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 A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread

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PostSubject: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:28 am

The thing about being the OP is that you can set out your stall exactly as you want it - and then call on mods (ahem) to crack the whip when people don't behave as you'd like.

This is to be the rational, reasonable thread discussing Fianna Fáil, a party to which I have no particular allegiance, despite being geographically at home in Cowen Country, and a personal fondness for my own local FF TD who despite his party allegiance, is a good man.

If you want to bitch, bash, whinge, whine or curse persistently, there are other sites (God knows!) and other threads (He knows that too) where you can indulge. It's time we had a decent discussion about the biggest party in the State, where it is now, where it was then, and where it's going, the truths (let's hear them, good and bad) and the lies (let's debunk them, good and bad).

I was struck yesterday watching the Dáil debate by the certainty that if FF can get through this crisis, they'll be elected again because there is something about them that the electorate can't quite get enough of. Maybe it's the sense that they know us better than we like to think we know ourselves - after all, we elect those whom we feel best represent our perspective, don't we?

Will the local elections matter a damn? Surely voters will say No to Fianna Fáil - why? Because it doesn't really matter. Local councillors across the country complain bitterly that their powers have been eroded; from the councilese of officials who nurse councillors along to make sure they don't fuck everything up to the 'expert' organisations like the EPA, the Department of the Environment and others who make so many recommendations about zoning that councillors have little discretion when it comes to decision making (will post link to recent Examiner article when I find it online). Their budgets are risible, non-ratable town councils little more than talking shops. Whether we like it or not, that's the state of local government.

So maybe, outside of the optics, it won't matter if FF is decimated again in local elections (remember it lost 80 council seats last time) but will the Irish vote out their FF TDs? I'm not so sure. The perception is the TD has power, the TD may be made a Minister (and it's great to have a Minister in your constituency, don't you know?) and the TD, if he's on the right side will get things done and nobody, nobody in this country wants to back a loser. Fianna Fáil are winners with the swagger of winners.

I remember being one of the few girls in an all boys secondary school when the well-meaning couple of female teachers thought we'd benefit from a little something to remind us of our femininity. I don't think I'll ever lose the image of Grace O'Shaughnessy, one-time Irish supermodel describing the 'cloak of confidence.' It's not unlike Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, conferring instant invincibility. I doubt that dyed-in-the wool FF members even take theirs off in the shower.

There's a nervousness among the electorate that handing over power to FG/ Labour will therefore disempower those who actually know how to work the system the way we like it to work and apart from anything else, what FF do, they do with a kind of Playboy of the Western World confidence that the others can't muster. And the Irish love a playboy.

Maybe, just maybe those who criticise the unsophisticated electorate don't realise that the electorate work on far more sophisticated lines than we give them credit for. Maybe FG and Labour try so hard to win the minds of the electorate they forget we have hearts and our hearts - because they're ours - belong to FF, because they too, are ours.

I'm prepared for the onslaught. Very Happy Bring it on.

Anyway, onto the concrete stuff.

Is it party first, country second, as this article suggests?


