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Anti May 31, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Some depressing accounts of racism from a range of candidates in the local elections who have parents (one or both) who are immigrants or are from immigrant backgrounds themselves. There’s some level of stupidity displayed by those being racist and – whatever their chosen political home, considerable respect deserved to those who are citizens of this state who make the effort to engage politically.

What is striking is the manner in which social media operates to channel racist attacks on the candidates and the way in which some racists take it upon themselves to speak for all Irish. For example:

Imran Khurshid, from Pakistan, who is a Fianna Fáil candidate in Dublin’s north inner city, said: “Overall I would say it’s very good, people are accommodating and listen to you … I find people are ready for diversity,” he said.
But there have been incidents of anti-immigrant abuse online, including in one case after he posted on Twitter about the 1916 Rising anniversary. “I was bombarded with all these messages, saying I’m ‘paper Irish’,” and that he had no right to speak about the Easter Rising, he said.

Really? No right at all? Perhaps those making that charge might reflect on the background of some of those centrally involved in the Rising or the struggle for Irish independence.

A Poor Day For The Left May 31, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Elections aren’t everything but they do signal the public mood, through elected reps the Far Left get resources ,funding and an ability for many to be full time activists.

The Far Left came nowhere in the European Elections, a huge waste of resources considering in Dublin none of the far Left candidates (that stood in the Euros) even won a Council Seat. Adrienne Wallace won one for PBP in Carlow but Cyril Brennan didn’t poll too well in Donegal. Whilst Rita Harrolds posters stood out, the fact is Repeal wasn’t something that was coming up on the doors unless it was from the Pro Life side. Repeal is over and done with.

In Dublin and elsewhere certainly the Boundary changes caused issues for the Left. Aside from actual boundary changes which split territory the new LEAs were all less seats too. Where in 2014 there were many 8 and 9 seaters we had a number of 7 seaters, 6 seaters and 5 seaters. With the overall vote down and turnout in key areas down this also hampered Sol-PBP holding on to their seats.

In Dublin a number of the Left leaning Independents like John Lyons, Cieran Perry and Pat Dunne held their seats with Dean Mulligan, Sean McLoughlin and Anthony Flynn among those to gain seats.

Outside of Dublin the results weren’t great. The Left no longer represented on Limerick City and County Council. No seats in Waterford (Indeed just one Far Left candidate from PBP) ,Ted Tynan of The WP held on in Cork along with Fiona Ryan of Solidarity, Pat English of WUAG retained his seat in Clonmel, Declan Bree and Gino O’Boyle in Sligo, Collette Connolly holding on in Galway, Adrienne Wallace gaining a seat in Carlow but thats about it.

Whilst the Greens got a lot of votes , those to the left of Labour had another choice this time in The Social Democrats. I’m pretty sure that this choice was taken in many areas where voters may have previously voted for Sol-PBP.

The decline in the Sinn Féin vote added to the problems for the Left in that it was SF transfers that help elect many Left candidates in 2014 and 2016.

In 2014 there was huge anger at Water Charges and Austerity , not just that but also huge anger at The Labour Party which got voters out to vote for the Far Left. They wanted to punish Labour. This time whilst there are some really pressing issues such as Housing and Climate Change they weren’t ones that were owned or led by the Far Left. Indeed in many areas it was local issues that came to the fore, Bus Connects was one whilst in my neighbouring LEA of Firhouse Bohernabreena the poll topper was the candidate who has been seen to have been most active on the issue of a redesigned roundabout.

Talking to some candidates, they found it hard to get the numbers out canvassing. Indeed, despite not being a party member, I was asked by a number of candidates to help out on their campaigns.  There were 15 candidates running in my area, I think I had 6 that canvassed or had their team canvass my house. From talking to others involved in various parties they said that there was an apathy about the election from the start and it would have taken some really high profile rows or something unusual to get the public fully engaged. 

As for the lack of canvassing (which along with posters etc gets the election mood going) , My morning commute involves getting off the bus in Rathmines and walking down the canal to Grand Canal Street. In 2014 and 2016 (and indeed both the Marriage Equality and Repeal Referenda) each bridge was hallowed turf. The bridges at Rathmines, Leeson Street and Baggot Street particularly popular with canvassers. This time there was very little. Of the European candidates I got material from Alex White, Barry Andrews, Alice Mary Higgins and Ciaran Cuffe on this route during the month of the campaign. Of the Locals just Hazel Chu, James Geoghegan, Patrick Kinsella and Ruairi McGinley.

I attended a number of Shamrock Rovers matches both home and away during the campaign. Not once was I canvassed outside a match. In previous Local elections there has always been canvassers outside Tallaght Stadium. There were even canvassers back in the bad old days when we were playing our home games in Dalymount, The RDS, Tolka or Richmond Park.

