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 FG - Worth Saving?

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PostSubject: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:06 am

This was Edo's response to a post on a disappeared thread started by Cookie Monster. (The discussion originally started here http://machinenation.forumakers.com/economy-business-and-finance-f8/budget-2008-2009-t1381-125.htm#41092 cf)

Quote :

by Edo Today at 9:27 pm

What do you mean - you have only 2 choices Labour or Fianna Fail?

This isn't the UK - there are no safe seats in Ireland - and there is definitely no constituency in the county with only FF and Lab candidates.

Sorry Cookie - but your post just stinks of laziness and of treating politics and political life as a consumer good that you pick up in your local tescos as opposed to the responsibilities of a citizen.

Your opinion of Fine Gael is fair enough - you are entitled to it - but to be criticizing all and sundry is deeply deeply cynical - I don't agree with about 50% of what Fine Gael actually currently stand for - but 50% is good enough for me and I can work on the rest as best I can - but then again I'm probably one of the few realists on this site - to achieve anything of any note in life is normally hard work and does not arrive "Big Bang Lotto style" - it takes time,patience and not a little luck.

Im disappointed in your attitude to this - the way you describe the various individuals in FG and your personality based approach to this - its not the fucking " X-Factor" here -

Im more into the ideas and polices that I believe will improve my life, my childrens lives and those of my fellow countrymen in the years and decades to come - thats why I got involved because I learned very early in life that you have to get involved if you want to influence anything -Would have thought you would have learned that through your positive experience with the Libertas campaign - Trust me, I could quite happily stay indoors and away from it all rather than spending 2 nights a week out on peoples doorsteps in all weather, every second weekend writing up and dropping newsletters and flyers and having to organise fundraising events to keep the whole gig going more than a couple of times a year - I could quite easily go for the quiet life and I respect anybody ,regardless of their political persuasion, who gives up their time to do this kind of thing and get involved in this.

Anyway - Im sick and tired of all these armchair cynics on the sidelines who think they know fucking well everything ,all you have to do is snap your fingers and voila there it is - and who simultaneously have the answer to everything and nothing (No- I dont like that- I hate him or her) - this "pick and mix" attitude pisses me off royally.

OK - sit on your ditch and evaluate,ruminate and pontificate over the political galaxy to your hearts content - Im too busy trying to change the colour and texture of a small part of that firmament before my mortal coil runs out.

end of very short rant.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:13 am

I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:38 am

Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:20 am

tonys wrote:
Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

Interesting you should say that, tonys. Some FG TD's, and I am not calling into debate here their ability, have left politics to pursue other careers, presumably perceiving that what they could achieve in politics was so limited as to leave them personally unfulfilled. Ivan Yates and George Bermingham spring to mind here. Are there equivalents in FF?
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:03 pm

tonys wrote:
Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

Its the whole dilemma of representative democracy. Since being an elected representative is a full time job, we get a lot of career politicians. The agenda is to get votes and get re-elected. Fianna Fail have a very well honed and effective machine for that. Any T.D. who ignores this rule is not likely to get re-elected. The plus side of this is that it makes politicians very accessible to anyone and keeps them in good touch with what people are thinking. The down side is that they are so effective at garnering individual votes and playing to a multiplicity of lobby groups that there is not much space left for strategy and anything longer term. The strategic differences between the two main parties are not that great anyway:both parties are after the middle class vote and are friends of the business class.

I think that voters have every right to criticise their elected representatives and to lobby them. Politicians put themselves forward for election on the basis that they are the best person/ represent the best party for the job. The idea of representative democracy is that we must put our trust in them to do what they have said they will do, whilst we go about our business until the next election. If they don't, or if their understanding of what was needed was wrong, criticism is due.

If youré not satisfied with the main parties, you can start a new one. For members of small, new, minority parties, yes, you can say its easy for them to hurl from the ditches. In their favour, they are in general not motivated by graft, as they have no reason to assume they will ever be elected. They put the work in, or not, mainly based on their political beliefs. They also don't have their manifestos put to practical test unless major social change pushes them into power.

