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 Cowen's twelve hours

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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:17 am

Audi wrote
Quote :
Kate

The Oppostion weren't given out the details of those cuts until during the session which to me is a shabby way of treating an Opposition at all - didn't the Japanese fella Taro Aso - recently invite all suggestion from the Opp. that they could give??



How long has this been going on -the brutal shunning of the Opposition's suggestions in Government? Bruton has been banging on for years but was often shouted down by Cowen and his Government - is that really a decent way to treat a party which has the support of a significant portion of the people? No it's damn well not. This has to change but I fear it's too late. Cowen nailed his own coffin in one interview with Richard Bruton on RTE radio just before the last general election. He 'savaged' him - not on figures which Cowen's own Finance Ministry subsequently got ALL WRONG (this was before we were subject to an 'unprecedented' 'global' 'American' problem) - to me Bruton was so roughly dealt with in that interview on O'Rourke at One that it was clear that Cowen was and is nothing but a bully. He and his Government are the ones playing party politics - they are in power, they should have the luxury of lending an ear to one of their main Opposition parties but they reserve that for Labour, HATRED is what I regularly hear coming out of Cowen - pure vicious, peeved-off hatred at FG. They bought that election as they bought previous elections and they sowed fear that FG would ruin everyone's cosy nest. We see now that they are unrolling many things they used to buy the electorate with all along.



They should have had the speech at the beginning.

Fine Gael have ruled out a return to the Tallaght strategy. Couldn't be a worse time for them to be playing party politics, if as they suggest, the country is in the kind of bad shape they keep telling us it is. But it is the luxury of being in opposition that you can speak out of both sides of your mouth and say nothing.

I don't think it's hatred that makes Cowen seem peeved. I think it's frustration at the lack of much that is concrete or productive from the oppostion. But there's room for improvement on both sides, Audi. It doesn't make me happy that we have a shitty government and a shitty opposition.

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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:38 am

Kate

it's the Opposition who can be peeved and exasperated at Cowen now as the country moves towards bankruptcy unless they stick to their programme. I agree it's no good sitting around saying what a shitty train wreck it is and the driver was such a shitty driver when bodies are starting to appear but ya just have to appreciate that people felt this coming but were ignored. The prudence of FG might have been instructive to listen to and I'd imagine in his heart of hearts Cowen's shouting down at Bruton is reverberating around in his own skull at night.

And there is an argument that the Opposition weren't given enough information all along so how can they make judgements? They can be blamed for not shouting for more information to be made available - the temp. gauge on the car needs to be working and people need to be able to see it - it might avoid problems in future. Not FG information, not FF information but pure INFO - what who is spending on what and how much there is where and what there is to be paid out on what etc. etc. etc. Some of this information is impossible to get I'm afraid for politicians, students, researchers, journos, bloggers all alike. We need more lighthouse keepers.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:38 am

I must admit Irish politics á la the Republic leaves me cold and during these frigid days a fair bit colder than ever before. As a virtual outsider, the entire set-up seems out of whack. There is a virtual one-party system with an ineffective opposition. The opposition's ineffectiveness is mainly reflected in their often poor communication skills and their awful political strategic vision. FF out manouvres FG and others at every turn. Part of the opposition's problems also stem out of the shift from democratic accountability and debate to wholesale Hollywood politics now practiced across the Western world. Policies are decided and presented like oscars nominations to a pre-briefed media often with debate as a secondary consideration, such debates being reduced to derisory waffle and largely unreported by the media since they have their headline story printed days before legislation is finally passed by the majority state party.

The junket to Texas concerning Dell was about as phony as any poltical stunt ever carried out in a Western democracy. Pure panto. It provided me with a laugh, but a fairly bitter giggle.

I don't know if its cynicism or just that the ruling state party's apparchniks have become so seperated from everyday life, or indeed if there are other motivations. As for Mary Coughlan's stint in the Ag min, and while not knowing a whole pile about her accomplishments, she was asked a couple of years ago about a very important matter to do with farming and her answer was pretty succint. She didn't know Ireland's policy. She and her govt really didn't care. Did the journo become excited about a minister who didn't know her brief? Naa. They started talking about property prices! The media in this country could, by and large, get jobs on the Entertainment channel and that's about it.

The electorate don't have 30 or 40 years to pass judegement on this or any presiding govt. That's not how representative democracy works. Unfortunately the electorate is easily bought off with baubbles and trinkets while the important legisation and general tenor of social and economic policies passes them by. The electorate and not the politicians are the main culprit, to my mind, in where we've landed ourselves. Fair enough, the political choices on hindsight with regard to the GE seem pretty poor by this stage but when have the electorate ever come out and demanded effective action. For too long, we've been content to follow blindly and let politics take care of itself. We've fallen for "they're the experts" so there's no reason to interfere. This is just plain wrong and laziness on the part of Western electorates. We want to be told what to do.

