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The Human Cost of Clerical Abuse May 29, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in Religion.
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I guess a lot of people saw this live but in case not, here is a link that contains footage of a personal account of suffering at the hands of corrupt clergy. It is a man laying bare his soul and makes for powerful viewing.

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No 2 EU – Yes to Democracy Election Broadcast. Part 2 of a 2 part series? May 28, 2009

Posted by Garibaldy in British Politics, European Politics.
20 comments

Following on from yesterday’s Libertas broadcast comes the No 2 – EU Yes to Democracy European election party political broadcast, which I picked up on courtesy of a thread from Politics.ie. No 2 Eu – Yes to Democracy is a broad alliance of mainly left groups. Its main components are the effectively the RMT (best known for representing London underground workers I guess) and the Communist Party of Britain (responsible for the Morning Star), although it includes other groups like the Indian Workers’ Association and the Socialist Party of England and Wales (two further apart groups on the left would be hard to imagine). Good to see such a level of left and progressive cooperation, and a shame we have been unable to replicate it in Ireland, north and south. For a less positive appraisial of the project, see this post from the consistently interesting Johnny Guitar.

The broadcast itself is quite good, although personally I wonder about having several people with the same last name and the emphasis on the BNP. Thought it might be of interest. Not that anyone will have noticed my absence given WBS’ Stankanovite tendencies, but I hope to be back to regular blogging soon.

The Dublin Central Local Elections and byelection Promotional Material – Cieran Perry, Independent… Part 14 of a continuing series. May 28, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Dublin Central Local Election and By-Election Promotional Material.
9 comments

Here’s a leaflet from Independent local election candidate Cieran Perry. An interesting leaflet that focuses heavily on the national picture rather than the local.

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As ever I’ll gladly post up any literature from left and center-left candidates/parties as I get it or as it is sent to me… usual address see email on right hand column.

Social conservatism as a political platform might not be what it was a week ago. May 28, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Religion, Social Policy, Society.
15 comments

A week is a long time in politics, and one wonders some are pondering that thought a little more deeply than most of us. For reading the Irish Times I was struck by an analysis of the North West Constituency in the European Elections, and in particular the following

It addresses the fact that social conservatism, and in particular abortion, have become a part of the campaign in North West.

Undoubtedly, the Libertas head has deliberately put himself at odds with the candidates from the major parties, thus emphasising his profile at every point. His campaign infuriates his opponents, who argue that they have no choice but to respond to unfounded allegations; even if this plays into his hands.

But it notes that:

Ganley, the only Galway-based candidate in the race, will, however, need more than the conservative Catholic vote enjoyed by the former Eurovision winner 10 years ago.

And continues crucially:

Indeed, Ganley’s emphasised links to the church may have downsides too, since the political landscape has changed in ways yet unknowable following the devastating report into institutional child abuse. As of now, it is far from clear if he has anything else other than a conservative vote, and his decision to row publicly last week with the Irish Farmers’ Association could alienate as many as it impresses.

The race is not short of conservative candidates, so he will find it difficult to prevent leakage from the socially conservative as polling day approaches.

It’s difficult to assess the Report in political terms, or not that it’s difficult but rather that it seems to almost demean it in some fashion. And yet the Report – and now the events that it has initiated – is already shaping the future of this state across a range of measures from social policy to political positioning. One might tentatively wonder would Fianna Fáil be most hit by the simple historical connection between its stewardship of this state and the fact that these crimes occurred on its watch. But, much the same charge could be leveled at any party in power in the post-War of Independence era and up until the 1990s. Or perhaps it is that the societal implications are so great in and of themselves that issues of political guilt are secondary or tertiary to that. One could also argue that because this is rooted in the past that gives a degree of political cover to the present and potential future incumbents of high office. And added to that is the simple reality that time has seen parties change. The idea that Fianna Fáil would one day seek entry to the European Liberal group is hardly one that troubled the conscience of any of its leaders or members during the past. Indeed the brand of social conservatism that might most readily be identified with that past has not been served particularly well in recent years (despite the obvious exceptions as regards social policy).

Which made the positioning of Libertas over the past month and a half as an overtly socially conservative grouping something of a surprise to me. Had you asked me prior to that what sort of profile they would take I’d have put money on it being focussed simply on the European issue with, perhaps a tilt towards economic conservatism in their policies. A sort of technocratic right wing approach. Maybe something not dissimilar to the PDs. It’s not that the socially conservative aspect to them was in any sense hidden, but rather that it didn’t seem that high up in the mix. Indeed quite recently Libertas was issuing press releases that sought to portray it as almost neutral on such matters.

