Slugger’s Daily Blogburst…

Kicking off late because of the PBR, Irish Election has the dope on yesterday’s confirmation that yes, the government is still enmeshed in deep do-do with the electors of the Republic… Though the Fianna Fail rally is four per cent, and the only one outside the margin of error. It confirms this is a two horse race… The small parties on the Irish left remain marginal…

For Labour, Sinn Féin, Greens and Independents, it’s all well within the margin of error across the two polls. Sinn Féin may be a little worried that they haven’t capitalised on anything to do with the economic collapse – their natural supporters should be the ones feeling the pinch most.

– Maybe it’s because it is a small open economy that it’s minister of finance is not expected to be too original or imaginative

– Gerard is in nicely provocative form and playing Morpheus to his reader’s Neo… Take the Red pill he says, and awake to the reality that “the state is not a benign parent out to guide us on the path to happiness, but rather it is an organisation driven by its own survival with occasional gestures to keep the rest of us happy”… Hmmm… put me in mind of Fintan’s counterblast last week, when he argued Irish orthodoxy was “to keep pretending this is a temporary problem and that we can shrink our State while everyone else is expanding theirs”… If the Red C poll (is there a subliminal message in there somewhere) is anything to go by, Fintan’s Social Democrats are losing the argument by an Irish mile, or ten…

– Johnny wonders just how free market the Irish government actually is:

Brian Lenihan is a member of a party that has been vociferously pro-EU over the past few decades and therefore should in reality be a staunch advocate of people having the right to move freely and purchase goods regardless of whether those goods are bought in Belfast, Berlin or Ballybay.

– Bock won’t be going back to the 80s… Or so he claims

– Simon reckons the pro Lisboners are just plain unplugged

– And yet another post on Strictly Come Dancing and Democracy from Splintered…

– Mick remembers the exceptional talent of Republican cartoonist Cormac Mac Airt…

– Mairtin bemoans the fate of working class protestants in West Belfast and states that “nationalists can’t lead this fight for the DUP”… Except for the fact that after the next boundary changes, Nationalist MLAs will be solely responsible for the loyalists of Shankill and Suffolk, so I guess they will have an opportunity to step up to a classical Republican mark and take care of all the children of the nation…

– Jeff reckons Brown is winning by using the Grey Plan policy wonk diet… Works for me… Blair is deep, deep history, and although Osborne had some great lines, he still looks and sounds like a bit player

– Shuggy, who has been pretty scathing about Gordon Brown’s easy rise to the top through the Scottish Labour selectorate has this to say on the Brown Bounce:

Opposition parties wheel out a number of alternative policies and make various criticisms of the incumbents but underpinning them all is usually one basic message: they present themselves as an alternative by saying, in effect, that this wouldn’t be happening if we’d been in power.

The reasons why neither the Conservatives nor the SNP can say this with any degree of conviction should be fairly obvious. The number of people willing to believe the opposition narrative is shrinking simply because the opposition narrative is literally unbelievable.

– Or as James so aptly put it on Twitter this afrernoon: “The Tories are stuck in a ‘wouldn’t have started from here’ narrative. Just take the medicine isn’t an attractive proposition…”

– My colleague Janet Daley however is convinced the Tories have a more than adequate target to hit in the coming days in what she rightly describes as budget rather than a review…

– But it seems that internal Tory row over ‘punk tax cuts’ hasn’t gone away you know… Here’s Danny’s latest repost at Comment Central:

The Telegraph may have urged the Tories to slow spending growth but they also wanted them to promise to give that back. If they – or Fraser Nelson, or David Davis’s leadership campaign or any of the other punk tax cutters – had had their way and the Tories had committed to tax cuts (and that’s what they all wanted and excoriorated George Osborne for not promsising) the Conservatives would now be in all sorts of difficulties.

– And Iain’s got a poll of seven questions on the PBR. Results at Ten tonight…

– And given today’s FTSE rally Alphaville has this from hedge Funder Barton Biggs on the rally in the markets:

At the bottom of a panic, the news doesn’t have to be good for stocks to rally, it just has to be less bad than what has already been discounted. I want the markets to stop going down on bad corporate and macro-economic news. The fact that it still does shows the bad news has not yet been fully discounted. I have no idea when the next bull market starts, but I do think we are setting up for the mother of all bear market rallies.

– And, finally, a bear rally is just about the best way to describe Gerry’s assessment of the Irish performance against Argentina on Saturday…

– Oh, and Stephen has done his 1000th post… In the meantime he has done lots of good stuff on and off the blog, including getting married and having babies… great read from a great blogger…

– Ah, there’s also the one about Damien getting a Golden Spider… That’s it… Promise… Enjoy… Bye…

– Damn, late nomination from Pete on today’s events in Westminster which will do little to stem the tide of the “ultimate act of patriotic sabotage.” As Gerard noted on Twitter in the middle of the PBR, that “giant sucking sound of consumer spending heading North across the border just got louder…”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty