jump to navigation

Meath East March 27, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
trackback

So today voters go to the polls in Meath East and by all accounts Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fail and Fine Gaels Helen McEntee are very much the front runners .Despite the raft of polls in recent weeks, it appears that there have been no polls done in the constituency (or none that we know of), which is a pity as I’m sure one would have been more newsworthy than some of the other National polls.

I watched RTEs Primetime Meath East debate on Monday night and was severly tempted to put my foot through the screen on various occassions. …. and thats before we even get onto the fact that only four of the eleven candidates were invited.
We had Thomas Byrne talking about a “Bankers Charter” that will be the Governments plan to tackle Mortgage Arrears, not one of the other candidates were quick enough to pick up on this and Fianna Fail writing the ultimate “Bankers Charter”. Still Fianna Fails past will surely put a ceiling on their support and possible transfers.
Eoin Holmes of Labour , aside from saying that he was an employer, was arguing that by electing him the balance of power in the government would shift to Labour as they would have more influence in policy. So I presume if The Programme for Government were to be renegotiated the fact that Eoin Holmes was elected would negate the fact that five Labour TDs have lost the whip since that Programme for Government was agreed upon. His eve of poll leaflet was unusual to say the least.
Fine Gaels Helen McEntee got herself in a lather a few times about Dynastic politics and of course various unfinished estates now qualifying for the Property Tax.
Sinn Feins Darren O’Rourke stayed on message about cuts, austerity and The Property Tax and actually did OK. The funny thing is that his own circumstances seem to reflect the problems an awful lot of the voters have.
So how will it turn out?
First off if its the woeful weather we’ve been having the past few weeks then turnout will be low. Low turnout will probably benefit Fianna Fail as they seem to have thrown the kitchen sink at this campaign and their loyal voters will turn out for them. We’ll see how transfer toxic Fianna Fail are too. It would be a blow to the Fianna Fail comeback were they not to win.
It will be a blow to Fine Gael were they to lose the seat but I suspect that Helen McEntee will do far better than Thomas Byrne on transfers, not necessarily out of belief in her politics but out of sympathy.
Again its going to be neck and neck between the two and its too hard to call at the minute.

Its below Fianna Fail and Fine Gael where some of the real ramifications could be. Can Sinn Feins Darren O’Rourke translate Sinn Feins position in the National polls into actual votes? Will he beat Eoin Holmes of Labour?
If the National Opinion polls are correct then he really should be beating Holmes into fourth place.
Then we have to ask can Holmes finish fourth?
I saw odds the other day that had himself and Ben Gilroy of Direct Democracy Ireland both at 25/1 to win the By-Election. Gilroys campaign has been fairly prominent and He’s selling the whole “New Party” idea too. He’s also pro life. Theres a feeling I’ve heard from a few people that Gilroy will do well, however I suspect if people actually read what Direct Democracy is, they may be less enthusiastic.
Seamus McDonagh has run a good campaign and got a lot of coverage at both National and local level as well as having the backing of some Left TDs. He could poll well.
Independent Labour candidate Mick Martin will also take votes off Holmes. Holmes will also be transfer toxic.
The Greens will improve on The General Election percentage wise but with a low turnout they may not increase their actual number of votes.
Independents Tallon, Keddy and O’Brien are unlikely to trouble the vote counters much although Keddy seems to have developed a bit of a cult following, either way they’ll each do well to poll over 200 votes.
So with no great expertise I’m going to call it in the following order……
McEntee
Byrne
O’Rourke
Gilroy
Holmes
McDonagh
O’Buchalla
Martin
Keddy
Tallon
O’Brien

…. and be totally wrong !

Comments»

1. Garibaldy - March 27, 2013
Ed - March 27, 2013

Thank god for once Lise Hand came across someone from the left of the left who couldn’t be fitted into her single-transferrable-posh-boy framework (see her atrocious pieces on RBB and Paul Murphy), it forced her to be a little more creative.

Like

2. eamonncork - March 27, 2013

I’d take Byrne by a nose over McEntee. Sinn Fein third. Kudos for whoever gets fourth, Labour will be relieved if they manage it, DDI can claim they’re a serious party, WP can say they’re on the way back. So that will be an interesting mini-battle. Good look to LATC and all the McDonagh workers.

Like

3. TheOtherRiverR(h)ine - March 27, 2013

DDI deserve a piece on this site, especially given their links to the National Health Federation (a bunch of quacks campaigning against vaccination and regulation of vitamin and herbal supplements to list their least harmful activities) and the Freeman-on-the-land movement.

I really hope they lose their right to reclaim expenses.

