79 thoughts on “‘Blatant Populism’

  1. Atticus

    He’s a Garda for some reason? I’d say it’s probably for the pension, or maybe his father was a Garda before him?

  2. AliG

    What is right wing about this page? Is it the case that anyone who questions the far left has to be right wing?

    1. Medium Sized C

      The use of the word “extreme” hamstrings the arguement in the first sentence.
      There is no “extreme left” in politics Ireland. There are a handful of people who ascribe leftist politics and Joe Higgins.
      There is nobody anything like extreme left.
      The extremities of egalitarianism are things like anarchism and communism.
      We have a handful of straw trotskyists who are really a hell of a lot more like Social Democrats than they like to believe and Joe Higgins.

      Its like a number line. 20 is 25 marks to the right of -5 and 20 marks to the right of 0.

      The suggestion of media bias towards the extreme left is just wrong, what there is, is a reflection of the current popularity of leftist parties and representatives among the population.

      1. Rob_G

        I would be broadly in agreement with you in relation to most of the parties, but Éirigí but most definitely fall under the ‘extreme’ category.

        1. Medium Sized C

          I’ll take your word for it.
          I thought they were the “Political Wing” of the RIRA.
          I know nothing about them.

      2. louislefronde

        “The suggestion of media bias towards the extreme left is just wrong, what there is, is a reflection of the current popularity of leftist parties and representatives among the population.”

        Well spun….

        The left are in no way as popular as segments in the media would have you believe. Left inclined journalists and producers are quite adept at skewing the agenda especially on talk radio and on political programmes. This is partly due to the fact that more than a few journalists and indeed producers have been at some stage affiliated to left-wing parties or involved in left-wing politics. The Labour party has always enjoyed disproportionate support from the media (which is not surprising given the NUJ) and what’s more back in the 70’s the stickies became very strong in RTE. Their legacy hasn’t gone away.

        Of course, that is not to say that conservatives do not have their mouthpieces in the media too – they most certainly do – but on the whole, the media as it presently stands is noticeably disproportionately left.

        What I find quite irritating (and I’m sure I’m not alone) is that many of these ‘lefties’ in the media like to portray themselves as ‘Liberals’ – but they are anything but. What they are is reactionary and intolerant which by its nature is illiberal.

  3. Odis

    I liked the bit “They have been allowed more air Time on TV and Radio, due to the government mishandling of the water charges” – That’s a very astute observation, I hadn’t considered it from the view point of ‘Enda Kenny and his rise in the popularity of the Left’ angle, before.

    1. scottser

      i liked the bit that went along the lines of ‘left wingers whipping up fear and propaganda with lies and misinformation that has no substance’ and then – ‘that would turn the country into an economic wasteland’.
      a man of straw, no less.

    1. Kieran NYC

      A certain section of the Irish Left have done down the ‘no taxes, loads of free money for everyone, magic money tree’ populist route.

  4. FK

    If those parties are what the person behind the page considers to be far left, I dread to think what he/she considers to be right wing!

  5. louislefronde

    It is inevitable there would be a reaction to the ‘reactionary left’ (marxists) who seem to be disproportionately represented in the media. If you look objectively, there is an absence of a conservative voice in Ireland at the moment which caters for a sizeable proportion of the population. Whether you like it or not, there are many people will never vote for Sinn Fein, the Socialist Party or indeed People Before Profit for good reason. Many more will never vote for Fianna Fail and who grudgingly vote for Fine Gael in the absence of something better.

      1. Just sayin'

        That’s a wasted vote. They might fill a pothole but they offer no solutions for Ireland’s problems.

        1. Drogg

          What about Stephan Donnelly or Claire Daly both independents both have done stellar work in the dail.

          1. louislefronde

            I voted for Stephen Donnelly but would never vote for Claire Daly. Stephen would reflect an educated view of economics and finance, Claire does not. That is not to say that Claire Daly isn’t sincere or an adept public speaker, she most certainly is. However, socialist economics is a dead duck.

    1. ahyeah

      I like how you add “for good reason” to your assertion that there are many who will never vote for SF, PBP etc, omit it when asserting that there are some who will never vote for FF (no good reasons?) and use the old backdoor trick to claim that FG is the best thing on offer. Little sly dog.

