catholics’. 17 ‘community’ – one of which is ‘cross community’. 6 ‘communities’. Not necessarily in all instances the ones you might expect:

The exact same disconnect also applies to our rapidly-emerging new communities from Eastern Europe and farther afield.  These are people who have come to Northern Ireland in search of a better life and greater opportunity.

1 ‘diversity’. 1 ‘inclusivity’.

4 ‘nationalist/s’ – 1 of which is Scottish. 1 ‘independence’ – Scottish.

1 ‘respect’, 1 ‘respectful’.

3 ‘Londonderry’. No ‘PSNI’.

3 ‘ships’. 3 ‘Titanic’.

16 ‘jobs’.

5 ‘tax/es’.

No ‘conservative’ or ‘conservatives’. 7 ‘Queen’. 22 ‘Unionist’ or ‘unionists’. 13 ‘unionism’. 1 mention of ‘unions’ – as in trade unions. 18 ‘business’ or ‘businesses’.

1 ‘left’. 1 ‘far left’.

23 ‘leader’ or ‘deputy leader’. 1 MLA. 1 ‘Paisley’.

And a parting thought, which perhaps didn’t come out quite the way it was intended by Robinson…

So, as you can see, the DUP is putting Northern Ireland on the international map.

Surely that’s never been a problem.

Fine Gael struggles with a great issue of the day… November 29, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Uncategorized.
18 comments

..to no clear effect. Fascinating how this is panning out in light of IELB’s thoughts here.

According to the Irish Times:

Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton was the most senior critic of the Fine Gael leadership to speak out when party TDs and Senators were briefed on the expert group on abortion’s report.

Some will wonder about the numbers:

Minister for Health James Reilly and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter addressed about 50 members of the parliamentary party. Backbenchers John O’Mahony, Terence Flanagan, Billy Timmins and James Bannon were among at least 12 members who spoke critically at the meeting.

There’s 74 odd FG members in the Dáil. 50 turn up. 12 express reservations, or more. For Creighton apparently FG have ‘no mandate’ to bringin in legislation. Well, not exactly… their 2011 Manifesto said the following:

European Court of Human Rights Judgement on Abortion: We will establish an all-party committee, with access to medical and legal expertise, to consider the implications of the recent ruling of the ECHR and to make recommendations. Such a process would, we believe, be the best way of examining the issues in a way that respects the range of sincerely-held views on this matter.

Deliberations conducted. Report written. Recommendations made. Time to deliver.

And what of the other areas that more acutely diverge from their election manifesto where policy implementation bears down upon an Irish citizenry and small complaint from Creighton there?

But the question is how many will jump ship if and when this comes to a vote. According to the IT others antagonistic to legislation did not arrive at the meeting. It’s hard to judge how much this is a phoney war where TDs, whether FG (or LP) will fall into line behind legislation on X or will make a break. Elsewhere the IT mentions expectations that perhaps 3 or 4 might bail. But, you know, it could be many more. And it’s not as if the LP is entirely as one on the issue either.

It’s a serious matter, but one has to smile on reading the following:

Other speakers complained that their votes were being taken for granted by the leadership. The Cabinet decision to opt for a preferred option before the end of December and implement that choice early in the new year was greeted with anger.
Many complained that the timeline was too tight.

Too tight? 20 years since X? Really?

Mind you, what a party, check this out:

There were a number of references to a “letter of comfort” distributed by the now Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan during the general election campaign when he was director of elections. The letter said Fine Gael was opposed to the legalisation of abortion.

And what of this from last night?

Enda Kenny last night told Fine Gael TDs and Senators “no one would be press-ganged” after a group complained they were being forced to move too quickly on abortion.

Mr Kenny told the parliamentary party meeting that he was personally “more conservative” than many of them. He said Fine Gael had always been “pro-life” and remained so, according to a number of those present.

And speaking of parties:

What to make of FF’s appeal to a ‘middle ground consensus’.

It will be most interesting to see where they think that middle ground actually is.

It has been absolutely essential hitherto that the trojan efforts of Joan Collins, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace – and let’s not forget those around them and those in various groups who have managed to in some ways inflect public opinion and who have worked tirelessly on the issue – pushing towards some form of legislative response were made, and entirely correct that that should be continued over the past few weeks and right up to last night. Otherwise it is entirely possible that the response to the death of Savita Halappanavar would have been more muted and less effective and that the focus on the legislature would be less clear. Moreover as noted in comments the presence of significant crowds outside the Dáil will not have gone unnoticed. But what’s depressing about this is that in some ways for any further progress at all on the central issue, however minimal, to some degree it is the FG parliamentary party, and FF and LP as well who are in the driving seat – and FG party discipline may be central to this. Perhaps in that light the protests are as important – if not in fact more so – now as they were before.

Speaking of which, as Wendy Lyon’s notes in comments:

Could I make a plug here for the National Day of Action in Galway on Saturday. Choice Ireland is subsidising a bus to it for €5 per person (leaving Parnell Square after 10.30 and returning at 8) – spaces can be reserved by emailing choiceireland at gmail dot com.

Shame November 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
14 comments

Outside The Dail tonight after Clare Dalys Bill was voted down.

Just adding Clare Dalys speech from last night in the Dail

The Socialist Party “ULA – Not measuring up to political challenges” November 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics, The Left.
210 comments

Article on The Socialist Party Site

From outside its hard to know who they are attacking here over CAHWT

In many areas, forces from the ULA have actually allowed the campaigns to lapse.

Although the following is decent point

If there is an over focus by the ULA on legislating for the X Case, we could inadvertently assist the narrowing of the debate, which is one way in which the establishment is trying to get away with making as minimal changes as possible.

What you want to say… Open Thread, 28th November, 2012 November 28, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
57 comments

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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