Like

4. Joe Holt - March 27, 2013

Gilroy is a total ‘nut job’; however if the minnows outside of FF, FG, SF and Lab transfer votes among themselves, which is not at all unlikely, then Gilroy, who seems to be the strongest could emerge from this group and challenge for a place in the top four. Where will this leave Holmes/Hannigan/Gilmore?

Like

5. doctorfive - March 27, 2013

who is going to vote labour? who?

Like

6. sonofstan - March 27, 2013

Don’t know how to post pics here, but there’s a nice shot on the Look Left FB page of Gilroy’s van parked in a disabled space. Go Freeman!

Like

7. doctorfive - March 27, 2013

final turnout reckoned to be 38 to 42%

Like

8. doctorfive - March 28, 2013
9. Tawdy - March 28, 2013

Good luck to Seamus McDonagh this morning in the count.

Like

10. irishelectionliterature - March 28, 2013

Early boxes showing Gilroy ahead of Labour !

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

And nothing doing for McDonagh sadly. McEntee seems to be ahead of Byrne though you wouldn’t know where the SF transfer would go.

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

Boxes haven’t been opened for the Kells and adjacent areas, where I think McDonagh concentrated his efforts. So, it may pick up as the morning progresses. I always believed that 1,000 votes for McDonagh would be a good show and any more would be a bonus. The inevitable result of either FG or FF will, equally inevitably, bring forth a raft of Left despair and a search for culprits (‘Left unity!’, ‘the ULA would have won it, if only the nasty SP hadn’t wrecked it!’) etc. The truth is that even if there were a socialist revolution tomorrow and a workers republic implemented Meath East would remain a virulently conservative place. The FG and FF votes are rooted in the GAA there and the farming community which is highly class conscious and dogged in their determination to defend their interests to the detriment of any other competing. I would say 100% of farmers and their families voted yesterday.

Also, the turnout was abysmal and it appears that a bit of temporal gerrymandering meant that many of the commuters and shift workers might not have been able to vote. I’d say the 9am closure of polls will be a feature from now on.

Like

Joe - March 28, 2013

“The truth is that even if there were a socialist revolution tomorrow and a workers republic implemented Meath East would remain a virulently conservative place.”
In fairness though surely Meath East is average enough in terms of the conservativeness of constituencies in Ireland -in other words it is very conservative.
And so when the socialist revolution comes, I would be confident that people in Meath East will get on board as enthusiatically as people everywhere else .

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

Joe, fair point re: conservativeness. Having said that, and worked an agricultural labourer there for years and having an extended family scattered across the constituency I can say they are probably more conservative then other places. I acknowledge that’s not saying much.

I think any socialist revolution here will be bitterly contested and I’d have my doubts people in Meath East will be all that enthusiastic. But since both propositions are wildly improbable, with today’s vote adding to that improbability.

Alas, I think this result will be confirmation, for me at least, that the rural Ireland will be an electoral desert for the Irish left with Sinn Fein as far Left as voters will go. You could add Left independents like Thomas Pringle but any party with ‘Socialist’ or ‘Worker’ in its name will probably bomb. Therefore, the cities and the big towns should be the priority for the Left.

Like

Gearóid - March 28, 2013

Does WUAG’s success not give reason to be less fatalistic CMK?

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

I thought about them but are they not really based in and around Clonmel? Do they poll strongly in the small villages in Tipperary? I don’t know much about them but I suppose they do serve as a counter example to the idea that rural Ireland is a complete desert for the Left.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Hard to overcome the 9am closure of polls in fairness. I don’t think anyone thought McDonagh was going to beat FF or FG but it will be a bit of a bummer if he’s trounced by DDI and the Greens.

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

9pm closure it should have been! I feel for LATC who put in a lot of effort with his comrades on this vote.

DDI’s rise really, really bothers me as it gives them a credibility to build upon.

Expect to see a raft of DDI candidates in 2014, some euro candidates as well, and expect to see a number of DDI councillors elected.

Like

shea - March 28, 2013

would the balance in meath east not be tipping a bit more to greater dublin now than farmville?

only learned recently that the freemen are heavily involved in DDI, shame because the actual idea of a direct democracy is an interesting one for me, not sure if they will carry it to the end. but any way they are players now. the ground has changed. nothing like a hate figure to bring the left together. bring on the next battle.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

But I don’t think the DDI are players. People on the left here would need to beware of getting drawn into the English situation where the threat of the BNP was bigged up largely on the grounds that they were easy foes to fight while remaining utterly marginal to the political process elsewhere. The DDI would be very handy bogeymen but it’s FG, Labour and FF who deserve to be hate figures.

