Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Fianna Fáil’ Category

Ireland’s Banking Fiasco, Midnight Parliamentary Madness, A Government in Free Fall…..and Mass Media Self-Delusion

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Many media commentators predicted a popularity boost for a struggling Government because of extraordinary events this week.

They seem to be singing from this Labour Party Leadership Circular to its councillors :

“Farewell to Anglo!
Last night’s legislation brings an end to Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society. These two institutions, names that will live on in ignominy, are forever associated with the recklessness and greed of a tiny clique that brought this country to the edge of financial ruin. These banks, the people who ran them and the golden circle around them were at the very roots of the crisis that has caused so much distress to the Irish people.

In liquidating this institution, we are doing what should have been done on the night of the blanket bank guarantee.

This is another step forward towards the day when we can finally face forward as a people, when the past can finally recede into the distance and when Ireland and the Irish people can see the future that they truly deserve”

This text was apparently put into the public domain by Labour Party Fingal Councillor Cian Ó Ceallacháin, who dissents from the austerity dogma promoted by his party leadership.

Opinion Polls in the last few months have been grim reading for the parties leading the current coalition government, Fine Gael and Labour.

Labour Pains in 2013 Opinion Polls

There is one fundamental reason for the fall in Fine Gael and Labour Party ratings : Mssrs Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are continuing to carry out the policies of the previous Fianna Fáil / Green Party Coalition.

The scale of the FF/GP fall between the General Elections of 2007 and 2011 was spectacular :  the two parties won 84 seats in 2007 but collapsed to 20 in 2011 – a staggering loss of 64 TD’s, reducing the Green Party Dáil delegation from Six to Nil.

Opinion Polls began to register this electoral earthquake after a 2008 all-night Dáil session which gave birth to the Brian Lenihan inspired “bail-out”, shoring up the Bust Anglo-Irish Bank and ushering in a programme of austerity, cuts to public services, privatisation, and tax increases.

Fine Gael and Labour this week staged a re-run of Brian Lenihan’s all-night Leinster House Show, once again rushing through a complex piece of financial legislation connected with the financial crisis.

Will these parties follow the electoral example of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party?

Since the Savita Halappanavar Scandal, the opinion poll ratings of the government parties have gone into free fall.

An opinion poll published in today’s Irish Times confirms the trend,with major losses predicted for Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

Adrian Kavanagh has done his usual excellent number-crunching giving this predicted result if a General Election was held tomorrow :

STATE  FG 42  FF 51  LP 15 SF 26 Others 24

Compare this with the 2011 result

STATE  FG 76
 FF 20
 LP 37
SF 14
Others 19

In other words, Fine Gael and Labour will lose a staggering 56 seats if these numbers are right.

In fact losses for the Labour Party will very probably exceed the catastrophic defeat predicted above :

Adrian Kavanagh says that “actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here” :

Labour’s declining support levels (down eight percentage points on the party’s support levels in the 2011 election) translate in a further significant drop in the seat estimates allocated to the party in these latest poll analyses. The party’s support levels are now on a par with the levels earned by the party in the 2002 and 2007 general elections though its seat estimates here are lower than the seats won by that party in those contests due to (i) the increase competition levels offer by Sinn Fein and other left-of-centre political groupings and (ii) the impact of the boundary changes associated with the 2012 Constituency Commission report which are seen to more adversely effect Labour than another of the other parties or political groupings. It is interesting to note also that, with the exception of Galway East, most of the rebel Labour TDs would appear to be based in constituencies that this analysis suggests the party would hold seats in at an election based on national figures akin to these poll support levels. If these deputies were to remain outside the party fold to the point of running as independents the actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here.

Web Link :

actual Labour seat numbers could well be lower than the numbers predicted here

Going into the detail, the following words jump out at readers interested in boosting the electoral fortunes of an anti-capitalist / anti-coalition alternative :

Boost for small parties

However, the appeal of other small parties and Independents has grown considerably since the last Irish Times poll, with a fifth of all voters now supporting this category.

The level of support for this group is particularly pronounced in Dublin, where 32 per cent of voters say they would support this category.

This is a far higher level of support than any of the political parties managed to attract and indicates that there could be many more Independents and representatives of small parties in the Dáil after the next election.

Web Link :

Support for Others at 32 Per Cent in Dublin

The others group is a mix of left and right, but in Dublin it is primarily an anti-coalition left vote.  When that vote came together in 2009, Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party won one of the three Dublin Euro-Parliament Seats.