    2. SOMK

      Yup someone set up a facebook page, it’s official THERE HAS BEEN A REACTION, it’s true that when you look at things objectively you access a deep truthiness, I know I’ve been there listening to a round table radio discussion on a Sunday, where John Waters silences everyone at the end to say the important thing about the media being taken over by sinister forces and everyone agreeing with him and saying how important what he’s saying is, I just sit there with my head in my hands thinking, “Where God, where? Where is this conservative voice this country has been crying out for, how has an advertisement fueled industry under severe competition from digital advertising not seen that there is a huge swathe of conservative people with objective eyes crying out to be catered for with a voice that finally speaks to them and of their values? Why have you forsaken me oh lord? You tease me by having the chairman of our national broadcaster be a former priest, like the guy who brings a bottle of wine to a party as a gift but ends up drinking it before he leaves, why do you tease me so oh Lord.”

      With the power of looking objectively you can also discover that the people who vote for political parties you wouldn’t vote for do so for good reasons and the people who do vote for said parties do so for bad reasons, such is the power of objective looking! As it stands people will continue to vote for Fine Gael in the absence of a party with the courage and conviction to implement austerity using a British accent, like Shane Ross would.

  6. fluffybiscuits

    Countries around Europe at the moment in time are being polarised to go either left or right. UKIP in UK, NF in France, Swedish Democrats in Sweden are some of the right and the left is Syrzia Greece, SP and PBP here etc. Its nothing to do with populism on the lefts part. UKIPs policies are all focused on the topic du jour – immigration and Euroskepticism for eg. The left has taken a position on economic issues and has given a practical solution to how to address them (Taxing wealth, financial transaction tax etc).

    ABM would wet himself with excitement if he saw that page….and Helen and Tom

      1. Rob_G

        I’m not sure what the aljazeera link you posted has to do with the FB page – the FB page seems to be more interested in poking holes in Ireland’s left-wing populists’ policies, rather than in promoting some sort of extreme-right agenda.

        1. Drogg

          I was backing fluffys comment about the rise of extreme right and left across the continent. Do you need me to draw you a diagram?

    1. louislefronde

      The Left has no intelligent position on economic issues – ‘Taxing wealth’ is code for taxing the middle class. It’s an old trick used be the left and repeated time and time again. In Ireland 50% of direct taxes are paid by 5% of the working population. That 5% are predominantly middle class and not ‘the wealthy’ as the left-wing would have you believe.

        1. fluffybiscuits

          The taxes make sense in the over all scheme of things.

          Financial Transaction Tax
          Tax on commodities trading
          Property tax on very large properties
          Taxing those who earn over €150k
          Taxing of luxury items
          Pollution charges

          Those are practical measures. The one on commodities alone would lower food prices if it were adopted world wide.

        2. louislefronde

          IBEC’s pre-budget 2014 submission is a good starting point.
          Here’s an interesting graphic – which is born out by the Revenue Commissioners annual report
          http://bit.ly/1AlenD2
          The top 5% pay 55% of all taxes from 22.7% of the income.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Thanks for that.

            Now the problem isn’t that the top earners pay the most IMO. The problem is that the bottom earners are not paid enough with 20%+ of those in work living at subsistence level / just above poverty. We have the second highest percentage of workers (after USA) on subsistence / borderline poverty in the western world.

            If they earned more, they’d pay more tax.

            Cut off for paying tax and how much to tax the rich should be more about who is ‘living comfortably’ and the higher above living comfortably you are the more tax you pay, it should have nothing to do with percentages as the rich are always going to have higher percentages.

            Now, here’s another way of looking at it.

            Looking at all taxes (incl Indirect Taxes) the bottom decile pay 30.6% of gross income, compared to the top decile who pay 29.7%.

            If we’re going to talk percentages, this tells me that the top should be paying a hell of a lot more… I’m not even that particularly left leaning a voter :)

            See NERI Institute Study from Aug 2014 – “Chart 8: Total Household Tax Contributions, % Gross Income (Equivalised data – national scale)” on page 22
            Link here – http://www.nerinstitute.net/download/pdf/household_tax_contributions_neri_wp18.pdf

    2. serf

      Careful what you mean by “left” and “right”. I think you’ll find that many of the Northern European xenophobic parties (FN, UKIP) are more left that right in terms of social policy (welfare rates, pensions etc) as they target the poor and the old for votes. The problem is, they are all still in opposition and none of them have had their fiscal policies tested. This could well change over the next few years…

        1. Medium Sized C

          It does if its their policy.

