Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Minister Conor Lenihan thinks the Govt is entitled to interfere with the media

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

From Today’s Irish Times Radio review section.

Seems Kebab Lenihan was on the Marian Finucane show last week and they talked about the Late Late Show and Governments telling the media what to do and then…

All but one of Finucane’s panel of newspaper reviewers were in agreement that the Government should never seek to interfere with the editorial decisions made by programme-makers. It’s a no-brainer, really, unless you’re from North Korea – but not for our Minister of State. “Funny enough” said Lenihan, “I don’t object to the principle that calls could be made. I notice that around the table we’re all getting very precious.”

Uh oh

Green Party: Praise due for blogosphere engagement

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Since I said well done to Labour today (and prob had some people choke on their fairtrade cornflakes and soy milk brekkies) I should also give praise for the level of engagement by the Green Party. Recently Roderic O’Gorman and Ciaran Cuffe left comments on my blog post about them turning their backs on samesex marriage. I still don’t agree with the comments on follow-up blog posts and I still think they’re modern day judases but that’s ok. The good thing about them is that they’re engaging and this is definitely the first time members of the Government have officially engaged, in this medium at least. Great to see that. They’ve continued to blog once inside the tent (Galway horseracing one or not) and continued to leave blog comments. A big step in changing policy is first being able to engage so personally I find this a positive thing. I also see that their press people are going around leaving comments on blogs and via email and clarifying some facts. Again well done. This is good for everyone, it shows the Greens are listening and it is helping bloggers by sharing factual information with them too. Baby steps…

Irish Labour Party* – Live streaming, Flickring, Twittering and blogging their conference

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Labour on UStream

The Labour party is now without doubt the most web savvy political party in Ireland. More credit to them. Their conference is on this weekend and they’re using UStream to stream it for web viewers. They’re doing an online Q&A, they’ve got a Flickr stream, they’re using Twitter and of course there’s their blog. I’m well well impressed. Well done to them.

Also best of luck to Neilformer as he goes for the NEC.

* (For the sake of consistency, assume there’s a dig at Labour Kids as well somewhere in this blog post. 🙂 )

Lucinda Creighton’s Website got hacked

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Have a look here and here and here. If all evidence removed, you can still see how the blog part of the site was hacked by looking at the RSS feed here.

Pass the spin please – Another Green gets handed the baton-o-FUD

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Neilformer – Commie in disguise (he of the Che loving, Coke hating Labour Kids) takes a few shots at Roderic O’Gorman and his nonsense post about the Green Party and their backturning on equality. Neil makes very salient points and also points to Ciarán Cuffe and another blog post on his view of the past week. I don’t for a second believe what he said last week in the press but once again a blog post from Ciarán gives me some hope that the Greens have some morals. What good are morals though if you never take a stand? Anyway, contrast Ciarán’s blog post with Roderic‘s. I know which one is more transparent. As Neil also points out, I think it very poor form to use the names of Katherine Zappone and Anne-Louise Gilligan to try and copperfasten what the Green Party did last week. It’s pretty low in my books.

Speaking of low, while cheap to laugh at a typo, I find it funny that Roderic talks about getting passed the spin, (I think he meant getting past the spin) as if he was the next baton holder in the Green Party FUDathon. It seems indeed that Roderic picked up the baton and performed well enough, if spin and buck passing is the game. Screencap of the blog post title before it is changed on Rodder’s blog.

Green Party Spin

I wonder will I get dressed down privately now because of what I said about the Greens? I hear that’s the new fashion these days.

Bonus link to Una’s piece last Sunday on Ciarán.

The Freedom of Information sham in Ireland

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

I’ve used Freedom of Information over the years to get information from lazy regulators and lazier Government departments. Today, November 2nd, 2007 I got a letter frm the Office of the Information Commissioner saying that an appeal they were dealing with is now complete. I requested documents from ComReg. Included in the information was data supplied by a third party – eircom. eircom objected to ComReg giving me certain information and appealed to the Office of the Information Commissioner, as is their right. eircom has now said they are happy for ComReg to now hand this over to me. So now I get 11 records that I request from ComReg … in September 2004. 3 years for an appeal! Best delaying tactic ever.

Ciarán Guff – Green Party slit more throats for power

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

A Suzy points out, this time it’s the people that want civil unions who have had their throats slit in order for the Greens to stay in power. The spine of the Green Party must be completely eroded now judging by the way they’ve contorted themselves to bend over backwards in new ways for Fianna Fáil. Seriously, if I was a FF supporter I’d be so entertained at the hazing they’re giving the Greens.

