Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Final notes before we all vote.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 24, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

A few final observations.

No Mubaraks or Gaddaffis here, just citizens.

No Mubaraks or Gaddaffis here, just citizens.

Andrea Pappin and I have been really surprised at the response to our site www.election2011.ie with a lot of people asking us very detailed questions. Have lost count the number of times people have asked me how STV works and how to fill in their ballot paper to deliver a specific outcome. If people generally are paying as much attention as the people talking to me, Fianna Fail are about to be not as much transfer toxic as suffer a transfer allergy akin to Osama Bin Laden at a Texas hoedown.

I really like how engaged we have all been with this, and hope it doesn’t fade away.

It’s hard to believe how many people, even in these cynical times, take political promises at face value. I keep meeting people who are voting Sinn Fein who when I ask do they really believe that the solutions are that easy admit that it’s probably too good to be true. I think they just want to vote for something hopeful.

Unless they confound the polls, Labour will surely have to confront the fact that 80% of the Irish people are just not buying what they are selling, and if they want to be the dominant party of Irish politics, core values have to be re-evaluated. The fact is that Labour are just not believed on the unions or taxes, despite their protests. Labour needs its clause four moment.

If I had to put money on the outcome, I’d say an FG/Green coalition. And Trevor Sargent to return as leader of the Greens. Also reckon that there will be a public backlash against the new government if they do a traditional Jackie Healy-Rae style deal with an independent. Enda may just have to dare the independents to vote him down and trigger a general election. One thing about Enda: No one has ever accused him of being weak. I can’t see Labour doing a deal with Fine Gael if they don’t really have the power to bring down the government. Or perhaps Enda will just wait until Fianna Fail decontaminates itself?

Heard a rumour that the Gardai are assigning extra guards to Fianna Fail headquarters in case there’s a Stasi/Baath party moment of exuberance from the newly liberated citizenry. 

Things to look forward to at the count: The two “F**king Hell!” moments, when someone we don’t expect to be elected is (Harry McGee is tipping Mick Wallace. Wexford man in work just did the same thing) and when someone we expect isn’t (I’d put money on a senior Labour figure accidentally losing their seat to their running mate on the “Sure, so-and-so is safe” basis)

Finally, as we watch the streets of Tripoli and Cairo, we do have something special here, naff and all as that sounds. For all their many, many flaws, Fianna Fail will leave office peacefully if they lose. Probably.

 
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Wiping out the Greens would be a completely irrational act.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 24, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

An honest man: Let's kick the shit out of him!

An honest man: Let's kick the shit out of him!

If only we had a new party! The cry goes out. If only we had a party that was made up of people who had an honest reputation, and weren’t funded by the sort of people who turn up at tribunals and tents. If only we had a party that could honestly say it opposed the planning madness of the last ten years. If only we had a party that was serious about fighting corruption and long term strategy and rational planning and reforming politics and devolving local power to local communities. A party like that would clean up!

Turns out we do. And turns out we are squaring up to do to them what Henry Ford did to the village blacksmith. Just think about the logic for a minute: Fianna Fail, the most corrupt party in the country, the party that took us to where we are today, will win at least 10 seats, and probably far more. Even at its low ebb, it will win more seats than the Green party have won in their entire history. And the Green Party? They face total annihilation. Why? Because they went into government? Because they made decisions that every other party would have been forced to make? Or is it because they tried to clean up the political and planning system that got us where we were today. The bastards! Of the five main parties, the Greens were warning about bad planning way ahead of everyone else. So we take them outside and put a political bullet in them? What?  