Like

Joe - March 28, 2013

“would the balance in meath east not be tipping a bit more to greater dublin now than farmville?”
Would have thought so.
Thinking back to CMK’s point about whether we can hope for much support from Meath East post the revolution. Could we start a new thread entitled “Is there a place for royals in the scoialist revolution?”

Like

11. Baku 26 - March 28, 2013

Sorry I was unable to comment earlier but despite a detailed citation of the position by “Garibaldy” “revolutionaryprogramme” asks to be pointed to WP programmatic documents including these revolutionary elements.
In its recent (published) pre-budget statement the Workers’ Party, while making clear that the State must be the driving force of economic growth, of job creation and the provision of public services and setting out detailed proposals relating to taxation, poverty, emigration, unemployment, wages, working hours, workers’ pensions, employment rights, public services, including health and education, and privatisation etc. expressly stated:
“The Workers’ Party, as a socialist party, approaches Budget 2013 from an entirely different perspective … The cause of our problems is the capitalist system itself. Only by replacing the capitalist economic system with one which serves the interests of the common good and the working class, can workers and their families have any hope for a better future. Socialism is the Alternative”
This submission also openly stated:
“The Workers’ Party states clearly that only a total transformation of society to a socialist society will provide the long term solution and allow for the creation of a fair society.”
In 2010 in a programme discussed and approved at a Party Conference which extended to some 47 pages the Workers’ Party not only set out precise details of its programme but also set out its analysis of the current crisis and the capitalist system, articulated at length its condemnation of capitalism and imperialism and expressly stated:
“In these circumstances, at times of crisis in the capitalist system, the working class has a vested interest in destroying the old economic order creating the conditions for the development of a new mode of production and advancing society to a new and higher stage. Ultimately, in these conditions, the working class can only emancipate itself by abolishing capitalist relations of production and constructing a socialist society … It is only under socialism with its social ownership of the means of production and a planned economy that the development of production will be subordinated to the interests of society as a whole, that social property can be used to create the material basis for a planned and sustainable economy and that true equality can be ensured.”

It continues:

“Under capitalism, a time of crisis presents an opportunity to alter the balance of class forces … the goal remains the abolition of capitalist ownership of the means and instruments of production.”

The document also states:

“The democratic struggle is an essential component in the battle for socialism and socialist ideas. It is vital to commence the struggle by the imposition of effective controls on the movement of capital and the democratisation of control over the means of productions distribution and exchange. Workers must, in the words of the Communist Manifesto, win “the battle of democracy” as a condition for establishing the political hegemony of the working class. Agitation for radical, popular democracy must constitute a fundamental practical priority. The democratisation of education, in terms of content, access and control; the democratisation of public health; the campaign for democracy at all levels of public life and in the workplace must form a necessary tactical and strategic element in the struggle to build a mass movement for social transformation and the transition to socialism and the emancipation of the working class.”

The “programmatic” platform of the Workers’ Party could scarcely be clearer.

Like

12. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 28, 2013

‘The truth is that even if there were a socialist revolution tomorrow and a workers republic implemented Meath East would remain a virulently conservative place. The FG and FF votes are rooted in the GAA there and the farming community which is highly class conscious and dogged in their determination to defend their interests to the detriment of any other competing.’

Might be true. But raises a few questions if it is. And if Gilroy does get a good vote that raises questions too. The lesson from the US, and Britain to a lesser extent is that ‘cultural’ issues often trump class: perceived identity, resentment of ‘elites’, anger at austerity but also anger at ‘scroungers’ – all are very apparent in Ireland- look again at the Quinn affair. I got the impression that the left wrote that off as (again) conservative Cavan and conservative Fermanagh and who really cares if they worship the local boy done good. But the attitude of the Quinn supporters can be found among urban workers as well, just about different issues. See people’s eyes glaze over when there’s discussion of the banks and bailouts- look at how animated they get about ‘knackers’ getting ‘free’ houses. There is a reservoir of reaction there folks and I don’t know if the left has any idea how to translate their theoritically correct critique of capitalism into something that appeals emotionally to working people.
(BTW I’m a slightly pessimistic person).

