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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   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:51 pm

Aragon wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Richard Bruton for being the only politician who understands economics in Dail Eireann.

Joe Higgins for continuing to articulate an alternative vision from outside Dail Eireann.

Second that Slim - you beat me to it. I came on to nominate Joe Higgins as the best politician in Ireland for his enduring committment to rectifying social and economic injustices and his wonderful parliamentary and speaking skills. He is the most genuine politician we have in Ireland - who accepts only the average industrial wage from his salary entitlement as a TD. He's funny, humane, intelligent and stands out as a great human being in an arena where upholding the best of human values is often sneered at and/or written off as 'naivety'.

I have relished some of Joe Higgins Dail contributions. I am sorry to see him writing for the Irish Daily Mail - the Mail is loathed by English workers as a paper that supported facism and is consistently anti-trade union and xenophobic. I think it was a horrible misjudgement, and possibly a symptom of a man who has to some extent been seduced by the cross party appreciation of his wit and turn of phrase, at the expense of basic principles.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:28 am

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Richard Bruton for being the only politician who understands economics in Dail Eireann.

Joe Higgins for continuing to articulate an alternative vision from outside Dail Eireann.

Second that Slim - you beat me to it. I came on to nominate Joe Higgins as the best politician in Ireland for his enduring committment to rectifying social and economic injustices and his wonderful parliamentary and speaking skills. He is the most genuine politician we have in Ireland - who accepts only the average industrial wage from his salary entitlement as a TD. He's funny, humane, intelligent and stands out as a great human being in an arena where upholding the best of human values is often sneered at and/or written off as 'naivety'.

I have relished some of Joe Higgins Dail contributions. I am sorry to see him writing for the Irish Daily Mail - the Mail is loathed by English workers as a paper that supported facism and is consistently anti-trade union and xenophobic. I think it was a horrible misjudgement, and possibly a symptom of a man who has to some extent been seduced by the cross party appreciation of his wit and turn of phrase, at the expense of basic principles.

But there is another way to see it too. I'd much sooner see a counterpoint to the other stuff in the Daily Mail than nothing at all. A powerful, articulate voice like Higgins' is an important antidote to the ramblings of Waghorne for instance. Personally, I think Higgins has done the right thing - weighing into enemy territory like this to mount a challenge. The Irish Daily Mail is a different creature to its English version in some key respects. It was also about the only paper in Ireland truly telling it like it is about Bertie Ahern and the Mahon Tribunal. The Irish Mail on Sunday gave Frank Connolly a lot of space on the same subject to great effect.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:22 am

The public has spoken, and the verdict on Cowen could well be "worst of the year".
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:07 am

The Irish Times Poll suggests that Bruton and Eamon Gilmore might win the "best" awards and Cowen and Mary Harney the worst.

"Sinn Féin voters were the most positive about Mr Kenny" (compared to Bruton?)

Fianna Fail 27 (-15)
Fine Gael 34 (+11)
Labour 14 (-1)
Sinn Fein 8 (+0)
Greens 4 (-1)
Independents 13 (+7)
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:26 am

I don't know. I feel there is an element of unfairness towards Cowen here. Although he was Minister of Finance, Bertie was ruling the roost. All the damage was done under Ahern's command.

Cowen was just a proxy for Ahern to spoon feed the unions and developers etc. He should have been able to say stop - and he didn't. That's to his detriment, but Ahern should be getting the brunt of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:36 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I don't know. I feel there is an element of unfairness towards Cowen here. Although he was Minister of Finance, Bertie was ruling the roost. All the damage was done under Ahern's command.

Cowen was just a proxy for Ahern to spoon feed the unions and developers etc. He should have been able to say stop - and he didn't. That's to his detriment, but Ahern should be getting the brunt of this.

