CONGRATS to Ms Holly Cairns, newly-elected TD for Cork South West. She represents a relatively-obscure political party called the Social Democrats whose aim is to make Ireland ‘fair, equal and creative’ – a task requiring elephantine toughness above and beyond most human capabilities.
Nationally prominent in the Social Democrats are TDs Catherine Murphy and Roísín Shortall. It used to have Stephen Donnelly TD, but he abandoned ship and joined Fianna Fáil.
Although Ms Cairns is a relative novice to the game of national politics, Catherine Murphy was once an enthusiastic member of the Stickies (Workers Party and Democratic Left) and the Irish Labour Party.
Interestingly, although small, the Social Democrats party is perfectly formed and, according to pundits, will make its mark one day on the Irish political scene when people begin to comprehend what it stands for.
In the meantime, political scientists are intrigued at the curious resemblance between the Social Democrats party and a Czechoslovakian political group that calls itself the ‘Party of Moderate Progress Within the Bounds of the Law’ (the PMPWBL).
It, too, is a sort of social democratic party and has a special interest in this country. Indeed a story currently doing the rounds – probably totally spurious – is that the PMPWBL has been urging the Social Democrats to do more to alleviate the suffering of comrades trapped in floods around Borrisokane and Cloghan, and has proposed sending pocket aquariums to help them pass the time – a somewhat eccentric gesture, but without a doubt one that will be much appreciated.
In fact, the political aims of the Czech PMPWBL are not too dissimilar to those of Ms Cairns’ party: namely the necessity for social intervention to promote social justice within a capitalist economy.
In the expression of their aims, the Social Democrats promote the usual stuff about climate change, the viability of the family farm, planting trees and ‘non-religious discrimination in schools’ (wha’ dat?).
In brief, Ms Cairns’ programme for change has something to do with a ‘strong, stable, vibrant, healthy and progressive society and a government that is more responsive to the public rather than party needs.’ Not exactly revolutionary or even radical (or progressive) but, oh, so charmingly middle-of-the road!
In other words, bog standard but safe, like!
All of which gives us the impression that the party has room for a slightly more muscular programme for government. Consequently, we suggest that in order to win a wider circle of supporters and to give some zip to their other ‘social democracy’ ambitions, Ms Cairns and friends might consider promoting the following causes:
The reintroduction of slavery;
The reintroduction of the Inquisition;
Judicial immunity for all priests and bishops;
And, most important of all, the institutionalisation of moronic politicians!
The big switch
Horror of horrors, a dark shadow has fallen over Cork South West. For the first time in its history not one member of the Fine Gael party was elected to represent the liberal-conservative-pluralist-forward-looking, free-thinking-right-on people of the area. Oh, the shame we feel when we recall the great Fine Gael politicos that the constituency once produced: Seán Collins, the inimitable PJ Sheehan, the apparently ever-lasting Jim O’Keefe, Noel Harrington, the scrupulously conscientious Jim Daly (what a loss!) and, of course, the tremendous John L O’Sullivan whose Civil War tales regaled us into the early hours in the Bantry Bay Hotel.
How it must pain those heroes as they observe from their Valhalla of honour and glory the harrowing sight of a party thrown to the wolves.
Vlad has a lot to answer for and, indeed, so too have the Fine Gael bigwigs in Cork South West. They should all be wearing sackcloth and ashes for mismanaging the electoral fortunes of a 60-year-old FG stronghold!
In hot water
Independent, Michael Collins, topped the poll with a respectable 11,712 votes, and fair dues to him. But he did not escape the fire-storm that erupted when he endorsed the comments of fellow TD, Noel Grealish, who claimed Ireland was losing its culture because of immigrants.
Grealish’s analysis of the immigrant situation was this: we should look after our own people first.
‘I have a clear understanding of how rural Ireland works and one thing you can’t do is land 50 families into hotel rooms and walk away, and that’s what’s happening here,’ he said.
Even the non-political President Higgins got involved. He declared that it was not ‘factual’ to say that immigrants were replacing Irish people.
Conscience of the party, Éamon (Young Dev) Ó Cuív, nailed his colours to the mast when he firmly stated that he was totally against any plan that involved Fianna Fáil going into government with Fine Gael and the Greenies.
He wants the F&Fers to work only with Sinn Féin. Recently, he reminded Mickey the Boss that Fianna Fáil had indicated to the electorate that there would be no coalition with Fine Gael and that, when the Soldiers of Destiny said they stood ‘for change’, the meaning was clear: a change of government!
Yet, here was Fianna Fáil showing interest in a coalition with Fine Gael and the Greens! He was totally opposed to it!
Oh dear! A most unfortunate twist of fate for former Fine Gael TD, Kate O’Connell. Having lost her Dáil seat, Blueshirt headquarters refused to select her for the Seanad elections.
In the good old days as a Fine Gael TD, she delightfully described Vlad’s backers during the FG leadership campaign as ‘choirboys who were singing for their supper.’ The FG ‘choirboys’ were not amused.
After that, she achieved national prominence during her campaign to liberalise the abortion laws, arguing that ‘Holy Catholic Ireland was a monstrous hoax.’ And now, she’s out on her ear, politically nowhere.
Very sad, indeed! Pass the onion, please.
What’s in a name?
And now for something different – Brexit, the Brits and Storm Jorge:
Let’s face it, ‘Jorge’ (George) is a difficult name to pronounce correctly and, to be fair, the BBC tried its best with a mangled and amusing “whore-gay”.
But what got up the nostrils of culturally challenged Brexiteers was the fact that meteorologists gave the storm a Spanish name. The online response took the biscuit.
A furious Little Englander wanted to know why the Spanish were naming ‘our’ storms? ‘Brexit means Brexit, he railed, and the storm should have been called Bertie a propper (sic) English name.’
Another wrote: ‘I thought getting our sovereignty back also meant we could name storms and we could have had a good British name like Rocco instead.’
Quite mad, Gawd bless ’em!