My Photo

Blog powered by Typepad


« Sun Tzu, Fianna Fail and The Art of Economics | Main | The Real Thing »

August 26, 2007


Niall M


Lots of good points here. However let us look at some of the specifics, particularly the electoral displays.

1) The Labour vote in Wicklow was substantially down all over the constituency for I am sure a variety of reasons.

2) North Wexford, which is real commuter land I believe showed a total collapse in the LP vote. Now, we have also seen a run down in the organisation and the vote. Remember of all Irish constituencies this is one which has elected two LP members regularly in the past. The idea of Howlin as anything other than a bitter little man on the sidelines.

3) The Labour vote in Dún Laoire was also down substantially. Before Mr. Gilmore stands for anything else, he needs to ask himself very serious questions about the policies he wishes to stand on and explain why he should be backed on the basis of a long history of decline.

4) Labour's performance in the Northern commuter constituencies where the half culchies live was also poor.

However can I reverse the point and suggest that FF's performance was excellent and that they managed to convince and divide the electorate as no well decribed by J K Galbraith.

Rather than talk about those who have poor diets and fail to eat a proper balance breakfast, we need to focus on realities.

Many of these people described initially by Mr. McWilliams are involved in the unsustainable boom of building houses in Ireland at unsustainable prices and wages. While their lifestyles are not very nice, they have been earning hugely inflated wages. Almost all of the growth in the Irish economy for the past five years has been based on personal expenditure funded by borrowing. The Irish building industry is now three times the size of
the building trade in normal economies.

I am currently building a substantial enough extension but I am using a Polish architect and a Polish building firm. They are doing the job for €70,000 less than the nearest estimate by an Irish firm. This is in a service industry with a registered agreement which guarantees a wage of nearly €20 per hour.

I await to see their future as the faustian pact between those who graze on Breakfast rolls and those who are to be be seen in the better class of restaurant unwinds.

But I do not see them as a source of progressive change.


Great post. That comment by Coleman on tax and the 'rise' in Labours vote also struck me yesterday. It was so unconsidered that I wasn't sure what to make of it. Niall M, isn't that the whole point, that 'breakfast' roll man and woman may be a short term phenomenon, but that the credibility of a strong Labour message might yet attract them, particularly if they see in that message a strategy for precisely when their jobs do go.


Thanks Niall M for your comment. Your list of specifics surely should give us some pause for thought and greater analysis - which is the point I was attempting to make. To take one 'fact' and then turn it into a whole story is rather thin. Take North Wexford - I understand the vote in the North was poor. Do we take it that, since there are a number of new commuter estates around Gorey, this is proof that Labour is not reaching out to the 'commuter class'? Maybe so but first I'd like to see a comparison with 2002. Then I'd like to see the specific tallies that relate to the commuter estates. Given that not everyone deserts North Wexford everyday to go to Dublin we might want to compare different areas. And then we should factor in (a) Labour has no local government representation in North Wexford and (b) Brendan's base is around Wexford town. Given that Brendan's vote increased slightly overall (he did win nealy 10,000 votes), we might want to explore the areas he gained if it is the case he lost ground in the North. All this to say that we must look at a range of factors before we can conclude that Labour is losing out in the commuter belt. And even if it was (given that it only gets 10% of the national vote, we might find it does no better or no worse in the commuter land) does that justify the claim that Labour is not reaching out to the new Ireland. Let's get a bit real - for most of its history it has bobbed around the 10% mark. So Labour is not reaching out to new Ireland anymore than it reached out to old Ireland or old old Ireland. A lot of homework needs to be done. And given that we all can't do it on every subject, that's why (or should be why) commentators get hired - to do that homework.

On your point re: the building industry, I couldn't agree more. In fact, I have touched on this subject a number of times. Is there a Plan B to deal with the slowdown and job losses that is occuring in the building sector? How do we bring the industry to a more sustainable plane without throwing a lot of people into the dole queues? Whatever about breakfast roll man (and I wouldn't like to compare my diet to his), Labour and the Left should address their policies to the victims of the slowdown - building workers.

Michael Mc Loughlin

Any analysis of the figures shows LP did very poorly in commuter belts, you're citing constituencies with long established TDs, they always make it...very little to do with the party in this.

In Fairness to EG his own vote and return of cllrs has always been excellent, he was saddled with an unasked for running mate on this occasion

The comments to this entry are closed.