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 Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW

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Who is the Worst Irish Politician of 2008 ?
Mary Harney
20%
 20% [ 14 ]
Bertie Ahern
21%
 21% [ 15 ]
Brian Cowen
16%
 16% [ 11 ]
James O'Reilly
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
John Gormley
3%
 3% [ 2 ]
Declan Ganley
26%
 26% [ 18 ]
Leo Varadker
10%
 10% [ 7 ]
Joan Burton
4%
 4% [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 70
 

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:34 pm

ibis wrote:
Quote :
Have you any positive thougts for McCreevy by the way ? Your post makes FF look like again that they have no ideology but blow with the wind - perhaps that's why they've gambled on the Greens this time.

I'd agree with that. I think FF have no real idea(s) at all, so they've formed a policy of bringing in smaller parties to provide the policy direction. Which small party it is depends on which way the electoral wind is blowing. Bertie presumably reckoned Green ideas were flavour of the year, so he brought the Greens on board even though he didn't need to.
FF does not have an ideology, in the sense of left or right, that is their strength, always has been.
If only people of a strict left or right ideology realised they are two sides of the same coin, both rolling in the same direction, both going to end in tears.

For best public services there is only one ideology worth following, get the best job done, in the most efficient way possible, if on any given service that method happens to have a left or right leaning, who cares, the people the service is supposed to be working for certainly don’t.

To those who believe that FF don’t have any ideas or principles, they do, they just can’t all be put into the one neat little box, to understand FF you have to be able to think outside that.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:43 pm

I see your point tonys - I'm in the middle of FF heartland at the moment although that's changing a bit now with farmers crying blue murder - all bluster maybe until General Election 2012.

The advantage of not having policies is that no one can say you've failed in x y or z. Is the FF culture then to try to make the most of the people the happiest the most of the time and stay in power come hell or high water. I don't understand why they increased social welfare - I don't think they really should have - it looks to me like populism because the more people who are unemployed, the more votes perhaps. It's quite cynical if the truth. And there are going to be plenty of people unemployed by the looks of it. The last thing FG want to do now is start making noises about reducing that although I think they should and even though it's not in my personal interest at present either.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:57 pm

tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
Quote :
Have you any positive thougts for McCreevy by the way ? Your post makes FF look like again that they have no ideology but blow with the wind - perhaps that's why they've gambled on the Greens this time.

I'd agree with that. I think FF have no real idea(s) at all, so they've formed a policy of bringing in smaller parties to provide the policy direction. Which small party it is depends on which way the electoral wind is blowing. Bertie presumably reckoned Green ideas were flavour of the year, so he brought the Greens on board even though he didn't need to.
FF does not have an ideology, in the sense of left or right, that is their strength, always has been.
If only people of a strict left or right ideology realised they are two sides of the same coin, both rolling in the same direction, both going to end in tears.

For best public services there is only one ideology worth following, get the best job done, in the most efficient way possible, if on any given service that method happens to have a left or right leaning, who cares, the people the service is supposed to be working for certainly don’t.

To those who believe that FF don’t have any ideas or principles, they do, they just can’t all be put into the one neat little box, to understand FF you have to be able to think outside that.

That's a slightly kinder way of saying essentially the same thing, though. I'm not opposed to pragmatism, either - it is, as you say, better to go with whatever works, whether that's left or right. FF are elected for their managerial skills...but excessive reliance on external consultants has never done management any favours.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:01 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I see your point tonys - I'm in the middle of FF heartland at the moment although that's changing a bit now with farmers crying blue murder - all bluster maybe until General Election 2012.

The advantage of not having policies is that no one can say you've failed in x y or z. Is the FF culture then to try to make the most of the people the happiest the most of the time and stay in power come hell or high water. I don't understand why they increased social welfare - I don't think they really should have - it looks to me like populism because the more people who are unemployed, the more votes perhaps. It's quite cynical if the truth. And there are going to be plenty of people unemployed by the looks of it. The last thing FG want to do now is start making noises about reducing that although I think they should and even though it's not in my personal interest at present either.
They DO have policies, just not ideologically driven polices.

