Demoralised Sinn Féin struggle to top poll
With the election just weeks away, discredited Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has very good reason to be dejected this weekend. The humiliated boss of his minority republican party seems certain to lead his team of losers to their best ever election result, according to the latest Sunday Independent poll from noshinners.gov.
With a mere 29% ratings share, Sinn Féin has barely managed to become the second most popular party after Fine Gael and only slightly ahead of Labour’s highly impressive 5%. When voters were asked the question: “Which party do you trust most to follow through on their election promises?”, the universally-derided left wing Sinn Féin struggled to come out on top with a dismal 83%.
Put simply, Grizzly is doomed.
Kenny “will be involved in campaign”
by Our Political Staff – Mark O’Really
Fine Gael strategists have angered some of the party’s TDs by confirming that Enda Kenny will continue to have a role in the election campaign.
Party sources have said that Mr Kenny’s prominence in the election will be strictly controlled because of growing concern over his media performances and his embarrassing gaffes about the housing crisis and fiscal space.
“It’s common knowledge behind the scenes that the Taoiseach is a complete liability, so the main thing is to keep his public presence to an absolute minimum,” said Mike Madeup, a leading party activist. “We intend to put a limit on his appearances – restricting his profile to those smug posters currently on lamp-posts.”
Meanwhile, several of Mr Kenny’s senior colleagues have also expressed concern about his impact on voters. “This election is all about the need for strong leadership – and we don’t want to confuse people with too many appearances by the Taoiseach,” said one prominent minister.
“This high risk strategy of associating Enda with Fine Gael could do untold damage – especially to my own immediate prospects of getting out of Health as soon as possible and replacing the little bastard as Party Leader.”
Party Facebook Roundup
THOSE ‘BIG BEAST’ ELECTION BRAINS
Election Poster Roundup
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Labour have come under intense pressure to decommission Alan Kelly after the environment minister’s latest bizarre outburst. During a live interview on RTÉ television, Kelly declared that the time had come for him to “realise his destiny” and “lead mankind into the new Age of Aquarius”. However, a Labour spokesman denied that Kelly had become a liability. “It’s just Alan being Alan,” he said. “Even that recent incident where he declared that alien beings are living amongst us in human guise, it’s all part of the cut and thrust of the election campaign.”
ELECTION JARGON EXPLAINED
No# 47: Rainy Day Fund
Meaning: None; total bollocks
Meant to convey: Fiscal responsibility, instead suggests love of empty guff
Likelihood of being implemented: Will be forgotten on Feb 27
A MESSAGE FROM ENDA KENNY
The general election is now in full swing and I know how much you’re all enjoying it. While the country has benefited from an economic upswing of late, it’s important not to forget the most vulnerable in our society – and rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to keep Alan Kelly away from the media at the moment.
I know how grateful you all are for austerity, water charges etc and certainly on the doorsteps, people cannot wait to discuss these issues. The fact that your views are often accompanied by the hurling of sundry objects is testament to the robust nature of our political debate.
Elsewhere, our successes are too numerous to count, whether it be the crumbling nature of our transport system or the shambolic state of the health service. If we wish to maintain our successful programme of infrastructural and economic renewal, the best option is undoubtedly to return the current coalition – all the other parties are absolute chancers who will drive us over the cliff.
With regard to forming the next government, we are totally ruling out doing a deal with Independents, Fianna Fáil or indeed anyone else – unless of course we need to rule it in. In conclusion, I would like to tell you about a man I met in Dublin recently. That man’s name was Leo and he said to me, “Enda, I want to replace you as party leader some day”. His words were a powerful reminder of the rampant self-interest that dominates our political landscape.
In this centenary year of 1916, I encourage voters to return Fine Gael to government so that we can maintain Ireland’s status as a vibrant 21st century nation – while also enjoying the many perks of power over the next five years, of course.
POLL OF POLL OF POLLS UPDATE
Compiled by Our Political Staff – Phil Inname
% of newspaper headlines taken up with election polls
% of pointless bar charts, graphs, diagrams stats, etc. on front pages
% of inside pages filled with other worthless graphics
% of readers who are not remotely interested
% of people who will stop buying papers until election is over
Questioned about election coverage, 63% of the public expressed a strong wish for less Irish Times than Indo. 87% found both newspapers “unbearable”.
A staggering 96% of those polled found nothing remotely interesting about Fintan O’Toole’s hand-wringing articles addressing the post-modern decline of Irish political life.
Only 3% read anything written by Jody Corcoran although in the same survey David McWilliams was trailing Corcoran at 2%, having dropped 13% from his previous high of a 15% lead over Eoghan Harris, whose dull rating remains steady at 97%.