But Ganley and Simons have run hard with social matters, supposedly under threat from the hegemon in Brussels, and in the former case very specifically against his rival Marian Harkin.

Outgoing Independent MEP Marian Harkin is Ganley’s main target, and he has frequently alleged that her MEP grouping in the parliament is “soft” on abortion. Harkin, a social conservative by her own description, has been stung by the charges and forced to deny them in a constituency where the conservative vote is strong.

Highly impressive as an MEP, Harkin has built a network based on care and community organisations throughout the constituency, which is coming out now to canvass for her.

That latter connection of Harkin’s with care and community organisations might just be the sort of thing to deflect the charges from Ganley.

As a tactical move running on a socially conservative platform was far from the worst idea. At least prior to the release of the Ryan Report. There is a constituency there which overlaps with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael but which is not quite represented, at least not now, by either of them. Its size is difficult to judge, but taking the North West constituency clearly it was sufficient in part to swing the vote towards Dana in the past.

I’ll hazard, and I may be utterly wrong and proven so next Saturday week, that that vote in Dublin is of rather smaller proportions, or perhaps it is that the field of battle is considerably more crowded.

In any event, in the immediate short term, I’d tend to think that the impacts will be relatively slight and were it otherwise one could argue that was somewhat unfair, not least because whether it is to my taste or not it remains an entirely legitimate viewpoint. Clearly one can hold socially conservative views, and profess a strong loyalty to Catholicism (or any other religion), and yet find the events catalogued by the Ryan report anathema. And in fairness to Declan Ganley his religious beliefs are clearly sincere and nor has he sought to hide them.

But, at the same time, he has been willing to raise issues that have been hugely divisive in the past. And he has very clearly identified with a strand of Catholicism which is avowedly ‘traditional’ in outlook.

Again, perfectly reasonable, but a difficult place from which to enunciate a clear and distinctive viewpoint that differentiates between the wrongs overseen by that Church in the past.

Not least due to the continuing inability of elements of the Church to deal with these issues with any alacrity. It is this secondary, and even somewhat indirect aftershock which is causing grievous and (let’s be clear) self-inflicted damage to the Church, which hourly undermines its authority and efforts to legitimate its stances not merely on issues relating to care health and education but, as we’ve seen with CORI, in other areas as well and perhaps further afield.

And yet, in a way what is the surprise that a political formation should appear in this guise? The last decade has seen a renewal of the conservative social right in this state (and further abroad as well). We’ve seen the ‘think-tanks’, the commentators in the press and even the occasional elected representative grace our newspapers, our television screens and the Seanad. It’s not that they ever went away, note the resistance within Fianna Fáil to civil unions legislation (and it’s not restricted to FF by any means), but in this newer more media savvy and apparently user-friendly incarnation it has managed to achieve a degree of respectability that it either didn’t have, or didn’t need. These aren’t people getting down and dirty, as it were with Youth Defence, but instead are a cohort who have a very clear, if occasionally diffusely projected, vision of the sort of society that they want to see in this state. And this vision is one which explicitly and fundamentally links into a certain aspect of what we can broadly term the Catholic ethos.

They’ve had some success. This Version 2.0 is mild-mannered, covers itself in some intellectual and even empirical trappings (they’re particularly fond of statistics), it talks a fuzzy language of emotion and empathy. Up to a point. But… it also is of the right and as such locks into a smorgasbord of ‘right’ concerns, be they home schooling, bioethics, reproductive rights and so forth. And economically, for all the soft focus they’re not seriously in conflict with the status quo.

But the events of the past week or so pose a problem, perhaps not to Ganley and Simons, but to the broader conservative social project.

The past which those who seek a more ‘traditional’ Church, supposedly true to its teachings, is to return to where these crimes took place, one where the power of that Church was all but untrammelled in the political and social spheres. This is a very real contradiction, because it entirely undermines an analysis which seeks to promote some sort of moral or ethical golden age which if we could only but institute [and here you can insert your social policy of choice] we would see anew.

There are means of squaring these circles, at least in part. But I would wonder how easily it will be from here on out to fashion a primarily socially conservative party that has a serious chance of making a mark on the polity.

