Thursday, 10 April 2014

VOTE GOBSHITE PARTY



Politics is all about acquiring 

office and retaining it


Opinion: A Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin government would do the same as a re-elected Fine Gael-Labour government would

‘There is a ring of truth to what Peter Robinson said at the weekend about Sinn Féin. He said Martin McGuinness (above) had agreed on welfare “reform” in Northern Ireland, which means devastating the lives of vulnerable people by cuts in social supports, but that had been vetoed by Sinn Fein in Dublin.’ Photograph: Will Oliver/PA Wire

Opinion: A Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin government would do the same as a re-elected Fine Gael-Labour government would

‘There is a ring of truth to what Peter Robinson said at the weekend about Sinn Féin. He said Martin McGuinness (above) had agreed on welfare “reform” in Northern Ireland, which means devastating the lives of vulnerable people by cuts in social supports, but that had been vetoed by Sinn Fein in Dublin.’ Photograph: Will Oliver/PA Wire







Topics:
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Politics


Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:01


First published:Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:01

57








It hardly matters whether Alan Shatter stays or goes as Minister for Justice. Ditto James Reilly as Minister for Health. Ditto for the rest of them. A bit of accountability here or there would be welcome, by way of resignation or removal, but aside from that it doesn’t matter at all.

Neither does it matter whether there is a reshuffle in a few months or at all. Nor does it matter whether Labour is annihilated in the next election or whether Fine Gael is returned to government or whether the next government is Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. None of this matters, for nothing will change.

Whoever replaced Alan Shatter would do no different but he/she might be a little less annoying. James Reilly is not that annoying, so replacing him would make no difference at all, unless he was replaced by Alan Shatter. The Labour Party fully deserves electoral annihilation and perhaps that might be a lesson to others not to abandon almost everything they said they stood for when they sought election.

Those who voted for Fine Gael or Labour in the last election and expected a “democratic revolution” discovered the Government did exactly the same as the reviled outgoing government. The Government adopted, with a few minor alterations, the programme of the previous government and has taken credit for implementing it.

A Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin government would do the same as a re-elected Fine Gael- Labour government. Sinn Féin would do quite a bit of strutting in the first months of office but once it settled it would be the same as before.

There is a ring of truth to what Peter Robinson said at the weekend about Sinn Féin. He said Martin McGuinness had agreed on welfare “reform” in Northern Ireland, which means devastating the lives of vulnerable people by cuts in social supports, but that had been vetoed by Sinn Féin in Dublin, because it has placed its electoral interests in the Republic ahead of its interests in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin would be so excited by being in government in Northern Ireland and the Republic at the same time that it would forfeit what is left of what it stands for to attain and maintain that status.

Anyone who has doubts about Sinn Féin’s opportunism need only recall its conduct before the 2007 election when it became excited by the prospect of government with Fianna Fáil. Suddenly its radical tax strategy was jettisoned in a show of “responsibility” that would have enhanced its appeal to Fianna Fáil as a domesticated coalition partner. Fianna Fáil, as it happened, didn’t need it.

As for Fianna Fáil refusing to coalesce with Sinn Féin – solemn promises will be made to that effect by both Fianna Fáil and, incidentally, by Fine Gael, ahead of the next election and they will have the same relevance and effect as other election promises.

For politics here is all about acquiring office and retaining it. Policies are mere props to that end. Focus groups will identify the best props. Conviction has nothing to do with it. It is all about trivia.


Media focus on trivia
All this is rendered more depressing by the media’s focus on the trivia: which party has gained or lost a few points in the opinion polls (even on these terms there is widespread misrepresentation for the margin of error is usually ignored or its significance diminished); which personality has gained or lost precedence within parties; what parties has gained advantage/ disadvantage from constituency boundary changes; and whether a policy will “sell”.

There is hardly any point in suggesting constitutional changes that would render politics meaningful, such as denying politicians “office” – having each new Dáil elect a taoiseach who then, with the approval of the Oireachtas, would appoint a cabinet, none of whose members would be members of the Oireachtas but all of whom would be meaningfully accountable to the Oireachtas. Or imposing a constitutional barrier to anyone being elected to the Oireachtas more than twice, thereby freeing Oireachtas members from the tyranny of the re-election imperative. Yes, this latter move would forfeit the benefit of prolonged Oireachtas experience but with the advantage of involving more people in representative politics and abolishing the “political class”.

There is no point proposing such remedies for they will never happen as, under the present constitutional arrangements, supplemented by the present institutional practices, no changes can happen without the approval of the parties in government and they are never going to offer the people an opportunity to do away with office and the prospect of lifelong political careers.

It seemed briefly when the crisis broke in the autumn of 2008 that there was an opportunity for radical change. It was a mirage.



Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:01


First published:Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:01

57







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BPDub12


Politics is about power. Power tends to corrupt, hence the quangos and Ministerial friends being appointed to state boards.

Politicians will promise voters the earth during campaigns only to find that they are constrained by budgetary concerns and what the previous administration has bequeathed them.

A FF/SF coalition is entirely feasible come the next election.
17 hours ago
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Jay Gee


@BPDub12
"It's the same the whole world over
It's the poor who get the blame
It's the rich who get the pleasure
Aint it all a bloody shame."
13 hours ago
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John Nagle


@Jay Gee Spot on how very true
12 hours ago
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Jane Touhey


It is hard not to agree with Vincent Browne on this.

I would be surprised if many people vote next month, and if they do, the Independents will be given a big boost. It feels as though it is all about the politicians and little to do with the rest of us.
17 hours ago
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BPDub12


@Jane Touhey

A low turnout is to be anticipated. Far too many County Councillors in Ireland at the moment.
15 hours ago
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Margo_Sweetbread


Not removing A Shatter from office will haunt E Kenny for the duration.......and beyond
16 hours ago
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BO_Diggler


@Margo_Sweetbread Astute observation
16 hours ago
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BPDub12


@Margo_Sweetbread

What is it with you and Alan Shatter ? You seem completely obsessed with him.
15 hours ago
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Dick Barrett


All depressingly true Vincent, but what do you propose we do? Should we all sit on our bums and accept everything as it is, and if not, what?
16 hours ago
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BO_Diggler


A Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin government will bring prosperity and peace to Ireland...
16 hours ago
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Margo_Sweetbread


@BO_Diggler
Time for your swim with Fungi, Dinglebot...!
15 hours ago
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Hope_Hope


@Lonergan McKail
Ireland is peppered with goldfish.
9 hours ago
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willconqueror10


We need the gun back in Irish politics.....train the politicians in their use.....give them a bottle of cheap whiskey......lock the door after they enter the room......
16 hours ago
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Jay Gee


@Jay Gee
"parties"
9 hours ago
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Hope_Hope


@willconqueror10
they would spend their time trying to figure out how to open the whiskey until they withered away..
9 hours ago
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Patrick O'Dowd


Vincent Browne is wrong because who is in charge does make a difference – not in terms of ideology but basically in terms of managerial competence. How well a minister handles his brief does very much matter, when errors of judgement are made there are all manner of consequences, as the controversies show.

In Ireland when we change Governments for the most part we choose between managers not between ideologies, though there are civil war/cultural/historical legacies in the mix.

Some... » more
16 hours ago
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Patrick Hennessy


@Patrick O'Dowd ------managerial competence is very important on a ship when the skipper knows where it is supposed to be going. I don't see Enda having that "View from the bridge". Sadly Garret had it (Vision), but not the managerial competence. Its a very difficult mix to get in one person.
16 hours ago
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Patrick O'Dowd


@Patrick Hennessy - It difficult to do much of the vision thing when there's a crisis and managing that crisis sidelines pretty much everything else. Garret's vision was principally in relation to Northern Ireland in which he did pretty well. Otherwise I'm sceptical about notions of visionaries, most of the time its the task of securing basic economic aims, low unemployment, low inflation, good growth rates etc. and basic management of justice, health, education etc etc. Unexciting but we all... » more

15 hours ago
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Johnny Bellew

Johnny Bellew


Whether people like to admit it or not, the fact is Irish people will always vote in right or centre right parties. We are well aware that left wing parties would delve very deep into our pockets.
16 hours ago
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Hugh Leddy


@Johnny Bellew Didn't the right/centre right wing do the same? The difference is we now pay money (tax) against debt. Services are not bought or improved with the exchequer take. I'm willing to have a little more social democracy and pay for it than this shambles. This is not an opinion but my own experience of living and working in the Netherlands and Germany, there they at least have a populace with a spine and a brain and a system that has a focus on quality of life and social inclusion and... » more
8 hours ago
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Miriam Cotton


@Johnny Bellew Hilarious - how much deeper could your adored right-wing parties have possibly dug into your pockets? 15K euro of debt inflicted on every man woman and child - that's a 60K bill for a 4-person family to bail out private gamblers! 400K unemployed, 400k+ emigrated!!! It was not the left who did this to us all, it was your beloved right-wing parties and their neoliberal madness. Plus, water, property and a host of other taxes and wage slashing. And STILL you think the 'left' is... » more
8 hours ago
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Patrick Hennessy


Vincent this is the type of article a 61 year old like me would write if I lost faith in humanity. Essentially your article is titled "There is no point". Old men have been saying that since Adam was a gosson.