Just over 47% thought that Miriam Lord had even less to say than either Harry McGee or Noel Whelan.
This latest finding is 16% up on yesterday’s poll, which showed that Martin Wall’s long-winded pieces were 39% more mind-numbing than Fionnan Sheahan’s.
When asked to name the candidates most likely lose circulation during the run-up to the election, Kevin Myers came out on top with 59%, Michael Clifford was a close second with 57% followed by Una Mullally, who registered a disappointing 54% – splitting the disaffected vote three ways.
ENDA’S ELECTION HITS
The Boss pays tribute to dead music stars on a special GE2016 record
The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over (duet with Micheál Martin)
The Eagles – One Of These Nights (with Martin Callinan)
David Bowie – Rebel Rebel (with Lucinda Creighton)
David Bowie – Changes (with Joan Burton)
Motörhead – The Chase Is Better Than The Catch (with Michael Lowry)
Motörhead – Bow Down To The King (with Leo Varadkar)
Labour unveil new Agriculture spokesperson
2016 Six Nations lexicon
Four-year cycle – Build up to World Cup disaster in 2019
Lions selection – Deciding who goes to New Zealand to get hammered by the All Blacks
22 – Number of fans left at Leinster games
XV – Number of fans left at Munster games
Captain’s Run – Rory Best comes off injured again
MARY HANAFIN UNCOVERED
WITH THE news that only 20 asylum seekers from 160,000 applied to live in Ireland, people are asking – what’s wrong with those 20 people? “They must be weirdoes,” said one commentator. “Why anyone would choose to come here is a mystery, they must be hiding something. I mean have they read anything about what’s gone on here in the last 10 years? The lies, the corruption, the toothless inquires, the jobs for the boys, the homeless crisis, the state of the healthcare system, and they still choose to come here. It’s crazy.”
THOSE IRISH OSCAR NOMINATIONS
Best Disaster Movie Actress: Joan Burton for The Polls
Best Tragicomic Lead: Leo Varadkar for Health Watch
Best Ignored Performance: Leinster Rugby team for Turning Up
Greatest Animation Film: Teresa Mannion for Stay Indoors
Best Keep Silent Movie Director: Denis O’Brien for The Letters
Greatest Grovelling Performance: Michael Noonan for Greeting Donald
Best Forgotten: Nicky Byrne for Million Dollar Snooze
Best Switch Over: Ray D’Arcy for Saturday Nights
Putin pins blame on Steven Avery
RUSSIAN POLICE have made contact with the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department as they investigate the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. The ex-KGB agent was poisoned and an inquiry in England found that Russian president Vladimir Putin ‘probably’ approved the assassination.
But having watched Making A Murderer, Russian police think that Manitowoc law enforcement can help them. “We’ve seen how these guys work,” said Putin, “and we’re impressed. I think that if we can get them on the case for a couple of weeks, it will become clear that I had nothing to do with this grisly murder – the obvious suspect is Steve Avery.”
IN MEMORY OF GLENN FREY
So farewell then Glenn Frey
Guitarist with the Eagles
You soared so high
My dad says he saw you
Backstage in 1974
As a teen
He swears it was the best
He has ever seen
Palin’s pro-Trump speech
“Hey! Right! Hallelujah! Let’s hear it for Donny Trump. Yessiree! It’s so good to be right here with all you God-fearing Republican folk in Red Neck, Arizona. Yeah – let’s shoot some turkey. Welcome to my world. It’s a darn sight safer with Donald here as Commander-in-Chief and just a heart-beat away from the presidency.
“With Don Trump at the helm, America is a better place. From Chainsaw, New Massacre all the way to Crabcake County, through the entire Deep Mid-West heartlands, we can all rest easy in our beds. And why? Because it’s High Noon! Way to go, Trumpy! Eat lead ISIS assholes! Shock ‘n’ awe!
“Sure, we have other top-notch candidates, including Pretzel County’s Senator Ted Zilch and Governor Mort Bagel from Wimp City, Utah. But tough as these two guys are, they just don’t have the true grit of the next White House occupant – President Donny! You betcha!”
Tennis rocked by new scandal
The world of sport was reeling last night as fresh claims emerged that dozens of players in the upper echelons of tennis may be under the influence of “massive doses” of a performance boosting substance during matches.
Many of the game’s household names are said to have injected the substance – known on the circuit as ‘money’ or ‘moolah’– directly into their bank accounts, in deliberate attempts to strengthen their financial muscle and put extra spring in their step.
