The following article first appeared on Substack and is syndicated with the permission of the author.

The signs are everywhere. Green Party councillors holding parish hall meetings on sustainability, Labour photo ops promoting new African and Indian members are surfacing and Sinn Fein and FF Councillors dog-whistling against open borders and economic migrants has begun. 

The progressive order is getting ready for the Local Elections. Campaigns have begun.

Irish populists are also getting ready to run one-man campaigns of their own. It’s new to them, unfamiliar terrain and a long way from what they’re used to. Which makes those other campaigns stirring to life sound as ominous as the Zulu drums in the hills around Rorke’s Drift.

Some of them like Michael Burke have run before in the local and general elections.

He won’t be the only one throwing his hats in the ring. There will be a lot more. Unfortunately, most aren’t going to make it or even come close.

The ones who don’t succumb to self-inflicted wounds will face huge hurdles thanks both to the system itself and to the way local elections get covered.

On the bright side (depending where you sit) even where we aren’t successful there are still going to be a lot of incumbents – sitting councillors and experienced independents – who’ll be campaigning using our kind of language and making our (badly) points for us.

It’s the little things that trip you up and also the big ones

The life of a politician is incredibly, ridiculously demanding. I stood beside one TD last week as somebody took up half an hour of his life going on about a wall at the bottom of their garden. Being in Irish politics requires enormous idealism, sacrifice and commitment. Hats off to everyone putting their name forward in these elections. I have none of those qualities so I’d never dream of it myself. But idle speculation and unsolicited advice is all I can do.

Sitting down and trying to figure out what a successful campaign strategy would look like for candidates from our side the first thing that hits you is just how difficult it’s going to be.

On the other hand, if I was actually looking for a way to throw away my political chances then that one couldn’t be easier. I’d just have to talk about Covid, vaccines, the WEF, Klaus Schwab, excess mortality, “international finance capital” or the freemasons. Mention any of them and the fat lady starts singing. That should be obvious but unfortunately, there are going to be campaigns on our side that will be over before they’ve begun.

Embroider this one on a cushion

Council elections are made up of 166 separate contests in each Local Electoral Area. Some of those LEAs only have a 25% turnout. In working class areas two out of three people don’t bother voting. (In the last local elections Tallaght South turnout was 26%, Ballyfermot 36%, East Wall 35%, Ringsend 33%).

I won’t be running myself but if I was, here’s the single most important fact I would need to consider when it comes to deciding on a campaign strategy and thinking about how to sell myself as a prospective councillor.

*** In the areas where we might expect to do well people are not at all interested in Local Elections. ***

Most prospective voters will only think about who to vote for a day or two before voting and even then the biggest issue by far in a council election is trying to motivate someone to get to a polling station.

Mention the vaccines, Count Kalergi or anything else on that list of topics above and you give the voter a really simple way of eliminating one choice on the ballot paper. Which they’ll be genuinely grateful for if that’s any consolation.

A local election campaign is not an opportunity to educate the public. If I think it is then I’m looking at voters on my terms, not theirs. If I want to just use the election as a way to publicise my own opinions then fine but if I’m seriously looking to be elected I need to see things the way the voters see them. I need to put myself in their shoes. I need to own their indifference.  

Voters care so little about local elections. They’ve no time for discussion or any “research” anyone might have done. I have five seconds, one glimpse of my election literature, one slogan, one “what’s your man about? ah he’s for less immigration” and that’s it. 

I ain’t going to educate anyone with one sentence and one sentence is all I’ve got. My audience is the people who agree with me already – if I can let enough of them know I’m on the same side as them I might be able to get a seat.

The shortest possible statement that lets the voter know the two of us are on the same page – that’s my campaign message. Coming up with that is the work of a moment. All my effort, all my energy, my whole campaign is then about getting heard.

Despite the overwhelming odds and the daunting organisational obstacles to be overcome the reason why a council seat may still be a possibility is that 75% of the public is on our side on immigration. And as of now no one officially wants their vote. As a candidate, I wouldn’t be looking to educate the other 25%.

Forget them. I need to put them completely out of my mind. My whole focus is on letting the 75% know that I exist and I agree with them. That might sound easy but it’s going to be bloody awful hard to do.

To quote Von Clausewitz “In war everything is simple, but the simplest things are very difficult”.

There will be zero media opportunities to get my message out. It’s the council elections, not the general election. 

No debates, no party political broadcasts. It would be impractical to have them given the number of people running. There are just shy of a thousand councillors in Ireland and there are probably going to be about two thousand candidates plus standing for election. Bar certain urban areas there will be no radio debates worth talking about.

