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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Reinstate48 and the €30,000 worth of Posters

Reinstate48

Reinstate 48’s sole objective is to restore to the people of Ireland the democratic rights given to them under Article 48 of the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State to make, mould, amend and repeal their own laws.
Reinstate 48 seeks postering rights Aodhan O Faolain, Irish Times Feb 19, 2016.
As part of its campaign, the group spent €30,000 putting up six different posters at various locations and on a social media campaign.

Campaigners fight council to keep up posters Aodhan O’Faolain, The Times February 19 2016
A group which wants the Constitution amended to allow referendums to be triggered by signatures of 50,000 voters is seeking High Court orders preventing Dublin City Council from removing posters endorsing its campaign.
The group spent about €30,000 on putting up six types of posters at various locations


Does Reinstate 48 accept financial donations? Reinstate48 FAQ
We are currently running our first crowdfunding appeal. The purpose of the appeal is to raise €2,500 to cover the costs of designing and printing 300 large (A0 size) R48 Election posters. The objective of the posters is to try and raise awareness of the R48 initiative amongst voters during the 2016 General Election campaign. The posters will be erected in high profile public locations by volunteers. If you support the R48 initiative then please consider making a small donation to this crowdfunding appeal.

Reinstate 48 initiative on ICrowdfund 1st April 2016

101%funded
€2,530.00

PLEDGED OF €2,500.00 GOAL

59 BACKERS
All funds will be collected on March 12, 2016




"Figure 2 Reinsate48 posters outside major newspaper offices Feb 2016"

Did they really put up 30,000 worth of posters as they claimed? Did the papers republished their claim check it?

The Reinstate Article 48 "Direct Democracy" Initiative by Finbar10 on politics.ie Feb 2016.
R48 election posters on the streets of Dublin Reinstate 48. 20 Feb 2016

Statements of Strategy

Statements of Strategy
Public Service Management Act, 1997
Responsibility and accountability within Departments and Offices.

4.—(1) Except as otherwise directed by the Government or provided by or under any other Act, the Secretary General of a Department or Head of a Scheduled Office, as the case may be, shall, subject to the determination of matters of policy by the Minister of the Government having charge of the Department or Scheduled Office or by the Government, have the authority, responsibility and accountability for carrying out the following duties in respect of the Department or Scheduled Office:
(b) at the following times, or at an earlier time if the Minister of the Government having charge of the Department or Scheduled Office so requires, preparing and submitting to the Minister of the Government a strategy statement in respect of the Department or Scheduled Office—


(i) within 6 months after the coming into operation of this Act,


(ii) within 6 months after the appointment of a new Minister of the Government having charge of the Department or Scheduled Office, and


(iii) at the expiration of the 3 year period since the last such statement was prepared and submitted,


and providing progress reports to the Minister of the Government on the implementation of the strategy statement annually or at such intervals as the Government may by order from time to time direct;

Strategy statement.

5.—(1) A statement referred to in this Act as a “strategy statement” shall—


(a) comprise the key objectives, outputs and related strategies (including use of resources) of the Department of State or Scheduled Office concerned,


(b) be prepared in a form and manner in accordance with any directions issued from time to time by the Government, and


(c) be submitted to and approved by the relevant Minister of the Government with or without amendment.


(2) The Minister of the Government shall, not later than 60 days after the strategy statement has been approved, cause a copy thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

I read that as requiring a minister to submit for approval to government a Statement of Strategy within 6 months of being appointed and publish the document within 60 days of its approval by government. 6 months plus 60 days is 245 days.

Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport Statements of Strategy
Minister Appointed Strategy Published Days
Leo Varadkar 9 March 2011 Statement of Strategy 2011-2014 23 April 2012 411
Pascal Donohoe11 July 2014 Statement of Strategy 2015-2017 25 February 2015 229
Shane Ross 6 May 2016 Statement of Strategy 2016-201923 December 2016 231


Minister and Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport Priorities
Minister Appointed Priorities Published Days
Leo Varadkar 9 March 2011 Minister and Department Priorities Apr 7, 2011 29
Pascal Donohoe 11 July 2014 Minister and Department Priorities,2 15 October, 2014,? 96
Shane Ross 6 May 2016 Minister and Department Priorities Nov 28, 2016 206


Each Departments Statement of Strategy



Links

Leo Varadkar Dail speches on Statement of Strategy 01/2011 - 03/2012
Transport Minister Varadkar's Strategy and Priorities Internet Archive

Transport Minister Donohoe's Strategy and Priorities Internet Archive

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Wikipedia


Monday, 19 December 2016

TDs and Senator claim cluster bombs going through Shannon. True or a misreading.

Update In January 2017 reporter Ken Foxe picked up this query and checked the DTTAS files and checked with Mick Wallace TD and Senator Paul Gavan and while Wallace wouldn't reply, Senator Gavan admitted he misread the documents. This was reported in the Sunday Times and the Irish Sunday Mail on the 29th of January 2017.

Senator Paul Gavan, Mick Wallace TD and Clare Daly TD needs to retract the claim in the Oireachtas.

Mick Wallace TD claims Deaprtment of Transport documents show cluster bombs going through Shannon. Is this true or misreading of the FOI'd documents.

Mick Wallace said in the Dail on the 1st October 2015

Deputy Mick Wallace: Shannonwatch, through freedom of information requests, got the statistics on the planes coming through Shannon Airport last year. There are planes going through the airport from America to Saudi Arabia with all kinds of arms and most likely cluster bombs, which are being used in Yemen.

and Dail on the 20th October 2016
Deputy Mick Wallace: The US has delivered cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, some of them through Shannon Airport, to be used in Yemen.

and Dail on the 2nd of November 2016

Deputy Mick Wallace: On 15 and 16 November 2014, cluster bombs - a brutal instrument of war that Ireland helped to get banned years ago - were given permission to go to our trade partners, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, supported by the US, have been committing war crimes in Yemen for 19 months, directly targeting civilians using cluster bombs sold to them by the US, some of which passed through Shannon.

and on 4 November 2015 in the Dail,
Deputy Mick Wallace: In November last year we gave permission for two overflights for planes travelling from Dover, Delaware to Saudi Arabia. We found out under a freedom of information request that those planes were carrying class 1 explosives, rockets, liquid fuel and rockets with bursting charges, possibly for the making of cluster bombs which are regarded as illegal. For all we know, because we do not search the planes, there are cluster bombs coming through Shannon. We do not know what is on the military planes coming through Shannon, because we are not allowed ask what is on them because there is supposed to be nothing on them.

How can Ireland continue with this position? How can we say we have a human rights position when we will not even search planes passing through Shannon to check whether they are taking cluster bombs to places like Saudi Arabia?

and 11 November 2015
Deputy Mick Wallace: Under freedom of information, Shannonwatch got details of flights that have come through Shannon and overflights during the past year. On 15 November 2014 and 16 November 2014, explosives and rockets with bursting charges, which are probably cluster bombs, went to Saudi Arabia.

and 24 November 2016

Deputy Mick Wallace: On 20 May 2014, we allowed missile parts to be flown through Ireland on the way to the United Arab Emirates. On 15 and 16 November 2014, cluster bombs, a brutal instrument of war that Ireland helped to get banned years ago, were given permission to go to our trade partner Saudi Arabia.

and Dail on 13th of December 2016,

Deputy Mick Wallace: In November 2014, two planes passed through Shannon Airport coming from Delaware. They were carrying class 1 liquid fuel explosives and rockets and class 1 explosives and rockets with bursting charges. I have heard Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael condemn the Russian use of cluster bombs in Aleppo. I condemn their use as well. Why in God's name are we allowing cluster bombs to go through our airspace to Saudi Arabia? The US is backing the Saudi mission in Yemen, a country in which there is an absolute humanitarian disaster. Cluster bombs going through Ireland are killing innocent people in Yemen on a daily basis. A UNICEF report last week showed that 2.2 million children in Yemen are suffering from malnutrition. There is a child dying every ten minutes as a result of malnutrition, not to mention those being killed by cluster bombs or bombs of another nature. How can we say we are neutral if we are allowing this to happen? I do not understand it.

Shannonwatch
I presume he was referring to the documents obtained under Freedom of Information by Shannonwatch Freedom of Information Request Reveals Details of Munitions Through Ireland in 2014

Details of all requests for exemption under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order, 1973, as amended, for the
carriage of weapons and munitions through Irish airports and airspace in 2014

Munitions Permits 2014 shannonwatch.org FOI 23/09/2015.

and these entries,





213 Atlas Air Inc 5Y5239 John F. Kennedy International Airport USA Al Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi UAE 20/05/2014 Guided missile parts Exemption Issued? NO

539 Atlas Air Inc 5Y8272 Dover AFB, Delaware USA Ta'if Saudi Arabia 15/11/2014 Class 1 Explosives, Rockets, Liquid Fueled Exemption Issued? NO
540 Atlas Air Inc 5Y8270 Dover AFB, Delaware USA Ta'if Saudi Arabia 16/11/2014 Class 1 Explosives, Rockets with Bursting Charges Exemption Issued? NO

does that not mean they were refused passage!

Is Mick Wallace misreading the docs or am I?

I emailed him on November the 9th 2016 but I can't get reply from him.

I contacted Shannonwatch to check the agreed with my interpreation of the FOIs documents which they did and I asked them to ask Mick Wallace about it, but Mick Wallace continued to use the mistaken claims in the Dail.

ps Senator Paul Gavan has also been repeating these claims in the Seanad,
Senator Paul Gavan: We helped to bring cluster bombs - imagine that - through Shannon Airport to Saudi Arabia in November 2014. It is on the record. The Government's information confirmed this under a freedom of information request.
Seanad 13 December 2016

Clare Daly made similar claims on the Vincent Brown Show ‘Facilitating The Very Circumstances That Made These People Refugees’ March 24, 2016 BroadSheet/ Vincent Browne TV3
Daly: “Now we have a situation where aircraft are landing at Shannon almost twice daily. Some of the information sought and received by Shannonwatch last year, under Freedom of Information, shows the amount of permits sought for munitions to be transported, including materials that could go to form cluster bombs which we believe are being used in Yemen,
and in the Dail on 16 December 2015 Clare Daly: I am aware, on foot of freedom of information requests, that munitions and explosives that could have been the components of cluster bombs went from the United States to Saudi Arabia."

Links

Extent of Shannon and Ireland’s Complicity in War Revealed Shannonwatch 23/09/2015

Out of context reference to the requests on LookLeft facebook page October 13th 2016

Mick Wallace and clusterbombs in Dail search Kildarestreet.com

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Michael Martin claimed the extra long Dail recess turned out to be unnecessary, is that true?

on October 25th Michael Martin said in the Dail on October 25th 2016 that

The Dáil rose on 21 July and resumed on 27 September. In July we were all told major works were to be undertaken to physically refurbish the Chamber, but that did not happen. Therefore, it transpired that there was no necessity for the longer than usual summer recess.




I've been trying to find out if this statement is true or not, its extraordinary claim considering the issue that has been made about the amount of work/legislation the Dail has been able to do so far this term

I've emailed Michael Martin and Fianna Fail weeks back no reply.

I also emailed the Oireachtas, this is the reply I got
As you're probably aware there were quite extensive works undertaken in the Dáil chamber during the summer recess (read more here and here). The quote may reference the wider restoration work to be completed in Leinster House but this would not have impacted on Dáil sitting dates. Perhaps Michael Martin's office may be able to clarify the quote however.

Thanks,

Best regards,

Liam O'Brien
Press Officer
Communications | Broadcasting | Web
Houses of the Oireachtas
Dublin 2


The email from the Oireachtas cites it press release of 14/07/2016 Dáil Chamber technology improvement update
A major programme of improvements on technology supporting the Dáil Chamber will start when the Dáil rises for the summer recess on 21st July.

The programme includes the replacement of critical aspects of the Dáil chamber equipment, namely delegate units containing integrated microphone and voting components and modern Chamber and Committee Room graphical display units.
The Irish Times, the Irish Mirror, the Independent and the Sunday Times all quoted/paraphrased what Michael Martin said without further clarifying, only Irish Times added a qualifying sentence many hours later to say "The sound and voting systems in the Dáil were changed during the recess."

