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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week September 30, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

Utter banality is the order of the day, but a few things worth noting. Among them is Shane Ross’s outrage at middle class people suffering bad economic times. I don’t need to tell you who wrote the following.

WHY am I not writing about the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Covenant? Because nothing turns off readers in the Republic like Northern Ireland. Likewise, Nordies care little about the doings of the Dail. Last week I felt the same.

That’s because I believe the main policy of the four major parties — and RTE — is to find “distractors” to divert public attention from the core problem of Irish politics: how to cut the huge public sector pay and pensions bill. That heavy health pay bill is the principal cause of the continuing crisis in the health service. And it resulted, however indirectly, in Roisin Shortall’s resignation.

A spectre is haunting the Sindo. The spectre of Ray McSharry

As to calls for the introduction of a wealth tax, I would say: What wealth?

I do not believe that there is substantial untapped wealth in this country which is untouched by taxation; some maybe, but not substantial when you take family homes into account or land assets for the farming industry.

Some things never change.

Or do they? Jody Corcoran is calling for the Labour Party to reclaim the red flag.

This from Declan Lynch about the closure of RTÉ’s London office made me want to puke.

So there is an ideological dimension to these cuts — arguably the promotion of the Irish language is now the core ideology of RTE, the one thing that is unchallenged and undiminished.

As I’m sure Eoghan Harris can tell us, this claim is stupid beyond all belief.

From Spain – 30 September 2012 September 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics.

From ejh (sometimes of this parish) the latest report from Spain in a week that has seen particularly disturbing events…(perhaps the most disturbing being the use of provocateurs and attacks on citizens by police forces ).

Residential property prices update… September 29, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.

Interesting commentary on the latest figures on residential property prices released during the week which show a 12 per cent fall over the year from August, and a fall of 46 per cent in house prices since 2007. That’s some fall.

But that commentary… Alan McQuaid, once of Bloxham, now of Merrion, opines:

“By all accounts according to estate agents around 40 per cent of activity in the housing market at the moment is being done through cash, which suggests things may be stronger than the CSO numbers indicate. Furthermore, research in recent months from both the Irish central bank and ESRI has concluded that the housing market may be close to a bottom, with signs of pent-up demand among under-35s seeking to buy a family home, especially in Dublin”

Then he says…

“However, on a practical level it is difficult to see people rushing out to buy a house and to make such a big monetary outlay when labour market conditions remain very fragile.”

Interesting that distinction between ‘research’ and ‘on a practical level’. Very interesting indeed.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Light A Big Fire September 29, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Another great Irish band from the 80’s in Light A Big Fire (or LABF as they were also known). Had their two albums Gunpowders and Surveillance although I could only find ‘Gunpowders’ when I went searching at home recently. Two fine albums they were too.
Their best known songs were probably “Mr Twilight” and “C.I.A”. Formed in 1982 they lasted until around 1989. Had the pleasure of seeing them a number of times. The most memorable being in “Caesars Palace” in Bunclody. Memorable for a number of reasons….
My brother and I were staying on our cousins farm. It was something we’d been doing for years in that the Cousins would be in Dublin visiting someone in hospital, going to a funeral or some other social occassion. They’d call in to our house on the way home and ask if anyone wanted to head down to the farm for a few days. Invariably we did and could be down there for a few weeks until someone was going to Dublin. It was more than a holiday in that we got to work on the farm, herding cattle, milking them, rounding up sheep, cleaning sheds, feed the pig, collect blood for homemade black pudding from the dead pig hanging from the roof, drive tractors around and lots more.

The thing was the day of the LABF gig in Bunclody, I’m pretty sure we’d been dipping sheep. I’d sheared sheep (poorly) and helped out in the whole process of grabbing the sheep to be sheared but dipping sheep was a whole new level of physical exertion. Not alone that but the smell was awful and one of those smells like being at the dump that stays with you for weeks afterwards. So it was smelling of sheep dip that we went to the gig and drank from a choice of bottled Harp, Smithwicks or Guinness. I’d say we stuck with the bottled Smithwicks.
The brilliant Fanning Sessions site have a full concert posted and also a session from LABF.


