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Joe Higgins, of the Socialist Party, this evening 

Dublin West TD Joe Higgins addressed the Dáil for the final time during Order of Business this evening, as he won’t be taking part in the general election.

And he was in fine fettle.

Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett: “Deputy Higgins is leader of his party and he’s probably standing for the last time on the Order of Business and I want quietness and attention for him and to wish you every success in your retirement.”

Joe Higgins: “Go raibh míle maith agat a Ceann Comhairle and, as it happens, I hav two or three brief issues to raise and, with your permission, I’ll raise them. One by one. First, very specifically, Ceann Comhairle, under standing order 26.3, in relation to the business of the Dáil, and we are unable to ask the Taoiseach questions about business, the order of paper, etc, and about arrangements for sittings. So could I ask you Taoiseach what is the arrangement for the sitting of the Dáil tomorrow. Is it intended if it will sit at 9.30am? How long do you intend the Dáil to sit tomorrow? Do you intend to come to the Dáil to say if you are going to the President to seek the dissolution of the Dáil and, in that case, what time might that be? And what will be the arrangements thereof for the sitting? That’s my first question.”

Barrett: “Have you got another one?”

Talk over each other

Higgins: “I’m very much within order hear actually. That’s why I brought the Standing Order with me.”

Enda Kenny: “The Dáil sits at 9.30am in the morning.”

Barrett: “The Dáil sits at 9.30am in the morning.”

Higgins: “And the arrangements for the sitting? Will you come here to announce when you’re going?”

Talk over each other

Kenny: “We’ve approved the Order of Business, deputy.”

Barrett: “Joe you have your innocent face on at the moment.”

Higgins: “Taoiseach, you’ll deal with the Order of Business tomorrow is it?”

Kenny: “The Order of Business is approved already.”

Higgins:I just want to finish maybe, Taoiseach, on your way to the [Phoenix] park, Taoiseach, in case you meet an anti-water charges protest, can I suggest that you take your AK47 for protection.”

Barrett: “I think you’re stepping over the mark a bit there.”

Higgins:Judging by what he had to say in the Sunday Business Post (sic) he has so much energy he could do with a run around the park before he’s unleashed on the unfortunate people of Tipperary. However, he’d want to be careful because, as a self-confessed addict, he might stage a coup on the way to meet the President. But I think you really should, Taoiseach, tell us what time tomorrow you intend to dissolve, because you have activists all over the country waiting to start their activity, put up their posters….”


Higgins: “I can’t wish anybody here good luck in the next four weeks for obvious reasons, politically speaking, but Taoiseach in the terms of the last five years and what dominated this Dail, would you like to say sorry to the people? For making them pay bankers’ debts? With savage austerity over that period of time?…”

Barrett:Let’s not spoil it now, let’s not spoil it. We now move on to Topical Issues…”

Previously: Joe To Go


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68 thoughts on “So Long, Joe

  1. Harry Molloy

    Never agreed with Joe’s politics but always thought him an alright fella.

    That seemed pretty silly and juvenile though – “say sorry to the people? For making them pay bankers’ debts? With savage austerity over that period of time?”
    Would be a much bigger apology without austerity though wouldn’t it, things ain’t so rosy in Greece.

    Can’t believe austerity has become such a bad word in this country, literally means spending what you can afford ffs

    1. ahyeah

      It means withdrawing from an economy that’s contracting. It’s the opposite of what you should do to stabilise an economy in freefall.

      1. classter

        What Ireland can do & what Ireland would like to do are two different things.
        Ireland had little choice about whether to impose austerity or not – at least while remaining within the Euro & within the EU.There has been very little honest discussion about this.

    2. linbinius

      Doing the oul “look at Greece” is as pointless and idiotic as “Sure look what Iceland did!”. Ridiculous comparisons.

      I think austerity gets such a bad wrap because, in its name, people in Ireland have suffered. Many of whom had no influence on our downfall. I’m just guessing here though. Maybe it’s just all the vowels in the word.

