Category Archives: Politics

Would Ireland vote for an alliance of the Left?

There has been much debate and discussion lately regarding the need for a new political agenda. At the ‘Equality in a Time of Crisis’ conference held in UCD participants explored the issues and policies needed to make Ireland a more equal and fairer society, and also the need for a left wing Government. Michael D. Higgins who spoke at the conference indicated that the Labour Party would be willing to take the lead on forming such an alliance.

However for this Government of the left to come about there would need to be, in the first instance, a significant change in voter patterns.

Continue reading

‘Case history’ on how not to do coalition government.

Apparently the Irish people cannot have a general election any time soon according to the latest communication from the Green Party’s Dan Boyle. Why so?  Well to summarise – the Irish voters would put the Labour Party and Fine Gael into Government – two political parties the Greens’ deem unsuitable. Under any other guise this statement could be labelled totalitarianism! Continue reading

Race of a Lifetime – How Obama won the White House

Anyone with an interest in political campaigning, marketing and communications should read ‘Race of a Lifetime – How Obama won the White House’. Its not another Obama love fest, but an account of both the Republican and Democratic campaigns for the White house. Great stuff.

Written by John Heilmann and Mark Halperin, we learn how McCain’s campaign was shambolic and poorly funded, and although Sarah Palin brought the campaign much needed brio, and a rush of donations. She was ultimately a huge liability.

Obama’s campaign was sharp, focused, skillfully messaged and well organised. Barak Obama was an extremely composed candidate, and as we all know a brilliant orator. However Joe Biden, his Vice President was frustrated by the lack of hard policy to back up the Obama vision.

Hilary Clinton suffered from media adoration/obsession with Obama, and lack of support within the Democratic party who were tired of the Clintons and also believed she could not win. The Clinton campaign also suffered from poor organisation from the start.

Read a review published in The Guardian last January.

Review of Fianna Fáil/Green coalition government

Red Pepper, a UK left wing magazine, asked me to write an opinion piece on the Irish Green Party in Government.   The article was written late December in time for Red Pepper’s current edition.

Government eats up the Greens

“Last October, Irish Green Party members reaffirmed their commitment to staying in power with the centre right Fianna Fáil party, by voting to support a mid-term renegotiated Programme for Government (PfG). 

More significantly the party also voted to support the coalition government’s favoured initiative to rescue Irish financial institutions, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA). 

In the weeks leading up to the vote, Green Party Leader, John Gormley announced that the new PfG would be transformational – a statement which succeeded in focusing media attention on the new agreement negotiations and away from the controversial NAMA. Continue reading

Clinging on to power

What ever way you look at it, these last few days have seen the Green Party reach a new low, and I’m not only talking about the opinion polls.  This sorry state of affairs has been brought about by the Green’s insistence to clinging on to power, at all costs. 

As we all know the latest drama concerning the Green Party is former Senator Deirdre de Burca’s dramatic exit.  I’m not going to comment on Deirdre’s departure, nor will I trust any of the subsequent statements coming from the party’s politburo.  When Chris O’Leary, Patricia McKenna and myself left last year, nasty spin was the party’s default defence mechanism.  Continue reading

Tolerance of incompetence

Ann Marie Hourihane’s article in the Irish Times today is worth a read.  Over the years it has always astounded me how incompetence or corruption amongst politicans, or any person in a responsible position, is excused because they are a nice person, you hear it again and again, ‘but he/she is a really good family man/great mother, has done alot for charity etc ‘ 

We are all nice people, well nearly all of us, however denial is not a valid option for a grown-up, or fair society.