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 Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:08 pm

johnfás wrote:
Okie dokie.
Sorry Boss. Back to the serious work at hand! Very Happy
I have to admit... I don't know who the hell Brian Hayes is, except that he is a FG TD, or what he has done.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:10 pm

He is the Fine Gael TD for Tallaght (what is... Dublin South West or something) and their spokesperson on Education. Prior to that he was a senator (having lost his seat at the previous election) and was Fine Gael's front bench spokesperson on Northern Ireland. I heard him speaking admirably at UCD during that time.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:14 pm

johnfás wrote:
All very interesting... but I am going take our my moderator stick and demand that we bring this thread back on topic. Whilst conversation on this matter is interesting and indeed often very funny, it does have the potential to lead us down paths which we do not particularly enjoy. Particularly those of us on the content team who then have to deal with the resulting farce.

Okie dokie.
OK then, Harney & O’Keeffe, just for spite.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:23 pm

tonys wrote:
Aragon wrote:
The money was not spent on us - it was spent on 'investors' and property developers and a milion different forms of corporate welfare. Our infrastructure and public services were disgracefully neglected at service point. It's bankers and brokers who have been living beyond their means. Have you not been reading the news in recent weeks? For the last several years Harney has been cutting back on desperately needed service staff while doling out huge cash prizes and presents to her corporate chums. Children with special educational needs have had their resources cut -at a time when Cowen and Ahern were positively boasting about how fantastically we were doing - telling us about the 33,000 newly made b/millionaires. Billions wasted on overspends on uncompleted road development - at least 10b of it unaccounted for. A collossal amount of money was given away on the insane SSIA scheme - funded by the working poor to line the pockets of the filthy rich. All the people who scrimped and saved to make that work for them are now quadruply clobbered. Poor fools. Did they seriously think it was going to be for free? You're absolutely right, we don't find any of this funny at all. It's facilitating the high end of the private sector that has caused all of this damage. Renegotiate the oil and gas deals - we can't afford that outrageous giveaway - it was almost certainly illegal anyway. You're on the losing side of this argument Tonys, just as you were when you wre trying to defend Ahern on the other site. Evil or Very Mad
Anyone who thinks, as you do, in black & white terms or who believes there is only one point of view and it just happens to be yours, in my opinion, doesn’t get to the starting line of an argument much less be in with a chance of winning or even losing one.
Your argument is a purely ideological one without reason or even common sense to back it up. You don’t like what you perceive Harney or O’Keeffe stand for, therefore everything they do is wrong and inherently evil, an argument, in my opinion, so obviously irrational it’s not worth the time of day.

Aragon will have to reply for her or himself as to whether there is reason for his/her ideology or not, but what she brings to the debate that is sometimes missing from it is passion and real concern about the issues. Passion does not mean that reason is excluded.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:43 pm

cactus flower wrote:
tonys wrote:
Aragon wrote:
The money was not spent on us - it was spent on 'investors' and property developers and a milion different forms of corporate welfare. Our infrastructure and public services were disgracefully neglected at service point. It's bankers and brokers who have been living beyond their means. Have you not been reading the news in recent weeks? For the last several years Harney has been cutting back on desperately needed service staff while doling out huge cash prizes and presents to her corporate chums. Children with special educational needs have had their resources cut -at a time when Cowen and Ahern were positively boasting about how fantastically we were doing - telling us about the 33,000 newly made b/millionaires. Billions wasted on overspends on uncompleted road development - at least 10b of it unaccounted for. A collossal amount of money was given away on the insane SSIA scheme - funded by the working poor to line the pockets of the filthy rich. All the people who scrimped and saved to make that work for them are now quadruply clobbered. Poor fools. Did they seriously think it was going to be for free? You're absolutely right, we don't find any of this funny at all. It's facilitating the high end of the private sector that has caused all of this damage. Renegotiate the oil and gas deals - we can't afford that outrageous giveaway - it was almost certainly illegal anyway. You're on the losing side of this argument Tonys, just as you were when you wre trying to defend Ahern on the other site. Evil or Very Mad
Anyone who thinks, as you do, in black & white terms or who believes there is only one point of view and it just happens to be yours, in my opinion, doesn’t get to the starting line of an argument much less be in with a chance of winning or even losing one.
Your argument is a purely ideological one without reason or even common sense to back it up. You don’t like what you perceive Harney or O’Keeffe stand for, therefore everything they do is wrong and inherently evil, an argument, in my opinion, so obviously irrational it’s not worth the time of day.