The Chairman’s letter… I mean of course… party political broadcast… to the English… May 27, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, European Politics, Irish Politics.
13 comments

…from (could it be?) Ireland!

Thanks to Garibaldy for noticing it, and as he notes “It was played in England only, and involves the Chairman in his English accent, and no sign at all that it was filmed in Ireland, which it clearly was”.

Look, I know that I give him a hard time, but to be honest he’s a pretty good speaker.

The Dublin Central Local Elections and byelection Promotional Material – Patrick Maphoso… Part 13 of a continuing series. May 27, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Dublin Central Local Election and By-Election Promotional Material, Uncategorized.
8 comments

I’m indebted to a now regular contributor of election material for the latest leaflet, this from Patrick Maphoso who is running as an Independent. You know, this is one of the more precise leaflets in this election with a very clear approach, perhaps not so surprising when one learns that he was an active member of the ANC.

As the contributor notes:

I have to say, I like what I’ve seen of him.

One of his issues, raised earlier in his campaign, was that he didn’t think people should have to go to Garda stations to register to vote (you still have to if you want to get on the supplement to the register after the official register closes).

He reckons public libraries would be better, and I agree.

maphuso

maphuso back

The Irish Times is worried about Public Sector ‘reform’. Again. And.. firstly, secondly, thirdly… Michael Casey writes about the economy. May 27, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
98 comments

The Irish Times is banging the drum about public sector reform. And why?

THIS YEAR economic activity is expected to contract by 9 per cent. In 2010, according to recent estimates by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), output per head will have fallen back to the 2001 level. This unprecedented contraction has involved major and painful economic adjustment, in the form of pay cuts, job losses, business closures, and worries about the solvency of many private sector pension schemes.

To date, the private sector has shouldered much of the burden of adjustment in this recession, with the rate of unemployment expected to reach 17 per cent next year. The public sector has, by comparison, escaped lightly so far.

Hmmm… that’s not quite what the Irish Times said in living memory. For what of this comment from an editorial in November which argued that:

At this time, when many private sector workers are facing into unemployment or a wage freeze, public servants should be willing to accept more efficient and flexible work practices in return for their privileged and protected positions and extremely generous pension entitlements. By and large, the public service does a good job. It is not the bloated, inefficient monster that is sometimes portrayed by its critics. But, like all long-established organisations, it can benefit from change and restructuring. In particular, it should concern itself with providing flexible, integrated services that meet the needs of citizens.

Although how it is meant to do so when one reads the following proscriptions is never quite explained…

Public sector numbers actually increased last year. The public sector pension levy was a pay cut. However, the levy can also be seen as a payment by public sector workers to maintain superior pension benefits; benefits which many in the private sector no longer enjoy.

Indeed, so the argument is that lower numbers will increase quality? Hmmm…and the OECD noted that the numbers employed in the public sector were low in relation to our population. Furthermore the public sector is also working under the general tax levies which have been imposed on all workers through taxation. Now, one could argue that the pensions levy is a partial rebalancing, but is the IT seriously arguing – with further tax increases on the way (and remember, tax is a function of income), that it makes sense to impose further cuts on the public sector… in a wildly deflationary economy where consumption is down?

Still, the IT doesn’t quite make that case. Instead it strikes out on a separate path:

In March, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan announced an immediate and indefinite public sector jobs embargo. In December 2002, his predecessor in office, Charlie McCreevy announced a similar, though less draconian, ban on public service recruitment. Those job reductions failed to materialise. Instead, the number of public service employees increased by some 36,000 (13 per cent) between 2003 and 2008. This time the parlous state of the public finances allows no room for error in enforcing the embargo. The Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Mr Lenihan will be anxious to emphasise this point when, shortly, they begin talks with the trade unions on public sector reform.

But one might argue that an embargo would be actually seen by the unions as much the lesser of many potential evils. So that’s not enough for the IT.

Mr Cowen in his recent letter to the Irish Congress of the Trade Unions (Ictu) pressed for “greater flexibility” in the deployment of people and resources across public service boundaries “so that we can restructure public service delivery”. The Government wants to transform how the public service operates. Fine Gael and Labour want the same outcome,

This begs many questions. The first being what sort of flexibility. There is already considerable movement within the public sector. And as it happens I’d have no problem (not being a public sector worker!) in there being more. But how much, and to what purpose? For paradoxically, as we know, Fine Gael et al have belaboured the point on numerous occasions that actual geographic movement in the form of decentralisation is now dead. Although that was, in some respects, the most radical restructuring of the public sector imaginable and the most specific form of flexibility I can think of.