Shocked observers claim “vast traces” of the “euphoria-creating” moolah have been detected in players’ wallets, with some commentators even suggesting that players “love the stuff” even more than the game itself. “There’s evidence that they enjoy it so much that they only play tennis so they can get access to it,” says one observer. “Some of them have more of it than John Delaney stashed away!”
ALL-PURPOSE ELECTION LEAFLET
Pictured during my recent successful trade trip to Tokyo
You may not remember me – I last called to your door five years ago. As I recall, you weren’t in on that occasion either. Since being elected as your TD, I have been active in a number of key areas, including climate change research, which involved trips to
California, Malaysia and the Caribbean. I have also extensively explored best practice in the nightclub industry throughout Europe and the US, and enthusiastically participated in trade delegations to New Zealand and Tokyo.
During these trips, I have worked tirelessly on your behalf. If elected this time around, I promise to continue my work in the international arena, as well as tackling important local issues as such as (lads – fill in some stuff here). Our country faces serious challenges at this moment in time. We need to maintain the economic recovery, and tackle the urgent problems facing us in areas such as health, transport… (recycle stuff from last leaflet here).
Above all else, it is vital to remember this – our party is the only one qualified to sort out these issues. The others are full of cutthroat careerists obsessed with self-promotion.
Mike Shifty TD
REASONS ENDA KENNY HASN’T CALLED THE ELECTION YET
- Not used to doing something without being instructed first by Angela Merkel
- Still has to finish season five of Homeland
- Can’t work up nerve to defend austerity
- Too excited about Guns N’ Roses reunion
- Still room for more bullshit in manifesto
LATEST DEAD C POLL
Who do you want to see as Taoiseach after the next election?
Keith Richards – 50%
Scarlett Johansson – 30%
Jimmy Page – 10%
Hulk from Avengers – 9%
Ennui Kenny – 1%*
* 1% margin of error
FORM A GOVERNMENT
It’s the bored game no one’s talking about!
In this exciting new game, you play a highly-paid party adviser with one challenge – forming a government in the aftermath of the election, at any cost! Use your negotiating skills to come to the best possible arrangement, and decide whether you will: build a bypass for some Independents down the country; give Shane Dross a ministry; get into bed with Fianna Fáil; share power with those evil Shinners; or even have exploratory talks with the Greens’ Eamon Ryan (if you’re particularly desperate).
And don’t forget to tell the media lots of guff about “acting in the national interest at all times”.
FORM A GOVERNMENT – Just like the real thing! (Takes too long and bores everyone to tears)
PLANET 9 UPDATE
Louth County Council says it is “following with interest” reports of a possible ‘ninth planet’ existing in Earth’s solar system, as it attempts to relocate Traveller families it recently evicted. Said a council spokesman, “Certainly the planet would seem to provide ample space for play areas, parking and so on – and as far as we know is not privately owned. Most importantly, it is also quite a distance away from us. We are awaiting a response from NASA to our inquiries.”
Fitzgerald calls for calm
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has called for “reason and calm” amidst the ongoing controversy over GSOC and gardaí accessing journalists’ phone records.
“We need a proper perspective here,” the minister is alleged to have told a close friend on the phone, according to a man whose niece is dating a garda. “Surely it’s better than reverting to the dig in the kidneys and prising back the middle finger to get information. We’re not a bunch of Christian Brothers! A gentle inquiry is totally civilised for extracting information.”
However the minister denies having used her phone at all on the night in question. “I’d want to be half mad to risk talking into such a device in Ireland these days!” she claims. “When I find out who phoned you that false information, there will be repercussions!”
Apartment measuring 15 sq m. Bed must be no more than 5cm from door, and ceiling no more than 4ft from floor. Contact Alan at Dept of Environment.
JOHN DELANEY LATEST
LABOUR SUPPORTERS say they are shocked that FAI boss John Delaney is backing their candidate in Tipperary, Minister Alan Kelly. The soccer chief hit the streets of the Premier County with the TD, urging voters to get behind his friend in the upcoming election. “He always struck me as more of a Fianna Fáil guy,” said one Labour voter. “To find out he is a Labour man, well, I mean I’m not complaining, we’ll take anyone we can to be honest. I suppose there are parallels between us and the Irish soccer team – we’re both lower-tier outfits facing annihilation this year.”
O’Sullivan reassures on phone records
In her latest bid to allay public concerns over access to phone records by gardaí and other state bodies, Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has insisted that her organisation would only access private citizens’ records “in cases of extreme necessity”.