Aragon will have to reply for her or himself as to whether there is reason for his/her ideology or not, but what she brings to the debate that is sometimes missing from it is passion and real concern about the issues. Passion does not mean that reason is excluded.
Despite their own low opinion of the alternative view, passion and a real concern for the issues are not in fact the exclusive preserve of the ideologically driven.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:07 pm

tonys - my last post to you was 95% a list of FACTS about the mess Fianna Fail have made of the economy - their gross excesses and inability to direct their attention towards any but the PD constituency. At that point, probably embarrassed by the weight of evidence disproving your claims, you switched to a tactic familiar to all who have met you in the other place - personal insult rather than responding to what had been made incontrovertibly obvious about FF incompetence. QED. At any rate, there's no doubting your own undying, passionate love of Bertie Ahern, and all things Fianna Fail - no matter what they do or say you are as a love lorn girl, blind to her lovers wart-riddled face. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:34 pm

Aragon wrote:
tonys - my last post to you was 95% a list of FACTS about the mess Fianna Fail have made of the economy - their gross excesses and inability to direct their attention towards any but the PD constituency. At that point, probably embarrassed by the weight of evidence disproving your claims, you switched to a tactic familiar to all who have met you in the other place - personal insult rather than responding to what had been made incontrovertibly obvious about FF incompetence. QED. At any rate, there's no doubting your own undying, passionate love of Bertie Ahern, and all things Fianna Fail - no matter what they do or say you are as a love lorn girl, blind to her lovers wart-riddled face. Smile

I’m so glad this is not descending to personal insult, far be it indeed from you.
With that in mind I’ll undertake to re-examine your post for the 95% fact, in code was it?

In the meantime in my own defence I’d have to say I don’t think it’s necessary to be having a love affair with any political party to object to an ideological scatter gun masquerading as fact based opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:09 pm

I have decided to cast a vote but it will have to wait till I forget the image of the girl with the wart problem
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:30 pm

I am lucky as I don't know many of these jellyfish. Therefore I vote for Big Willie. Now some say FF has been responsible for the present state of affairs and why myself too may have engaged in mud slinging.

However after watching the Q%A show recently I am willing to go with Willie. At least he is able to accept that the gap is 15 billion and the disdain he showed that fool Gilmore was well deserved. Gilmore is either a thick bollix or he thinks the viewer is one. Waffling away about a few million here and a few million there while we are talking billions. Gilmore had no answer and maybe no comprehension on where he would find 15 billion of cuts or else 15 billion of taxes.

Politicians like Gilmore are not only a distraction but a dangerous hindrance to constructive proposals. He and his ilk will only turn a disastor into a dangerous crisis with his cheap political slogans.

So hopefully FF will do either of 2 things. Elect Willie as Taoiseach and do what is nessessary or else get out of the way and let the fools run the show.

Willie, Willie,Willie, yes he will.

Worked for Obama
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:51 am

eoinmn wrote:
Have any of you noticed that you can't post a MachineNation link on the site that shall not be named?
It translates MachineNation into *******
For the better IMHO.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:57 pm

Best politicians:

1) Eamon Ryan.... we need all that renewable energy. And full marks to the Green party for sticking with it. Governing in a recession is not for the faint hearted; everyone hates everything you try to do, regardless

2) Eamonn Gilmore... an effective leader of the opposition when we need one. Even though I fundamentally disagree with letting the banks collapse (yes, I know they need punishment, but I also need my friendly local ATM to work)

3) Batt O'Keefe... deserves a mention for courage under fire even though I DO NOT agree with the ed cuts

For the all mouth and no trousers award...1) Enda Kenny for only beginning to develop some policies after the proverbial hit the fan. FF bashing may be fun, but it ain't gonna fill the hole in the national piggy bank.

2) Bertie for a certain lack of clarity over matters relating to his personal finances (although I suspect many of us are secretly beginning to miss him..)

Mary Harney...how long has she been health minister?? More docs and nurses, less bureacrats puhlease!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:09 pm

Joint first prize

1) Declan Ganley - for successfully claiming the referendum result and for coming from nowhere to probably the best known politician in the country outside Brian Cowen and Mary Harney is no small feat.

