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Politics and personality April 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Another useful IT podcast interviewed Clare Daly TD the week before last and then had a discussion on the race. Daly was as forceful as ever and all I hear suggests that she will be a leading candidate in the European elections. Some seem to think she may top the poll. Certainly the debates will be more interesting than might have been expected hitherto.

But… listening to the discussion afterwards I was struck by the manner in which Daly’s arrival in the race had upset the applecart. For example, although mention was made of Senator Alice Mary Higgins candidacy the consensus was that she was already part of a crowded ’social democratic’ area. But it was explicitly suggested that Daly had potentially impacted on Gary Gannon’s entry to the race. One wonders did the SD leadership have a sense that Daly was thinking about running and felt that a run in that context might not be a useful exercise. And intriguingly another consensus was that SF would do better than some are suggesting and that the votes accrued at the last European elections should see them home.

Still, isn’t it a fascinating example of how an individual can shape a political contest in such a stark way. Is Daly better known that Frances FitzGerald? She surely is better known than pretty much all other candidates. And coming from the independent camp, wide as that camp may be, she has the ability to pick up votes and transfers from a remarkably wide area. What brand of leftism does she represent? I’d hazard a guess at left social democracy – albeit there are areas where some of us may have been baffled by public stances in the time since she left the SP. What do others think? And what of that terrain? How does that impact on those left social democrats back in the Dáil? Does it function as an assist or an obstacle if one of the leading lights goes to Europe?

Meanwhile the IT is talking about a poll in the near future. Should be educative.


1. An Sionnach Fionn - April 29, 2019

A while ago the consensus seemed to be that a strong showing by Clare Daly would adversely effect Lynn Boylan’s chances in the EuroParl election. Fingers crossed that they’ll both cross the line. Daly will probably get my number 1 vote. Like every politico she has her flaws but I’m very much in the admirer camp. Not least on the basis of her constituency work which is second to none.

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Seedot - April 30, 2019

As a Fingal resident I’d be really interested to know about this constituency work. No office, no clinics – her involvement in repeal was surprisingly poor.

Clare is a strong and honest politician – but its a while since her constituency work has given a reason to vote for her.


An Sionnach Fionn - April 30, 2019

Anecdotally I know of several people who have benefited from her constituency work, especially in the areas of special needs and landlord problems. I haven’t heard any adverse remarks aside from some of the Malahide crowd who look down their noses at her and the issues she has championed. And even some of them would point to her Dáil performances.

Like I said, no one is perfect, but why waste a vote on some no-chance true-red leftist, if that is your inclination, and ignore her when she is deserving of a modicum of support?

Personally I will be voting left/centre-left, and won’t be giving anything to FG or FF. Even the Greens are a bit a dodge in my eyes.

Actually, I’ll probably throw Mark Durkin a vote but that is for big picture reasons.


Alibaba - April 30, 2019

Clare is direct and approachable and would have helped some people with constituency work. But it’s definitely 100% correct about the lack of constituency work compared to the hard slog that others can put in.

Her efforts were put elsewhere: note her courageous lead in the “X” case Bill which ensured her a massively high profile, ULA efforts to deliver unity, including a new role for the non-aligned members and the need for ULA publications, involvement in Oireachtas committees, behind the scenes efforts, attending various networking events, public speaking, media performances and things to get attention via articles or activities to highlight issues of her concern.

About ‘honesty’ I’m not so sure. For instance, sharing Anti Water Charges platforms with Wallace despite campaign democratic decisions to disallow that. Accountability doesn’t figure highly. She fights things as she sees fit and despite reservations about some of her political choices, it’s hats off to her.


Alibaba - May 1, 2019

I forgot to mention Clare Daly’s impressive Dáil performance and was reminded of it last night during a chat with a neighbour about the elections. I asked his view of Daly and he told me this: “I know her name. Is she the one with the straight hair and the one that gives out a lot in the Dáil? I’ll give her my vote.”

Makes me wonder why would Daly leave behind her very strong radical voice in the Dáil and why would she walk away from her base of support in Dublin by going into the European parliament, especially when the left is in such a fragmented form and what’s more, why was the decision to enter the electoral contest done in a patently last minute fashion? Peculiar that.


2. Joe - April 29, 2019

“Like every politico she has her flaws…”
“albeit there are areas where some of us may have been baffled by public stances in the time since she left the SP.”

So there’s my current dilemma. Do I continue my preference as far as Daly? If I do, my vote will ‘count’ in that she’ll probably be in the shake up. If I don’t, my vote will fall into a void that some would describe as a ‘protest vote’.
I recall now that I actually canvassed for Daly back in the early noughties iirc. But then I canvassed for Pat McCartan too back in the day. Which was the bigger sin?
Over to Clare now to persuade me over the coming weeks. I’m a bit of a pushover when it comes to it so she’ll probably manage it.

Note to Clare: Don’t be doing anything now in the next few weeks that paranoid Joe might interpret as being soft on dissos or on anti-vaxxers.