There was a thread on the wholesale bank gaurantee and if it was the right or the move. Recent history tells us it was wrong. It did nothing to stem the rot in the banking system. Also common sense tells us that when we know we have to borrow money we want our credit rating to be as high as possible in order to reduce borrowing costs. Ireland still had a fairly good credit reputation, although it is deteriorating. The wholesale blanket gaurantee just raised the cost of our now hugely growing borrowing requirements while it did not address the fundamental banking problems. Grade = F.

As for Obama, so far he has been pragmatic and competent, but a shaved monkey would seem competent after Bush. The fact is that Obama hasn't even hinted at the fundamental problems facing the US economy. Short-termism, ie the reliance on quarterly profits, is and has been devastating the US economy. Competency alone is not enough. Obama has to make tough choices and perform radical surgery. So far he's been toying with sticking plasters. If he can't pick up the scapel and make fundamental changes, the US is destined to become a divided economic entity, and I can only imagine that the social fabric with start to shred over time.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:05 pm

Kate P wrote:
Aragon wrote
Quote :
I cannot get over you Kate P. You seem to have no sense whatever of what has just been done to ordinary people the length and breadth of the country. You come across like some sort of arm chair executioner rejoicing at the pain inflicted on people who are entirely innocent of what has happened to our economy - your only regret possibly being that even more heads did not roll. As for Cowen and Kenny - we must have been listening to two completely different speeches. Cowen mumbled his way through an incoherent speech which left more questions unanswered than before he got up to speak. The specifics had to be dragged out of him afterwards. It's also completely untrue to say that Kenny did not give a much more specific speech about what FG felt should be done - in fact he made it quite clear, and rightly so, that Cowen has routinely usurped parliamentary democracy by refusing to engage with the opposition parties about a whole raft of measures that they had submitted. FG have put forward masses of suggestions - all of them rejected out of hand. Gilmore savaged Cowen - and rightly so too. The man is an incompetent bufoon.

There is a vicious tendency among the extreme right in this country which this crisis has brought to the surface. The snarling contempt for ordinary people is staggering. Preserving privilege is what gets them out of bed in the morning. People seem to be deluding themselves that public sector comprises masses of people earning huge salaries. Well excuse me, but that would be the top end of the banking and commercial sector in point of fact - yet again completely untouched by any of the measures the government has announced - other than being the benficiaries of huge bailouts. Of course most of of those who are advocating the imposition of misery on so many people would not be doing so if you stood any chance of being affected equally yourselves. People are just so much vermin to be kicked about at their feet? Obnoxious. Sooner or later the marie-anotinettes will get their come uppance, that's for sure.

I'm on career break from teaching, Aragon and that career break opportunity has ended since the budget - I don't have a private sector employer giving me 20k to find myself for a year or two. I'll possibly be back in school in September and my pay will be affected by those cuts, the ones I'm in favour of.

Perhaps you cannot get over me - fine. But I'd suggest your arguments would get over a lot better if you did get over the poster and get on with the issue. I am not an armchair executioner and I resent the personalised and rather nasty suggestion that I'd like to see more ordinary people suffer. (Indeed I've already modded a comment by you on this thread in a similar vein directed at another poster and it is with the Mod Team for consideration). I am not rejoicing in the infliction of pain on anybody. You have no justification in making that point, you've merely jumped to a conclusion that suits your perspective.

But seeing as that's where we're at just now... It would be very easy to look at the world in the way you do and criticise everyone from a height who has had the temerity to put themselves in a position of leadership, four legs good, two legs bad. The problem is that your way of looking at the world doesn't make it any better, what it does is attempt to impose and fit an ideology onto a situation that bears no similarity to that ideology. It doesn't fit and it won't. You can rant and rail all you like, but it won't change anything.

There are many benefits to the decision Brian Cowen made yesterday and the first is that it's positive action. And we've waited a long time for that. I don't doubt that there will be changes made in the implementation of it - which is why I'm not stamping my foot about it the lowest paid workers suffering. I don't think they will in the long run, but the bigger picture is more important, despite my sympathy for anyone on a low income.

Partnership has now been shown up - the unions have made their position quite clear and they can never expect to have the same rights or credibility again. Union leadership has been divorced from union members for a long time. I hope we'll see a major re-think within the union movement of how business should be done in the future.

The public sector have taken their medicine and the graduated principle has been set out. It's not ideal but it's a starting point. Actually, it's a line in the sand. We yelled for leadership and action and now we have it. Things can only get better, Aragon. We can move on. The public sector winge-fest will lose steam and we can move on to more deserving causes who need to have their wages cut, like some of those whom you suggest.