I fear you're right. If Cowen was doing Ahern's bidding, rather than doing his own thing, then Ahern is all the more responsible. That would also explain the the extent to which Cowen is out of his depth in a leadership role.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:45 am

No FGer myself, but Bruton has impressed me over the last year, even his speech nominating Kenny for Taoiseach in May only served to prove how much better he would be as FG leader. I have little time for Batt O'Keeffe, but, as Auditor said above, he was the first Minister to show a spine on the cutbacks, thus saving himself a heap of trouble ('Give 'em an inch...'). Gilmore has impressed me too, probably reflected in his having the highest personal satisfaction rating of them all.

Agree entirely with tonys (a passing phase, I'm sure) on Varadkar, an eminently slappable politician (and O'Reilly is indeed a compromised hypocrite). Gormley is unprincipled and spineless, and, of course, Ahern, the charlatan, needs no explanation...
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:35 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
No FGer myself, but Bruton has impressed me over the last year, even his speech nominating Kenny for Taoiseach in May only served to prove how much better he would be as FG leader. I have little time for Batt O'Keeffe, but, as Auditor said above, he was the first Minister to show a spine on the cutbacks, thus saving himself a heap of trouble ('Give 'em an inch...'). Gilmore has impressed me too, probably reflected in his having the highest personal satisfaction rating of them all.

Agree entirely with tonys (a passing phase, I'm sure) on Varadkar, an eminently slappable politician (and O'Reilly is indeed a compromised hypocrite). Gormley is unprincipled and spineless, and, of course, Ahern, the charlatan, needs no explanation...

Spine? Mugging children out their education? Calling for teachers to 'take their punishment'? He'll pay for that lot yet. If Batt O' Keeffe is to be held up as an example of a competent politician then God help us all. That wasn't spine so much as ****-off arrogance. The thing I'm struck by is how litle grasp any of them seem to have on what is really going on - they're so mired in the culture of the soundbite and spin it feels like we're watching some sort of bizarre and garish pantomime at times. There is nobody speaking to the reality of the situation - not one elected politician telling it like it truly is: their economic policies have been a complete disaster in exactly the way that many observers said they would be - and all they can come up with is more of the same - only even more idiotically skewed to neo-con objectives. We couldnt fund the national health service but we can mortgage the future of three generations by handing over a vast sum of money to the banks, no questions asked. Nobody is talking about peak oil or climate change - two devastating and imminent catastrophes. The business sections of the papers are all chirruping away with talk of 'recovery by 2010' bullshit. There isn't going to be a recovery. Nothing will be the same again because nothing can be the same again. And this crowd of corporate whores (whatever political label they put on themselves) are worse than useless before it all. I'm sorry to be so cross about this but to be honest I'm sick and tired of the superficiality that politicians are allowed to get away with. The bon mot and the eloquent aside are not sufficient. We've learned to be impressed by this crap as if it amounted to something. An ability to dodge a cowpat is not so very great an achievement at the end of the day.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:05 pm

I agree entirely about the education cuts, priorities all wrong, bloated public sector untouched, quangos untouched, not good at all. But from their point of view, not mine, O'Keeffe did the right thing, he took the argument head on and wouldn't budge, the first to do so. That, and again I stress from their point of view, was a good example of political backbone. It doesn't mean I applaud what they're doing on health, welfare, and education.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:12 pm

It's hard to tell if Government was living on the same planet as the rest of us for the last 12 months.

Labour, the UK Government Party, is up 3% in the last month's polls. Where does this leave Brian Cowen's story that public reaction to him is because of the economic crisis?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:16 pm

Time for a running total -

Nominated as best:

Joan Burton
Richard Bruton
Joe Higgins
Leo Varadkar
Declan Ganley
Eamon Ryan
John Gormley
Patricia McKenna
Batt O'Keefe
Noel Dempsey
Eamon O'Cuiv
Eamon Gilmore
Kerrynorth (!)
Michael D. Higgins
David Norris
Mary Lou McDonald
J. O'Reilly
Sean Sherlock
Joe Casey
Brian Hayes
Ciaran Cannon
Mary Harney

Nominated as worst:

Bertie Ahern
Brian Cowen
Richard Bruton
Mary Harney
James O'Reilly
John Gormley
Mary O'Rourke

A very thin spread - but a few of the above have more than one vote and are heading for the short list.