Its not surprising that peoples' feelings get inflamed about politics and politicians. In a democratic state they are the means through which society generally tries to maximise its well being. If they fail badly, people get hurt badly there is a lot of anger about.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:23 pm

cactus flower wrote:
tonys wrote:
Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

Its the whole dilemma of representative democracy. Since being an elected representative is a full time job, we get a lot of career politicians. The agenda is to get votes and get re-elected. Fianna Fail have a very well honed and effective machine for that. Any T.D. who ignores this rule is not likely to get re-elected. The plus side of this is that it makes politicians very accessible to anyone and keeps them in good touch with what people are thinking. The down side is that they are so effective at garnering individual votes and playing to a multiplicity of lobby groups that there is not much space left for strategy and anything longer term. The strategic differences between the two main parties are not that great anyway:both parties are after the middle class vote and are friends of the business class.

I think that voters have every right to criticise their elected representatives and to lobby them. Politicians put themselves forward for election on the basis that they are the best person/ represent the best party for the job. The idea of representative democracy is that we must put our trust in them to do what they have said they will do, whilst we go about our business until the next election. If they don't, or if their understanding of what was needed was wrong, criticism is due.

If youré not satisfied with the main parties, you can start a new one. For members of small, new, minority parties, yes, you can say its easy for them to hurl from the ditches. In their favour, they are in general not motivated by graft, as they have no reason to assume they will ever be elected. They put the work in, or not, mainly based on their political beliefs. They also don't have their manifestos put to practical test unless major social change pushes them into power.

Its not surprising that peoples' feelings get inflamed about politics and politicians. In a democratic state they are the means through which society generally tries to maximise its well being. If they fail badly, people get hurt badly there is a lot of anger about.

You omit to mention, cactus flower, that their primary duty in Dail Eireann is to act as legislators. I do not believe that many of them understand that and function, accordingly, a glorified messengers ferrying queries from clinic to Dail office and generating tons of unnecessary and wasteful paperwork to perpetuate the myth that they can get something for somebody to which they are not really entitled. That is how bad it is.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:54 pm

There are a lot of good reasons for keeping to Fine Gael, not least among them that it is important that we do not become a one party state. For anyone interested or concerned about this then Fine Gael becomes the only option. Its not hard to see why such a diverse group would end up feeling disatisfied with the party.
There are a lot of positive strains within Fine Gael which have existed since the 1930s such as fiscal conservatism, the belief in international trade and law and order among others. The fact that it seems to be more honest and less corrupt than FF could be down to a combination of the CnG example in the 1920s and the fact that since then it hasnt been in power for long enough to get corrupted.
The rest of the factors such as fiscal rectitude, constitutaionalism and internationalism are FGs strong suit and FG are at their strongest when FF become isolationist or advocate high spending policies. Indeed FGs highpoint some decades ago coincided when they presented the strongest possible contrast to a FF which was both fiscally irresponsible and still somewhat equivacal in its support for greater european union. In 1987 things changed. FF supported the Single European Act and become fiscally responsible - the latter was particularly poignoint as FGs credentials as fiscal conservatives was in tatters after the Fitzgerald coalition. For a FF person to understand what happened to FG in 1987, it was like as if a FG government went ahead and both united ireland and successfully restored the Irish language(two of Devs great principals).

So where does that leave FG now? There is one thing that they still have which I believe has kept them going and motivated and that is the history of patriotically putting the interests of the country and democracy first before personal or party issues. This can be traced back to Cosgraves peaceful handing over of power to De Valera in 932, through to Dukes Tallaght strategy in 1987. In that sense FG are at least in their own minds, the patriotic party.