2) Bertie Ahern - for once again showing himself to be the class in a class of his own politician, picked the moment of his own departure beautifully, went at his own pace and threw the live handgrenade that is the Irish economy to Cowen with impeccable timing - Cowen will be gone within 2 years.

They are my 2 politicians of the year - bear in mind , being a good politician has nothing to do with being a competent manager,planner , ethical person or diplomat - its about getting the most people to put their X next to your cause on the ballot box - any of you who believe it is anything else are living in cloud cookoo land.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:23 pm

1. John Gormley and Eamonn Ryan - good performances, steady under pressure and increasing influence in cabinet,

2. Mary Harney - how Harney has survived this long is beyond me. She deserves a lollipop for her gravity defying feats.

3. Brian Lenihan - has resisted enormous pressure to jerk those knees.

4. Dick Roche - I thought Dick performed very well in the Lisbon debates. It was unfortunate for him tht he got such paltry back-up.

5. Richard Bruton - has showed great composure at all stages and helped to re-establish FG as a credible party.

6. Enda Kenny - increasing the party support all the time, coming up with some policies at last, keeping FG disciplined and keeping the supporters and new members interested.

7. Eamon Gilmore - showed competence and political astuteness in dealing with Bertie's troubles.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:05 pm

Joe Higgins.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:07 pm

what has Joe done this year?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:25 pm

Best:

1. Richard Bruton - consistently clear and correct in analysing the economy and what needs to be done;
2. Leo Varadkar - innovative, articulate and a cut above most of the dross for a first timer and the fact that he really gets up the FFers nose is a bonus;
3. Eamonn Gilmore - consistently good performer at Leaders Questions where he asks one clear crisp question unlike Kenny who ends up chasing his tail by the time he has finished talking.

Worst:
1. Mary 'foot n mouth' Coughlan - how the hell has she not been nominated already? She is supposed to be the government No.2 but she has been exposed as a clueless Mary from Dungloe. She has no authority after all her gaffes like despite being in the most Brussels involved Ministry in Agriculture she appeared to be seeing double for the wholetime in seeing two German commissioners. She is also flailing all over the place with FAS.
2. Paul Gogarty - need I say more? Has he been nominated for the prize clown of the year yet?
3. Brian Lenihan - a tough choice from a nimber of other of contenders such as Gormley, Cannon, Manzer etc. But I thought that because of his elevated position he deserved it. His departmental civil servants clearly own his ass as seen with the budget. He still seems to believe you need to be 21 to vote and his 'woes me' speech weeks after being made MoF where he was griping about coming into the department just as the property boom blew up was a classic.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:29 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
what has Joe done this year?
He was active in the Lisbon debate and has been involved in many SP meetings about the current economic crisis. He has done a lot to articulate an alternative in these troubled times. To be honest I think his personal contribution may be exaggerated because, contrary to popular belief, the SP is not structured like most mainstream parties and not all things ultimately come back to the "leader". Much of what happens on the ground is undertaken by rank-and-file members not necessarily under orders from any high command. Still, Joe is an incredibly hard working politician.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:31 pm

cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
1. John Gormley for the sheer volume of work he has done over the last 12 months. Everyone can name something he has done recently that they agree/disagree with. That's a good sign. He has also managed to keep his party in coaltion through the roughest patch we've seen in a while.


2. Eamon Gilmore for simply being the leader of the opposition.


3. Kerrynorth of the PropertyPin for leading the charge against HomeChoice Loans! Smile


Is Kerrynorth an identifiable politician? Otherwise we'll have to keep him in reserve for the Active Citizen award.