In the long term, I don't think this is a battle worth fighting because essentially it's far better than the alternative (Richard Bruton, interestingly, wasn't able to provide Mary Wilson with a single alternative on yesterday's Drivetime). We don't have time to hang around. We have to make the big decisions and tidy the detail as we go and I have faith that that will happen. I don't believe that all in government and all in the civil service are fundamentally evil, armchair executioners even if they and all forms of human interaction are imperfect.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Aragon, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

There are more things in many other philosophies than are dreamt of in the narrow, discriminatory solutions being foisted on innocent people. The last time this issue arose on MN I seem to recall people gloating at the fact that some of us were losing half our child benefit for children in FTE. There was some ridiculous notion that these kids were all swanning around the world on what was described as a 'gap year gift box'. As if most of us have anything like the sort of money to spare on doing that for our kids. Maybe a few spoiled brats in Dublin 4 can do that but it's nasty to classify the majority of hardworking kids in this way. At any rate, I know of one young person in this house who cannot now go to third level education at all because of all the government have done to us: tax levy on salary, slashing of carers allowance for a disabled child, loss of child benefit and now this pension levy - which has devastated us. This, after scrimping and saving down 18 years to give her the best education we could and after all her own hard work as well. There will be thousands just like her. And as she put it herself last night, even if she worked for a year or two to save up, the likely introduction of huge fees will mean she would at least be in her mid 20s before she could put enough money together to even start - 30 by the time she qualified. (She'd already abandoned the idea of doing medicince despite her excellent grades and real interest in the subject because of the cost of it even as things stood.) Education and the professional training are now once again exclusively for the rich and people who are prepared to go seriously into debt - something the governmetn will stupidly encourage despite all of what has happened. I'm ready to punch the lights out of the next fool I meet trying to pretend that this sort of outcome is a good thing for people or for the country.

And the top 40% escape effectively scot free as usual. Now there is something to dream about. There is a huge discrepancy between the proportion of earnings being withdrawn from low middle-income earners and those at the top. The 9% levy doesnt kick in until people are earning over 300K, FFS! This is outrageous.

What angers me is the thick, wooden refusal to question the fundamentals of the system even though the evidence is busting us all over the heads that it cannot be made to work - that it has utterly failed us all and will go on doing so. It beggars belief that anyone can see 'leadership' in what Cowen has done. He procrastinated and dithered to the last second - ignored copious suggestions and inputs from all of the opposition parties, contrary to what is being claimed by some, and concocted the most one-sided set of measures imaginable. Leadership my arse. He has implemented the demands of IBEC - waited right until the last minute to put them to the unions who had no time to counter their unfairness! It's outrageous. And then we have to suffer the smug, patronising complaceny of the likes of Turlough O' Sullivan blaring out at us from every news programme he can get his ugly face on. No doubt he'll be weekending in some place like Switzerland, after all his hard work fucking over the ordinary people of Ireland.

Mind you, I too think the social parntership is a complete waste of time but for very different reasons: it has completely castrated the power of the partnership unions most of whose representatives in those talks are merely comfortably positioned placemen with no incentive to really fight for the workers of this country.

The bizarre thing is, we have enough resources in this country to ensure a fair standard of living for every single person. But that would require imagination, honesty, fairness and compassion to make it work. We might as well be looking for gold in potatoes as for those qualities among our bloated and over paid politicians. (Did anyone notice that repulsive human being Mary Harney smirking and texting messages while Caoimh. O S. was speaking to her about the health service she is carving up for herself and her friends?)

The vast majority of the wealth in this country is in the hands of the top 40%. Yet most of the money is being clawed back from the bottom 60%. In those facts alone it's evident that the government is favouring the rich over the poor. Not one word from Cowen or Lenihan yesterday about high end salaries in the commercial and banking sectors. No information about how the bailouts are being spent, or about what guarantees we have as the sponosrs of this bailout. Businesses may now default on loans with impunity while the rest of us, as Edward Horgan has said in today's independent will be thrown in jail for doing the same. Yes, there is great 'leadership' here.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:36 pm

Aragon wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Aragon wrote
Quote :
I cannot get over you Kate P. You seem to have no sense whatever of what has just been done to ordinary people the length and breadth of the country. You come across like some sort of arm chair executioner rejoicing at the pain inflicted on people who are entirely innocent of what has happened to our economy - your only regret possibly being that even more heads did not roll. As for Cowen and Kenny - we must have been listening to two completely different speeches. Cowen mumbled his way through an incoherent speech which left more questions unanswered than before he got up to speak. The specifics had to be dragged out of him afterwards. It's also completely untrue to say that Kenny did not give a much more specific speech about what FG felt should be done - in fact he made it quite clear, and rightly so, that Cowen has routinely usurped parliamentary democracy by refusing to engage with the opposition parties about a whole raft of measures that they had submitted. FG have put forward masses of suggestions - all of them rejected out of hand. Gilmore savaged Cowen - and rightly so too. The man is an incompetent bufoon.

There is a vicious tendency among the extreme right in this country which this crisis has brought to the surface. The snarling contempt for ordinary people is staggering. Preserving privilege is what gets them out of bed in the morning. People seem to be deluding themselves that public sector comprises masses of people earning huge salaries. Well excuse me, but that would be the top end of the banking and commercial sector in point of fact - yet again completely untouched by any of the measures the government has announced - other than being the benficiaries of huge bailouts. Of course most of of those who are advocating the imposition of misery on so many people would not be doing so if you stood any chance of being affected equally yourselves. People are just so much vermin to be kicked about at their feet? Obnoxious. Sooner or later the marie-anotinettes will get their come uppance, that's for sure.

