What Have We Done?

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From top: General Election posters; Anne Marie McNally

Until a majority of Irish people shirk the media narrative and realise that their fortunes are not dependent on either Fianna Fáíl or Fine Gael, we will have no real progess as a society.

Anne Marie McNally writes:

It’s done and dusted. GE16 has come and gone and with it our understanding of what constitutes our political framework for the foreseeable future.

The electorate returned a somewhat confusing mandate but a mandate which must be respected nonetheless.

But there is a difference between respecting a person’s choices and legitimately questioning the reasoning behind those choices.

If you look back to 2011 and recall the decimation that was wreaked upon Fianna Fail as punishment for the political terror they had inflicted upon people in the period 2007-2011 it is really hard to understand how many of those people, just five years later, saw fit to wave a white flag and forgive Fianna Fáil their sins.

There has been lots of talk in recent days of borrowed votes being returned to Fianna Fáil.

If you voted for Fine Gael or Labour in 2011 to punish Fianna Fáil then voted last Friday for Fianna Fáil in order to punish Fine Gael or Labour then you need to look very close to home as to the cause of the malaise in our political system and the root cause of the disenfranchisement of people from electoral politics.

As I canvassed over the past few months I was convinced turnout in this election would be amongst the highest ever recorded. People were angry; they were determined to punish this Government. It never for a moment crossed my mind that the punishment they intended to inflict would be a return to the aggressor of the recent past.

While many told me they wouldn’t bother voting because they didn’t see the point, I was enthused by the amount of people who were politically exercised. Unfortunately when it came down to it, those who were apathetic stood by while the establishment traded power between them.

We got near to change, there was certainly a shake-up of sorts but the people who opted out of the voting process were complicit in allowing tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee to keep their hands on the levers of power for at least another election cycle.

I’m incredulous that we’re now seeing Fianna Fáil being touted as some bastion of political reform or possible saviours of this political stalemate we’re currently witnessing.

I want to scream from the roof-tops that this is the same Fianna Fail who brought us to our knees, who drove our young people from this country in their thousands; that lumbered our children and grandchildren with debt burdens that were never ours or theirs to bear; yet here they stand as an almost white knight, with a mandate given to them by citizens with apparent goldfish memories.

I take the point that it is their second worst ever election result but I take no solace in it because following 2011 it is incomprehensible to me that they should regain seats lost just 5 years ago when really it should have been a further nailing into the coffin of the type of politics that has brought us to where we are today.

For my own part I put my hat into the ring and while I managed to poll ahead of two sitting TDs and take 5320 votes it wasn’t enough on this occasion and I finished 5th in a 4 seater.

I’m good with that and I’ll take the defeat on the chin and move forward but I’ll find it far harder to accept that people returned their vote to Fianna Fáil as some perverse means of punishing Fine Gael and Labour.

Until a majority of Irish people shirk the media narrative and realise that their fortunes are not dependent on either Fianna Fáíl or Fine Gael, we’re going to continue in a form of political limbo where we swing mercilessly between the two parties over electoral cycles with no real progress for our society as a whole.

Anne Marie McNally is a founding member of the Social Democrats. Follow Anne Marie on Twitter: @amomcnally

 

173 thoughts on “What Have We Done?

  1. nellyb

    Some vote for people, not parties, in anticipation of personal windfalls. Their country ends at the walls of their property. Trump mentality.

      1. kellma

        I am also pretty amazed at how FF could claw back so quickly…. But there is a point made here about alternative. I am in Fingal and there was no SD candidate there. Otherwise, I would 100% have voted for them. I like this party and I have a lot of respect for the people currently engaged in the party – they seem to have b*lls and actually give a sh*t. I went into this election with the one guiding principle that FF were not getting any of my votes. I didn’t really want to vote FG either. Their stance on the 8th amendment, Kenny being a tool and that rubbish about scrapping the USC (cause our health system is just tickety boo you know….) just didn’t sit well with me. So I went no 1 for Clare Daly but still ended up giving 2 and 3 to FG. You need a strong government and a load of independents won’t give you that but my thinking was at least if you got a few tough taskmasters like Clare in the house, she would keep them on their toes…

        1. classter

          A big part of the difficulty is forming & then maintaining new parties. All the local canvassers, party activists, etc. All the people that will stick with the party through thick & thin – and not merely because they had a shot at the Dail.

          This one of the strengths that FF/FG/LAb always had. They had (and still have to a lesser degree) a base like that of GAA clubs all around the country.

          The great strength of the SocDems – new, thoughtful, somewhat technocratic – is also their great weakness. Forming that sort of stable, loyal base is even more difficult today. SF has its appeal to nationalism/republicanism as a recruiting tool.

          I hope I am wrong on this btw.

          1. ahyeah

            I think you’re spot on.

            If we had a more ‘presidential’ type system where people vote for the next Taoiseach, I’d wager we’d be looking at a Social Democrat government. Imagine if the choice had been Enda Kenny, Michael Martin, Stephen Donnelly, Joan Burton or Gerry Adams. I genuinely believe that Donnelly would have been elected.

    1. Medium Sized C

      Trump….Trump.

      I have not seen one person analogise Trump into Irish politics in anyway that made any sense.
      People voting for FF are not the same as people voting for Trump.