Some people will be given airtime but not us.

Outgoing councillors both party and non party will find their way onto the airwaves. First-time party candidates will have their names dragged into things by their colleagues. Independents who are known for some local issue will be invited on to discuss it. And how surprised will anyone be if a female member of a minority group, standing for a party she can barely pronounce gets invited on air with a story about some racist incident she says happened to her while campaigning and takes the chance to share a little bit about herself and her endearing life story.

But there’s no chance one of us will be invited on air, unless…

There may be one crack ready to appear in this media wall of silence. We won’t know for a while but introducing the new hate speech laws in time for the European and local elections might turn out to be a strategic mistake. 

Managing to get yourself on the wrong side of these laws and charged with hate speech – for something most people would regard as innocuous (that’s important) – could potentially be the making of a candidate. 

An easy way to turn a hundred euros worth of fliers into tens of thousands worth of publicity. While Joe Duffy attempted to flay you alive before a national audience the 30,000 voters in your LEA – the only ones who matter – would also get to know who you are. The seat would be yours. Obviously, this works best if you’re one of the earliest victims of the hate speech laws. If you’re the twentieth candidate running foul of them the effect mightn’t be as great.

Apart from a lucky break like that, getting the voters in your local electoral area to know who you are when they couldn’t care less about the election or who’s running and you don’t have the media in your pocket is going to be extremely difficult.

There’s some great stuff available from the UK that addresses how candidates can work to become known by an electorate who doesn’t give a toss. Here’s a taste of what they’re suggesting:

Events in multiple locations, community hubs and cafes, engaging with community organisations, groups and individuals, record the event, a sign-in sheet, for email addresses and phone numbers. Have speakers the audience find engaging.

Stagger announcements/updates about Event Detailed agenda, Microsite launch, Still time to register for the event, Updates from the event and/or live updates, Post-event comms, Repeating key messages and signposting to materials / support

Who to reach Local forums, Local bloggers, User groups – e.g. experience of care system, Local newspapers / news sites, Residents Associations, School Governors Universities Council magazine / e-newsletters, Current councillors can help promote / talent spot, Let your local MP know, Business groups / forums / networks, Sports / walking / running groups, Local activists / influencers, Local hubs – transport, supermarkets, cafés, Volunteering groups / networks, Faith groups, Local radio stations, Neighbourhood Watch groups, Parent groups, Notice boards – libraries, health centres, cafes, pubs, supermarkets, parks, leisure centres, schools, religious buildings, council buildings, Unions

How to reach them: Email Twitter, Facebook, in person. Council contact details. Which Twitter followers could be relevant for you to make direct contact with? Link with other organisations/groups/individuals by tagging into tweets. Stalls at community events and outside shopping centres, put info on council websites in democracy and elections pages as well as community and news pages.

Some people, me for example, would look at that and think it seems like an enormous effort. Others would just see nothing but opportunities. Either way. it shows what a huge undertaking this is and how much energy it’s going to take to reach the voters.

For every four people who can vote in my electoral area just one of them is going to make the effort. Leaving aside the party members, activists and friends of the candidates, I’m looking at someone who’s voting because they think it’s important and is choosing between a party label, an independent who’s spent years working in the area, a black girl who’s been on the radio with her heroic story and (I hope)….. your man whatshisname who was:

“against more immigration”

OR (not AND)

“against the DP centre”


“against the gay stuff in schools”


“against too much green agenda”

And other than that was just very ordinary and reasonable and mainstream as far as they can remember.

If I’ve pulled off a miracle and got myself that far – vaguely in the mind of someone with a vague idea of the main thing I stand for as they head out the door to vote – I’m in with a chance.

Posted by Jo Blog


  1. Ivaus@thetricolour 09/08/2023 at 9:09 pm

    A truly sad state of affairs.If it is a known fact that only 1 in 4 complacent voters
    trouble themselves to vote in local elections then surely that’s the demographic
    number to concentrate all efforts on.
    Having attained the numbers in parish or community then a personal 1 on 1 is
    the only chance to guarantee their vote or equally to eliminate an opposing
    CHANCER by discrediting them.
    Parish halls and churches belong to the community and if the local parish priest
    is not onboard then tell them firmly it’s time to move over.
    It’s way past closing time for the Irish Electorate to cop on and should all else
    fail then the massive No Vote Campaign Against Incumbents Begin….
    IF WE CANNOT VOTE OUR OWN KIND IN – then nobody gets in !