Dáil to get nine week break and €700k makeover – so that we can hear TDs better Kevin Doyle Independent 14/07/2016

There is is also the minutes of the Oireachtas Commission meeting 4th October 2016 which say
7. TECHNOLOGY IN THE CHAMBERS PROJECT
The Commission was briefed on the ICT project underway to modernise the technical systems in the Chambers of both Houses and in the Committee Rooms.
The Commission noted that the Technology in the Chambers project is part of a significant programme of ICT investment to build an Enterprise Architecture for the Service and to develop the ICT systems in the Houses to make them more responsive to the needs of users.
The Commission welcomed the project and noted the enhancements to the technical systems in the Dáil Chamber following completion of the necessary work within the agreed timeframe and budget over the summer recess period.
8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
(i) Refurbishment works to Georgian Leinster House
The Secretary General updated the Commission on the progress on the refurbishment works to Georgian Leinster House. He noted that discussions on the relocation of the Seanad Chamber to the National Museum for the duration of the works were ongoing and had escalated to political level at this point.

In the Irish Times in May wrote Give Me a Crash Course In . . . Dáil holidays
Isn’t there something about Leinster House being restored? The renovation of Leinster House was cited at the Fine Gael parliamentary-party meeting as a reason for the longer-than-usual summer recess. In the past few years the Dáil rose in late July and returned in early or mid-September. It is true that the Georgian core of the Leinster House complex, which dates from the 18th century, is about to undergo its most significant restoration ever, with scaffolding and severe restrictions set, effectively, to close the building for a year. The Seanad will have to move to another premises, but the Dáil chamber, which is outside the Georgian core, will be largely unaffected. It will see its sound and voting systems upgraded over the summer. Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said the restoration works will not require the Dáil to rise as early as July 7th.


Political Editor Irish Mirror told me that it was true and the Dail works had not taken place as intended. which may be the case but does that mean the Dail chamber could not be used?, or is the issue with other offices in Leinster House?

He said that it was in the public sphere already that the works had not taken place as intended, but I cannot find where in the public sphere that it says that, or that that meant the Dail could not be used.

The political correspondents of Today FM told me twice its untrue, that the works
finished ahead of plan, partly because of the hurry to prepare for Apple

Thomas Byre TD said of the works "they didn't happen! We don't know why" I asked him what works didn't happen?, no reply.

Did Michael Martin get the distinction between the chamber refit over the summer and wider Leinster House works that are to take much longer * confused, that would be surprising as in May Martin said,
“The clerk did explain about the structural problems with Leinster House, the old part of Leinster House from his perspective, required urgent remedial works, in terms of securing it and so on.”
Dáil summer recess too long, says Micheál Martin Irish Times Fiach Kelly May 26, 2016

Fiach Kelly has written the most about this, earlier this year,
Initial work will begin during the Dáil and Seanad summer recess, but the opening stages will focus on assessing the exact amount of work that has to be done.Leinster
House restoration scheme to start during recess Irish Times Fiach Kelly May 26, 2016

Were these urgent works remedial works carried out? would they have disrupted the use of the Dail?


Restoration and Conservation of Georgian Leinster House Oireachtas.
Preliminary investigation works will take place in late 2016, with the main works being undertaken in 2017 and completed in the summer of 2018.


The Ceann Comhairle office replied to my email reaffirming the contents of the email I got from Oireachtas Comms, but refusing to comment on it any further because of his independence, the Ceann Comhairle says its not true but doesn't care that thousands may think it is.

Links
*Historic Leinster House Refurbishment Project Tender Response deadline 20-06-2016 Duration in months: 27

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Tommy Broughan not an Independent TD but a member of a registered political party Independents 4 Change

Tommy Broughan

Tommy Broughan candidate and now TD for Dublin Bay North was and is refusing to say that he ran for party.



Notice of Poll Dublin Bay North



The Oireachtas website lists him as member of Independents 4 Change, but its often out of date and slow to update, so not the best source. It lists Seamus Healy as a member of WUAG when he ran as non-party in 2016.. There is no public official source of current Dail group membership.

The media also often call him an Independent TD rather then name his party Indepenents 4 Change.

Tommy Broughan at the Near FM election debate say he is a Right2Change independent who works with 6 or 7 other independents but does not mention he is a member of the party.


Right2Change
Right2Change is a political movement born out of the Right2Water campaign.
Associated 2016 candidates

RTE interviewed Tommy Broughan a few times and at no time did Tommy Broughan volunteer which party he was working for or did RTE say which party.

On the 19th of February Drivetime asked him who he would work with in the Dail and he doesn't mention any of the Independent 4 Change candidates.
2016 02 19 Drive Time
2016 02 24 The Late Debate

On RTE Campaign Daily says Tommy Broughan ‘if you run as an Independent your obligation is to serve as Independent’ while running for a political party.

Tommy Broughan RTE election 2016.
RTE refused to recognise Independents 4 Change during the election, it had Tommmy Broughan listed under Independents 4 change but then changed it why?

I emailed RTE and various other media end never got explaination.

I commented on Tommy Broughan Facebook about my desire for him to name the party, his assistant suggested I call him but Im not interested in having a phone conversation about it I just wnat him to publically name the party he ran for.

Irish Times would not list his party, nor would the Irish Examiner, Independent Newstalk or the Sunday Business Post



Political Assistant
Political Assistant job ad July 2016
Political Assistant required by the office of Tommy Broughan TD of Independents 4 Change
have a keen interest in developing political organisation at local, constituency and national level for Deputy Broughan and Independents 4 Change.


2017
In a story on the 7th February 2017 in the Irish Mirror by Kieran Dineen that mentions Tommy Broughan who says
he is no longer an Independents4Change TD.
So I again emailed Tommy Broughan to ask what date he resigned from the Independents4chnge party. He replied by avoiding answering the question I asked him, he said “I am an Independent TD who is in a Technical Group which includes members of the Independents 4 Change group for many months past.” so I replied ‘please can you tell me exactly what date you resigned from the Independents4change party?’ no reply, Im not sure he has resigned.