Quote :
SARAH CAREY

Taoiseach Brian Cowen may be floundering on the economics but he hasn’t lost his political instinct
IT’S EASTER 1970 and rioting has broken out in the Ballymurphy estate in Belfast. Catholics are furious that Orange marches have been allowed into the area and begin throwing stones, then rocks and finally petrol bombs at the British army troops who have sided with the Orangemen.
Ed Moloney in his book The Secret History of the IRA writes: “The troops replied with CS gas which seeps through the housing estate disabling old and young, rioter and non-rioter indiscriminately.” Nearby, Gerry Adams, commander of the Ballymurphy Provos, is holding another IRA armed unit at gunpoint. The unit from the Lower Falls Road had been ordered into Ballymurphy to protect residents, but now their guns are stacked against a wall while Adams forces them to sit out the riots. Why?
Adams wanted ordinary Catholics radicalised by getting involved in the rioting. Early IRA involvement would scare off the residents and end the riots. His plan worked. The street fights went on for four days and the troops cracked down hard on the Catholics. It affected thousands of residents in west Belfast leaving them angry and willing to take up guns in their own defence. Membership of the provisionals surged.
Adams was implementing an old communist theory variously described as “worse is better” or Nadir-Leninism. The most effective way to persuade the people to your side is to allow the worst to happen. When public opinion is screaming for action, then the smart politician will step forward.
Only the rarest of leaders manages to persuade the people to accept unpalatable truths when they aren’t ready. Most are cowards who sit back and wait for the consensus to emerge before acting. Others are, like Adams, smart enough to engineer events so that the consensus is created or accelerated.
Some historians cite FDR’s operation of lend-lease during the second World War as an example of a leader who did the right thing in the face of opposition from his people. On the other hand, conspiracy theorists say the same president provoked the Japanese into war. Pearl Harbor was a disaster but one that finally forced American citizens to agree with their president. The American people finally agreed to join the war they wanted to ignore.
The war was won and so worse was better.
As our economic crisis deepens day by day, my occasional panic that the Government has no idea what to do next gives way to a certain confidence. Brian Cowen might be floundering on the economics and leaving all that business to Brian Lenihan, but the Taoiseach hasn’t forgotten his politics.
As the master Bertie Ahern consistently demonstrated, he knows that the most successful leaders are like Gilbert and Sullivan’s Duke of Plaza Toro from The Gondoliers who “In enterprise of martial kind/
When there was any fighting/He led his regiment from behind/He found it less exciting.”
In enterprise of the political kind, leading from behind is the safe bet. The only issue is whether it’s done out of conservatism, cowardice or caprice. In Fianna Fáil’s case, it’s safe to assume the latter. Though the myth that they can manage the economy is finally undone, their ability to manage public opinion has not waned.
The Cabinet knew perfectly well in October that public sector pay had to be tackled. The economics demanded it but the politics simply wasn’t right.
I still cling to the belief that Brian Lenihan has the integrity to press ahead with the policies he knows are needed, but is he being held against the wall while the riots rage? If so, by whom? I think the ones to watch are Cowen, Ahern, Martin and Dempsey. These tough guys at the table are playing Ballymurphyism.
They will not go over the top until they have political cover. If the public sector unions represent the British army, then the private sector workers are the residents. The stone throwing has started and another four weeks of redundancies should do the trick. But that’s not enough.
Since we’re playing “Fianna Fáil First, Country Second”, the rules say that while every delay worsens the crisis, the political consensus to “Slash and Burn” must include Fine Gael. Ideally the Opposition would conveniently propose rather than oppose the harshest of measures. Every time the Government faced attacks on public spending cuts, they could simply point out that the Opposition demanded them. That way the pain is spread and the political hit coming in June might be reduced.
Watch out then to see what forces are co-opted in this strategy to force Fine Gael into providing the cover they want. The ever co-operative Sunday Independent obliged last week. Its chief writers, Senator Eoghan Harris and Jody Corcoran, were kind enough to write separate pieces complaining that Fine Gael’s policies aren’t hardline enough to save the economy.
Lads, Enda Kenny is the leader of the Opposition – not the country. Unlike 1987, Fianna Fáil commands a majority and does not need the Opposition’s consent to exercise power. Kenny might be no orator but neither is he a fool and he is not going to do the Government’s job for them.
This endless wait for public opinion to catch up with reality is a game and the time for games is over. If worse is better, how much worse does the Government want? We get it. We are at war. We’re ready to fight. Let’s on with it before we’re all blown to pieces.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:57 am

As usual, Sarah Carey's writing is well padded: this would have done:

Quote :
Though the myth that they can manage the economy is finally undone, their ability to manage public opinion has not waned.
The first part may be true, the second remains to be seen.

Quote :
Since we’re playing “Fianna Fáil First, Country Second”, the rules say that while every delay worsens the crisis, the political consensus to “Slash and Burn” must include Fine Gael
Fine Gael know that game: it was the same at the last election. They knew that spending needs to be controlled but they could feel the cool draft of appearing to be the "hard times party" and bottled it, and rolled out the election promises at the last minute.
The same is happening now - a few months back Bruton was looking tough, now he's turning into a wuss again.

No, if Cowen knows what's going on at all, its the IMF he's waiting for to impose the pain on us.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:34 am

That's a good post Kate P, thanks.

I think that, like it or not, Fianna Fail as a party is a reasonable reflection of what Irish people want to see in their biggest political party. As a party, Fianna Fail is remarkable in a number of ways:

1) They are pragmatic to their core. The party moves with the people, changing slowly but steadily with the times but never too many steps ahead of 'middle Ireland'.

2) For such a 'broad church' the party seems almost totally bereft (on the surface at least) of conflicting schools of thought. There is a remarkable lack of diversity in attitudes to economic policy, Europe and social issues.

3) The party is incredibly effective at the business of politics and power. They divide, infiltrate, adopt and co-opt the opposition until everything else just seems like FF-lite. They're also good media managers and superb agenda setters.

The party is now in the ditch for a number of reasons, some self-inflicted and some largely outside of their control. The notion of Fianna Fail as a party of competent, careful economic mangement is, in my opinion, dead for the forseeable future. I imagine that will present the party with a set of long-term problems that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. Fianna Fail gave the electorate what they wanted; a hands-off, seemingly competent, inobtrusive style of government that didn't shock, provoke or radicalise. I think that the concept that pulled it all together was the 'you've never had it so good' effect. That's dead now and their pragmatism, previously an asset, now looks like weakness and dithering.