“An Garda Síochána has no interest in journalists’ private lives,” said O’Sullivan. “We have no interest in personal matters, such as ringing in an order for pizza with extra pineapple and salami for house number 27 in a south Dublin suburb, at 8.52pm last Thursday night.”
And in a bid to reassure journalists about their privacy, the Garda chief said, “There is really no cause to ring round to each others’ homes all night last Tuesday, expressing fears of being followed by unmarked cars throughout next weekend.”
The David Bowie I didn’t know
Like everyone else who didn’t know David Bowie, I knew him in a very special way that can only happen by knowing someone intimately through his music. To me, of course, the kind of relationship I shared with David was all the more meaningful for not knowing him in the usual sense.
There have been so many special moments – “golden days”, as he might say – for both of us. My first unforgettable encounter with the man who was known to countless fans as the Thin White Ziggy was on the front pages of all the national newspapers last week when I read the shocking news that the legendary Aladdin Starstruck had reinvented himself once again.
I was to soon come across this extraordinarily English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor on Wikipedia – something which I immediately copied and pasted into this moving tribute. Who could ever forge that this all-round creative genius had left us with such an incredible musical legacy as well as discovering alien life-forms on Mars.
As the musical world continues to grieve, I am left with the comforting memory of the man known simply as “The Showbiz Editor” who told me: “This is the usual drivel – but we can throw in a lot of androgynous photos and run it over 4 pages”
More GSOC revelations
GSOC agents who snooped on a number of Independent News & Media journalists came across a plot to flood the front pages with the latest celebrity gossip that ‘you need to know’.
Expecting to uncover details of hidden political agendas, the agents were shocked to discover how Holly Carpenter ‘deals with haters and keyboard warriors’, ‘What’s up with Bressie’s new glasses?’ and ‘are Georgia Salpa’s twins real?’
Their suspicions were confirmed when they opened the Irish Independent, Herald and the Sunday Independent to find numerous examples of dross, drivel and assorted nonsense – anything to get real news off the pages.
“It really opened my eyes,” said one member of GSOC. “I always wondered where Kirsty Blake Knox got her clothes from, and there it was, in page 3 of the Herald. And there were always suspicions about whether Salpa’s boys were real or not. That mystery continues.”
DAVOS WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
“My phone was not hacked,” admits shocked journalist
by Our Security Staff, Conor Doolally
A prominent journalist who cannot be named for legal reasons admitted last night that his telephone had not been hacked by gardaí at any stage over the past year.
“When I found myself not being arrested at dawn, I immediately realised that something very peculiar was going on,” said the Dublin-based reporter. “So I contacted the local station to complain, but was told that the Gardaí were currently short-staffed and simply hadn’t the numbers to tap everyone at this stage.”
The journalist continued: “Naturally, I’m disappointed at this shocking lack of intrusion into my day-to-day working life, and intend to get in touch with a good solicitor with a view to making a claim for substantial damages – but in the meantime, I will have to be patient and just wait my turn like everybody else.”
NO CUTS TO ELECTION SPENDING, ASSURES TAOISEACH
As the election nears, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has assured voters that there will be no cuts to campaign spending by the Fine Gael party. “We have a modest E2bn war-chest and we’ll be using it wisely,” said Mr Kenny. “People can rest assured that there will be no cutbacks in key areas like health and transport – we will have the usual assortment of spin-doctors and our candidates will be ferried around in top-of-the-range cars.”
With speculation continuing to grow about when the election will be called, the Taoiseach has also insisted that it will be held sometime this decade. “I can confirm that the election will definitely take place before 2020,” said Mr Kenny. “We are looking at the optimum time to enhance our chances of re-election… er, I mean, to ensure a full and comprehensive campaign.”
The Taoiseach also confirmed that he hasn’t ruled out any parties when it comes to forming a coalition government. “We’ll go in with anybody,” he acknowledged. “Even the Monster Raving Loony Party or, failing that, Fianna Fáil.”
Concern mounts over rise in extremists
Two of the extremists on the Garda watchlist
By Joky Corcoran
Shocking results from the latest Millward Frown poll suggest that Irish people are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of extremists in their midst. In particular, alarm has grown about the prominence of the so-called Fine Gael organisation, headed up by the notoriously cutthroat duo of Enda bin Kenny and Mike al Noonan.
Over the past number of years, Fine Gael, in conjunction with their followers in the Labour Party, have fanatically preached their creed of austerity, a fundamentalist belief system unrivalled in its brutality. Experts in radical organisations have warned that as an election nears, the threat of attacks from canvassing FG TDs will increase dramatically.
