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 Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?

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PostSubject: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:23 am

I said this on p.ie it didn't get much reply so ill make thread out of it here as contribution to this website.

ah i reading about cowen for the first time, see he's the result of death, nepotism and shallow name recognition, purely to keep the local business mafia connections alive, td and county councillor for years, like his father publican and auctioneer, he a country solicitor, his brother a publican and tax defaulter. another brother a councillor, in the position by accident of name rather then merit.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:26 am

lostexpectation wrote:
I said this on p.ie it didn't get much reply so ill make thread out of it here as contribution to this website.

ah i reading about cowen for the first time, see he's the result of death, nepotism and shallow name recognition, purely to keep the local business mafia connections alive, td and county councillor for years, like his father publican and auctioneer, he a country solicitor, his brother a publican and tax defaulter. another brother a councillor, in the position by accident of name rather then merit.

Shane Ross in the Sindo put his silence on the crisis (ISEQ, unemployment etc.) down to not wanting to rock his prospects of being Taoiseach.
Are you putting it down to lack of interest or ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:30 am

Cowen was first elected 24 years ago. He earned almost two quotas in the last election, afaik.

He may well have gotten in first time round on the strength of his father's name but he didn't stay in it by accident.

He is a spectacularly intelligent man who does a good job in Laois Offaly.

You don't get two quotas by virtue of being in the job by accident rather than merit.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:34 am

It's not unusual or surprising that he is the result of such a web - an awful lot of them are but Cowen will be judged on many other things - his rough, strident manner of debating is already well-known but he'll be judged on other things like grasping public current spending this and next year as Taoiseach and for indeed riding out this difficult period financially and on his record to date which doesn't look outstanding if you can find anything to judge him by.

Just now on the Week in Politics, we are reminded of Senator Fergal Quinn in the Seanad getting a lecture from a Cowen looking like he slept under the seat in the Seanad in his suit - a lecture on Quinn's insolence in pointing out to Cowen that the National Development Plan is unremarkable and inconsequential ... perhaps a sign of the conservatism to come...?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:44 am

I saw that too Audi. Not a swashbuckler, as Richard Dowling is saying now. I'd say that Cowen has lots of untapped potential that he might exercise now that he's the boss.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:48 am

Kate P wrote:
Cowen was first elected 24 years ago. He earned almost two quotas in the last election, afaik.

He may well have gotten in first time round on the strength of his father's name but he didn't stay in it by accident.

He is a spectacularly intelligent man who does a good job in Laois Offaly.

You don't get two quotas by virtue of being in the job by accident rather than merit.

he never got as many votes as he did from the sympathy vote the first time, and you get quota's if you maintain the business networks.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:58 am

The implication there is that every politician who ever got a quota did so on the basis of business networks, which, of course would vastly underestimate the power of the relevant local political machine, the personality and record of the individual politician among other things.

Saying that he never got as many as he did the first time defeats your earlier point somehow. He's getting fewer votes now without sympathy and is still able to almost fill a second quota.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:58 am

This country is really nepotistic is this respect though isn't it? Is this necessarily a failing? I think it might be as all we seem to see are dynastic progressions with Flynns, Kitts, Lenihans, O'Malleys, rocksofcashel Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:02 am

local business networks are the local political machine, you've far too much respect for politicians kate p, very unusual


its particularilly interesting that he was td and councillor for long time, the lack of spread of power is one of the main probs with representative democracy


lets see if he tackles the publican lobby eh kate??


Last edited by lostexpectation on Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:09 am

19,102 people in Laois Offaly are the local business networks?

I think it's that you are too cynical rather than me being too respectful...

63,880 voted out of 95,343 eligible voters. One third of the votes cast and more than 20% of the eligible voters.

But generalise wildly if it makes you feel better.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:17 am

so election spending has no effect, hmm all those personal political donation were of no use to bertie then?

most of these voters only voted for him because he had father name.
i have zero respect for ff voters.

you''ll have to point out to me other 24 yr old tds (who not relative's of other tds) who got elected in the recent past?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:22 am

Kate P wrote:


But generalise wildly if it makes you feel better.

so he's political career is not the product of nepotism? and name recognition? that the powerful connections the benard cowen made chose to stick with acowen rather then go with anyone else.