The social welfare increases in the budget were, in my opinion, just about the only thing they got right, it was saying and it needed to be said, whatever price has to be paid over the next year, it won’t be paid by those on social welfare.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:23 pm

tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
I see your point tonys - I'm in the middle of FF heartland at the moment although that's changing a bit now with farmers crying blue murder - all bluster maybe until General Election 2012.

The advantage of not having policies is that no one can say you've failed in x y or z. Is the FF culture then to try to make the most of the people the happiest the most of the time and stay in power come hell or high water. I don't understand why they increased social welfare - I don't think they really should have - it looks to me like populism because the more people who are unemployed, the more votes perhaps. It's quite cynical if the truth. And there are going to be plenty of people unemployed by the looks of it. The last thing FG want to do now is start making noises about reducing that although I think they should and even though it's not in my personal interest at present either.
They DO have policies, just not ideologically driven polices.

The social welfare increases in the budget were, in my opinion, just about the only thing they got right, it was saying and it needed to be said, whatever price has to be paid over the next year, it won’t be paid by those on social welfare.

It can't be paid by those on social welfare. It would be no harm if it was dropped back a little and frozen until the public finances recover somewhat. Those on social welfare won't suffer with falling costs now - people who have cars won't feel such a pinch in continuing to run them, Aldi and Lidl are opening up tons of shops over the next while etc. but what about in the longer term - imagine the case where tax take falls to dangerous levels and unemployment stays stubbornly at 10% or more - 12% or even 15%... the welfare bill will look like one of the nooses around our necks.

Imagine that with inflation and then you've a right virulent box of frogs.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:46 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Interesting stuff - on the economic fad. Greenspan wrote off the Glass-Teagall Act in the early parts of this new american century, did our neo liberals here and elsewhere get caught up in that lending frenzy as well ? The Act was set up in 1933 or so to regulate the banking industry. Basically it is a brake on printing of money. Money-printing is inflationary, in the textbooks, thus we saw rocketting house prices, new cars costing 20k and other stuff going skywayd. Everything was kept from going out of absolute kilter by cheap oil.

Was there a design to this whole thing - it could have the positives of stimulating growth in one hemisphere and trade relies on differences between hemispheres. Eventually the East will do this too and we could be merrily go around in circles. Or have I got it totally wrong.

Have you any positive thougts for McCreevy by the way ? Your post makes FF look like again that they have no ideology but blow with the wind - perhaps that's why they've gambled on the Greens this time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall
Quote :
The argument for preserving Glass-Steagall (as written in 1987):

1. Conflicts of interest characterize the granting of credit – lending – and the use of credit – investing – by the same entity, which led to abuses that originally produced the Act

2. Depository institutions possess enormous financial power, by virtue of their control of other people’s money; its extent must be limited to ensure soundness and competition in the market for funds, whether loans or investments.

3. Securities activities can be risky, leading to enormous losses. Such losses could threaten the integrity of deposits. In turn, the Government insures deposits and could be required to pay large sums if depository institutions were to collapse as the result of securities losses.

4. Depository institutions are supposed to be managed to limit risk. Their managers thus may not be conditioned to operate prudently in more speculative securities businesses. An example is the crash of real estate investment trusts sponsored by bank holding companies (in the 1970s and 1980s).

The argument against preserving the Act (as written in 1987):

1. Depository institutions will now operate in “deregulated” financial markets in which distinctions between loans, securities, and deposits are not well drawn. They are losing market shares to securities firms that are not so strictly regulated, and to foreign financial institutions operating without much restriction from the Act.

2. Conflicts of interest can be prevented by enforcing legislation against them, and by separating the lending and credit functions through forming distinctly separate subsidiaries of financial firms.

3. The securities activities that depository institutions are seeking are both low-risk by their very nature, and would reduce the total risk of organizations offering them – by diversification.

