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European Election 2014: Sweden and the United Kingdom July 9, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

As Liberius notes…

[here's] the final part of my series on the European election, covering Sweden and the United Kingdom with a listed overview of the results to conclude. The Swedish results gave me a chance to crowbar in some music, enjoy!

A genuine resource, and many thanks to Liberius for compiling it.

European Elections – Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain July 3, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.
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From Liberius, an update to the ongoing and very useful overview of the European Elections available here. As Liberius notes:

Part seven of my series, covering Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. This part is the penultimate part; part eight will include the results discussed in the entire series presented as a list.

Any old European Parliament group will do… June 24, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

And as CMK notes in comments, Brian Crowley has been expelled from the FF parliamentary party!

Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley is no longer a member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

The long-serving Cork politician lost the party whip as a consequence of his decision to depart from the Alde group in the European Parliament to join the Eurosceptic European Conservative and Reformist group.

Can’t really say I’m surprised at the news that Brian Crowley MEP for Ireland South, and member of Fianna Fáil, has jumped from FF’s EP Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group to the Conservative Reformist group led by the British Tories. Crowley has always been a more conservative figure than some might have thought.

Entertaining too to see FF slowly push back as it began to realise just how problematic this actually was, moving from a relaxed enough position on it to one where FF chief whip Seán Ó Fearghail acknowledged that Crowley’s actions constituted ‘major difficulties’ for them.

And so it does. Bad enough to be beaten back to one MEP representing them from Ireland, but to see the one remaining MEP go on a solo run is worse again (and have to effectively jettison him). Does this damage Martin’s authority? Sure it does, but political parties are voluntary associations and there’s little he can do. Eject Crowley and he loses him – probably for good. Sit tight and nothing changes, but Crowley remains a member of a group which Ó Fearghail admitted that ‘FF had absolutely nothing in common’. That’s probably pushing it, but it has to be a bitter pill to swallow to see Crowley joining a Tory led group.

Interesting to see this comparison made:

“If you take this course of action, then you move on,” said one TD, who did not want to state his position before today’s meeting.
“It would be like someone here joining the technical group and it’s not dissimilar to Lucinda [Creighton]leaving the Fine Gael parliamentary party but remaining a member of the party.”

Of course the issue of groups is fairly fluid in the EP but there are limits to that fluidity and Crowley appears to have reached them.

As to FF more broadly, well, yet another example of how the party is unravelling at the seams. It’s not a major crisis, it has little functional effect upon domestic politics in this state, but it contributes yet another small example of how things are not as they were. The seemingly near-invincible political machine that dominated the Celtic Tiger years is now a smoking hulk shifting hither and yon across the political landscape with no clear direction in mind and with some members of the crew happy enough to hang on by a fingernail.

You know, I’d almost have some sympathy for Martin.


European Election 2014 – Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg June 23, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Here’s part five of Liberius’s series on the European Elections.
As Liberius notes:

Hungary and Lithuania were skipped due to a lack of interesting results and Ireland was skipped due to the fact that I’ve doubt I could add to what is already know to all about our own elections that were covered so well here at CLR.

A very useful overview of matters in the rest of Europe.

European Election 2014 – France, Finland, Germany and Greece, June 17, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Here are parts three and four of Liberius’s series on the European Elections.
As Liberius notes:

Part three of my series the European elections. Initially this was supposed to be Finland, France and Germany, however the French section became too long and I elected to make it the third part in it’s own right. So this part covers France alone. Multi-state parts will resume with part four.


Part four of my Series on the European elections 2014, this time covering Finland, Germany and Greece.

European Election results: Cyprus, Czech Republic and Denmark June 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Many thanks to Liberius for this:

The second part of my series on the European elections for anyone that’s interested. This one covers Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

Well worth reading… June 6, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.

…from doctorfive posts on Irish Water and another on hospital closures and privatisation.

And from Liberius posts on the European elections examining Austria, Belgium and Croatia. And Liberius promises more to follow.

European Election results – Ireland and Europe – And so we continue, Day 3 of Election results May 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

Just thought it would be handier to pull this side of the elections into a single thread…

Monday morning and in Dublin there’s a recount scheduled for 2pm so that it can be determined which of himself or Childers will take the seat. I’d almost put good money on it being the latter, but we shall see. Just on the thought of that, isn’t it telling that the GP has become once more a repository of votes? The implications of that are worth working through.