Suzy covers what the Greens are telling fibs about now and how their abortion of the original Civil Union Bill does sweet fuck all at the end of the day so go there to read it. For me while pissed off at the latest shameful attitude from them I’m really sad for them too. They keep saying they need to be pragmatic and they talk up what they’ve achieved so far but they’re running out of things to achieve though since they’re turning their backs on their own policies more and more. What’s left from their manifesto that they haven’t sold down the river? Surely they should just quit while they are ahead now or are they in it for Ministerial Pensions? Where’s Trevor Sargent in all of this by the way? He’s been really quiet. When will it be his turn to turn the knife on his own supporters?

I’m surprised that the new Party Chairman hasn’t at least attempted to create some fake conflict in the party so make it look like the Green Troops are pissed off over all of this and he has to work hard to keep the party from leaving Government. I guess this negotiating tactic can’t be used for at least another year or two. But what about a genuine party revolt, are the party faithful *that* faithful and blind?

Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the Greens – Where are their samesex employee benefits?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

So Labour reintroduces the Civil Union Bill tomorrow. (Suzy has a nice post about Ciarán Cuffe rolling over, shame, I thought he was the most transparent Green but what he said today was guff) Just wondering since Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the Greens voted for the Civil Union Bill in February, whether they have policies for employees in samesex relationships? Healthcare, pension rights, you know, that kind of thing. Whatever the partner of a married staff member gets, I assume they cater for the samesex partner of a staff member too. I am positive they do, leading by example and all that. Right? Can anyone point me to any information the parties have on that? Plenty of fanboys and girls from all those named parties visit this blog so I’m sure you can root out the standard employment contracts from these parties. Or maybe some of the people in the media that dip in here now and then could put on their sleuthing caps and smoke their pipes and find out? Not those pipes, thems are for after work.

Rigging the Irish Election Part 5 – Election day

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Rigging the Irish Election Part 5 – Election day – Traffic Module

Election Day

Before election day, each cell member will create a list of people in their constituency that they know. This includes those they are meant to be influencing as well as any more they think they should be calling. On election day the Traffic module, using the same idea as the Voice Module in part 3, will call each cell member and ask them do they want to connect to X, Y,Z and chat to them about voting, it will base the calling list on exit polls at the various polling stations. Before you connect it will tell you where their polling station is and any other information too. It will also highlight one or two facts that can be used to sway them. The automated system will also have an option to “Ring me back later” and “I’ve done enough, please see can someone else phone the rest”.

The same system will also ring during the day and will call out a text message it wants to send out to all your “friends” on behalf of you. It will ask you do you want this sent out. You press a button to say yes or no. Alternatively you can write a text and text it to a special number hooked into the Traffic Module. You will then be called by the Traffic Module do you want to send it to all your friends, once confirmed, it will be sent out to everyone.

Later in the day, the system will switch and start targeting anyone in any area, again depending on exit polls. A much larger database will be used for this and it will be crosschecked with the databases of contacts from every cell member and any number there not called will be be put on a “do call” list. Cell members and volunteers will be called at home and connected to these numbers, again with some profile data given out before the call is connected. After the call ends, a callback will ask if the person appeared to interested in voting or whether they had or not, depending on the election it will ask whether that person requires to be collected and brought to the polling station. Again, all automated.

This is Part 5 of the Rigging the Irish Election series. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll come back to this topic at another time with more cynicism.

Rigging the Irish Election (All five parts). (PDF doc)

Rigging the Irish Election Part 4 – Embargo day

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Rigging the Irish Election Part 4 – Embargo day

Media Embargo

The day before an election sees a ban on election reporting and advertising in the media. This does not apply to the online world and in reality can never do so since you might be able to embargo Irish websites but not websites outside of the country. The Embargo module will be used to leak a sensational story about a competitor which can be perpetuated online but cannot be covered in print or on radio and TV. Every gaff and inconsitency from a candidate should be lined up and ready to go. One page fact sheets on the parties should will be sent out to all cell members and sympathetic bloggers which contain information on “flip flopping” and scary facts on parties. The Embargo module can suggest create draft blog posts to cell members with blogs and can be lined up from 10pm before the embargo. The module will also send automated emails and text messages out to people with details on controversial stories with the return address of the cell members. With a traditional media blackout, it means that there is no ability for a candidate to counter these claims until the morning of an election.

Advertising should be ramped up on Embargo day too since people will probably be going online that day for election information. Ads connected directly to the candidate can be released as well as ads not connected to the candidate at all. This is for ads linked to search results. However Google and the other online ad companies list which sites are part of their advertising networks and so you can line up 24hour only campaigns to start on embargo day with ads tailored to youth sites, health sites, babycare sites and so forth. These ads would concentrate on issues which will influence these audiences. Politics sites themselves should be avoided for advertising as they are full of politics junkies and their self-indulgent fantasies.

This is Part 4 of the Rigging the Irish Election series. You can also read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.