No I am not a politician......yet! Basketball

I also note the irony in that I am nominated No.3 over the HCL State Aid complaint but the No.1 nominee, John Gormley, would be the Minister for Sub-prime Lending as it his department that administers the scheme. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:46 pm

Batt O'Keefe has received a surprisingly large number of nominations from people who say they don't agree with him. I hope this doesn't mean we are feeling the need for a Strong Leader in these troubled times. What a Face

The short list will be hard to put together, as such a wide spread of politicians have been nominated. It will be ready for polling come Saturday, no matter what.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:29 am

My nominations are:

1. Enda Kenny - Kenny's greatest skill is as a selector and manager of teams. In the last year Kenny's selections and matching people to asks has proven to have been spot on. He chose Richard Bruton as Finance spokesperson and Bruton has proven to have been the best person on all Financial affairs inside (or outside the Dáil) this year. Bruton was not an automatic choice, but was Kenny's choice. Kenny's choice of James Reilly, putting the man's ability central rather than play the normal cautious route of relying on seniority, has been inspired. Brian Hayes has run rings around two Education ministers, turning Mary Hanifin from someone once seen as a brilliant minister into a joke. Leo Varadkar in Enterprise, Trade and Employment has cut through the political waffle and tackled waste head on, in areas like quangos, Fás, etc, and again Kenny (unlike Ahern and Cowen) opted for ability over seniority. Kenny's team has set the national agenda repeatedly in the last year, make previously well-regarded Fianna Fáil ministers look ordinary, and produced major policy initiatives that the government attacked and then adopted (eg quango rationalisation). For creating, assembling and managing the best team in Dáil Éireann, and having a striking ability to match ability to responsibility (a clear lack of ability on Brian Cowen's part, given how his Tánaiste, Finance Minister, Health Minister, Agriculture Minister, Arts minister and practically everyone else has proven mismatched and unsuitable) Kenny is my first choice. If Cowen had Kenny's people management skills, the government might not be in the mess in its in.

2. Richard Bruton - Bruton has been without question the best performer on economic matters in Ireland today. Predicting years before it happened the eventual outcome of government policy mistakes, Bruton has shown himself to be lightyears ahead of Brian Lenihan, Joan Burton, the media and most commentators in the depth of his analysis. Without tons of economic advisors in the Department that is at the disposal of Lenihan, Bruton produced an alternative budget that managed to propose greater cuts in overall expenditure without making the unfair and grotesque cuts proposed by Fianna Fáil-Green. He did it by more innovative proposals on the cost of the bank guarantee, usage of used funds in other state organisations that do not need, and will not spend, money they have in the bank this year or for a couple of years to fund immediate corrections in the public finances that would boost the economy and those state organisations (so improving their profits and regaining back the money), proper financial controls on organisations, etc. Bruton showed himself to be on his own superior almost to the entire Department of Finance in understanding the Irish economy. He has been a revelation.

3. I decided to nominate as a third person someone from outside Fine Gael. But after spending a couple of minutes thinking of who, I honestly cannot come up with someone. Eamon Gilmore has been a good Dáil performer, but delivered little out of it and assembled a poor team. Joan Burton has been all over the place. Brian Lenihan has not proven up to the job. I cannot think of a single Labour big hitter who has made an impact, and there are very few in the government who have been anything other than mediocre. So my third choice is Brian Hayes. Hayes has shown guts of a sort rarely seen in politics, along with a willingness to admit to mistakes he made. For example, when thousands of teachers marched on Dáil Eireann he didn't just get up on a platform and say the cuts were a shame, and what teachers wanted to hear. He said that the cuts were disastrous, wrongheaded and foolish. But the money had to be saved somehow. He told thousands of teachers that he and Fine Gael believed the saving could be made by imposing a 12 month pay pause of anyone in the public sector (and that would include some teachers) earning more than €50K. The media and some teachers union leaders thought he would be booed. He wasn't. There was a couple of seconds of silence, and then applause. Teachers respected that he was being honest and upfront with them. Some agreed with him. Others didn't. But all sides felt he was treating them with honesty, something they were getting none of from Fianna Fáil and the Greens. If ever a country needs honesty in its leaders it is in times of crisis, and Hayes and others showed it repeatedly in saying what they believed, not putting on an act.

As to the three worst:

1. Brian Cowen - ineffectual, arrogant, incompetent and obnoxious. Cowen has proven under every single catergory to have been a disaster. He proved a hopeless manager of people (for example, moving Lenihan from Justice, where he was superb and fixing the mess left by McDowell, to Finance where the man simply lacks knowledge and experience. Later in Lenihan's career it might have been a good move. But Lenihan is simply too inexperienced at such a sensitive time. He chose Mary Coughlan, who is indescribably bad, as Tánaiste, bungled the Lisbon treaty, made a haymes of the budget, etc. In fact he has been woeful on every topic. Rarely has a taoiseach proved so appallingly ineffectual and unsuitable for the role.