I'm on career break from teaching, Aragon and that career break opportunity has ended since the budget - I don't have a private sector employer giving me 20k to find myself for a year or two. I'll possibly be back in school in September and my pay will be affected by those cuts, the ones I'm in favour of.

Perhaps you cannot get over me - fine. But I'd suggest your arguments would get over a lot better if you did get over the poster and get on with the issue. I am not an armchair executioner and I resent the personalised and rather nasty suggestion that I'd like to see more ordinary people suffer. (Indeed I've already modded a comment by you on this thread in a similar vein directed at another poster and it is with the Mod Team for consideration). I am not rejoicing in the infliction of pain on anybody. You have no justification in making that point, you've merely jumped to a conclusion that suits your perspective.

But seeing as that's where we're at just now... It would be very easy to look at the world in the way you do and criticise everyone from a height who has had the temerity to put themselves in a position of leadership, four legs good, two legs bad. The problem is that your way of looking at the world doesn't make it any better, what it does is attempt to impose and fit an ideology onto a situation that bears no similarity to that ideology. It doesn't fit and it won't. You can rant and rail all you like, but it won't change anything.

There are many benefits to the decision Brian Cowen made yesterday and the first is that it's positive action. And we've waited a long time for that. I don't doubt that there will be changes made in the implementation of it - which is why I'm not stamping my foot about it the lowest paid workers suffering. I don't think they will in the long run, but the bigger picture is more important, despite my sympathy for anyone on a low income.

Partnership has now been shown up - the unions have made their position quite clear and they can never expect to have the same rights or credibility again. Union leadership has been divorced from union members for a long time. I hope we'll see a major re-think within the union movement of how business should be done in the future.

The public sector have taken their medicine and the graduated principle has been set out. It's not ideal but it's a starting point. Actually, it's a line in the sand. We yelled for leadership and action and now we have it. Things can only get better, Aragon. We can move on. The public sector winge-fest will lose steam and we can move on to more deserving causes who need to have their wages cut, like some of those whom you suggest.

In the long term, I don't think this is a battle worth fighting because essentially it's far better than the alternative (Richard Bruton, interestingly, wasn't able to provide Mary Wilson with a single alternative on yesterday's Drivetime). We don't have time to hang around. We have to make the big decisions and tidy the detail as we go and I have faith that that will happen. I don't believe that all in government and all in the civil service are fundamentally evil, armchair executioners even if they and all forms of human interaction are imperfect.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Aragon, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

There are more things in many other philosophies than are dreamt of in the narrow, discriminatory solutions being foisted on innocent people. The last time this issue arose on MN I seem to recall people gloating at the fact that some of us were losing half our child benefit for children in FTE. There was some ridiculous notion that these kids were all swanning around the world on what was described as a 'gap year gift box'. As if most of us have anything like the sort of money to spare on doing that for our kids. Maybe a few spoiled brats in Dublin 4 can do that but it's nasty to classify the majority of hardworking kids in this way. At any rate, I know of one young person in this house who cannot now go to third level education at all because of all the government have done to us: tax levy on salary, slashing of carers allowance for a disabled child, loss of child benefit and now this pension levy - which has devastated us. This, after scrimping and saving down 18 years to give her the best education we could and after all her own hard work as well. There will be thousands just like her. And as she put it herself last night, even if she worked for a year or two to save up, the likely introduction of huge fees will mean she would at least be in her mid 20s before she could put enough money together to even start - 30 by the time she qualified. (She'd already abandoned the idea of doing medicince despite her excellent grades and real interest in the subject because of the cost of it even as things stood.) Education and the professional training are now once again exclusively for the rich and people who are prepared to go seriously into debt - something the governmetn will stupidly encourage despite all of what has happened. I'm ready to punch the lights out of the next fool I meet trying to pretend that this sort of outcome is a good thing for people or for the country.

And the top 40% escape effectively scot free as usual. Now there is something to dream about. There is a huge discrepancy between the proportion of earnings being withdrawn from low middle-income earners and those at the top. The 9% levy doesnt kick in until people are earning over 300K, FFS! This is outrageous.

What angers me is the thick, wooden refusal to question the fundamentals of the system even though the evidence is busting us all over the heads that it cannot be made to work - that it has utterly failed us all and will go on doing so. It beggars belief that anyone can see 'leadership' in what Cowen has done. He procrastinated and dithered to the last second - ignored copious suggestions and inputs from all of the opposition parties, contrary to what is being claimed by some, and concocted the most one-sided set of measures imaginable. Leadership my arse. He has implemented the demands of IBEC - waited right until the last minute to put them to the unions who had no time to counter their unfairness! It's outrageous. And then we have to suffer the smug, patronising complaceny of the likes of Turlough O' Sullivan blaring out at us from every news programme he can get his ugly face on. No doubt he'll be weekending in some place like Switzerland, after all his hard work fucking over the ordinary people of Ireland.

Mind you, I too think the social parntership is a complete waste of time but for very different reasons: it has completely castrated the power of the partnership unions most of whose representatives in those talks are merely comfortably positioned placemen with no incentive to really fight for the workers of this country.