4. In much of the rest of the world, depository institutions operate simultaneously and successfully in both banking and securities markets. Lessons learned from their experience can be applied to our national financial structure and regulation.[13]

Neo-liberalism in the practice, from its bloody beginnings in Santiago in 1973 through to its implosion in September this year, was a dogmatic economic creed with a fatal flaw at its core; the destruction of the middle class. Unlike the mixed models which preceded it, the middle class were always vulnerable in the application of this form of extremist economic dogma. Neo-liberalism is all about capital, and it pitches the owners of capital against those who work for the benefit of the owners of capital. There is no middle ground. In mixed model structures, there was an incentive for the middle classes to aspire to achieving within corporations as they were rewarded when ambition was fulfilled. Not so with neo-liberalism. Only the owners of capital benefitted. Everybody else was under the line. Massive deregulation to the benefit of capital removed pension entitlements, healthcare and other occupational benefits for employees to enable capital assert its dominance in the economy. There was to be no tweaking the system in any form which could possibly hinder capital. The theory was that what was good for corporations was good for the economy and nothing could be allowed to get in the way of the "progress" of the corporation.

Corporations are pathological in nature. Corporations have no conscience and therefore exist solely to benefit the owners of the corporation. Nobody else, certainly not those who work for the corporation. American corporations tend to be more insistent on having unfettered mobility. Doubtless, Ireland was sold by the IDA in the Tiger years as a haven of union-free labour and in new industries like bio-technology and IT, it was a big selling point. Hence we got to see Harney's mug in photo-ops cutting ribbons, prattling on about being closer to Boston than Berlin and not really understanding how badly she was performing in her job.

Everywhere neo-liberalist economics was tried, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Russia, indeed anywhere this creed has raised its ugly head, it has failed. Finally, in the USA, the failure has become total and the end-result of massive deregulation has bashed the housing market, thrashed the banking system and crashed the automobile industry. That the PDs, and Harney in particular, bought into this is undeniable.

Mc Creevy?? I regard his as I regard Harney and the rest of the PD cabal; a bunch of chancers who read a book about economics (the Lexus and the Olive Tree comes to mind) and half-understood the easier parts of it and called it an economic policy. Scam artists extraordinaire!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:10 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
Secondly, she is part of one of the biggest conflicts of interest in
Quote :
Irish public life. Her husband has a lobbying company whose clients include US commercial health companies. In any other country in Western Europe, this one be the subject of intense scrutiny. No so in Ireland. The potential exists for potentially corrupt influence-peddling and steering public policy yet this seems to be regarded as normal in Ireland. It is as if we accept the existence of questionable relationships as par for the course. It is an extremely unhealthy situation.

And not only that Slim, but the conflict of interest is actively being exploited by Harney's husband. Kieran Allen (UCD/SWP) has written how her husband Brian Geoghegan lobbied her on behalf of the drinks industry to drop legislation aimed at tackling the dangerous youth drinking culture, which had gone through all the necessary democratic processes - consulation, drafting, agreement etc. She dumped it.

Her deparment is paying his company huge sums of money for consultancy contracts. At the same time he is lobbying her on behalf of private US health firms (many of whom have been trashed in the US courts for their behaviour) who are the beneificiaris of subsidies and grants approved by her. He collects a fat fee for that and she gets her massive ministerial salary.

The UK is not a perfect country but it's a certainty that these two would have been howled of business long since if this shite was going down over there. I've drawn this to the attention of countless journalists and politicians across the spectrum. Omerta. WTF is going on?

Aragon - please substantiate that with links or delete it if you can't.

Cactus Flower - I've posted links to the supporting information here a few times already and didn't think I needed to again. In terms of their veracity, the statments made above are no more controversial than stating that Harney is Minister for Health:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85212

(NB - the article refers to Mary Harney as having been Minister for Finance when it should have read Minister for Trade and Enterprise).
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:38 am

Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
Secondly, she is part of one of the biggest conflicts of interest in
Quote :
Irish public life. Her husband has a lobbying company whose clients include US commercial health companies. In any other country in Western Europe, this one be the subject of intense scrutiny. No so in Ireland. The potential exists for potentially corrupt influence-peddling and steering public policy yet this seems to be regarded as normal in Ireland. It is as if we accept the existence of questionable relationships as par for the course. It is an extremely unhealthy situation.

