What is Joan Burton up to?

Crop of Joan Burton at launch of the Labour Pa...
Crop of Joan Burton at launch of the Labour Party's 2011 General Election campaign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is the Minister for Social Protection, Labour’s Joan Burton, up to? First she complains loudly about Fine Gael Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan meeting Michael Lowry after the Moriarty report and a photo of taken at the NYSE involving an Taoiseach Enda Kenny and business man Denis O’Brien.

It now turns out that Joan Burton met with Denis O’Brien at that same event. Hypocrisy much?

This emerged last night at the Labour Party Conference which is currently underway in Galway.

But What she is playing at? Is she trying to split the Government? If there is some sort of controversy Joan seems to be the first Minister to the nearest microphone and spout something which may or not be related to the issue.

She did it on the Fiscal Compact drawing a comparison with a deal on the Promissory Note.

So is Joan running a long campaign for leadership or is she hoping for early elections before Labour slip further in polls.

Only time will tell.

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C 25th March 2012

There is an interesting poll in tomorrows Sunday Business Post by Red C on both Party support and the fiscal treaty referendum. It is worth nothing that the poll was taken before the announcement on a deal on the Promissory Note and the Mahon Tribunal Report .

The top-line figures for party support are as follows:

  • Fine Gael 34% (+4)
  • Labour 15% (-1)
  • Fianna Fail 16% (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 18% (nc)
  • Ind/others 17% (-2)

Fine Gael manage get to get a four point bump in the poll this month. I am not sure exactly why considering all the major developments happened after the respondents were polled! Of course with the Ard Fheis next weekend there has been some mention of that.  Labour and Fianna Fail both continue their slow slide, but of course the next poll will the most important one for Fianna Fail. If their move to kick Bertie Ahern and others mentioned in the Mahon Report  are the right moves to keep support from the voters. Also it shows the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis and the apology has not helped with the polls.

Labours as the junior coalition party seem to be the ones suffering from policies implemented as there voters do not seem to agree. Of course with their National Conference coming up they could manage to stake out their own course after that.

Sinn Fein hold on to their support level as they start their campaign against the Fiscal Compact Treaty. Independents and others are the ones who are down two points as can happen when a party gets a boost larger then 2 percentage points.

On the treaty referendum the poll found the following:

  • Yes 49% (+5)
  • No 33%(+4)
  • Undecided 18% (-9)

When the undecided’s are excluded it is

  • Yes 60%
  • No 40%

Which is no change from the polls earlier this month. The campaigns have yet to get under way, but with the undecided’s splitting evenly at the moment it might not be tight, but lets not get complacent!

YFG Conference Coverage – Irish Indo

Continuing my search through the papers from yesterday for coverage of the YFG Conference at the weekend, the only paper with articles about the conference is the Irish Independent and they have two articles.

The first article is on Simon Coveney’s speech and his promise to give up his ministerial car if he is appointed a Minister.

“If I become a minister, I will not accept a state car. I’m telling you that now. You can quote me on it,” he said at the Young Fine Gael national conference in Charleville, Co Cork.

The second is a wide ranging article on many of the motions and speeches at the Conference. I like that they picked up Eric Keane’s comment’s about Labour and I think he does have a point.

… a perception existed in Fine Gael that the party “can’t touch Labour”, according to Young Fine Gael’s new president Eric Keane, from Clare.”Yet they get up on every occasion and criticise us. The Labour Party claims to be more pious and principled than the Pope,” he said.

Mr Keane said two interviews with Mr Gilmore revealed he was in favour of “not cutting anything, spending everything”.

“Lies and deception and hypocrisy,” he said to rapturous applause.

They also cover some of the criticism of senior party policy, namely NewERA

Fine Gael’s much-vaunted job-creation policy also came in for criticism. Tadhg O’Donovan, from University College Cork, questioned why the party was proposing to sell state assets in a depressed market.”The price you get for something like the ESB will be less than five years ago or in five years time,” he said.

They also covered the motion on cancelling mortgage debt.

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A Vote For Labour is a Vote for FF

The Sunday Independent’s story that senior Labour figures are hinting at working with Fianna Fail after the next election. It cements the idea that many people already have of Labour.

I agree fully with Scandelcentral of course who say:

However Labour is very suited to Fianna Fail. They stand for nothing. Together we would form a fine coalition. It would only plunges us into economic desolation. We wouldn’t see economic growth for decades, if we are lucky, as Labour halts Fianna Fail cutbacks while forcing them to increase spending widening our continued deficits. Apocalypse is the only word which rightly comes to mind

Of course this reminds me of the goings on after the UK elections on whether to do a deal with Labour if Gordon Brown was still there. Labour here will only work with FF without Cowen.

Labour won’t gain many transfers or 1st preferences from this ploy! It just proves that they will work with anyone to get into power. It smells of desperation to me!

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Fine Gael and Labour

Labour Party (Ireland)
Image via Wikipedia

I read two posts (Jason and Tadhg) over the weekend about the Labour Party conference in Galway. It made me realise one thing. Fine Gael cannot work with Labour to better this country!

In the next election, the main battle will be between Labour and Fine Gael. They will be fighting to pick up seats from Fianna Fail, who will be desperately trying to hold on to them. This is especially true in Dublin where Fianna Fail is polling in third place and is facing a Fine Gael style 2002 wipeout in the capital.

Fine Gael’s line in the next election will have to be that a vote for Labour will be a vote for Fianna Fail. There is no doubt about that. Labour and Fianna Fail sit better together than Fine Gael and Labour, as thankfully Fine Gael as taken a turn to the right after the 2007 General Election.

It also true of the policies being taken by the Labour party, they are more similar to Fianna Fail. Take their training commitment from the weekend (taken from Tadhg’s Post)

Labour also will help 30,000 new apprentices get qualified. Re-read that sentence everyone. Apprentices, means plumbers, block-layers, electricians etc. Thousands of whom are qualified and on the DOLE! Why should the state finance the training of another 30,000?

Tadhg points out good reservations about this!

While Gilmore still thinks he can be Taoiseach, I don’t think so. As Jason points out, Labour will have to become a “broad church” for that to happen.

I do not think Fine Gael should enter a pre-election pact with Labour next time out. We should be aiming for Majority government, and failing that, we should do a deal with minor parties and independents to govern.

Its a pity the PD’s are gone, they would have worked well with Fine Gael!

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