      Like I agree with the other two sentences but WTF like.

      Trump is getting support, currently, from about 5% of the American vote.
      Trump is advocating racism, sexism and torture. Shooting Muslims with pigs blood soaked bullets. That sort of thing. People are supporting him because they are scared of muslim boogymen and because they are racist. He is being openly racist and divisive.

      Voting for Fianna Fail because you feel FG did a bad job and/or because you believe the makey-uppy “stable government” theory is not the Trump mentality.

      While we are at it, voting for the Healy-Raes or Lowry isn’t anything like voting for Trump.
      Lucinda Creighton is not anything like Trump.
      The shouty trotskyists in the AAA-PBP are not anything like Trump.
      Nobody in high profile in Ireland is anything like Trump.

      People are just throwing “Trump” around these days without even thinking of what they are saying.

  2. Rompsky

    The big problem is the lack of a credible alternative to FF/FG/Lab. I would have voted Social Democrats had they had someone running in my constituency. No interest in the ridiculous left

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      100%. Even just on an aesthetic level, The SDs logo and marketing material gives you confidence that these are people who have some idea what they’re doing because it looks so professional where as the P4P stuff makes them look like a small trade union.

        1. ahjayzis

          If you can’t manage the graphic design of an A3 poster, it can lead to doubts as to whether you can manage tens of billions of public money and massive, revolutionary-scale reforms of the state structures of a developed nation.

        2. Iwerzon

          plus not one commentator got through mentioning AAA/PBP without stumbling or stuttering.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    The confrontational tone here is understandable but unfortunate. Lashing out at voters, shaming them, is not the way to go. It’s happened though. An emotional reaction is human but I would hope this piece just serves to help McNally feel like she got something off her chest and it not be an indication as to how the party are going to react and strategise going forward. People go with what they know, even if they don’t like it. I said on another thread that customer inertia, has to be in play for a lot of people here. Lots and lots and lots of people simply don’t like thinking about politics. They know they don’t want FG, they basically have no clue who P4P or the Social Democrats are, so they vote for the only other party they know and that’s Fianna Fáil. If I were the SDs, I’d be banging on the door of every rich and opinionated celebrity I can find with a begging bowl. If any party wants to break the FF/FG axis, they need to spend shyteloads of money on advertising. There’s got to be a wealthy liberal philanthropist who’d be willing to hand over a few quid.

    1. bob

      Yeah, I agree with most of that. It’s depressing, but when you look outside of the cities the candidates on offer were shocking. FF/FG, ex and often disgraced FF/FG, Labour and Sinn Fein. Many would never vote SF (myself included) so what are you left with?

      I voted for Anne-Marie, and can’t believe that more people would prefer FF (John Curran) or Gino Kenny (maybe I should give him more of a chance, but from what I’ve seen since he was elected he can barely string a sentence together)

      I will continue to vote SocDem and Green and hope against hope things will change. Hard to see much light at the end of the tunnel though…

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “Many would never vote SF (myself included) so what are you left with?”

        This is why I actually did vote SF for the first time ever. FF and FG have to go. SF were the only party who had even a small chance of outpolling or coming close to one of them.

        1. Neilo

          Also, PIRA/SF is the only party who has a small chance of literally outgunning FF/FG. Thanks, folks, I’ll be here until ‘the boys’ drop a cavity block on my legs. G’night!!!

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Ah, so you voted for the party which ran guns for the IRA then. Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic in your other posts about the IRA.

          2. Neilo

            Your poor grasp of recent history overlooks the fact that supporters of Jack Lynch – a substantial tranche of the party – bitterly opposed the transport of arms to the Six.

        2. bob

          Fair enough. Along with my many issues with the skeletons in their closet I just plain disagree with too many of their policies.

          Much as I hate FF/FG, I am in favour of FAIR water charges, I don’t think the USC should be abolished at this time, I don’t agree with Wealth Tax, I don’t think corpo tax should be increased. The only thing I agreed with SF on was the extra 7% income tax on high earners… that Gerry explained so well! (*sheesh*)

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Sounds like you’d be a natural SD voter if there was a candidate in your area.

          2. DubLoony

            Can you define fair water charges?
            Right now, they are capped at a max level. Because of protesters outside my house, I never did get a water meter.

            Until I pay for what I use, I’m stuck at standard rate.
            And yes, I do believe we should pay for water, its too important to be a political football.

          3. bob

            From a Green party doc… I’d go along with this:
            Any tariff system which involves a fixed charge is not an effective method of charging for water as it reduces the incentive to conserve water and a fixed charge disproportionately affects lower income households. Water metering is the most effective way to encourage water conservation.
            We would replace the current fixed charge with a metered charge which would only come into effect once an individual went above their free allocation. Additional allocations could be sought for those with specific health needs.

          4. classter

            bob – was that not the original proposal FG/Lab had for the water charges?

            My memory was that they moved to fixed charges under public pressure

          5. Neilo

            You’ll have to shake another money tree – the 6% of PAYE earners who earn 100K+ contribute 44% of income tax/USC.

          6. Neilo

            @Moyest: you might have to ask them yourselves as I know of at least one who gets a little cagey whenever ‘the boys’ are mentioned. My neck of the woods – stretch of the shore, to be accurate – contains at least two people who made the Provos cagey over the years. Does that meet your needs now? The cheque from Chuck Feeney is in the post.

