Setting The Record Straight


Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 09.36.08 Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 09.36.39

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.06.26From top: Yesterday’s Sunday Independent and Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy

Yesterday the Sunday Independent reported that there have been discussions between Labour, the Greens, and the Social Democrats about “forming an alliance of the Left which would enter a rainbow coalition arrangement with Fine Gael”.

Further to this, Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy spoke to Gavin Jennings on RTÉ One’s Morning Ireland this morning.

Grab a tay…

Gavin Jennings:The Sunday Independent was reporting yesterday that secret talks have been held within the confines of Leinster House and elsewhere in Dublin between Labour, the Green Party and the Social Democrats – is that true?

Catherine Murphy:No it’s not. We’ve had no formal or informal talks with the Labour Party about joining any coalition.”

Jennings: “And Roisin Shortall or Stephen Donnelly haven’t been involved in any such talks either, no?”

Murphy: “No.”

Jennings: “The paper was also reporting that Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has been in constant contact with Fine Gael’s chief negotiator’s Simon Coveney. He strongly believes that the next government – this is Eamon Ryan – needs to be more balanced in terms of political ideologies and has been urging Labour and the Social Democrats to join him in providing this balance. Has he been urging you?”

Murphy: “He has, yes. We wouldn’t share his view that, we campaigned saying we wouldn’t support more of the same and we pretty much reaffirmed that commitment but we believe we’re in an entirely different situation and, indeed, the Dáil Reform Committee has been busy rewriting the Dáil rules to reflect the new reality and we would be, for example, quite, we would encourage and would be involved for example in setting out a framework for the Dáil with all the other strands of the Dáil in setting out a programme for the Dáil as opposed to a programme for Government because there has been a shift in power and that’s the message that the voters gave, there’s been a shift in power from Government to the Dáil and the rules have been rewritten, or are being rewritten, to reflect that so I think we’re in a very different scenario where, for example, if there was a broad strategic approach taken on major issues like health, like housing, we feel that there is a programme there that, there’s lots of possibilities of support for.”

Jennings: “But in terms of making up the numbers to make up this Government, are you ruling the Social Democrats out?

Murphy:We did some weeks ago…”

Jennings: “And that’s still the case?”

Murphy: “It is still the case.”


Jennings: “When you mention an election, there is a possibility that we may have another election quite soon. Why do you think that voters would be more favourable to you for sitting aside and allowing a Government to be formed rather than getting in there and trying to do something about it?”

Murphy: “You see I actually don’t believe that’s the case. I think that the shift in power in the Dáil, the rewriting of rules actually opens up a really exciting prospect of sharing that power in a way that we haven’t seen before. And, as I said, it’s a question of drawing up a programme for the Dáil so as that the 158 TDs in the Dáil can participate, that it’s not confined to 15 members of Cabinet and everyone else is, you know, kind of has influence but there the only ones with power. It’s an entirely different prospect and it’s one that we would be very constructive and enthusiastic about participating in. So, essentially, this is a changed environment and, as I say, the Dáil rules have been changed to reflect that or are being changed to reflect that.”

Listen back in full here

Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews

48 thoughts on “Setting The Record Straight

  1. dan

    “Jennings: “When you mention an election, there is a possibility that we may have another election quite soon. ”
    RTE have been peddling this second election stuff now for a couple of weeks.They have never discussed or promoted the notion that FG and FF need to agree a strategy for a minority government.
    I wonder why.

  2. Tish Mahorey

    RTE are really annoyed that nobody wants to go into Government with their Fine Gael friends. Really annoyed. Everyone is being very bold. America told them that Fine Gael must be returned to power to continue the assault on the poor and the tax breaks for the rich. Oh and joining NATO.

      1. Rob_G

        Ireland has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world; “tax breaks for the rich” was probably picked up from a US-based website.

  3. Turgenev

    If we have another election it should set the precedent of being held on a Saturday or Sunday.

    The idea of taking over schools for voting on a weekday, and paying teachers for the day off – while depriving people who are registered to vote “at home” of the chance to take the bus home and vote – is outdated and should be scrapped.

    1. Bazarov

      Beautiful day dreams… Students are lose cannons. They might not vote F-parties. They don’t have regular incomes to charge tax. And seem to be considered a waste of space by ‘traditional’ vote hunters.
      Roll-out petition for weekend polling. I’ll sign, it’s a good thing.

  4. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

    Catherine Murphy is quite delusional clearly – she hasn’t a clue how power works.

    Whenever this new government gets in, it’s not going to give a crap about Dáil reform.

    It will be quite the opposite. I suppose for that reason it’s fair enough to stick your fingers up and take a punt that the people will reward you in the longer term for being so principled but it’s not the way it works here.

    1. Jimmy 2 tones

      Social Democrats are a breath of fresh air to this country. No more FF or FG. Time for change

        1. Harry Molloy

          Donnelly is very impressive but you’re right, no leader is stupid, he needs to take the reigns

          1. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

            total waste of time, I gave Donnelly a scratch but he needs to dump the nutters

          2. Harry Molloy

            Yeah, I understand their need to grow but they need to demand a certain calibre to truly stand out

    2. Rowsdower

      Until the next government gets in though, this is probably the best chance shes going to get as a TD to make any substantive change.

      If she can do something to fix the utter corruption of the position of Ceann Comharile, that would be a good start.

    3. steve white

      well they are trying to reform Dail before the new government is formed, but also depends what FF can get out of FG on that.

    1. DubLoony

      So protecting workers rights, minimum wage, campaigning for living wage, union rights in the face of worst economic crises this country has faced isn’t left?