I think what next needs to occurr is some vision, but it should be more than obvious for Fine Gael. This is where they can come to their country's need. There is a democratic deficit in Ireland. FF have successfully manuevered themselves into a position where they have goverened the country for 17 of the last 20 years. It should be obvious that a one party state is not in the interests of the country. Were Fianna Fail a combination of law-abiding saints and economic geniuses it would still be wrong, because Fine Gael believes in Democracy. Good and honest men are not the solution. What the country needs is a system that will ensure that we have greater democratic accountability. This is a call for nothing less than constitutional reform. There is much to do, such as reform or abolition of the Seanad and the office of the President. We should also consider whether we should allow the continuing fusion of power between the Dail and the executive. What about direct democracy especially at the local level?
There are many questions:
Will there be lots of opposition? - sure Fianna Fail will oppose it tooth and nail - they are after all the establishment! Dont forget the opposition within Fine Gael. It is certainly not whiter than white and things like nepotism do exist. Yet it is strategically best place to take up this reform.
How far should we go? As far as is necessary to bring back full accountability into the system.

A manefesto for Constitutional Reform will draw a big line between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. With the inevitable increases in taxation already upon us, democratic accountability becomes yet more important. If Fine Gael can conquer their inate fear of radicalism then they can go forward with this. The economic downturn and the example of a British Conservative party in power and committed to more direct democracy should make it easier for Fine Gael to conquer their innate fear of radical change and go forward.

Nothing is inevitable and a Fine Gael victory in 2012 is not assurred. If Fine Gael take the easy option, expecting that all they need to do is sit it out they are gravely mistaken. Unfortunately when FF and Labour tie the not in 2012 it will be the Irish people who miss out yet again on a proper alternative. As former Fine Gaeler and later nemisis Michael McDowell used to say - radical or redundant. Fine Gael are in the last chance saloon. Its time to be a bit radical in the only way they can. The country is calling for constitutional reform. This is Fine Gales great big opportunity to dominate the 21st century.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:08 pm

Slim Buddha

Quote :
You omit to mention, cactus flower, that their primary duty in Dail Eireann is to act as legislators. I do not believe that many of them understand that and function, accordingly, a glorified messengers ferrying queries from clinic to Dail office and generating tons of unnecessary and wasteful paperwork to perpetuate the myth that they can get something for somebody to which they are not really entitled. That is how bad it is.

In a way, that's my point, Slim Buddha. The primary agenda of politicians is to get votes. That is the reality. The problem is that as an electorate we buy into that - in fact I think we demand it of our politicians.

Until we ask them to do something else, and reward them electorally for doing it, they will carry on in the same way.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:08 am

Any takers on this FG thread?
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:14 am

Respvblica wrote:
Any takers on this FG thread?

Just reread your thread about FG and constitutional reform. Does FG support any kind of constitutional reform? What do you find wrong in the present system - is the Senate too strong, to weak, or just unnecessary? But these questions need to go into a different thread, I think.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:44 am

For historical reasons, and given the occassional mutterings of some of their more die-hard right wing, I can't vote for them. I really tried during the last election to give them a preference as I so wanted to get rid of FF for awhile. Yet, I couldn't create the justification to do so. When I came back from voting and read some of their more seasoned poster's comments on pie, I was ever so glad I didn't vote for them and vowed never to vote for them in any circumstances and to disavow my party of preference if they joined in govt with them in the future.

I know of many pragmatic local FG politicians and find them sincere and hard working, but I will always dislike some of their die-hard supporter's position and the affect they will have on policy.

On a more topical note, I think they are disadvantaged in as much as they cannot differentiate themselves very much from the opposition. They might have different policies but they seem to be fairly superficial and not that wholely undistinguisable from FFs. Being in a de facto coalition with Labour brings out a more social aspect to their policies, but that's about it.

Really, politics in Ireland has boiled down to who is the better economics manager. If FG can gain by FF's present politcy decisions or mistakes as some would have it, they may get into government. However, I don't think anyone is expecting Ireland to change in any dramatic manner if FG obtain the govt benches. A different management team with essentially the same agenda as the old mangement team will have taken the helm.

Really, if you work at McDonalds, you may find some wee changes in management policy when new management has taken over, but at the end of the day you're still are working in McDonalds.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:07 pm

Thats a fair point Rocky and certainly FG without any radical policies might just appear as "simply" a new set of managers. There is another aspect of all this which is important. FF have governed Ireland for almost 90% of the time since 1987. They are entrenched, or tied into a the etsablishment in a way that FG are not, and that compromises them. If FG didnt do anything and were simply a mirror of FF, then the very fact that we have a changing of teh guard is important for democracy in Ireland. In hindsight the 2002 collapse was a great pity in that regard.