“Anyone who has heard James Reilly speak knows that this deranged cult are a bunch of neanderthals stuck in the 7th century,” says one commentator. “They need to be stamped out!”
Noonan and Howlin salute themselves
by Our Political Staff
The two ministers at the Department of Finance have paid tribute to each other, saying that their close personal relationship has been the key to Ireland’s continuing economic recovery.
Announcing the latest Exchequer returns yesterday, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin posed for photographers and insisted that they had finally put their past differences behind them.
“We have a wonderful working relationship, Mr Noonan told reporters. “Brendan agrees with everything I say – and so do I.”
Minister Noonan also insisted that the months of bitter wrangling between the much-loved couple were now well and truly over.
“I am standing beside Brendan to make myself look good,” he said. “Without me telling him what to do, he would be absolutely useless. ”
‘I WASTED NO TIME IN SOURCING HELICOPTER,’ INSISTS TAOISEACH
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has vehemently dismissed criticism of his government’s response to the country’s flood crisis, and insists it “reacted as quickly as possible” to the unfolding disaster. “I had scarcely finished my post-breakfast crossword before calling someone who knows who to ring for the helicopter,” says the FG leader. “I was very much aware that people wanted quick reassurance that I was looking down on them and their problems.”
The Taoiseach also praised the response of ministers to the ongoing crisis. “Not one minister of mine has missed an opportunity to shake a victim’s hand and assure them that the streets and byroads will be reopened and dry a good week before canvassing begins,” he stated. “As always, their main priority is self-promotion.”
Coalition flood plan
1. Test the waters
2. Batten down the constituency hatches
3. Man the PR barriers
4. Push the boat out on troubled expressions
5. Soak up the media pressure
6. Show a bit more grit
7. Divert Enda far away from all channels
8. Dive to whatever depths are needed on promises
Renua Ireland yesterday unveiled its 2016 election manifesto. The glossy full-colour 2-page document outlined the new party’s positions on a wide range of political issues, including taxation, crime and redressing the gender balance in government.
“To kick-start the economy, we will bring in a compulsory flat tax rate of 0.23%,” said Lucinda Creighton. She also pledged that the party would introduce much tougher sentences – especially ones that include the words “watch-dog” , “death penalty”, “retribution” and “empty promises”.
Ms Creighton undertook to deliver a brand new approach to Irish politics and to thundering applause from Renua supporters (Eddie Hobbs and Paul Bradford), she spelt out her criteria for a possible pact with another party following the election.
“While we are fully prepared to work with others as equal coalition partners,” she told reporters, “it will be on very strict ‘red line’ conditions.”
WHO RENUA WILL SHARE POWER WITH
1. The party with most votes.
2. Any other party likely to be in power.
3. Whoever will offer Lucy a junior ministry. Yes!
UN TO ACT AGAINST NORTH KOREA
In response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, the UN Security Council is gearing up to implement “significant” punitive measures against the Pyongyang government.
In a statement released yesterday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned North Korea that the UN would be re-issuing a new resolution condemning the reclusive state’s ability to further its nuclear weapons programme.
“This revised resolution will be an updated version of all our previous resolutions – but it will be even more strongly-worded,” said the Secretary General. “It will include the possibility of powerful sanctions, such as a full-scale embargo on luxury goods, including small turnips, tree bark and nourishing leaves.”
Meanwhile, North Korea’s colourful leader, Kim Jong-Un, has played down the diplomatic row. In a 7-hour prime time address on state television last night, he insisted that the latest hydrogen bomb test had been “blown out of all proportion” by America.
“Since taking over the family dictatorship, I have focused all my busy time between meals on improving relations with the oppressive and horrifying regime in the United States,” added Kim. “The hydrogen bomb test was part of our glorious national celebration, so that 2016 would start off with a bang. Happy New War!”
New Year’s Resolutions
Towards the end of last year I discovered the joy of swimming and I would like to improve my strokes in deep water, especially as I believe that, with the help of Government policy, swimming will become an increasingly common activity in Ireland in the coming years. I would go so far as to say there may well be an open air public pool on every street.
Omg! Omg! What a truly massive question!!! The only thing I know for sure at this point is that every month can bring with it extreme levels of unpredictability and enormous waves of uncertainty!!! Everyone should note there are serious risks lurking around every corner!!! Given the prevailing climate across all sectors of life, I’m afraid it would be absolute stupidity to make any plans whatsoever!!!
I consider that kind of information to be very privileged and personal. How dare you intrude into any area of my private aspirations! Who sent you? To whom and for what purpose would you dispatch such information? What’s that in your pocket? Leave me alone!