  2. Sir Wrong Thinkist 09/08/2023 at 9:44 pm

    Third Sector NW, (formerly known as Ireland) – 2050.
    Taoiseach Umuide “Di Di” Imisternadumuudu & Tanaiste Allah U’ Ahbar announce
    – further power cuts to Irish Towns.
    – thank Russia for continuing the Free Grain program.


  3. Triggernometry 09/08/2023 at 10:08 pm

    The sad thing is the controlled ops will be out in between the genuine parties, vote rural independents, and nationalist parties, do not vote ff, fg, lab, sf or the lefty people before profit or whatever their name change is now.

    Sick of the sight of them and their whiney voices on 100k per year. And how the fuck can the greens conflate green policies and fix climate change and pollution – all the while trying to flood this country with the third world and its mother and granny? How can you have less pollution, less climate problems and more green policies when you concrete over everything for often bogus refugees who tear up passports? Can a green please tell me?


  4. Daniel BUCKLEY 09/08/2023 at 11:52 pm

    Get Registered or you cannot vote.
    ANYONE , as long as they are of age, can vote in a Local Election.
    No Citizenship is required, as long as you have an address and are Registered.
    ‘Only those who show up to vote matter’, (Josef Stalin) which enabled him to climb to the very top of the Soviet Union with a minority of supporters.


  5. Daniel BUCKLEY 10/08/2023 at 1:08 pm

    Registering to Vote is Easy!
    From 1 November , ask to see the Register of Electors at your local post ffice, Garda station, library or city or county council offices – to see if your name is on the Register.
    You can check if you are registered on by keying in your Province and then your County/City Council.
    All residents of the Republic of Ireland, regardless of nationality or citizenship you must be at least 18 years of age on 15 February, the day the Register comes into force. You must also have been ordinarily resident in the State on 1 September in the year before the Register comes into force.
    Registration forms available online on the following link Registration Forms or from your local post office, library, garda station and local county council offices.
    February each year Register comes into force
    The Live Register is available for inspection at County Council Offices, Libraries, Post Offices and Garda Stations. This Live Register is then used at every election and/or Referendum held in the following 12 months.
    Still possible to register on the Supplementary Register: until 14 working days before polling day – (decided each election year by Government)
    Supplementary Registration form (RFA2) is used – this needs to be witnessed by a Garda.
    The Closing Date for receipt of Applications for the Supplement to the Register of Electors is 14 working days before the Election and is published in local and National Newspapers in the run up to any Election and/or Referendum.
    Supplementary Change of Address (RFA3) is used – A person who is on the Live Register in one County but who is now resident in another County may apply to be entered in the
    Supplement to the Register of Electors in the County where he/she is now resident. Also, a person who has moved within the County between Local Electoral Areas may apply to be entered in the
    Supplement to the Register of Electors for the Local Electoral Area in which they are now resident. This RFA 3 form also needs to be witnessed at Garda Station.
    The form can be posted free of charge to your local County Council Office


  6. Most people dont care about immigration. In the next election the “far right” will not succeed in getting anybody elected to office.
    Several candidates were run in the last election on a “foreigners out” platform and they did not even get 1% of the vote.
    Of course there is always especially in Ireland the feral antisocial underclass predator yunfla and the bag of hammers yunwan who dont want foreigners on their turf, in their area, and “nationalists” fill their ranks with such people to the great detriment of productive and collaborative mindsets. Most online “nationalists” just want somebody to threaten violence against, to insult, and accuse of being a Jew or Gay or Pedophile. When you take such people out into the street you see them shout the same accusations to the general public, to Gardi, and to media reporters. So what then does the public see? A bombastic insolent mob of thuggish youths shouting abuse and gathering in what they hope will turn into a lynchmob.

    Now if anyone from the general public searches “nationalists” online, they have a hard time finding our stuff, due to the personalization of their content so that it revolves around individuals and not causes. The content is also almost always of atrocious quality. Say somebody tunes into a livestream and the deshevelled streamer plays some crude videos but cant get them to work properly, or has technical problems that they didnt bother rehearse before they went live, etc, stuff like this. All of it creates an image of lethargy and low motivation and low work ethic. And that is BAD in case you did not realise it. I dont care if you say it is acceptable for the scanger females and thuggish yobbos who are used to low standards and allergic to high standards. You are Wrong. It is atrocious and it turns people away just like any deshevelled foulmouth or autistic dictionary tyrant repulses people.
    All your content creators are guilty of this. Will you hold them to account? F*ck no you wont. You never do.