But there are some important differences which might make a FG government beneficial to the country at the moment. The social partnership model was good for Ireland in terms of buying industrial peace, but it has also ruined our finances. The FG approach is not to appease lobbyists and big interest groups. Their less afraid of breaking the cozy relations that Big Businesses have, as was proved by Bruton taking on O'Reilly's independent newspapers in the last rainbow govt.

Finally a bit of radicalism, a la a constitutional crusade, would help. The senate can be revitalised or abolished, sane with local government. Other things like promising to abolish the 1963 land act
will set the builders and the FF buddies trembling like mad. It will also mark FG as being distinct from FF while remaining true to their centre right roots.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:01 pm

tonys wrote:
Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

A valid point - or it would be, but for the fact that one of our main political parties, Fine Gael, are not willing to step up to the plate, at least if the views of their members on P.ie (and the ones I have met in real life) are anything to go by. Since the economy went down the tubes I have not met a single FGer, online or in real life, who actually wants FG to take power for the time being. Their excuse is to let FF sort out their own mess, but surely the appeal of a strong opposition should be that it is willing and able to sort out the mess that the government has made? That's what the opposition is for, that's one of the main benefits of a multi-party democracy. FG shying away from their responsibilities as a major political party and openly admitting that they would rather see the prolonged suffering of the Irish people for the sake of a few votes brings shame to our democracy.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:19 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
tonys wrote:
Squire wrote:
I find it difficult to comprehend how people get passionate about most political parties. I can understand an idealistically driven party, say some socialist group, appealing to a certain mentality. However when it comes to FF or FG, or indeed the Conservatives or New Labour, it really is difficult to fathom.

I can understand an intense repulsion away from FF, and a strong desire to send them through a sheep dip. That said most FF members that I have met seem sane, sensible people. So how do they balance or rationalise their loyalty with some of the actuality?

Again FG fair enough, and personally I would prefer them to the other lot, but wouldn't sit up fretting about it.

For me what matters most with politicians is sincerity and honesty, often more so than the exact detail of what they stand for. I really value people who have the ability to stand up, and tell the truth as they see it, without a web of spin, lies and half truths.

Alas money is power, always has been and always will be.
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

A valid point - or it would be, but for the fact that one of our main political parties, Fine Gael, are not willing to step up to the plate, at least if the views of their members on P.ie (and the ones I have met in real life) are anything to go by. Since the economy went down the tubes I have not met a single FGer, online or in real life, who actually wants FG to take power for the time being. Their excuse is to let FF sort out their own mess, but surely the appeal of a strong opposition should be that it is willing and able to sort out the mess that the government has made? That's what the opposition is for, that's one of the main benefits of a multi-party democracy. FG shying away from their responsibilities as a major political party and openly admitting that they would rather see the prolonged suffering of the Irish people for the sake of a few votes brings shame to our democracy.

Theres a lot of bitterness in Fine Gael over what happened in the 1980s. We tried to implemet cuts but Labour were exteremly socialist in those days and Garrett would not stand by Dukes as he should have. Still by 1986 FG were taking the tough line, so much so that Labour jumped ship after the 1987 budget. In the election that followed FG could finally point to some small success like getting inflation down, but they decided to fight the election on a manefesto of brutal cuts. It was simply what the country needed. FF sang a happier tune until they unleashed Mac the knife who actually implented most of FGs manefesto. FG got nothing politically it seemed to some.

In fact if they only stuck by their principals into the 2000s they would be in a far stronger position then they are now. Theres a lot of pressures if you dont win an election for 25 years and I suppose principals have been ditched by some supporters. Thats a pity because FG should want to get into office now.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:30 pm

Why would FG face the music when it is clear that the population are not ready to face the music. Most posters here and on P.ie don't grasp the situation being so bad and the shortfall being so great.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:43 pm

youngdan wrote:
Why would FG face the music when it is clear that the population are not ready to face the music. Most posters here and on P.ie don't grasp the situation being so bad and the shortfall being so great.
How bad is it youngdan do you think ? I've this horrible feeling we're going to be ejaculated out of the Eurozone and end up like Iceland - soaring interest rates, massive unemployment and massively reduced production. We'll end up uprooting our own bogs again for heat. We'll be sorry we cut down all the trees to build rafters for houses. And the Poles will survive, they know how to fish.

