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Tommy Broughan not running again January 22, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

As noted in the comments Tommy Broughan is not running again

Dublin Bay North looks like 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 GP and 1 Lab?
Any other thoughts?

That new poll January 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The IT editorial on their IpsosMRBI poll was entertaining. They seemed a bit surprised at the rise in SF’s vote.

Another notable feature of the poll is that Sinn Féin support has jumped by seven points. Following its poor performance in last May’s local and European elections, there had been a general expectation that the party would lose ground in the general election. But the poll suggests otherwise.

And in relation to the GP, expectations damped down a bit – ‘it has a realistic chance of winning a number of new seats in Dublin’.

Pat Leahy was still pointing to a GP ‘historic election’. Albeit ‘if it can add to these numbers’. Indeed.

But the narrative has shifted. The IT, in fairness correctly, warns that SF tends to lose support on the day. But the idea of a Green tsunami appears to have receded somewhat, despite the likelihood of them making some solid gains.

As to SF, if the poll was even close, well they’d be delighted. As might Ind/Others who remain a remarkably buoyant cohort so far. Less so for the smaller parties.

As to the ‘larger’ parties. Not so delighted. Though FF will be pleased to be ahead of FG in the second poll of the campaign. But… look, all this still points to much lower seat numbers than are necessary to form a government without real wrangling with others.

Pensions, pensions January 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Funny isn’t it how issues one might not expect to bubble up seem to get a renewed emphasis in elections. For that, amongst many other reasons, they’re a good exercise, not least for keeping politicians on tenterhooks. Anyhow, pension ages seem to have come back into focus. I’ve had numerous conversations this last year with people on or about 65 who have had to work the extra year or so. It’s an absurd situation.

The rush to offer some sort of bridging or provisional payment makes sense. Though Sinn Féin’s “pledge to keep the State pension age at 65” may resonate more strongly. And Labour interestingly, despite signing off on the change in government has rowed back considerably from that point. Brendan Howlin has said:

“The increase to 67 has not happened yet, and can be stopped now as the country is in a different place with more people at work and the Social Insurance Fund is in substantial surplus.”
He said the economy and demographic situation were in much better condition now than had been projected back in 2011.
“It is simply unacceptable that people would be expected to sign for unemployment when they should be retired and Labour is committed to stop that happening,” Mr Howlin said.

Well yes. I suppose better late than never.

Then again this might cause some problems too:

A pensions consultant has highlighted the inequity in the pensions system which sees public sector workers who retire before the State pension age paid a supplementary government pension while private sector employees are not.

And who decided to go down a route that was inequitable to the many many workers in the private sector (as well as giving some ammunition to the anti-public sector usual suspects?).

Why none other than:

The protection for public sector workers is provided for a statutory instrument signed by then minister for public expenditure and reform Brendan Howlin in 2014 when the new, higher State pension age was first introduced.

I’ve never liked the measure – sure, I’m all for some flexibility and if people want to work longer provision should be made for that. But for many the last thing they want to do is to work past 65 and this absurd limbo that appears to have opened up is no progress at all.

But again, I’ll bet this wasn’t on the list of rakes in the grass when the election was called.

Change election January 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Reading the latest tranche of information from the Irish Times election poll, this time about party leader popularity and the appetite of the electorate for change, it does strike that the latter is a very real phenomenon:

It shows that 38 per cent of voters agree “the Government has not made enough progress in important areas and it is time for a change”. A further 37 per cent agree “it is time for a radical change of direction for the country”, making 75 per cent of all voters in favour of some or radical change.
Just one-fifth of respondents (20 per cent) agree with the statement: “The Government has made progress in important areas and deserves to be allowed get on with the job of securing a better future.”

This, of course, is the ground many a party in opposition would seek to fight on. Indeed Pat Leahy on the IT podcast recently made the point that perhaps there was an appetite for change, but not too much. There are many problems with this – particularly from a left position. The sort of change envisaged by FF is, almost needless to say, no change at all, particularly after four years of confidence and supply.

But there’s the deeper point that in shutting out SF from access to government, as is quite explicitly the case, both FG and FF are to some degree blocking the possibility of change – not least when on preference for Taoiseach, Varadkar, Martin and McDonald are respectively at 24, 23 and 20 per cent.

Granted, there’s a danger for SF in playing that card too loudly – but there’s also the question as the ramifications of that come into focus what the attitude of the electorate might be to that dynamic and those who have supported it.

What you want to say – 22 January 2020 January 22, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

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

A question that should not be asked? January 21, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The health spokespersons of the main parties were asked on RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme if they had private health care. Here are their responses.Simon Harris, Fine Gael: “Yes I do and I’ve said that before.”Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fáil: “I don’t think this question should be asked, but I am going to answer it anyway. I have had private health insurance since James Reilly first brought in whatever thing he did that people got penalised.” Róisín Shortall, Social Democrats: “Yes I do and the aim is to ensure that people don’t feel they have to have private health insurance.”Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin: “The answer is I don’t. Most people in my family don’t so yet again I find myself in a room where I have a very clear vested interest in ensuring that the public health service is as good as it can be. We should be focusing on public medicine.”

Why ever not?

Public Meeting “The Strange Death of Jeremy Corbyn” on the 16th of February in The Teachers Club. January 21, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.


Public Meeting “The Strange Death of Jeremy Corbyn” on the 16th of February in The Teachers Club.

An unlikely intervention? January 21, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone read John Drennan in the Irish Mail on Sunday? Very curious piece, wherein Peter Casey suggested he was intending to ‘ambush’ Leo Varadkar in his own constituency with billboards and advertisements critical of the Taoiseach and Fine Gael, as well as thinking about running in Dublin West as an Independent candidate as well as running in Donegal. It’s all a bit attention seeking for someone who perhaps hasn’t felt the love since the Presidential election. According to the piece there’s no mention of ‘Traveller issues’ in his election literature.

The Impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland-Brian Hanley in conversation with Vincent Browne January 21, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Waterstones, Dublin – Hodges Figgis

Join us for this Event on Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 6pm on our First Floor.

The first book to examine in detail the impact of the Northern Irish Troubles on southern Irish society. This study vividly illustrates how life in the Irish Republic was affected by the conflict north of the border and how people responded to the events there. It documents popular mobilization in support of northern nationalists, the reaction to Bloody Sunday, the experience of refugees and the popular cultural debates the conflict provoked. For the first time the human cost of violence is outlined, as are the battles waged by successive governments against the IRA. Focusing on debates at popular level rather than among elites, the book illustrates how the Troubles divided southern opinion and produced long-lasting fissures.

‘The book is to be credited for looking beyond radicals to consider the experience of what the author terms the “average southerner”. There is a real mastery of the press material in evidence.’
British Association for Irish Studies Book Prize judging panel

A Second Poll January 20, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Irish Times / MRBI …..

Fianna Fáil 25 (~)
Fine Gael 23 (-6)
Sinn Fein 21 (+7)
Green Party 8 (~)
Labour 5 (-1)

Solidarity-People Before Profit 2 per cent (up one)
Social Democrats are at 2 per cent (up one),
Independents4Change are at 1 per cent (down one), the
Independent Alliance are at less than 1 per cent (no change), non-party Independents are on 10 per cent (no change)
others 3 per cent (up one).

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