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Posts tagged ‘Sinn Fein’

TDs call for end to fluoride in water

The Dáil has debated a Private Member’s Bill on a proposed ban on the addition of fluoride into the drinking water supply.Independent TD Catherine Murphy said it was right for people to be sceptical and questioned expert opinion that fluoridation does not cause ill-health.Her technical group colleague, Finian McGrath, said he has concerns about fluoridation.He said: “If in doubt, leave it out.”

Citing Holland and Germany as countries with good public health policy that do not put fluoride into the water, he said Ireland should be conscious of putting fluoride in the water.

Minister of State Alex White rejected the bill.

He said he accepts that it was put forward in good faith and he is prepared to continue to make public details of studies into fluoridation.

He said the public is entitled to have more information about fluoridation.

Sinn Féin‘s Brian Stanley said it is unfortunate that the minister was so dismissive of the arguments.He said that the Department of Health will not reveal the ill-effects of fluoridation.He added that the Government should distribute it in tablet form and not force people to take fluoride in drinking water.”98% of Europe cannot be wrong,” Mr Stanley said.

A vote on the bill will take place next Tuesday and is expected to be opposed by the Government and Fianna Fáil.








Where now for Sinn Fein?


I’ve just read this excellent article on the course opened to Sinn Fein in Irish politics. However I would not agree that Sinn Fein should or would now turn into a copy of what we already have in the established political party’s .These “Parties have in my opinion lost their way and have turned into self serving institutions for selfish, corrupt, and self-serving individuals, who are only too eager to dump any promises to the people as long as they themselves are “looked after” with pensions, perks and whatever your having yourself! .No I do not hope Sinn Fein will strive or seek to be like these “assimilated” toxic corrupt gangster parties who have been running our country as if it was their private fiefdom. Hopefully Sinn Fein will have the intelligence not to look to the established corrupt political system for inspiration. My advice to them would be to listen to the people and serve the people.


I am not a member of Sinn Fein nor do I agree with most of what they stand for! However they have been consistent with my views on the Debt crises and the last two referendums.

The Cedar Lounge Revolution

Tom McGurk had some interesting points to play around with recently. In a column on how ‘SF will be sharply tested by a period of transition’ he makes some very thoughtful points, and a few that I’d take issue with. The latter can be dealt with immediately.

Of course is worth contextualising his ideas in reference to the Quinn issue and the way that has developed in the last week or so which points up problematical issues for SF in how it campaigns North and South and on an all island basis.

Anyhow McGurk argues that:

Sinn Féin is now facing perhaps the most difficult transition yet of the many it has faced: how to turn a party of radical protest into one of a realistic political alternative.

Problem is – for SF – that the orthodoxy is already splitting at the seams in terms of parties who have cleaved…

View original post 1,566 more words

Labour has turned its back on its election promises and have betrayed the people!

Labour chiefs were shaken by the plunge in support from 19pc six months ago to   just 13pc as it appeared the party was bearing the brunt of voter   dissatisfaction. Just 22pc of Labour supporters indicated they were happy   with the Government’s performance. Fine Gael slipped 3 points to 33pc.   Fianna Fail TD Timmy Dooley, the party’s director of elections for the   coming referendum, said the rise in Sinn Fein support showed the electorate   was “flirting” with that party’s “utopian” views

full article at source: http://www.herald.ie/news/labour-reeling-as-shinners-in-front-to-lead-opposition-3087301.html


McGuinness would not be good for Ireland says FG Minister Hogan!

The Environment Minister Phil Hogan says while it is open for anyone to contest the election the Sinn Fein candidate has too much baggage.

Martin McGuinness hit out yesterday at what he called the “West Brit” elements in the media and political parties that are trying to damage his campaign for the Aras.

see link to interview on Newstalk:http://www.newstalk.ie/2011/news/1fg-minister-mcguinness-would-not-be-good-for-ireland50/


What an Idiot you have just secured Mr.mc Guinness election or at least given him a boost , as most of the people of Ireland are disgusted with Fine Gael and labour for reneging on their promises of not putting more billions into the banks .Mr. Hogan you promised change in Irish politics and you have delivered more of the same Smuck!
Personally, I will be voting for Dustin the Turkey as none of the candidates
come up to the standards of the ordinary Joe Soap!

€12m Anglo senior unsecured unguaranteed bond paid in full today

That’s more than the cost of the Jobs Initiative for one week.