That bad ?
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:56 pm

Don't panic. 6 months ago we concluded that by energy and food Ireland could on top of the world. What is going on in Iceland is to ejaculate them into the eurozone.

The gap is 15 billion divided by 4.5 million. About 3500 per person. 20 grand per family. Maybe 30 grand per working family. All that if things don't get worse from here.

Yet you have grannies, students, farmers, teachers, soldiers and who knows who else crying

Ireland needs to get out of Europe. Default on it's debts and be prepared for triobloid.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:23 pm

youngdan wrote:
Don't panic. 6 months ago we concluded that by energy and food Ireland could on top of the world. What is going on in Iceland is to ejaculate them into the eurozone.

The gap is 15 billion divided by 4.5 million. About 3500 per person. 20 grand per family. Maybe 30 grand per working family. All that if things don't get worse from here.

Yet you have grannies, students, farmers, teachers, soldiers and who knows who else crying

Ireland needs to get out of Europe. Default on it's debts and be prepared for triobloid.

Getting out of Europe ? If that would help then there's no hope for FG - they are the pro-est EU party in the country.

One of the few things getting out of Europe would do, I think might be to shake us into some sense about the policies we make here. Only this would take years to sink in - it's a long term solution but we need a short term one I suppose. Harvesting our natural energy and food wealth might be something for the medium term too but worth any party incorporating serious policies about this into their manifestos. In fact some serious energy ambitions for the medium term might galvanise something in the short. We should go for nothing less than 50% renewables in 5 years.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:07 am

Any thoughts on how FG are shaping up at the moment, after the Ard Fhies/National Conf?

I'm heartened at their stance vis a vis the public service. We owe a lot to public servants but the present system whereby they hold teh rest of us to ransom is wrong - no two ways about it. They are powerful and they need to be dealt with. Varadkar calls the discepancies between public and private sectors as economic apartheid. FG are standing for the people as a whole which does show that are know more deserving of being termed republican(in its real meaning) than the other party.

I would be hopeful that were they to get in with a strong mandate, they could keep power for a bit and begin real democratic reform.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:14 am

FG don't seem to need saving based on the current opinion polls, they're well on track to becoming the largest party in the land at both local and European levels in 2009. It is also possible that they will become the largest party in the Dáil come the next election which is some turnaround considering our country's history. It is a rupture of cataclysmic proportions.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:25 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
FG don't seem to need saving based on the current opinion polls, they're well on track to becoming the largest party in the land at both local and European levels in 2009. It is also possible that they will become the largest party in the Dáil come the next election which is some turnaround considering our country's history. It is a rupture of cataclysmic proportions.

Yeah I think the title probably is in need of a rewrite. What of a new thread: "FF - can they be saved?"
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:08 pm

tonys wrote:
What makes FF supporters stick with the party? In my opinion, the fear of the dead hand of FG at the helm. I daresay the reverse is also true.
Obviously and as always the fear is worse than the reality, but in this, perception is everything.

It’s easy to throw brickbats at the main political parties, but at the end of the day these are the people who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the job, something I strongly suspect the brickbat throwers don’t have the stomach for.

There`s some truth in that but also it`s over-simplistic.

To answer both parts

Why do Fianna Fáiler`s stick to the party.
1. Family loyalty

2. Fear of FG as stated above: my father is terrified of a FG/ Labour coalition on the basis of FG being worse on the North ie more pro-Unionist and Labour on the basis of the closure of Irish shipping in the eighties.

3. The benefit of effective spin through the media, at a local level and in debates: The aul`fella talks about someone being a Fianna Fáiler and he means it as a compliment "He`s one of us. He`s an ordinary guy not one of those big house FG types."

