Why not a party?

Why not get involved with a party? Or not an Irish party?

As I get older, I believe more and more that being politically active is important. And particularly important for people who don't like politics. Why? Because otherwise the kind of people that end up running everyone's lives are the wrong kind of people.

But, in terms of parties, I don't believe any of the parties in Ireland are even close to being good for the country. The SocDems and the Greens have their hearts in the right place, but even there, there are issues.

Plus, I don't like the whole idea of party politics as it exists in Ireland. Have a look at my suggestions for party funding and you'll see what I mean.

Let's take the parties one by one...I think you'll see that they might not want me either.


FF gets to go first because they're leading the govt.

My dad supported FF so I grew up hearing what he thought FF stood for. Maybe FF never really stood for what he thought it stood for, but I liked what he told me. (He died in the early 90s, so missed most of FF's disgraceful decades).

In any case, in my view it's the party that lets itself down most. Supposedly interested in the rights of “the common man”, it’s actually full of petty local potholers and greasy con-men. Fianna Fail is the party of populism, of “whatever it takes to get elected”, of “the money was just resting in my account”, of "sure I only had a few shares in the property company" venality.

You can trust them to say things that sound good, and to do nothing much unless there’s a buck in it. Also, hand-in-glove with the church for way too long.

FF had a chance to change itself in 2011, or in that following Dail term. They didn't. No-one I know believes a word they say any more. Not. A. Word.

Fine Gael

Fine Gael is the supposed party of social and fiscal conservatism. It ought to be a decent slightly right wing party but it’s ruined by an inability to see past the interests of its core constituencies and by an inability to hold itself responsible for anything.

“The right thing to do” is defined in FG as “whatever makes our kind of people richer”.

FG doesn’t do corruption as such, but doing something that benefits the right kind of people is perfectly ok. While socially on the progressive side these days, it’s often been too careful about upsetting the church until it was SURE it could get away with it. And I mean SURE it could get away with it.

In housing we see all FG's worst faults laid bare. No action that might harm its core constituency. It's ok for people to be homeless and for there to be a housing crisis, but "property rights" are paramount. The "market" must be protected. Call me a cynic, but I bet "the market" wouldn't be protected if it was gnawing at the prosperity of FG members.

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein….the refuse of the Irish political system. Hand-in-glove with murderers and thugs. Tempting to the young and the naive, but merely scum in suits.

How anyone could choose - as an adult - to align themselves with the murderers that butchered innocents for decades and claim that they're "republicans" is beyond me.

Mary Lou, Eoin O'B, Pearse D....they may not have been involved with murdering anyone. But when they had a choice of how they wanted to change Ireland and who they wanted to associate with they decided "I'm going to ally myself with murderers". 🤮🤮

Perhaps it's because I spent a long time overseas, but seeing Ireland as one of the two places in Europe where ethnic cleansing and sectarian murder were attempted or carried out in recent years does not make me feel good. And aligning yourself with some of the people who did those things is not ok.

If you think it would be OK to align yourself with the Shankhill Butchers or the UVF then you are fit to support SF.


Labour is what should be Ireland’s social democrats. It can rightly claim to have driven much of the positive socio-legal changes in Ireland over the decades, but it’s waaaay too tied to the public sector unions, way too protective of unreasonable social welfare and unable to see that markets and socialism are not antithetical. They're an intellectual black hole.

Labour is like a deeply ethical and religious person who has somehow ended up being a recruiter for Scientology.

Oh, and they've elected Alan Kelly as their leader. No.


The Greens bother me. I voted Green and Soc Dem last time out. But they seem to be overly dominated by the kind of "Woo" thinking that I can't stand. I've tried to engage with Green TDs a few times - including on things like CETA - and too many of them will not (or cannot) answer simple questions. As long as the right emotive words are being used they don't seem to care whether any of those words actually means anything in the combinations that they're using the words in.

Plus, watching Eamon Ryan (who I've never met but who seems like a lovely man) waffling about everything rather than being clear about anything drives me mad. And the greens don't understand economics or business.


Social Democrats. A bit similar to the greens. A decent, slightly confused left-of-center party. Hopefully they’ll learn some basic economics and stay decent. I have a lot of time for them but they would probably think I'm some sort of raging neoliberal (whatever that means). I'm not.


The independents are - naturally - a varied bunch. I have time for some of them and none for others.

The idea that people like the Healy-Raes (or at least the Healy-Raes how they present themselves) are TDs is just gobsmacking. And Michael Lowry? Come on Tipperary...what's that about?


PBP and the rest of the left. All the problems they complain of are real. And all their solutions are bad. Wrong, even. Unable to think or apparently to think past slogans.

Renua…don’t make me talk about the socially conservative rump of FG. Please, don’t. Aontu? Even worse.

The National Party? A bunch of stupid racists.

THe DBS Candidates and whether I'd vote for them

Let's start at the top...

  1. James Geoghegan

    • Where to start? He left FG to join Renua, the socially conservative rump of FG, and now he's back in FG. Opportunism? Ya think?

    • Apparently a favoured "son" of Leo Varadkar, he doesn't even live in Dublin Bay South.

    • He's making campaign videos that are "pro-cycling", despite looking as if he got on the bike 2 minutes ago.

    • Sorry, but no.

    • Wrong party. Worse party history.

    • No credibility on any of the main issues of the day. Any of them.

  2. Deirdre Conroy

    • I don't know much about her. That's neither good nor bad.

    • She may be a very impressive person. I don't know.

    • But I do know a few things.

    • One is that she's running for Fianna Fail. That's not a good indication.

    • The other thing is that she's in this toe-curlingly dreadful campaign video.

  3. Ivana Bacik

    • Seems like a very impressive woman.

    • How she's staying in a party with Alan Kelly as leader I can't imagine. But she is. That's not a good sign either and makes it a straight "No" from me.

  4. Peter Dooley

    • An independent. A housing campaigner. I'd be tempted to vote for him on that basis alone.

    • Some of his recent support for residents opposing new housing in Sandymount and Ringsend is bothersome, as is his apparent opposition to the lockdowns. Whatever about the way that the socio-economic implications of lockdows have been badly handled (and they have), there's a fair bit of evidence that they've saved lives.

    • Sadly it turned out he has some opinions on Covid vaccinations that are tad loony. So, no vote.

    • Claire Byrne

    • I don't know anything much about her. If she wasn't in the Greens, neither would you.

  5. Mannix Flynn

    • I've met Mannix a few times, but years ago. Quite liked him.

    • I guess I had him pegged wrong. His attititude to cycling is dreadful and is endangering lives. What might have been a vote is gone.

  6. Brigid Purcell

    • Again, I don't know anything about her other than the party choice.

    • What I've long said about PBP and most of the rest of the Irish "left" is that everything they complain about is right, and all (or almost all) of their solutions are wrong. And the stupid shouty sloganeering is downright off-putting.

  7. Lynn Boylan

    • Another person whose political choice was to ally themselves with murderers.

    • That's a "No". And another "No". And a few more "No"s where those came from.

  8. Sarah Durcan

    • Quite like her.

    • But the SocDems don't seem to understand markets or economics...or want to.