      Labour didn’t win election in 2011, didn’t come close. People voted for FG majority party.
      Why do you expect Labour to have transformed society more?

      1. Rowsdower

        Standing by their stated principles would have been a nice start but I suppose getting those government pensions were far more important than the people they said they represented.

      2. ahjayzis

        Impoverishing single parents, devaluing work to dole + 50 quid and free labour for companies, every single budget they passed was regressive, taking more from the poor and least from the rich, poll taxes with no regard to income in lieu of income tax rises, describing income tax as a “tax on work” as opposed to the price of a civilised society, Frankfurt’s way, the conversion of promissory notes into formal government debt, NAMA, Siteserv, IBRC write-downs, homelessness crisis, health crisis, McNulty….

        Labour didn’t win – but people still voted for them based on principles and promises, not winning doesn’t mean you get to abandon your electorate and become the smiling wing of the right wing party. And that’s all they are, the waggy tail to the Christian Democrat dog.

      3. ahjayzis

        Left wing party leaders do not end a debate with the words “Vote No.1 Labour, vote no. 2 for the most economically right-wing party in the country”.

        They were only dying to get back into bed with the right.

    2. brownbull

      that depends on your definition of austerity, in my opinion it’s not austerity if you are borrowing more than you are taking in to support social services, to maintain social welfare rates, the education system, the healthcare system, maintain levels of public sector pay

        1. fluffybiscuits

          Labour were meant to be the counter balance to an austere government. There were always other options on the table

          Sod the bank holders
          Tax financial transactions over a certain amount
          Actually collect the corporate tax

          Labour supported FG FFS…

          1. Rob_G

            “Sod the bank(sic) holders”

            – very good; then, when we wanted to borrow the €10bn a year that we needed to borrow to keep the lights on 2008 – 2013 or so, who do you think would lend us any money?

            “Tax financial transactions over a certain amount”
            – this would be illegal under current EU law

            “Actually collect the corporate tax”
            – this has merit to it

      1. Rowsdower

        It is Austerity if you are cutting services while insisting that you maintain your record low tax levels.

      2. ahjayzis

        It is austerity if a large part of the reason you’re borrowing more than you’re taking is that you’re borrowing billions to pay off the debts of private persons and institutions – usually really, really rich ones. That’s pretty austere. Frankfurt’s Way, it’s called.

        1. Rob_G

          More than two thirds of the money that we were borrowing each year was to fund govt services; even if there had been no bailout, we would still have had to borrow billions each year.

  5. bisted

    ‘…Labour, the Greens, and the Social Democrats about “forming an alliance of the Left ‘…the media in general and the Sindo in particular seem to have a very skewed notion of ‘left’.

    1. brownbull

      by any rational objective political analysis Labour are a party of the left, but you keep telling yourself that Sinn Fein and the AAA-PBP are the real left and not a bunch of populists as they continue to campaign against property tax

      1. bisted

        ‘…by my, therefore rational, subjective political analysis…’ …there, corrected that for you. As for the shinners, I agree with you, they are left-wing in the way FF are left-wing.

  6. rotide

    So if Catherine Murphy won’t support ‘more of the same’ , what will she support?

    A SF govt? Some wierd all independant coalition?

    I have no idea what she was talking about with the whole re-writing the rules thing.

  7. Fergus the magic postman

    For Dubloony and other Alan Kelly enablers who are still denying that Labour turned their backs on the people who voted for them, here’s what they achieved during their stint in power.
    Fuel Allowance Scheme CUT from 32 to 26 weeks
    Fuel Allowance CUT by 25%
    Rent Allowance CUT
    Clothing & Footwear Allowance CUT
    Disability Allowance entitlement age RAISED to 18
    Disability Allowance rates CUT for over 18’s
    Carer’s Allowance CUT * Telephone Allowance AXED completely
    One Parent Family Benefit CUT for children over 7
    Child Benefit again and again…
    Illness benefit qualifying period RAISED to 6 days from 3
    Invalidity Pension CUT from €203.30 to €193.50
    Bereavement Grant AXED completely
    USC Charge Imposed
    College Fees RAISED
    Unemployment benefit for under 25s CUT in half
    Medical cards taken off the sick, elderly and terminally ill
    Insurance Levy imposed * Local Property Tax introduced
    Local services starved of finance — LPT proceeds donated to non-starving bankers.

    1. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

      what’s your point? how did you propose to pay for these services when we owe so much debt?

      1. ahjayzis

        Social welfare cuts were all on the imprimatur of either their deputy leader or leader in fairness.

      2. ahjayzis

        Their attitude contributed an awful lot too.

        They campaigned on certain issues – but when people continued to campaign on the same issues, in the same laanguage, they were sneered at by creeps the likes of Rabbitte with ZERO cognisance that he was saying the exact same thing a few months earlier.

        It was 1984esque how they completely expunged their rhetoric, policies and tone from before 2011 once they had their Mercs and perks.

    2. Rob_G

      @ Ferrg:
      Property tax is one of the most progressive, left-wing taxes that could be conceived of; it is only in Ireland that self-styled Trots oppose it.

      1. classter

        The property tax opposition really was baffling.

        I suppose they could argue that the way it is being applied disadvantages those living in urban areas & that’d be better to base it on the insurable value of the property itself.

        But I never heard that argument being made.

    3. Kieran NYC

      You’d almost think everything was grand in 2011 and Labour did it just for the giggles.

  8. steve white

    Stephen Donnelly pretty much gave up going to committees in 2015 does he really want to spend another few years on opposition benches?

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