The bizarre thing is, we have enough resources in this country to ensure a fair standard of living for every single person. But that would require imagination, honesty, fairness and compassion to make it work. We might as well be looking for gold in potatoes as for those qualities among our bloated and over paid politicians. (Did anyone notice that repulsive human being Mary Harney smirking and texting messages while Caoimh. O S. was speaking to her about the health service she is carving up for herself and her friends?)

The vast majority of the wealth in this country is in the hands of the top 40%. Yet most of the money is being clawed back from the bottom 60%. In those facts alone it's evident that the government is favouring the rich over the poor. Not one word from Cowen or Lenihan yesterday about high end salaries in the commercial and banking sectors. No information about how the bailouts are being spent, or about what guarantees we have as the sponosrs of this bailout. Businesses may now default on loans with impunity while the rest of us, as Edward Horgan has said in today's independent will be thrown in jail for doing the same. Yes, there is great 'leadership' here.
Instead of repeating your one eyed view and dishing out your vicious little personal insults why don’t you address the question at least two posters have asked you, who funds public service pensions if not the taxpayer and while you’re at it you might tell us exactly what is so unfair about asking them to make on average a 25% contribution to their own pensions from now on, given that the rest of us are still having to fund the remaining 75% of those pensions.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:30 pm

Off topic here, but if your child goes to University in the UK, it is possible he/she would be able to get a student loan. I don't think its ideal, but this is how most people over there go through third level.

Your situation sounds painful Aragon, but lashing out at people who aren't your enemy won't help. Ronald Binge explained his situation in the private sector. No one in the private sector has a safe job. Vincent Brown mentioned someone last night who had to go free lance when he lost his job and then when work ran out signed on last November. He got nothing for nine weeks, and then told that he would get 52 euro a week benefit as he was self employed. People who have been running businesses, have paid their taxes and paid their staff full redundancy as their businesses ran down, are faced with that.

There is a layer of ultra-wealthy who are benefiting from this, and even some of these people are going to the wall. There is a systemic failure and collapse of capitalism going on world wide. Trying to grasp that, and to find a way of replacing it with something that works, is where to put our minds to work.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:40 pm

The UK's method is interesting actually. They introduced top up fees didn't they? So it is like Australia where you have a deferred loan which is paid off once in employment on the basis of what you begin to earn as you work. Coupled with that they do offer free third level courses for targetted courses - ie the ones which they are in serious need of. For example, my girlfriend is currently doing a Masters in Speech and Language Therapy, it is a two year course. She is doing it in the University of Limerick where it costs about 9,500 in tuition over the two years. She was also accepted to study it in universities in the UK, where she would not have paid any fees, but declined. I think the postgraduate primary teacher training is also free in the UK.

I won't comment on Vincent Brown.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:04 pm

Vincenzo fairly humiliated Mansergh, or rather facilitated Mansergh's self humiliation. The barb about him sitting in a job even he admitted was unnecessary was priceless, as was Mansergh's high pitched reaction. Such are the small remaining pleasures left to us at this stage ...
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:30 pm

Kate P wrote:
Coughlan was a far better Minister for Ag than Brendan Smith is, she had a feel for it and could manage her constituents, Smith rubs everyone up the wrong way, is out of depth with his brief and doesn't get it. Worst thing to happen to ag in many years. Decisions may be made in Brussels but the bean counting and the implementation here are essential, as is the negotiation at Brussels level - the disaster that is the nutrient waste plan is a case in point - farming by the calendar, who'd have thunk it? (that happened on Coughlan's watch, by the way)

But back to Cowen. I watched the three speeches with my mother and brother. The speech wasn't Cowen's finest hour but I'm glad the 1.4bn cut will happen in the public sector and I think the public service unions will come out of this far worse than he did. They have discredited partnership, themselves and trade union politics in their behaviour.

What really, really annoyed me was Enda Kenny's response. It's a hundred previous empty rhetorical speeches re-run - he needn't have turned up at all. I confess, my heart raced a little at the beginning when I thought he wasn't going to play party politics but no, it was not to be.

Such bullshit and hypocritical bluster about a lack of bi-partisanship and then an abject failure to address any of the points raised in Cowen's speech. No reference to its content (lacking in detail as it was, but then we all know that the ten minute speech, no more than the budget, is not where the detail is delivered). The dogs in the street knew that Cowen would implement the cut once agreement couldn't be reached with the unions. Yet Kenny wasn't prepared to comment on it. Breathtaking.

What emerged from Enda Kenny's risible presentation was that he's still hurting at not being in government, hurting so badly it blinds him from being an effective leader of any opposition because his bitterness pervades every thought he has. His performance points out clearly than any pretence he may have alluded to about FG's willingness to engage in bi-partisan politics was simply vote-getting pretence. I am so angry with him. Eamon Gilmore at least had some vision in his response, focussing on the shortsightedness of the measures contained, what was left out of the speech. He responded to what was and wasn't said.