And not only that Slim, but the conflict of interest is actively being exploited by Harney's husband. Kieran Allen (UCD/SWP) has written how her husband Brian Geoghegan lobbied her on behalf of the drinks industry to drop legislation aimed at tackling the dangerous youth drinking culture, which had gone through all the necessary democratic processes - consulation, drafting, agreement etc. She dumped it.

Her deparment is paying his company huge sums of money for consultancy contracts. At the same time he is lobbying her on behalf of private US health firms (many of whom have been trashed in the US courts for their behaviour) who are the beneificiaris of subsidies and grants approved by her. He collects a fat fee for that and she gets her massive ministerial salary.

The UK is not a perfect country but it's a certainty that these two would have been howled of business long since if this shite was going down over there. I've drawn this to the attention of countless journalists and politicians across the spectrum. Omerta. WTF is going on?

Aragon - please substantiate that with links or delete it if you can't.

Cactus Flower - I've posted links to the supporting information here a few times already and didn't think I needed to again. In terms of their veracity, the statments made above are no more controversial than stating that Harney is Minister for Health:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85212

(NB - the article refers to Mary Harney as having been Minister for Finance when it should have read Minister for Trade and Enterprise).

Thanks for reminding me about that Aragon -

Quote :
There has been an unusual degree of overlap in the personal life and professional careers of Mary Harney and Brian Geoghegan. In 2000, it was Mary Harney who appointed Geoghegan Chairman of FAS and in the same year he took up his position as Director of Economic Affairs at IBEC. Their personal relationship began sometime after that and they were married in November 2001. Over the next four years they frequently encountered one another in their professional lives and it must have been difficult to keep work matters appropriately separate.

In January 2006, however, Brian Geoghegan resigned from IBEC and took up a position as Chairman of MRPA Kinman – a private consultancy firm - and it might have been that the potential conflict of interest ended there. But that's is not how it worked out.

MRPA Kinman is a consultancy firm that prides itself in its access to government for lobbying purposes and counts among its government and commercial clients the Health Information and Quality Authority, a body which was set up for - and which is very much involved in - implementing the sort of reforms which Brian Geoghegan was anxious to see - and which his wife is now responsible for carrying out:

This means that the consultancy of which he is now Chairman are retained by a newly created division of the government department for which Mary Harney is responsible. Moreover, Kinman are the point of contact on behalf of HIQA for many of HIQA's reform activities so that interested stakeholders must apply not to HIQA itself for information about what is happening, but to MRPA Kinman.

http://www.hiqa.ie/news_releases/news_press10.asp
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:47 am



The happy couple.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:54 pm

There really was no need for that, cactus!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:32 am

The poor dear. She is so inveterately unphotogenic.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:57 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
The poor dear. She is so inveterately unphotogenic.

If only that was her greatest failing, Ard.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:50 pm

Cowen edging ahead, nonetheless...
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:42 am

I voted for Joan Burton because she sounds like like somebody that rings into Gerry Ryan for advice on personal relationships in 1991......and then affirms that Gerry and Brenda have given her food for thought
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:46 am

Slim Buddha wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
I voted for Mary Harney as the Worst Politician of the Year for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, I voted for her because I believe she is a dire Minister for Health. Ideologically wedded to a proven failure of an economic theory, she is insisting on imposing the horrors of the US health system on us. Regardless of the performance of the HSE, Harney is pursuing a privatisation agenda in the health service and its implementation by stealth is impacting the entire system in a negative way.

Secondly, she is part of one of the biggest conflicts of interest in Irish public life. Her husband has a lobbying company whose clients include US commercial health companies. In any other country in Western Europe, this one be the subject of intense scrutiny. No so in Ireland. The potential exists for potentially corrupt influence-peddling and steering public policy yet this seems to be regarded as normal in Ireland. It is as if we accept the existence of questionable relationships as par for the course. It is an extremely unhealthy situation.