The trials and tribulations of the faltering United Left Alliance project are being exhaustively discussed on this blog and other places.

The events of this week, and the electoral and opinion poll data above, show very decisively that, the anti-coalition anti-capitalist left must get its act together – or – in Bernadette McAliskey’s recent words at the 2013 Bloody Sunday Commemoration in Derry – “we are in for one hell of a hiding”.

De Silva’s Gaping Hole

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tomasoflatharta:

A gaping hole in the De Silva Pat Finucane Review

Originally posted on The Broken Elbow:

UPDATED 14.05 EST

STATEMENT BY ED MOLONEY ON THE DE SILVA REPORT – Dec 12th 2012

In his report on the murder of Pat Finucane, Sir Desmond de Silva has this to say in relation to the RUC’s role in encouraging the UDA to target the solicitor (Par 73):

“The critical issue, in my view, was to determine whether RUC officers had been involved in inciting loyalists in custody to attack Patrick Finucane. Allegations that RUC officers had incited loyalists in this manner were first expressed privately by the Ambassador of the Government of Ireland to the Cabinet Secretary on 13 February 1989, the day after Patrick Finucane’s murder.”
In December 1998 I was the Northern Editor of the Sunday Tribune newspaper. During that month I had lunch with the late Tommy Lyttle, then the West Belfast Commander of the UDA. During the lunch he told me that RUC…

View original 495 more words

Reilly left red-faced as he’s named on debt-default list – National News – Independent.ie

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Health Minister Dr James Reilly Named in Stubbs Gazette – Debts of €1.9
The Irish Independent highlights another Government Minister in trouble :

Dr James Reilly, Fine Gael Minister for Health, joins a growing list of Cabinet Members surrounded by dodgy financial deals. Just like the Ahern-Cowen Fianna Fail governments of 1997 – 2011 – Spot the difference?

Stanford University California – Ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen is a $58,000 student on a Six-Week Course

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The Irish Daily Mail is running a story on ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen :

Link :

Who is paying ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s $58,000 Fees for a 6 week course in Stanford University, California?

Brian Cowen at Stanford University

 

Let’s wait and see how this story develops.

The words “Stanford University” rang a bell here :

Reilly’s special advisor paid €160,000 for 80% of his time, works here ‘on average’ 2 weeks a month

Health Analyst Sara Burke reported about Mr Martin Connor on February 17 2012 :

Connor, a special advisor to Health Minister James Reilly, divides his time between Ireland and Stanford University, California :

Word was out in the health system that Martin Connor worked here just eight days out of 24 and was based in California. When I asked the Department of Health how much of his time was dedicated to his special delivery unit work and where was he based, I was told, ‘The time commitment is of the order of 80%. Dr Connor is currently completing a research fellowship in Stanford University. He is in Ireland for two weeks a month on average but also conducts work by teleconference on a daily basis.’ Teleconferences on a daily basis must be difficult given the time difference between California and Dublin.

Link :

Health Minister Reilly’s Special Advisor Paid €160,000; Studies at Stanford University California

In recent days mainstream Irish media outlets ran a story about an alleged “scandal” – 3 United Left Alliance TD’s travelled outside their Dublin constituencies to support the Campaign Against the Household Tax.

Link :

Smear Campaign Against ULA TD’s on Travel Expenses

Makes you wonder about the calibre of wealthy students at Stanford University California, Irish State Bodies Paying Very Expensive Fees, and Double Standards in the Main Irish media outlets.

Update 1 :

Link :

Enterprise Ireland not paying Brian Cowen’s Stanford University Fees of $58,000 for a six week course

John Meehan

Enda Kenny Grins For The Gintry – But Can He Stop A Referendum on the new EU Fiscal Treaty?

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image

Enda Kenny was one of the courtly mummers in the presence of her britannic majesty in 2011 – good practice for 2012!

See Also :

Old Kenny Apologises For Ireland to the Gintry

http://www.irishleftreview.org/2012/01/27/kenny-apologises-ireland-gintry/

UPDATE :

Enda told Nicolas he would stop an Irish Referendum on the new European Union fiscal treaty – has the Taoiseach broken another promise?

The ruling class discreetly applauds the Fine Gael leader’s broken promises to the little people – such as when he went back on a pre-election pledge to stop the closure of Roscommon Hospital.

http://www.endakenny.com/?p=213

But Enda won’t get any ear-grabs for letting down the big people – a much more serious mistake!