By namawinelake

The cost of Minister Noonan’s inaction on Anglo Irish Bank (“Anglo”) and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) is highlighted today as Anglo repays a €12m senior unsecured unguaranteed bond at par, that is without any haircut or discount. The bonds (ISIN ref: XS0306086157, SEDOL ref: B1ZBPV0) were issued in June 2007 – Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty yesterday described the bonds as “unguaranteed unsecured” and there is no reason to doubt him. Historical prices appear to be unavailable at the Irish Stock Exchange this morning, but last month Anglo redeemed senior bonds which yielded 30% annualized returns to investors who had bought last December 2010. Our recently announced Jobs Initiative costs €470m per annum, so in a single transaction today we are spending more than the proceeds of one week’s raid on private pensions.

full article at source here : http://wp.me/pNlCf-1yL


This amount could have paid the dole for one year to 1200 of the over 2900
people who now find themselves on the dole since the last numbers came out .Mr Noonan’s
incompetence is fast catching up with his predecessors levels and that was grim
to say the least.

Losing money and paying money men is the order of the day closing
down hospitals and essential health services is seems to be the way forward for
this Minster

Focus Ireland on Homelessness

Dear Thomas ,

Thanks for your extraordinary support for our campaign to make ending homelessness an election issue. We know from candidates and from your own feedback that our issues are getting raised at many doorsteps. Over 1,200 e-mails were sent to candidates and TDs looking for answers since the start of the election, and we can see some of the impact this is having now that all the manifestos are published.

We have analysed all the manifestos. Remember, in the last election there was virually no reference to homelessness, so we are making great progress! There is a lot of good news – a good recognition of the importance of tackling long-term homelessness in most of them. Of the main parties, the odd-one-out is Fianna Fail, whose manifesto, this time round, does not present a broad policy platform and makes no mention of homelessness, aftercare or, indeed, social housing. This is the nature of their man ifesto rather than a reflection on their homeless policy and outgoing Fianna Fail Minister, Michael Finneran‘s commitment to the issue was notable. Nevertheless their manifesto is silent on the issue and this is reflected in the analysis.

Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and the Green Party all commit themselves to ‘ending long-term homelessness’, though only Sinn Fein put a timeframe (2 years) on it. Disappointingly, Labour only commit to ‘alleviating’ long-term homelessness. Minister Finneran, in his farewell speech , said long-term homelessness could be ended by his successor in just 6 months!

Commitments on Aftercare were not so clear cut, with only Sinn Fein giving a manifesto commitment to legislate, though Fine Gael refer to implementing the Ryan Report recommendations.

We have posted a summary of what the party manifestos say on all the issues we raised, and also link to longer quotes on the key issues. You can use this to help you make up your mind about which party and candidates you will support in the election.

Our next challenge is to ensure that the best of these commitments is actually included in the new Programme for Government.

Of course, to do that we must wait until next weekend to know what parties (or party) will be making up the Government, but in the meantime keeping up a constant flow of e-mails (and questions at the door) will make sure that ending homelessness remains in the forefront of candidates’ minds. If you have not downloaded the notes to ask canvassers you can do so here, and if you have not sent an e-mail to all your candidates you can do so here . Please do.

If you have any feedback from canvassers or e-mails you can post it on the Facebook page or e-mail it to me.

With thanks again for your support and congratulations on the impact so far.

Mike Allen

Director of Advocacy

We have become the servants of the TD’s and they know it !

Some people will have high hopes the coming election will bring a transformation. We should not hold our breath, however,


ALMOST EVERYONE now expects a general election in 2011 and, if the current polls are taken as a good indication of political support for parties, we will see a bigger change after that election than at any since the foundation of the State.

Fianna Fáil started 2010 with the support of over a quarter of the electorate, a level that now looks like a wildly optimistic target for the future. While a slight decline was evident through the early part of the year, the October revelations about the extent of indebtedness followed by the arrival of the bailiffs in November drove the party down to previously unplumbed depths.

Labour and Sinn Féin seem to have been the main beneficiaries of this decline. Labour’s strong showing in some polls in the spring and George Lee’s desertion threatened to unseat Enda Kenny and, although this impetus was not sustained, Labour remains clearly in second place. Sinn Féin’s more recent rise is almost certainly linked to the visit of the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, and the December Budget.

Of course there will be some changes between now and election day. Despite using a variety of indicators, all polls suggest much support is not committed firmly: Don’t Knows remain at high levels and respondents who do express a vote intention either say they could change their mind or indicate other parties they might equally well support.

