Independent Media Centre Ireland

Socialist Party stand candidate in Letterkenny

category donegal | elections / politics | press release author Saturday May 29, 2004 01:55author by Mark O'Connell - Socialist Partyauthor email socialistparty at eircom dot netauthor phone 0749120908

In whose interests is Letterkenny run? Wealthy developers and property speculators with the right political connections or the people who live and work in the town?

Francis McCafferty has been nominated by the Socialist Party to be their candidate for Letterkenny Town Council in the coming local elections.

Originally from Oldtown, he has witnessed the massive changes to the town over the years. Having worked for a period in England and returned 5 years ago, he also understands the perspective of the many who have settled in Letterkenny in recent years. He now lives in Glencar Park. He has been active in politics throughout his life on a wide range of issues. Recently he has been one of the local residents who campaigned against the building of apartment blocks in Glencar, an experience which has convinced him that planning and development are not being carried in the best interests of the people of Letterkenny.

“Letterkenny is growing fast and development is a good thing when it benefits the people of the town”, he said, “But too many developments have been carried out which suit only the financial interests of the developers and builders involved, often in the teeth of total opposition from local residents. It is a scandal that the council has allowed this to happen.”

“The question needs to be asked: In whose interests is Letterkenny run? Wealthy developers and property speculators with the right political connections or the people who live and work in the town?”

“I will demand consultation with local residents for all major developments which affect their area before any approval can be given. At the moment the onus is on residents to keep up to date with planning applications and to navigate through the minefield of planning law if they wish to object. This is wrong.”

“The destruction of protected structures and historic buildings amounts to vandalism of what remains of the town’s heritage. It is a disgrace that the former Gallagher’s Hotel has been razed to the ground. Protecting something of the town’s heritage cannot be allowed to come a poor second to the wishes of property developers.”

“The Socialist Party believes that planning and development should be in the interests of all the people of Letterkenny and not the profit of the few.”

“In this election we are also highlighting the deafening silence from the other parties and candidates on the issue of service charges. There is no doubt that
Fianna Fail are planning on introducing a raft of new charges on local councils once the elections are out of the way. These back-door taxes will be dressed up as ‘service charges’, including the return of water rates.”

“Workers already pay too much tax while the super-wealthy use tax avoidance schemes to pay little or nothing. There is no equity or fairness in the taxation system and that is why we are committed to opposing all ‘service charges’ on local councils.”

“We are challenging the other parties to come clean about their intentions on these charges and to tell the people of Letterkenny during this election which charges they support.”

“Housing is another important issue we will highlight. House prices have been pushed through the roof by the failure of the supply of affordable housing and the inadequate local authority housing programme to meet demand. Many people are being pushed into getting private rented accommodation as a result. We believe that current housing policy need to be changed from one which is currently dictated by property developers to one which is dictated by the need for affordable housing, particularly for first-time buyers and those who need local authority housing.”

“The lack of regulation of privately rented accommodation also needs to be addressed as it has been shown that very few private landlords are complying with the obligation to register with the council.”

Comments (71 of 71)

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author by Darren C - SP (personal capacity)publication date Sat May 29, 2004 10:06author address author phone

Best of luck up there comrades :-)

Related Link:
author by . - Belfast SP (personnal capacity)publication date Sat May 29, 2004 10:16author address author phone

good luck to all SP candidates

author by SWP - Belfastpublication date Sat May 29, 2004 10:33author address author phone

Good luck to all the socialist candidates from whatever party and none who are putting forward a beneficial working class alternative

author by KaM - LSP (cwi Belgium)publication date Sat May 29, 2004 15:36author address author phone

Good luck. I hope Joe gets elected so we can see him more often in Brussels. ;)

author by Anarchist Electoral Monitorpublication date Sat May 29, 2004 16:11author address author phone

Election fever is rife and socialists have (high) hopes of making a breakthrough this time around... and no where is this truer than in Cork. The real capital is without a socialist rep and Mick Barry (SP) is leading the assault. Oh but it is a slippery slope, boy!

The racist referendum? Yes, remember that? Who remembers the great strategy launched by the SP a few years ago to build a national 'Anti-Racist' organisation... needing strong commitment and iron leadership from the ranks of the Trots? The John McCamly roadshow remember… what a prospect indeed.

All, all, all sadly in the past now....

Pressed to give an opinion about the racist referendum and the door to door campaign of Mick Barry in Cork North Central ward, a key party activist of the SP admitted to the Anarchist Electoral Monitor, that not too many people were bringing ‘the issue up’.

So, said the Monitor, ‘are you bringing it up with them, like. To persuade them like to Vote No.’

Oh no, said the key party activist. The party policy with regard to the referendum is 'if they don't bring it up we don't'.

A nice admission that the exigencies of electoral success must take precedence over all else … (weep, weep) even principles… Didn’t anarchists predict that this would happen??? Oh why are we always right? Sometimes you really wish you wouldn’t be!

author by WE ARE THE SP - WE ARE THE SPpublication date Sat May 29, 2004 18:53author address author phone

You are doing a canvass. You have to get around thousands of houses. You keep it as brief as possible. Our position on the referendum is there for all to see on our website, in our party publications (the last two issues of Socialist Voice) and in Joe's dail speeches on the matter. Our record in fighting deportations, racism and fascism are there for all to see.
By the way, are you going around knocking doors asking for a no vote?

author by Cork SP memberpublication date Sat May 29, 2004 19:11author address author phone

one of our leaflets recently distributed to thousands of homes in Cork had an article on the asylum issue in it.

We're not shying away from the issue at all.

author by Antif - socialist party (personal capacity)publication date Sat May 29, 2004 21:37author address author phone

What the SP are saying in the election manifesto.