Parliamentary Activity Allowance
Each Party and Independent gets a Parliamentary Activity Allowance (PAA) but if a member is elected for a party and then leaves the party the money stays with the party. Why would Tommy Broughan join a party only to cut himself off from this source of funding?

The amount payable to party leaders is calculated on a tiered basis by reference to the number of party members who are elected or nominated to the Dáil or Seanad and is fixed at the time of the election, or following a bye-election, as follows:

Party TDs ​ Annual Rate per Member Government Parties *

​First 10 Members €64,368 ​€42,912

​11 to 30 Members €51,493 ​€34,329

More than 30 Members €25,754 ​ €17,169

The PER webpage and this document on it that shows the 32nd Dail rates and this Dail Question.
Party Annual Rate per annum
Fianna Fáil €2,433,946
Fine Gael €1,837,885
Sinn Féin €1,565,624
Labour Party €661,021
AAA-PBP € 386,208
Independents 4 Change €257,472
Social Democrats €193,104
Green Party €170,825

Parliamentary Activity Allowance
5. Claiming the allowance
5.1 The allowance is payable monthly in arrears for each week the person was, at any
time during that week, a member of the Dáil or Seanad.

Clarifiation from PER department,

The Independents 4 Change Party had 4 members elected to the Dáil (no members in the Seanad). Therefore, the monthly amount due to the Party is €21,456 (i.e. €5,364 x 4). The figure of €241,659.22 stated in our previous reply is made up of €21,456 x 11 months (March 2016 – January 2017 inclusive) + an amount of €5,643.22 for part of February 2016 – the month in which the General Election was held.

Ceann Comhairle
The Ceann Comhairle claims not to know which TD is in which party.

Independents 4 Change



Mick Wallace's renamed party 'Independents 4 Change' name (previous Independent for Equality Movement). Mick Wallace originally registered the party as Independent for Equality Movement and ran 4 candidate in the local election 2014, none of whom got elected, he then change the name in September 2015. The register of Political Parties.

RTE's Election site has a page for not a party Independents Alliance but not for the party 'Independents 4 Change'.

Independent 4 Change candidates.
Barry Martin Notice of Poll Dublin Fingal
Clare Daly Notice of Poll Dublin Fingal
Tommy Broughan Notice of Poll Dublin Bay North
Joan Collins Notice of Poll Dublin South Central
Mick Wallace Notice Of Poll Wexford

Candidates associated with Independents 4 change are former People before Profit now I4C Fingal County Councillor Barry Martin former United Left members SLigo county councillor Declan Bree and Dublin City councillor Pat Dunne. Emmett Smith running in Cavan Monaghan and Barbara Smyth in Longford Westmeath, although none of the official ran for Independents 4 change on the ballot they all ran as 'non-party'.

'Independents 4 Change' party got 4 TDs elected more TDs then Socdems(3) or the Green Party(2) or Renua(0) and media still often won't list them.




Their position on the rota is before the Greens or Social Democrats or the GP/SD group.
Standing Orders: Motion 8 June 2016

Tommy Brougahn: I was elected as a Right2Change candidate and an Independent 4 Change
Dail Debate 6 April 2016

Mick Wallace and Clare Daly of Independents4Change on Justice committee

2 early examples of Clare Daly and Mick Wallace using Independents 4 Change to speak before Social Democrats and the Greens 1,2.

Tommy Broughan speaking before Catherine Murphy TD in the Dail using the advatnages of being in a party.


I4C policies are conveyed in Dail Motions eg. Private Members Motion (Independents 4 Change) 29 June 2016 establish a Commission of Investigation into Nama.

Independent 4 Change Group
Under new Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann there is no limit to the number of technical groups.

Independents TDs Maureen O'Sullivan, Catherine Connnolly and Thomas Pringle have joined the I4C group for Dail speaking time and committee positions. (all Right2change associated candidates except for Catherine Connolly).

Mick Wallace: Independents 4 Change group - myself and Deputies Clare Daly, Joan Collins, Tommy Broughan, Catherine Connolly and Thomas Pringle
Dáil debates 14 April 2016

Ministers told they must seek permission to miss Dáil votes over ‘delicate voting situation’ Irish Times Sarah Bardon Jun 1, 2016.

Meanwhile, Independent TDs Catherine Connolly, Maureen O’Sullivan and Thomas Pringle have aligned themselves with Independents4Change.
Ms O’Sullivan insisted she had not joined the party but would align herself with the technical group for speaking time.
Catherine Connolly: I thank Thomas Pringle, who represented views of Independents4Change group on the sub-committee
Report of Sub-Committee on Dáil Reform: Motion (Resumed) 19 May 2016

Mick Wallace elections posters with Independents 4 Change logo on the bottom.

Registering a political party
Registering a political party in Ireland Citizen Information Board.

To be registered, your party has to satisfy the Registrar that it is organised to contest elections. Your party must also have one of the following:

It must have at least one member who, at the time of the application, is a member of the Dáil or a representative of the European Parliament and who certifies in writing to the Registrar that he or she is a member of the party.
Contact the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties and request an application form. You will receive a copy of the application form, together with with a copy of the relevant extract from the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001. The application form to register your political party is not currently available to download online.

In addition, the party must have a constitution, a memorandum or another document or set of rules that have been adopted by the party and that provide for:
An annual or other periodic meeting or conference of the party
An executive committee or similar body elected by the party, which administers the business of the party.

The register of Political Parties.

So does it qualify as a party? I don't know how many meetings its had, the Social Democrats have yet to hold their first national AGM over a year after forming. Its due to be held in November 2016.

Polling

Various polling companies are including a not a party Independents Alliance but not including registered political party Independents 4 Change, is this based on the number of candidates? Even though some other parties such as the Social Democrats did not have candidate in all constituencies but there had 13/14 candidate which is enough to base a realistic poll on. Independent Alliance put up 20 candidates and elected 6 while I4C registered candidates but up 5 with 2 associated and elected the 4 incumbent TDs.

