Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

What a difference a year makes. Early 2015 was a moment of enormous optimism for the Left in the eurozone periphery.

Syriza had swept to power in Greece on 36% of the popular vote. Sinn Féin and Podemos were riding high in the Irish and Spanish polls and looking like potential leaders of left led governments.

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Sinn Féin & the Army Council

Posted: October 26, 2015 in Elections, IRA, Sinn Féin

So here’s how it works. At 5am my army council issue alarm clock abruptly wakes me. I jump out of bed and take a 4 minute military style cold shower.

I then eagerly stand to attention beside the army council issue telex machine. At 5.25am my orders arrive telling me where to go, who to meet and what to say.

Duly instructed, I go about my business as a Sinn Féin activist and South Dublin County Councillor.

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So, the recovery has finally arrived. The economy is growing, unemployment is falling and the long cold winter of austerity has come to an end.

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In his thoughtful and timely blog –Left may have squandered opportunity– Ronan Burtenshaw wonders if the Left has failed to capitalise on the anti-establishment surge that is the Right2Water movement.

His argument is based on a cross reading of the massive mobilisations against the Government’s water charges in 2014 and early 2015 and the establishment parties standing in the opinion polls.

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One thing is clear from the Governments much hyped Spring Statement – they have learned nothing from the mistakes of the past.

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Have you ever heard of the expenditure benchmark? Do you know how to calculate a structural deficit? Can you explain the interaction between the debt and deficit rules?

If the answer to these questions is no, don’t worry. You are obviously a well-grounded person with a good work life balance.

If the answer is yes, well you clearly need to get out more.

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The politics and economics of austerity have failed to deliver a fair recovery. However anger or apathy are not the way forward. Opposition to unjust taxes and demands for increased public spending were never enough. We need to promote our workable alternatives to fiscal waterboarding Irish style.

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