While it may appear that only over this campaign Irish hip hop emerged as a political force with plenty of videos, (including local ones), the reality is of course very different. Back in the early to mid 90s, much Irish hip hop had a political tinge to it. From Scary Eire's '10 men dead' to Marxman "A sad affair" and ill dependents "the retort", irish hip hop punched at a much more radical weight than most other genres of its time. I would not include the above track in that canon, however I suppose it is interesting that a young rapper like the assassin (recording here is from 1997/8) feels that he had to do something political to fit in with the prevailing trends in Ireland. Taken live from the legendary Stevie G show on pirate Radio Friendly. Archived forever on the great old h2Eire site.
If you are voting today, you will presumably be voting your own way for a variety of reasons from local to European. While there are a myriad of issues, which people will be basing their opinion on, it would be amiss of us considering the nature of this site not to draw you attention to one.
Over this election campaign in the local Limerick area, two Fine Gael councillors have made immigration their central issue. Around the same time that posters of Jim Long kitted out in his blue shirt began to appear in the City south ward he also beefed up his comments on migrant workers. He admitted he didn't mind been called a racist. Out in the County area, his colleague Liam Galvin managed to get front page of the Limerick Leader, with more unsubstantiated rumours. He uses as a source taxi drivers for claims that some Eastern Europeans may be involved in welfare fraud.
While there is no doubt that not all members of Fine Gael share these views, the approach by the party in dealing with it is worth noting. Enda Kenny the leader informed the media that he told Long to apologise but Long claims he said no such thing. Under pressure from the Limerick Leader, after the Galvin outburst the party promised that their immigration proposals would be published during May. However these have not been published. On a national level we have already seen the outbursts in the last year from Leo Varadkar and Brian Hayes.
It apears that Fine Gael will emerge as the most popular political party in Ireland this weekend. In the race for "anyone but Fianna Fail" they obviously appear as an appealing option to some. However their failure to deal effectively with the above should make these people think.