Links
Independents 4 Change on Politics.ie
Consolidated Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann 2016
Dublin Bay North on politics.ie
Independents 4 Change on politics.ie

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Why does news media still refuse to link

putting concerns about competitors over servicing readers
press releases to reports not put up yet
studies behind paywall
cms (content management system) is archaic
fear people leaving site
legal concerns
to create appearance of false scarcity of news






Newspaper thinks rival newspapers can't use internet search engines

Monday, 19 September 2016

Newspaper thinks rival newspapers can't use internet search engines

There was an article Government ignored report to cut waste cost (paywall) by Seán McCárthaigh June 20 2016 Times Ireland which had the phrase

Documents from the Department of the Environment, which have been seen by The Times...
I was under the impression that the phrase "seen by" meant documents seen by newspapers but not publically available.

I expected the document was available online and searched and found it but was confused about it being the right document because of the language used in the article. I asked the reporter if this was the document referred to and his editor jumped in and said yes, I suggested it would be better to link directly to the document so readers can see it for themselves and get a better understanding of the story. The Times Ireland editor replied that "they wanted one more day to go through it", they had chosen to use the phrase 'seen by' specifically to obscure and mislead about its availabilty from anyone who read the story.





So newspaper editor thinks rival newspapers who may have read the article can't use internet search engines and find the public document and use it to report on a story. They were thinking about competitors before their readers. Quick direct access to the whole document allows the reader to see if the article reflects the document and improves trust in the article.

All the work of seeking out stories, reading long dry documents, checking and chasing commment should be directed towards servicing the reader it shouldn't be about their competitors.

They put a link to the document at the bottom of a follow-up story the next day but then it was too late, as a reader/subcriber I felt misled by the newspaper.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Irish Department of Transport mis-using International Road Sign

This post is based on discussions with boards.ie Commuting and Transport forum posters and the Galway Cycling campaign.

Minister Donohoe publishes new ‘Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits’ Thursday 19 March 2015

New signage being introduced for minor local roads in rural areas and for new urban ‘Slow Zones’ for residential areas
New Urban ‘Slow Zones’ (30km/h) for housing estates
Local Authorities and community groups are encouraged to consider the implementation of ‘Slow Zones’ in self-contained areas that consist of local roads with low traffic volumes and minimal through traffic. It is envisaged that each such zone should be a self-enforcing, reduced-speed area with speed bumps, markings or other traffic calming treatments as required. They should be developed and implemented as a local authority supported, community based approach to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h and to add safety measures within a select area in order to change driver behaviour. The ultimate goal of a ‘Slow Zone’ is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes and to enhance quality of life. New signage is also being unveiled tomorrow to support Slow Zones.
Councils across the country are bringing in 30kph pilot speed limits and also calling them slow zones and using this symbol.

Home Zones
This is international recognised symbol for Home Zones, shared space areas with 20kph speed limts and pedestrian priority. The Vienna Convention On Road Signs And Signals 2006 (sign E17 on p.145)

No. 17847. European Agreement Supplementing The Convention On Road Traffic Opened For Signature At Vienna On 8 November 1968. Concluded At Geneva On 1 May 197
Article 27 bis
The aim of establishing special rules applicable to "residential areas" is to facilitate the coexistence of drivers and pedestrians on roads where there is little traffic, thus improving social contacts between local residents and improving pedestrian safety by making special arrangements to this effect, notably by eliminating the conventional distinction between carriageway and pavement. Special rules which apply to "residential areas" signposted as such shall be known to drivers in international traffic.
"ARTICLE 27 bis

Special rules applicable to residential areas signposted as such

In residential areas, signposted as such:

(a) Pedestrians may make use of the road over its entire width. Games are allowed;

(b) Drivers shall proceed at very low speed , as specified by national legislation and which in no case should exceed 20 km (12 miles) per hour;

(c) Drivers shall not put pedestrians at risk nor behave in an obstructive manner. If necessary they shall stop;

(d) Pedestrians shall not impede vehicular traffic unnecessarily;

(e) Parking is forbidden except where allowed by parking signs;

(f) At intersections, road users emerging from a residential area shall give way to other road users, except when otherwise provided in domestic legislation

So why are the government/council using the symbol for 30kph zones with no pedestrian priority?

In the Road Safety Authority announcement of these new s Rural Speed Limits launched at the same time it says.

This new sign is a ‘black circle with diagonal which is in use internationally under the Vienna signage convention

isn't it strange that state body cites the UN Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals one minute and ignores it the next. This seems to be idea from the department marketeers rather then road traffic designers.

Up until the recent Rural Speed limit/Slow zone announcement, councils were using the "Children at play" warning sign, which is appropriate because despite children often playing on roads they are not supposed to, hopefully 30kph limits will help everybody's reaction time, and lessen any injury or death.


Sign W 142, Children Crossing

Traffic signs manual 2010 Chapter 6 warning signs
Sign W 142, Children Crossing, may be used to alert drivers to the danger of children crossing roads in residential areas other than at schools and playgrounds. The sign should be provided only in towns and villages, on roads of a primarily residential character with continuous housing frontage. The sign may also be provided at the
entrances to housing estates from main traffic routes.

Galway Cycling explains it, and wrote to the Minister requesting he not misuse the signs. Jake’s Legacy – Update law or drop confusing and contradictory road sign

Links
Minister Donohoe publishes new ‘Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits’ RSA.ie 19 March 2015

Speed Limits Review body publishes report & recommends new appeals system DTTA 2013

Friday, 25 March 2016

Dail Reform 2016

Dail Notice of Motion on dail Reform Oireachtas 10th March, 2016

5b. “That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders–

(a) the sub-Committee on Dáil Reform shall be chaired by the Ceann Comhairle and include
not more than 14 other members of the House, of which three members would be
appointed by Fine Gael, three members by Fianna Fáil, two members by Sinn Féin, one
member by the Labour Party and five members representing the independent deputies and
members from other political parties, and that provision be made for the substitution of
members as allowed for under Standing Order 107(3)(b);

(b) the Ceann Comhairle shall announce the names of the members appointed under paragraph

(a) for the information of the Dáil on the first sitting day following their appointment;

(c) Standing Order 93(2) shall not apply to the sub-Committee (in relation to using the
d’Hondt system for the allocation of Chairman posts);

(d) any member or political party may make a submission on Dáil reform to the sub-
Committee which shall review these submissions and report back to the Dáil within four
weeks with a series of recommendations for the approval of the House; and

(e) the sub-Committee shall present an interim report on their working arrangements at a full
sitting of the Dáil on 6th April, 2016 and that it will include initial consideration on
appropriate rules regarding the establishment of technical groupings in the Dáil and
arrangements for the management of Parliamentary Questions and the ordering of Dáil
business in the interim period while the sub-Committee is sitting.”

