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The use of advertising at the 1929 British General Election February 27, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to Tomboktu for mentioning the following:

Jonathan Freedland focuses on the art of political persuasion, through the prism of the 1929 general election, when the Conservative Party employed the UK’s top advertising agency.

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Dissent in FF over coalition… and Labour ponders election options February 27, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
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Had to smile at the report in the Independent yesterday in the FF parliamentary party:

A proposal supported by the party’s environment spokesperson Barry Cowen to rule out a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael coalition was branded “f***ing bulls**t” by Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness.
“That will make liars of you and us all, the people will decide who goes into Government,” Mr McGuinness told his colleagues, during heated exchanges at the party’s meeting of front bench spokespeople yesterday.

I’ll bet though that for some in that party, particularly those on the right, the line of thought – ahem – expressed above, will strike a chord. Because what other realistic path to power is there short of SF? And that’s an option they won’t want to take. In truth there’s so little ideological difference between some in the present FF cohort and FG one has to wonder whether if the right inducements were offered would they be entirely antagonistic to stepping across (McGuinness is also apparently in favour of selling off the state shareholding in Aer Lingus).

Cowen’s proposal is interesting in and of itself…

[he] was one of a number of TDs who proposed that the parliamentary party should submit a motion ahead of the upcoming Ard Fheis calling on members to sign a pledge not to enter Government with Fine Gael.

Which ups the ante on Micheál Martin’s disavowal of the very idea of coalition with FG or SF.

It’s funny too to see what was once a problem for left and leftish parties, the question of coalition, now cropping up for FF, particularly given that FF is, even on the best reckoning, unlikely to gain more than 40 odd seats. It is, in effect, a smaller large party and therefore has none of the leverage it used to have. The very thought of coalition with FG would have been unthinkable even five years ago. Now it is something they have to discuss.

Also entertaining was the outcome of the above ‘debate’.

It was ultimately clarified that the parliamentary party cannot propose motions for the Ard Fheis and instead TDs should make the proposal through their local organisations.

As I heard recently, if you want to change anything in unions, organisations, etc, etc, learn the basic rules.

Meanwhile over in Labour, wrestling with a different, but no unrelated problem, Alan Kelly was throwing shapes.

There, of course, the problem is survival, and there’s going to be no end of rhetoric about how Labour can deliver good government, unlike ‘them ‘uns…

So Kelly:

…said some of election co-operation with Fine Gael was on the cards.
“I think, coming closer to the election, certainly. I mean, after saving the country and soldiering through what we’ve done, some form of arrangement would be advisable,” he told the Irish Independent.

And he made this rather unwise comment in the course of dismissing SF as ‘partitionist’ etc, etc…:

Turning to Sinn Féin, he said he did not believe they were a left-wing party. “They are a popular movement with an authoritarian style,” he said.

Yeah, well, they’re more popular than the Labour Party, that’s for sure.

This Week At Irish Election Literature February 27, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Election Literature Blog.
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A flyer for the Labour Party Conference this weekend with message to members from Joan Burton

A Vote Yes To Marriage Equality Leaflet From Senator Katherine Zappone

“Choose Hickey For Cork City” a 1937 leaflet from James Hickey running for Labour in Cork Borough

Too many leaflets… February 26, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
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This is entertaining…

Some of you may enjoy this….. February 26, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in The Left.
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The UK Spartacist League’s papers from 1978-2011 now digitised and online

That new left formation? February 26, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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All the talk of a new left slate that would either work with or in parallel with Sinn Féin is very interesting and it’s heartening to see some of the unions actually pushing towards a more functional involvement. Moreover it makes sense, even if there are odd contradictions. For example, it’s hard to determine whether this is meant to be a big tent project that encompasses SF and Inds and some small parties, or the latter working in parallel to SF. I’ve heard and read both being posited as potential approaches. Hard too to see all those forces lashed up in a sort of Syriza redux formation – not least because some of their Greek referents were outside Syriza and ran against, or in competition, to it. Still the local is everything, so perhaps there’s space there for flexibility.

The Phoenix piece on this, under the guise of a profile of Pearse Doherty, this last week admits that ‘A SF dominated Left Alliance government may turn out to be a chimera and a political proposal too far’. And it’s difficult too to quite get the measure of where the proposal is coming from. Is it from SF, or is it from elements of the left of SF? I’ve heard people argue from various perspectives that it is one or the other. Or is it that some of the unions are functioning as a bridge?

Shane Fitzcarraldo’s comment reproduced on the CLR last week gives a good outline of one rationale behind this, though the following really caught my attention:

A slate of the left-of-Sinn Fein which could agree key principles (abolish Irish Water, water and property taxes, repeal the 8th Amendment, for a wealth tax, end the tax haven regime in its totality, opposition to the sectarian Good Friday Agreement carve-up in the North, etc.), but would give supporting votes to a Sinn Féin minority government which ruled out coalition with the right and had a programme for government that broke with neoliberalism, would be a once-in-a-century earthquake in Irish political life.