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3. Liberius - April 29, 2019

If Daly and Wallace were to get elected they would vacate their seats in the Dáil and with them goes two-thirds of the elected TDs designated as “independents 4 Change”, although the “independents 4 Change” technical group would still have five TDs four-fifths of which would be independent “independents 4 change”. This raises the question of whether the “independents 4 Change” group should exchange that moniker for a new one which fully reflects their new nature as a group which is one-fifth “independents 4 change”, one-fifth ex-“Independents 4 Change” (Broughan) and three-fifths independent “independents 4 Change” group?

I suggest “Independents 4 Right 2 Exchange Independents 4 Change Change”.


Liked by 3 people

4. Colm B - April 29, 2019

Like Joe, I have also campaigned for Clare (twice) in elections. I have always found her on a personal level to be a decent, direct and principled person. When she left the SP, I thought her move might contribute to the development of a more democratic radical left formation but alas such did not happen (not blaming Clare for that).

However what seems to have happened is a slide towards some very dubious political positions. While she has done some sterling work in the Dail and has often stood up for the interests of workers, I personally find some of her positions (vaccination, Julian Assange and Syria etc) very troubling. In fact, despite my respect for her as a person, I could not vote for her, as her positions on some of these issues diverge dramatically from what I consider to be basic socialist principles. Ironically, though I have always disagreed with the SPs internal structures, I think their political positions have been fairly good – so if I had a vote (being an exile from Erin’s green isle, I don’t) I would vote for the Solidarity/SP candidate Rita Harrold.

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Joe - April 29, 2019

Fine. But would you continue your preferences as far as Clare Daly? I’m looking for guidance here, o wise master.


An Sionnach Fionn - April 29, 2019

A leftish-voice in Europe is better than no voice at all. It’s the Hillary Clinton choice. Sure, you’d rather Sanders, but with him off the ticket what were you going to do? Vote Green or not vote at all?

Not that I’m comparing Daly to Clinton!


Colm B - April 29, 2019

Hmmm will have to ponder that one, but liking this role as guru-in-exile.


gypsybhoy69 - April 30, 2019

Ineffective guru 😀.
I’ll be still voting Clare ahead of Harrold. Her stance on Republican prisoners and Assange I don’t see as support for either but merely raising civil liberty issues. I’ve see her say she’s supports vaccination programmes but withholds the right to ask questions. I’ll have to look more closely on what she’s had to say on Syria. The only reason I wouldn’t vote for her would be on the basis of huge loss to the Dail it would be.


Colm B - April 30, 2019

Since gurus are infallible I can’t be wrong but if I’m wrong then I mustn’t have been a real guru.😞

Repeatedly asking questions which always go in one direction indicates a position, albeit one not an openly expressed one. Given that this is a matter of life and death and also given the scientific concensus, I guess I’m not willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

On Syria, my understanding is that she holds a pro-assad position. From my point of view, you can take any position you like but backing the mass murderous regime which has killed thousands and suppressed a people’s revolt is just a million miles from my conception of socialism. And so on.

As for preferences, I have to admit to a most-unguru trait..I’m just not sure. Where do you stop your prefs? Do you keep going down until you vote for the second worst rightwinger to keep out the worst one? I always voted from radical left downwards and stopped at what we used to call bourgeois parties. Would I give Clare Daly a preference? Would I give Labour a preference? I don’t know, I just know that there’s a line where my conception of what left means and the candidate stands for becomes too distant.

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gypsybhoy69 - April 30, 2019

Ah Colm, I knew there was a reason why I liked you moving to Scotland, in particular getting a chance to hide from that deep probity which puts us all to shame.Your knowledge of current Irish politics sure trumps mine. A brief search of the issues you mention certainly do make for grim reading. Your raising of it only make me more likely to not vote. When it comes to the other radical alternatives I’d be wary from past experience of the theoretical purists. With them be I’d be guided by….
” …..Be not too hasty … to trust, or to admire, the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.”

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - April 30, 2019

Agreed comrade, no angels, only humans. Though I’ve come across a few devils on the left as well!
I take your point on purists, I guess we have to accept that all options on the left are going to be flawed so we’re left choosing the least flawed ones. There, you destroyed my guruness but have made me go all philosophical.

Liked by 3 people

Joe - May 1, 2019

The wise master’s wisdom is disappointingly wishy washy.


Liberius - April 30, 2019

A potentially compelling reason would be that a by-election in Dublin Fingal creates an opportunity for the left, if not to win a seat in the by-election then to set up for rebuilding there with an eye on the GE. Although how compelling that is for lower preferences depends on what her chances look like when we get to the sharp end in three weeks time.


Paul H - April 30, 2019

This could be interesting. Do we think Eugene Coppinger could take a seat for the SP? And would Clare endorse her former colleague or are relations too sour. Alternatively, I notethat she has Dave Gibney from Unite as her first substitute for the EP elections so perhaps he will run for her Dail seat. Lives in Swords afaik


Seedot - April 30, 2019

I don’t know how Dave would do in a by election – but he would be a real loss to the trade union movement if he left Mandate.


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