I think a good long period in opposition will do the party good. I have lots of friends in FF and most of them are good, admirable people. Baldur over on P.ie is a good example of the talent that remains in the party. They need to ditch their leader, go into opposition and dream it all up again.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:21 am

Well as a few of you may know I just lurve Fianna Fail but in the spirit of Kate's post there are few things that strike me. Notwithstanding that taken all and all I think they are devastating the country for all sorts of reasons, it's true there are many good people within the party who if they were allowed to rise to positions of influce and give expression to their true convictions, would turn the party around and do better things for the country as a whole. Bertie Ahern did a lot of a damage in this respect. Although most politicians would to the same to some extent, he was ruthless about appointing only those who he felt would support him personally - and so a lot of singlularly inadequate people have ended up in critical positions where they've done a very bad job over a very long time. There are a lot of able, intelligent people in the party, currently languishing in the margins. I can never understand why they stick with it but so they do.

As with all the parties, the party whip system has devasted discussion and organic policy development. The route map is determined by a few of the more powerful folk, and no matter how nice your guy or your woman is locally, they will go where they are told in the lobby and have minimal input in policy-making for reasons discussed below.

Most of all though the combination of the latter pheonomenon and the party's alliance with the PDs has been an umitigated disaster for Fianna Fail and has taken the party in a viciously mean-spirited and single-minded direction which is not actually where its heart lies. While times were better it was less apparent how disconnected FF were becoming from real politics and government - so mesmerised were they the PD/IBEC spin of of the business elite that they abdicated responsibility for policy-making. New Ireland was a place where the body politic had been redefined to the point where governance was no longer even needed. Everything was shoved out of house to 'experts' who have turned out to be little more than parasites on the public purse and left us all high and dry for all their supposed expertise. Fianna Fail lost its way completely. It's like they've been drugged and are only now coming out of their stupor.

Another catastrophic result of their infatuation with the PD/IBEC/Consultant set is that they have nearly destroyed what little democracy we had. Decision-making has become atrociously lacking in transparency - much of it delegated to quangos stuffed with vested interests and party donors. This has got to be stopped - too many people are suffering too badly for the party to continue. Fianna Fail have to start thinking in terms of what is in everybody's interests and start heed their other citizen constituencies. The utterly disgraceful Anglo Irish Bank bailout yesterday tells us that we are not even remotely likely to see common sense taking over at Fianna Fail.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:30 pm

While it does seem a stretch, I too would not totally rule out the possibility of FF winning the next election. All they have to do is to win the confidence of more people than FG. Its as simple as a two horse race really and come election time FF can really be impressive.

For the good of the country this kind of pathetic show cant be allowed to go on. For your information Aragon, FF were corrupt well before they got into bed with the PDs. Its common to knock the PDs as an easy target, but the real cancer in Irish politics is FF and their hold on power.
My advice to FG and Labour, is that if they ever get into power they have to reform the system, which currently favours FF. The Seanad, the Presidency were molded by Dev more for FF than for Ireland. Its time that that was changed. In fact if they dont do it, they will be condemneding themselves to another spell of 20 year opposition after a brief period in office.

I firmly believe that this de facto one party state system is not for the good of the country. If you look over the entire 85 year period, then you would have to conclude that the state has been more a failure than a success economically and in almost everything else.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:55 pm

Respvblica wrote:
While it does seem a stretch, I too would not totally rule out the possibility of FF winning the next election. All they have to do is to win the confidence of more people than FG. Its as simple as a two horse race really and come election time FF can really be impressive.

For the good of the country this kind of pathetic show cant be allowed to go on. For your information Aragon, FF were corrupt well before they got into bed with the PDs. Its common to knock the PDs as an easy target, but the real cancer in Irish politics is FF and their hold on power.
My advice to FG and Labour, is that if they ever get into power they have to reform the system, which currently favours FF. The Seanad, the Presidency were molded by Dev more for FF than for Ireland. Its time that that was changed. In fact if they dont do it, they will be condemneding themselves to another spell of 20 year opposition after a brief period in office.

I firmly believe that this de facto one party state system is not for the good of the country. If you look over the entire 85 year period, then you would have to conclude that the state has been more a failure than a success economically and in almost everything else.

I know they were corrupt before they got involved with the PDs - both FF and FG. But I'm not talking about corruption, I'm talking about how they have defined the business of government - how they have administered beyond that whole stinky mess. They have been in a thrall to the PD/IBEC crowd - as if they couldn't see past the sharp suits and the sales spiel. It's like they think they prove they are doing sophisticated government by throwing billions down that chrome plated corporate sink. All a con-man needed was a Boston accent and a sharp suit and there was nothing he couldn't get out of our government. Even now they are at it - still believing that inward investment from major corporations at knock down prices will do the trick. It won't. These are hit and run merchants - unable to believe the scale of the stupidity they've been able to exploit. To keep them happy you have to keep people poor - so the rest of the economy suffers. Once wealth begins to increase, so do costs and so too inevitably do wages because people can't afford to live and work in a country where wages don't pay the bills. As soon as the wages rise, these companies are off again to other shores. Fianna Fail refuses to consider alternative approaches to economics now. We have to lessen our dependence on these raiders, not increase it. People are wondering why they seem so clueless and this is the reason why imo. I was listening to the government of the bank of England last night on the telly. God know's things are not perfect there but they are doing a lot more to bolster indiginous business - to help the high street retailer and small businesses - to stabilise the bedrock of their own economy.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:02 pm