Four years ago…. September 28, 2012

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Economy.

Watch it and weep

James ‘Badman’ Reilly in the Dáil September 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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James Reilly as Father Fintan Stack……

via DoleTV

The CLR Political Quiz ….. Number 4 September 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in CLR Political Quiz.

1. “Let’s put our Strengths to Work” was a slogan used by which candidate in the 2011 Presidential Election?

2. In the 2011 General Election , which candidate had “A Message of Support from Paul McGrath” (The soccer player) in their leaflet?

3. In the 1977 General Election Campaign, Fianna Fail had a campaign song. Name the song and the singer.

4. Which of the following Irish ‘Comedians’ Brendan O’Carroll, Frank Kelly, Dave McSavage and Ardal O’Hanlon did not have a parent a TD?

5.Fine Gael TD Jimmy Deenihan won four All Ireland Medals in his time playing with Kerry, how many National League winners medals did he win?

6. Who was the last former Irish Rugby International to serve in the Dail?

7. What year did the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis vote to allow their elected representatives take seats in Leinster House?

8. From 1982 to the present what was the lowest figure for Labour in an MRBI or Red C Poll ?

9. The Recent Constituency Commission Report recommended a reduction in the number of TDs to what?

10. Who is the mystery woman below?

Answers Next Friday

The CLR Political Quiz …… Number 3 – The Answers September 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in CLR Political Quiz.
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1. How many candidates did the Irish Housewives Association field in the 1957 General Election?
Three – Mairead McGuinness in Dublin North East, Beatrice Dixon in Dublin South West and Kathleen Swanton in Dublin North Central.

2. Patrick Kavanagh’s poem “On Raglan Road”, was written about his unrequited love for which 1969 General Election candidate?
Hilda O’Malley, widow of Donogh O’Malley, who stood as an Independent in Limerick East.

3. How Many Labour TDs elected in 2011 were elected for Labour in 1997?
Seven – Brendan Howlin, Willie Penrose, Ruairi Quinn, Roisin Shorthall, Tommy Broughan, Emmett Stagg and Jack Wall

4. Who were the last two Democratic Left candidates to stand for election?
Joe Holohan and John Ryan stood in by elections in Dublin North and Limerick East on the 11th March 1998.

5. In 1987 Barbara Hyland stood in 13 constituencies for the ‘National Legal Justice Action Group’, what party had she stood for previously?
She had stood for Labour in the 1985 Local Elections in Bray

6. Which Party had an Address at 10 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1 ?
The Christian Principles Party

7. Independent Fianna Fail (Blaney) had one Senator during their 34 year existence, who was he?
James Larkin, who was one of the Taoiseachs Nominees after the February 1982 General Election.

8. In the 2011 General Election how many sitting Fine Gael TDs lost their seats?
Three -Deirdre Clune in Cork South Central ,Tom Sheahan in Kerry South and Michael D’Arcy in Wexford

9. Which current Mayo TDs Father won an All ireland Medal for Mayo?
Enda Kenny. His Father Henry Kenny won an All Ireland with Mayo in 1936.

10. Who is this?
Colm Keaveney pic via The Irish Student Movements Research Project

Answers Next Friday

This Week At The Irish Election Literature Blog September 28, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Election Literature Blog.

Starting off this week with From 1963 the first copy of ‘Fianna – The Voice of Young Ireland”.

On then to “One Ireland, one people” -1984 Sinn Fein European Election Manifesto

“Enough of the Gunmen”  A 1927 Poster for Michael Keyes and Patrick Clancy -Labour -Limerick

and finally a 1997 leaflet from Roisin Shorthall

More on the Labour Party September 28, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

The Phoenix has an interesting article on the Labour Party this week – good timing that, and first up some known to this site come out of it particularly well, including the Campaign for Labour Policies – which the Phoenix describes as ‘the party’s new left – less loony by far than those who delivered fairy stores about the economy in Carton House’. We’ll get to the latter in a moment, but also Colm Keaveney and Nessa Childers are given the nod by the Phoenix – and in regard to the latter the Phoenix notes ‘she is one of the few LP personalities that has retained popularity and is likely to hold her seat in 2014’. The CLP activities are interesting and at least hold out the hope of some potential for resistance within the LP, however attenuated – and this is not to forget those who have fought the good fight over the past year or two.