In addition, we might doubt these polls really do capture voting intentions in a representative way. There were huge differences between the estimates made by different companies in the autumn and, although the gaps are much smaller in the most recent polls, there must be some uncertainty about whose poll, if any, we should believe.

Many people think Fianna Fáil will not do as badly as these figures suggest, but perhaps those same people would have resisted any suggestion that Fianna Fáil’s support could fall to about 25 per cent in 2009 or that its poll ratings drop to 17 per cent this month.

However, there is some theoretical and empirical evidence to suggest Fianna Fáil voters might be reluctant to admit their support in the current circumstances, just as Tory voters in the 1990s and Labour voters in the run-up to this year’s election in the UK seemed to evade the pollsters.

We do know that polls typically underestimate Independents, and often Fine Gael, and overestimate the Sinn Féin vote – the latter probably because of turnout differences.

Even taking all this into account, the next election still appears to be one that will prompt the “electoral earthquake” cliche in countless media reports.

Political scientists use an index of electoral volatility to capture the extent of change between elections. This can in principle range from 0 to 100. In Ireland, since the 1930s, when the modern party system could be said to have formed, the rating has typically been about 10, but has ranged from 3 (1969) and 4 (1973 and 1982) through to 15/16 in 1987 and 1992 to 20 in 1943.

If we assume that the distribution of the vote will be close to the latest Ipsos/MRBI poll, then the figure for 2011 would be 29 – describing almost twice as much change as at any election in more than 50 years. This is huge by the standards of well-established democracies, although we have seen far greater changes in eastern Europe in the last 20 years.

Denmark in 1973, the Netherlands in 2002 and Canada in 1993 all saw similarly high levels of volatility, but in both Denmark and Canada lasting change in the subsequent development of the party system was only relatively small. The ruling Canadian Conservative party won only two seats in the 1993 election, its vote share falling from 43 per cent to 16 per cent (an almost identical decline to that now faced by Fianna Fáil), but by 2006 it was able to win the election and return to government.

Denmark saw five new parties winning votes in 1973 after decades of notable stability, but the party system now looks more like it did in 1971 than 1973. The largest of the new entrants, the Progress Party, which won 16 per cent of the vote, remained out of government and declined almost to extinction by 2001.

Dutch electoral politics remain very fluid and, although governments remain in the hands of the old parties, the new anti-Islamist PVV provides important support.

It is striking that in the Danish and Dutch cases in particular, much of the volatility could be attributed to new parties rather than change being simply a circulation of support between the more established ones.

Volatility on the scale expected here really would be remarkable if there were no new entrants. While there are as yet no concrete indications that any new movements will be running candidates, it is widely expected that voters will have more options on election day than appeared in the last MRBI poll and that political reform will feature prominently in the manifestos of new entrants.

It has proved remarkably difficult for new parties to mount any enduring challenge to the old ones in established democracies. The main exceptions are countries such as France, where parties were never strong anyway, particularly on the right of the political spectrum, and Italy, where the old system was apparently blown away by a corruption scandal whose awfulness makes Irish politics appear almost completely untainted.

New parties have appeared, winning perhaps 15-20 per cent of the vote at most, but they typically fail to sustain that initial impetus, just as the Progressive Democrats did here. The PDs of course were drawn from within the party system, and had a hugely popular leader (Desmond O’Malley), but still attracted the support of fewer than one in eight voters at their peak. For any new movement to top that now would be a considerable achievement.

While new parties can be expected to focus very clearly on political reform, the terms of our “bailout” can also be expected to feature heavily in the campaign between now and election day. The issues raised by the latter alone might be expected to give the next election a character that has been absent for some time, with parties taking different positions on policies that are important to voters so that people can be expected to have strong preferences.

As the work of the Irish Election Study (www.tcd.ie/ines) has made clear, recent Irish elections have been about issues only to the extent that voters trust different parties to realise goals that most voters sign up to. However hard it is to credit it now, Fianna Fáil won in 2002 and 2007 essentially because it was trusted to boost or sustain prosperity.

There is little evidence that, even if voters differed on how this was to be achieved or what was to be done with the wealth once it was generated, such concerns are a significant determinant of electoral choice.

This is arguably due largely to the failure by parties to differentiate themselves from one another. Voters find it very difficult to say how party policies differ on a range of issues and expert commentators often experience similar difficulties. We must add to this the fact that local campaigns tend to focus much more on what a candidate can do for their area rather than what their party can do for the country at large. Many commentators blame the electoral system for this, but even if they are correct – and most political scientists would reject this simple determinism – it is clear that voters value highly the political attention to local concerns our system provides.