After a bad day at the office, the article cited in the primary post had me in stitches. The mental image of skinny-ma-link Adams holding IRA vetrans at gun point still brings a smile to my face. But like all such post-war bunk being spouted and spun, there are bound to be some poor wits who think there's an iota of truth or reality in the article. The idea that one man, Adams, started the troubles is laughable in itself where it not for the sad lack of context such articles, which pass for journalism in Ireland, spout about almost any subject today. Forget about gerrymandering, voting rights, pogroms, bigotry, the british army's reliance on Kenyan type solutions to quell the natives etc. etc. etc.

The articles is useful in one instance only. It shows the laughable level that spinning has wrought on the social fabric of Ireland. I really doubt anyone in a postition of authority in this sorry little statelet knows or cares to believe in any basic truths or values anymore. They're so caught up in fabricating their wee spin stories that they have come to believe their own spin. The simple and sad fact is that it seems no one in this country who holds a position of responsibility holds any core values anymore. They're all pragmatic. Whoever has the most money gets the most attention. The rest can sod off.

Which brings us to FF. They're no better nor worse than anyone else. I suppose a wee bit more blame can be attached to their party as they've been the de facto govt since the inception of the statelet. However, I certainly don't see the other main party in a better light.

Overall I'd give FF a C grade. (I can't think of any govt on earth that I'd give more than a C+ to).

What do I expect from FF or the FG in the future. More of the same shite but maybe delivered at a faster rate. Both main parties consider the people's needs, in aggregate, as a secondary consideration. Help the rich and they might throw a few peanuts to monkies. But, then again, maybe were a second rate people, in aggregate, who are happy with second rates service from our public and private representatives. And we pay them massive salaries to give us second rate service. Go figure.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:33 pm

I read the first post save and except for Sarah Carey's article. I think I read that before and it was all about loyalty to party above all else - total nonsense in my book. Carey has an unashamed FG agenda which I don't think she tries to hide. She is smart and can write but every time I see her on Q&A she turns my stomach. I just don't see her as an intellectually honest person. examples of people I do see as intellectually honest would be Richard Bruton and Eamon Gilmore even if they do play the politics game like everyone else.

Anyway, back to FF. There are a few simple facts which I think we can all agree on:

FF is a very large party with a diverse membership.
FF is a cohesive party despite internal differences.
FF has support across all social strata bar the long-established rich.

Now some subjective impressions:

FF preaches a limited ideology of a general concern that everybody should get a fair lash and should not be down trodden combined with nationalism.
Many in FF see themselves as being socialist/republican in outlook.
Many in FF see FG as being arrogant and Lab as being ok but lazy and suspect because they might be disciples of an ideology.
FF people believe in law and order but do not believe in the same level of enforcement that FG thnk appropriate. Deep down FF people fear Reagan's Commies, FG's Blueshirts and RTE's Atheists.
FF's support varies from the socially conservative to the socially liberal but is not as conservative as FG is percieved to be and is not as liberal as Labour are perceived to be.
At the same time, FF is quite catholic and was deeply divided by Divorce. FG weren't so divided and were more liberal than FF during the reign of the Garrett FitzGerald.
Some FF people perceive FG as being generally a didactic bunch and a bit prattish.
Some FF people might see themselves as being generally more forgiving and realistic about the way the world works. In reality, they are the same as most Labour and FG supporters in this regard.

What is the future of FF? FF people are losing their jobs and are angry and confused just like everybody else. The grass roots will communicate this in no uncertain terms to the TDs and leaders and there is no reason to think that their views aren't having an effect on Government policy. Bertie had to jettision McCreevy because the party was getting "too PD" before. Cowen has jettisoned the Galway tent and Lenihan was never in it. They will deal with the bankers as needs to be done because they will lose the support of the party otherwise.

What most FFers want is the same as what most people want, i.e., a pragmatic and effective Government which will take the necessary decisions to get us out of this mess. If Cowen and Lenihan step up to the plate they will have the party's full support. FF people will want to see all the other Ministers pull their weight too as faction fighting is frowned upon since the healing of the Haughey rifts. FF people also want to see changes that will secure our financial existence into the future. I think that the more people abuse and slander FF people the more determined are FF people to show just how effective their party is at securing the interests of the irish people. Just becaue FF people aren't defending themselves against scholyard chants doesn't mean they are crying over them either. Carey and others can concern themselves about all the sins they say FF have committed but FF people know they are good people with a good party that has worked hard for the irish people and will continue to do so.