And frankly at your age you should now stop obsessing about that little island of almost 4 million on which you were fortuitously born. Talk about the bottom billion living on a dollar a day, the rampant rape of women across the planet, and the rise of islamic fundamentalism. Because... » more
16 hours ago
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Malleus Maleficarum


Time for voters to identify independents on their ballot papers.
Political parties have disgraced themselves again and again and they are not likely to change any time soon.
16 hours ago
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Conan Drumm


@Malleus Maleficarum
Agreed... but look out for the collective sneer of the papers, radio and television when they give a one line passing reference to 'independents'. And that will only be after fulsome coverage of the dynastic DNA of candidates from the established parties.
15 hours ago
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BPDub12


@Malleus Maleficarum

I like the way that you are thinking here Malleus.
15 hours ago
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Conan Drumm


"It seemed briefly when the crisis broke in the autumn of 2008 that there was an opportunity for radical change. It was a mirage."

But Vincent, the citizens have nothing but false choices to make at election time. The little real opposition we have is marginalised in and by the media where many commentators are invested in and deeply embedded with the status quo.
15 hours ago
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Patrick Hennessy


@Conan Drumm I think this is a good point. There's a coterie media/pols/senior civil servants (who drink!!) that builds up over a 30 year career span and it ferments an incestuous "mindset". Ireland needs to import a few well fanged journos from abroad who are ready and able to say it as it is without wondering whether their comments will lock them out of future tit bits from politicos and mandarins.
15 hours ago
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Anthony Gallagher


WELL said Vincent,its a crime to think of all those voters out there who have given up on irish politics ,we have far too many of our citizens without a political voice ,we will be awash with independents in the forthcoming elections trying to ride on government dissatisfaction ,What about a party based only on ethics ,transparency and accountability ,surely we we would get an overwhelming majority and then the democratic revolution could really begin ,lololololl
15 hours ago
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Stephen Murphy


Yet they can't make it illegal, to make these promises? If it were a private company, or individual? They'd be prosecuted, for making mis-leading claims and promises. You'd be entitled to sue them, for breach of contract and we don't use our vote to punish these guys!
15 hours ago
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ne diro


Setting all the politics aside would be a start .There is no point voting for a nice type , because he wouldn't e as good as a nasty type. The nasty types prove better in government because they so effectively blame the nastier lot who preceded them for the mess we're in. Then there are the wily ones who were nasty , but who are now nice -like Noonan., for example . He was nasty in the Hepatitis scandal , but his face is rounder now.
And besides
14 hours ago
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ne diro


@ne diro
If FG and SF are likely to make the numbers next time , sure they'll strut and swagger for a bit , ; wriggle and writhe , but then they'll get all serious and sombre and declare that old animosities have to be put aside for The National Cause .
Remember Trevor Sergeant's agility in strutting saying the Greens would never go into government with FF . Then after a get together he marched his troops bravely into the chamber having secured a junior ministry for himself and a few seats... » more
14 hours ago
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ne diro


@ne diro
Sometimes VB your petulant adolescent attitude strikes such a chord of absurdity that in rings true .
Of course my embellishments are what I take the liberty of fantasising as being akin to your own. Ok ! we might disagree with Al, Capone, and it'd say ''Fair enough, this is a democracy , how about Groucho Marks ''
We don't get what We deserve . We ,become they , and They become we ... and its done deal
The people ( all 30 % ) of them / us are democratically elected.
Of course... » more
14 hours ago
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willconqueror10


A people in bondage ... we are.
We were so in 1920....
and also in 1922.
We must build our Guillotine, ourselves.
And it must remain until we rid ourselves of the leech.
14 hours ago
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itchyeyebrow


Politics is the art of complicating simple issues
14 hours ago
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Gareth Murphy


This article says a lot about its author. I have always felt, instinctively, that Vincent Browne isn't really leftwing. His own ego trip (ie power) is what drives him. The pieces he writes every week ar the equivalent of career politicians inventing disposable policies. Vincent Browne's main obljective, like most major journalists, is getting the big jobs. And keeping them. So, I suppose on that level he might know what he's talking about. It takes one to know one.
14 hours ago
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BPDub12


@Gareth Murphy

He's not.....liberal Fine Gael I'd say but Vincent being Vincent has to ever be the contrarian. He bashed Fianna Fail for years but then urged readers of Village Magazine to re-elect Bertie Ahern one time.
5 hours ago
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Help plus Help


In spite of short some comings Ireland is one of the best countries in the world.
12 hours ago
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Paul Murphy


I'll be spoiling my ballot at all future elections and strongly encourage others to do the same.
10 hours ago
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Bobby Cockles


He asked them "How does austerity effect you" ?