Brian Lenihan has managed to achieve invisibility so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:51 pm

cactus flower wrote:


A very thin spread - but a few of the above have more than one vote and are heading for the short list.

Brian Lenihan has managed to achieve invisibility so far.

I feel kind of sorry for Lenihan. Not a job he was prepared for, landed in the deep end, and having to take the blame for trying (cackhandedly) to deal with the mess created by years of gross mismanagement by others. His budget was a fiasco, of course, but he was a good Justice Minister. I'd be inclined to give him a break, particularly as others much more responsible for the present position are currently trying to shovel the blame in his direction from the safety of enforced retirement...
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:59 pm

Lenihan doesn't count at this point yet - he'll do well to get that 10% off those tight bstrds on the other thread. Do you think Cowen has a lot of questions to answer on this money, finance and banking mess we're all in ? Greenspan threw some golden rules out the window in 2002 apparently and the english speaking peoples jumped on the bandwagon.

We're left with tons of houses, fair enough, but tons of debt slaves too not to mention did we leave our souls behind us too? And then there's the appalling rumours that FF want Bertie back. Nothing changes Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:32 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Lenihan doesn't count at this point yet - he'll do well to get that 10% off those tight bstrds on the other thread. Do you think Cowen has a lot of questions to answer on this money, finance and banking mess we're all in ? Greenspan threw some golden rules out the window in 2002 apparently and the english speaking peoples jumped on the bandwagon.

We're left with tons of houses, fair enough, but tons of debt slaves too not to mention did we leave our souls behind us too? And then there's the appalling rumours that FF want Bertie back. Nothing changes Sad

Cowen is partially responsible, he fell asleep on his watch as Finance Minister. But the main blame lies with Ahern. He effectively bought the 2002 election, encouraged profligacy, presided over a property pyramid scheme as the main plank of the economy, tried to buy off every interest group, then effectively blackguarded anyone who raised the slightest quibble about where it all was headed.

But there's no way that Ahern, despite the exhortations of the Sunday Pravdapendent, will get a sniff of any Cabinet Post again. The Tribunal Report's prolonged imminence, and it will be a damning report, means Ahern is the political equivalent of Krytonite. Plus Cowen is not going to willingly take the fall while Ahern plays the White Knight to the rescue...
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:40 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Lenihan doesn't count at this point yet - he'll do well to get that 10% off those tight bstrds on the other thread. Do you think Cowen has a lot of questions to answer on this money, finance and banking mess we're all in ? Greenspan threw some golden rules out the window in 2002 apparently and the english speaking peoples jumped on the bandwagon.

We're left with tons of houses, fair enough, but tons of debt slaves too not to mention did we leave our souls behind us too? And then there's the appalling rumours that FF want Bertie back. Nothing changes Sad

Cowen is partially responsible, he fell asleep on his watch as Finance Minister. But the main blame lies with Ahern. He effectively bought the 2002 election, encouraged profligacy, presided over a property pyramid scheme as the main plank of the economy, tried to buy off every interest group, then effectively blackguarded anyone who raised the slightest quibble about where it all was headed.

But there's no way that Ahern, despite the exhortations of the Sunday Pravdapendent, will get a sniff of any Cabinet Post again. The Tribunal Report's prolonged imminence, and it will be a damning report, means Ahern is the political equivalent of Krytonite. Plus Cowen is not going to willingly take the fall while Ahern plays the White Knight to the rescue...

I agree with a lot of that, but where was the opposition? When it came to the last election, they tried to outbid FF at the same time as saying Ff were overspending. The opposition in the Dail appeared to me to be well satisfied with the gravy train, and made no serious efforts to rock the boat (apologies for the mixed metaphor).
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:46 am

And where was the electorate? It was fairly obvious what both sides were up to but the electorate auctioned the thing off to the highest bidder.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:51 am

johnfás wrote:
And where was the electorate? It was fairly obvious what both sides were up to but the electorate auctioned the thing off to the highest bidder.