I think that Aragon is right that Bertie and indeed Cowen have cetralised the candidate selection process and that this could be damaging to FF. There are gaps within the party like all other parties. If the leadership persists in promoting its allies its internal opposition could up sticks and leave. That would be a disaster. Fortunately, I think the current crisis will prevent some of the brazen stuff that has gone on before. In any event, there is usually 2 FF TDs/candidates battling each other in any constituency so one will have an ally whatever side of a fight one is on.

With all that said, I cannot see FF being in power after the next election unless Labour decide that FG simply don't have enough talent to be in Government. The electorate are tired of FF. Also, if you have lost your job (or have had to start at the bottom of a different career ladder) and you think this is partly the fault of the Government then you are going to punish the party in Government. Given that the economists who previously supported FF have gone quiet and the only ones who can now be heard are the ones criticizing FF, it is likely that the public will adopt the same view. I am not saying that view is incorrect, merely that FF have been left with no expert cover at this time. If you don't have expert opinion to quote in your favour then you will lose the PR war. The one small worry for the opposition is that FF may well end up being lauded for the Guarantee and the Nationalisations and so forth. Despite the pinsters analysis (which is getting downgraded by pie-throwers) there is a long way to go before the final verdict is arrived at. If FF are subsequently lauded then Labour will have a serious credibility problem to add to FG's Enda Kenny problem (no offence Enda - you're a good guy). That would leave the opposition with a real and justified credibility problem.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:58 pm

I'd agree with a lot of the more constructive criticism on this page. They'll most likely be in opposition in a year or two's time, but if the banks get turned around and we appear to be doing better than the rest of Europe in a year or two's time, all bets are off. i doubt if the next coalition partners will be the Greens, unless they can get to the end of their 5 year term and can point to 25 extra windfarms or similar achievements, sadly.

However, one thing I have said before and will say again; in comparison to New Labour (and the Tories), they look like the angelic host. I was especially impressed with the cluster bomb ban, meself. I don't think wars achieve much and paying taxes to the warmongers across the Irish sea didn't make me sleep well at night.

Oh yes, and a final word, one of the posters on P.ie had this as his signature:

"everyone hates Fianna Fail. Except the electorate"

Says it all, really
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:02 am

ON FF,
The case against; Digoutday
The case for; I rest my case.

ON Sarah Carey,
SC is a smug supercilious twat and a dolt. The last purely on the basis of being smug.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:30 am

tonys wrote:
ON FF,
The case against; Digoutday
The case for; I rest my case.

ON Sarah Carey,
SC is a smug supercilious twat and a dolt. The last purely on the basis of being smug.

Come on, tonys. You can do better than that...
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:52 pm

A wee bit of cynicism there tonys. All I can says at this juncture is that I tried my damnest to vote for FG during the last GE as I was so angry with Ahern. However, I couldn't bring myself to cross that line, and most everything FG has said since has just made me glad I didn't give them a preference.

In the absence of a major change in the Irish political landscape, and while I've never voted for FF before, I would do so if I thought FG had a chance to getting in office. FF will sell off the nation's sovereignty but at least they'll get something in return and a few of the peanuts might just trickle down to the monkies. FG will auction of the goods for nothing and think they're great chaps for doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:06 pm

Sarah Carey does nothing for me (apart from the annoyance factor) either journalistically, or politically. I find her pieces insubstantial and overwritten and usually plain wrong in terms of factual content. She wrote an article last autumn that was much praised on P.ie which suggested that the economic crisis could be solved with a 130 million cut in public expenditure. Such is the overweening self confidence with which she spouts these things that some poor souls were convinced.

She clearly doesn't know anything about economics, and I defer to the other posters here as to whether she knows anything about party politics. What is she for, exactly?




God damn the writers of "opinion pieces". Mad
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:19 pm

Kate P wrote:
tonys wrote:
ON FF,
The case against; Digoutday
The case for; I rest my case.

ON Sarah Carey,
SC is a smug supercilious twat and a dolt. The last purely on the basis of being smug.

Come on, tonys. You can do better than that...
I have no intention of doing any better.
People have their minds made up on this long since and like almost all other subjects discussed here, are not for changing and that’s fair enough.

For me, if you exclude the small percentage of me feiners that inhabit all parties, in FF it’s people and country first, second and last, party only comes into it as a means of being able to do whatever you think needs doing, it is a means to an end, nothing more. I also have no doubt that the same could be said for all political parties in Ireland.

FF are a strange mix of pro private enterprise socialists, they’re nationalist, they’re pragmatic, they’re pro-active and to an extent, they’re risk takers. I’m not sure how you’d describe the colour you get when you mix that lot up, but it suits me and generally I like the look of it.