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            So you don’t know how many SF TDs were in the IRA then? But you’ll call them SF/IRA and whine when someone points out what some Fianna Fáil TDs did in the past?

    2. fluffybiscuits

      Lashing out at the voters if the appropriate response as they were the ones who saddled the country with the twin evils of FF & FG. Another way to view this is that there were alternatives in most constitutencies with sound policies but the general public swayed towards the devil they know. A small proportion of the issue was the atrocious vote management with regards to transfers especially by SF & the left who had I believe the opportunity to annihalate Joan Burton in Dublin South West and carry John Lyons over the line in Dublin Bay North. Social Democrats did not do enough to appeal to the left, they ran a few candidates, got three in (I have time forCatherine and Roisin but fu<k all for Stephen Donnelly and his poxy vote for the eviction bill), they ran as almost a third alternative. What this election proved is the general public are in no way ready to take a risk and that worries me, we ended up with the two main parties getting the smallest share of the vote in their history but still maintaining the corridors of power. An apathetic electorate have just said more or less to be agreed to be economically raped for the next five years or however long they last. Its the conservative party with the even more conservative party….

      1. Neilo

        Pretty much every party in Ireland is committed to a never-ending expansion of the tax base and public spending. Financial housekeeping is for the birds in this country.

        1. ahjayzis

          Put the kool-aid down, Neilo, and pick up a newspaper.

          If the absolute state of our society isn’t an argument for greater public expenditure then just come out and admit you’re a libertarian bootstraps kind of person.

          If child homelessness and 90 year olds dying in corridors is the price for ‘good housekeeping’ (weird term for supporting inequality) we need to get a bit messy.

          1. Neilo

            Thanks for getting to the core of me there, ahjyazis. I’d try to educate myself a little better but what newspaper can I pick up? Aren’t they all the playthings of evil, rich white men.

          2. ahjayzis

            Why criteria are you using to judge that public spending is at adequate levels?

            Really, what part of our social system isn’t buckling and what level of misery is considered good housekeeping?

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Aren’t they all the playthings of evil, rich white men.”

            Yes. You reckon O’Brien and Murdoch are just made up tv characters or something?

        1. Harry Molloy

          +1

          Requires that you don’t take someone’s word that the “eviction bill” is the worse thing ever because they saw someone say it on Facebook.

          I find it reassuring that Donnelly puts in some though on the true substance and implications of an action

        1. fluffybiscuits

          The bill still favours the banks which to me reads as being something that a centrist party would do,not a centre left party. The bill also gave discretion to the judges, do you seriously think the conservative judiciary in Ireland who are political appointees can be partial??

          1. bob

            The alternative didn’t make sense. Better to have judges have some discretion than none.
            (I’m no expert on the subject though)

          2. Medium Sized C

            He voted for a bill and then proposed another bill to protect family homes.
            You are ignoring that second bit completely.

            Mortgages aren’t a benevolent operation. The reason people get evicted for default is because the banks have given the people a heap of money at their own risk.
            The security is the perceived value of the building.
            Social democracy (centre left) by definition works within the capitalist economy, not against it. Banks have to be allowed to be banks, so they have to be able to secure against their risk.

            If everyone can default against their mortgages and keep their home, then the risk becomes untenable and any bank stupid enough to loan in those conditions will just go out of business.

            The solution is to create a legal environment where banks keep their security but that in reasonable circumstances the courts can intervene. Which is what Donnelly tried to do.

            In the other point, you can’t and don’t legislate for the personal opinions of those who’s job it is to uphold the judiciary and the judiciary are responsible for the execution of the law. I mean who does it otherwise?

            You can’t just bypass the judiciary because you perceive them to be conservative and some of them aren’t even that.

      2. Neilo

        I’ll leave the last word with you but feel free to accuse me of whining when you’ve been stamping your little feet for several days at the temerity of people voting for a party you don’t like. Oh, sweet irony etc.

    3. ahjayzis

      Bullsh1t in fairness.

      I’d far rather a politician that expresses themselves like this. Any social democrat (small S and D) is appalled by the myopia of the quarter of the electorate that wants to put our futures in Fianna Fail’s hands again less than a decade after they ran us into a wall. They are the reason 1 in 6 of the population doesn’t live in Ireland any more, why our hospitals are falling apart, our police are stretched, thousands of children are homeless and countless lives and future prosperity have been blighted and retarded forever.

      Respecting people’s vote is one thing, I’m sure Amo respects their decision and their right to make it – but that is no bar to calling it absolutely barmy, harmful, short-sighted and a strong argument for real civic and political education in our schools.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Grand but if you want to change someone’s mind, telling shaming them for having their opinion is probably not going to work. Say you’re on Vodafone and then 3 ring you with the most ridiculously brilliant package ever to get you to switch over to them but they start the sales pitch with ‘You’re an idiot for going with Vodafone’. Are you going to give that guy a sale? Are you fupp.

        1. dan

          There’s a lot of truth to that, at the same time actual democracy is both a privilege and an obligation, everyone gets the right to vote for who they want but they’re also obliged to educate themselves on the issues involved. FF & FG’s political monopoly and practices are probably the biggest problems we face, since it colours everything else.
          I’m not sure there’s a way to emphasise that without shaming some people, as it is actually shameful.