From the results in both the Europeans and The Locals it’s not hard to see General Election seat losses for The far left. Nobody is safe.

As for the Answer?

Better cooperation between parties would be a start, no running against sitting TD’s , agreements over candidates and so on.  A broad Left platform with requirements so basic that everyone could sign up to?

Far Right is left? May 31, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Thanks to the person who forwarded this to the CLR.

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9
Tel.: 01-8305792

Gerry Adams TD,
Mary Lou McDonald TD,
c/o Dail Eireann,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2

Tuesday 28 May 2019
Dear Gerry, dear Mary-Lou,
As someone who as been a Republican all my life and who voted for Sinn Fein for decades until the party decided to adopt the same position on Brexit as Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour, may I make some points to each of you re Sinn Fein’s poor results in last weekend’s elections.

I am circulating these points also to your TD, MLA and MEP colleagues for their information, and to various SF members whom I know.

The fundamental reason why so many Sinn Fein activists have become party’s support base stayed at home last weekend is that Sinn Fein is no longer seen as a radical Republican party. It has been trying so hard for years to make itself “respectable”, with a view to joining a Coalition Government in due course with either FF or FG, that large numbers of its natural support base now see it as fundamentally the same on key policy matters as the other Dail parties

Sinn Fein’s opposition to Brexit and an accompanying Irexit is fundamental to this perception. For how can a genuine Republican party champion membership of the EU when that membership means that most of our economic laws and policies are now decided by Brussels, when the Irish State is subject to huge fines if it does not obey those laws, when the EU had deprived Ireland of its own currency and with that any control of its interest rate or exchange rate, and when the EU Treaties have made us all into real citizens of a Federal-style EU, for one can only be a citizen of a State?

As you know, the EU now has all the features of a fully-fledged State, apart from its own army and direct taxation powers, and Germany and France frankly acknowledge their objective of its acquiring these in time. Is this “the unfettered control of Irish destinies” the 1916 people struggled for?

Talk of changing this situation or bringing about a so-called “Social Europe” while remaining an EU member is so much self-deception; for there cannot be the slightest change to the EU’s rules or structures without that being agreed unanimously amongst the 28 Governments of its Member States – which it is not realistic to see happening.

The British Euro-election results shows that a real and meaningful Brexit is now increasingly probable under a Brexiteer Tory Prime Minister, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party breathing down his or her neck. This means that the UK as a whole, including the North, will in due course leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union. That inevitably means adding a whole new dimension to the North-South border within Ireland.

Partition is not going to end in the next few years and the idea that the effects of Brexit on the 26 Cos. in that event can somehow be headed off by Northern Unionists being blandished or dragooned into a link-up with the Republic inside the EU – which would, inter alia, require them to abandon the pound sterling as their currency and adopt the euro instead – is just so much fantasy.

Sinn Fein’s embracing of EU membership for the 26-Counties while the North leaves the EU along with the rest of the UK must inevitably turn the party into a participant in a new Partition of Ireland – unless the party’s leadership changes course and reverts to the true Republican position which it upheld in all the South’s EU-related referendums between 1972 and 2012.

May I put it to you that the best way to do this is for the Sinn Fein leadership to say that if the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union – as now looks probable under a Brexiteer Prime MInister – then the 26 Co. State should do the same to avoid adding the new dimensions to the Partition border that must otherwise arise, and in the process get back control of its own laws, currency, fishery resources, citizenship and borders.

A Sinn Fein Party with such a policy could put the other Dail parties on the defensive for conniving at a new Partition of Ireland by seeking to stay in the EU when the North leaves along with Britain, and for selling out the country to rule by Brussels over decades. Of course such a policy would need to be spelled out and explained to Sinn Fein’s supporters and the general public; but if that were done patiently and consistently it would set Sinn Fein on course to becoming in time the largest party in the Irish State.

That would be a return to a proper Republican policy. It would at once restore Sinn Fein’s lost radicalism and make it really different from the other Dail parties. It would give Sinn Fein the policy initiative vis-a-vis these others, for it is certain that a real Brexit will shift large swathes of Southern opinion in an EU-critical direction over the next few years.

A real Brexit, which will get rid of the nonsense of Varadkar’s spurious “backstop”, will put the other Dail parties on the spot as “Euro-unionists”. It should also make possible a new dynamic between Sinn Fein and the DUP in the North, give the latter some idea of the leading role they could play in a United Ireland that was really independent outside the EU, and correspond to the practicalities of what this State adapting to a real Brexit will require.