How do they rate on a scale of honesty, integrity, intelligence, financial acumen? I of course have my own opinion and I’m happy with the result there, but I’ll not say exactly what that result is as we here in Ireland have so many expert arbiters of these matters, giving forth of their wisdom on a daily basis, I’d hate to be the one to muddy the waters.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:41 am

Sigh. I hope FF, for all our sakes, actually stays on the straight and narrow and tries to do what is best for the economy NOW. Even if the cuts cause screaming pain, I for one would be more inclined to reward them electorally for decisions that appear to place the Greater Good ahead of political advantage. Including inclusive talks with Opposition leaders and implementation of any bright ideas they might actually have (that may be wishful thinking).

I note with interest from RTE news that they hoicked the FF TDS into a small room and told 'em pay cuts were on the agenda. Poor duckies; the OPW is also telling 'em that the Leinster House Lawn is higher up de agenda than their prized parking
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:19 pm

tonys wrote:
Kate P wrote:
tonys wrote:
ON FF,
The case against; Digoutday
The case for; I rest my case.

ON Sarah Carey,
SC is a smug supercilious twat and a dolt. The last purely on the basis of being smug.

Come on, tonys. You can do better than that...
I have no intention of doing any better.
People have their minds made up on this long since and like almost all other subjects discussed here, are not for changing and that’s fair enough.

For me, if you exclude the small percentage of me feiners that inhabit all parties, in FF it’s people and country first, second and last, party only comes into it as a means of being able to do whatever you think needs doing, it is a means to an end, nothing more. I also have no doubt that the same could be said for all political parties in Ireland.

FF are a strange mix of pro private enterprise socialists, they’re nationalist, they’re pragmatic, they’re pro-active and to an extent, they’re risk takers. I’m not sure how you’d describe the colour you get when you mix that lot up, but it suits me and generally I like the look of it.

How do they rate on a scale of honesty, integrity, intelligence, financial acumen? I of course have my own opinion and I’m happy with the result there, but I’ll not say exactly what that result is as we here in Ireland have so many expert arbiters of these matters, giving forth of their wisdom on a daily basis, I’d hate to be the one to muddy the waters.

Thank you on behalf all posters here tonys for your vote of confidence.

I fully believe that a lot of people still think that and act on the belief that FF is what you say it is, but FF are a party of the haves, and have never given equal treatment to the have nots. Things got more unequal in the boom. Fianna Fail politicians main agenda is getting elected, and then after getting elected sharing the spoils out, in part for their own benefit, then their friends, then the rest of their voters. They masquerade as a unifying broad church, but in reality they are deeply divisive. The rely on the worst me fein instincts of people to want to jump queues, get favours, be in with the lads.

Now there are no spoils to give out, they are politically paralysed, apart from the bit of the brain that is still trying to work out how to time this thing so they get re-elected. It was patently clear in the summer that Cowen and Lenihan thought this was a little downturn like 2002, and that all would be well by the next General Election if they made a few tweaks. When they went to tweak, it was medical cards and education, not taking the rental off their buddies for storing the e-voting machines or taking money from people who could well afford it etc. Now they are after the carers allowance and talking about maybe a 10% cut in their own money. It should be 50% and for half the number. Only Cowen and Lenihan in government know how bad things are and they aren't telling the others - it is a drip feed. Meanwhile, things get worse, serious mistakes are made and opportunities are lost. There is no sign that they are even thinking of a realistic strategy to adapt to the changed times we are living in. They will continue to try to bail out their friends and allies as top priority.

The only thing that got FF elected last time around was that FG was patently worse.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:46 pm

cactus flower wrote:
....
I fully believe that a lot of people still think that and act on the belief that FF is what you say it is, but FF are a party of the haves, and have never given equal treatment to the have nots.
What about medical card increases (populist and unpriced as it was), free travel, increases in social welfare, efforts at urban regeneration (even if not wholly successful), the minimum wage, workers rights, removing low earners from the tax net etc etc?

cactus flower wrote:

Things got more unequal in the boom. Fianna Fail politicians main agenda is getting elected, and then after getting elected sharing the spoils out, in part for their own benefit, then their friends, then the rest of their voters. They masquerade as a unifying broad church, but in reality they are deeply divisive. The rely on the worst me fein instincts of people to want to jump queues, get favours, be in with the lads.
Is this a psychological anaylsis based in the people you have met? I think we should avoid efforts at mind-reading. The largest and most powerful party in the state will always attract me feiners. That doesn't mean it should be abandoned. Also, it is a core tenet of democracy that people get the right to vote in their own self interest. The reason FF are in rocky waters now is because people partly blame FF for the damage to the economy. This is a me fein reaction and where people do blame FF it takes a similar tone to the second half of your post.
cactus flower wrote:
Now there are no spoils to give out, they are politically paralysed, apart from the bit of the brain that is still trying to work out how to time this thing so they get re-elected. It was patently clear in the summer that Cowen and Lenihan thought this was a little downturn like 2002, and that all would be well by the next General Election if they made a few tweaks. When they went to tweak, it was medical cards and education, not taking the rental off their buddies for storing the e-voting machines or taking money from people who could well afford it etc. Now they are after the carers allowance and talking about maybe a 10% cut in their own money. It should be 50% and for half the number. Only Cowen and Lenihan in government know how bad things are and they aren't telling the others - it is a drip feed. Meanwhile, things get worse, serious mistakes are made and opportunities are lost. There is no sign that they are even thinking of a realistic strategy to adapt to the changed times we are living in. They will continue to try to bail out their friends and allies as top priority.