  4. TheOtherGuy

    It really feels like the left want to blame apathy or a media bias on why people might not have voted for the left in the numbers they would’ve hoped/expected. Completely discounting the notion that people might have voted for FF/FG because they’re worried about certain policies of the left. Universal healthcare, more nurses and Gaurds and public services are obviously something we all want, but with the left saying they’ll narrow the tax base, lower taxes for those at the lower end and raise taxes for those at the higher end alot of people, myself included, are left wondering just how they’ll pay for all this?

    I’ve lived the recession. I’ve lived through redundancy, worked in a dead end job for 3 years, learned a new discipline (not a new profession I’ll grant you) and finally got myself back into the industry I love. I’m finally beginning to recover financially and my biggest worry was that while I’ve spend the last 7 years getting myself back on course, a vote for the left would end up punishing me financially for getting back on course. I’m not earning over 100k, but I still feel like the more I make, the more likely I am to get more tax lumped on by the left, because I have the gall to earn more than the industrial average.

    Which brings me on to housing. I can’t afford a mortgage. In fact I’d get laughed at I’m sure. So when I do start earning more and then can afford a mortgage and my tax goes up, well I’ll be in the same position I’m in now and still won’t be able to afford the mortgage.

    So it’s not because I don’t agree that we have social issues, that homelessness is out of control, that we have have a massive housing problem or that we deserve better. It’s that I don’t think that the economic policies of the left will fix any of it.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “I am to get more tax lumped on by the left, because I have the gall to earn more than the industrial average.”

      This ‘taxes are punishment’ narrative really harms the conversation and the country by extension. We need money to pay for schools and roads. The more you earn, the more you’ve benefited from our national infrastructure thus the more you can pay towards it. We need to get it from somewhere.

      1. Anne

        It is true that we do need to get it from somewhere, but I would completely agree with the above poster that it appears those who work hard and earn and pull themselves through a hard time are punished in the form of higher taxes whereas those who take and take contribute nothing and it is these people the left want to divert funds to according to their posters. Personally, I feel that people seem oblivious to a massive sense of entitlement growing in this country where people don’t want to go through hard times and instead want the government to help them out – prime example those families on Mountjoy street, one of whom said she would live anywhere and further down in a article stated they refused a place as they would have to share a kitchen. So many people who work hard can’t afford to rent their own place and must share with other people. I don’t get where this sense of entitlement is coming from. Those who work hard and pay already medium-high levels of tax should not be punished anymore to fund those who do not even try to work.

        1. Neilo

          *Slaps self on face* More deviation from BS orthodoxy. This thread is going to be a blockbuster.

        2. A Man With a Tiny Penis

          It’s all based on how hard you work, is it? So anyone who’s not earning above the industrial wage just isn’t working hard enough? And the disabled and special needs groups really need to get out there and work? Is that it Anne? Nothing to do with privilege? Luck? Who you know? What school you attended? Your health, mental or otherwise? Nothing to do with generational poverty, cultural exclusion?

          1. Anne

            Sorry I am afraid you completely misinterpreted what I said in your haste to start ranting. I was agreeing with the poster above that an explanation for the high level of votes for FF/FG is that these were seen as parties who would not further squeeze the already squeezed middle. The message of the left about higher taxes provided no incentive to vote for them by people who work hard to earn a wage and don’t want to see any more of their wages taken away. That in my view is fair enough. I earn below the average industrial wage by the way, so I’m sorry I don’t fit in with your view of someone you can rant at as being over privileged but it is the expected response when anyone dares mention the growing sense of entitlement in Ireland. I work hard to earn my paltry wage, I live within my means and I don’t take anything off the state.

          2. TheOtherGuy

            I never said that people who don’t earn about the industrial average aren’t working hard and for sure there are issues, but my point was that I don’t think that the left have the right idea when it comes to paying for all of them. Narrowing the tax base, lowering taxes for those at the bottom and and raising taxes for those at the top isn’t, for me, going to make things better.

            You can’t take all these things in isolation. It’s not black and white like that. So yes I pay tax in line with what I make, but I also have more disposable income (than someone on the industrial wage) which I spend on goods which provide VAT takings as well as putting money back into the economy through revenues for manufacturers etc. If I can’t afford to do that and instead that money is going back in direct taxes it doesn’t necessarily follow that the net positive effect on the economy will transpire.

            And not everyone who earns more than the industrial average grew up on the pigs back.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Why do you keep saying the left wants to lower the tax intake? SF and the SDs have said the exact opposite of that.

          4. TheOtherGuy

            They may want to increase the tax intake but they don’t want as many people paying taxes. The SDs didn’t want to make any changes to USC etc and I actually applaud that because, well we don’t know what is coming down the line.

            But SF definitely want to take people out of the tax base.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “They may want to increase the tax intake”

            Why did you say they did twice then?

            “but they don’t want as many people paying taxes.”

            Why is this a problem for you?

          6. TheOtherGuy

            I said they want to narrow the tax base as do AAA/PBP. They’re saying that they want to pay for all this narrowing, and have massively improved services, by loading on to those they consider wealthy. But it doesn’t work like that. Because the volume by which you’ll have to lump on for higher earners is disproportionate to what it’ll cost to take all these people out of the base.