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

You could over estimate the significance of the DDI vote too Branno and I’m sure people who find the idea of a vast untapped right wing populist force out there congenial will do so at length. But in reality 7% of the poll in a by-election with around a 50% turnout is bugger all. All kinds of odd single issue local candidates regularly get more votes than this at election time. So I don’t think the DDI vote means anything.
I do think that the McDonagh vote is worrying. He’d hardly have done any worse had he featured those armed workers soviets in his manifesto. And you’d imagine that someone with links to the CAHWT and the support of elected TDs on the left would have done better. I know Meath East is hardly fertile territory for the Left but still it looks disappointing. No disrespect meant to anyone who worked hard on the ground.
I also think that given current public disaffection with the state of things the SF vote also looks disappointing compared to that of FF. Transpose the vote to a general election and you’re looking at FG 2 FF 1. The sympathfy factor is understandably present in this election but I do think that it also shows the inexorable recovery of FF might be a bit more exorable than it’s being painted, Byrne after all is a very high profile candidate for the party.
If you’re looking for scapegoats for the DDI beating the WP, it may be that the former have benefitted from an anti-politician feeling arising from the travails of Flanagan and Wallace. But the numbers involved are too small to draw many implications.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Could someone who knows about these things do us a decent post on DDI if they get a chance?

Like

irishelectionliterature - March 28, 2013
Gewerkschaftler - March 28, 2013

That’s useful info – so we’re in Sovereign Independent territory. I’ve often wondered who funds these people.

For SI I’ve always assumed it was the usual Koch-Bros. carbon-fuel lobbyists.

I guess City of London people with a lot of skin in the collapse of the Euro would be probable in the case of DDI.

Like

CL - March 28, 2013

“The most publicized incident involving common-law ideology was the 1996
standoff involving the Montana Freemen, who combined Christian Identity, bogus common law legal theories, “debt-money” theories that reject the legality of the Federal Reserve system, and apocalyptic expectation.”
http://www.publiceye.org/right_wing_populism/constitutionalists/index.html

Like

TheOtherRiverR(h)ine - March 28, 2013

Calling UKIP far right based nothing more than their immigration policies is a bit of a stretch.

Like

Garibaldy - March 28, 2013

I think branno’s point about the popular touch is an absolutely vital one. One of the things looking back at WP election literature from the 1980s/early 1990s is that it had it. The left’s message is not being received in the same way today. There are many reasons why, but addressing that question is a key one.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - March 28, 2013

Bright lad, that Karl Gill.

This piece on Freemanism is well worth a read.

I’ve always argued that the function of these consipiracy theories is to promote powerlessness and distract from the real dynamics of historical change.

However they work on an emotional level for isolated and desperate people and arguments against have to be both emotionally and intellectually telling.

Like

CL - March 28, 2013

“We now live in a society where if you are a rich banker you get a bailout, if you are poor you get a hand out”.-Clare Leonard, DDI.
http://redheadplace.blogspot.com/2013/03/ben-gilroy-and-far-right.html

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Ah, a fruitcake vehicle for suburban crankiness. Sorry, I meant ‘common sense.’

Like

RosencrantzisDead - March 28, 2013

Also one of their founders was involved in ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

All these new age theories – expect to see the anti-fluoridation girl as a candidate in the GE.

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

That is a huge issue and we’re in real danger of having the tide of outrage at the crisis appropriated by the Right and the Centre Right.

Sadly, pessimism is warranted as it is the case. Some of the hottest arguments I’ve had with people are trying to defend the provision of welfare to African migrants here and the provision of housing and benefits to single mothers. People who are being pillaged by the financial dictatorship are more concerned that someone might be getting 50 euro extra than they’re entitled to and the same people will, as you right say, glaze over when you bring up the regular payment of billions to unsecured bondholders.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - March 28, 2013

+1 CMK. I wish I had some counter-evidence, but it’s happening everywhere.

Like

13. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 28, 2013

I accept your points Eamonn but I’m not basing this on Gilroy’s vote: more that five years into the biggest capitalist crisis since the Depression the arguments of the left have not seriously challenged neo-liberalism. The type of reactionary arguments I’m talking about may not neccesarily be the foundation for a new party but will be taken up by FG and FF.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Fair enough Branno. I’m just reacting against the plethora of comments, not here where people are fairly sensible, which will be forthcoming about DDI’s vote representing fertile territory for some new right wing force. In reality this particular politics of resentment can be folded into the existing FG and FF parties with no difficulty at all, witness some gobshite FF councillor stirring it up about immigrants the other day.
And while it’s impossible not to feel some glee about Labour’s pitiful showing, the result will probably be the same one as when FF realised they were going to get trounced in the general election, austerity policies will be pursued with even more fervour in a spirit of spite against the electorate.

Like

14. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 28, 2013

Just another example: you can’t see the billions leaving the country, you can’t really visualise the waste that that entails and how if affects you. You will be unlikely to meet Sean Fitzpatrick (unless your at Brian O Drisceoil’s testimonial dinner). But you can be really pissed off waiting in a labour exchange for hours while you have to jump through hoops and fill in more forms, dealing with a pissed-off (and often snarky) person behind the hatch- and then as your leaving you see a Roma beggar and there’s suddenly a focus for your anger.