Otherwise I am afraid the longterm prospect for Sinn Fein must be one of decline into political irrelevance, for unless the party stands for real national independence – and Irish unity in independence – there can be no real substance to its Republicanism . . . And that would surely be sad after all the sacrifices that have been made by so many since 1970, and the hopes so many had of what the political and peace process could deliver for Sinn Fein.

Finally, may I put in a plea to you and your Sinn Fein colleagues not to keep referring to British Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove et al as “right-wing Tories” when they are actually “left-wing” ones.

Bexiteers of all kinds are objectively “on the Left”, whatever their political party, in that they are opposed to the core policy of international High Finance and Big Business, the globalisers, the City of London, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), George Soros, Peter Mandelson, the Eurocrats of the Brussels Commission and the most conservative and reactionary economic interests in the EU and the UK – that policy being to remain in the EU at all costs and to try and prevent the citizens of the UK getting back the power to make their own laws; a policy with which the Sinn Fein leadership has currently decided to align itself.

The cause of national independence, sovereignty and national democracy is a progressive and objectively “leftwing” one and not reactionary, even if it is championed by Tories or erstwhile Tories, as stigmatising those who support that cause in the EU context as “right-wing” seeks to imply.

I recall Desmond Greaves, who was a communist all his life, saying to me once, at the time of Harold Wilson’s UK referendum on staying in the EEC in 1975: “You must remember that Enoch Powell is on the Left of the Tory Party, not its Right. It is Edward Heath who is on the Right.”

Powell was the Nigel Farage of his day, who broke with the Tories and urged people to vote Labour in 1974 in the hope of defeating Heath’s appplication to join “Yurrup”.

Heath was the Tory Prime Minister who brought Britain into the EEC in 1973, representing as he did the interests of British and international High Finance and Big Capital and the Transnational Firms who wanted – and still want – their profit-making activities to be free of control by national States as much as possible, which membership of the supranational EU ensures, as it erects the “free” movement of goods, services, capital and labour across the EU into constitutional principles.

The Enoch Powells and Nigel Farages of this world want their respective States to be able to control Big Capital, often in the interest of smaller capital; and if ignorant people call them ”right-wing” because they maintain the democratic principle that people should make their own laws, it is only because parties that like to regard themselves as progressive and “on the Left” are utterly failing to defend national independence and democracy in face of the EU’s assault on Europe’s Nation States.

If Sinn Fein wants to have a viable longterm political future, it should start by putting this genuine Republican message to the Irish people.

Le dea guí,

Anthony Coughlan
(Associate Professor Emeritus in Social Policy, TCD)

Possible, sure, but…likely? May 31, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Not sure that Newton Emerson isn’t falling into the same trap in relation to Alliance as commentators this side of the border did when they saw the exit polls at the European Elections heralding a Green Party surge of massive proportions. There was a surge, but it wasn’t quite as advertised.

And similarly Emerson writes:

The extraordinary rise in support for Alliance in Northern Ireland represents a strong vote to restore Stormont. There is no paradox with this having occurred in local and European elections, held on separate dates this month.
Alliance’s growth reflects frustration with political paralysis in general, of which the collapse of devolution is the most potent example, surpassing even Brexit as an everyday concern. All parties reported demands on the doorsteps to return to Stormont during the council campaign. Alliance leader Naomi Long says her European victory was in large part driven by a public wish to see devolution restored. Sinn Féin and the DUP appear to be taking this on board.


Alliance was tiny at the time of the Belfast Agreement, as it had been for decades. The category of other was created for it and a few even smaller parties to permit a purely ornamental centre ground.


Alliance’s breakthrough could yet be a passing phenomenon but it has the feel of a natural shift. Northern Ireland has entered an era of three pluralities: unionist, nationalist and other. Two unionist and two nationalist parties are a legacy of conflict – with peace, one each can suffice. A European election, in which Northern Ireland is a single three-seat constituency, has accelerated the party-political implications by delivering Sinn Féin, DUP and Alliance wins.
Another Assembly election would be more complicated. However, Alliance’s growth has pushed it over the psychological threshold of eclipsing the SDLP and especially the UUP.
Current Stormont talks risk building in failure if they presume the restoration of a four-party, two-tribes system, plus extraneous other.
Logic and events now point to a very different future.

Okay. Hold on. European elections are sui generis. They allow for the expression politically of impulses and attitudes by the electorate that other election don’t. In an odd way they seem almost cathartic – and that is both good and bad. In part this is because the stakes are so low. MEPs tend to vanish to Brussels and not be seen for years on end – the workings of Brussels itself are opaque or at least distant, and so on.