—An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and all other members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party,
Micheál Martin and all other members of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, Gerry Adams
and all other members of the Sinn Féin parliamentary party, Joan Burton and all other
members of the Labour parliamentary party, Catherine Murphy, Stephen S. Donnelly, Róisín
Shortall, Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin, Thomas Pringle, Clare Daly, Joan Collins, Thomas
P. Broughan, Mick Wallace, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy,
Gino Kenny, Bríd Smith, Maureen O'Sullivan, Séamus Healy, Denis Naughten, Noel Grealish,
Michael Collins, Mattie McGrath, Michael Harty, Katherine Zappone.


Why didn't the members of the Independent Alliance sign this motion?

Standing Order 112 Select Committee: Appointment of Members Dail 22 March 2016

Committee on Procedure and Privileges (Dáil) > Sub-Committee on Dáil Reform

Dail Reform Proposals

Fine Gael Manifesto

Fianna Fail Manisfesto Seanad Reform FF policy docs 2013

Greent Party Manifesto

Sinn Fein

Social Democrats Manifesto

Labour Manifesto

Independent Alliance Charter for Change

Eoghan Murphy TD 2013 Dail Reform report


New committee on Dáil reform discusses how House can be run more effectively Mar 24, 2016, Sarah Bardon Irish Times.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Online and offline Ad Targeting Voters for Irish General Election campaign 2016

Loads of candidates have been in the last days of the 2016 General Election campaign using sponsored pages ads on facebook, Im getting ads from people who are running in Mayo and North Kildare and to the Seanad because Im apparently interested in Kerry based candidates even though I live in Dublin.

I saved most of the ads I saw and the "Why am I seeing this Ad" infowindow which tells you the general categories you were targeted under. Folder of screenshots of the facebook sponsored posts/pages/ads.



I saw the Socialist and Democrats European Party doing ads for anyone interesed in Labour In Ireland (as I once was) and I think I saw European Peoples Party twitter ads for Fine Gael.

Sinn Fein did sponorsed ads for their last days videos (SF on health ad) Fine Gael did an video (that I presumed was brought to people via ads) in the last few days with particular use of the American style black and white and image pans.

The Facebook ads solution in Ireland aren't that sophisticated in terms of geographic targeting due to the previous lack of a country wide postcode (although we now have Eircode) and voter file databases. I had a look at my options. Its a circle you can put miles diameters on, or name a place, and you add 3 interests or an age ranges, or use customer list or website traffic or app activity and also target based on device (id).

I kept seeing ads for Kevin Humphries who is running in Dublin Bay South for Labour even though I live well into Dublin Bay North but it was actually because I visited his website about a month ago here's the ad and you can see him using the Facebook pixel Home - Kevin Humphreys which is like the clear pixels trackers that load in email newsletters to tell them you read it.



I had adblocker on and I turned it off to subject myself to the political ads. Canvassing is still king we're barely scratched the surface compared to the US (or the UK) in terms of micro-targeting but what else have people seen?

Also saw this attack ad on Facebook (via sponsored page ad) against Shane Ross called 'The Ross Files'



I read on here that Fine Gael were sending out letters about Ross voting against the SCC (Ross said he voted against the motion to renew the legislation because it was being guillotined) and Shatter has been tweeting about that for the last week, so make up your own minds about who is behind it.

The Socialists and Democrats Group in European Parliament promoting Labour during the 2016 Irish election.


Links

Based on my politics.ie thread Social Media paid election ads

Other negative social media political ads covered in You stay classy gang... The negative side of social media campaigning - Newstalk by Craig Dwyer. Linkedin version.


Fine Gael Facebook Ad 2016

The FG Facebook ad by cedarloungrepblic February 14, 2016
No politicians using Paid ads on Google or Facebook By John McGarry Webworks.ie May 22 2014
Facebook launches ‘I’m a Voter’ button for election

Facebook were releasing press releases on election chatter during the campaign while Facebook has a very high user numbers in Ireland it never relased actual numbers disucssing live during the debates themselves.
Facebook hosts General Election debate in Dublin. RTÉ2 Facebook Election Special.
Facevook: Targeting Voters

Ge16 at The Institute for Future Media and Jouranlism DCU

Politicians take to Facebook to boost ‘likes’ ahead of general election irish Examiner January 20, 2016 Juno McEnroe

Fine Gael launches Facebook ads to highlight how other countries have abolished their second chambers Fine Gael 2013 Description Independent.ie.

Before the 2015 Marriage Referendum vote, Fine Gael used faebook to target a video of Michael Noonan at rural voters.

Joan Burton uses the Private Residential Tenancy Board data

Although this occured in December 2015 it was definitely related to the run up to the election in February 2016.

Independent Councillor David McGuinness wrote on his facebook page asking about this letter
TheJournal's Paul Hosford picked it up,

Department insists no issue with Joan Burton’s ‘unusual and concerning’ letter to constituents TheJournal Dec 16th 2015.
Independent councillor and general election candidate David McGuinness said that some of the Tánaiste’s constituents received the letters – but only those who are on social welfare or are registered landlords.
However, the Department insisted that the constituents’ information was drawn from publicly available resources and that no internal information from its own database was used.
and explained what Joan Burton staff was doing was to get a list of rental addresses from the PRTB website and cross reference that with the electoral register

I didn't really realise such lists existed but here it is PRTB Portal

I donwloaded Dublin 7 and they are 7000 adresses, not very precisely targeted, but despite impressions of wasteful use, they need to use their Oireachtas envelopes carefully and this would narrow the address list somewhat.