Finally, in the year the PDs died, a re-assessment must be made as to how that party declined to such an extent as to make it unviable. While McDowell was a poor party political leader and Cannon arrived too late to save the thing, it was under Harney that the rot set in. In her tenure as leader, it was a party of parachute candidates, celebrity bit-players and style over substance. She was never a great vote getter herself and the hard graft of constituency work is not her thing. It was the leitmotif of her party. No hard graft, just celebrity candidates and a lot of meaningless guff about being an "issues-driven party". Not that I am complaining. The demise of the PDs filled me with joy. A lot of people blame McDowell for the party's demise but it was Harney who did most to sow the seeds of the PDs own destruction.

Some ascribe a reputation for competence to Harney with no evidence to back this up. Her career, hopefully entering its final chapter now, will be remembered on the "achievement" side as the remover of smog from Dublin and on the downside as a poor Trade & Enterprise Minister who failed to give sufficient impetus to domestic industry and spent 7 years cutting ribbons with Americans and doing photo-ops. Her failures in health are well documented elsewhere.

She will also be remembered for the 6 and a half year delay she imposed on the decision to build the second terminal in Dublin Airport. She wanted one of her friends, either Michael O'Leary or the McEvaddy brothers, to get the opportunity to build and operate a private terminal. Because Mary Harney has been a loyal servant of private capital, first, last and always. Interestingly, allthese guys were present at her wedding to the man she appointed to be the then Chairman of scandal-plagued Fàs, former IBEC knob, Brian Geoghgan. This devotion to private enterprise, alas, does not stretch to her paycheques. Mary Harney has never worked a single solitary day in the private sector. Every remuneration cheque she has ever received has been funded by the taxpayer. And with the gold-plated pensions politicians have carved out for themselves, the taxpayer will be burdened with the funding of Harney for many years into the future.

An appalling politician among some very serious contenders for that description.

Jaysus we know your real identity isn't Stephen Collins anyway ! Did you read his book Breaking the Mould ? He makes out that they were serious crusaders with high standards who were almost singularly responsible for pulling Ireland out of the mire of the 80s and the Haughey shenannigans. What's your opinion on how they introduced tons of policy changes that ultimately had some effect on business and all that trickle-down stuff ?

I'm an interested impartial observer by the way.

Collins is a big fan of them alright. Initially, when Des O'Malley said he would like the party to have a liberal economic policy and a social policy akin to countries in Scandinavia, I thought the idea was an interesting one. By the time Harney became the established leader, any pretence to radical social policy was gone and economic policy was what is now instantly recognisable as the bog-standard neo-liberalist greed-orientated nonsense which has failed so spectacularly this year. No genius involved here, just a slavish adherance to a passing economic fad.

It says a lot about Fianna Fail that a handful of "on-message" shysters posing as a political party could act as the tail to wag the FF dog for 7 years between '97 and '04. This, of course, was made possible by having the de facto PD, Champagne Charlie as Finance Minister doggedly implementing PD economic policy until he had to go. (Yes, it DID take the FF backbenchers 7 years to figure out that McCreevy was a PD).

No I don't think the PDs broke any mould. Neo-liberalist economics was widespread in the 80s and 90s. They simply plugged into the zeitgeist. And now that neo-liberalism is gone, so are they. Good riddance.

Just saw this great posting from Slim Buddha and from Auditor on deregulation.

Mary Harney is being chased hard here by Brian Cowen and Declan Ganley. Three worthy contenders, in my view.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:07 am

cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
I voted for Mary Harney as the Worst Politician of the Year for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, I voted for her because I believe she is a dire Minister for Health. Ideologically wedded to a proven failure of an economic theory, she is insisting on imposing the horrors of the US health system on us. Regardless of the performance of the HSE, Harney is pursuing a privatisation agenda in the health service and its implementation by stealth is impacting the entire system in a negative way.

Secondly, she is part of one of the biggest conflicts of interest in Irish public life. Her husband has a lobbying company whose clients include US commercial health companies. In any other country in Western Europe, this one be the subject of intense scrutiny. No so in Ireland. The potential exists for potentially corrupt influence-peddling and steering public policy yet this seems to be regarded as normal in Ireland. It is as if we accept the existence of questionable relationships as par for the course. It is an extremely unhealthy situation.

