What it says in the blogs – Monday, February 7th

The main parties are now pushing out policy documents faster than goals were being scored in the Premier League on Saturday.  Some will hit the spot with an angry electorate but others may well be considered to be own goals.

It was not a great weekend for the left in my view.  Labour’s discussion of a three year private sector pay freeze may play well among business leaders but is hardly the kind of rallying call to mobilise working people who are struggling.  Dublin Opinion takes a dim view.

I dropped in on the Unity of the Left conference at the Gresham Hotel on Saturday and while there was no representation, that I could see, from the mainstream Labour Party there was still plenty of discussion about alternatives.  As is so often the case though commentary during and after the event hardly paints a great picture if the thread on Irish Left Review is accurate.

Things are turning for the better this morning though.  The excellent Irish Election Literature has a copy of a cartoon leaflet for Ruari Quinn and Kevin Humphreys.  Perhaps all the ‘new media buzz’ about Dylan Haskins is forcing a review of visual versus verbiage.  Particularly impressive is the fact that the referee is wearing an American Football as opposed to a GAA or soccer kit.  On Superbowl weekend that is very timely.

Irish Election has a link through to the New York Times editorial on Ireland which summarises the most important aspect of this election, and our futureas follows:

“Irish opposition parties want to revisit the bailout terms. The Fine Gael party, on the center-right, wants to negotiate down the 6 percent interest rate. The Labour Party, its usual center-left ally, wants time to phase in spending cuts and tax increases. Those positions make economic sense. Creditor nations like Germany insist there can be no renegotiation. They need to think again.”

As we go to press the daily policy launches are coming through.  Martin Wall is following Labours suggestions on Political reform at the Irish Times.

Panels for tonights TV are being finalised with Alastair Campbell and Ger Colleran on the #RTE11 programme and Brian Lenihan, who seems so much yesterday’s man up against Michael Noonan on the Frontline.

One more sleep now until the empty chair debate on TV3.  I blogged on Friday about how crazy it was of Fine Gael to let this happen.  I expected it to be dated very quickly as they saw sense but they didn’t.  If they want some hints on how to get out of this jam after here is a link to how Labour reacted (with humour) to the appearance last year of Peppa Pig in place of Gordon Brown on a Chennal 5 debate in Britain.  It didn’t work for them though.

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