      1. Harry Molloy

        People have suffered vy living within their means? Sufferin’ jaysis….

        I’m a bigger fool for trying to convince anyone tbh

        1. classter

          Harry, I don’t fully disagree with you but ‘living within their means’ misses the point entirely.

          The argument many would have is that austerity is used as a blunt weapon to reorder the distribution of wealth & power in society.

          You must admit that, wherever you sit on the political spectrum, that saving private banks with public money and then slashing public spending t ‘live within our menas’ leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

      2. rotide

        “look at greece” is a much better comparison than “look at iceland” as Greece is in the EU and recieved and bailout and Iceland isn’t

        1. linbinius

          @ Harry Molloy

          You don’t think people have suffered? “living within their means”. C’mon now..

          @ rotide

          * is similar in its pointlessness and idiocy as “Sure look what Iceland did!”.

          1. Nigel

            It’s like you have two examples of responses to the crash one of which didn’t involve the country going completely down the toilet.

    3. ahjayzis

      People are eating out of bins in Greece and they’ve not had austerity? Seriously, no austerity? Get a grip.

    4. scottser

      Austerity, during the life of this government means ‘making others pay for your mistakes.’ But it looks like you’d believe any of their oul shite happy.

  2. Charger Salmons

    Another useless old Trot at the end of a career that achieved precisely nothing.
    Joe is an insufferable windbag in love with the sound of his own voice.He makes Vincent Browne sound positively interesting.
    Adios Comrade.Keep the red flag flying somewhere.

      1. Charger Salmons

        Oooh,your witty response has cut me to the quick.I must never post on here again for fear of such a withering put-down.

    1. Anne

      You’ve automatically lose saying that… Vincent Browne is a national treasure. He might be a wooly haired, cantankerous auld c***, but he’s definitely not boring.

  3. linbinius

    Wouldn’t agree with the majority of his principles but sure he never strayed too far from them to be fair. Always good for a zinger the odd time.

  4. Frilly Keane

    “Joe you have your innocent face on at the moment”
    Wha’ da’ ûck is that

    Christ you’d be right ta’think t’was a School Bhoy Grads Organising Committee meeting

        1. inPisces

          You’re doing something different to other people
          Stop that immediately
          It makes me all nervous

  5. Truth in the News

    The will not tell you, that they want to be put back to carry on the auesterity for
    5 more years, what they won’t tell, is how much they will increase Property Tax
    Water Tax and any other measure, the well tried tested method is vote for
    anyone but them, as by this way, they will never have the majority again to get
    away what they have done to the people…..they have destroyed the Nation
    They will soon find out in the next couple of weeks how popular they are, what
    Fine Gael have done is robbed the people and Labour trotted on after them to
    fleece them of anything they have left, and the media this time wont be able
    to win the election for them or keep them in Power

    1. rotide

      the media this time wont be able to win the election for them

      Are you on drugs?

      The media didn’t win them the election last time. The media had NOTHING to do with them winning last time.

      Not Being Fianna Fail won them the election last and guess what? It’s probably going to do the trick again next time.

      1. inPisces

        You’re the idiot here

        They had dinnytalk stuffed with plants and shills for years before the election, this is well documented

        mortell, hook, Yates …

        And Dinny extirpating any nominally questioning voices in InM didn’t do any harm either

        1. ReproBertie

          Well documented in your big conspiracy colouring book maybe.

          FG won the last time because FF sold us up the river and there was no way we were putting their fat smug behinds back in ministerial cars.

          FG will win this time because, embarrassingly for every other party, no other party has put themselves forward as a viable alternative. FF are still the same useless, smug idiots but with added amnesia. Labour are, hopefully, getting a hammering (with luck losing their seats to SD) but they’ll still be in coalition. SF will get a popular protest vote and may overtake Labour but won’t go into government. AAA/PBP will hope to keep their few seats. Renua will get one or two and the rest will go to independents. FG will be the only party big enough to form a government but it’ll be such a cobbled together mess that we’ll be voting again in 2018/19.

