Friday, February 4, 2011

general election campaign so far

So how have all the crew been getting on:

Fianna Fail- This writer went on to the Fianna Fail website yesterday to do a head count of the number of candidates the natural party of government were running. Aside from noting that a former drinking buddy in Law School ( not Brian Cowen ) was running for the party, I came to a tot in the high 70's. In other words, and this may come as a shock to some of you, Fianna Fail aren't running enough candidates to win an overall majority. We keep being told by commentators that anything could happen ( the 1-2 on offer of a Fine Gael/lab government a couple of weeks ago was an absolute steal ) but a repeat of 1977 isn't one of the eventualities.

So thus it's curious that Micheal Martin keeps talking about the incompatibilities between Labour and Fine Gael. It would be nice if he would get around soon to telling us who his party would be compatible with. Or could it be that they have no interest and expectation of being in government. The leader claims to want a new style of election campaigning where parties deal honestly with the issues. Kudos to the Jimmy-Barry Murphy impersonator if it's true, but it's a little like Jeremy Clarkson announcing that he's seen the error of his ways and looks forward to seeing everyone on public transport.

Fine Gael: Easily the most significant blue shirt related matter so far has been the demise of the nascent New Democracy movement which could have been a serious threat. Now many centre-right voters will likely half-heartedly plump for Fine Gael for the lack of any real choice. They might though have to close their eyes and ears to Fine Gael candidates in their constituency to prevent being assailed by cant and cliche. The person we do want to hear is Enda Kenny, especially if he ever makes it to a debate that isn't diluted from being over populated. It's sadly obvious that the man who will be Taoiseach not only is reticent to debate the leaders of the other two main parties, but also to debate under the ambit of a 'loose cannon' such as Vincent Browne.

Labour: The Labour think tank would likely be your only men if you were crossing the road with them. Look left, look right, look left again. All very safe cross code. Their heads must be spinning. There's also an element of good cop bad cop about it. One minute Eamonn Gilmore in fine Brian Cowen tradition shouts and roars that Home Rule will hold sway over Rome/Frankfurt rule: The next morning Ruairi Quinn emerges to calm down the rational middle class horses.

Far Left: Richard Boyd Barrett was torn apart on his plan to reduce the deficit the other night by Vincent Browne. A very noble/contrary thing for Browne to do considering he admitted voting for Boyd Barrett in the last election. Barrett's proposal for a wealth tax will likely bring in nowhere like the 6 billion that he envisages, bar perhaps the united Left go the whole hog and implement a wealth confiscation from the idle rich. Since charity begins at home perhaps Jeremy Irons might get the ball rolling for the Dun Laoighre candidate.

The other main news story in recent days ( well The Irish Sun might disagree in light of their 'transsexual in Trinity' lead story ) was The Supreme Court decision to approve developer Paddy McKillen's appeal to keep his property out of NAMA. This reflects very poorly on Attorney General Paul Gallagher. Guiding the NAMA ship very much became Gallagher's baby at the same time that he seemed to be advising the Government that progressive reform in many other areas would be unconstitutional.

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