And tellingly, for all the cant there are remarkably few solid policy statements on the nature of public sector reform. For example, the IT only lists the following as an FG proposal:

Fine Gael’s deputy leader and finance spokesman, said last week that managers in the public sector should manage, or face dismissal.

That’s not exactly a stunning innovation – is it? There’s some merit in the idea, although how would it work in practice? My experience of the commercial sector across two decades is that the idea that managers face dismissal often is a comfortable myth put around by those whose experience of that sector is rather less knowledgeable than they’d propose. Companies move much more slowly than these guys suggest. Personal relationships, etc, stay peoples hands. Unbelievable inefficiencies and poor management remain rooted in place, which could equal if not indeed exceed anything in our supposedly sclerotic public sector. Although one could equally argue that trying to impose strictures lifted more or less wholesale from the private sector and force them onto public service bodies is an exercise in futility. The two areas are too divergent for such simplistic approaches.

Eamon Gilmore, leader of the Labour Party, advised public sector unions that embracing, not impeding, change was the best way of winning the publics support and of protecting the interests of union members. Serious reform of the public sector – too long shirked by all political parties – was never more necessary. An economy in crisis presents a political opportunity to achieve that reform.

And yet again, in the course of all these words the Irish Times doesn’t explicitly state what the nature of the ‘reform’ should be. Instead we see it retreat into cookie cutter supposed truisms. Could it be that they don’t actually know what such reforms might consist of? Is it possible that ‘public sector reform’ has become one of those sort of political ‘shorthand’ concepts, where its actual meaning is much much less important than its ability to make the person using it appear forceful and willing make ‘hard’ decisions? Because in all the text of the editorial one can only take away the conclusion that reform is necessary because… er… it’s necessary.

Right so. I’m convinced.

Meanwhile by way of a contrast let’s look at a piece by Michael Casey, formerly of the Central Bank and now with the IMF. His arguments are always of interest, even if one finds reasons to disagree with them. And, they have at least the virtue of being based in factual data, rather than bland reassertions of prevailing wisdom. But, before I get to that, I only just noticed a small tic of his writing style. Every piece contains within it a list… look here, here and here. It’s all first, second and third. I like that a lot. Makes for concise reading with snappy points. Clearly his time at the Central Bank and the IMF has not been wasted.

As to his views on these matters, well, today and in a previous piece which I missed are quite fascinating. Consider his thoughts on public sector reform…

Fourth, public sector reform on the required scale would probably be a 10-year project. Existing bureaucratic practices are deeply embedded and any attempt at reform is likely to be resisted, regardless of which government happens to be in power. The much-vaunted Strategic Management Initiative took years to implement and yet failed to deliver the goods.

Indeed. And even if one were to accept the notion of public service reform, how do programmes, of any kind, work out in practice?

Evidence from the IMF and World Bank indicates that the majority of countries fail to complete three-year stabilisations; the pain and civil unrest almost invariably throws the programmes off track. In the few cases where programmes have been successful, the governments involved have been able to convince people that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In Ireland, the absence of a plan is regrettable.

Three thoughts strike me. Firstly – you see, list making, it’s contagious – that even in extremis it may be impossible to impose the sort of ‘programmes’ some call for if we’re talking about civil unrest. Secondly, that even if countries fail to complete such approaches somehow they muddle through. Thirdly, that maybe in the Irish context that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve yet, despite the boosterism form the ESRI and the government, to hear a convincing analysis as to when we can expect an upturn. If ever – and I don’t mean that in a lazy ‘we’re all doomed’ sense but rather that the economy may be consigned to essential stasis for a very prolonged period.

Casey makes, what I think, are some sensible points.

Second, the public finances are not just a mess but a dilemma. We can restore stability to the public finances but only at the expense of the economy. We can reflate the economy but only at the expense of the public finances. This is an oversimplification perhaps, but it illustrates the lose/lose nature of the problem (which could have been avoided).The promise of further taxes next year plus expenditure cuts is undermining confidence and could result in civil unrest. Many people have no experience of recession and are frightened by it.

