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So much news – Farewell Minister Shatter, and a new poll… May 7, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

A bit relentless the news at the moment but anyhow…

Never good for a government to lose a Minister, but to lose one in the midst of a local and European election campaign is perhaps catastrophic. I have to be honest, when I read that the Data Protection Commissioner had said the former Minister had broken the law it struck me he couldn’t last. And yet, and yet, again the Government stood by someone it couldn’t possibly sustain their support for. We saw something similar with the Garda Commissioner. In a way this exacerbates the problematic aspects of the original issue, though granted it was quicker this time.

A very dour looking Enda Kenny taking Leader’s Questions this afternoon, as well he should be.

By the way, a thought. Shatter for all his flaws was genuinely – and I use the term advisedly – reforming. Who replaces him will be very telling as regards indicating the centre of political gravity in the government.

And coincidentally what do we also have, from the Sunday Business Post, a new poll, and an odd day to release it on, but what the hell.

Fine Gael 25 (-1)
Labour 11 (+2)
Fianna Fail 21 (-1)
Sinn Fein 18 (-3)
Independents 25 (+3)

Look at the FG figure there. A continuing decline, as Pat Leahy notes, across the year.
Labour is up a bit, could be margin of error. SF down a bit (and taken when the situation was at the height of Adams affair that could be much worse – where they will be in the next poll will also tell us a lot. Fiann Fáil still not making the impact and the Independents riding high. And after today’s news perhaps higher still.

A lot of talk about the social democratic and far left in comments today, the poll above has to give comfort to both those areas.


1. Paddy Healy - May 7, 2014

Political earthquake on track- – – – 65% of respondents nationally not indicating a first preference vote for FG or FFor Lab. Shatter resignation and Kenny weakness will help the new right (McDowell-Creighton). Political polarisation continues- – – –


WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2014

It will be interesting to see if the new right can make anything of this.


2. ivorthorne - May 7, 2014

It was an election wot got’im.

“I am anxious that any controversy that may arise on publication of the Report does not distract from the important work of Government or create any difficulties for the Fine Gael or Labour Parties in the period leading into the European and Local Government elections”.


WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2014

Too late on his part!


3. rockroots - May 7, 2014

Agree about him being socially at the liberal end of Fine Gael, but unfortunately it was at the cost of a an authoritarian and arrogant attitude. Maybe it’s an opportunity for Gilmore to slide over to Justice, spend more time in the country, and look after his equal marriage project.


WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2014

Very true re the arrogance.


4. Paddy Healy - May 7, 2014

Watch Varadkar as soon as Enda is further weakened. His promotion would move government further to the right.


BB - May 7, 2014

Enda is canny — watch him appoint people left, right and centre. A temporary one here, a reshuffle there and keeping people sweet with their pensions. That reminds me of an approaching general election somehow.


WorldbyStorm - May 7, 2014

That’s so true. The bad news is losing Shatter. The good news is it makes his headache as regards reshuffles one bit less tricky.


5. ivorthorne - May 8, 2014
WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2014

Very difficult to know. I would have to agree with C Flower, statements made under Dáil privilege have to be approached on here with extreme caution due to obvious issues re potential litigation so until more comes to light let’s leave it at that.


6. doctorfive - May 8, 2014

Hard to know if their is a shy tory effect with FF or they really are this toxic still. We will know soon enough I guess.


WorldbyStorm - May 8, 2014



7. Tomboktu - May 8, 2014

One of the first things he did as minister was to make changes to the way prisoners are treated, in both the adult and children’s systems. (Whether that will last is an open question — there is only so much one person can do.) The changes were not popular with the officials in the prisons, but he did not take dissent.

His attitude to the Gardaí was notably different. Unlike hid approach to the prisons, Shatter did not assert control over the police service. Indeed, it was a cause of questioning in the system when he extended the term of Callinan as Commissioner.

I thought the was a problem when the GSOC bugging concerns became public. When the evidence did not seem definitively clear, Shatter was very sure that the Gardaí had done no wrong. He may well have been correct in the conclusion on that murky episode, but what I thought was that he came down on the side of the Commissioner too early, too certainly, and too vigorously.


hardcorefornerds - May 8, 2014

A good Minister for Justice, but a bad one for policing? All the more reason to put some separation in between the political executive and the Gardaí (with proper democratic oversight).

Of course, his reform agenda also included cost-cutting in the Gardaí, so perhaps some of the stubbornness was motivated by that need to keep them on board.


8. sonofstan - May 8, 2014

“The departure of Mr Shatter represents a severe blow to a Government that was widely lauded for its competence during its first three years in office.”

In the incredibly strange world of Stephen Collins….


9. Doomed I tell you! Or why there (probably) won’t be an election in the wake of Shatter | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - May 9, 2014

[…] Collins makes the point (in a column that SonofStan notes has a very strange piece of analysis) that who could have predicted that this week it would be Fine […]


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