Again the resignation of Róisín Shortall puts an ironic spin on all that follows, and well worth considering how short a time between the Carton House meeting and her departure.

But what exactly is it about Carton House? The Phoenix asserts that:

‘It is remarkable how little attention has been paid to E. Gilmore’s quite fantastic speech to his Parliamentary LP think-in last week. Equally remarkable was that a demoralised and fearful party did not utter a cheep of protest or even attempt to query a political and economic prognosis that must have had the more economically literate ministers and TDs present struggling to keep the smile off their faces’.

Let me stop right there and point out that one would have thought that a Labour party would of necessity see ministers and TDs having a grasp of economics. It’s sort of fundamental to a social democrat project, let alone all points leftwards of their (and by the way, this isn’t just a problem for the LP, the lack of economic thinking on the left in this state is dismal and has been proven time and time again when representatives attempt to argue their case publicly. The exceptions very much prove the rule).

The Phoenix continues:

The anxious TDs trooped away from their Carton house think-in clutching at a central message the Gilmore delivered: the economy is growing again; there will be just one more tough budget; 75% of economic adjustments have already been made; the banking systems is recovering and IReland will exist from the IMF programme next year.


The unspoken addendum in Gilmore’s speech … is that a grateful electorate will then return the LP to power on the back of this imminent recovery with a few seat losses in marginal constituencies.

The meeting was told that the dreaded SF were on the slide according to RedC polling and the LP was polling strongly in Dublin (21%), reasonably well in Leinster (19%), relatively well in the north-west (12%) and badly in Munster. Nationally, the parties figures were, FG 32%, FF, 19%, LP 17% and SF 15%.

As the Phoenix drily notes, the Sunday Times poll the weekend before last was entirely at odds with that panglossian presentation, and the latest Red C/SBP poll in the Business Post is even more at odds with it.

So, what to make of it? Of course this is a report in the Phoenix and all usual caveats apply. But I had to go back and check reports from the Carton meetings, and yes, staggeringly this is more or less what was said. The speech is up on the LP website.

Take the 75 per cent of budgetary adjustment:

But we can also be clear about the path ahead. As I set out earlier, 75 per cent of the budgetary adjustment we have to do is behind us. And the budget is only one part of the picture. We are working towards a deal on our bank debt. We are implementing our plan to help people climb out from under unsustainable mortgage debt, and we are pushing ahead with a series of measures to tackle unemployment – from a stimulus plan from Brendan Howlin, to a radical reform of employment services from Joan Burton, to a major overhaul of further education and training from Ruairi Quinn.

And the exit from the IMF programme and tough budgets?

By pushing ahead now, it means that by the time the Government is roughly half way through its term, we can exit the IMF programme, and people can be confident that the long series of difficult budgets has finally come to an end. By keeping a clear focus on our economic reform agenda, we can position the economy for growth and better living standards, and influence the future shape of our society.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m no genius when it comes to math, but roughly half way through its term is next near enough this time next year. That suggests he thinks that this budget we face is the last tough one?

Hmmmm… http://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/2012/01/the-government-in-signing-the-fiscal-treaty-has-effectively-committed-itself-to-introducing-up-to-6-billion-in-tax-incre.html

I don’t know. A lot of hostages to fortune there. But moreover there’s also what seems to be a masterclass of hope over actuality. The idea that we’re close to an end to austerity, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and so on – even if I just list off the measures yet to be implemented from water and household charges to further cuts in expenditure to a still plummeting housing market, is so far from the reality that it’s difficult to know what to make of it.

And on the party political side Shortall’s resignation shows up at the very least a gap between the actuality and rhetoric as regards implementation of Labour’s self-designated values (and more on them later). A very large gap indeed. Or could it be that Shortall heard the speech and wasn’t convinced?

BTW, for anyone interested in the actual effects of cutting allowances in the PS on the deficit, read here…

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