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            “But it doesn’t work like that.”

            Of course it does.

            “Because the volume by which you’ll have to lump on for higher earners is disproportionate to what it’ll cost to take all these people out of the base.”

            What numbers are you basing that statement on?

        3. MoyestWithExcitement

          “it appears those who work hard and earn and pull themselves through a hard time are punished in the form of higher taxes”

          It is not punishment. We need money for Gardaí and teachers. That has to come from somewhere. We take it the most from the people who can afford it the most.

          “those who take and take contribute nothing and it is these people the left want to divert funds to according to their posters.”

          You mean help the left want to help poor people. Obviously they want to do that.

          “Personally, I feel that people seem oblivious to a massive sense of entitlement growing in this country where people don’t want to go through hard times and instead want the government to help them out”

          Yes, businesses owners up and down the country are getting welfare from us through the likes of Jobbridge and feel entitled to it. Big business owners seem to expect to use all our resources to get rich without paying for them. You’re right. There really is a growing sense of entitlement from the rich.

          1. ReproBertie

            “We need money for Gardaí and teachers. That has to come from somewhere. We take it the most from the people who can afford it the most.”
            Yes we need money for these things but not everyone subscribes to basic Marxist theology and that’s allowed.

            At the moment we are, I believe, the 2nd highest spenders on public health in Europe yet we have a health service that is not fit for purpose and a population that relies on private health insurance. Perhaps if we had government that was willing to actually reform the health service and make it fit for purpose instead of just pouring more and more money into the black hole we might see less resistance to taxing people.

            That’s a simple example but we could all list several more examples of successive governments treating the tax payer like some sort of rich daddy’s credit card. (Free ipads for TDs that lost their seats.)

            People are up in arms when clampers and speed cameras punish them financially for breaking the law. These are penalties that can be easily avoided. Taxes that get piddled away on sending “I am the great I am” junk mail to the electorate in the lead up to an election, for example, is a financial penalty we are not allowed object to without getting lectures about how those who can afford to pay should pay.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Yes we need money for these things but not everyone subscribes to basic Marxist theology and that’s allowed.”

            Did I say it wasn’t allowed? Seriously, what’s with all the supposed grown ups reacting to people disagreeing with them with ‘I’m allowed to have an opinion!’? The rest of your post doesn’t appear to have any relationship with what I was saying.

          3. Anne

            Yes Moyest, its only the big bad business owners who have a sense of entitlement. Those on housing lists refusing to take houses they are offered as they are too far away from their family, those refusing to move from Mountjoy because they don’t want to share a kitchen, those long term claimants of social welfare who have no intention of working but definitely aren’t paying water charges even though our water infrastructure needs to be fixed have no sense of entitlement at all.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “its only the big bad business owners who have a sense of entitlement.”

            I didn’t say only and I think multinational brands like Tesco using Jobbridge to hire shelf stackers are pretty bad, yeah.

            “Those on housing lists refusing to take houses they are offered……”

            Yeah those homeless people have the life, don’t they. How dare they want to be near their families. They have enough already!

          5. ethereal_myst

            Moyest I agree with a lot of what you have to say but this arguement about homeless people being able to refuse house based on their wanting to be near family gets me

            I work and earn a reasonable wage but cannot afford to live near my family, I have had to move out of Dublin completely.

            There are reasonable arguements for turning down accomodation but that isn’t one of them

          6. ReproBertie

            Moyest every time anyone objects to higher earners being taxed more you trot out the Marxist line as if it was an accepted fact. It’s an ideology. I was merely pointing that out and, in an attempt to avoid a pointless back and forth, stating that it was OK to disagree. I personally agree with it.

            It’s hard to justify charging people higher taxes when the optics are the tax take being wasted. That being the case it’s perfectly understandable for people to object to more of their higher income being eyed by government and even being viewed as a punishment for being slightly more successful than others. Simply chanting the Marxist mantra does nothing to address their legitimate concerns.

          7. Anne

            So you agree with the sense of entitlement then? people who work and have to take jobs where they can get them can’t live near their families (three hours away in my case, but I couldn’t get a job near to my family as much as I would love that) but those who are on housing lists should be offered appropriate accommodation in an area of their choosing so they can stay close to their families.

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Moyest every time anyone objects to higher earners being taxed more you trot out the Marxist line as if it was an accepted fact.”

            I’ve never actually read Marx. Which line is this? The one about taking the most tax from people with the most money? Ok, so what if Karl Marx also said it? What does that have to do with anything?

            “It’s an ideology.”

            Ok, taking the most money from people with the most money being the fairest way is an “ideology”. Fair enough. Why is that relevant to the conversation?

            “I was merely pointing that out and, in an attempt to avoid a pointless back and forth, stating that it was OK to disagree.”

            Why do you need to feel the need to say it’s ok for you to have an opinion. I am just disagreeing with it. Am I not allowed to disagree with you?

            “It’s hard to justify charging people higher taxes when the optics are the tax take being wasted.”

            Or you could simply argue not to waste it.

            “That being the case it’s perfectly understandable for people to object to more of their higher income being eyed by government and even being viewed as a punishment for being slightly more successful than others.”

            Sure it’s understandable. It’s understandable why people might have been scared of people on airplanes wearing turbans and want special screening of Muslims before they board. It’s completely wrong but understandable.

