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When (political) distinctions are superflous December 8, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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In the newsagent this morning what did I see on the cover of the Irish Mail on Sunday but the news that Fianna Fáil is looking for other TDs to add to their – ahem – success with one C. Keaveney, or to put it another way, ‘high-profile’ recruits. Names bandied about included Peter Mathews who it would appear is not a member of the Reform Alliance, which may come as news to them. Tom Fleming, the indomitable Mattie McGrath and others were mentioned. But there was Stephen Donnelly who was oddly equivocal. Of course a lot depends on how the questions were put, but at least Donnelly put his finger on it, that the differences between FG, FF and the LP were relatively minimal and someone like him would feel comfortable in any of them.

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1. rockroots - December 8, 2013

You’d have to wonder about the judgement of Micheal Martin in all this. Any pretence of a long-term strategy for regenerating FF (if that ever existed) has been ditched in favour of quick-fix stunts. He’s set two of his little group of TDs for a head-on collision, and Michael Kitt suggests that this was yet another top-down decision imposed on the party. I expect he’ll parachute in celebrity/sporting candidates for next year’s elections too – style over substance (or maybe he’ll try to push Keaveney off to Europe to avert disaster?). All of which is entertaining to watch, but Martin is looking less and less like the reforming saviour, and more like the interim leader before a new ‘untainted’ generation tries their luck.

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RosencrantzisDead - December 8, 2013

It stands to reason that the people who remained in the Fianna Fail post-implosion were the hardline, dyed-in-the-wool, Fianna Failers. The ones who were convinced that every decision made was the right decision.

Hard to see them accepting a refugee from Labour who very publicly slagged them off but a few years ago. There is also the difficulty with recruiting dissidents is that they could end up pushing a loyalist off the ticket. This is dangerous territory for Fianna Fail; parties like that function on promises of promotion and patronage. If the last election is anything to go by, disappointed would-be candidates do not go quietly (think the row over Marc McSharry in Sligo).

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WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

I think both of you make a very persuasive case. Is it then just a sign of desperation on the part of FF? The thing I keep thinking is that they have shifted from their 2011 rating of 17.4% to 22% in the last RedC poll. That’s a gain of just about 5%. In fairness FF has been higher, up to 25% or so IIRC, but even so. They’re not making massive gains on the original figure. That’s got to hurt. Perhaps that’s why Martin is willing to go for the stunts. I’d completely agree too, this is very dangerous territory.

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EamonnCork - December 8, 2013

I saw a local Galway paper today which said there was little welcome for Keaveney among Fianna Failers in Galway East. Why should there be?

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WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

Exactly, and what about Tom Fleming who is a decent man but hardly likely to be welcomed back to the FF fold with open arms. Mattie is a different matter having maintained links to the party informally over the last few years. Though still likely to meet some resistance. Perhaps in areas where they don’t have a hope there won’t be contention but it is another little bit of instability for the party…

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irishelectionliterature - December 8, 2013

Interesting to note that none of the names mentioned are of women.
My FF contacts were delighted with the ‘capture’ of Keaveney last week. It was a shot in the arm for the Liberal wing of the party.
Labour tried a similar thing before the last election when they recruited a lot of high profile candidates, some of them former TDs. Not too many of them succeeded and there were quite a few ex Labour people standing against them.

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2. CL - December 8, 2013

‘The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’-Antonio Gramsci.

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WorldbyStorm - December 8, 2013

+1

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Dr. X - December 8, 2013

CL, do you have a precise reference for that quote? I promised a colleague I’d find it for her, you see.

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dmfod - December 8, 2013

It’s on p276 of Hoare & Nowell Smith’s ‘Selections from the Prison Notebooks’, 1971 (which is on Scribd).

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Dr. X - December 8, 2013

Thanks! Grazie, even.

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3. rockroots - December 12, 2013

I notice in today’s Indo that de-whipped SF Peadar Tobin confirms he too was invited to join FF (he declined, as he hopes for reconciliation with his party). It can’t be much of a stretch to imagine that those other pro-life heretics might have received a call too.

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WorldbyStorm - December 12, 2013

Saw that too. Interesting he admitted it but I’d presume the path ‘back’ to SF won’t be too demanding for him.

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