two pennies for your thoughts on the Irish election

Simon McGarr has been publishing short, 1-3 minute long, podcasts each day during the Irish election campaign, summing up his thoughts on the issues and debates (of which he’s not that impressed).

For anyone like me with an all too sparse working knowledge of what’s going on, it’s a good listen. And it has been the merit of being short and personal. You can find the podcasts on, Audioboo or iTunes.

Do let me know in the comments below if you’ve any other recommendations of short-form material looking at the elections.

, , ,

  • Mark McGregor


    No offence but I think its a little too late in the game to get a fair understanding of what is going on.

    Understanding the politics of any area requires more than dipping in once an election is called.

    That’s why Slugger has so many people with opinions worth nothing on the topic – they think dipping in for 3 weeks and solely looking a bash SF angle counts for something.

  • Surely it is a case of whatevber floats Alan’s boat and if he feels he gets something out of him why attack him? And why bring in Sinn Fein, whose former paymaster has just masdsacred scores of defencless people in Benghazi.

    Sinn Fein’s paymaster had only 6.5 million people and oceans of oil and yet no one, except the elite prospered. Shades of West Belfast.

    Besides forgetting the fact that Sinn Fein has some very colourful criminal characters in their midst, those like Granni Trixi here have been involved in politics since 1972 and earlier. Itr smacxks of Sinn Fein style fascism to dismiss their views and experience because they do not subscribe to Ireland’s most tainted party.

  • Mark McGregor

    Alan Maskey,

    I wasn’t talking to you, when I am the comment will be littered with expletives and frequent use of the word imbecile. Keeping that in mind, go bother someone that will waste time on your nonsense.

  • Mark – for those of catchiong up from a standing start (or cultural ignorance) it seemed a good way to get a flavour. I’ve been listening for the last week or so … just didn’t get around to posting it!

  • Mark McG: That last comment of yours. like your first, is worthless. But then you advertise cigarette smoking in your pic; few things disgust grown ups more than that vile addiction.
    Because your reply is not full of expletives, you remind me of Martin McGuinness, contradicting himself immediately when he tries to defend Mr Adams.

    I believe you are a dissident. Pity as you would make a good Sinn Feiner, full of sound and fury etc (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)


    Alan in Bt: Do you not think you would be better just reading up on it? Or do you click on the play button and do something else? I ask as I wonder how and why people follow such things., many of which are very time consuming. I am thinking mostly of Facebook and Twitter.

    (I’m gonna go now and see hw many are following poor old Cyprian Brady on FB. I guess mary Lou is a shoe in there/. Hard to know which of them is the more pathetic.

  • Cynic2

    If you want to summarise Ireland’s political position this seems a good start

    She was poor but she was honest,
    Though she came from ‘umble stock,
    And her honest heart was beating
    Underneath her tattered frock.

    But the rich man saw her beauty,
    She knew not his base design,
    And he took her to a hotel
    And bought her a small port wine.

    It’s the same the whole world over,
    It’s the poor what gets the blame,
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure,
    Isn’t it a blooming shame?

    In the rich man’s arms she fluttered
    Like a bird with a broken wing,
    But he loved her and he left her,
    Now she hasn’t got no ring.

    Time has flown – outcast and homeless
    In the street she stands and says,
    While the snowflakes fall around her,
    ‘Won’t you buy my bootlaces.’

    It’s the same the whole world over,
    It’s the poor what gets the blame,
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure,
    Isn’t it a blooming shame?

    Standing on the bridge at midnight
    She says, ‘Farewell, blighted love!’
    There’s a scream, a splash, good ‘eavens!
    What is she a doing of?

    Soon they dragged her from the river,
    Water from her clothes they wrang.
    They all thought that she was drownded,
    But the corpse got up and sang:

    “It’s the same the whole world over,
    It’s the poor what gets the blame,
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure,
    Isn’t it a blooming shame?”

    She was poor but she was honest,
    Victim of a rich man’s game.
    First he loved her, then he left her,
    And she lost her maiden name.

    Then she ran away to London
    For to hide her grief and shame.
    There she met an Army captain,
    And she lost her name again.

    “It’s the same the whole world over.
    It’s the poor that gets the blame.
    It’s the rich that gets the pleasure.
    Ain’t it all a bleeding shame?”

    See him riding in a carriage
    Past the gutter where she stands.
    He has made a stylish marriage,
    While she wrings her ringless hands.

    See him there at the theatre,
    In the front row with the best,
    While the girl that he has ruined
    Entertains a sordid guest.

    “It’s the same the whole world over.
    It’s the poor that gets the blame.
    It’s the rich that gets the pleasure.
    Ain’t it all a bleeding shame?”

    See her on the bridge at midnight,
    Crying “Farewell, blighted love”.
    Then a scream, a splash, and . . Goodness!
    What is she a-doing of?

    When they dragged her from the river
    Water from her clothes they wrung.
    Though they thought that she was drownded,
    Still her corpse got up and sung:

    “It’s the same the whole world over,
    It’s the poor what gets the blame,
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure,
    Isn’t it a blooming shame?”