            “Simply chanting the Marxist mantra does nothing to address their legitimate concerns.”

            But they don’t have legitimate concerns. They’re perfectly free to have opinions. Nobody is obliged to respect them.

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “So you agree with the sense of entitlement then?”

            Yes, I agree that the right and business leaders have a sense of entitlement.

          10. Anne

            So now you are equating a person not wanting to pay higher taxes when they barely have enough income to support themselves with Islamophobia??????

          11. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Moyest I agree with a lot of what you have to say but this arguement about homeless people being able to refuse house based on their wanting to be near family gets me”

            And what gets to me is people begrudging *homeless people*.

            “I work and earn a reasonable wage but cannot afford to live near my family, I have had to move out of Dublin completely.”

            Why should any of these *homeless people* consider your circumstances?

          12. ethereal_myst

            I don’t begrudge homeless people at all, fully believe there should be a proper housing system in place

            My point was we don’t all get to live where we want to, and there has to be better grounds than I want to be near my family for refusing somewhere

          13. Anne

            Ah Moyest, resorting to deflection and comparisons to Islamophobia. This is when it becomes clear that of all opinions yours definitely should not be respected. Over & out.

          14. MoyestWithExcitement

            “So now you are equating a person not wanting to pay higher taxes when they barely have enough income to support themselves with Islamophobia??????”

            No.

          15. ReproBertie

            The line from Marx was “From each according to their ability to each according to their need”. On that principle we are not disagreeing, whatever way you are reading my posts.

            You may remember the last government going in saying they’d stop the tax waste and set ceilings on the salaries of their consultants. They lied and quickly broke the ceilings. Not wanting to pay more when every government seems determined to waste more than the last is a legitimate concern.

          16. MoyestWithExcitement

            Well I get some posters here mixed up with others and that might be a legit concern except arguments against tax increases are never about practicality and pretty much always about “fairness” and “punishment”. It’s people protecting their income or protecting the income of the social class they aspire to be a part of. It’s never about concern for other people.

          17. MoyestWithExcitement

            “My point was we don’t all get to live where we want to, and there has to be better grounds than I want to be near my family for refusing somewhere”

            They have nothing but their shirts and a healthy dose of depression but they should shut up about wanting to be near their families because people they’ve never met who have central heating and a place to be for 8 hours a day could only afford to buy a house in Meath.

          18. Cup of tea anyone?

            People argue that there are not enough social houses being built. But what is the point if people are refusing to move in to them. You cannot choose to build social housing where there are already enough houses. and the land they can build on will not be near where the families are.

        4. nellyb

          ‘I feel that people seem oblivious to a massive sense of entitlement growing in this country where people don’t want to go through hard times and instead want the government to help them out’
          Absolutely: Nama, Siteserve, abtrans & other tax appropriating vehicles. I know it’s not what you meant. But if wealthy ‘asseted’ people are entitled to tax billions, why are you so worked up about billions going to irish people on a dole? Surely if them asseted lads are so amazing in business, as we are being told, why would they need tax money? Cant they make their own? I believe many just arent able to. I mean REAL profitable business. These exists, worked for them and respect them.

  5. Neilo

    Anne Marie, congratulations on your excellent showing in the GE: as a candidate from a party that stands for more than NO!!!, I hope you’re nailed on for a seat in the next Dáil. As a comparative right-winger in Broadsheet terms, I think the Social Democrats have a policy platform that doesn’t frighten small children or horses and also have a strong roster of existing and potential reps. Centrism in elections has always been the trend here and FF got canny by veering soft left in their campaign strategy and they reaped the benefits. I fear we’ll all have to accept it.

  6. rugbyfan

    ‘I’m good with that and I’ll take the defeat on the chin and move forward but I’ll find it far harder to accept that people returned their vote to Fianna Fáil as some perverse means of punishing Fine Gael and Labour’.

    it seems that FF voters moved to FG in last election and moved back this time. The majority of this country favours centre right. The left Sinn Fein and other left leaning don’t want power they just want to shout about what’s wrong. Like the armchair football fan who never kicked a ball but has lots of opinion on how the game should be played.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Less than half the voters voted for centre right parties so to say that the majority of the country are centre right is just wrong and serves to highlight how you process the world around you; confusing your personal feelings with objective reality.

      1. Rob_G

        Either FF or FG have been the largest party in govt since the foundation of the state, so I think it is fair to say that a majority of Ireland’s voters are centrist/leaning-to-right.

        1. Neilo

          It may be fair, Rob, but it’s not a view held by the bien pensant so your opinion is moot, dear boy.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          It’s fair to say they’ve voted for centre right parties. It’s not fair to say most people have centre right opinions though.

  7. DubLoony

    People clearly voted to get out current govt.

    FF/SF/AAAPBP/ IND need to form the next one.

    Next election within a year.

    1. Cup of tea anyone?

      I think this is the best option also. There would be enough diversity to keep the FF lads in check, And when it comes to making decisions and voting the FF party whip may not be the automatic winner.

    2. classter

      Also, FG are still the largest party.

      So if we are going to go by some nonsense of who ‘need’s to form the next govt, they should be the senior party.

  8. Neilo

    @Dubloony: that’s my preferred option as well. When the junior partners throw their toys out of the pram after the first row with the enduringly canny senior partner in coalition, the resulting election will give us a much clearer idea of who’ll be trusted to govern.