Kenny did an unforgivable thing at a moment of national crisis. He put himself and his party and their petty grievances above the issue of the day. I am not a FF or Brian Cowen apologist - far from it but Enda Kenny and Fine Gael are not an alternative. I'm not sure which fills me with more dread, the continuance of Fianna Fáil or the prospect of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.

Is Brian Cowen a dead man walking? He has been since he took office and not exclusively through his own fault. Your journalist friend could have made the same point a number of times recently, PK2 - a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Kate, your comments about Kenny are chronically misinformed. It is standard in Dáil debates for scripts of major speeches by a minister or taoiseach to be handed out at the start of the speech, indeed often in advance to the main speakers. The reason is because the acoustics in the Dáil chamber are poor. The sound in the House of Commons is much better because it is a small intimate chamber (astonishingly small when you see it in real life - only 400 of the 600 MPs can be accommodated and then only sometimes by sitting on the steps. The rest sit in a balcony next to the public gallery (the public gallery until recently was called the Strangers Gallery but Labour changed it for some stupid reason) - and leaders are only feet away from each other. The Dáil chamber looks nice but is acoustically dire. People listening to the broadcast on television hear more.

Yesterday Cowen deliberately delayed having scripts delivered. They were only handed out in the last 4 minutes. So Kenny had four minutes to speed-read the script to fill in the bits he had not been able to hear, and write a reply. In the circumstances of course he could not give a line by line rebuttal - no-one could compose one in four minutes. FF deliberately delayed getting the script out to make it difficult for the opposition.

Eamon could, because he didn't have 4 minutes, but 14 (the 4 minutes left of Cowen's speech and the 10 of Enda Kenny's) to read the speech and construct a line-by-line rebuttal. Eamon is also a former head of USI, like Enda and Brian. That gives him an advantage. Anyone ever involved in USI knows that when you get to the head of the organisation you will have given hundreds of rabble-rousing speeches, and be able in an instant to deliver an angry speech, an attacking speech, or whatever. In the House of Commons and House of Lords, the best speakers are those who either came from Oxbridge and spent their time in the debating clubs debating at the drop of a hat, or union leaders whose job was to be able to churn out a standard 'I am angry/you are a disgrace' speech as if turning on a tap. That's why historically for USI presidents and heads of students unions usually end up in PR (the head of PR in the ESB is a former UCD students Union head), in the media (Joe Duffy is a former USI president) or in politics. And in politics guys trained in instant speaking (Michael D, Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore) are top class speakers.

Considering that Kenny had only 4 minutes to read the speech and reply, and that Cowen had deliberately not briefed the opposition and deliberately held back the speech till he was almost finished, Kenny did damn well, as did Eamon. And Cowen, as so often, was simply pathetic.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:35 pm

I heard Kenny's speech on Clare FM this morning and was impressed again. Ranty and perfectly reflecting the way a lot of people feel and if they don't their heads are still in the sand or somewhere worse.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:39 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I heard Kenny's speech on Clare FM this morning and was impressed again. Ranty and perfectly reflecting the way a lot of people feel and if they don't their heads are still in the sand or somewhere worse.
pathetic.
This kind of reasonless “believe as I do or you’re a fool” stuff really gets me going.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:53 pm

coc wrote:
Vincenzo fairly humiliated Mansergh, or rather facilitated Mansergh's self humiliation. The barb about him sitting in a job even he admitted was unnecessary was priceless, as was Mansergh's high pitched reaction. Such are the small remaining pleasures left to us at this stage ...

I am always in two minds with Mansergh. I want to laugh at his screeching, but I know the man. He is very genuine and honest, and one of the most able people around. His awful media performance simply reflects nerves. The guy isn't at home in the media, frets and loses it. But he is one of those junior ministers (like John Moloney) better than most in cabinet. So while I laugh when he does his screeching, I feel a bit sorry because he is misrepresenting his real ability.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:55 pm

Papal_knight Two wrote:
Kenny did damn well, as did Eamon. And Cowen, as so often, was simply pathetic.
Absolutely, sure FF are in melt down, have been since before the last election or so I was told at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:04 pm

tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
I heard Kenny's speech on Clare FM this morning and was impressed again. Ranty and perfectly reflecting the way a lot of people feel and if they don't their heads are still in the sand or somewhere worse.
pathetic. This kind of reasonless “believe as I do or you’re a fool” stuff really gets me going.

It was contemptuous how Cowen treated the Opposition this week - itself with pure contempt. His 'My Way' speech encapulates a lot of what's wrong in this country now and why it won't ever be right for a long long time. Any fool might believe the obvious trick of giving an ear to those on the sinking ship with you who are interested in contributing and might have some solutions instead of blowing them out of it.

That's what I believe and I didn't say anyone was a fool and if you think it's not foolish to refuse to consult openly and civily with those who represent half your people in a time of massive crisis then there is no other word for you but "fool" and a dangerous fool at that.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:15 pm

Papal_knight Two wrote:
coc wrote:
Vincenzo fairly humiliated Mansergh, or rather facilitated Mansergh's self humiliation. The barb about him sitting in a job even he admitted was unnecessary was priceless, as was Mansergh's high pitched reaction. Such are the small remaining pleasures left to us at this stage ...