Don’t get me wrong. I was livid when they supported that ludicrous blasphemy thing. My jaw hit the ground as they buckled on Tara and Shannon, two issues where I didn’t really care too much about anyway but which mattered to a lot of their voters. And don’t get me started on neutrality or nuclear power. But they got real on Europe, and delivered on civil partnership and nearly got corporate donations and the elected mayors through after years of other parties yakking about it. And most of all, as I watched John Gormley debate, I couldn’t help thinking that this guy is serious in a time when (to paraphrase President Shepherd) we need serious people. They’re not bought, and they have pursued policies which were unpopular but were right, and that is what we always say we want in our leaders. I campaigned against John Gormley in three general elections, and whilst I disagreed with him on some things, I can tell you one thing: John Gormley is a patriot.

I want a Fine Gael government, but I want it free from Labour’s economic policies (now with an extra dash of Jack O’Connor). I want their economic policies and their pro-Europeanism. But I also want someone serious about the need to change politics and to keep a socially liberal flag at the cabinet to keep an eye on Leo and Lucinda. If the Greens hold a couple of seats, and Enda is close to a majority, there’s a serious chance, if only for the fact that it will cost him less cabinet seats than Labour. 

That would, I believe, on balance, be a good thing.

 
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An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Nationalist Nutjob.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 24, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

He says his middle name is Pearse, after you-know-who. It's actually Nigel.

He says his middle name is Pearse, after you-know-who. It's actually Nigel.

Everything, everything, is an imperialist conspiracy. God love him, but it would break his heart if he learnt the truth: That the Brits probably regret ever getting mixed up with Ireland, and would pull out in a heartbeat if they could figure out a face-saving way of doing it. Everything is “Cromwell this, Kevin Barry that” to the extent that if he gets a bad kebab at 2am on Dame Street, he proclaims “Is this what the men of 1916 died for?” He will never be happy. If the Queen was guillotined on College Green to a huge crowd, he’d slam the Brits “and their Queen” for causing traffic congestion.

Everyone is a sellout, from Fianna Fail to Sinn Fein, and he uses his own vocabulary that makes him sound like a 19th century pickpocket. The Gardai are “the Peelers” or “the Free State constabulary”. The Provos are ” the Army”. He only buys Irish clothes, which means that he dresses like an extra from “The Field” and drinks whiskey neat, where he then launches into tirades about 800 years during which he chides all around him for having “John Bull’s hand around your bollocks!” He can be seen in various Dublin pubs, with vomit down the front of his hairy jumper,  demanding that Lily Allen be replaced by “the tones.” and that the bartender is obviously “in the pay of the crown”.   

To his mortal shame, his dad is English, and his grandfather died at the Somme. And not fighting for the Germans, either.

 
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The Election 2011 Campaign Awards.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 24, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

And the nominations are...

And the nominations are...

The “Who forgot to put a remote control self destruct device in those Gilmore for Taoiseach posters” Award: The Labour Party.

The “No new taxes, no cutbacks and a Happy Meal with every vote!” Award: Gerry Adams.

The “Just say nothing and let the other fellas talk themselves out of a job” Award: Enda.

The “What the f**k just happened?” Award: Eamon Gilmore.

The “I didn’t interrupt you!” Award: Micheal Martin.

The “Glenn Close Bunny Boiler” Award: Anyone who gave, in seriousness, that If you love me, you’ll vote Fine Gael e-card. Shudder. There couldn’t have been anyone, surely?

The “Po-faced this is very serious” Award: Whoever decided to add “The FBI have been contacted” to FG’s press release about their website hacking.

The “Let’s keep this one off the airwaves after that performance” Award: A member of the Labour front bench.

The Alice Glenn “Keeping Ireland free from that sort of thing” Award: Lucinda.

The Brass Neck Award: Fianna Fail on their conversion to political reform.

The “We answer to a higher being” Award: The Greens on some of their emphasis during the campaign.

The “Can’t wait to see where this goes. Wait ’til you see the movie!” Award: Dylan Haskins.

The “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer only you can save the day now!” Award: Fine Gael.

Finally a special rosette for Joe Higgins for his “Our manifesto is not for the media. It is a tool to aid discussion on the doorsteps with working people.” Bless.

Copyright © 2018 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.