Shinners & Losers

The Irish general election came and went last weekend and it delivered its fair share of winners and losers. The biggest losers were the two parties who have been “running” this country for the last four years, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. The Greens lost all six of its representatives while Fianna Fáil’s representation fell by nearly three quarters. The party had been in power with other coalition partners since 1997 and its decline was unsurprising but completely welcome. The biggest winners were the party that’s been in Fianna Fáil’s shadow since Ireland became a republic. Fine Gael won just under half the number of seats on offer and will most likely form a coalition with the Labour party, who also had its best election. The same was true for Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and independent candidates, who all won more seats than Fianna Fáil’s solitary one in Dublin. The new government isn’t going to turn the country’s woes around overnight, but at least it’ll bring in a few fresh faces and, hopefully, some new ideas

Apart from politics, the worlds of cinema and sport produced a few more winners and losers this week. The King’s Speech proved to be the big winner at this week’s Academy Awards. I guess the vanquished nominees could be said to be the losers, though I’m sure they’re bound to profit from all the publicity that the Oscars continue to bring. Earlier that day, my favourite football team, Arsenal from North London, lost out in their attempt to win their first trophy in six years when a lack of concentration sent the Carling Cup up to Birmingham. They atoned somewhat a few days later when they comfortably progressed to a quarter-final tie with Man United in the FA Cup. My mood had already been elevated by a totally unexpected victory by an Irish sporting team against a country that gave the world some of its best team sports. I’ve witnessed a few Irish wins against England in football and rugby previously, but I never thought I’d see Ireland beat England at cricket. However, that’s what happened last Wednesday when the boys in green broke a few records as they confounded the odds to defeat a rather shocked English team. Thankfully, there are few losers amongst my musical collection and here are a few winning tunes for you to get lost in

Lost In Music (Sister Sledge cover) – The Fall

I Don’t Like To Lose – The Group feat. Cecil Washington

Winning a Battle, Losing the War – Kings of Convenience