Like

15. eamonncork - March 28, 2013

The essence of DDI.

Like

Joe - March 28, 2013

🙂

Like

16. sonofstan - March 28, 2013

One swallow etc……but I was a little taken aback to see an acquaintance on Facebook, who I know worked for Mick Wallace during the GE, celebrating Gilroy’s showing. I know MW’s vote was hardly a left vote per se, but there is still a wide expanse of clear water between him and DDI.

Like

17. eamonncork - March 28, 2013

36% turnout apparently. Gilroy got 6% of that. What’s that, about 1500 votes? Hardly a great paradigm shift. But it’ll give hacks something to write about.

Like

CL - March 28, 2013

Sinn Fein got double the DDI vote, but then they’ve been around a lot longer. And of course Labour, Irish social democracy, trailing the DDI crackpots.

Like

Ciarán - March 28, 2013
CMK - March 28, 2013

Not a paradigm shift, no. But worrying nonetheless. To take up your earlier point – that the real enemies remain FG/Lab/FF – this election shows that those three parties remain the dominant forces in Irish politics. What space is being opened up risks being filled by right wingers like DDI. THAT is significant in my view.

Gilroy got six times more first preferences than Seamus McDonagh, if the tallies are to be believed. People had a choice and they chose Gilroy.

Not only that but there is serious money lurking in the shadows of DDI. The quality of their material and the quantity of it cannot be explained by it being a simple grassroots effort.

Those 1500 first preferences are a taste of what’s there for an outfit like DDI. What the result shows is that the portion of the electorate prepared to go outside of the FF/FG/Lab/SF nexus now have more choice than before and I think the media will give Gilroy disproportionately positive coverage as they’ll see that his message somehow resonates with a portion of the electorate. I.e. they’ll take a position on granting him exposure that they would never take if a self-declared revolutionary socialist had just scooped 1600 votes in Meath East.

Not a paradigm shift, but there is something going on that is being reflected, however imperfectly, by this result.

Like

hardcore for nerds - March 29, 2013

I can’t believe I saw John McGurk make this point first, but the DDI vote fits well within that for independents in preceding Meath East elections. if you look at this graph you’ll see they made barely a dent in the main-party vote: http://t.co/fite8Fwnta
the volatility and inscrutability of the ‘independent’ vote in the polls writ… small?

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2013

It’s a fair point hfn. You could have something there re the volatility and inscrutability writ small.

Like

Corpo_Worker - March 29, 2013

I’ve just had a look at the DDI website(s).

So, that’s where the ex-FF vote has gone to.

Like

shea - March 28, 2013

does it tye in loosely with the opinion polls give or take.

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

Main parties doing a lot better in Meath East than in the last Red C poll.

Meath East combined vote for the Trioka Parties (FF/FG/Lab) = 75% (tallies)

Red C combined vote for the same parties = 65%

My view is that Meath East is an outlier in terms of support for the mainstream political parties at a national level, but that the small rise in DDI does signify something that is nationally significant.

Like

18. irishelectionliterature - March 28, 2013

Final Tally sheet

Like

CMK - March 28, 2013

I wonder how one D. Hannigan esq. reads that Labour result? All of his votes can’t be personal? 21.4% first preferences for Labour in February 2011 down to 3.9% now. It’s a good job he has a solid business career and property portfolio to fall back on!

Like

Michael Carley - March 28, 2013

Mr Rabbitte said that Labour voters had stayed at home and made a protest vote.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0328/378747-meath-east-by-election/

Like

EWI - March 29, 2013

But which ‘protest’ interpretation did the Rabbitte take away from this? And will he spin this as Labour ought to try harder to adopt FG policies?

Like

RosencrantzisDead - March 28, 2013

Not to depress anyone anymore, but how the hell did Charlie Keddy get more votes than Seamas McDonagh?

Nothing makes sense anymore.

Like

RosencrantzisDead - March 28, 2013

anymore = further*

Like

19. doctorfive - March 28, 2013

Nothing compares to Fianna Fáil losing an election.

Like

20. Brian's a bogger - March 28, 2013

What we need is another peer reviewed essay on what Lenin meant in a letter he wrote to Makhno in 1920 and how this can relate to the Irish left today. FUCK OFF!

Hopefully this latest embarrassment acts as the kick the left need. Have a look around at the next ‘left’ meeting you attend [outwith CAHWT) meetings which have a solid working class core] and look who is leading the talk and ‘debate’: the academic class.

