Political talk from outside of the UK
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By spoonman
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597803
Taking from that exit poll...

Fine Gael - relieved. The last few opinion polls were predicting worse. Varadkar was looking dead and buried, but he might just be able to hang on.

Sinn Fein - delighted. They were looking dishevelled just four weeks ago. Now they're on a par with the main two parties and as a result has taken Irish politics into unknown territory. Don't expect Taoiseach McDonald though.

Fianna Fail - disappointed. Michael Martin was prior to the polls opening today on unbackable odds to be the next Taoiseach - now it's not quite as certain.

Greens - satisfied. The recovery from their 2011 lockout appears complete.

Labour - demoralised. Hoping at best they retain their six seats from the 2016 election when they were heavily punished then, but they might do even worse here.

Social Democrats - content. Should be able to maintain their current presence in the Dàil.

SOC-PBP - meh. A slight fall compared to 2016, but should still have a voice in parliament.
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597937
Ireland; something has happened, hasn't it?

Twenty years ago it was a dreadful place apart from a few surf spots on the west coast and the odd seafood restaurant in Dublin.

Yes, Intel waltzed in like a pied piper for other tech luminaries. Yes, the catholic church shat the bond of trust which it has enjoyed for centuries. But, the crash hit them hard and those straightened times usually result in social retrenchment. The country was as good as fucked.

Yet still the social juggernaut of change has hurtled onwards. Same-sex marriage, medical equality for all, and Rome being relegated to the status of a Six-Nations weekend away.

And now, a bunch of erstwhile terrorists being elevated to the most popular political party in the country with a progressive agenda which they barely bothered to campaign upon if, as I interpret, their campaigning was largely restricted to where the were fielding candidates.

So what has happened? Does there need to be a single tipping-point that renders the gammon irrelevant, or what there a happy conjunction of circumstance which finally made a nation see beyond yesterday?
 
By MisterMuncher
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597941
It's partly generational. Younger than 40-ish, the troubles are beyond adult memory. The Shinners have changed a fair bit, too, and FF/FG just weren't moving as fast as the country round them.

There's a certain momentum to the social change that's probably a function of making up for lost time coupled with the communication revolutions of recent years.

(20 years ago is a little harsh. 25 maybe. Galway has always been fantastic.)
spoonman liked this
 
By spoonman
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597956


It's certainly quite a stunning result for SF, considering that they were pretty much keeping quiet in the back seat when the election was called with no indication whatsoever of a surge in support after a mediocre showing in elections on both sides of the border during 2019. I do wonder how much of this is actually down to the voters whom are now turning to them actually engaging in SF's general policies, or wherever this is an otherwise uncoordinated protest vote against FF & FG especially with Labour looking impotent. The big problem is that a lot of Sinn Fein's outlook is not too dissimilar to that of Momentum/Corbynism across the Irish Sea in that they're far more comfortable as being an in-parliament protest faction rather than really actually wanting to take the reigns of power. If they take seats in government in Dàil Éireann, they can't just keep accusing their usual targets like they have done before.
 
By spoonman
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597957
Bones McCoy wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:24 pm
And SF top the first prefs...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51432660


That'll be the sound of the Sun's editorial staff - heads asploding.
I think that it's cute the Express are calling this a "humiliation" for Varadkar for thinking that this was all about Brexit - and I hope Andrew Neill was taking notes too...

Image

https://www.rte.ie/news/election-2020/2 ... exit-poll/

Only 1% of voters felt Brexit was the most important issue to them, issues regarding the public health service as well as housing & homelessness (a particularly big problem in Dublin ATM) were far more important - issues that the previous FG government were accused of not paying attention to even with the national economy in a decent shape. The problem is that the economic growth isn't being felt by the population on the ground.

What will also likely disgust Express readers and many gammon hangers-on is that also just 1% felt immigration was the most important issue to them! :lol: Several attempts by right-wing popularists to get a foothold in elections and referendums in the Republic have, unlike in many other developed countries, failed to get any traction at all and have been nipped in the bud real quick. I can already taste the tears of Gemma O'Donnell & John Waters, while Farage clearly has no effect on the Irish electorate, thank feck!
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#597961
Maybe the failure of right wing populism is due to Ireland’s younger population, experience of nationalist isolationism of decades and a population where emigration was a way of life.

From what I saw of the debates there’s no shortage of populist economics from SF. Asked where the labour is coming from to fulfill a mass housing programme, Mary-Lou claimed it was already there but was being employed on swanky hotels and offices for rich toffs and bankers. Burgonomics.
 
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#597962
Kreuzberger wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:47 pm
Ireland; something has happened, hasn't it?

Twenty years ago it was a dreadful place apart from a few surf spots on the west coast and the odd seafood restaurant in Dublin.

Yes, Intel waltzed in like a pied piper for other tech luminaries. Yes, the catholic church shat the bond of trust which it has enjoyed for centuries. But, the crash hit them hard and those straightened times usually result in social retrenchment. The country was as good as fucked.

Yet still the social juggernaut of change has hurtled onwards. Same-sex marriage, medical equality for all, and Rome being relegated to the status of a Six-Nations weekend away.

And now, a bunch of erstwhile terrorists being elevated to the most popular political party in the country with a progressive agenda which they barely bothered to campaign upon if, as I interpret, their campaigning was largely restricted to where the were fielding candidates.

So what has happened? Does there need to be a single tipping-point that renders the gammon irrelevant, or what there a happy conjunction of circumstance which finally made a nation see beyond yesterday?
I'm writing this as an outsider, with no real knowledge, so take it as anecdotal.
Ireland has for generations been a net exporter of its young people - I've witnessed a similar, through smaller effect in Scotland during my years in education and industry.
I witnessed the Irish diaspora when working abroad - young smart people, opening their eyes to a biger world where things are done differently.
I'd hazard thatin earlier generations, the emigres were also free from the cloying influence of local priests and gobshite gammon m/p|atriachs.

The difference with the Scottish diaspora is.
a) The Scots tended to head for Empire locations (London, Canada, Australia), I understand the Irish diaspora spread more broadly - into the EU and USA in particular.
b) The "Celtic Tiger" boom, and the later HQ relocations provided a pull factor for some of the emigres to move back home, bringing their skills, experience and ambitions with them.


Final thought:
Depressed areas of Britain have never enjoyed that boom to draw their emigres home.
Places like Stoke and Hull are unlikely to experience an epiphany, because the youth with the necessary imagination are leaving.
Compare with the American Bible Belt.

It's a thought.
youngian, spoonman liked this
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#597967
Depressed areas of Britain have never enjoyed that boom to draw their emigres home.
Places like Stoke and Hull are unlikely to experience an epiphany, because the youth with the necessary imagination.

Much of their migration in the 80s and 90s was internal. Cambridge’s growth was largely built on skilled labour from industrial heartlands and its probably the same story in the Thames Valley. Plenty of full-time jobs for semi-skilled people in the IT sector as well. In this area the population explosion presented challenges for infrastructure planning but as these migrants didn’t speak forrin or wear turbans we have ‘a sensible conversation about immigration.’
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