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It surely wasn’t meant to go like this… November 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

When the by-elections were called I wonder did the government ever envisage this outcome. It’s not so much that FG hasn’t picked up a seat, but that this has provided a platform for SF to gain a seat after a very fallow period for that party, and for the Green Party to gain another (it is quite some time since the GP had three seats in Dáil Éireann, isn’t it?) and FF of course cantering home to two other seats. Worse again, the sense that FG wasn’t there at all, beaten into third place in Cork North-Central (by Sinn Féin, no less!), fourth place in Fingal, second place in Dublin Mid-West and third place in Wexford. Hardly the sort of result that was hoped for, or even expected.

Okay, this was on a low turnout. It’s tempting to read all manner of things into the results. Did the twitter and rhetoric surrounding FF’s candidate in Fingal and FG’s candidate in Wexford help or hinder them? I’d argue the latter and perhaps the results will make some who might be inclined to go down that path think again. Is that Green wave still sustained or has it abated slightly? Then again, does the result in Fingal in itself help keep it going? And likewise with SF, will that be the sort of boost for the party needed only months out from the next election? And what of the perception of FG? Difficult to believe they’ll be going into that election with a smile on their lips and a spring in their step.

Mapping the byelections November 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Some fascinating insights here on the always useful Irish Political Maps.

Not least this striking thought with regard to Independents (excluding I4C).

The Independent vote #BE19 – Aside from Paul Gogarty in Dublin Mid-West, no Independent candidate did particularly well this time around. #byelections2019

Byelections open thread November 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone close to the counts and thoughts on how it goes? As of writing this at a little before 10am RTÉ reporting ‘quite’ to ‘record’ low turnouts.

Turnout in Wexford is thought to have been not much more than 30%.

In Cork North-Central, turnout is thought to be between 30% and 32% with no spikes registered in any particular area.

Turnout in the Dublin by-election could set a new record low of around 25% according the latest estimates.

How does that impact on the outcome? Could be an interesting day.

Here’s RTÉ’s live blog. No firm indications as of yet, too early to tell.

And here’s the live blog from the Irish Times. SF perhaps doing better than expected in DMW in working class areas? Not in contention for a seat I’d imagine… but interesting. GP doing well in Fingal. Very early days.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… 3epkano November 30, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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3epkano are “Dublin based collective who are dedicated to producing original soundtracks for silent and avant-garde cinema.” They’ve been around since 2004 and have released a number of albums. They remind me a lot of This Mortal Coil.
It’s lovely relaxing music.

The World of Work, the world of workers… November 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The length of time Irish people are forecast to spend in the labour market has increased to 37 years, above the European Union average of 36.2 years, new figures from Eurostat suggest.The figures indicate the time people aged 15 years in 2018 are expected to spend in the labour market, either employed or unemployed, throughout his or her life, Eurostat said.

It’s actually longer than above for many:

For men across the EU, the average expected working life duration is 38.6 years, some 4.9 years longer than for women, at 33.7 years. In the Republic, the figure for men was 40.4 years compared to 33.6 years for women, a gender gap of 6.8 years.

Another surprise! November 29, 2019

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Nearly all the so-called deals to be found on Black Friday are cheaper or the same price at other times of the year, according to an investigation carried out by the British consumer watchdog Which?The consumer group tracked the prices of 83 products on sale on Black Friday last year for six months before the day in question until six months after it.

In a parallel universe… November 29, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I was wondering were the present Government regretful that they didn’t go for a General Election this month? After all today’s by-elections aren’t exactly going to plan – or at least not a plan dreamed up in FG HQ, what with candidates going off message to a degree unimaginable not a couple of weeks ago and near enough over-shadowing FF’s problems in the same area.

Then again, it would be different candidates at a General Election. On the other hand if this is what carefully picked candidates look like, who knows what sort of skeletons are rattling about in the cupboards of those set to contest the General Election? The thought strikes if these guys can’t get their candidates right how on earth can they run a government. Hmmm… okay. Yeah. I see the problem there.

As always the challenge has been how to craft an election without seeming to craft one. Pull the plug on the government in too obvious a way, even if one is the government, and that reflects poorly (or so it is assumed) on those doing the pulling. Hence FG and FF’s remarkable hesitancy in doing anything to collapse the current set-up.

Even the shadow-boxing in the Dáil over the by-election candidates has been muted. Sure, there’s bluster, as described by Miriam Lord here, but nothing that is going to genuinely wound, nothing that will bring down the government. It really is a remarkable inversion of political as usual where the name of the game is (largely) to precipitate the collapse an administration.

And I know this is detached somewhat from ideology, albeit only in a cosmetic way because in truth it is all about the ideology, and retaining the status quo ante and perpetuating it. But this still fascinates me – how matters stagger on.

The strangest thing is that, likely, after the next election we will see Fianna Fáil propped up by smaller parties and independents and dependent upon FG too.

But I wonder will FG be quite as solicitous? Perhaps it will depend on how far short they fall at the next election. I suspect that’s a government that may not last so long.

‘Unease’ is a mild word, isn’t it? November 29, 2019

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From the IT, Conor Lally reporting on the Garda Commissioner’s thoughts on far-right activity and extremism…

Although he did not mention any of the events he was concerned about, there is unease in Garda circles at proliferation of right-wing social media activity and arson attacks on planned direct provision centres for foreign nationals applying for international protection.

Signs of Hope – A continuing series November 29, 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?

“Printer” November 28, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Pat Leahy isn’t behind in seeming to be at least a tad sceptical about some aspects of the Oireachtas printing machine saga.

Why is the printer not working yet?
What are the nature of the “health and safety assessments” that have to be carried out in the switch from the old printers to the new one?
Exactly how much are the Siptu workers looking for?

Yet, David Cullinane of SF was one who noted that there was a workers issue here when he said:

“There are no HR issues with the staff in relation to the operation of this printer, there are training issues. It is twice the size of any printer staff have used before. They actually have to use a forklift in a very tight space to load up the paper,” he said. 

That sounds to me like a qualitative change.

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