"Reject the Government and their 'Citizenship Referendum'
Oppose this Government’s Referendum. They tried to con people into opposing taxi drivers, transport workers, lone parents and teachers. All were accused of holding the country to ransom. The more we allow them to isolate and scapegoat us into minorities the more they will be able to attack everyone’s rights.
When politicians say refugees are responsible for the problems in health and housing, they are lying. Less children are born here now than in the 60s and 70s. That means any problems in maternity wards flow from Fianna Fail’s cutbacks. The actual number of births to women making applications for asylum has declined by over 60% since 2002 and is a tiny fraction of overall births.
Discrimination against children is wrong and sets a disgraceful precedent. This time refugees are the minority being attacked and used to sow confusion but you could be next. If they can deflect people’s anger from themselves and thereby minimise their losses in the election, they will step up their attacks on all working class people. You have a vested interest in rejecting this Government and their Referendum."

check out the rest of the manifesto at

author by Interestedpublication date Sun May 30, 2004 16:48author address author phone

The SP did not go on the CARR march yesterday. They had their own stall at the Central Bank but shunned the march. There was a large Labour Party contingent on the march withbanners proudly waving. Labour also has produced posters and leaflets against the Racist Referendum and is running a campaign.

Where are the SP posters? Where is their campaign.

author by Jonnopublication date Sun May 30, 2004 17:20author address author phone

The anonymous question from "interested" has already been answered on a number of occasions, so this will be the last time from me at least unless someone using their real name pops up with a genuine question.

The Socialist Party is not involved in the CARR campaign because we don't think that implying that people who buy the government propaganda and intend to vote Yes are racist is a useful way to go about trying to change their minds. That's a tactical and strategic issue, rather than an issue of principle but we do think it is important. In addition we think it is important to raise the class issues surrounding the referendum, as can be seen in the extract from our manifesto above. We wish CARR well, but we are taking a different approach.

We don't have posters on the referendum at the moment because we don't have the money to produce them. Unlike Labour we don't accept donations from the business elite and we have to run our organisation on a shoestring. If Labour or Sinn Fein were ever to adopt such a principled stance they would soon find out how difficult it is to make an impact on very limited resources.

Still, we have already distributed tens of thousands of leaflets and newsletters which clearly and strongly oppose the referendum. By the time the referendum actually comes around we will have distributed well over a hundred thousand leaflets and newsletters.

At the same time, our newspaper has covered the referendum in its last two issues and our public representatives have used much of the limited time in the media which we get to put our case against the referendum.

That campaigning work stacks up very favourably against that of anyone you care to compare it to. Would we like to do more? Yes of course. We would love to be able to do more on every issue we campaign on, from the war to the bin tax. But we are a small party and we have to do our best with the resources we have.

Now does anyone want to lay money on this posting being followed by members of other organisations, giving out about our supposed dodging of the issue from the comfort on anonymity?

author by John Meehanpublication date Sun May 30, 2004 18:04author address author phone

Jonno's defence of the Socialist Party's decision not to participate in the Campaign Against the Racist Referendum (CARR) is interesting.

I am involved in CARR, and I do not agree with every single tactical decision, statement, etc etc - that's life : a diversity of approaches and tactics can be a significant help to a campaign.

SP members need to assess the fact that a broad range of parties, organisations, components of the trade union movement, etc are working under the CARR umbrella - were present on yesterday's march - but the SP was running its own stall. If that was just one incident - understandable - people can not be everywhere. When it follows from a conscious policy decision by the SP not to participate in CARR, it is a different phenomenon. It reflects the fact that the SP prefers the "glove puppet" approach to united campaigns - so long as the campaign can be controlled by the party apparatus, and has the appearance of broadness, that is OK. When the campaign is genuinely broad-based, and on some occasions takes a decsion, or a series of tactical decisions, that the party does not like, it does not get involved. There is a word to describe this type of tactical decision : it is political sectarianism.

I have pasted below an extract I wrote for the CARR internal E-Mail list on what way the campaign might be ptiched in the remaining two weeks left to us - perhaps, since the SP is short of anti-referendum resources such as canvassing leaflets, individual supporters on the party might consider plancing "Vote No" stickers (available from CARR) on their party literature.

SP supporters might also consider the fact that I will vote Nº1 for Joe Higgins in the Dublin Euro-Constituency, and I encourage others to do the same - I will vote 2 Patricia McKenna, 3 Ivana Bacik, 4 ML McDonand and 5 Proinsias de Rossa.

Finally, I agree 100% with Jonno's dismissive comments about anonymous posters.
Joe Kelly asked the very important question "whither the campaign..."?

A few pointers :

The Irish Times printed the most reliable poll published so far last Monday.

Important data :

Majorities of Sinn Féin, Labour and Green Party voters do not agree with voting No, in opposition to the official party position in each case. Does this indicate that a little more effort by these parties to PROMINENTLY broadcast their No position could boost our position? I think the answer is without doubt yes.

One suggestion - members of political parties may not have to hand official party literature calling for a No Vote; it is possible place a CARR campaign sticker on the leaflet/poster/newsletter etc.

The poll also showed that the biggest social categories voting No are the 18-25 age group, and the over 65's.

Mark Brennock observes :

"While there is broad support for the proposal across all age groups, social classes, regions and party supporters, it is interesting that there are somewhat smaller majorities in favour among the youngest and oldest groups of voters. It is not possible to say with certainty why this is but the experience of the young is likely to be more international than that of older voters, while the over 65s may be the ones with the greatest experience of emigration."