          The notion that FG will get a hammering is, sadly, wishful thinking.

          1. inPisces

            Your comment while it can certainly be construed as a reasonable analysis did not specify a counter argument to my analysis that Mark Mortell and others helped make the current shower electable

          2. ReproBertie

            Claiming that a radio station was stuffed with plant and shills is not analysis. Do you honestly believe people chose FG over FF because of something they heard Ivan Yates say on Newstalk? With all that FF had done to turn the public against them you expect people to accept the election was won by George Hook?

          3. ReproBertie

            As soon as your argument is exposed for the fantasy that it is you resort to insults. Well done. Why don’t you just go invent another persona to back yourself up as usual, Saint Paul.

          4. ReproBertie

            You’re right. Mortell was what won FG the election, not Hook, Yates or FF’s disastrous handling of the country’s economy. Tremble before the power of Newstalk and how Dennis O’Brien uses it to control the minds of the hapless electorate.

        2. rotide

          The notion that Dennis O’Brien got FG elected instead of FF’s utter incompetance and theivery is just the type of crap you read on broadsheet these days.

          1. inPisces

            It’s a large part of the story pet, you’re projecting

            They need media trolls to feed idiots like you the line that despite paying the bondholders and cutting services left right and centre, it’s all getting “better”

            ‘Useless idiot’ is the technical term for planks of your below average level of insight

          2. inPisces

            Lol at punchline btw

            I sadly have read your kind of crap on this almost daily and at times hourly too. Carry on

          3. ahjayzis


            A stale slice of toast would have had better electoral prospects than FF in 2011, even ignoring what went before, in the immediately preceding six months their cabinet was half empty, Cowen tried to appoint fresh cabinet members for literally a few months at the table, all remaining ministers were double or triple jobbing and we’d *just* entered into the Troika programme.

            It just brings into focus the utter superfluousness of the promises FG/Labour made that were doomed from the beginning to be broken, none of it was necessary, the election was over before it begun.

          4. linbinius

            @ rotide

            Yeah fair enough, but deciding one is the main factor doesn’t negate what kind of impact the other variables may have had. I agree, they where mad out of it done.

            O’Brien just has that. Ye know…..That Lowry factor. Mmmm.

        3. Kieran NYC

          Never met anyone as terrified of Hook or Yates as you seem to be.

          Most people just think they’re washed-up windbags.

          1. inPisces

            Not terrified at all. They’re windbags agreed but they both have a large audience – and playing the fool is a key role in the overall media strategy for these boys- keeps idiots like Bertie and rotide distracted from what is really is going on with Mortell in there subtly dictating the message.

          2. ReproBertie

            Ah yes Mortell, the evil mastermind who distracted the idiotic electorate into voting FG instead of sticking with the fat feckless idiots that oversaw the bankrupting of our economy, the squandering of the nation’s wealth and the handing over of our sovereignty to the troika.

            I think Saint Pisces needs to up the meds.

          3. inPisces

            So we’re agreed you’re an easily distracted idiot?

            The fact is Mortell et al did pull off something of a master stroke here with regards Kenny. The public had soundly rejected that eejit on several occasions prior. Before the campaign I distinctly recall Mortell was in and out of Dinnytalk like a yoyo even presenting several shows himself. I ask you Bertie what else was a very successful media spin merchant doing in there presenting those radio shows? He clearly doesn’t need the money like that overleveraged clown who owns the coffee shops and can barely string a sentence together without slurring his words.