    All that the public sees from “nationalist” content is a smug air of self assumed supremacy and narcissism and a repulsive undeserved air of pompous elitism. Every article on this site reeks of it.
    Even idiots can use sophisticated vocabulary to imitate insight and intelligence in the same way a baby learns to say Ma ma.
    But for most of the insular paranoid xenophobes in our circles, you know damn well they havent got a clue about the true meaning of the vocabulary they use because insular smug pompous individuals never have insight, that is not how humanity works.
    Insight requires humility and there is no humility in our circles whatsoever, it is pride in our own degradation of collaborative tendencies and stigmatization of empathy. If you got into power you would do nothing for nobody. That is not the sort of people you are. You never help anyone. You expect supporters on your own side to bend over backwards for people who wont budge an inch for them. You stigmatize the very notion of compromise. You spread vicious rumours about people being Jews Gays and Pedophiles while oblivious to the consequences. You gather in a mob of anti social youths to shout and intimidate individuals who have nothing to do with the bigger picture. You openly say you want violence but when asked formally you deny it and claim to be pacifists. Who do you think you are fooling? Some “nationalist” uploads a video of him taunting and then trying to run over a foreigner so he gets street cred among his thuggish mates? What disaster do you think that is for a political movement?
    You dont even realize its a disaster. But the public and your enemies will be able to make use of such things.

    Its probably only a matter of time before “nationalists” are banned and the cause of this will be the ringleaders we have who tolerated such a toxic atmosphere in our circles, elevated charlatans, promoted pomposity, ignored hypocrisy ignored inconsistency, gave a platform to tiny elitist cults of religious freaks such as the SSPX, ignored the skeletons in peoples closet which were all time bombs to destroy the movement in time, and gave a free pass to obvious narcissists and egotists to obnoxiously throw verbalistic temper tantrums against anyone basically and do it for thousands of views while idiots praise him for his immaturity.

    Had enough of this scene its an absolute crock of sh!t.

    What about social issues or injustices or funding levels for various things? Mass poverty? stuff like this.
    You dont even care and you are proud not to care. And in hindsight, why would toxic individuals care in the first place?
    The only platform theyd run on is “We in our pre vatican 2 catholicism are superior to everyone and want the foreigners out, or as one group now says, unless they are here to work but if they stay they must be second class citizens.”


    1. Ivaus@thetricolour 14/08/2023 at 1:29 pm

      You obviously mix in the wrong circles,or are a rancid loner they chases your own arse.I say this because your illiterate diatribe of a generic Nobel Prize Winning IRISHMEN,too numerous for you to count,an adopted language despite your efforts to eliminate…have succeeded and excelled your small mindset and immature brain,clearly obvious to THEBURKEAN IE.
      Ask your mammy is it OK,before she let’s you comment…or converse, GOT ITa


      1. So by your delusional logic, “if someone criticises the status quo in this community ergo they must be a rancid loner” ?
        Imbecile. You grossly inflate the importance of fringe websites and cults by saying anyone who does not sing the chorus is a rancid loner. I talk to normal people, men and women, building social skills. Your abrasive character and ineptitude in articulating your nebulous disagreement with my true statements shows it is most likely you who are the rancid loner as this community has rotted your brain. Im convinced the so called “far right” will get nowhere with the failed leaders it has now, and even with good leaders, will continue to get nowhere unless it purges itself of the yobbos, freaks, catholic supremacists, and various brands of toxic individuals who only participate to abuse people. I dont care who agrees with you, or if there was a thousand people here all agreeing with your ridiculous statement. You have a thousand, I have a million. That is how I look at it. I am more normie in perspective than some of the anti social freaks in these circles. And because I am, I see these circles as they would see these circles. What I said about the smug attitude of pompus elitism and self importance is something I am especially proud of. Somebody has to say it, if it is only a comment here. People have to get it into their skulls that saying the right things to win approval and get in the door does not mean a person should be allowed to participate as a representative of all of us. Leaders should be subject to scrutiny. Ego maniacs and uninventive people who make strategic blunders or put foot in mouth comments should be weeded out unless you want a low quality movement with low effort activities and low standard marketing and low integrity ringleaders directing it.


        1. and a low quality political machine gets low quality results – as everyone here saw in the last few elections.
          You want more of the same disastrous strategy. To hell with you.


  7. It is difficult for any individual, if they haven’t got the might of a big party behind them to make their mark in politics, it’s true. If they have the media against them, or at least being ignored by them, then their chances are even smaller. There were times when someone drove a car around their local area, with their name advertised on the roof and a loudspeaker telling us to get out and vote for them. I remember the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alfie Byrne had a little ditty that us children used to sing as we swung around lamposts or chased each other up the road. Vote vote vote for Alfie Byrne. It was effective. He was a stand out vote getter and an independent too.


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