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Immigration as an election issue: Off the agenda, for now? December 10, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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What do people think of the above following the far from stellar performance by candidates either overtly attempting to use that to power their campaigns or those who inadvertently, or not, utilised charged rhetoric that touched on that area? I’ve no solid read on this, but one thought that strikes me was that given the low turnout those candidates still did pretty poorly, all things considered. Not one of them was in serious contention. And yet it would be precisely at an election like this that one might expect them to do a little better, if they were able to enthuse a portion of the electorate. Granted, at a General Election there are many issues in play, and this is only one of them. But the question remains, is it one with political potency?

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1. An Sionnach Fionn - December 10, 2019

I think the high profile actions of a certain former journalist turned wannabe politician and that person’s extremist and rather bonkers behaviour, especially as disseminated on social media, has added to the impression that the anti-immigrants are of the fruitcakes and loonies variety. And no ambitious mainstream politico wants to be seen in that light. You don’t get an opportunity to grab the perks and mercs of high office if you are seen as one of the nutters.

So selfishness and careerism is actually a good thing in this case. As long as the electorate remains sceptical about anti-immigrant rhetoric.

My worry is that there is an ongoing effort to “groom” Irish voters in a manner similar to the Trumpist/Birther/Tea Party crowd in the US or the Brexit/UKIP crowd in the UK in the hopes that it may pay off two or three electoral cycles down the road.

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WorldbyStorm - December 10, 2019

That rings v true, we know who has made them look as mad as a bag full of cats but … as you say there’s others who take the long view

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2. roddy - December 10, 2019

There is a tosser standing here in Mid Ulster as an”independent”.He would be virtually unknown but has”Irish freedom party” on his literature and is using “pro life rhetoric”.Expect him to be thrashed and the only way I could see him getting any votes is if a few gullible people who know nothing of the IFP,assume “Irish Freedom” is meant in the traditional “free from British rule” sense.

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Colm B - December 10, 2019

Say what you will about SF but one of the barriers to fat-right, anti-immigrant politics is that SF has monopolilsed Irish nationalist politics north and south while being staunchly anti-racist. So the classic formula for far right success – nationalism plus anti-immigrant racism, hasn’t been possible. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen or that the fuel isn’t there just that so far that unique factor has largely prevented it.

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Joe - December 11, 2019

Yep. Agree. And fair play to SF in that regard.
One quibble though. SF has pretty much monopolized Irish nationalist politics in the north. But not in the south – SF has FF, FG, Labour, PbP and pretty much everyone else competing with it for the nationalist vote in the south. And FF and FG ahead of SF for the southern nationalist vote.
SF and fair play to them are safe on anti-immigrant racism. FF and FG probably overall safe too but with a blind eye turned when it suits them to local cllrs, TDs, candidates playing the race card.
And the real danger is probably local indo TDs – more Grealishes.

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3. Paul Culloty - December 10, 2019

One key difference here, compared with most European countries, is that immigrants are reasonably well dispersed throughout the country as whole, so communities have been able to adjust to the new arrivals. A worrying trend in England has been the emergence of “bloc voting”, with Hindus urged to vote Tory, and Muslims for Labour, but given our electoral system, and community integration, the votes of our new citizens should be indistinguishable from those born locally.

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4. Jim Monaghan - December 11, 2019

There is quite a bit of insidious stuff circulating. U see this fairly awful one on f/b. https://gript.ie/ And in answer to the above, it is regions with few migrants which are prone to hysteria. ( reference Guardian article)

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5. oliverbohs - December 11, 2019

If another economic downturn happens, even if it is not as harsh as the last one, rule nothing out. Where there has been another disadvantage for this kind of politics from having a moment is history. When emigration and recurring poverty are keystones to a country’s history since its independence then it makes it trickier to hark back to the golden years. When they didn’t really exist. The exception being a dozen or so years there where immigration from Eastern Europe was unignorable, yet society didn’t break down as a result

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Paul Culloty - December 11, 2019

Mind you, net immigration swiftly turned to net emigration during the last downturn (2009-14), and the Eastern European economies are flourishing now.

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