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Independents4Change January 31, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

I see Joan Collins has joined the Independents4Change group, Clare Daly, Barry Martin, Mick Wallace…. any others running under that banner?

Scepticism about polls January 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Harry McGee much earlier this month had this to say about polling in the course of a longer article in the IT.

There are two other problems that are insuperable for pollsters. People tell lies to researchers, be it face-to-face, on the phone or in internet polls. It is also impossible to differentiate with any accuracy those in the sample who will carry through on their opinion and those who will not.
It had been a habit of the Referendum Commission to carry out polling surveys after the final result of referendums to determine what influenced voters. This year after the same-sex referendum, it declined. “Past experience has shown that public responses after a referendum frequently result in those polled providing inaccurate data as to the level of claimed turnout and how the respondents claimed they voted. Accordingly, post-referendum polling may be misleading,” said its chair High Court Judge Kevin Cross.
In other words, people who have not voted say they have voted. Typically, more than 90 per cent say they voted when the turnout is two-thirds of that, at most.

There’s a lot in there beyond politics which is of interest. Why this sense that some of those who didn’t participate feel the need to say they did? What does that indicate about social and peer pressure even in this oddly disconnected age?

Another point he makes is worth considering.

In Ireland, there are some things that should be borne in mind. For one, opinion polls are a crude instrument. It is like being asked to figure out what’s behind an opaque window that’s also cracked. That said, the closer you get to polling day, the more accurate they become as people are more engaged. The Ipsos MRBI poll in the final days before the 2011 election was right on the money. But then when you scrolled back to the previous September, Labour’s support, according to the same pollster, was at a dizzy 33 per cent, which was never a true reflection of its support.

I think he is half-right there. Labour never had any strong or real support at the level, but… fleetingly it may have had some support pushing up into the high twenties.

He concludes by asking…

Distortions are caused by lower response rates; by flawed guesswork about which groups won’t vote; and by getting people to respond to a question on which they have no view. So why do we still rely on them so much? Seemingly, eight out of 10 cats still prefer them.

Well, perhaps, but more usefully one has to notice how they sell newspapers, become a part and parcel of the political discourse and so on. The recent flurry of polls with less bad (rather than better) results for FG and the LP are of a piece with that latter dynamic (the weekend articles on ‘focus’ groups are a part of that approach too). It is difficult to see them being banned, indeed ironically to do so might rob legitimacy from an election.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week January 31, 2016

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

Colm McCarthy reflects on the fact that every single Irish bank lost more than enough to put itself out of business when the bubble burst.

This continuing failure to explore what went wrong, bank by bank, ensures that lessons go unlearnt and that bank management and boards have been held publicly to account only in the aggregate.

This is the prime failing in the latest response to the Great Irish Banking Bust, one of the most damaging bank crashes to have occurred anywhere.

Move along, nothing systemic to see here.

Ruth Dudley Edwards is rabbiting on about commemorations of 1916 legitimising dissidents, and how hopefully we cn move on.

But maybe when 2016 is over, the Irish public might be ready to contemplate exorcising those ghosts once and for all and embracing in their stead inspirational heroes of our great constitutional tradition, who thought it better to live than to die for Ireland.

Except when it came to World War One of course.

Eoghan Harris, meanwhile, opens as follows.

Reactions to both the Banking Inquiry and RTE’s Rebellion show that when confronted with our own bad behaviour we prefer to blame Brussels or the Brits.

Today’s Sindo sees normal service resumed at every level then.

Well… they should know… January 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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All typical knockabout stuff, as you might imagine in… 

Labour’s guide for canvassers [which] outlines “five reasons to fear Sinn Féin in government” and claims Lucinda Creighton’s Renua party is “to the right of Donald Trump”.

Including this…

The document says the Social Democrats “aren’t really social democrats at all”


Gigs at the Tivoli Dublin in the 1990s January 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Did a little exercise last night listing gigs I saw in the early 1990s at the Tivoli from  1993 (when I think it started hosting gigs there) on.

In no particular order…


Manic Street Preachers


Grant Lee Buffalo

Pop Will Eat Itself

Jeff Buckley


The Fall (I have no memory of this but I was there)

Teenage Fanclub

Henry Rollins (non spoken word gig)

I’ve a memory of That Petrol Emotion, and I know there were one or two more. . This site here actually shows tickets for some of the above gigs. It was a great venue and whoever was doing promotions there had a handle on some really good groups Does anyone know of a list of gigs there during that period?

Projections on foot of RedC/SBP poll January 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

From Adrian Kavanagh.. 

Fianna Fail 27, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 25, Labour Party 14, Independents and Others 36. 


And from the recently revenant Irish Polling Report, and good to see it back. 

Fianna Fail 29, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 27, Labour Party 17, GP 2, AAA/PBP 2 SDs 2 RENUA 0,  Others 23. 


All usual caveats apply.


Last pre-election RedC/SBP poll January 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…the headline on the RTÉ website optimistically, or perhaps not, suggests that:

Gains for Labour and Independents in new poll

But it’s all MOE stuff. Headline figures:

FG 29 – 1%

LP 10 +1%

FF 17 – 2%

SF 19 – NC

IND/OTHERS – 25  +2%

Within that, Independents are on 16%, the Greens and the Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit group are both on 3%, while the Social Democrats are on 2% and Renua is at 1%.

So, will this stuff about LP etc frame the contest ahead? Possibly, and the LP were already making hay (as best they can) rhetorically.

Initial observations. Still no great appetite for the newer parties. FF actually lower than its 2011 GE level. SF doing well, be interesting to see if that carries over on the day or does it slip somewhat. The Greens on 3%? Really? Really? 

But really, the situation demonstrates that the support levels that we’ve seen for quite some time now appear well locked in. Can that last through out the election process? It will be educative to see what happens next.


Venus probe problems (sort of fixed, five years later). January 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I missed this at the time, the Akatsuki/Venus Climate Orbiter probe, launched by Japan in 2010 which failed to orbit around Venus, as was intended, but after orbiting the Sun for five years was reinserted into an alternative orbit around Venus. It appears to have worked with information from UVI, LIR and IR1 instruments being received including some photos. 

As a result of measuring and calculating the AKATSUKI’s orbit after its thrust ejection on Dec. 7, JAXA found that the AKATSUKI was inserted into the Venus orbit.

We have already received images from three instruments whose function has already been confirmed, namely the Ultraviolet Imager (UVI), the Longwave IR camera (LIR), and the 1μm camera (IR1).

We will check the function of the three other scientific mission instruments and perform initial observation for about three months while gradually adjusting the orbit for shifting its elliptical orbit to the period of about nine days. The regular operation is scheduled to start in April, 2016.


The probe was only envisaged to have an active live of 4.5 years in the first place. Yet it was put into safe mode for slightly more than that period of time. I find the sheer effort and willingness to think in longer timespans remarkable and oddly heartening. 

An insight into the North Korean film industry January 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here from the BBC. 

Samples from Babylon 5 January 30, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I have no idea what one would use these for other than samples for electronica (?)... but kudos to the person who went through the episodes and sampled them.

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