  9. Jake38

    If this was posted by a failed FG candidate the usual suspects on BS would explode in a volcano of right-on indignation. 50% of the population voted FF/FG. I wonder if that could be because they don’t want to pay tax at 60%, don’t want ex-terrorists in government and don’t want economic policies from the Trots to return us to the stone age.

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      Possibly. But it is interesting that people don’t want to pay more tax but do want more and better public services. You can’t have both.

      1. Neilo

        Scandinavian levels of social provision with American levels of taxation. Forget alcoholism, this is the real Irish disease.

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          It’s a common feeling elsewhere as well, fed by rhetoric of shirkers and hard-workers, pitting those who don’t have resources against those who have a great deal of resources and are increasing looked after by government while everyone else is thrown on the heap to fight over the scraps.

          That is modern politics and until we wake up and realise that the current political system no longer represents the needs of the masses but the greed of few, we aren’t going to change things at all.

      2. Jake38

        Dead right. I’m just waiting for an Irish politician with a chance of being in Government to say that.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      So… they do what they always do. So they can’t complain too much then if they are too afraid to make a change, and vote for change, proper change, not establishment parties in waiting (ie SF).

  10. Digs

    Those grapes be sour!

    Congratulations to Martin on turning around FF. Not an easy task given what his party had presided over. Politics is so predictably cyclical and we’re just orbiting. It’s interesting how lacking in magnanimity Anne Marie appears, despite her protestations. Interesting also how blame is always attributed to the political establishment to the detriment of any private actors responsibilities in any social or economic calamaties….. We do indeed have short memories.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      “Interesting also how blame is always attributed to the political establishment to the detriment of any private actors responsibilities in any social or economic calamaties….. We do indeed have short memories.”

      That’s Grade A waffle right there.

      1. Digs

        It’s not. Some people would rather stand on a soapbox wagging a finger than look in the mirror. That’s all.

    2. classter

      ‘Congratulations to Martin on turning around FF’

      Martin has not turned around FF. They still have no policies & no integrity. They have merely attracted more votes from those that traditionally voted for them than they did in the midst of the crash.

  11. Anne

    Hard luck Anne-Marie.. I’d say you’ll be getting your chance again in the next few months somehow.

  12. Condescending Nana

    from the same people that voted for the gay marriage, guess wha, you can’t call the electorate idiots now because you don’t agree with them. good luck hun.

  13. Deluded

    Well done Anne Marie, and congratulations to your three elected representatives.
    I think you can build a coherent alternative and should look to communicate with those people who, I have to say, were afraid to vote for the unknown quantities (in the absence of Soc Dems candidates of course) and not to alienate them.
    We can malign the FFGs but many of them are commited community workers too.

    1. Cup of tea anyone?

      Th problem with FFG is that their people are mostly good but the core is rotten. I don’t doubt that many people follow the party whip regardless of their own beliefs. It was said earlier that Enda wouldn’t listen to his own people. Instead he listened to his advisors who told him what he wanted to hear.

  14. han solo's carbonite dream

    well one on standing ann marie
    I would have voted SD but I’d no candidate in my area.

    but I don’t agree with your musings in the article.
    It does come across as a bit superior in that the poor proles don’t understand the issues.
    well they do.

    This FF is not the FF that wrecked the economy. the bertie cabal is gone.
    Martin is now leader with his vision and in fairness he gave a decent account of himself in the debates on TV and seems a genuine guy albeit a tad boring.

    The sell needs to be there and lashing people cos they went for FF or FG doesn’t help – their reaosns are as valid to them as yours are to you. respecting that will go a long way to helping your career

    1. Cup of tea anyone?

      anne says
      ‘But there is a difference between respecting a person’s choices and legitimately questioning the reasoning behind those choices’

      You have to agree that in Ireland their has been a long standing tradition that certain families are FF or FG families, and you vote as your father did. There are also the people who vote based on ‘sure didnt he fix the roads/hospital/come to granny’s removal’. and these are all closed view reasons to vote, because you vote for a party not a person. many people do not realise that.

      There are many reasons people vote and questioning the reasoning behind why people vote a certain way is key, so that you can have an open discussion with them.

    2. classter

      ‘the bertie cabal is gone.’

      Micheal Martin served under Bertie as a senior cabinet minister for 14 years & was in his opposition cabinet for 2 years before that.

      Most of Martin’s shadow cabinet had positions of responsibility under Bertie to greater or lesser degrees – including Billy Kelleher (Health), Michael McGrath (Finance), Brendan Smith (Foreign Affairs), Dara Calleary (Jobs, Enterprise & Innvoation), etc.

      Then there is the deeper issue, Parties to some extent act as gatekeepers, carrying out a deeper level of vetting than the electorate possibly could. This is part of the reason that independents are often dismissed (sometimes unfairly, sometimes not) as cranks & nutjobs. FF in recent times has consistently shown itself to be egaer to promote the most venal, corrupt & incompetent politicians possible to senior roles in the party. Putting your trust in such a party is reckless at best.

    1. Rob_G

      @ Clampers:

      It never ceases to amaze me that the Irish electorate return FF at almost every opportunity, forgiving all prior transgressions.

