“Rainy Days Back In Fashion”: The Week In Irish Politics

Another week, another glimpse of ‘new politics’ at work in Dáil Éireann. The Green party’s Waste Reduction Bill, (co-sponsored by Labour as the Greens are short on number in the chamber), passed to committee stage late last night. It did so with the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats and a host of Independents. Its supporters argue that it’s by far the best way to reduce waste by putting the onus on companies to reduce packaging while …

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Labour TD wave and cheer as Kelly shoots them in the foot…

SHOOTING ACCIDENT: Derek Mooney​ argues that the best chance many second placed FG TD in a constituency who came in after a party front runner have in the next election is the demise of a sitting Labour rival. Mishandling of the ‘rent certainty’ issue only makes those Labour TDs more vulnerable.

After the election…. Irish Labour Party…

The poor performance of the Irish Labour Party is important for a number of reasons. It’s not as though it hasn’t happened before in the party’s history. Labour defenestration has been a regular feature of coalition governments over the last 30 years. And it always happens for roughly the same reasons: overpromising before the election, then substantially underselling its own agency within government afterwards. It happened to the Greens in the last administration.  That’s why the smaller government party is …

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UK Prime Minister: “Let me reassure the right hon. Gentleman that there is absolutely no question of an imposed solution.”

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, and followed up by the BBC.  For the benefit of the more excitable commenters [and politicians! – Ed] among us, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, spelt out the political realité on the Haass proposals during PMQs in the Commons today [Added Permanent link]. Mr Nigel Dodds (Belfast North) (DUP): Does the Prime Minister accept that the remarks of the Irish Foreign Minister about the Haass talks and the possibility of some kind of intervention by …

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Former Labour Party chair applies to defect to Fianna Fail…

Interesting developments in the south. East Galway TD Colm Keaveney, the former chair of the Labour Party, has applied to join Fianna Fail (whose parliamentary are currently invovled in rapidly prepared meeting to discuss his application). Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has expressed disappointment at news. Mr Quinn said the move was a personal decision for the Galway East TD, but he said he was sad that Mr Keaveney had left the Labour Party, and sad that he had now …

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#Budget14: So was it Frankfurt’s way after all?

Now about that budget filip for Irish Labour I was talking about the other day. As our commenter Nordie Northsider warned, after each Irish budget tends to come “an unravelling of certain provisions…” The biggest single unravelling came in committee yesterday when the Health Minister admitted he’d had nothing to do with costing the €660m savings in the health budget, and expressed serious doubt he’d make them. Add to that a figure of more than €330 million health analyist Sarah …

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#Budget14: Labour gets a fillip as Noonan gambles on a rising economic tide…

Well the mood music at the Fine Gael’s National Conference was pretty upbeat. They reckoned that offering free medical cards for the under fives was going to frame the post budget debate, and they weren’t wrong. Most striking aspect of the opposition’s problem (mostly FF’s) was in trying to land a single major blow on the intricate tracework of the Michael and Brendan show yesterday. They reduced the target somewhat by restructuring repayments on the deficit less painful. Medical cards …

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Labour’s troubles compounded with the first TD to completely depart the party…

Irish governing coalitions are notorious brittle… There are fragments of former Fianna Fail deputies from the last government still hanging on to their independent status (which is one reason we know FF are still a long way off their former glories). But the news that Patrick Nulty (who took Brian Lenihan’s Dublin West seat at the bye election in October 2011) is leaving the Labour party does nothing to allay the impression that the party is fracturing under the pressure. Nulty’s success …

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Labour’s policy platform prepped for life in a parallel universe?