4. A top-electoral machine.

5. The ability to reward obedience to the party because of being in government.

You also have a point about some people who criticise them being afraid of being in government but the reality is that any party that poses radical change and means it will be strangled close to birth unless they have (a) major money behind them. (b) access to a favourable media. There is also the tradition in Ireland of electing members of particular families to the Dáil over and over again which makes it more difficult for new blood to break through from either inside or outside the major parties.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:35 pm

Fianna Fail's greatest trick has been to infiltrate itself into every club, society, residents association and dog and pony show in the Republic. Fair play. That is the route to power and one that operates under the radar of television, radio, newspapers and even the internet. As an aside, ask yourself who has more power in Ireland. Someone who knocks on your door and collects subs for your residents association or an internet warrior?

Fine Gael has some great hardworking members but an awful lot of lazy or disconnected ones who lie back and leave the minority do all the work.

What motivates me to stay and work with FG? I'm certainly not a "big-house" type, I come from a very ordinary background but I came from people who worked extremely hard in their own business and were crucified by Revenue and AIB at a time when Charlie Haughey was running the country as his own personal possession. In addition, my father's people come from a religiously mixed rural area near the border so being hawkishly Republican was never a route to peace and harmony but having a simple pride in being Irish and wanting a united Ireland by consent and not either terror or trickery comes naturally to me and many other FGers.

I am friends with many other folk who would be FF, SF, Labour or whatever. I understand and respect where they come from, will agree with them on many things but not all.

What keeps Fine Gael alive is that there is a hardcore of members who mix with everyone, get involved in their community and do knock on doors and keep local information flowing to the public representatives. It is not easy work and never thanked by outsiders but it was the lifeblood of the organisation between the debacle of 2002 and a lousy leadership and the successes of 2004 and 2007. It is also the reason why FG survived and the PDs died. My own colleagues are a mixture of traditionalists and Just Society Social Democrats like myself, what we have in common is a desire to get Ireland working for everyone, not just the special interest groups with an inside track to government.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:36 pm

Ronald Binge wrote:
Fianna Fail's greatest trick has been to infiltrate itself into every club, society, residents association and dog and pony show in the Republic. Fair play. That is the route to power and one that operates under the radar of television, radio, newspapers and even the internet. As an aside, ask yourself who has more power in Ireland. Someone who knocks on your door and collects subs for your residents association or an internet warrior?

Fine Gael has some great hardworking members but an awful lot of lazy or disconnected ones who lie back and leave the minority do all the work.

What motivates me to stay and work with FG? I'm certainly not a "big-house" type, I come from a very ordinary background but I came from people who worked extremely hard in their own business and were crucified by Revenue and AIB at a time when Charlie Haughey was running the country as his own personal possession. In addition, my father's people come from a religiously mixed rural area near the border so being hawkishly Republican was never a route to peace and harmony but having a simple pride in being Irish and wanting a united Ireland by consent and not either terror or trickery comes naturally to me and many other FGers.

I am friends with many other folk who would be FF, SF, Labour or whatever. I understand and respect where they come from, will agree with them on many things but not all.

What keeps Fine Gael alive is that there is a hardcore of members who mix with everyone, get involved in their community and do knock on doors and keep local information flowing to the public representatives. It is not easy work and never thanked by outsiders but it was the lifeblood of the organisation between the debacle of 2002 and a lousy leadership and the successes of 2004 and 2007. It is also the reason why FG survived and the PDs died. My own colleagues are a mixture of traditionalists and Just Society Social Democrats like myself, what we have in common is a desire to get Ireland working for everyone, not just the special interest groups with an inside track to government.

Hello Mr. Binge. Very interesting stuff there - FF worming its way into as many poker games, greyhound clubs and sale of works in the country as they can. Are they more in keeping or tune with what the broader part of the Irish population like to do than are FG I wonder ?