Your right, the career politician has not served us well. Policy is all about keeping ahead of the posse instead of in step with the people. Holding your dail seat and your pension and perks at all cost. There was a crudely made video recently appeared via FB /YT where a gutter journalist follows senior dail members Shatter/howlin/ Varadkar/ Harris/ to name just a few and asks each of them "How does austerity effect you" ? It's poignant... » more
10 hours ago
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diane_tweets


Is one of the problems here the fact that people entering politics can be just about anyone, with any old work/life experience, just as long as they can speak their 'local language' well enough to get elected in the first place. Once a foot in they are groomed & become FG, FF, Labour, SF clones who, if they succeed to a ministry, they remain 'just about anyone, with any old work/life experience'. What exactly qualifies them to manage any government department in the interests of the whole...» more
9 hours ago
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Miriam Cotton


So there are no peaceful democratic means of effectively changing this completely appalling state of affairs. Now what?
9 hours ago
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Desmond FitzGerald


Of course, it is utterly ridiculous for anyone to claim they are disappointed that this government hasn't fixed our economy. That will take decades but this government could have done so much more and so many more things much better.

So I don't want to hear any whining, bleating and moaning from anyone I know if they vote for any of the 4 main parties (FG - L - FF - SF/IRA) in the local and EUP elections. No one can tell me that on the list of local candidates that isn't one single first... » more
8 hours ago
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Desmond FitzGerald


But also, all these people moaning about water charges are a perfect example. How do you think water gets from the river into your tap? By magic? No through pipes which cost money so instead of whinging about the water bill, which just to point out is a fraction is what most people pay, why don't Irish people aim for the correct target that in return for paying the bill, the money should stay locally and go into building a proper non-leaking network. But no Irish people wallow in denial about... » more
8 hours ago
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Miriam Cotton


So, all peaceful democratic means of challenging outrageous injustice have proved futile. Now what?
8 hours ago
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David Acidly


Lot of whining there but zero solutions proposed.

Which makes the entire article to political discourse as the bicycle is to the proverbial fish.

If you are not part of the solution Vince, you are part of the problem.
7 hours ago
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james doyle


The only way to eliminate the self serving cute hoor, nepotistic, political classes, is to boycott the ballot box, or if citizens decide to vote spoil their votes by writing on the ballot paper what they think of their lies, and broken election promises. Yes the party members, hacks, and vested interests, will vote for their candidates, but this would only amount to approx 5% of the electorate. This surely would cause a political crisis, as to why the electorate behaved in boycotting the polls... » more
7 hours ago
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Stephen Murphy


I still think, the French know how to remove the problem from the rest of its body and surgeons do it daily. Amputation, off with their heads and do it every few decades!
7 hours ago
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Pat St


Maybe these sellout traiters in labourmff and fg should be rounded up and arrested and charged with Treason,jailed ,no bail ,freeze all of their assets ,revoke their 30 pieces of silver judas pensions,only then will these gangsters take heed of our people,they are almost all guilty of bankrupting our country ,deliberately in my opinion ,to hand our nation over to Germany ,they are also guilty of allowing an utter invasion of our beautiful country .Ireland MUST Depart this monster EU NOW ,close... » more
7 hours ago
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Pat St


Jeez i have been blocked from comment for a year ,had to use other aliases ,why the sudden change of heart ,maybe i was right all along ,the Irish people have been abandoned and betrayed by our political elites from the three main political bigwig parties ,arrest them all ,charge them with treason,no doubt like Anglo Irish Bank ,they were only following orders ,all of these cowards are innocent in the eyes of the LAW ,yeah right,so is hitler
7 hours ago
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Donal Fenlon


The last debate in 2008 plus, around change to the political system came about because of a financial and economic crisis that caused a shock to the political system. The political system survived that shock only just through some slight of hand and law and order fears.The question really to ask is the current financial and economic situation built on sand or firmer foundations i.e. is another shock about to hit? The political system didn't change because we only change when there is a total... » more
7 hours ago
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Donal Fenlon


@Donal Fenlon There is a moral decision to be made and this country basically decided like in 1800 hand over this power to Britain, 1922, hand over this power to Rome, 1992-2008 hand over this power to Wall Street and the Central Banks/regulators/IMF i.e. that we are effectively powerless in many ways or put another way its a bigger problem than just what faces our little electorate. But we can at least be realistic with each other and I think that is more the case now than at those other times... » more
7 hours ago
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Thomas Coyne


When the bipartisanship practiced by life-long professional politicians is practiced by life-long business executives it is called collusion. Business executives are threatened with life and/or long terms in prison for collusion; politicians are reelected for byparitisanship. Not a double standard, of course, only a confusion on the part of the dumbed-down reader of our Propaganda Press!

WAKE UP AMERICA - as well as our cousins in Ireland.

Thomas J. Coyne
3 hours ago
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John Farragher


Vincent, your saying what I feel but what a difference two honest guards have made to accountability for the gardai. Ditto one determined man wrongly accused of the murder. As one of the few real journalists as opposed to pr purveyors give us the right to be cynical but keep going, bit
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