The only thing that got FF elected last time around was that FG was patently worse.

I think the Government said a few months ago that they feared the people did not understand the severity of the situation. They have asked for the social partners assistance. People are getting the picture now.


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:22 pm

cactus flower wrote:
tonys wrote:
Kate P wrote:
tonys wrote:
ON FF,
The case against; Digoutday
The case for; I rest my case.

ON Sarah Carey,
SC is a smug supercilious twat and a dolt. The last purely on the basis of being smug.

Come on, tonys. You can do better than that...
I have no intention of doing any better.
People have their minds made up on this long since and like almost all other subjects discussed here, are not for changing and that’s fair enough.

For me, if you exclude the small percentage of me feiners that inhabit all parties, in FF it’s people and country first, second and last, party only comes into it as a means of being able to do whatever you think needs doing, it is a means to an end, nothing more. I also have no doubt that the same could be said for all political parties in Ireland.

FF are a strange mix of pro private enterprise socialists, they’re nationalist, they’re pragmatic, they’re pro-active and to an extent, they’re risk takers. I’m not sure how you’d describe the colour you get when you mix that lot up, but it suits me and generally I like the look of it.

How do they rate on a scale of honesty, integrity, intelligence, financial acumen? I of course have my own opinion and I’m happy with the result there, but I’ll not say exactly what that result is as we here in Ireland have so many expert arbiters of these matters, giving forth of their wisdom on a daily basis, I’d hate to be the one to muddy the waters.

Thank you on behalf all posters here tonys for your vote of confidence.

I fully believe that a lot of people still think that and act on the belief that FF is what you say it is, but FF are a party of the haves, and have never given equal treatment to the have nots. Things got more unequal in the boom. Fianna Fail politicians main agenda is getting elected, and then after getting elected sharing the spoils out, in part for their own benefit, then their friends, then the rest of their voters. They masquerade as a unifying broad church, but in reality they are deeply divisive. The rely on the worst me fein instincts of people to want to jump queues, get favours, be in with the lads.

Now there are no spoils to give out, they are politically paralysed, apart from the bit of the brain that is still trying to work out how to time this thing so they get re-elected. It was patently clear in the summer that Cowen and Lenihan thought this was a little downturn like 2002, and that all would be well by the next General Election if they made a few tweaks. When they went to tweak, it was medical cards and education, not taking the rental off their buddies for storing the e-voting machines or taking money from people who could well afford it etc. Now they are after the carers allowance and talking about maybe a 10% cut in their own money. It should be 50% and for half the number. Only Cowen and Lenihan in government know how bad things are and they aren't telling the others - it is a drip feed. Meanwhile, things get worse, serious mistakes are made and opportunities are lost. There is no sign that they are even thinking of a realistic strategy to adapt to the changed times we are living in. They will continue to try to bail out their friends and allies as top priority.

The only thing that got FF elected last time around was that FG was patently worse.
Obviously you believe as you post here that “FF are a party of the haves, and have never given equal treatment to the have nots“, this is your opinion, but something of that nature cannot be judged on the basis of opinion, it must be judged on the basis of objective analysis.

When we compare what FF have done for the “have nots” as you describe them, with what any other party has done, including Labour, when they had the chance, over the period of almost 90 years now, we find that your notion of FF simply does not hold water.

If you do the research rather than relying on your own preconceptions, you will find that FF have always been more generous with social welfare payments, introducing new social welfare benefits and in providing social housing, particularly in times when it would have seemed we could least afford it.
In my opinion, as a case in point, their greatest achievement was introducing free second level education, at the time the single most useful thing that could be done for the “have nots” and they did this in the sixties when all the “expert” opinion said we could not afford it and it was the road to financial ruin, but they went ahead and did it anyway, because they believed it was the right thing to do, both for the “have nots” and for the future of the country.

They are not a picture perfect party by any means with faults, some serious, here, there, and everywhere, but to say they do not look after the real “have nots”, that is those on social welfare, is not sustainable and is not supported by the evidence of the last 82 years.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:28 pm

Apologies for posting a morning rant onto what is meant to be a serious Fianna Fail discussion thread.

I will come back to this later, when I have time to give it the proper attention and substantiation it warrants, in terms of distribution of
wealth and services.