This class of wankology has taken over the left in Dublin and beyond. At the risk of sounding like a luddite but big words – phraseology and references to obscure sociologists scare away those from a background not steeped in third level education. These meetings are a real turn off for those who didn’t – due to background or otherwise – get a chance to go to UCD. But they’re a real turn on for the wannabe academics.

The DDI message in this election was shite and will be shown up soon enough but it was clear and simple. The left has been taken over by the children of the rich. It’s time to tell them to go back to their five bedroom houses in Trim and take their angst with them.

The left is at a low point in Ireland – it has about three genuine T.D’s in the Dail outwith some good people in Sinn Fein and no organisation outside it outwith the CAHWT.

Like

Dr. X - March 28, 2013

Speaking as an academic, I concur entirely with Cadre Bogger. (NB, this is not a joke)

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2013

Problem with your idea Brian is that 95 per cent of the working class are entirely unaware of the those supposed essays or the doings of the further left parties. Indeed the campaign in Meath was led by WP / CAHWT veterans who would be a long way from any such debates and would be by any reasonable definition be working class. I guess you mean in some way people like RBB as children of rich, but he didn’t stand in Meath, or in Cabra or in where CD is or… and so on.

As for wannabe academics, well, there’s that, but then there’s the fact that many people, such as Conor McCabe and others are actual academics as well as being activist. Do you, do you, think that Conor or others should stop being active because they’re academics as well as activist? Michael Taft? etc etc?

With regard to the ‘children of the rich’. There are some, though I’ve always gone with the line about it not being the class you’re born into but the one you stand with, but again the left parties are so marginal that that’s hardly the biggest issue is it? Perhaps the sheer unpopularity of further left ideas and why that might be would be a more productive starting point than complaining about a fairly small tranche of people from middle class and upper middle class backgrounds on the left.

Like

Brian's a bogger - March 28, 2013

Conor McCabe is one of the best things to happen to the Irish left in decades. But thanks for taking my point up wrong on purpose.

Like

doctorfive - March 28, 2013

Wasn’t it the communist and reasonably well known academic Albert Einstein who said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Raises serious questions about getting the message across as Garibaldy outlines below.

Spacetime is a piece of piss next to replacing capitalism though in fairness.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2013

Brian, how did I take it up wrong on purpose?

Conor McCabe is an academic. Taft? Kieran Allen? A.N.Others? Who precisely is okay or not in your view?

Then you paint a caricature of the further left as a talk shop concerned with 1917 or 1920. But even given the division consequent on Trotskyism and Stalinism you’ll have to look long and hard to see that replicated in election or general material for say the SP or SWP/PBPA or WUAG or the WP. And not a sniff of it in the ULA.

And even the ULA didn’t founder over that sort of ideological minutia but over something both more banal and more fundamental.

Then there’s the middle classes who apparently are wrecking the further left. Who are they?

I’ve many criticisms of the further left and all the above parties and I’ve not time at all for 1917 nostalgia, or the idea it can be rerun or easily mapped onto the present or future, but hit and run comments giving out about others without actually spelling it out isn’t a critique.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Bogger, respectfully I suggest you have a look at the election material published by the WP during the campaign.

Irish Election Literature has the material on-line. Check the links in the box on the top-right of the page here:

http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com/

The WP press releases are all at http://seamusmcdonagh.wordpress.com/

Read it and then come back and point out the obscure references. You won’t find them. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your prejudice.

Like

Brian's a bogger - March 28, 2013

Wasn’t aimed at WP campaign either. I think the WP campaign and literature is where it’s at. I’m talking about the academic left and children of the middle class and their control over the Dublin left. But don’t let that get in the way of your whinge.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Ok Bogger, truce time. Apologies for reacting, it’s been a busy day, a busy few weeks, I mis-read your comment.

Like

Brian's a bogger - March 28, 2013

No worries comrade. Well done for getting involved and don’t be too disappointed tonight.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Thanks Bogger. Strangely disappointment isn’t the dominant emotion. If anything it’s a spur to examine and improve. And right now I’m off to have a beer!

Like

21. irishelectionliterature - March 28, 2013
doctorfive - March 28, 2013

who ran the Labour campaign?

Like

doctorfive - March 28, 2013

Dominic Hannigan Im told

Like

sonofstan - March 28, 2013

…And it would hardly be in his interests to advance the cause of another Labour candidate in a 3-seater, when his own seat is going to be extremely vulnerable next time out.

Like

22. LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Just back from the count centre. WP 262 first preferences. It is clear that the people of Meath-East, or 80% of the less than 40% that voted, are content to vote for the two main pro-austerity parties.