2. Mary Coughlan - there are no words to describe how bad she is.

3. Mary Harney - stubborn, won't listen to advice, applies her own theories when they are disproved by facts. Endangering the lives of young girls to save €10 million was monumentally idiotic. The government could have saved that amount simply by cutting their use of the government jet by 13 flights.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:48 am

Very interesting assessment of Enda Kenny. Person management skills - and party management skills may be enough for a party leader, but are they enough for a leader of a country? Looking at the nominations so far, the overt appearance of strength seems to be very appealing to people at the moment and Kenny does not have that, does he ?

Only one more day of nominations - I'm hoping that yours will tip the balance and make it easier to pick the short lists. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:16 am

cactus flower wrote:
Very interesting assessment of Enda Kenny. Person management skills - and party management skills may be enough for a party leader, but are they enough for a leader of a country?

In terms of whether someone is a good taoiseach or not, they are the key skills. The governments which fail are usually the mismanaged ones - where the wrong people hold wrong posts, where a team is badly run, where decisions are bungled, where people are not encouraged to ask unasked questions and look for new solutions. Those are all things that Kenny is good at. Cowen has all the wrong skills - he is so obnoxious people are afraid to bring him bad news. The wrong people are given the wrong jobs and not used efficiently. No-one is encouraged to come up with new workable ideas. (That's why ministers end up taking FG ideas, eg, on quangos, though true to form they then bungle their implementation.) The best taoisigh are regarded as being W.T. Cosgrave at the start (I know he wasn't taoiseach but the equivalent office-holder), Sean Lemass, Haughey in 1989-91 and Bruton. All in those governments picked the best people and encouraged radical thinking. They also didn't stick by seniority in allocating jobs.

Quote :
Looking at the nominations so far, the overt appearance of strength seems to be very appealing to people at the moment and Kenny does not have that, does he ?

Strength is often an illusion. Thatcher was strongest in her last term, and it was her worst government. Haughey was at his strongest in 1982 and that was his worst government. Cowen is a strong leader yet is a disaster. People perceive strength as key. But what matters is the real strength of the government, and that comes from choosing the right people for the right roles, having the right policies and being open to new ideas. They are all things Kenny sets are requirements and are often things not associated with leaders more perceived as 'strong'. Michael Noonan was a 'stronger' FG leader but led his party to disaster. So strength is often an illusion. Real strength comes from good management skills, good policies, good leadership abilities and a willingess to listen and learn. For example, if you were an able TD who thought the party was making a mistake when in government, who do you think would invite you to sit down, listen to what you said and if you convinced him take it on board? Kenny or Cowen. And who would bawl you out, accuse you of being disloyal and F you out of it? (One of them is famous for acting one way, one the other.) Which way of behaving shows real strength?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:24 am

Yeah it makes sense what you're saying about the top job - in fairness Bertie is reputed also to have been a good people manager as Taoiseach wasn't he ? Of all the qualities it has to be the most necessary of any excellent manager... The willingness, awareness and ability to delegate. The leader doesn't have to be able to invent policies just believe in the policies of the party and try their best to push them through.

I think Kenny is a very good speaker as well and he's low-key enough too which is good for him as it gives him a bit more common touch.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:55 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Yeah it makes sense what you're saying about the top job - in fairness Bertie is reputed also to have been a good people manager as Taoiseach wasn't he ? Of all the qualities it has to be the most necessary of any excellent manager... The willingness, awareness and ability to delegate. The leader doesn't have to be able to invent policies just believe in the policies of the party and try their best to push them through.

I think Kenny is a very good speaker as well and he's low-key enough too which is good for him as it gives him a bit more common touch.