Article 27 and the Independent TDs

A group of Independent TDs who want Europe’s new fiscal treaty put to a referendum will seek to use a little known constitutional provision to petition the President to do so, it has emerged.
Under Article 27 of the Constitution, a Bill can be referred to a referendum if requested by at least one third of the Dáil, and a majority of the Seanad.
Donegal South West TD Thomas Pringle said he was “hopeful of achieving that requirement.”


More Here :

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/article-27-and-the-independent-tds/

Written by tomasoflatharta

January 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm

“BLOODY SUNDAY…..unleashed a wave of nationalism that engulfed the Republic; biggest general strike in Europe since the second World War ” – Éamonn McCann Irish Times Article

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Éamonn McCann discusses the impact of Bloody Sunday South of the Irish Border – a general strike developed rapidly and a huge Dublin Demonstration from Parnell Square to Merrion Square finished with the burning of the British Embassy.

I was on that march, and stood in the middle of the crowd outside the British Embassy as preparations unfolded rapidly for the burning of the building.  I discovered later that a near-neighbour, Séamus Costello, was widely believed to be the person who gave the final order to torch the building.

Update :

Listen to a riveting RTÉ Radio 1 History Show – broadcast on Sunday January 29 2012, where Eamonn McCann discusses Bloody Sunday with panellists Brian Hanley (author of The Lost Revolution) and Queens’ University Historian Margaret O’Callaghan – the presenter is Myles Dungan.

http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2012/pc/pod-v-thehistoryshow290112-pid0-3023400.mp3

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

January 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm

“Be Patient and Never Give up the Struggle” An interview with Tommy McKearney

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International Viewpoint has published a stimulating interview with Tommy McKearney,

http://www.tommymckearney.com/Site/Blog/Blog.html

 

A Patient Revolutionary Socialist

Tommy McKearney - A Patient Revolutionary Socialist

 

We hope soon to carry a review of Tommy’s recently published book

Goodbye Armalite, Hello Ballot Box?

Tommy welcomes the United Left Alliance Project :

Q: In late 2010 the United Left Alliance came together to contest the February 2011 general elections in Ireland, winning five seats. What is you assessment of the ULA?

TM: The ULA is a positive and progressive development. The fact that organizations of the left have come together at any time is good and that these groups are doing so at this time of capitalist crisis is heartening and encouraging. The ULA has also given some needed visibility to the left through its articulate and high-profile spokespersons such as Richard Boyd Barrett and Joe Higgins.

Asked about Ed Moloney’s “Voices From the Grave” and the British state attack on the Boston College Belfast Project, Tommy says : Read the rest of this entry »

United Left Alliance TD’s, part of the Dáil Technical Group – Irish Times Review

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For a change, the Irish Times report is fair to the left-wing outsiders.

Debate occurred on this site after the February 25 2011 General Election on whether Luke “Ming” Flanagan could be grouped within the left – we presume that argument is over now.  Ming has sided with the United Left Alliance comrades on a variety of key issues since his election in Roscommon-South Leitrim – is the west awake for the left?

http://tomasoflatharta.com/2011/03/15/labour-voters-how-cool-are-they-about-coalition-with-the-right/#comments

The article is discussed on the Cedar Lounge Revolution Site :

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/speaking-about-the-independents-of-the-left/

Ming Flanagan gets this mention: we are told the Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim who has in the past proudly advertised his fondness for the odd cannabis joint

orbits in this area, but is less clearly explicitly left-wing and therefore perhaps more sensibly regarded as being a sometime fellow traveller on some but not all issues.

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Gene Kerrigan: Austerity doesn’t work? No problem… – A superb article

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Budget 2012 – Round-Up of the Real Left Response – “Death By a Thousand Cuts”

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Joe Higgins Speaking in the Dáil :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ggu-mbY-xxI

The Spectacle of Defiance Inspires on the Streets of Dublin -”Arise Ye Risen People” :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58wZmRadHwk&feature=share

Death By a Thousand Cuts – Joan Collins Speaks :

http://joan-collins.org/2011/12/06/budget-2012-death-by-a-thousand-cuts/

The Dublin West Labour TD, Patrick Nulty, winner of the October 27 by-election, voted against the budget, managing to stay within his organisation’s parliamentary party a mere 6 weeks – prompting me to observe on the Cedar Lounge Blog : Read the rest of this entry »

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