Personal encounters also suggest that the "shame" argument hits home very hard - we Irish emigrated for decades - we know how hard that is - we should welcome immigrants.

When Vincent Browne put this point to FF TD Seán Ardagh on his late night radio programme this week, the Dublin South-Central Deputy was lost for words - he could not come up with an answer. Food for thought. What do other correspondents think?

author by Jonno - SP (personal capacity)publication date Sun May 30, 2004 18:30author address author phone

John I'm glad to hear that you are voting for Joe.

That aside, I'm not sure where some of the points you make are coming from. I've already pointed out that we will have distributed way over a hundred thousand leaflets and newsletters, which will clearly argue for a No vote, by the time the referendum comes round. How many leaflets have CARR put out? That's a real question by the way, not a rhetorical dig.

When it comes to "glove puppet" campaigns, you are wildly off base. If we wanted to we could have established a supposedly broad campaign that we in reality controlled. We chose not to, because we don't think that's a useful way of operating. However, we aren't in a position to work towards establishing a genuinely broad campaign with better politics than those of CARR in a period of a few weeks.

That left us with a straightforward choice - get involved with a campaign which we think is taking a seriously wrong approach, or concentrate on our own material and arguments. We chose the latter course.

That's not "sectarian" unless you think that it is always sectarian to work outside of a campaign the approach of which you don't agree with. As I said, I wish CARR well, but I would never distribute material which in my view implies that those who are thinking of voting yes are racists. Neither would I choose to distribute anti-racist material that fails to make class issues central to its argument.

You have your approach, we have ours. Where we can work together we should, where we cant, we won't. That isn't a sectarian approach, or at least someone who a second ago was talking about respect for diversity shouldn't see it as such.

author by hs - sp (pc)publication date Sun May 30, 2004 19:50author address author phone

Good look to everyone. (and yes even the swimmers!!!) Good to see a thread that hasn't fallen into sectrian bashing. I think john may have a point though if comrades are against being involved in CARR just because of the name. It may not be very good but its the only campaign there is and there is always the chance of having an influnce within it to try and pevent such mistakes as which jonno reffered to.
And in line with our belgium friend Italian members and sympathisers of the cwi wish the party the best of luck in the elections.

author by f - sp (pc)publication date Mon May 31, 2004 00:46author address author phone

I'm canvassing in Dundrum for the SP and I can tell you now that we do argue for a No vote on the doorsteps even if it means loosing a few votes. If you read the latest (and previous) edition(s) of the 'Socialist Voice' you will find that there are articles against the referendum and if you look at our manifesto there is a sizeable section devoted to the referendum. We are not a well financed organisation like the Labour Party or Sinn Fein so unfortunately can't produce as much material as we would have liked, we have to combine our material for the different polls, but we are certainly not shying away from the issue.

author by reality checkpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 09:59author address author phone

I've met SP canvassers and in common with SF and Labour they do state their opposition to the Referendum when asked but none of them knock on the door and say"I'm canvassing for Joe Bloggs, your lcoal SP/SF/Labour candidate and against the referendum".

The election is the priority

author by Realistpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 11:54author address author phone

Jonno tells John Meehan that "When it comes to "glove puppet" campaigns, you are wildly off base"

So, what was the story with SP glove puppets like
Youth Against Sectarianism
Youth Against War???

The SP don't set up party dominated fronts as often as the SWP (they seem to create a new one every week) - but they do it.

author by Jonnopublication date Mon May 31, 2004 13:08author address author phone

I can't say anything about Youth Against Sectarianism because I have never had the slightest contact with it.

Youth Against War was established by Socialist Youth, and all of its main literature made that clear. Still, it was a real attempt to build a genuinely broad youth movement against the war.

The extent to which it actually became independent of Socialist Youth varied dramatically from school to school, despite our efforts. In some places it took on a life of its own. In others it remained dependent on the efforts of Socialist Youth members. There is not much SY can do about that other than try.

YAW of course had a huge impact during the anti-war movement through calling and organising school student strikes, which involved many thousands in some of the only walkouts which actually took place against the war.

As I said above, the Socialist Party takes the view that organising "fronts" is an ineffective, short-termist and dishonest way of establishing a campaign.

Now, I've only just noticed that I'm being asked this question by yet another anonymous person, who yet again is not making their own affiliations clear. So, I'm sorry but I'm not going to continue this conversation unless asked a genuine question by someone who has a legitimate interest in the answer.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:07author address author phone

As others have pointed out, we have put out quite a lot of material on the refferendum. In addition to this we have been tackling the arguements of councillors and candidates who try to use the race card in our campaigns. Our March/April newsletter in Drogheda for example carried an article condemning Fianna Fail councillor Tommy Murphy's scapegoating of asylum seekers. He was quoted in the local press as blaming "refugees" for putting pressure on the health sevice and housing lists.

author by Interestedpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:19author address author phone

Its still avoiding the issue, the SP are running scared. The fact that the SP were afraid to be seen on the CARR march on Saturday says it all. The Labour Party is not afraid to launch a Campaign against the Referendum but the SP are.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:33author address author phone

Can we take it that Labour will refuse to go into coalition with any party that supports the referendum then? Surely they would not prop up a racist government?

author by Interestedpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:39author address author phone

You are performing the typical Trotskyist trick of changing the subject. the SP are running scared of this referendum, their boycott of the CARR demo shows this. You are not running any kind of campaign, instead you bury the issue in your general leaflets and newsletters.

You say CARR is a Liberal campaign but you have no problem in working with Labour in the IAWM.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:55author address author phone

Just showing up your hypocricy. Why don't you use your real name. Are you even in the Labour Party or are you just trolling? You have been well answered by Jonno and others.
Read this and tell me where the ambiguity lies.

author by TrotSPotpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:56author address author phone

The SP are giving another story. Now we have had reports of the SP playing down the referendum or even agreeing that there should immigration controls in Swords , Blanchardstown, South Inner City and Limerick. It also looks as if similar things are happening in Cork.

Its not doing them any good. In the last poll Joe Higgins was on only 4%, he got 3.8% in 1999. They will be lucky to hold their 2 seats.

author by Chekovpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:57author address author phone

I really don't understand the controversy over calling the referendum 'racist'.

It seems to me that the referendum is very clearly racist in that:
1) it establishes a 'blood rule' for the first time ever in establishing citizenship in Ireland.
2) It has clearly been introduced to attract the votes of racists towards the government and away from anti-racist opposition parties.

Therefore, the referendum in itself is racist in both content and motivation. Quite simple really.

Calling the referendum what it is - racist - is not the same thing at all as saying that all those who vote for it are racist. Previous referendums have been tagged as the "bishops' referendum" and so on and nobody has suggested for a moment that there might be an implication that all those who vote for it are bishops.

If the left thinks it is a racist referendum, and I can't imagine what else they'd think it is, then they should say so. Not doing so just looks like cowardice and a lack of willingness to lose the votes of racists who would otherwise vote for your party.

author by Interestedpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 16:59author address author phone

The SP position is ambiguous in so far as they havent got any posters against the referendum. They have no specific leaflets either. Its not a question of funds. CARR operates on a shoestring but can produce posters and leaflets.

The SP have no committment on this issue.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 17:01author address author phone

Trotspot's comments are pure lies. Another anon troll just trying to stir up shit in what could otherwise be a productive discussion.

author by Curiouspublication date Mon May 31, 2004 18:41author address author phone

You may be right about Trotspot but why dont you answer Chekov.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 19:15author address author phone

I wasn't deliberately avoiding Chekov's questions.Chekov writes:
"It seems to me that the referendum is very clearly racist in that:
1) it establishes a 'blood rule' for the first time ever in establishing citizenship in Ireland.
2) It has clearly been introduced to attract the votes of racists towards the government and away from anti-racist opposition parties."

Therefore, the referendum in itself is racist in both content and motivation. Quite simple really."

On number one I agree with you. On number two is where we differ. Yes, the referendum in and of itself is racist. That is not at issue. However I would replace your number 2 with: It has been introduced to attract the votes of people who have fallen into the trap of believing media hype and government propaganda on the affect of asylum applicants on housing lists, hospital beds and social services. These people are not necesarily racist. (granted there are some racists out there but as a rule they wouldn't be voting for us anyway because they would know where we stand on the issue). The economic insecurity they face in their everyday lives has made them an easy target for the government's propaganda.
When we argue against the referendum we start out by dispelling these lies, not by saying well, this referendum is racist, therefore if you vote for it you are a racist. That just puts people on the defensive. You won't get through to them by moralising. You can get through to them by addressing their fears on the asylum issue and debunking government promoted myths.

author by Anarchopublication date Mon May 31, 2004 19:25author address author phone

"When we argue against the referendum we start out by dispelling these lies, not by saying well, this referendum is racist, therefore if you vote for it you are a racist. That just puts people on the defensive. "

you are deliberately misrepresenting Chekov. He quite clearly states that it is not calling the voters racist. What is it about the SP? Do you get classes in how to lie and distort?

Heres what Chekov wrote:

"Calling the referendum what it is - racist - is not the same thing at all as saying that all those who vote for it are racist. Previous referendums have been tagged as the "bishops' referendum" and so on and nobody has suggested for a moment that there might be an implication that all those who vote for it are bishops. "

author by Jonnopublication date Mon May 31, 2004 19:25author address author phone

I've got no problem answering Chekov, although all of these points have been dealt with before on another thread.

I agree that the intent behind the referendum is racist. The idea is to palm the blame for the results of this government's right wing policies off on asylum seekers and other immigrants.

That does not mean that everyone who buys the government propaganda on this issue is a hardened racist. The question facing those of us who are opposed to the referendum is how best can we convince those people to vote No.

I think that bald assertions of racism, will tend to be viewed by many of those people as implying that they themselves are racists, something which will tend to shut off rather than open up debate. It is one thing to carefully explain why the intent behind the referendum is racist, quite another to make an accusation of racism your opening gambit. This is a question of approach rather than content, although it is still an important question.

The second issue, that of opposing the referendum with arguments based on working class interests or with arguments based on moral appeals alone, is clearly one of content.

Now I quite understand Chekov's point of view and while I disagree with it I don't think that he is being completely unreasonable. What I do think is unfortunate however is his assumption that there can be no honest disagreement between activists on such questions. The Socialist Party can't simply have a different view of how to go about convincing people. Instead we must be betraying the cause somehow - hiding our views for electoral reasons or whatever.

Someone responded to him on another thread some time ago taking him up on just this point when he declared that Eoin Dubsky's electoral run to be all about his own interests. Again, there was this assumption that other activists can't possibly disagree honestly about the best tactic or strategy for a campaign but must instead be in it for themselves. That's an attitude that is all too common on the left - and it can come from members of my own organisation as well as others.

For the record, again, the Socialist Party will have distributed way over a hundred thousand (possibly going on for two hundred thousand) leaflets and newsletter calling for a No vote by the time the referendum comes round. We have organised stalls on the issue. We have covered it in our paper. Our spokespersons have argued vigorously against it in the media. This would be a very strange, not to say stupid, way of ducking the issue.

I disagree with the approach CARR are taking to the issue, although I wish them well in their attempts to build a No vote. I don't think that there is something nefarious or scheming about their campaign. There is, as many have pointed out, room for a range of approaches in a diverse movement.

Now this really is my final word on the subject, and not just because of the invasion of anonymous trolls on this thread. I've got leaflets to deliver, each of which contains an article putting our case against the referendum.

author by Mark H - SPpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 19:38author address author phone

"When we argue against the referendum we start out by dispelling these lies, not by saying well, this referendum is racist, therefore if you vote for it you are a racist. That just puts people on the defensive. "
I meant that by starting you're arguement by saying the referendum is racist you are implying(not deliberately) that the voter is racist, or at least if they weren't before that if they go ahead and vote yes - unconvinced of you're arguement, they are a racist. I was not saying you would come straight out and say

"When we argue against the referendum we start out by dispelling these lies, not by saying well, this referendum is racist, therefore if you vote for it you are a racist."

This is also my final word.

author by Tir Chonaillpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 19:50author address author phone

Francisd is not sectarian like most of the SP. He is calling on voters to transfer to the Labour Party. Good man.

author by Chekovpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 20:05author address author phone

Stating plainly that the referendum is racist does not imply anything about how you argue it on the doorsteps. Obviously, we have been arguing for a no vote on the basis of all of the above arguments that the SP mention. Only an idiot is going to start off by calling people who are considering voting yes racists.

On the other hand it is our duty (if we believe it to be so) to point out that the government is racist and are playing the old divide and rule scapegoating game by holding this referendum at the same time as the local elections. If we shy away from calling it racist, we are either being dishonest or cowardly.

The other point that Jonno mentions above, about the Eoin Dubsky thread seems to me to be very unfair. On that thread I put forward the theory that Eoin was running as a means of raising his own profile and that his candidacy had no mandate from any anti-war group and moreover was very unlikely to advance the anti-war cause in any way. I invited him to tell me why his candidacy was a good idea for the anti-war movement and was met with no serious responses. I think that, with his support running at 0% in the opinion polls, and no alternative theory put forward as to his motivations, I am likely to be proved correct by events.

With regards to the SP, my insinuations that the SP are apt to allow electoral concerns to have a distorting effect on their attitude to campaigns is not merely an example of begrudgery on my part. It is an opinion that I have formed over the last 10 years or so, based upon observation of their actions in a large number of campaigns, from the bin-tax to the anti-capitalist movement to this referendum. I really can't think of any other reason other than electoral concerns why a party which knows that the referendum is a thinly disguised attempt to play the race card would be so vehemently opposed to a campaign name which makes this clear.

Again, I repeat that this has nothing to do with calling any voters racist. Nobody is suggesting that we do this, the only question is whether we are clear about identifying the underlying motives behind the referendum. All of the responses by the SP really fail to address this, prefering instead to go after the red-herring of calling voters racists. Therefore, my theory about electoral motives remains to my mind the best explanation of their actions.

Just because everyone who runs for election isn't entirely cynical at all times, doesn't mean that most aren't most of the time. And considering the long and sorry history of left-wing parliamentary participation, I rather think the burden of proof is with those who think that elections are a real route to social change rather than with the naysayers such as myself.

author by sp member (personal capacity)publication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:39author address author phone

Lets just get this straight.

Checkov says the SP are only concerned about elections. If so, why did the SP advocate the most militant tactics in the anti-bin tax campaign? This is not necessarily electorally popular. Remember many Anarchists didn't turn up to blockades and/or argued against them. Checkov, can you point out exactly what you mean by your statement that the SP are only influenced by elections. If you read our literature it clearly states we have no faith in elections and its through community action that things can be won.

John Meehan is also trying to slur the SP by insinuating we're doing nothing on the referendum. 100,000 newsletters in local election areas have been/are being delivered that outline our case against the referendum. The Euro manifesto also clearly states our position against the referendum. So that's tens of thousands of leaflets deleivered against the referendum. We are entitled to disagree with the approach of CARR. It doesn't mean we're hostile to them. The fact is the USI Congress and UCDSU Council took anti-referendum positions because of the initiative of SP members in UCD. Both USI and UCDSU are now affiliated to CARR.

Others on this thread are attacking the SP for not having posters. Again, unlike the Labour Party the SP do not take money off big business friends. Labour is a mainstream establishment party with far more money than the SP. The question you should be asking is why SF are not producing posters, afterall they are a wealthy party.

author by Chekovpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 13:28author address author phone

Then you really shouldn't misquote me when my comment is just above yours. I did not say that the SP were "only" interested in elections. I said that electioneering has "a distorting effect on their attitude to campaigns." I include the bin-tax in that. The militancy of tactics employed is not useful in assessing this. The SP will undoubtedly receive more of an electoral boost from the bin tax campaign than the SWP will, despite the latter having the most conservative line of all the groups in the campaign.

Anyway, you're a grand one to be accusing others of using indymedia to spread lies, aren't you?

author by charliepublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 14:47author address author phone

Checkov, the reason why the SWP will do worse than the SP is because they have no decent record whatsoever in community campaigns. The SWP are keeping to their usual failed tactics. Flitting from issue to issue, not building any serious support in the Unions and Communities. So to put the SWP's upcoming hammering in the election to bin tax tactics is wrong.

The SP did loose votes for their strong stance on bin tax. But they also gained in working class areas. I honestley don't think you can accuse the SP of only thinking of elections when engaging in this campaign. Checkov, you didn't point out where you think the SP have let elections have a "distorting effect on their attitude to campaigns".

I make no apologies about it. I'm voting for Joe Higgins in these elections, and I'm voting for Joe Mooney No. 1 in the locals. I'm showing my opposition to the government's and the EU's big business agenda. Anarchists should consider the old irish phrase "The best hurler is on the ditch".

Anarchists are not knocking on doors and canvassing. They are not engaging with ordinary people. Why don't you go out an canvass for an active abstaintion from the elections? why not suggest a slogan to write on ballots? Why not explian to working class people why you oppose elections? Stop hanging around on the 'net having arguments when you should take a turn to the working class.

author by Raypublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 15:26author address author phone

Its funny that you can argue that the SP's activities aren't being distorted by electoralism, and then say that anarchists should be out campaigning against the elections.
There are more important things to be thinking about today than who does or doesn't vote for Joe Higgins

author by SPuppySPotterpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 16:16author address author phone

"The SP did loose votes for their strong stance on bin tax. "

Where? If you never had the votes in the first place how can you lose them? You havent exactly gained a lot of wirking class votes either. in 1999 Joe Higgins got 3.8%, in the last poll hes on 4%. The SP will be lucky to hold onto their 2 council seats.

The SP would be better off if they openly opposed this racist referendum, it might win them more votes.

author by sp member (personal capacity)publication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 16:48author address author phone

'spuppyspotter' wrote: " 1999 Joe Higgins got 3.8%, in the last poll hes on 4%.

The polls have a 3% margin of error. So Joe could be between 1% and 7%. I can tell you now that polls really mean nothing. Best thing to do is look at the final results.

'spuppyspotter' wrote "...The SP will be lucky to hold onto their 2 council seats...."

I can tell you now that the 2 SP seats are as safe as houses. It's only a question of how the increase in the SP vote will be reflected in seat gains. If the SP don't win at least one more seat I will run down O'Connell St. naked on mid-day on the 13th June!

'spuppyspotter' wrote: "The SP would be better off if they openly opposed this racist referendum, it might win them more votes."

But the SP are openly opposing the referendum! It's in our literature for the elections, it's in our paper, it's on our website, SP spokespeople are saying it in the media. What more do ye want! If I were you I'd turn my attentions to Sinn Fein who are not mentioning it in their literature, they do not have posters (despite being able to afford them- SP would if we could). Why not get your troll thrills off SF!

author by radekpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 16:56author address author phone

You'd better get into training because the SP will not have any more than two seats in Dublin after June 11

author by Raypublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 17:00author address author phone

Okay, spmember, lets see how confident you are. How about a first name and initial to back up this prediction?

(personally, I think the SP are as likely to lose a seat as to gain one, and I'd be amazed if they came out of the election with more than three seats. It looks like SF have hoovered up all of the votes available to radical candidates)

author by Dublin Tallymanpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 17:22author address author phone

The SWP will get respectable votes in Dún Laoghaire Ward and Ballymun. Boyd Barrett and Smith are well known locally on bin charges and other issues. However I don't think they will win seats, although they will not be humiliated. The SWP are in with a shout of a seat on Bray Town Council. Other than that I think their prospects are bleak, however I don't think they'll totally repeat their preformance of 99 due to the stronger anti-establishment mood this year.

I think that it's fairly certain that the Socialist Party will retain the two seats they currently hold in Fingal. There is a good chance that they will win a second seat in Swords due to the strong vote of Clare Daly and the good vote management strategy of the Party. Murphy in Tallaght Central is looking strong and is probably favourite to get a seat outside Fingal. Other good chances are Greene in Howth Ward, Maher in Dundrum Ward, and Barry in Cork North Central. Gallagher in Drogheda is a dark horse and may win a seat.

I can see Sinn Fein winning pleanty of seats. They may even become the largest party on the Dublin City Council after the election. They are also in with a very good chance of a seat in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council through Joe Comerford (Glencullen). In Fingal their best chance is Mullhuddart taking Independent Gerry Lynam's seat. In South Dublin they may make gains.

The Workers' Party are set for a melt-down. They are likely to loose at least one seat in Waterford. They will do well to retain 1 seat there. The ISN in Finglas will poll well but O'Neill will not take a seat. WCA will gain from Gregory's endorsement and may be in with a chance of a seat in the North Inner City, but lack of finances and resources may mean no seat for WCA. Michael Gallagher (North Inner City) is not polling well and is likely to get knocked out on the 1st count. Independent anti-bin tax candidates Joan Collins (Crumlin) and Pat Dunne (Rathfarnham) will not win seats for the same reasons as WCA- lack of a 'machine' behind them. Although Collins will poll well and last a few counts.

In summary: the left will do better due to the higher anti-establishment mood. It's likely that the SP will be the ones to gain in seats, Sinn Fein will also gain seats. I can't see any non-party candidate win a seat.

author by Turf Accountantpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 17:29author address author phone

If the SP finish with two or less council seats, Ray wins and "sp member" here will run down O'Connell Street naked.

If they finish with four seats or more "sp member" wins and Ray runs down O'Connell Street naked.

If they finish on three seats then the only winners are the good people of the North inner city, who won't be presented with any lefty's buttocks.

For what it's worth I can't really see the SP failing to win a seat in Mulhuddart or Swords. Beyond that I can see a few seats where it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of the possible for them to win but no dead certs. Between Cork, Tallaght and the rest of Fingal they may well pick up one seat. So three is my best guess, using my finely honed turf accountant instincts.

Two or four wouldn't surprise me. One or five would be a minor shock. Zero or six and I would expect to see the four horsemen of the apocalypse on the horizon.

author by Republicanpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 17:39author address author phone

"Sinn Fein who are not mentioning it in their literature, they do not have posters (despite being able to afford them- SP would if we could). Why not get your troll thrills off SF!"