Finally, in the year the PDs died, a re-assessment must be made as to how that party declined to such an extent as to make it unviable. While McDowell was a poor party political leader and Cannon arrived too late to save the thing, it was under Harney that the rot set in. In her tenure as leader, it was a party of parachute candidates, celebrity bit-players and style over substance. She was never a great vote getter herself and the hard graft of constituency work is not her thing. It was the leitmotif of her party. No hard graft, just celebrity candidates and a lot of meaningless guff about being an "issues-driven party". Not that I am complaining. The demise of the PDs filled me with joy. A lot of people blame McDowell for the party's demise but it was Harney who did most to sow the seeds of the PDs own destruction.

Some ascribe a reputation for competence to Harney with no evidence to back this up. Her career, hopefully entering its final chapter now, will be remembered on the "achievement" side as the remover of smog from Dublin and on the downside as a poor Trade & Enterprise Minister who failed to give sufficient impetus to domestic industry and spent 7 years cutting ribbons with Americans and doing photo-ops. Her failures in health are well documented elsewhere.

She will also be remembered for the 6 and a half year delay she imposed on the decision to build the second terminal in Dublin Airport. She wanted one of her friends, either Michael O'Leary or the McEvaddy brothers, to get the opportunity to build and operate a private terminal. Because Mary Harney has been a loyal servant of private capital, first, last and always. Interestingly, allthese guys were present at her wedding to the man she appointed to be the then Chairman of scandal-plagued Fàs, former IBEC knob, Brian Geoghgan. This devotion to private enterprise, alas, does not stretch to her paycheques. Mary Harney has never worked a single solitary day in the private sector. Every remuneration cheque she has ever received has been funded by the taxpayer. And with the gold-plated pensions politicians have carved out for themselves, the taxpayer will be burdened with the funding of Harney for many years into the future.

An appalling politician among some very serious contenders for that description.

Jaysus we know your real identity isn't Stephen Collins anyway ! Did you read his book Breaking the Mould ? He makes out that they were serious crusaders with high standards who were almost singularly responsible for pulling Ireland out of the mire of the 80s and the Haughey shenannigans. What's your opinion on how they introduced tons of policy changes that ultimately had some effect on business and all that trickle-down stuff ?

I'm an interested impartial observer by the way.

Collins is a big fan of them alright. Initially, when Des O'Malley said he would like the party to have a liberal economic policy and a social policy akin to countries in Scandinavia, I thought the idea was an interesting one. By the time Harney became the established leader, any pretence to radical social policy was gone and economic policy was what is now instantly recognisable as the bog-standard neo-liberalist greed-orientated nonsense which has failed so spectacularly this year. No genius involved here, just a slavish adherance to a passing economic fad.

It says a lot about Fianna Fail that a handful of "on-message" shysters posing as a political party could act as the tail to wag the FF dog for 7 years between '97 and '04. This, of course, was made possible by having the de facto PD, Champagne Charlie as Finance Minister doggedly implementing PD economic policy until he had to go. (Yes, it DID take the FF backbenchers 7 years to figure out that McCreevy was a PD).

No I don't think the PDs broke any mould. Neo-liberalist economics was widespread in the 80s and 90s. They simply plugged into the zeitgeist. And now that neo-liberalism is gone, so are they. Good riddance.

Just saw this great posting from Slim Buddha and from Auditor on deregulation.

Mary Harney is being chased hard here by Brian Cowen and Declan Ganley. Three worthy contenders, in my view.
Judge not harshly least you be harshly judged, try fairly instead.

I don’t know if anyone ever actually said that, if not, I think they should have,
it needs saying and we need reminding, sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:12 am

Quote :
I don’t know if anyone ever actually said that, if not, I think they should have,
it needs saying and we need reminding, sometimes.

The only thing that's saving FG from a higher ranking on this list, I'm sure, is that they haven't actually had to do anything for years.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:27 am

cactus flower wrote:
Quote :
I don’t know if anyone ever actually said that, if not, I think they should have,
it needs saying and we need reminding, sometimes.

The only thing that's saving FG from a higher ranking on this list, I'm sure, is that they haven't actually had to do anything for years.
2 points.