  • Cynic2

    Oh dear oh dear.

    Adams call tonight for a referendum to ‘put it up to Europe’ is both foolish and dangerous.

    When a man (or a woman in this case) with his/her own electoral problems had a firm grip on your economic dangly bits, it’s wise not to annoy him (or her) too much or she might just squeeze hard. Ireland isnt safely out of crisis yet and this stupid talk is yet further evidence of political naiiviety

  • The apaprent rise of Adams and of the real loony left (as well as the contunuity looney left) shows the worst of the Irish psyche. Adams is almost the worst possible signal the Irish can send out but hey tyhat is our lemming like fate.
    ASomething went awfully wrong between 1913 and 1916 and we let the clowns out of the box.

  • Mack


    I haven’t seen any reports of G. Adams call, so I don’t know what he said exactly. But he is certainly not alone in calling for a referendum..

    David McWilliams (ex. central bank & distressed debt economist) –
    You put it to the people. The new government should put to a referendum the question of making any further payments from the citizens to the bank creditors. This would give the new government a clear democratic mandate with which to negotiate. There is no democrat in Europe who would oppose the will of the people and it would get straight to the point where the political economy bulldozes the financial economy. It would also give the Government huge authority on the biggest issue facing us all.

    Marc Coleman (ex ECB, economics editor at Newstalk Radio, Independent columnist)

    Starting with a referendum on the bank bailout and a tearing up of the Croke Park deal, Fine Gael must announce on Monday week that our young will not be sacrificed, either on the altar of the banks or exorbitant state salaries

    Colm McCarthy Economics lecturer at UCD, one of the most respected economists in the state (entrusted to handle the An Bord Snip, privatisation of state assets etc).

    While he does not call for a referendum is he pretty blunt that the deal must be renegotiated, given that it won’t work.

    The deal, as envisaged in the Memorandum of Understanding, may not be capable of implementation and thus, as a matter of pragmatism, the preservation of order in the eurozone financial system requires that it be modified.

    The problem with the bank guarantee is not that it was unfair, although it was. The problem is that it was a mistake, and mistakes, fairness aside, have to be undone as a matter of practical policy.

  • Greenflag


    Good post -I haven’t seen any reports either of Adams calling for a Referendum but no surprise there . RTE (Labour) is giving as little coverage to SF as it can get away with.

    The idea has some merit in that it would force the major political parties and indeed the ‘bankers’ to come clean . While the issue may seem to be above the heads of most people as they struggle to get their heads around the huge numbers involved what is becoming abundantly clear is that the people KNOW they have been pushed into this ‘mistake’ via the pressure exerted on the last administration . Even Cowen’s last few days trying to stave off this so called ‘help’ were an indication that not all was right with this IMF/ECB plan and that the future of the Irish people was being sacrificed for the greater ‘security’ of German , French and British banks and the ‘bondholders’.

    While McCarthy and McWilliams have caught the public mood what Marc Coleman said

    ‘Fine Gael must announce on Monday week that our young will not be sacrificed, either on the altar of the banks or exorbitant state salaries’

    has been said before most notably in the mid 1950’s and again in the mid 1980’s .And at both times the ‘young ‘ were sacrificed as hundreds of thousands fled the country for greener pastures elsewhere-the vast majority not returning .

    Despite a much lower birth rate in the 1990 through 2000 period than in the earlier periods mentioned above -the economy cannot absorb the numbers coming onto the market .

  • Greenflag

    @Alan in Belfast ,

    Thanks for those McGarr links . It was a bit like listening to myself 🙂

    He’s got his finger on the ‘thinking voter’s ‘ pulse meaning those who in the past would have just gone into the voting booth and done as they always have done by voting the party tickets .

    There are a lot of undecideds in this election and even if there is a swing to FG in the last few days there is little conviction anywhere among the electorate that ANY of the parties are up to the job .

    The immediate post election period I suspect maybe a lot more contentious than any other in our short political history .

  • Mack


    I think the best outcome we could have in this election is possibly a near FG majority, where they are forced to rely on support from the likes of Paul Sommerville (if he can get elected) and perhaps Shane Ross and maybe even some of the left-wing independents. People who are standing to try and help save the country, and would put the nation’s interests ahead of their own re-electability. They could then force the government to put the issue to the people, but do so in such a way that doesn’t damage FG’s own relationships in Europe. (I.e. in a way that might strengthen rather than weaken the government’s negotiating hand).

  • Greenflag

    Mack ,

    I think that’s the way it’s going . The country does not appear to be in the mood for another traditional coalition i.e carve up of Ministerial jobs as between FG and Labour as the country goes down the tubes . The fact that FG and Labour have been at each other’s throats during this ‘campaign’ and nobody knows what a coalition would look like in economic policy terms -just makes the FG plus indies option look better .

    At least if such a government were to fail miserably there would be no difficulty in the finger pointing thereafter .
    As long as FG understand that the future of this country is more important than FG’s relationship’s in Europe it might even work.