Elsewhere the count resumes this morning. Slow isn’t it all?

And let’s take the opportunity to congratulate Brendan Young of Community Solidarity in Celbridge-Leixlip LEA, hard fought hard won.

And what of the left in Europe? May 23, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, European Politics.

Already some indications coming through. It’s always a good day to see Geert Wilders and his crew pushed back, and I’ve got to admit a fondness for the Socialist Party in the Netherlands so good to see them gaining seats (by the way, does anyone know the story as to why one of their MEPs jumped ship to Independent Socialist a year or two back?).

In Britain there’s interesting things happening. I may be wrong, but I suspect the narrative will actually be better for Labour by the end of the weekend than now, and while it’s clear UKIP is doing relatively well (and likely to do very well at European level) it’s difficult not to think back to previous ‘breakthrough’s’ experienced by the Green Party there amongst others and see this as fundamentally a protest vote with much less impact on national politics than might be thought. Though, results may make a mockery of that analysis.

But it’s a big continent out there and lots happening so any straws in the wind are very welcome in relation to that.

Meanwhile.. in Greece May 20, 2014

Posted by doctorfive in European Politics, Fascism, Greece, KKE, SYRIZA.

Cross-posting some bits from pw.org as it’s a useful update on the first round of elections and makes for interesting contrast with ourselves. These were originally posted on Sunday & Monday.


Many of the EU mandarins are looking with fear at the local elections in Greece, which have just concluded. As expected these elections have become much more that just “local” elections, and we did experience the same levels of international “advise” for Greek voters as we did 2 years ago. However, this time around the EU spin machine seems to have had the opposite effect. Exit polls throughout the country put the SYRIZA vote a lot higher than expected, they put the Golden Dawn vote much lower than anticipated, and confirm the biggest fear the EU mandarins had, the demise of PASOK/ELIA.

SYRIZA candidates throughout the country seem to be leading with anything between 7% and 10% ahead of the nearest rivals, especially in Athens and Attica, which would represent the largest chunk of voters. Two points worth nothing, those that show this strong lead are both young and more often women. The biggest surprise is the performance put in by Rena Dourou, SYRIZA candidate for Attica (Greece’s most populated area) who is leading the highly popular outgoing major Yannis Sgouros by 7-8%. In Athens, the independent, and very popular outgoing Giorgos Kaminis (who banned Golden Dawn’s “Greeks only” food handouts and took them on every step of the way) is being matched vote-wise by the 33 year old SYRIZA candidate Gavriil Sakellaridis. It looks like Ilias “the boxer” Kassidiaris, Golden Dawn golden boy and candidate for Athens will not make the second round, and miss it by a long shot. First thing this morning he started shouting about rigged votes “denying Golden Dawn their rightful place…”.  He must have seen the writing on the wall. In every poll before the elections, GD was tipped to run between 7 and 10% of the vote. The candidates (outside of Athens) are barely reaching 3 or 4 so far. And in Athens Ilias the boxer is polling at 15%, some 12 points lower than the polls suggested before the vote.

Greek law states that voting must happen on a Sunday, and this time around the students did show up in their thousands. During the last election student apathy was seen as the main cause for SYRIZA not getting the majority they should have gotten. Despite all the jibes about not being organized and scare mongering (Would you believe that TSIPRAS is not even religious????How could anybody vote for such a person?), it would seem that SYRIZA got it spot on this time around.

PASOK looks like it is heading for the political graveyard, and if that becomes Greek reality tomorrow morning, then the EU’s worst nightmare will become true, for that will leave Samaras and his merry band of muppets in an impossible position and will almost certainly result in a general election. And then, we do of course have round two next week, when we vote for Europe. If the SYRIZA swing as witnessed so far today holds, then Europe could be in for some proper, pure Greek shock treatment…


ND/PASOK/ELIA have lost the vote in all the major centres and in the North of the country. In the South (the poorer parts), ND has lost a lot of support while PASOK performed fairly ok. PASOK will also claim vicotry in Thessaloniki with Yiannis Boutaris (an independent but ex PASOK member) winning the vote. Also, in Thessaloniki, the same Yiannis Boutaris organized a plebicide on the question of selling of the cities water company, which is one of the TROIKA demands. The vote was 98% against the sell-off, which prompted Boutaris to state that if he wins the second round, then the proposed sale is off the table, as per the wishes of the people of Thessaloniki. We await Ollie Rehn to pop up out of his box…

The good news is that Golden Dawn is out of the race everywhere. None of their candidates have made it to the second round, so we will not have pockets of fascism from where they can start re-building the “ancient Greek empire based on ancient Greek values”.