Fair points. Bertie was a good listener and a good manager. One notable difference is that Kenny is not gone on seniority, whereas Bertie was besotted by it. Kenny made Bruton Finance spokesperson because he thought him the right man for the job, not because of seniority. People like James Reilly, Leo Varadkar etc as first term TDs would not even be made junior ministers in an Ahern government. Brian Hayes would just about qualify as a junior minister having served twice in the Dáil and once in the Seanad. Under Bertie, someone like James Reilly would get a junior posting probably in 2017 and cabinet in 2022 or 2026, ie, become a junior in your 3rd Dáil term (2nd if you are very lucky) and cabinet in your 4th or 5th. Brian Lenihan was only made a junior in his 3rd Dáil term (2nd when FF was in government). And when someone made it to the top rung, with a few exceptions you were kept in until you retired. So under Bertie ministers at junior rank plodded along at junior rank too long, and the cabinet ended up not having a lot of radical people brought in until they had been in the Dáil so long to become senior, by which time they had become systemised and with few exceptions had lost their freshness. Kenny's approach in contrast is that if you have the ability he will give you a shot. And he will be keeping an eye on the backbenchers, looking for talent, listening to ideas, etc. That's why he chose an obscure minor senator to become chair of the Oireachtas subcommittee on Ireland in Europe. He was impressed with Paschal Donohoe and decided he had the ability, the talent and the toughness in the chair to do the job. That is how Kenny operates. That's how he brought his party from at one stage a low of 18% to 35% today, from 31 seats to 51, and became the first Fine Gael leader in history to beat FF in seats in any election (the Euros in 2004).

Bertie was one of the very few people from the start to 'get' Kenny. When Kenny became FF leader some FF ministers laughed, regarding him as lightweight and useless. Bertie warned them that they could not be more wrong. He told them not to misread Kenny's quietness as lack of ability. Kenny quietly revolutionised Fine Gael without creating splits. An interesting insight into Cowen and Kenny can be seen in what they do on their holidays. Cowen plays golf. Kenny mountain climbs. One man is loud and brash, but cautious. The other is quiet and polite, and takes risks.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:06 am

Papal Knight wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Yeah it makes sense what you're saying about the top job - in fairness Bertie is reputed also to have been a good people manager as Taoiseach wasn't he ? Of all the qualities it has to be the most necessary of any excellent manager... The willingness, awareness and ability to delegate. The leader doesn't have to be able to invent policies just believe in the policies of the party and try their best to push them through.

I think Kenny is a very good speaker as well and he's low-key enough too which is good for him as it gives him a bit more common touch.

Fair points. Bertie was a good listener and a good manager. One notable difference is that Kenny is not gone on seniority, whereas Bertie was besotted by it. Kenny made Bruton Finance spokesperson because he thought him the right man for the job, not because of seniority. People like James Reilly, Leo Varadkar etc as first term TDs would not even be made junior ministers in an Ahern government. Brian Hayes would just about qualify as a junior minister having served twice in the Dáil and once in the Seanad. Under Bertie, someone like James Reilly would get a junior posting probably in 2017 and cabinet in 2022 or 2026, ie, become a junior in your 3rd Dáil term (2nd if you are very lucky) and cabinet in your 4th or 5th. Brian Lenihan was only made a junior in his 3rd Dáil term (2nd when FF was in government). And when someone made it to the top rung, with a few exceptions you were kept in until you retired. So under Bertie ministers at junior rank plodded along at junior rank too long, and the cabinet ended up not having a lot of radical people brought in until they had been in the Dáil so long to become senior, by which time they had become systemised and with few exceptions had lost their freshness. Kenny's approach in contrast is that if you have the ability he will give you a shot. And he will be keeping an eye on the backbenchers, looking for talent, listening to ideas, etc. That's why he chose an obscure minor senator to become chair of the Oireachtas subcommittee on Ireland in Europe. He was impressed with Paschal Donohoe and decided he had the ability, the talent and the toughness in the chair to do the job. That is how Kenny operates. That's how he brought his party from at one stage a low of 18% to 35% today, from 31 seats to 51, and became the first Fine Gael leader in history to beat FF in seats in any election (the Euros in 2004).

Bertie was one of the very few people from the start to 'get' Kenny. When Kenny became FF leader some FF ministers laughed, regarding him as lightweight and useless. Bertie warned them that they could not be more wrong. He told them not to misread Kenny's quietness as lack of ability. Kenny quietly revolutionised Fine Gael without creating splits. An interesting insight into Cowen and Kenny can be seen in what they do on their holidays. Cowen plays golf. Kenny mountain climbs. One man is loud and brash, but cautious. The other is quiet and polite, and takes risks.
Do either of them know notdevson or a thorn by any other name at all?
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