Not sure Dave McGuinness is fully aware of these public lists and came up with other problems with it, even after the Department and others explained what was done, he still wasn't satisfied, questioning it on his facebook page,
Cllr David McGuinness Ind December 16, 2015
Homeowners details on PRTB website accessed, then cross checked with the names on the electoral register and then Joan Burton decides to write to these people in D15 randomly using prepaid Dáil envelopes but who did the work? Was it civil servants doing constituency work for the upcoming election. Serious questions remain and I believe a lot of people will be angry at their information being used like this


However the PRTB register is public info but I am wondering if the PRTB information can be used in this way, if there are terms and conditions on this information? Private Residential Tenancies Board | Terms of Use | PRTB Ireland

20. This is a license, not a transfer of title, and is subject to the following restrictions: you may not:

(b) use the Website or Materials for the purpose of soliciting, for any product, solution, or service, companies that have listings or content included in the Website content;
The Data Protection Commissioner has warned candidates to be careful about the source of their canvassing data Data Protection Commissioner, Issues Guidance on Canvassing, Data Protection and Electronic Marketing, but political parties are partially exempt from some Data Protection rules if used for political purposes, I've explored this in a previous post about E-cavnassing.

First national register of tenancies is published Sat, Nov 5, 2005.

Residential Tenancies Act 2004 PART 7 Registration of Tenancies - Private residential tenancies register

Has anyone else received correspondence from politicians that was targetting to you similar to this?

Based on my Poltics.ie thread Targeting Constituents.
Links
Election 2016: Get ready to be hit by a digital deluge Irish Times 16, 2016, 02:29 Cliff Taylor
How Irish Political Parties are Using Social Networking Sites to Reach Generation Z: Kevin Lynch and John Hogan Dublin Institute of Technology 2012 (Labour used facebook ad for Lisbon video pg 91) more
the real story behind those Labour adsTheJournal Aug 24th 2015
PRTB FAQ



Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Irish General Election 2016 Public Online Crowdfunding Donations

Update Jan 2017


Ed Davitt disclosed all his small Seanad election donations even though he didn't have to.

Seanad General Election 2016

Seanad General Election 2016 campaigns on gofundme.

Harmon For Seanad - NUI Panel Goal €5.000
Oisín Coghlan for Seanad Eireann Goal €4.000
Lynn's Seanad Campaign (TCD Panel) Goal €1.800 Lynn Ruane Donate
Fund Rory Hearne's Seanad Campaign Goal €3.000
Ed Davitt for Seanad Eireann fund Goal €1.735
#Barry4Seanad Goal €2.000



Dail General Election 2016
A number of Irish general election candidates have set up crowdfunding campaigns, political fundraising was always a sort of crowdfunding the difference here is that semi-public, in that it can show you the name of the donors, as the donate, if the donors want to and they are using third party platforms to raise funds.

Senator Averil Power (IND), Cllr Paul McCauliffe (FF) and the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) all set up campaigns using icrowdfund but have not raised any money with mainly I think because they didn't promote them. Paul McCauliffe's campaign has 20 days left.

Some other Independent candidates for the 2014 local election also set-up political fundraising campaigns but didn't get very many donations.

Some candidates and their supporters had been involved in the 2015 Marriage Equality referendum which used and had success crowdfunding during the campaign getting twice its goal.

Averil Power a is a Senator who left Fianna Fail when she saw she wasn't going to be the only candidate on the ticket to run for the party in the constituency of Dublin North Bay. Curiously Averil Power's campaign was set up by Friends of Averil Power and Paul McCauliffe's campaign by Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann, rather then specifically the candidate's.

Candidate themselves and not their agents are directly responsible for donations according to Standards in Public Office Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15
It is the candidate who is required to comply with the requirements of the Act regarding the recording and disclosure of donations
The account should be in the candidate's name and he/she should be the authorised signatory on the account.

Donation law is set by the Electoral Act, 1997. and the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012.

Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15

More and lower limits have been set for political donations in recent years and the various donation limits were set in 2012, a €1000 is the most that can be donated to a candidate in any year but only donations over €600 need to be disclosed, so the practice has been to donate below this limit, while crowdfunding sites allow people to publically list their donations of any amount as they are donated. A spending limit will be set when the election is called although it was around €37k in 2011,
The current limits set in 2007 are:

30,150 euro in a 3-seat constituency
37,650 euro in a 4-seat constituency
45,200 euro in a 5-seat constituency.
depending on how big the constituency was so really people are only aiming to raise5 to 10% of the total spending limit in these campaigns. REad Elaine Byrne on poltical party's opaque spending of millions. Donation and spending in 2011 general election.

In 2016 Averil Power changed crowdfunding platforms to Indiegogo also set up by Friends of Averil Power. This while also having a paypal donate system on her website and holding Fundraising Nights At The Dogs.



Dublin South West candidate Paul Murphy of AAA-PBP set up a Anti-Austerity Alliance donation campaign with the use of American based political campaigning website system Nationbuilder which they have been using for a few years. Dublin Bay North candidate Michael O'Brien is also fundraising on the same website, as is Cork AAA. Nationbuilder also allows you to set a donations goal and allows donors to list themselves and share on social media that they donated. He subsequently put up a Gofundme campaign for his Paul MurphyPosters fund.



Paul Murphy TD and Cllr Mick Murphy were arrested and charged with false imprisonment for sitting down behind a car that the Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) was in and subsequently they were refused a license for door to door collections by the Tallaght Police Superintendent under the Street and House To House Collections Act, 1962. because she was of the opinion,
the proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act.

One last push of this. Almost 1,000 people have shared it. If each of them gave €10 each... you get the idea! Thanks so...

Posted by Paul Murphy TD on Friday, January 29, 2016
As of 30/01/2016 Paul Murphy's Election Posters crowdfunding campaign raised €1.963 84 people in 13 days, not a huge amount of money but an impressive amount of people involved.
AAA have been asking for donations via their regular paypal Donation page on their main site as well as Paul Murphy's Nationbuilder website.