This is not to deny the victory of Naomi Long, and a welcome one too. Or to suggest that the expectations of what we want MEPS to do should be greater. But look at the local election results and the idea that Alliance is about to become the third force in NI politics seems a little unlikely. On one level I wish it was. On the other I’m deeply dubious.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Emerson is curiously selective in his listing of motivations for the Alliance increase – that clearly being based around Brexit. Instead he points to the idea that the collapse of Stormont was the pressing issue. That’s part of it, but the main part of it? I’m dubious about that too. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s examine what Long herself said the night of her victory.

Mrs Long said the vote showed that people in Northern Ireland still wanted to remain in the EU.

“I was really clear when I went out campaigning what I want the vote to stand for and it’s a vote to remain, it’s a vote to have a ‘People’s Vote’ and that’s what this vote means,” she said.
“For those who try to misappropriate it – and try to put it into unionist and nationalist boxes – I am not having that. The people who voted for me came together from right across the community, regardless of unionism, regardless of nationalism, regardless of all those labels, they came together behind Alliance to send a message.
“And that message is – we want to remain in the EU, give us a ‘People’s vote’ and let us have the final say.”
Mrs Anderson said the result in Northern Ireland had sent a strong message to Europe.
“Absolutely delighted, our strategy has worked,” she said.
“We wanted to send a message back to the EU by, in the first instance, topping the poll and, more importantly, sending two Remainers back.
“Fifty seven per cent of the people who voted here voted to remain in the EU and they have sent a strong message back to Europe that they want to stay in the EU.”

Exhibition in Newbridge 12th -15th July May 31, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

As part of the JuneFest in Newbridge

The Irish Election Literature exhibition will be open at 12:00am to 4:00pm from 13th to 15 th June.

The exhibition of Irish political paraphernalia will be opened by Fiona O’Loughlin TD for Kildare South and a former member of the June Fest committee. Alan Kinsella (Irish Election Literature blog) will give a talk about his collection of material from Irish referenda and election campaigns down through the years.

The venue is Next door to Con Cummins Pub, Main Street Newbridge.
It’s a former Taxi office so I will have the walls covered with posters from Ireland and elsewhere and a number of mainly Kildare focused election leaflets, protest flyers etc. It’s due to be open from 12 to 4 for the days that it is on.

The Telly …. May 30, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

I was on Ireland AM earlier this week with a bunch of posters
You can view the segment here

Government support after the European elections May 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I’d a post about the situation as regards government support and stability after the EU election. For example can FG or FF hold the Kelleher/Fitzgerald seats and can the opposition hold the Daly/Wallace seats? Any thoughts?

But wait, there’s more! Just this morning news that even newer developments may cause yet further problems…

The speculation on Wednesday night was that, when the European elections are complete, there will be 154 members of the Dáil thanks to the departure to Brussels of Clare Daly, Billy Kelleher, Frances Fitzgerald and probably Mick Wallace.

Fine Gael would need a majority of 56 votes in this case. With the Fine Gael party, the Independent Alliance, Independents Katherine Zappone, Seán Canney and Noel Grealish, the Government has 55 votes currently. Add in the guaranteed support of Michael Lowry and the regular support of Denis Naughten, and the number climbs to 57. Without Ms Bailey, the Government would be more reliant on Lowry and Naughten than ever before.

Signs of Hope – A continuing series May 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

Exit polls May 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Excellent overview of the virtues and flaws of exit polls here by Michael Marsh on RTÉ. He notes three key aspects:

There was much talk in Britain about “shy” Tory voters who biased polls because of their unwillingness to be interviewed. It was a good story, but thorough investigations into polling failures found little evidence to support it and good evidence for other explanations of error.
It is harder to see why the big parties are generally underestimated. That is not consistently the case in pre-election polling.


Exit polls could be made more precise if any organisation, governmental or private, was willing to provide the necessary money to increase sample size, locations, interviews and time windows.
It is noticeable that the BBC exit polls have greatly improved since they substantially increased their spending.

But this really resonates with me:

We must have some sympathy for those voters who were willing to stop and answer questions. It was hard enough to search through more than half a meter of ballot paper without having to remember afterwards what you did, who you did it to, and in which election.

I was struck by this latter phenomenon leaving the polling place on Friday evening last. Just going over my vote it struck me I knew the first three I’d gone for in both local and European elections but after that while I was pretty sure I had the next three and I think that was pretty much that for me on the locals I couldn’t quite recall which order were 4/5. Then again I know precisely who got my 1st preference.

I really don’t think exit polls should be regarded as much more than filler – indicative of but not precise as regards outcomes. Then again, as I noted elsewhere we also have tallies to contend with even later in the election process.

An impression of the Local Elections Campaign from The Left May 30, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

There will be some examination of the Lefts performance in the Local Elections here but I thought this piece on impressions from the campaign from a person involved in the Left was thought provoking.
Where now for the left after the local Elections?

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