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Stephen Donnelly February 2, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Big capture for FF . Good for FF in that they have no North Wicklow based TD and of course also a vote of confidence in the party.  Donnelly is a decent TV performer and I’d imagine has a slightly wider appeal than FF.
Be interesting to see if he can hold his seat though!

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1. Aonrud ⚘ - February 2, 2017

There are some entertaining anti-FF tweets from him being dug out on Twitter at the moment. Hard to see him dealing easily with charges of unprincipled opportunism considering some of them.

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irishelectionliterature - February 2, 2017

True but he is one of the few people in the Dail that can sound as if he knows something about economics. He is supposed to be the FF Brexit Spokesperson. The way things are going with the Government here and the Tories in the UK both looking clueless about the impact of Brexit on the border , it’s almost an open goal for FF.

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Alibaba - February 2, 2017

An opportunist, no doubt. He couldn’t get what he wanted from Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall. Hop, skip and with one leap he grabs a Fianna Fail frontbench role.

Mind you, he says “I am very concerned at the various challenges facing our country and believe I can best play my part in addressing them as part of the Fianna Fail team whose policies reflect what I have advocated for.”

Here’s what he said in Nov 2011:

“The more I learn, the more I see how completely FF let us down … it really did become all about them … too long in power.”

All changed, changed utterly, when you are greedy for power.

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RosencrantzisDead - February 2, 2017

He is a technocrat. A course in Harvard and a bit of management consultancy, he now believes he should be running things.

His ‘Late Late Show’ interview was instructive. He had an anecdote about discussing health policy with Mícheal Martin, peppered with jargon such a ‘multi-year funding model’; the punchline was him complimenting Martin on his knowledge of health policy, seemingly ignorant that the FF leader had been health minister.

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2. sonofstan - February 2, 2017

I think we’ve had this conversation before, but what is the record for the number of parties one TD has represented in the Dail? Noel Browne on 5….

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irishelectionliterature - February 2, 2017

Not all as a TD but Catherine Murphy would have been an elected Rep for DL, WP, Lab , SD and Ind.

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3. Joe - February 2, 2017

A serious coup for FF I would say. Slowly rising in the polls, putting a bit of daylight between themselves and FG, the addition of the articulate Donnelly to their team is a dream come true for Martin. Will probably add another point or two to their poll rating, accelerating the rate of increase.
I don’t think I can be disciplined/silenced for saying something along the lines of what someone said Michael Taft has been saying – that FF are winning by playing the game they are playing while the left looks on as a spectator. And that FF will win the next election, lead the next government, while the left fiddles.

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sonofstan - February 2, 2017

Yeah. It’s now ten years since FF ‘won’ an election and there will be people voting next time who were in high infants when Bertie was in his late pomp. Because we’re old and have long memories, and are unforgiving, we forget that the great mass of voters aren’t like that.

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6to5against - February 2, 2017

All too true. I often think when people are exhorting the youth to go out and vote, that we should be careful what we wish for. I was speaking to a bunch of new voters at the last election who were talking about reading manifestos. It was hard to fault their enthusiasm but ffs…manifestos? We’d all be better off if they were to read a few history books.

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WorldbyStorm - February 2, 2017

+1

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dublinstreams - February 2, 2017

surely most of the people that voted for FF in the last election voted for FF when Bertie was leader.

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6to5against - February 2, 2017

I read that Phoenix article on B Ogle today. As far as I understood it, the issue with Michael Taft’s blog wasn’t so much that he pointed out the rise of FF and FG in the polls, but that he was arguing that the response to that should not be another left wing party. he said that ‘…we need to maximise cooperation and put behind the divisions.’

If Ogle was at that very point in the process of trying to form a party, you can see how he might have been irritated by that.

Though personally I’d be inclined to think that Taft was only stating the obvious. and that if Ogle thinks the silencing of the most articulate left wing economist in Ireland is the solution to any problem, he really should reconsider his priorities.

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CMK - February 2, 2017

If that is what Ogle did to Taft (I have no reason to doubt it, it rings true) then it is the only evidence you’ll ever need for why Ogle’s putative ‘Party’ will never get off the ground.

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CMK - February 2, 2017

I disagree. The FF mode of politics that sustained it from 1926-2008 is stone dead; it died in 2008 and is never coming back, this side of a socialist revolution. FF have never methodically administered the EU fiscal rules in a time of economic uncertainty. Their ‘one for everyone in the audience’ economics would almost certainly be ruled ‘illegal’ under these rules. Four or five years of a FF government trying to balance the budget while local Cllrs lobby for millions for this and millions for that will not be a pleasant experience for them. FG’s sole mission is to crucify the poorest 40% and protect the living standards of the top 1% while keeping the next 19% reasonably content, and they have no problem balancing the EU books on the back of the poor as the last six attest. FF’s, entirely illusory, ‘social democrat’ self-image needs to appear to look like they care. They won’t last long in government if they win the next election and if they do last they’ll be looking at something akin to the 2011 wipe-out in election 2026 which hopefully we’ll all be around to witness, presuming Trump hasn’t nuked us by then!