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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:05 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Apologies for posting an morning rant onto what is meant to be a serious Fianna Fail discussion thread.

I will come back to this later, when I have time to give it the proper attention and substantiation it warrants, in terms of distribution of
wealth and services.

I agree with your rant CF. I keep saying it but it bears repeating, FF took a serious turn off the road when they started arsing about with the PDs. Their heads were and still are completely turned by all that neo-liberal economic bs. Even while it lies in shattered pieces all around them, they still don't get it. While they certainly deserve credit for the things you mention, they have lost almost all of their sense of fair play because of the influence of PD/IBEC ideology in recent years.

The thing that has really done for them is Haughey style corruption. Up until then, their corruption and tribalism was of a piece with what Irish people expected - planning permissions for houses and more mundane favours of that sort - wrong of course but a lot of good stuff was happening too. Haughey institutionalised major corruption. He made it part of the FF TD job description.

I hate Fianna Fail because of these things - think they are terminally ill from it all and incapable of healing themselves, the corruption and ideology is now so entrenched. But it is still, despite all of that, a moot point whether the palely lurking vampires at Fine Gael are not more horrifying. They are revealing their true viciousness at the moment and we'd be wise to sit up and take notice. They're beside themselves with demanding that thousands be thrown out of jobs, beneifts be slashed and that the lesser off in our country be forced to wear the brunt of the burden for what has happened. These are their true colours. We should remember that many of these property developer johnnies and speculators are staunch FG people. They are in it up to their necks as much as any of FF's party funder friends - and criticism of all that by FG is noticeably more ambiguous than their shrill cries for the blood of every public worker in the country. FG have always hated the idea of a properly funded public sector and are exploiting this crisis as an opportunity for goading FF into undoing all of the things you describe above CF. Bad mistake if FF take the bait - and disastrous for us economically in the long run.
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:55 pm

Aragon wrote:


I hate Fianna Fail because of these things - think they are terminally ill from it all and incapable of healing themselves, the corruption and ideology is now so entrenched. But it is still, despite all of that, a moot point whether the palely lurking vampires at Fine Gael are not more horrifying. They are revealing their true viciousness at the moment and we'd be wise to sit up and take notice. They're beside themselves with demanding that thousands be thrown out of jobs, beneifts be slashed and that the lesser off in our country be forced to wear the brunt of the burden for what has happened. These are their true colours. We should remember that many of these property developer johnnies and speculators are staunch FG people. They are in it up to their necks as much as any of FF's party funder friends - and criticism of all that by FG is noticeably more ambiguous than their shrill cries for the blood of every public worker in the country. FG have always hated the idea of a properly funded public sector and are exploiting this crisis as an opportunity for goading FF into undoing all of the things you describe above CF. Bad mistake if FF take the bait - and disastrous for us economically in the long run.

I found this to be well out of order and undeserved. Fianna Fail have been in power for 20 of the last 22 years and are deservedly under the microscope. By throwing the spotlight on Fine Gael and attempting to equate them at the corruption level is ridiculous and only works in the service of FF. In fact that would be FF strategy. All they have to do is beat FG to stay and power. Amazingly the irish people just lap up any old crap they get from FF. You can say you hate them all you want Aragon, but you are in their "pay" all the same in my book!

What we have to realise it is that the political corruption in this country has effected both sides, the property-capitalist side on the one hand and the public sector on the other. Both have been tainted by FFs middling/meddling position and both need to be reformed. We also want politics out of both. Only FG can go in that direction.

What we need to concentrate on doing is removing Fianna Fail from office, and getting our finances in order!
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:16 pm

Respvblica wrote:
....You can say you hate them all you want Aragon, but you are in their "pay" all the same in my book!....

Time to come clean double-agent Aragon. Might as well tell us all about how you are on the establishment gravy train. I knew you were a closet Bildeberger all along. Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:52 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
....You can say you hate them all you want Aragon, but you are in their "pay" all the same in my book!....

Time to come clean double-agent Aragon. Might as well tell us all about how you are on the establishment gravy train. I knew you were a closet Bildeberger all along. Very Happy Very Happy

I wouldnt say shes quite there amongst your lizardmen friends yet.
I'd rather like to think she's playing your game for you without realising it.

But who knows?

They start a regular FF bashing thread and who starts deflecting the attention on to FG? Tonys and the FFers? No its Aragon! silent Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:03 pm

Sorry Aragon
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PostSubject: Re: A Proper Fianna Fáil Thread   Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:36 pm

Respvblica wrote:
What we have to realise it is that the political corruption in this country has effected both sides, the property-capitalist side on the one hand and the public sector on the other. Both have been tainted by FFs middling/meddling position and both need to be reformed. We also want politics out of both. Only FG can go in that direction.
Once you're happy that the dodgy councillors & tax evading practices of old are gone from FG forever and you promise to take your memory pills, I won't quibble here.
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