      The cycle goes:

      FF are elected; they spend lots of money so the electorate are largely happy. Things begin to go sour: FG are elected to clean up FF’s mess. They take unpalatable decisions, but get the country more-or-less back on track. The electorate, sick after five years of FG fiscal rectitude, vote FF back in straightaway, and the the party begins anew.

      Rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

    2. rotide

      I agree with Anne Marie in so much as people voting for FF to punish FG are idiots but then again, the country is full of idiots that somehow seem to think the state of the country is down to FG’s govt and not the mess that FF made in the first place.

      The Social Democrats like so many other left and opposition parties made the mistake of concentrating on hammering the current govt than offering anything else. FF are past masters at this sort of thing and can’t be competed with on that level. Martin managed a lazarus-esque rise from the dead, while the SDs didnt manage to elect any new TDs

      1. Clampers Outside!

        I think if you dig a bit deeper, SDs did quite well… I know, ultimately it is bums on Dáil seats, but I believe they make room for hope and real choice in the future.

        But I take your point Ro.

  15. Ray Lucey

    I agree with your sentiments entirely Anne Marie. You nearly secured a seat, and so did many others with viable alternatives, but in many instances the old guard conservative parties held on.

    1. Same old same old

      No she didn’t

      She got just over 2,000 first preferences

      Hardly a ringing endorsement

  16. J

    The Irish political landscape is a dreary affair. Unfortunately, there was no real vision provided by any of the parties. SDs , noble in outlook but a tad light on policy .Their anti – water chorus chimed but did not convince . Nevertheless, I gave them a vote. My vote though was driven solely by the urge to keep SF terrorists ( JARRY and Oirrrrland ueber alles) out, rather than a full endorsement of the candidates on offer. Shatter was a big loss .A reformer , a legislator, a man with ideas and a vision. *Cue faux outrage ….

  17. Baz

    Ha!

    Social Democrat scorns democracy or have the sour grapes seeped into the ink too?

    Sling your hook, the people have spoken.

    Amazing that a collaboration of independents that has the balls to put ‘democracy’ in their name should question or berate the electorate for rejecting said ‘democrats’

    Anne Marie and others were used by 3 outgoing independents in a colourful and effective campaign for the same 3 TDs to regain their seats, collaborating gained them debate time and equal air time

    A lot of naive people were caught up in the newness and the purple and a silly YouTube video but it was all for nothing, no gain.

    1. Baz

      Okay Broadsheet, if you won’t post what I posted then delete your edited version of my post

      I have a screen grab of what I posted

      I’m considering exposing your bias to other media outlets.

      1. ahjayzis

        Same old right-wing tripe.

        Criticising a decision is not the same as objecting to the right to make that decision.

        It’s the same thing when a racist gets mocked or blocked or protested against – he has free speech, no one wants to take it away from him, or is anti-free speech, but we can react to that speech with any speech of our own we like.

        1. Baz

          You apparently have a problem with reading comprehension but none with espousing hyperbole yourself, you missed a crescendo by ommiting the Nazis from your off point riposte

          Again, I’ve asked that Broadsheet either publish my post as is or not publish their edited version.

          It’s a simple request, Broadsheet can delete and I’ll be happier than with some poorly edited bastardised version of what I actually posted bearing my handle.

          Do keep up.

          1. ReproBertie

            Your handle. Hilarous. I can just imagine the panic cause by the damage this edited post is doing to brand Baz.

      2. MoyestWithExcitement

        “I’m considering exposing your bias to other media outlets.”

        I think this sentence shows everyone can completely disregard what Baz says.

  18. Tony

    This is utter self indulgent waffle Anne Marie. Honestly, I expected something more adult from a party that parades itself as reasonably intelligent. The simple “FF are wolves slogan” is too simplistic for what is a sophisticated electorate. Don’t underestimate them the next time with the kind of naive, patronising “why can’t we all get along Im working class autentick schtick. Maybe if you take us more seriously, we will take you more seriously.

    1. Same old same old

      Just curious- why did you expect more? Have you not been reading the deluded waffle here every week?

      1. Tony

        You’re right. In my defence, I thought Donnelly, Shorthall and Murphy would have some grip on comms for the party. Get AM on message.

    2. J

      I agree. Suggest a BS assessment of : How salty are your salt -of- the earth credentials? ( on a scale of 1 to ten). Am gunning for a ten for Moyest.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Did someone mention my name? Sorry, I was distracted by my reflection in the window. Good God, I’m handsome.

  19. Bonkers

    Fair play Anne Marie for throwing your hat in the ring and here’s hoping for a second election within 18 months so the SDs can recruit more candidates and get another crack of the whip.

    On the FF thing I get the despair and feel it myself. But for me the writing was on the wall in 2011 when FF had driven the economy off the cliff and called the IMF into town. Despite all that still 17% of the population voted for them which told me that FF could steal peoples first born and they’d still get their vote. Good friend of mine is staunch FF but is €150k in negative equity, still voted for them in 2011 and this time out too. Says it all really, it’s like FF have Stockholm syndrome over the population

  20. Peter Dempsey

    “This is the same Fianna Fail who brought us to our knees”

    YES BUT in some cases the Fianna Fail TDs that have been elected are new and have had nothing to do with the mistakes of the past. Why not give them a chance?

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