Third, social partnership probably won’t deliver an appropriate incomes policy which is so badly needed to regain competitiveness. According to the ESRI’s recent paper on recovery scenarios, this is crucial if we are to see decent growth rates in the next decade. Unfortunately, social partnership is a wounded animal and is incapable of delivering this outcome. Which government would set aside social partnership and impose wage cuts? The answer is none.

I can’t help but feel that this dilemma is an artificial one, in the sense that the cheerleaders of the economic right haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees. So obsessed have they been in their pursuit of ‘pain’ that they don’t realise that said pain will actively injure the economy. Because away from the gloomy, yet all too optimistic, uplands of the centre-right economic and political analysis there is a stark reality. Impose the pain and you kill the economy.

And Casey has no illusions about the utility of fiscal ‘stabilisation’…

Instead of a stimulus package – which other countries have introduced – we have gone in the other direction. It could prove to be the worst own goal in our history. If the Government’s top priority of “stabilising the public finances” does extinguish the last spark in the economy, all bets are off. It might not even succeed in reducing the deficit. If economic activity falls further, so will revenue, and the Government will find itself chasing a target from which it is constantly moving away.

And he asks the central question…

But why would the Government take such a huge risk?

And answers it by suggesting that…

There are several reasons.

First, it is claimed that it would be difficult and expensive to borrow abroad. Second, if we are not seen to take some pain, our international reputation will suffer. Third, we need to widen the tax base. Fourth, we have to be seen to respect EU guidelines. Losing Lisbon was embarrassing enough – in a doomsday scenario, we may need the EU to bail us out.

Fifth, we may yet need to borrow to bail out the banks; we don’t want to exhaust our borrowing capacity too soon. Sixth, the period of fiscal stabilisation that occurred in the late 1980s did not slow down the economy.

Most of these reasons are valid, but not entirely compelling. They are mainly assertions without much research support. For example, the last fiscal stabilisation in the late 1980s was successful for a variety of reasons – reasons that no longer exist. The international economy was growing well; there was no problem with banks, no credit crunch and no fear factor arising from deep recession and job losses.

His point about the difference between fiscal stabilisation then and now is crucial. There’s no point in trying to map the past on to the present. The current economy, even in its weakened state, is a very different beast from that those of us old enough to recall the 1980s remember. I can best sum it up by the term complexity. There are, to put it simply, many more layers of services, service providers, elements within the mix. None of this is to say that those could not be wiped away by a prolonged depression. But it is to say that the nostrums of the 80s are simply not going to work in the same way now as they did then. And as to the others, he clearly dismisses them as unwarranted at this point in time.

And Casey is also gloomy, albeit measured, about prospects for change:

But in any event the recovery of competitiveness is likely to be a medium-term process; it is not going to be achieved over-night. In the short run of course, lower incomes mean lower consumption – another dilemma.

So everything, to some degree, cancels out – or actively worsens – everything else. It’s quite a state we’re in. No mistake.

Nor does Casey believe that a change of government will do anything tangible to ameliorate the situation. Not with a bank guarantee and prospective nationalisation of more institutions in the offing.

A change of government is not going to effect any improvement on this front. Indeed, no political party has formulated an alternative industrial policy.

Finally, most important economic decisions are made in Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington. Irish governments of whatever hue do not have the sovereign power to make much difference. They should, of course, have the ability to hold the mirror and keep it safe, but if they let it fall there is not much they can do to fix it. For all these reasons the economy would not benefit very much from a change of government however enlightened it might be. The present Opposition parties would have much to lose if they came to power before the recession ends.

Now there’s food for thought.

Looking Left, No.1: The Irish People May 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish History, Media and Journalism, The Left, Uncategorized, Workers' Party.
17 comments

Here’s something for those interested in the Left Archive, a programme produced by DCTV which as Donagh says on the Irish Left Review...

…examines Irish alternative media and left-wing publications from the late 60s to the 1980s. This program deals with The Irish People, the newspaper of Official Sinn Féin, which later became Sinn Féin the Workers Party and then The Workers Party.

A great panel includes:

Dr. Brian Hanley of Queens University, Belfast and co-author of the soon to be published The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party, Padraig Yeates, former editor of the Irish People, and Dr. Conor McCabe, Labour Historian and contributor to Irish Left Review. The discussion is facilitated by Daniel Finn, also an Irish Left Review contributor.

Seeing that masthead certainly brings back some memories. And as you’ll see Conor has photographed two copies of the IP from various times in its history which are also available there.