1. It doesn’t matter who you judge harshly, it’s still harsh.

2. The reason FG or anyone else isn’t higher up the list is because they aren’t in Government. Coincidence or the usual, juvenile and generally left wing, anti Government feeling, no matter what parties happen to make up that Government?

Sitting on the sidelines carping, is easy, but neither productive nor useful, for anyone.

A bit more respect for those that do and a bit less for those that carp, would be no harm at all,......in my opinion, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:55 am

tonys wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Quote :
I don’t know if anyone ever actually said that, if not, I think they should have,
it needs saying and we need reminding, sometimes.

The only thing that's saving FG from a higher ranking on this list, I'm sure, is that they haven't actually had to do anything for years.
2 points.

1. It doesn’t matter who you judge harshly, it’s still harsh.

2. The reason FG or anyone else isn’t higher up the list is because they aren’t in Government. Coincidence or the usual, juvenile and generally left wing, anti Government feeling, no matter what parties happen to make up that Government?

Sitting on the sidelines carping, is easy, but neither productive nor useful, for anyone.

A bit more respect for those that do and a bit less for those that carp, would be no harm at all,......in my opinion, of course.

I've plenty of respect, and posted in defence of local councillors today, tonys. This thread is about what we personally think to be the worst political performances of the year:
harshness is probably unavoidable.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:01 am

I voted for Cowen, he is without a doubt the worst politician of this year. Harney has been bad but I don't think she was much worse this year in comparison to last year. Brian Cowen has seen his whole Government become a shambles. He could very well be the first leader of Fianna Fáil never to win an election.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:39 am

johnfás wrote:
I voted for Cowen, he is without a doubt the worst politician of this year. Harney has been bad but I don't think she was much worse this year in comparison to last year. Brian Cowen has seen his whole Government become a shambles. He could very well be the first leader of Fianna Fáil never to win an election.

Harney is shockingly bad all the time. She is a disgrace to Irish politics, a woman long, long past her sell-by date with absolutely nothing positive to contribute. She is now merely the servant of private capital, a stain on our democracy, and a warning of what is to come if we don't eliminate the worst of pork-barrelist vested interests getting stooges at cabinet furthering their agendas. She should have been kicked out with McCreevy.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:07 pm

This poll result is a nonsense since people have failed to understand what being a terrible politician is about. A great politician is not necessarily a great statesperson. A politician may be responsible for some terrible decisions, be incompetent and cause havoc, but if the politician in question can continue to persuade people to support them, is popular and is able to sustain a position of leadership then that's what matters.

This is why I cannot see why Bertie Ahern is one of the leaders in the polls. Bertie Ahern is a fantastic politician. Bertie Ahern has no peer in modern Irish politics. He was able to win three successive general elections, he never faced a heave against his leadership, he preserved a general popularity and had a fine sense of political judgement in calling the elections at the right time and resigning at the right time. He got out before he could be pushed and has sidestepped most of the maleffects of his tenure.

On this basis, while Bertie Ahern may not be everyone's idea of a model statesman, he most certainly is not a terrible politician.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Worst Irish Politician of 2008 *** POLLING OPEN NOW   Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:51 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
This poll result is a nonsense since people have failed to understand what being a terrible politician is about. A great politician is not necessarily a great statesperson. A politician may be responsible for some terrible decisions, be incompetent and cause havoc, but if the politician in question can continue to persuade people to support them, is popular and is able to sustain a position of leadership then that's what matters.

This is why I cannot see why Bertie Ahern is one of the leaders in the polls. Bertie Ahern is a fantastic politician. Bertie Ahern has no peer in modern Irish politics. He was able to win three successive general elections, he never faced a heave against his leadership, he preserved a general popularity and had a fine sense of political judgement in calling the elections at the right time and resigning at the right time. He got out before he could be pushed and has sidestepped most of the maleffects of his tenure.

On this basis, while Bertie Ahern may not be everyone's idea of a model statesman, he most certainly is not a terrible politician.






While I can see where you're coming from, this is a very
narrow and cynical view of what constitutes a great politician. It's not just
about playing the game; competence and vision are nice additions to political
cunning and longevity.
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