I am always in two minds with Mansergh. I want to laugh at his screeching, but I know the man. He is very genuine and honest, and one of the most able people around. His awful media performance simply reflects nerves. The guy isn't at home in the media, frets and loses it. But he is one of those junior ministers (like John Moloney) better than most in cabinet. So while I laugh when he does his screeching, I feel a bit sorry because he is misrepresenting his real ability.

Mansergh embarrassed himself for sure. One thing though, going back to your earlier post, Cowen has got in the habit of the last minute fait-accomplit. He's done it with loads of stuff in recent months and the point Kenny made about the erosion of parliamentary democratic debate of these vital issues was one of the most important things said yesterday. They were working blind. I think the opposition needs to get angry about that and start asserting themselves more forcefully on the issue. The same thing was done to the unions who were really deceived in a way. The framework document that had been neogtiated was dumped more or less at the last second and they were told to like it or lump it. This is a distrous tendency for everyone, whatever views we may have. But the unions too are now being accused of having offered no alternatives. Cowen is spinning this rubbish about all his partners bar IBEC who are running the show, I tell ya. Give him his due Kenny did mention them but nobody seems to realise just how much of a thrall this government are in to IBEC. Ivan Yates has called for the end of the social partnership as much because of the extremely unhealthy relationship between IBECand government as because of his fear and loathing of the unions.

Here's todays statement from the ICTU about what happened

http://www.ictu.ie/

Quote :
"The Framework Agreement committed to dealing with the pensions crisis in the private sector, the growing threat of home repossessions, a fairer distribution of the tax burden, action on executive pay and some very creative thinking around job protection and support for those made unemployed, the Flexicurity model.

"What actually emerged has turned that entirely on its head...all of these issues are in the Framework, but at the conclusion of the talks none was addressed in any serious and substantive way. That caused us a real problem."
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:21 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
I heard Kenny's speech on Clare FM this morning and was impressed again. Ranty and perfectly reflecting the way a lot of people feel and if they don't their heads are still in the sand or somewhere worse.
pathetic. This kind of reasonless “believe as I do or you’re a fool” stuff really gets me going.

It was contemptuous how Cowen treated the Opposition this week - itself with pure contempt. His 'My Way' speech encapulates a lot of what's wrong in this country now and why it won't ever be right for a long long time. Any fool might believe the obvious trick of giving an ear to those on the sinking ship with you who are interested in contributing and might have some solutions instead of blowing them out of it.

That's what I believe and I didn't say anyone was a fool and if you think it's not foolish to refuse to
consult openly and civily with those who represent half your people in a time of massive crisis then there is no other word for you but "fool" and a dangerous fool at that.
Who “sticks their head in the sand or up their arse” but a fool, that’s exactly what you said, stop hiding behind words.

The “my way” if you were paying attention was with reference to trying to do business with the social partners as against the FG way of saying one thing one day and another thing the next day as it suits them, with no intention of ever having to implement any of it. An example of which was the cry for a 10% cut in the public service wage bill, but later it was only on wages over 100,000, a saving of 80 million, a figure Kenny was unaware of when he called for it.
In fairness to him he wasn’t afraid to admit he didn’t know how much his new policy would save, there’s a man who doesn’t mind looking a fool.

In his speech yesterday Kenny spent all of 10 seconds offering to help and the rest trying to gain advantage over Cowen, some effort at national solidarity that was.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:35 pm

Aragon wrote:
Papal_knight Two wrote:
coc wrote:
Vincenzo fairly humiliated Mansergh, or rather facilitated Mansergh's self humiliation. The barb about him sitting in a job even he admitted was unnecessary was priceless, as was Mansergh's high pitched reaction. Such are the small remaining pleasures left to us at this stage ...

I am always in two minds with Mansergh. I want to laugh at his screeching, but I know the man. He is very genuine and honest, and one of the most able people around. His awful media performance simply reflects nerves. The guy isn't at home in the media, frets and loses it. But he is one of those junior ministers (like John Moloney) better than most in cabinet. So while I laugh when he does his screeching, I feel a bit sorry because he is misrepresenting his real ability.

Mansergh embarrassed himself for sure. One thing though, going back to your earlier post, Cowen has got in the habit of the last minute fait-accomplit. He's done it with loads of stuff in recent months and the point Kenny made about the erosion of parliamentary democratic debate of these vital issues was one of the most important things said yesterday. They were working blind. I think the opposition needs to get angry about that and start asserting themselves more forcefully on the issue. The same thing was done to the unions who were really deceived in a way. The framework document that had been neogtiated was dumped more or less at the last second and they were told to like it or lump it. This is a distrous tendency for everyone, whatever views we may have. But the unions too are now being accused of having offered no alternatives. Cowen is spinning this rubbish about all his partners bar IBEC who are running the show, I tell ya. Give him his due Kenny did mention them but nobody seems to realise just how much of a thrall this government are in to IBEC. Ivan Yates has called for the end of the social partnership as much because of the extremely unhealthy relationship between IBECand government as because of his fear and loathing of the unions.