In overall terms, it looks like the shift in votes is quite considerable with ND/PASOK losing about 9% of their voters, and SYRIZA picking up about 6% of that. The remaining 3% has gone to independent candidates, many of whom had the backing of SYRIZA but were not outright SYRIZA members. Next round next week, together with the EU elections. It looks like the EU commissions worst nightmare is slowly unfolding, especially since Venizelos has again insisted that the government should be transformed into a government of “national unity” and must be joined by SYRIZA and DIMAR to be effective. He again leaves both Golden Dawn and Independent Greeks out of the “national unity”, as well as KKE which looks like it has pulled an estimated 6.8% of the vote, a full percentage point higher than PASOK.


For the first time in its history, ND has FAILED to get even 1 candidate through to the second round of voting next week in Athens, Thessaloniki, Attica, Piraeus or North Macedonia. Which means that roughly 50% of the Greek voters (33% live in Attica alone) have turned their backs on the ruling coalition partner. Captain Tony is not impressed, and has immediately started scare-mongering and calling on people to “show they want stability by reversing the trend in the European elections, or face Greece sliding backwards… It’s rather hard for people with their backs against the wall to go further backwards, but that seems to escape the good captain and his merry band who still believe they are Gods gift to the country. In fact, they believe they ARE the country.

Venizelos can smell blood and is going for it, reiterating his calls for a “government of unity” or else… It was reported last night that Samaras is considering snap elections after seeing his party lose all support in the most populated areas of the country, but he was apparently talked out of this after a phone call or two to the masters in Brussels and Berlin. I predict an onslaught in the international press starting today, designed to bully the Greek people into voting correctly…


It seems that the panic button has been pressed in Brussels and Berlin. As was expected, the EU driven steamroller is steaming up already. The full count has not been officially published yet, but Herr Junckers is already in Athens to discuss “strategy” with Samaras, and give “moral support”.

Of course the necessary insults are being lobbed at “the leftists”, and wild accusations are flying, including those by the incumbent mayor of Piraeus, Vassilis Michaloliakos (ND) who claims his defeat was due to “death threats” to him and his supporters by leftist AND GD supporters of the winner, Yiannis Moralis, a director of Olympiakos soccer club. The Olympiakos supporters are not exactly known as the nicest people on earth, but demanding a unit of the riot police to “protect” him when he goes out during the week to canvass is pushing it a little. If anything, that WILL attract the Ultra’s who are always on the lookout for a little sparring match with the police…

Ollie is apparently due on Wednesday, and despite the fact that none of their candidates made it past the first hurdle, people are being warned of the danger of Golden Dawn coming to power. And of course, the only remedy is a vote of ND…


Sunday was round one, separating the men from the boys so to speak. Now that the play-offs are out of the way, we go to the real issue of picking mayors and councilors. So far, the good news is that Golden Dawn is not in the race anymore, so no chance of some Fascist political stronghold somewhere. PASOK is sliding ever faster down the slippery slope, and taking all those that associate with them down as well (DIMAR, GREEN party) etc.

Next Sunday will be the real face-off between SYRIZA and ND. As it stands, SYRIZA has the vote in Attica, Athens, North Macedonia, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, which between them represent roughly 50% of the population. ND seems to have managed to stem the tide in the more rural, conservative areas, mainly with the not so insignificant assistance of the Orthodox Church who can’t begin to think that an atheist like Tsipras could possible gain enough power in Greece to become PM. That would just be Armageddon in overdrive… Opinion polls give SYRIZA a 5% lead over ND, so Athens has become the stomping ground of all the EU heavyweights who are talking “strategy” and spouting doom and gloom if we don’t vote correctly..


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