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Aengus Millen - February 2, 2017

This is an interesting point. Leaving ideology somewhat out of it historians have noted that the interplay between FF and FG during their years of dominance (which I guess are arguably not over) was that FF handed out the goodies and then FG came in with the austerity to pay for FF handouts. They could be left in a tricky position if they go back into government, they are supported by the right-wing elements in the trade unions especially the public trade unions but FF may have nothing to give them. Then you’re in a situation like UK Labour in the late 70’s where the trade unions are threatening strikes left and right and the government is paralyzed. All though even worse because FF is a fundamentally conservative parties unable to countenance things like raising income or corporate tax.

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4. Gerryboy - February 2, 2017

It’s musical chairs again. FF is overtaking FG in the polls. The centrist voters are still about 50 per cent of the electorate (but 20 years ago they accounted for about 70 per cent). All I can hope for in the next election (2018?) is that the aggregate FF-FG vote still hovers around 50 per cent and that a minority FF government will depend on support from FG and independents. What I really expect from the election is a confirmation that centrist voters still see no appreciable policy differences between FF and FG, and that within a decade we’ll see a coalescence of the two parties that have dominated parliamentary political life since the civil war. There’s an entrenched urban left vote, but left groups can’t reach out to voters nationwide in any coherent focused way. SF is cleaning up slowly and methodically in the vacuum.

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5. sonofstan - February 2, 2017

FF and FG are both one disaster away from returning with 20 seats and they both know it.

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Aengus Millen - February 2, 2017

I’d like to think so but the last election seemed to show that people were looking for any excuse to vote for Fianna Fail.

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WorldbyStorm - February 3, 2017

That’s a dynamic that I think will be even more evident at the next AM, would you agree?

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Aengus Millen - February 3, 2017

Most likely, all polls have shown them up. I especially think that if the Independent vote collapses FF will go up as I think a fair number of FF voters parked their votes with independents after the crash but could go back.

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WorldbyStorm - February 3, 2017

It will be very telling the next couple of polls to see if FF get a Donnelly bounce on foot of that dynamic you describe.

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6. ivorthorne - February 2, 2017

I give it about a year.

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WorldbyStorm - February 2, 2017

Before he jumps ship?

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ivorthorne - February 2, 2017

Yeah. Donnelly isn’t an idiot but he does come across as naive.

I don’t think he’ll be great at following orders. Don’t get me wrong, he swallow a few bitter pills but it will get too much. Strikes me as a George Lee type.

He expects to be able to make a difference – thus the desire to join the SDs with a view to getting into coalition government. But it quickly became obvious the SDs were not about to set the world on fire.

Now he looks at FF as a vehicle to get into government, but he does not understand that he’s not at the top of the queue and internal party politics has more to do with who gets a portfolio rather than what he thinks he’d be good at.

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dublinstreams - February 3, 2017

he is interested in Public Expenditure and Reform Dara Calleary of the FF dynasty is the current spokesperson on that

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WorldbyStorm - February 3, 2017

Getting crowded on that opposition front bench.

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Jim Monaghan - February 3, 2017

“Getting crowded on that opposition front bench.”
Great. Jobs for all, starting at the top and trickling down. They will create as many positions as is necessary. FF are a patronage machine, a bit more than FG. Our entire political class is driven to different degrees by clientilism and patronage. I doubt any of them could discuss Brexit and or Trumpism. intelligently except maybe about 6. Nevermind what conclusions they might draw. It is like being on the Titanic and finding everyone in the ballroom having a party.

Saw Donnelly once at a Boyd-Barrett hosted function/debate. He struck me as sincere if naive.

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7. oliverbohs - February 2, 2017

FF may team up with SF if events allow in the next election i.e. if The Bearded One is put out to pasture. They’ll deny utterly in the course of an election campaign that they would do that. Plan B is FF plus Labour plus independents. Never underestimate their ability to adapt to the changing winds. They have no principles only a wary respect of public sector, farmers and small to medium businessmen

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8. irishelectionliterature - February 3, 2017
9. Donnelly and FF. And meanwhile, no cause for rejoicing – the UK government Brexit White Paper… | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - February 3, 2017

[…] IEL made an interesting point in comments yesterday in relation to Fianna Fáil’s newest catch, th… […]

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10. baalthor - February 3, 2017

It would be more convenient for everyone if Fianna Fáil renamed themselves as ” the Social Democrats”

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