We also have a downloadable copy in the Archive…

I’m looking forward to the other programmes in the series. Fair dues to everyone involved. An excellent piece of work.

Pranks and pranksters… it’s Libertas and Lech Walesa… May 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
18 comments

You’ve got to love a report which goes as follows:

Former Polish president Lech Walesa will urge Irish voters to support the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum during his upcoming trip to to the country, which is at the invitation of Libertas.

Mr Walesa has spoken at events in Madrid and Rome organised by Libertas, which rejects the treaty.

So far so good for the Chairman. However… however…

However, the co-founder of the Solidarity trade union said his readiness to listen to Libertas positions should not be mistaken for agreement.

Pardon?

“I don’t agree with Libertas.”

He doesn’t agree with Libertas? So why is he going?

I’m just giving them my point of view,” he said. “I’m ready to go to Ireland, speaking out alone or alongside Ganley, to say ‘My dear Irish people, back this treaty’.”

Good Jesus. What on earth is going on here?

As one of a panel of EU “wise men”, he said it was his duty to listen to all positions in a “democratic confrontation”.

It gets better. Walesa believes that in regard to Lisbon…

“It’s crucial to have an imperfect driver than no driver at all.

“And we’re going to make this treaty better,” he said, adding that he hoped to “convince Mr Ganley to change his mind” about the Lisbon Treaty.

Yeah. Okay. Good luck with that.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the former president had explained his priority for his Irish trip was to back the Lisbon Treaty.

“I spoke to Mr Walesa and I can say officially that he will be urging the Irish on the eve of the European elections to support the Lisbon Treaty, which Libertas opposed,” said Mr Tusk.

“That’s Lech Walesa all over, he will play a prank on them and the balance, as he says, will be positive for us.”

You know, this really really demands a book. Written by an insider from Libertas. Soon. Please.

Meanwhile here’s an oddity. I hadn’t realised that Sinn Féin changed their policy to the euro. It was only on reading the news today that, very website

… [SF] is calling for the replacement of sterling by the euro in Northern Ireland as part of its European election manifesto, launched in Dublin yesterday.

As late as 2002 they were campaigning during the Nice referendum against the euro. And it was only in March 2003 that they finally decided at their Ard Fhéis to abandon the previous stance of opposition against the single currency.

And I guess it made little sense for them to be pushing against the euro in one part of the island when the other part had adopted it entirely happily.

The Dublin Central Local Elections and byelection Promotional Material – David Geary of the Green Party… Part 12 of a continuing series. May 26, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Dublin Central Local Election and By-Election Promotional Material.
7 comments

A first from the Green Party. So far I haven’t been troubled by them, bar a poster for the candidate across the road from my house. Let me allow the person who forwarded this to me to put it in their own words:

This is the only thing I’ve got from the Green Party. I usually get a huge amount of leaflets through the door, and canvassers calling, as I live near a crossover point for the parties which divide the constituency up between east and west. I’ve even occasionally got stuff meant for Cabra Glasnevin candidates, so I was surprised that we weren’t seeing any Green Party literature.

It was put through the door while I was in the house, without the bell being rung. I’ve noticed quite a few lying on pavements and half out of letterboxes around the area. That’s usually an indication that someone is being paid to do the leafleting and not making a thorough job of it (Nial Ring and Tom Stafford’s stuff is always worst for this), but sometimes it’s just a mark of inexperienced leafleters.

But anyway, the leaflet itself:

There is an issue in Stoneybatter and a few other places around the Council’s decision to remove most of the dog dirt bins, which were on lamp posts at the ends of streets, and meant for people to clean up after their dogs. As a cutback measure DCC removed the bins but left the signs up, so now dog walkers are expected to clear up after their dogs and then take the shit home with them. Of course, they don’t, and in areas where people don’t have front gardens, this means you have to be very thoughtful when you step out of your front door.

The Green Party response to this situation is innovative, to say the least. He doesn’t say whether he thinks the City should fine people, restore the bins, or take any measures against dog walkers. Nor does he say whether he will continue to pay for the pooper scooper bags after the elections.

There’s also an issue in some places around street lighting, maybe he’ll be buying torches and leaving them in the shops for us when the evenings get dark…

dog shit leaflet 1

dog shit leaflet 2

As ever I’ll gladly post up any literature from left and center-left candidates/parties as I get it or as it is sent to me… usual address see email on right hand column.

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