In Autumn 2015 Anti Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit Alliance merged to become the AAA-PBP a registered political party aiming to get 7 seats to become its own parliamentary group in the Dail to get more speaking time.

AAA and PBP intend to continue to organise and fund-raise separately at a local level, the Standards in Public Office have contacted and met with the AAA and the PBPA but neither has yet been confirmed as a third party, if they raise over €100 to campaign in an election you have to register as Third Party Third Party Forms - Standards in Public Office Commission. SIPO have indicated to me they are raising funds as accounting units of the AAA-PBP party

United People a newly registered political party have set up a Gofundme crowdfunding campaign.



Social Democrats candidate Ken Curtin Cork East


Updates
Interesting to note that Sandara Fay AAA DSW is listing her offline donations on her gofundme page as they occur.

Paul Murphy AAA DSW is the first person to hit his target (of €3,000) on his gofundme campaign while also having raised over €3,000 on his Nationabuilder site.

Summary of campaigns
Support Averil Power for Dáil Éireann (IND) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Support Averil for Dáil Éireann! (IND) Goal 10k.
Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann (FF) Goal 2k, raised 0. (not promoted)
AAA Election Appeal (AAA) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Paul Murphy. Goal 10k.
Michael O'Brien. Goal 3k.
Michael O'Brien Dublin Bay North AAA candidate Goal €2,000
donate cork aaa
United People. €6.000
Social Democrats Ken Curtin Cork East Goal €10,000
Henry Gaynor (IND) Kerry. Goal €10,000
Gearóid Fitzgibbon Green Party Tipperary Goal €3.600
Paul Murphy Posters AAA(PBP) Dublin South West Goal €3.000
Declan Bree Sligo-Leitrim. Goal €2.500
Declan Bree Sligo-Leitrim. Goal €2.500
Oliver Moran Social Media CampaignGreen Party Cork. Goal €500
BarbaraSmyth Independent, Longford. Goal €3.500
Bernie Hughes Independent Dublin North West. Goal €1000
Richard Murray Independent Candidate for Dublin South Central. Goal €3000
Brian Finucane Candidate for AAA People Before Profit. Goal €3,000
Anna Doyle PBP(AAA) Wicklow East Carlow General Election fundraising donated €600 to herself Goal €1000
John Halliagan Independent Waterford Goal €2,000
Thomas Kiely Independent Cork North Centra Goal €4,000
Sandra Fay Dublin South West. Goal €3,000
Ben Gilroy Direct Democracy Ireland Meath East. Goal €5.000 Created February 1, 2016 by Ciarán O'Dochartaigh
Direct Democracy Election Campaign. Goal €6,000 Created September 20, 2015 by Gerry Flood
Michael O'Gorman Independent Kerry Goal €3.000
Edward Quilty Waterford Direct Democracy Ireland
Ken Smollen Irish Democratic Party Goal €3,000
Sharon BriggsPeople Before Profit Wicklow Goal €800 Created by June Tobin Maher
Fiona Pettit O'LearyIndependent Cork South West €500 for ballot registration.
Fiona Ryan Cork South Central Anti-Austerity Alliance. Goal €500
Diana O'Dwyer AAA Dublin Central for Election Posters Goal €1.500
Save Mayo Peter Jordan Ballina and George O'Malley Newport 1st Independent Mayo candidates. Goal €1,500
Kate Bopp Offaly Independent. Goal €5.000
Cllr Mike Cubbard Independent Councillor on Galway City. Goal €1,000
Keith Gilligan Carlow-Kilkenny Independent (Right2change)
Declan Crowe Independent South Kildare. Goal €3.000
Tommy Holohan is the Anti Austerity Alliance Galway West / South Mayo Goal €1.500
Tom Moran People Before Profit Alliance Mayo Goal €500
Michael McDermott Direct democracy Ireland Cavan / Monaghan Goal €5,000
Keogan4Meath Election Fund Raising ?
Too many to list on Gofundme

Campaigns for Seanad
Lynn Ruane TCD panel.

Crowdfunding fees
icrowdfund 4 - 6% and 3% transaction +25c.
Gofundme 5% fee and 1.4% stripe transaction = 6.4%
Indiegogo 5% fee and 3% + 30c transaction. 8-10%
Paypal 3.4% for direct donation with Paypal.
Nationbuilder $29 minimun for complete campaigning service. 'No transaction fees'.

Party Donation
Sinn Fein
Anti-Austerty Alliance
Green Party
Fine Gael
Fianna Fail
Labour
People before Profit


Best to make clear that you have to be an Irish resident or Irish citizen to donate. I have noticed some people donating who are in Ireland but admit to not being in the constituency of the candidate, I know Dail members are national politicians but it would strange if a candidate was helped to get elected to any significant degree by lots of people donating from outside the constituency, (especially if they had fellow party candidates in the constituent of the donor).

Links
Small donors meet candidates’ running costs Aaran Rogers Times Ireland January 9 2016.

Money makes the world go roundRTE Election 2016 Podcast 29/01/2016. Claire Byrne is joined by SIPO's Paddy Walsh, former FF TD Mary Wallace, and Prof Iain McMenamin.

Former FF TD Mary Wallace suggesting at 23 minutes into the podcast that Independent candidates can spend more on elections,but thats party spends for partty candidates, which is a benefit not a disadvantage. Paddy Walsh from SIPO seems to presuming that online crowdfunding would be anonymous, most people using credit cards, or credit card linked payment system you'd have to go to some lengths to donate anonymously to a candidates and the candidate can simply reject it if its over the anonymous limit.

There was a Irish politics specific crowdfunding website Icampaign.ie setup for the 2014 Local Elections with a few candidates using it but it didn't take off.

This is a blog version of thread I started Political Candidates Crowdfunding by Agents or Committees 3rd November 2015

2011 Election
Dylan Haskins published all his donations mostly gathered online via paypal, he got about €14,00 and having gotten enough votes to reimbursed 8.7k by the state donated 10 to charity.

UK elections

New blow for Labour as candidates struggle to secure crowd-funding donations Scottish Herald Jill Castle 5 Apr 2016 from Daily Mail?

The Reinstate 48 initiative Citizen Initiated referendums campaign.