Review of Irish Election 2011 - When the Joke's over?


Fine Gale Game - Enda as ninja rat Tragedy dressed as comedy, that’s what I am going to remember from this election.  It's funny to watch Fine Gael part with huge sums of money to some clever marketing interweb company under the title of 'social viral advertising' only to be presented with a game on their website where Enda Kenny runs around like a grinning ninja rat despatching opponents with the Fine Gael stars and the catch phrase ‘On your bike’, picking up token votes along the way. 

It’s funny, but it stops being funny when there is a realisation that he is likely to be the next leader of the Country.   Enda is a man who likes simple plans, with 5 points in them, and starting with Jobs but with National Debt standing at €95 billon and with also  having an unsustainable loan of €85 Billon from the IMF/ECB, it’s hard to see how Fine Gael are going pull Jobs out of the hat.  But Elections are like an ugly X-Factor.  Enda has a simple message and he flogs it to death, without any real plan for how he is going to make it happen.  

 The prize for the best vox pop has to go to this guy in Sligo who told us the reason why he’s voting for Fianna Fail. There has been a lot of comedy about in this election and that makes good comedy is the truth that it stands on. The truth shines through. 

Labour, a party that had a problem really telling you what they stood for, are now resorting to running around saying that they are needed in Government to ensure that things are fairer for us.  But they talk about Public Service reform, keeping Ireland open for business, renegotiating the deal, and no one mentions default.  They are keeping Ireland open for business.  Sound like all the other parties, right?

It is the sound of sheer desperation from a generation that realise that it is their last shot at getting a ministerial post.  Labour's focus is on how to get elected, that’s the nature of the x-factor game they are involved in.

The Greens – languishing at 1% and looking like they’ll be consigned to the dustbin like the PDs before them, are also running around whoring themselves out to whatever major party will need them to prop up their government.  But if you end up with no-one getting a seat, it's unlikely that you’ll be needed to prop up anything.

Fianna Fail – went through the necessary process of dumping the leader of their party, installing a new one, who promptly did a Pontius Pilate, wiping his hands of all that went before, and the phrase that rang from the rafters was ‘Mistakes were made’. It is a beautiful phrase, and it fits this political party like a glove. It doesn’t tell you who actually made the mistakes.   People around the country quickly redesigned posters so that the electorate remembered what the outgoing government did.

Fianna Fail first came to power in 1932 and have been in power with an overall majority or as the leading party in a coalition for nearly 60 of the last 80 years.  Fianna Fail are pragmatists, and will do anything to survive.  It is convenient when you are just at the end of a 13 year reign of power which has seen your country go from near full employment to a basket case, with the shadowy hand of the IMF goon squad hanging over it.  It doesn’t matter who you scratch onto that piece of paper today – the IMF want their money back and if we don’t pay them back then they’ll make the necessary cuts to get it back.  

In fact since the end days loomed for this Government it appears that over 300 positions on State boards will have been appointed by the outgoing gang.  This cronyism is one of the characteristics that is striking with the middle eastern dictatorships.  So too are the calls for political reform.  Reform is what everyone is about when they know you re exiting power.  Mubarak promised it, Ghadaffi is promising it, Fianna Fail is promising it.  Someone cleverly created a Mubarak poster for FF in North Central.

At the bottom of all this gallows humour, and there has been a lot of it about, is an understanding that not much will change.  People know ultimately that this is not a real choice.  They may scratch that bit of paper, out of sheer anger at the lies they’ve been told by the outgoing government, but then they ultimately know that their choice is a poor one.   So when you get rid of the Irish Political party, one party in the centre right, and replace it with a party further to the right, and you know they are really powerless to change anything.

This democracy is an illusion, an illusion that we can choose who is in charge.  Captain Moonlight addressed it in his video.  

The ECB and IMF are our new masters and our career focussed political leaders have yoked us to this unsustainable debt, and NOT ONE of them is talking of breaking the ties to that debt. For us to stand up a break with that, it will take us taking to the streets, it will take strikes, and it will take action on an individual and on a collective level.  It will take the type of change that we’ve not witnessed in this republic for generations, but one which we saw only recently in Egypt. This change does not come through scratching a piece of paper every 5 years, it comes from the streets.

When the joke's over, the work is really only beginning for those of us interested in change.

Fianna Failure Monopoly Board