Typically perceptive piece from Harry Magee on Labour’s troubles in government in Dublin, which thankfully stays well away from the usual Leinster House gossip shop and who’s angry with whom, dry heaves and the like. He foregrounds the fact that none of the organisations that have set conditions on the repayment of funds are actually equipped to run a country, even a small one like Ireland: The reality is that the troika of international lenders isn’t a think-tank and the …

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One more domino for Labour: Nessa Childers’ ‘resignation’…

The European Parliament is a sort of parallel universe. So the news that Nessa Childers has left the parliamentary Labour Party is an odd creature to process. As she says in her presser: Labour Party members, who have lost the whip, are immediately expelled from the PLP but retain party membership. Members of the European Parliament cannot be bound by a National Party whip, their mandate is in the European Parliament. But her rhetoric is clear enough: “I think there …

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Irish Coalition needs a political story that matches their actual efforts

Brendan Keenan has clearly been cogitating on our quaint northern mess we call politics, and it takes him back to stories, narrative and selling your own (albeit austerity locked) virtues: The story which the Coalition set out to tell – most of which it inherited from the previous government – is no longer true. The facts have changed. Keynes observed that when this happens you must change your mind. But you must also change your story. The original story called …

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And Labour loses another another one to the budget…

When Deputy Adams tried to take the Taoiseach to task over the budget’s 20% slash of the Respite Care Allowance, he was going with the run of play. It was singled out by FF and SF not least for the discomfort they knew it would cause deputies in the Labour Party… Now, it seems, they have lost another member of their Oireachtas team, and Senator James Heffernan is the latest to loose the Labour whip (we can confirm he has)… along …

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Irish Labour’s growing defections: and then there were five….

Given the post ideological nature of politics in the Republic, it’s not surprising bits fall off every government that goes through a rough patch. Mattie McGrath in part survived the flushing out of the last FF led government because he jumped early and put constituency before party. Now it is Labour’s turn. And being less practised in the art (and having a long long way to fall at the next election), the loss of their own party chair Colm Keaveney …

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It’s Labour’s way or….?

Didn’t take a lot of technical know how, but this is a great digital reproach to the Irish Labour party… you just have to wait for a bit after you get there… [He he he – Ed] http://laboursway.com/ Mick FealtyMick 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

#EUREF: Will vote crystallise the real left right divide (with Labour on the wrong side)?

Interesting piece by former FF point man for Willie O’Dea, Derek Mooney in last night’s Herald which hits several nails on the head re the Fiscal Compact referendum… WITH less than a week to go the referendum campaign seems more and more to be about less and less. If you believe the posters, the choice is to vote Yes to achieve stability or to vote No to end austerity. But do any of us really believe these claims? Regrettably, like …

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“Freedom of information it isn’t…”

In the Irish Times, Noel Whelan takes a look at the Irish presidential candidates’ declared expenditure.  [So you don’t have to? – Ed]  Indeed.  He starts by comparing that declared expenditure with what they said, during the campaign, they would spend.  From the Irish Times article One of those mental notes was made during the televised election debate on the Late Late Show as candidates were asked how much they would spend on their campaigns. Seán Gallagher answered first, making …

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Euro crisis: “Expect some late nights.”

More encouraging noises for the incoming Taoiseach from the European Union’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn.  As the Irish Times reports “I can see that there is a case to reduce the interest rates paid by Greece and Ireland,” the commissioner said. “In that context, it is important that we also look at loan maturities so that we can go beyond the hump of 2014 and 2015 and that also contributes to debt sustainability . . . The essential …

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“The problem is much more a pragmatic rather than a moral one”

In the Irish Times, former deputy director of the International Monetary Fund, Donal Donovan, provides a timely, and useful, analysis of the various parties’ positions on the €85 billion IMF/EU bail-out ahead of the Irish general election.  Here’s what he has to say on “burning the bondholders”.  From the Irish Times article A major element in all parties’ programmes is the call to renegotiate the debt owed to bondholders. Implicit in the tone of the Fine Gael and Labour (and even …

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“the gulf between the views held by supporters of the three main political parties and Sinn Féin”

Inside the Irish Times Stephen Collins drills down into the data from the survey Brian noted to pick up on an interesting point.  From the Irish Times article When asked if it was better to be part of the European Union the same pattern emerged. Among Fianna Fáil voters 87 per cent said it was better to be in the EU with just 9 per cent saying it was not. Fine Gael and Labour voters gave identical responses, with 77 …

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