Quite apart from the hilarity of trying to identify an actual economic policy in Sinn Féin’s election materials, the funniest thing about the Irish election so far has been the squirming and luckless campaign from Fianna Fáil. Those from the red and blue corners of UK politics will recognise the train wreck of an earnestly well thought through campaign fought against the self-reinforcing media agenda.
Enda Kenny, meet David Cameron. You’ll be working together.
People decided before this election was called exactly how it would go – Fianna Fáil wiped out, Fine Gael taking the right and centre, Labour completing the coalition with the scared left. @timrollpickerin predicted this, so did 3.5m Irish Citizens.
The only problem with that is the Labour Party- by all measures other than pictures of their leader Eamon Gilmore on lamp posts, their campaign has been painfully mute and lacklustre. It is entirely possible they will fail to deny Fine Gael the majority, handing one-party no-coalition zero whipping-boy politics to be led by Enda Kenny.
Nick Clegg, meet… Actually, you have nobody to work with.
Red baiters will join me in loving the new United Left Alliance- an umbrella brand effectively removing the various brands of the hard left parties from the landscape and guaranteeing a recognition catastrophe in the polling booth.
Indies were expected to do well at the start of the campaign with their hopey changey message. Given the extent to which our friends in the media have handed this election to Fine Gael, I can’t see where their votes are going to come from. It’s tough to make predictions on first time candidates, but in Dublin, I expect artland self publicist Mannix Flynn to do well; he scares the shit out of me, but the electorate cannot have failed to notice him.
Election posters have mostly been uninspiring, with Fine Gael maybe a notch too slick.
Notes to Brits:
Fianna Fáil was formed from a split in Ireland over the treaty with the UK, and was opposed to the treaty and in favour of a republic. Brown envelopes, property developers, accidentally supplying timers and detonators to the IRA. Centre-centre-left.
Fine Gael traces itself back to Michael Collins, essentially – it was pro-treaty. It’s now the closest thing to a centre-right party in Ireland. Law and order, rural issues etc.
Labour is Labour is Labour is Labour. Pro Eamon Gilmore, very pro pictures of Eamon Gilmore.
Sinn Féin is left, utopian and republican. Not fond of the Brits, formerly keen on blowing up people and shooting them. Sinn Féin means ‘Ourselves Alone’. Led by Gerry Adams, former Westminster MP for Belfast West and current Baron of the Manor of Northstead.
Ireland’s financial crisis is described here: Dave Explains Ireland’s Mess (nabidana.com)