What will be significant about this next election is whether, despite the electoral system, voters are willing and able to differentiate between parties on policy issues and to indicate the direction they would like to see taken by future policymakers.

Parties do appear to differ on what balance between tax increases and spending cuts is necessary to fill the hole in our national accounts regardless of the banks’ debts: will voters have preferences and will they vote on the basis of them?

We are also likely to see parties adopting different positions on how far the State should make us responsible for these debts.

Political reform is less likely to provide a basis for such differentiation, as all parties will promise reform. Differences may come down to how many TDs can be cut, how quickly the Seanad can be abolished and whether we replace PR with the Australian alternative vote or the German additional member system – none of which is likely to address the deficiencies in our political system.

It is possible that voters will support a party that can convince them it is serious about such reform, but this will not provide a very clear mandate for how such change will be realised. However, it could also happen that the next election will, like its predecessors, be fought with a strong emphasis on local candidates, and policy will again take a back seat.

Will Michael Lowry be returned because he supported the “bailout” and the Budget or because he appeared to have eased the path for a Las Vegas in Two-Mile-Borris or secured a toilet for a local school?

We cannot be surprised at the direction taken by the polls. The extent of the economic crisis alone would lead us to expect significant change but, given a party system that long ago broke away from its roots, the potential for sudden change is always there.

If this new electoral volatility reflects emancipated, critical citizens, it could serve as a basis for improved democratic accountability, but if it reflects capriciousness and increasing intolerance for the political process, it will post a greater challenge for political reform.

It is important for the future of debate about our politics that we understand what voters are doing and why they are doing it, so any reform can be evidence-based rather than founded on anecdote and wishful thinking, like so much policy in the past. This is something the next Irish Election Study can help to give us, if adequately funded.

Unfortunately, this is currently far from assured in the absence of the government funding there has been in the past.

Michael Marsh is professor of comparative political behaviour and pro vice provost/chief academic officer of Trinity College Dublin, and co-author of The Irish Voter (Manchester University Press, 2008)

Wednesday December 29 2010

Fine Gael finance spokesman Michael Noonan last night defended his continued payment of a ministerial pension, which he says he donates to charity.

Mr Noonan (pictured below) is one of four Fine Gael TDs who still claim their ministerial pensions.

Fellow former ministers, foreign affairs spokesman Sean Barrett, Jim O’Keeffe and Bernard Durkan, also donate the money to charity in line with a party decision earlier this year.

Fianna Fail TD Noel Treacy also accepts his pension which he says he gives to charity.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny announced back in spring that all ministerial pension holders in his party had volunteered to give up the payment, either by refusing it or donating it to charity.

Mr Noonan said last night that all amounts payable to him as ministerial pensions were paid directly into a dedicated bank account. “The full amount of the pension is paid out by way of standing order, each month, to two well-known charities.

“This arrangement has been in place since Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny requested that former Fine Gael ministers, in receipt of ministerial pension, would either assign the pension to the Exchequer or donate it to charity. The bank account records will verify the veracity of this statement,” he added.

Mr Noonan earned €30,000 from his pension this year, Mr Barrett €19,000, Mr O’Keeffe €14,000 and Mr Durkan €4,000.

Fine Gael proposed back in April to immediately halt ministerial pension payments to sitting TDs.

Following next year’s General Election, no sitting TD will be paid a ministerial pension.

The move means it will be more lucrative for long-serving Fianna Fail ministers to retire, rather than return as a TD on the salary of €95,000.

– Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Irish Independent


Comment :

The  established political parties are all the same sitting on the gravy train and giving to charity is just another way of playing lord of the manor dishing out bread crumbs to the peasents.This pension is not Noonan’s to give away in the first place!  This sense of entitlement is in bread into our current batch of political masters and there lies the problem .We the public must send them a message they are there to serve the people  and not the other way round! This simple fact has long been forgotten by all the long serving TD’s

As stated many times before only when everybody promises themselves that they will make sure that they will go out and vote and vote for someone that does not represent any of the established political parties Why because they are part of the problem ! Voting for them only perpetuates the system of cronyism and feathering their own nest

They have a vested interest in keeping the system that rewards them no matter what mistakes, damage or cock up’s they are responsible for, by getting elected a number of times this will guarantee them a super pension and a life style their foolish voters can only dream of!

Time to stop the rot and kick them all out!

So please promise yourself and not me that you will make a change this time only then can you rightly complain about corrupt politicians.

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