The big story here is DDI mopping up the protest vote. In Italy the further Left vote in the recent elections was (from memory) 1.8% as part of the Ingroia list, and Grillo the anti-political populist took the largest number of seats in their parliament. Same dynamic at play here.

Where now for class politics? Meath-East was always going to be difficult, but with apathy and the right-wing populists soaking up the discontent it gives the Left something to think about.

Like

sonofstan - March 28, 2013

…well according to poster above, too much thinking is part of the problem. We need to forget the agitation, the education, and just SLOGANISE!

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

“Put a worker in the Dáil”

Nah, it needs more than that…

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Like

23. LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

First count results here:

McEntee (FG) 9,356
Byrne (FF) 8,002
O’Rourke (SF) 3,165
Gilroy (DDI) 1,568
Holmes (LAB) 1,112
O’Buachalla (GP) 423
McDonagh (WP) 263
Martin (NP) 190
Keddy (NP) 110
O’Brien (NP) 73
Tallon (NP) 47

http://www.meathchronicle.ie/news/roundup/articles/2013/03/28/4015134-mcentee-tops-poll-after-first-count/

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2013

Well, regardless fair dues to you and WP and CAHWT people for flying the flag – and not least S McDonagh. A base for the locals and further campaigns.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Thanks WBS. It was a good campaign. Time for some serious thinking.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Fair play to play to you for being involved LATC. Commiserations.

Like

24. Depps - March 28, 2013

Has McEntee actually won this or could FF still nick it with transfers from Lab and SF??

As much as I hate FF, i still hate the Blue Shirts more!

Like

25. doctorfive - March 28, 2013

Labour lose their deposit …..

Like

doctorfive - March 28, 2013

lost expenses rather. That’s both Gov parties since talking office

Like

26. Garibaldy - March 28, 2013

I think there are a number of important elements in this election, (and they’ve basically all been noted already).

The first is that the FF/FG/Lab vote comes in at 76%. Add 2% for the Greens we get a total of 78% for parties that have been responsible for implementing austerity. Add the DDI vote and that’s 84% for what we can define as pro-austerity or right-populist parties. That’s an enormous, and enormously depressing, figure. It’s a question for the entire left about where we are going wrong.

The low turnout at 38% is also something that should be a major cause for concern. What chance for extra-parliamentary campaigns of resistance when even parliamentary politics are not engaging people?

The Labour Party result is a crucial one, with the party that topped the poll the last time at around 1000 votes. That says a lot about the election I think, and about the last election too. Labour was able to capture not just a substantial number of voters who think of themselves as left, but many others too. Its capacity to do so (or to capture either) at the next elections looks seriously in doubt.

Regarding McDonagh’s performance, I personally am of the opinion that it’s a credible result in the circumstances. A very low turnout like that affects the left disproportionately. The campaign itself (run on a shoestring as the Lise Hand article indicated) needs to be looked at beyond the headline figures. As well as the hard work put in by Seamus, LATC and the WP people, the campaign brought together people from other left organisations and none who worked hard to support it on the ground. The endorsement of the campaign by left and progressive TDs was another positive sign that the very necessary cause of left cooperation can be advanced. The campaign brought new people into the party. and into broader left activism as well. So it will leave a longer-term legacy among the left in the area, and possibly at a broader level as well.

So I don’t think I’m being panglossian in saying that there are, within the context, some positives to be taken from this at a local as well as a broader level, even if we might all have liked the vote to be higher.

Like

Jim Monaghan - March 28, 2013

Broadly agree. There is a mountain to climb. The lack of even a shadow of a national left alternative means that we are seen as local protest votes. The elected far left amount not to a cohesive opposition but a collection of Gregorys. And a collection that can and is written off as being just the same as Ming and Wallace.So no sleepless night for the Troika and their supporters.. And worse FF being successfully rehabilitated.
There are no positives. A populist party with no politics or worse got on the Richter scale.
If I was Shatter I would advise the Special Branch not to bother with the far left, they are no threat to anyone.
I expect the SP to lose their Brussels seat, unless there is a miracle. I would not be surprised if they were outpolled by the Greens,.
It could not be much worse.
Oh this is not an attack on the left standard bearer. he and his team did their best.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

Garibaldy is correct, it’s not all downside by any means. The by-election provided a vehicle for the very broad Left to gather around in common cause and it was a very encouraging process to be involved with in that regard.

The headline was about the four Left TDs but the reality on the canvass and in the background was that activists from the many parties of the Left, and from none, were actively involved in and supportive of the campaign on an informal basis.