There’s two clear problematic aspects there. First is it entirely clear that SF would seek to repeal the 8th? Secondly is it tenable that SF would be in ‘opposition to the sectarian Good Friday Agreement carve-up in the North’. The rest is pretty much boilerplate stuff that I suspect with some finessing SF wouldn’t find much of an issue with.

On the other hand. On the other hand. Given all the positioning on the centre right in relation to potential formations and alliances it makes sense for there to be some effort on the left to pull forces together, and even in the short term there may be a significant utility to this in terms of increasing transfers. I hate to bring up a certain three letter acronym, but the ULA served a purpose in generating an excitement and energy around the then potential left candidates. So perhaps we’re looking at a much more constrained ULA redux, with or without SF’s explicit imprimatur.

And it is, of course, possible that the idea – again with some somewhat more progressive unions working as a catalyst – has occurred to all involved more or less simultaneously.

As to the overall idea? The Phoenix suggests that it can only work with FF as a constituent element, which on the numbers makes sense but surely would be too much for some of those involved. ‘On a rough calculation that sees FF with 35 seats, SF 30, Left Independents 10 and the LP perhaps 10’. And argues that that would have the necessary 80 plus seats for government.

Who would the left Independents be? No mention of RBB, but Collins, Daly, Healy, someone they call Gallagher, McGrath, O”Sullivan, Pringle, Wallace and a couple more from a new intake post-election. If all those went in so I suspect would Murphy and Halligan, and possibly even Donnelly.

So many problems though. Would the LP sign up? Would some of those on the Ind side want to work in tandem with others or with FF? Or with SF? Or vice versa – the FF ranks aren’t exactly a hotbed of left Republicanism, are they?

And would those represented by Fitzcarraldo agree to what was not exactly a government ‘ruling out coalition with the right’, or one likely to ‘break with neoliberalism’, at least not much.

Still, it’s an idea.

Sinn Féin and Arthur Griffith, 1905 and after February 26, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Interesting this, the text of Fine Gael TD, Dan Neville’s thoughts on that topic.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded the link.

Russia and Greece February 26, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Is it me or was there a certain tone in Anne McElvoy’s report in this Free Thinking piece here on Radio3 (scroll some way down to Thu, 5 Feb 15) in regard to Russia and Greece? I was a bit surprised when after Mary Dejevsky made the very reasonable point that in regard to flights by Russian military aircraft in international air space in Europe that one had to contextualise these with NATO military flights close to Russian territory. McElvoy asked, sounding almost disbelieving, ‘you’re not suggesting an equivalence between British armed forces and Russia?’. Erm… one doesn’t have to be much of a fan of the Russian’s, if at all, to feel that’s sort of missing the point, I’d have thought.

It was difficult to come away with any real sense of some noxious Syriza/Russian nationalist/fascist lash up, as was sought to be depicted by some of the international press over the past few weeks. The connections seemed paper thin, almost a case of saying that because a had met b that meant a commonality of interest and purpose.

One other point Dejevsky made: ‘it would be wrong to underestimate the sense of national revival in Russia… it was a victory for Russia as much as a defeat for communism that we’ve been looking at ever since 1991 (the fall of the USSR) and I tend to think that’s one the major things that almost anybody who has been dealing with Russia ever since particularly Western countries has got spectacularly wrong’.

Ructions in Dublin West February 26, 2015

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Irish Politics.
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…the sort only a FF selection convention could provide.

David McGuinness is “doing a lot of soul searching” after the party selected someone else to run in the next general election. Cllr McGuinness has the distinction of losing three elections in three years – In 2011 his running mate Brian Lenihan was the only FF TD elected in Dublin. Lenihan scraping in behind Burton, Varadkar & Joe Higgins.

Shortly after, Lenihan died and Nulty took the seat from FF, who were still fairly bruised from the general election and the natural party of government were content to celebrate the “come back” of drawing dead second with the Socialist Party. After Nulty departed, McGuinness again fell short and the seat moved even further left to Coppinger.

So now the Mulhuddart native has been dropped in place of the contender from Castleknock. This is Varadkar’s patch and Lenihan’s too but perhaps also a move away from chasing what is one of the strongest left wing votes in the country. With potentially two party leaders from the incumbent parties, a safe Socialist(s?) and strong Sinn Féin, it is going to be some time out when the election comes.

According to McGuinness tonight “There’s no doubt about it. There’s a class divide in Fianna Fáil and I’m clearly on the wrong side of the tracks. That was clearly evident in Dublin West”

Joan Burton could be saying the same thing when votes come in..

An Phoblacht out now, including… February 25, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, The Left.
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