          Serf is absolutely correct.
          Left and right stem from the seating arrangements in the pre-revolution french parliment.
          Left side were egalitarians and right side were monarchists.
          These things tend to evolve, so when Marx and Engels were trying to burn down the world, the class conservation was towards middle-class people who own the means of production.

          I feel like these days that some people seem to think that because they have broadly egalitarian and liberal views that Right means “bad” and Left means good. Which is not correct.

          Now you might say “words evolve” and “people understand it to be different” but the reality is if Right means “Racist, Nationalist, Capitalist, Conservative” then we can’t have a mature conversation about politics. Equally if Left means “liberal, socialist, globalist, progressive” we are at sea if we try to effectively describe politics in Ireland, where everyone is clustering around the centre.

          Incidentally, it also weakens our language of criticism when we lump all this stuff together, and allows us the people we criticise to use straw arguments.

          “They try to slur us as Nazis”, etc.

      1. SOMK

        The far right fascist movements evolved from leftist groups and borrowed aspects of their message and appeal, Mussolini started out a lefty, the Nazi party at the time of their election were the only party not advocating for austerity and when they got in power put in place a massive investment programme, but neither Hitler nor Keynes were socialists, Hitler didn’t advocate for the redistribution of wealth, if he had he wouldn’t have been supported by the industrialists.

        You don’t need to be a lefty to see the results are in, austerity, ie. expansionary fiscal contraction is as much an oxymoron as that term suggests, it has retarded growth, it exists in Europe merely to placate Bild reading Germans believe Greeks, Italians and French must pay for their recklessness, as though a nurse in Athens on 800 a month is responsible for the fact that upper middle class Greeks don’t pay their taxes (and the equal absurdity of her Berlin based equivalent having some moral character by dint of living in a country that has a massive industrial base, that the Euro was badly designed (on purpose according to some), that for these things they had no control over they must ‘reform’ they must live on less because others who happened to live in the same country as they do took more than they should have.

        The mainstream left in the West has been so captured by market-centric ideology in the 90’s they’ve essentially rendered themselves inert politically, you don’t have to be far left to be to the left of the Irish Labour party, the centre would do just fine. http://www.politicalcompass.org/ireland2011

  7. Healy Rae's love child.

    Gardai are right-wing-thugs shocker. What do you expect? In order to become a garda you have to be rather fascist in outlook. You obey.

    1. louislefronde

      You mean ‘National Socialists’ – extreme nationalists with socialist economic policies. Gregor Strasser if he were alive would be proud to associate with them!

    2. Rob_G

      They’re more right-wing in Northern Ireland (where they want to privatise the water utility) and more left-wing in the rest of Ireland (free water for everyone).

      Also, they have some confused issues re: law and order (minor drugdealers should be shot in the kneecaps, but bank robbers and paedos are ok)

  8. Kolmo

    “absence of a conservative voice” – what are you talking about? – almost the entire media system in Ireland is there to maintain the status-quo, pretty much since the foundation of the state – wealthy off-shore business types own most of the radio and print media, wealthy off-shore business types are so intertwined with the current government they don’t even pretend to hide it, almost every media commentator was baffled as to why anyone would protest the Irish Water fiasco/Banking crimes/etc.., every nuance in their voices betrayed a contempt for anyone who raises a voice of concern at the pigs-at-the-trough set-up, Sinn Fein is portayed as something from another planet, anyone else from the left is an upstart ghetto dweller and needs to just shut up, RTE paid-off the so-called Iona ‘Institute’ because they may have been offended by a personal remark – ad nauseum. “absence of a conservative voice” – nonsense.

      1. stev

        So, you mouth off about there being no conservative voice yet when that’s refuted in a relatively clear and succinct way you respond with that sort of moronic mud slinging. What’s sort of conservatism are you looking for?

          1. Tony

            No you’re not. You’re a hairdresser from Donabate with delusions of grandeur and far too much time on his hands.

    1. Keith

      Sinn Fein is portayed as something from another planet

      In fairness, Sinn Fein is something from another planet, but blatantly populist they definitely are.

      RTE paid-off the so-called Iona ‘Institute’ because they may have been offended by a personal remark

      On this one you are of course correct. There appears to be a spinelessness on RTE’s part about dealing with these types of people.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Saw that too, I thought it odd that he uses an ex-left wing politicians’ rant at a right wing party in making his case for the FB page which is intended to work from right to bashing left :)

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