            People laugh about Hook also – to some degree as it was Kermit the Frog above I’l let him off though I’m sure he’s glued to Dinnytalk’s night repeats at his job washing spoons in the Canal Street Diner. However I distinctly recall Hook, on rotation, playing this clip of an impassioned and oh my dog, so OUTRAGED Dear Leader wildly wailing about our young having to flee the country and how UPSET that made him. Hook made a big play of this, as being incoherent himself, the clear objective was to let this clip speak for itself, namely: Message, I CARE.
            Oh, the ironing, if Kermit doesn’t remember this

          4. ReproBertie

            How is Martell & co.’s masterstroke a “fact”?

            The public had soundly rejected Enda in the past when the economy was booming and FF was throwing money at people. In 2011 the economy was in the toilet, the troika were dictating terms and FF were drunk on the radio and we were still hearing about how Kenny was useless right up to the day he was elected. Enda Kenny’s FG won because FF blew it. In fact, despite Martell hypontising the electorate Labour gained proportionally more from FF’s collapse than FG did. (FG gained 25 seats which was 50% of what they had in the previous Dáil while Labour almost doubled in size from 20 to 37 seats).

            You do know that at the time of the election Newstalk had an 8% share of the radio listernership, right? (JNLR FIGURES FOR APRIL 2010 – MARCH 2011

          5. inPisces

            I do – the point is that Mortell repositioned Kenny as a viable leader. Dinnytalk effectively was the testing ground for this strategy. One key area was the wedge they drove on virtually every show between private and public sector workers.
            Hook, Yates et al are the cheerleaders the media establishment take note of because they are on in the pivotal evening slots. Prior to this the entire news agenda in the country, daily, was set by Morning Ireland. Of course INM was another key part of it. You can see the strategy. Use our media Ownership to foster “our” Dinny sponsored agenda. Then while everyone is distracted by the meaningless jibber jabber, stage a show trial in the banking industry before the election. Put Joe Higgins and a few other big mouths in it to give the idiots an impression of balance (Donnelly was too shrewd to fall for this though and he pulled out). In the meantime liquidate as many stars owned assets as possible. If we don’t get them all this term we’ll get them next time out

          6. ReproBertie

            Kenny became Taoiseach because he happened to be the leader of FG at a time when the electorate wanted to give FF a kicking. People didn’t vote for him, the voting was for anyone but FF. I don’t remember a single person saying Kenny would make a good taoiseach but I remember many talking about how useless he was but they would take him to keep FF out.

            I know you’ve built up your little theory there about Dennis O’Brien controlling the electorate and you have to cling to it because it’s yours but you’re ignoring the simple fact that the electorate did not need any controlling. FF had blown the money and left us with massive unemployment, an unimaginably large national debt and our national policies being dictated by the troika. If none of this had happened then maybe people would consider the possibility of a hugely successful media project turning the public towards Enda but the reality is that Enda was chosen as the non-FF option, not the best one.

  6. ahjayzis

    Decent guy, principled, always interesting to listen to, and a total gentleman to meet into the bargain.

    It’s just such a shame the Socialist Party/Peoples Front of Judea are such a joke of a stereotype. They’re on their second ‘alliance’ with the Socialist Workers Party / Judean Peoples Front, I give it six months – because they’re suffering from the opposite of what Labour suffer from, they will not compromise an iota, you agree with them 100% or you’re nothing more than minion of the forces of capitalism. Being niche and under-supported is a badge of honour.

  7. Fergalito

    Knowing where you stand with a politician is quite uncommon. Regardless of where one stood on Joe Higgin’s point of view on a given issue at least he was and is clear and consistent in his stance. This is admirable and at the very least reflects a constancy and sincerity.

    Sadly this is the antithesis to the much more common type of democratic addler who will muffle words, leave a sentence half finished mid-mantra and essay to please all the people all the time while working to an every shifting unfocused set of objectives. There’ll be oodles of these noodles anon and on me doorstep.

  8. nellyb

    “Let’s not spoil it now, let’s not spoil it” – spoil what and for whom? Barrett fancies himself as a Dail daddy. Him and Rabbitt are made for each other.
    Dissolve this crippled circus already, Kenny.

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