That a relatively diverse group of broad Left people recognised and acted upon the importance of putting a single Left voice into the mix speaks volumes and is perhaps a turning point in itself, a dynamic which the organisations of the Left should perhaps take note of. The memberships are demanding action on common cause.

Like

Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 28, 2013

‘I personally am of the opinion that it’s a credible result in the circumstances’

I have the greatest respect for Seamus McDonagh but the above is nonsense. You are in John Lowry coming last in west Belfast every election and talking about votes for class politics territory now.
McDonagh is steeped in local politics and a credible candidate. In the circumstances of 2013, after five years of austerity a left-wing donkey should be able to at least break 500 votes. That a serious left-wing candidate gets 263 votes is a serious pointer towards more general problems. And I mean general problems with the view of the left- not the specific candidate or campaign.
(From Brian’s bogger comments I gather he wasn’t a big fan of Eric Alwin Wright)

Like

Garibaldy - March 28, 2013

That’s the point though Branno isn’t it? The left as a whole has not made a breakthrough within society. There are clearly isolated instances of success but there has been no general breakthrough in electoral politics, in the media, in membership, in communities, in trade unions, in the way people talk about politics, in people’s consciousness. After 5 years of austerity, this should not be the case, but it is. As you point out, this is a generalised problem that suggests the left as a whole is failing badly.

So what are we going to do about it?

Like

rockroots - March 29, 2013

Not much to be cheerful about, but yes, the broad left agreement is something to cling on to. I think the reality is that the disparate elements of the current left are never likely to coalesce into a unified movement. Probably the best we can hope for at the moment is getting as many dissenting individual voices into the Dail as possible. As such, a co-ordinated effort to agree a panel of left/independent candidates in the local and general elections would be very helpful. Not necessarily like getting the ULA stamp of approval in 2011, just for election purposes.

It is nice to see Labour’s stance getting a hammering though. I wonder if Gilmour is in trouble? I suspect the vast majority of the PLP have no intention of changing direction, and a change of leadership would most likely be a cynical and cosmetic change, but as FF have proved, the public might very well fall for it.

Like

27. CL - March 28, 2013

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”- Jacob Riis

Like

LeftAtTheCross - March 28, 2013

+1 CL. Down with defeatism.

Like

fergal - March 28, 2013

CL is right, no time for defeatism. Well done to LATC for getting off his arse and doing his best.

Like

28. doctorfive - March 28, 2013

Like

29. Joe - March 28, 2013

We had Sham 69 earlier. Having been there, I think this would be a better one for LATC and his comrades tonight.

It would help if I knew how to work computers. Anyway, it’s supposed to be Hurry up Harry.

Like

eamonncork - March 28, 2013

Joe you’ve accidentally posted up Hail The New Dawn by Skrewdriver followed by a David Irving speech.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2013

Yeah, accidentally 😉

Like

Joe - March 30, 2013

Memo to self. Only ever post up Hurry Up Harry BEFORE YOU GO DOWN TO THE PUB.

Like

30. PatKav - March 29, 2013

Marketing anyone? How can any candidate on a low budget compete with spends of €25k upwards? Door-to-door canvassing doesn’t work anymore, people won’t answer the door, yet they need to become familiar with the candidate by ‘meeting’ them daily, ‘face to face’. Marketing.

Like

31. doctorfive - March 29, 2013

Ben Gilroy can be “grouped with the left” says one of Ireland’s leading political commentators Noel Whelan on Tv3

Like

rockroots - March 29, 2013

RTE’s Primetime challanged him on the Freeman thing. He denied ever having been a member of THAT organisation. It all sounded strangely familiar…

Like

32. After Meath East | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - March 29, 2013

[…] in any numbers. There’s no reason to be absolutely downhearted by that. But as raised in comments here there’s problems, serious […]

Like

33. Brian's a bogger - March 29, 2013

I’m not sure how this is being seen as being a disaster for the Labour Party. They didn’t pick this Geezer till after the election date was announced – he’s an unknown. Gilmore didn’t even canvass for him (I think). He got a respectable vote too and the Labour seat seems pretty safe there – the populace of MEH East don’t seem too against Government policy if they voted for Fine Gael.

Labour won the last by-election and hold the office of President. They’re doing o.k all things considering.

Unfortunately.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 29, 2013

Something in that, no question about it Brian. The scale though is bad as is being beaten into fifth. Indo running hard on catastrophe meme, but with an election close enough to three years away its more collateral damage that is the problem.

Like

34. find computer help - May 2, 2014

Fantastic post however , I was wondering if you could write
a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you
could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: