The UnCommonest MANIFESTO

mostly by Hugh Sheehy
An opinionated view. Not the same guff as usual. 

(getting a bit dated now...written in 2021...been busy since then)

What's what?

I watch the political news in Ireland with constant disappointment if not despair.

FF and FG seem unable to grasp that they've been doing doing a dreadful job for decades - and the prospect of SF in government appalls me. The actual allies of actual murderers. 

Plus, the soft left in Ireland seems incapable of a coherent economic thought and the hard left are just nuts. 

Apart from my general upset with the bankrupt state of politics in Ireland, there was a by-election on in Dublin Bay South a while back. Watching the nonsense from the parties and the candidates really bothered me.  

But - like most people - I'm not in a party and don't have a political organization so there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it. 

However, I'm not one to grumble quietly, so I'll grumble out loud. 

If you're bothered by Ireland's "political elite" too then - ehm - get in touch? And not just if you're in Dublin. The problem seems to be national.

If you don't know what I mean, just read the paragraph below. 

Ireland is being badly let down. And we keep voting for it. 

Hugh Sheehy in a cap

What I look like - if that matters. 

What's the problem?

As I said, I watch the political news in Ireland with constant disappointment if not despair. FF and FG seem unable to grasp that they've been doing doing a dreadful job for decades - and the prospect of SF in government appalls me. 

I often hear people asking for alternatives as if there are none. There are alternatives. 

There are plenty of decent and competent people in the country who could run Ireland well. Mostly people who don't want to be in politics - itself a useful attribute - and who could do a much better job. Why do people keep voting for people and for parties that clearly do not have the country's interests at heart? I don't know, I really don't. 

Then, despite what you might hear, Ireland's actual economic growth over the last 20 years has terrible. It's been 0.7% per annum. Read that article, seriously. Read it twice.  0.7% per annum.

Those are terrible numbers. They might surprise you and the govt parties are unlikely to tell you about them. The govt might tell you about the worse-than-meaningless GDP figures, but not those more accurate ones. 

On top of that massive generational economic failure, we've seen FF and then FF/FG lead us into two deliberate housing crises; one cost the country its financial independence and the other is costing a generation the chance of having a decent place to live (me too, by the way).

Watching the country apparently lining up behind the incompetent allies of developers and dodgy finance in FF and FG, or behind the actual allies of actual murderers in SF is the saddest thing to see. Neither of those options are the Ireland I want. And Ireland's fluffy left doesn't seem to have a clue about basic economics.

What's the solution? 

Ireland could be an even more amazing country that it is. If only we'd try some plain-speaking and logical thought..and to act on the results of plain speaking and logical thought. 

I know lots of people that are equally disappointed with the current state of affairs and who - often better than me - could articulate why we need change and why we should have change for the better rather than change for the worse. None of us seems to know what to do about it. 

A slightly longer intro

I'm not a public figure. If you've heard of me at all it might be because I ran for election in 2011. I did not get elected. I was tilting at windmills. Making a possibly noble but certainly futile gesture. Something like that. 

Read more about me as a person here

After the 2008 crash - like many people - I had naive hopes that new and better leaders would emerge, that people would think differently and that we'd all move away from the grim old alternating FF/FG duopoly and onto something better. It seemed for a while as if that might happen. 

I hadn't been living in Ireland for 20 years prior to 2008 so was purely a political spectator. I had no intention or even thought of getting involved in politics until the promised new political movement of the time (celebrities like O'Toole, McWilliams, Dunphy etc) all chickened out. Then I found myself asking whether or not I was going to do anything about the fact that all I saw and heard from our national leaders was shouting and nonsense and illogical diversion from the actual issues.  

Living - as we do - in a democracy, there's nothing to stop anyone trying. So I tried. In the end I got a few votes and am told that I spoke well on the few occasions I had the chance. But most people lined up and voted for FG and I was "rejected by the electorate" (lovely phrase). That's how it works. 

Ten years later....and it seems things still aren't going so well. It seems clear that the past few governments haven't been doing such a good job in lots of key areas. Well, unless you own property, have private health insurance and/or Leo's mobile number and perhaps even shares in or a position on the board of a property fund. 

In 2021 there's a by election in Dublin Bay South, where I live. I see the posters on poles everywhere and am again horrified that these are apparently the best that this country is being offered. Worse, the country seems to be lining up between the camp of FF/FG (together the allies of developers and dodgy finance) and the camp of SF (the allies of murderers). And there seems to be a need for more people to stand up and say "Neither of those should be running the country and there is surely a better way.

It's pointless anyone like me running for the Dáil. One guy on his own is just a crackpot (maybe I'm a crackpot anyway). But still, it seems worth writing down what I'd like to see from ANYONE. A "manifesto" of sorts. 

Like most people, I don't particularly want to be involved in politics. Temprementally, I'm an engineer so I like to build things and solve problems, and I tend to be a tad blunt and logical. By experience I've become a business "exec".  I speak English, French, Spanish and Dutch (my Irish is vestigial by now, to the horror of my daughter who berates me with "Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam") so I think pretty globally.

But these people that I see on the news and on posters are actually in charge or likely to be. That's not ok. I can't face myself or my kids without somehow saying there's an alternative.

I've lived all over Europe and worked in the USA, Africa, and various parts of Asia. I'd just like Ireland to be competently run. While it's not TERRIBLY badly run, well-run it isn't. Imagine what Ireland could be like if it was well-run.

So, if you got this far, thank you. Maybe read a bit more and see what you think. 

And - most of all - whatever you do - use your vote. They were hard to come by.