The Irish of not so long ago and today too don't tolerate it if you have an inflated sense of your own importance and I feel this is the view that FFers have of FGers. Maybe that's too simplistic but it's a visceral intuition which I have about how their difference is perceived. For some reason I'm having images of Leo Varadkar now ... FG are the 'smart' crowd - the 'know it alls'. But they do know plenty and rightly tend to focus on facts and figures but if you go on with facts and figures, data and stats then the best you can hope for is that the people think you're a bit of a boring harmless geek (like John Gormley) otherwise they'll think you think you're wiser than they are and they'll vote for their worst enemy rather than you.

If this is the case then what could the likes of FG do ? I'd suggest they speak directly to the people in a way the people can understand. I don't know if Richard Bruton can do it - he's very factual but not too arrogant so he's on the right side of the center anyway. He can communicate that data to a lot of people too. I think Gilmore is well able to combine facts, figures and illustrations and get it across. And Enda can do this very well too and he's got the perfect toned-downess with regards arrogance. I think Enda Kenny has been unlucky that there was a Celtic Tiger.

For combining facts, stats, data and vitriol in the most acceptable way you've probably got to look to Joe Higgins.
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PostSubject: Re: FG - Worth Saving?   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:33 am

Auditor #9 wrote:


Hello Mr. Binge. Very interesting stuff there - FF worming its way into as many poker games, greyhound clubs and sale of works in the country as they can. Are they more in keeping or tune with what the broader part of the Irish population like to do than are FG I wonder ?

The Irish of not so long ago and today too don't tolerate it if you have an inflated sense of your own importance and I feel this is the view that FFers have of FGers. Maybe that's too simplistic but it's a visceral intuition which I have about how their difference is perceived. For some reason I'm having images of Leo Varadkar now ... FG are the 'smart' crowd - the 'know it alls'. But they do know plenty and rightly tend to focus on facts and figures but if you go on with facts and figures, data and stats then the best you can hope for is that the people think you're a bit of a boring harmless geek (like John Gormley) otherwise they'll think you think you're wiser than they are and they'll vote for their worst enemy rather than you.

If this is the case then what could the likes of FG do ? I'd suggest they speak directly to the people in a way the people can understand. I don't know if Richard Bruton can do it - he's very factual but not too arrogant so he's on the right side of the center anyway. He can communicate that data to a lot of people too. I think Gilmore is well able to combine facts, figures and illustrations and get it across. And Enda can do this very well too and he's got the perfect toned-downess with regards arrogance. I think Enda Kenny has been unlucky that there was a Celtic Tiger.

For combining facts, stats, data and vitriol in the most acceptable way you've probably got to look to Joe Higgins.

An interesting and valid POV but remember that FF are past masters at learning from the experience of the many and different organisations that predated it in Irish political life. Few now remember groups like the United Irish League or the Irish Land and Labour Association from the turn of the last century but FF organisationally learned from its predecessors and learned well.

IMHO there isn't anything particularly more "Irish" about FF than ourselves or Labour or SF or whatever, but FF are extremely good at being at every proverbial event or happening. We ain't too shabby at it either Smile and those who wonder aloud why Irish politics is the way it is should get down from the ivory tower or broadband connection every so often and look a bit more closely at their local community and those who climb the slippery slope from local soccer club (say) to a position in the county council and perhaps onto national politics.

Most of us in Ireland really come from beyond the Pale, even if we live in it. Ask most rural Irish people (or those who come from a rural background, ie most of us) who do they trust to do things in politics. If they think about it, they will answer those who have a track record in proving themselves locally. This also explains why so many Irish pols come from generations. We don't trust easily as a nation and a track record in either the community or working with the "da" is a long established short cut to electability.

I might also add that FF are *extremely* good at the 'aul propaganda. Mrs. T's "There is No Alternative" could have been put together by the sultans of spin in FF headquarters. There is a very long pedigree of rubbishing your opponent in underhand ways which dates from the time that the Irish Party was threatened by the alternative and slightly more pluralist All for Ireland Party - this ability at spin lasted into the War of Independence and the Civil War and the Treaty debates are full of plenty of references to where former comrades recognised spin done by each other. Never be fooled that there is only one way to be Irish.


Last edited by Ronald Binge on Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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