Some did - perhaps even a majority, but a lot did not. There were plenty of people around who knew that the Manifestos were suicidal. Government certainly had enough information to hand to know that was the case. It was a close run thing, and a lot of the reason FF shaded it was because there was no believable alternative. Tbh - I can't remember what Labour was saying - perhaps that speaks for the strength of their campaign.


http://www.labour.ie/manifesto/

Less tax, more spending?

It looks as if SF was the only party that said they would raise taxation.


Last edited by cactus flower on Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:53 am

Something about Paris Hilton and the menopause if I remember correctly... jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:53 am

johnfás wrote:
And where was the electorate? It was fairly obvious what both sides were up to but the electorate auctioned the thing off to the highest bidder.

I was just thinking of the Dublin commuter belt today and the noises they were making around the last election time. You'd say they'd be making a lot more noise now - some of them have completely painted themselves into a financial corner and have literally petrified tons of the money out of the economy. They are no doubt as culpable but will we learn ? There was a case on Ask About Money recently - a civil servant, 2 kids wife working, 30k in credit card debt and a mortgage in negative equity. He can now smell a bargain ten miles away.

Could these people be considered part of the creation of the problem ? They bought into it after all but were they following the Ahern demogoguery ?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:56 am

How in the name of all that's holy can someone run up 30,000 of debt on credit cards.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:57 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Could these people be considered part of the creation of the problem ? They bought into it after all but were they following the Ahern demogoguery ?

It is a really difficult question and an impossible one to quantify in order to give an answer. The whole country went wild. However, I have a problem with people who have no sympathy for the middle income people who bought stocks in banks yet seem to have total sympathy for the people who bought into the obvious myth that house prices will go up forever and signed themselves into 40 year mortgages. If anything the guys investing their pensions in bank shares were doing what seemed to be more responsible.

That is life though. I know an awful lot of people who reckon that they should have bought into the whole celtic tiger thing, at least they'd have a flatscreen on the wall and a hot tub out the back rather than shares that are worth pittance that were bought in the name of prudence and good financial planning.

Only an idiot runs up that kind of credit card debt, cactus. But then again there are alot of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:00 am

cactus flower wrote:
How in the name of all that's holy can someone run up 30,000 of debt on credit cards.

30400 between them, actually. 1000 a month of minimum payments. Some people thought the balloon would expand forever obviously.

That's not their only debts - car debt and other loan too. "Working poor" indeed as rockyracoon called them. Too late to educate them on the facts of like and debt now though.

http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=96764
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:41 am

Since we're somehow categorizing Ganley as a politician can I please nominate him for worst politician. The reasons should be fairly obvious; he arrived on the scene as a nobody and used his wealth to build up a political profile through the spreading of lies and fear. His behaviour has been completely disingenuous and has had a detrimental effect on the qualitative level of political discourse in this country.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:47 am

Also cactus, I nominated Bertie Ahern for best politician but he doesn't appear to be on the list.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Irish Politician of the Year - Last Day for Nominations - Polling Starts Tomorrow   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:50 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
johnfás wrote:
And where was the electorate? It was fairly obvious what both sides were up to but the electorate auctioned the thing off to the highest bidder.

I was just thinking of the Dublin commuter belt today and the noises they were making around the last election time. You'd say they'd be making a lot more noise now - some of them have completely painted themselves into a financial corner and have literally petrified tons of the money out of the economy. They are no doubt as culpable but will we learn ? There was a case on Ask About Money recently - a civil servant, 2 kids wife working, 30k in credit card debt and a mortgage in negative equity. He can now smell a bargain ten miles away.

Could these people be considered part of the creation of the problem ? They bought into it after all but were they following the Ahern demogoguery ?

Oh there's no doubt about it. Anyone who took out a 110% mortgage on homes they could never hope to afford must bear personal responsibility for their own reckless stupidity. A certain mitigation can be found in the way that the Government and lenders were happy to strongly promote the idea that somehow capitalism had magically overcome its own internal contradictions, that there was no end to the bonanza. But that's not enough. If I went out and bought a house that would take me ten years, not including interest, to pay off the deposit alone, I'd expect my missus to walk out on me for my reckless greed and stupidity...
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