Category: politics

Fine Gael, what the hell are you doing?

No one can deny that as a part of Election 2011, online media has been playing a larger role in candidates campaigns. There are few serious candidates without a Facebook page, twitter account and website. Something that has baffled me however, has been Fine Gaels online strategy.

First stop is, the official site of the 2011 Fine Gael election bid. Though recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it had been hacked, as on the front page there was a poorly coded flash game which seems to make fun of Irelands political figures, including Enda himself (link). Enda is the protagonist and his catchphrases, complete with dodgy Mayo accent, include : “Tax that!” (to Labour candidates), “Cheapest bank bailout?” (to Brian Linehan) and my personal favourite, “It’s the economy stupid” to Gerry Adams. Bear in mind, Kenny spouts these when you kill other politicians by throwing Fine Gael logos at them.

FG flash game

This comes on the heels of the recent cringe worthy Valentines Day Fine Gael eCards that popped up on the site on February 14th. Create yours here. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when that one got approved.

Finally, and most egregiously, whomever manages the party’s Facebook page has been deleting posts related to the issue of gay marriage. Instead of coming out, if you’ll pardon the pun, with their official line and meeting questions head on they have fanned the flames of a controversy that the party scarcely needs at this important stage of the campaign.

It seems that Fine Gael has taken its first baby steps into the world of Internet canvassing, and with it has come eCards, flash games and censorship. Maybe next time around they’ll plan with a little more wisdom and try to use their online presence to engage with voters and invite some debate on policy and issues, instead of just on who can get the best score in their infuriating sidescrolling platformer.

Yes, I completed it.

Response to Letter to Dermot Ahern

Recently I sent a letter to the office of Dermot Ahern TD, expressing my concerns regarding the new Defamation Act and the articles contained referring to blasphemy. You can see the letter I sent here

After quite a long wait, apparently due to some email routing problems, I received a reply from Conor R. Savage, Private Secretary to the minister, who writes that….

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Open Letter To Dermot Ahern re: Blasphemy Bill

To try to raise awareness to this concern, here is a copy of an email sent by me, to Dermot Ahern, regarding the upcoming blasphemy legislation in Ireland for more details.

Mr Ahern,

I am emailing in relation to the proposed Defamation BIll and the parts of the bill regarding blasphemy.

A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.”

The definition given of “blasphemous matter” is matter “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”

This is absolutely unbelievable. It is a direct affront to the fundamental human right of free speech. To protect people who have a particular set of beliefs is completely against equality. The definition of blasphemous matter contains the phrase “any religion”. I subscribe to no religion and as such am an atheist, this law would value the opinions of religious people above my own and discriminate against me and the thousands of atheists around the country.

Suppose a religion or denomination of a religion complains that the advertising of equal opportunity jobs is blasphemous, because this religion believes, as many do, that women are inferior to men. By this law, they would be perfectly entitled to complain and fine such a company €100,000.

The main problem with the law is that the definition of blasphemous material is loose and open to interpretation. Because everyone will have a different definition, religious groups will use this to suppress debate and healthy discourse on issues of religion.

People will become scared to voice their opinions because of the fear of a huge fine. I hope I don’t need to explain why that would be a terrifying situation.

The law opens a door to a slippery slope which at the end, results in a police state, where even speech is controlled.

I implore you to rethink this almost Orwellian legislation and be open to new debate and public opinion. I also would urge you to visit to see the opposition to this bill.

A concerned citizen,

Shane Tuohy
web –
twitter – shanetuohy

Fianna FAIL!

As most people in Ireland know, the European and Local elections are coming up on June 5th.

It’s widely expected that Fianna Fail are going to take a shoeing this time around with satisfaction in the government sits at the atrocious level of 10% as of recent polls. Because of this, many Fianna Fail candidates are trying to disassociate themselves with the negative feeling associated with the party, how? Well, take a look at this Fianna Fail candidates election poster.

Can you spot the Fianna Fail logo. No? There. Down the very bottom. On the right. Tiny isn’t it?

Candidates seem to be hoping that people will miss the fact that they are part of the current government party. This is deceptive and negative and hopefully voters won’t be fooled by these crude tactics.

TL;DR – Fianna Fail fail at electioneering