Moron! SF had a press conference to launch their campaign for a no vote. SF are distributing 100,000 leaflets specifically about the referendum

author by Raypublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 17:48author address author phone

1. "sp member" is anonymous, so can't be held to his (?) wager if he loses. If he's confident in his predictions, he should post under his real name.
2. Although I think its _extremely_ unlikely that the SP will win four seats, the people of Dublin shouldn't be punished for my lack of a crystal ball. If I lose, I will make the even greater sacrifice of buying a copy of the Voice. I'll even read it.

author by sp memberpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 18:04author address author phone

Ray, I don't know you. For all I know you could be anonymous. Don't worry I already made my pledge in the pub last week in front of plenty of people. So if the SP don't get more than 2 seats you will see me running down O'Connell St naked at noon on June 13th. (reason for June 13th was because all counts should be concluded by then).

Ray- will you make the pledge to run down O'Connell street naked if the SP get 4 or more seats?!

author by aramennocpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 18:10author address author phone

are having a laugh with one another for once in their short untidy lives . . . long may it continue

author by Raypublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 18:14author address author phone

Its not fair to punish others for my own failings. But how can I buy a copy of the Voice from you if you won't give your name?

author by sp memberpublication date Tue Jun 01, 2004 18:19author address author phone

Voice is online at . (although I'm not sure if the latest is or not). Why no subscribe Ray, that way it works out cheaper over the whole year. Send an email to to get a subscription. Ray, I'm not giving my name. Not everyone is allowed to put postings on the internet from work!!

author by Raypublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 09:22author address author phone

I don't. Your first name would be fine.
(and a subscription to the Voice would be too high a price to pay for losing a bet)

author by Chollimapublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 01:18author address author phone

the fact is that it looks like the SP will definitely win 3 seats, Swords, Mulhuddart and Tallaght Central. In 4 other areas they are in with a fighting chance so we could see the Sp having between 3 and 7 seats after these elections.

If this happens I'm looking forward to seeing Ray eat his large portion of humble pie and acknowledging on this site that his 'analysis' is influenced by own hopes that the Sp will do badly.

author by Francis McCafferty - Socialist Partypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 01:47author email socialistparty at eircom dot netauthor address author phone

Tir Chonaill says I am not sectarian. He's quite right on that. But he also says I am calling on transfers to Labour. This is nonsense.

We have made no call for transfers to Labour either in our leaflets, in the local media or on the doorsteps. Tir Chonaill is just trying to stir it.

Let me go further. I do not recommend transfers to Labour. I have no more desire to see a Labour councillor become part of the local political establishment than I have of seeing the Labour Party prop up yet another right wing party in government.

One other reply to all those having a go at the Socialist Party in relation to the referendum.

All our leaflets for the election in Letterkenny have a prominent vote 'No' section. This week we have a statement in the local press calling for a no vote. SF, Greens, Labour? Nothing. Not a word. But plenty of expensive election posters.

By the way Tir Chonaill...what's wrong with giving your name?

author by tallymanpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 09:44author address author phone

No. And yes, that is what I hope but also what I beleive based on my knowledge of the campaign in Dublin.

SP will probably hold their two Fingal seats. That will be that.

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:12author address author phone

I think the SP have a good chance of winning three seats, the two they hold already and one more somewhere, possibly Tallaght. If they win any more than that I'll be happy to admit I was wrong, and overly pessimistic about their chances. Since I'm posting under my real name, not an identity made up for this thread, you'll be able to hold me to that prediction after the election.
Are all of these aliases going to disappear after the election if the SP win less than four seats? Or are the SP members going to admit that they were overly optimistic?

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:22author address author phone

Ray, It looks good for the SP in Dundrum. They are doing very well according to a Labour member I know. I would say they've a very good chance of winning a seat in this 6 seat ward. Ray, what are you basing your dismissive attitude to the SP on. If you look at Dundrum you will see that Lisa Maher has a good profile and there are large working class areas in the ward. In Cork the SP also have a very good chance of taking a seat and only narrowly missed out last time. Ray, you may well be stuffing your face with humble pie on the 12th.

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:44author address author phone

I think Dundrum is one of the wards where the SP _could_ get a seat. Its a posibility. But what do we have to go on? Lisa Maher didn't run in 1999, and the seats went 3 FF, 2 FG, and a Labour. Sinn Fein didn't run in 1999 either.
In 2002, Maher got about a thousand votes in the Dublin South constituency. That's less than the GP candidate, and less than the SF candidate.
I'd say that 5 of the 6 seats are sewn up already - 2 FF, 1 FG, 1 Lab, and 1 SF. Maher has a chance at the last one, but has to beat a sitting FF councillor and the Green candidate. I'd rate her no better than a maybe. But at least I'm willing to put my name to my prediction, so I won't be able to dodge any humble pie coming to me.

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:59author address author phone

If you look at the SP vote in 2002 where was it? Has it not even entered your head that the vast majority of those 1000 votes were in the Dundrum ward area? What makes you so confident about SF in Dundrum? The guy has no record and even looks dodgy on his poster! And the Greens? Ok, they pick up a soft vote, but have not got many posters, leaflets, campaigners, and are very low profile in the area. Also remember that SP have the only credable female candidate in the ward. If the SP are to stay ahead of SF, GP or Independents and get their transfers then SP will probably win a seat. Labour are looking vulnerable. They have not got a good candidate. So you could even see SF and SP win seats in Dundrum at the expense of Labour and FF!

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 13:19author address author phone

Yes, I realise that most of Lisa Maher's votes were in the Dundrum ward.
I don't think there's any doubt that SF will pick up a councillor there. Sure, they're starting from nothing in the locals, but their vote in Dublin South went from nothing in 1997 to over 2000 in 2002, and they're running at 14% in the capital. That's a quota right there. The fact that their candidate is unknown doesn't matter - the same could be said of their EU candidate, or their sitting TDs. (I don't support SF, I'm just interpreting the polls)
The Greens do have a softer vote, I agree, but they also have a strong party image, and pick up a lot of transfers. And they're on 11% in Dublin.
I'm basing my judgements on the opinion polls, and how the parties have done in the last few elections. You seem to be working from wishful thinking. SF won't get a seat because their candidate is unknown, but the sitting Labour councillor could lose? The Greens won't do well because they haven't got many posters, but Lisa Maher's black and white posters will see her through?
Again, I think Maher could win the seat. But I don't think her chances are better than about 1 in 3, and could be worse.

author by Labour Haterpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 13:31author address author phone

"SF won't get a seat because their candidate is unknown, but the sitting Labour councillor could lose?"

I was reading this thread and saw this gem from Ray. Aidan Culhane is also unknown!!! The guy has not done any work on anything for the past 5 years. He's a moron and a right-winger that will do anything to get Labour into a deal with FF on the council.

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 13:35author address author phone

Ray: I don't think there's any doubt that SF will pick up a councillor there.

These kinda statements are things you may regret on June 12th. Nowhere did I say someone will or will not win a seat, it's still all open an hard to call. Yet Ray is saying one particular candidate will win without anything more than poll results for a city wide poll. Anarchists just don't do elections I guess.

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 13:54author address author phone

"Aidan Culhane is also unknown!!! "

That didn't stop him getting elected last time around, and he's probably better known now than he was then.

An'd I'll stick my neck out even further. Based only on their showing in the last general election, and their current standing in the polls, I reckon the Shinners will have a seat in at least twenty of the thirty Dublin wards after the election. (I could go ward-by-ward and come up with a more detailed prediction, but couldn't be arsed) Wards without a SF councillor will be rarer than wards with a SF councillor.

And I'll put my name to that prediction.

author by tallymanpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 13:59author address author phone

How many votes did Maher get in Dundrum in 2002? I know, do you? I suspect that you do not.

I was speaking to someone in Whitechurch which is in Terenure Rathfarnham and is where Maher and Murphy live. People are wondering why she is in Dundrum and not there. That was in Dublin South last time. Hint?? You reckon she might have gotten any votes in her own estate? Do you even tally your votes?

As for Ray O'Kelly being "unknown" that only serves to illustrate your ignorance of the area. He was a shop steward in Premier Dairies for a start and is very well known just as a life long resident of the area!

So who is he unknown to? The Central Committee of the CWI?, Peter Taaffe? Hadden? The PUP?

You people make me laugh and I will certainly be laughing at you all on June 12 as you count Maher's 500 votes. That's 500 people. No seat :)))))

author by Cian Watcherpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:14author address author phone

tallyman is Cian O'Callaghan

author by tallymanpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:21author address author phone

I am not. Besides, facts is facts as some Dickens character once said.

author by Jonno - SPpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:23author address author phone

on this thread have me a little confused.

Council elections in individual wards can be very difficult things to predict. Because the Socialist Party is only standing in 14 wards it makes general trends almost irrelevant. I would be very wary of making any prediction about our results other than the following -

Almost all of our candidates will get a good vote. A few of them won't, but then they aren't standing with any overly optimistic expectations and are mainly trying to raise our profile and get out a socialist message.

Beyond that? It's impossible to tell. The Socialist Party is a small revolutionary party fighting on the electoral field, territory which is not exactly welcoming to those looking for a socialist transformation of society. I have no idea why anybody would want to boast about our prospects. I think that perhaps one or two people are suffering from a rush of blood to the head here.

If you want another prediction on a national level, I'll give you one. Sinn Fein will make very big gains, the Greens and Labour will make smaller gains.

And here is a third prediction, new SF, Green or Labour councillors will make no difference at all to the lives of working class people. It will be "pragmatic politics", business as usual all round. Now that's a prophecy that can be safely stood over.

Now really, haven't most of you here got something better to be doing?

author by Irish Times Readerpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:35author address author phone

The Irish Times today reported that many are tipping Mick Bary to win a seat for the Socialist Party in Cork North Central. So if Mr. Barry is elected Ray will have to eat humble pie with cream on top.

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:36author address author phone

Haven't said anything at all about Cork, in fact.
Haven't hid behind stupid aliases either, for that matter.

author by Irish Times Readerpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:42author address author phone

you said that you would be eating humble pie if the sp win 4 seats. 3 seats seem to be gaurenteed. Cork is also tipped to go to SP according to the Irish Times. That would be 4.

author by Raypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:47author address author phone

Did Bertie promise them to you?

author by Jonnopublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:54author address author phone

Irish Times Reader, are you just trying to appear childish?

Take your squabble to email if you have the guts to make your name known. I was going to say that this thread is now officially boring for everyone else but there is actually a kind of car-crash fascination to it.

author by Tally Hopublication date Mon Jun 07, 2004 20:00author address author phone

The Lansdowne & MRBI polls both have Joe Higgins at 3%. This is down from 3.% in 1999. This hardly suggests that the SP are going to make big gains.

Furthermore in Dublin the Lansdowne poll puts others (includes SP, SWP, WP, CSP etc & all independents) at 8%. Thats 5% down on 1999. So taking into account Joe at 3% in the Euros, all the indicators suggest that the SP will be lucky to hold their 2 seats in Fingal.

The Irish Times did not tip Mick Barry for a seat. They said he had an outside chance of taking the last seat.

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