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Tag Archives: Fine Gael

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

It started when an Richard Downes took to the internet looking for people to talk about TOR (The Onion Router), software which allows internet users to protect their identity. Patrick O’Donovan decided to hop on the bandwagon. He issued a press release. Then he tried to message Downes privately. Others have already written about O’Donovan’s […]

Snapshots, moving pictures, and unknowns

A poll is a snapshot, capturing a moment in time. A still image, and a blurry one at that. The margin of error (usually around three percent) means the picture isn’t always crystal clear. The margin of error can also tempt newspapers, hungry for exciting headlines, to pump up a statistically insignificant gain or loss in […]

RTÉ and the political lobby

“Labour want US style political advertising” It wasn’t the biggest ever story, but the Sunday Times liked it enough to pay me for it. It even got a bit of social media traction at the time. And it was based on three lines at the end of an internal RTÉ memo. In May 2010, a […]

Email filter

A week back, I wondered about the contradiction between two items I came across online. On the one hand, Kerry TD Brendan Griffin was reported as saying he had handed back half his salary, and would continue to do so. It took just five minutes to do so, he told the Irish Times. On the […]

Poll positions

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone writes about a phone poll of local councillors attitudes: “Two-thirds of Councillors from the two Government parties would support changes to the Croke Park Agreement, according to this survey carried out by my office. A total of 529 City and County Councillors responded to the phone poll, with 56% of […]

The Wild Irish

“Politics with Hidden Bases” looked at Irish TDs, and found Fianna Fáil TDs are more likely than average to have Gaelic surnames, while Fine Gael have an above-average number of Old English surnames. The explanation offered is that in patriarchal households, so you vote like your Da, not your Ma, and the Gaels are rebels. […]

Copy that

Tucked into the Fine Gael manifesto were a couple of promises which affect journalists: a plan to pioneer US-style “fair use” in EU law, and a review of intellectual property (IP) law. Fair use, Fine Gael says, will “allow internet companies and digital innovators to bring their services to market”. The IP update would give […]

Dole 2.0

When Jason Walsh first spotted the ‘internet tax‘ proposal in the Green manifesto during the election campaign, I took it as a typical example of Green eccentricity. The following day, when I spotted a similar idea for a ‘content tax‘ in the Fine Gael manifesto, I took it a little more seriously. Greens were never […]

Reinventing quangos

Fine Gael claim that their plan for Reinventing Government will lead to “the abolition of 145 state bodies and companies”. On their Flickr account, they put it more bluntly: Fine Gael will “abolish 145 quangos”. So I decided to have a closer look…

Stop the presses

Irish schools should abandon textbooks in favour of online educational content, says Fergus O’Dowd, FG education spokesman. “Texas and California are investigating the use of ‘open source textbooks’, providing approved digital texts online, written by educational experts such as retired teachers but made available for free or at a discounted price for printed versions,” he […]