Here's todays statement from the ICTU about what happened

http://www.ictu.ie/

Quote :
"The Framework Agreement committed to dealing with the pensions crisis in the private sector, the growing threat of home repossessions, a fairer distribution of the tax burden, action on executive pay and some very creative thinking around job protection and support for those made unemployed, the Flexicurity model.

"What actually emerged has turned that entirely on its head...all of these issues are in the Framework, but at the conclusion of the talks none was addressed in any serious and substantive way. That caused us a real problem."

That's interesting Aragon. Cowen has no right to play the National Interest card when he is looking after an " elite."
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:39 pm

You're hung up on fools tonys - I called no one a fool - misled or watching their own arses - interpret it how you like but fool is too quaint a word for me - it's yours not mine.

As you choose to use it then let's. There is no shame in looking like a 'fool' in the Dail whether you're Kenny or Gilmore or Cowen given the times we're in. There will be mistakes made this year as there were last year and there will be more the next. I think those parties in the Dáil must open up the books and have a look at what's inside. But so far the opposition have been disenfranchised from information that they should be privy to and their suggestions have been rubbished by a too proud Government.

Hiding behind excuses to protect some vested interests as we saw Mary Coughlan almost doing with Brian Dobson on the news is just more of it. The game is going to be up soon and everything is going to have to be put on the table. Meanwhile our people will be divided by obstinacy and pride.

It's no time for games of Up your enemy - something will have to give eventually and policy decisions are going to have to come from all sides of the House. People are on the streets already.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:41 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
Papal_knight Two wrote:
coc wrote:
Vincenzo fairly humiliated Mansergh, or rather facilitated Mansergh's self humiliation. The barb about him sitting in a job even he admitted was unnecessary was priceless, as was Mansergh's high pitched reaction. Such are the small remaining pleasures left to us at this stage ...

I am always in two minds with Mansergh. I want to laugh at his screeching, but I know the man. He is very genuine and honest, and one of the most able people around. His awful media performance simply reflects nerves. The guy isn't at home in the media, frets and loses it. But he is one of those junior ministers (like John Moloney) better than most in cabinet. So while I laugh when he does his screeching, I feel a bit sorry because he is misrepresenting his real ability.

Mansergh embarrassed himself for sure. One thing though, going back to your earlier post, Cowen has got in the habit of the last minute fait-accomplit. He's done it with loads of stuff in recent months and the point Kenny made about the erosion of parliamentary democratic debate of these vital issues was one of the most important things said yesterday. They were working blind. I think the opposition needs to get angry about that and start asserting themselves more forcefully on the issue. The same thing was done to the unions who were really deceived in a way. The framework document that had been neogtiated was dumped more or less at the last second and they were told to like it or lump it. This is a distrous tendency for everyone, whatever views we may have. But the unions too are now being accused of having offered no alternatives. Cowen is spinning this rubbish about all his partners bar IBEC who are running the show, I tell ya. Give him his due Kenny did mention them but nobody seems to realise just how much of a thrall this government are in to IBEC. Ivan Yates has called for the end of the social partnership as much because of the extremely unhealthy relationship between IBECand government as because of his fear and loathing of the unions.

Here's todays statement from the ICTU about what happened

http://www.ictu.ie/

Quote :
"The Framework Agreement committed to dealing with the pensions crisis in the private sector, the growing threat of home repossessions, a fairer distribution of the tax burden, action on executive pay and some very creative thinking around job protection and support for those made unemployed, the Flexicurity model.

"What actually emerged has turned that entirely on its head...all of these issues are in the Framework, but at the conclusion of the talks none was addressed in any serious and substantive way. That caused us a real problem."

That's interesting Aragon. Cowen has no right to play the National Interest card when he is looking after an " elite."

Fianna Fáil has a habit of thinking that its interest is the national interest. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:49 pm

Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:31 am

Is there any links to Kenny speaking as I really need a good laugh. If not I will settle for Gilmore
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:51 am

youngdan wrote:
Is there any links to Kenny speaking as I really need a good laugh. If not I will settle for Gilmore
There aren't any available, thay had the machines turned off in an effort to save tape.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:04 am

tonys wrote:
Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

One set of rolling eyes for each seat FF will win in the next general election. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:08 am


youngdan wrote:
Is there any links to Kenny speaking as I really need a good laugh. If not I will settle for Gilmore
There aren't any available, thay had the machines turned off in an effort to save tape.




Too bad. There is always Plan B. I can go back to Papal Kmights posts from last year. They are always good for a few side-splitters and knee-slappers.

Is that quiz show "Quiz arround the Clock" still going back there. Papal should give it a go.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's twelve hours   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:12 am

Papal_knight Two wrote:
tonys wrote:
Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

One set of rolling eyes for each seat FF will win in the next general election. lol!
Now you’re getting it. That’s the way to become expert at predictions, slow but steady improvement from your last efforts. Keep this up and by the election of 2043 people will be laughing out of the other side of their face…….they’ll still be laughing mind.
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