Last edited by lostexpectation on Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:24 am

lostexpectation wrote:
so election spending has no effect, hmm all those personal political donation were of no use to bertie then?

most of these voters only voted for him because he had father name.
i have zero respect for ff voters.
Isn't that a problem in general though? Down in Clare, Joe Carey FG was elected who is the son of a former TD; in Cork Sean Sheridan Lab the same - which could indeed have been a peculiar characteristic of the last election...

If FF were totally evil they would have foreseen and strategically used both Cowen's and O'Deas massive surplus of votes to get two or three more FF politicos in ... Shocked


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:25 am

Let's just be clear about this so.

You've no respect for the significant percentage of the population who voted for FF.

You've no respect for Bertie or Brian Cowen - or probably anyone in the FF party.

You've no respect, clearly by inference, for businesses that support political parties; namely FF.

Didn't you imply earlier that you were broadminded?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:30 am

no never used that word you did, clear minded i think, you're the one being soft on everyone,being seemabley agreeable on everything is not boradminded, you can't call a spade a spade and call nepotism, nepotism.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:40 am

Maybe my definition of nepotism is different to yours but I think that Ber Cowan dying in order to allow his son to accede to the throne in the way you suggest is pushing the boundaries of any definition a little too far.

Perhaps I prefer not to beat every politician with the same spade.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:29 pm

but how about politicians who got their position due to nepotism
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:41 pm

First one I came across was a nice woman, farmer, hauled out of her kitchen on the death of her councillor father and put in place as "an elected representative" on the County Council. She was elected when she stood for election. She turned out to be a perfectly nice woman who has done the job patiently and graciously.

I still think there should have been a by-election. It was a very dilute form of democracy and may well have kept someone out with more ideas and interest in local government than she has.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:47 pm

I think there is a huge degree of 'shallow name recognition', which is really a problem with the electorate, not the politician.
Just see how the electroate returned Lowry and that Flynn woman after their various whatyamacallems.

In Cowen's case, I think he deserves to be where he is based on merit alone. He's one of the best TDs in the Dáil IMO. And that's from an FF detester.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:50 pm

We should be endorsing nepotism if it produces politicians of Cowen's calibre. To say that he is exclusively the product of nepotism is to ignore his contribution over the years. Mary Hanafin is another nepotistic minister, but she is generally well-regarded by all.

As for the old boy networks, I don't know how big a problem they were but I think they could be a problem in the future. As I understand, Cowen's very big on loyalty which is great for camraderie but bad for the rest of us. This is his weak point I think. Already the suggestions of a ministerial upgrade for Dempsey are looking ominous.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:19 pm

Strictly speaking, nepotism is getting your family members into positions within an organisation.

Dying and vacating your seat for your son to be democratically elected into is not an example of nepotism - though it is evidence of the dynastic nature of Irish politics. To accuse Cowen of nepotism is factually inaccurate.

Three of the Laois Offaly TDs took seats that once belonged to a parent - Olwyn Enright, Cowen and Flanagan.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:57 pm

Ah c'mon Kate P, you know what we mean by nepotism. Do the likes of Eamo and Síle De Valera count though, or Mac Dowell through his grandaddie?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:04 pm

I know exactly what you mean - but it's not the same thing at all. Trading on the family name is what dynasties do. It's another thing entirely to suggest that a person was given his/her job by a family member. Any person who stands for election has to convince a quota's worth of people that they are worthy of the job. When someone has done that a number of times, it's hard to make a 'nepotism' charge stick. Charlie Flanagan - who lost his seat to Tom Parlon - knows all about it.

Admittedly it may be easier to get elected but it's hardly a crime, is it?

If the electorate vote for a brand, regardless of its quality, then your beef is with democracy and not with politicians, really.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:55 am

you're being silly in your previous post, of course he didn't plan to die to get his son the job, but that's where the old boys network come in, keep the connections flowing is most important.

you think cowen first election was a good example democracy at work...???

Quote :

Three of the Laois Offaly TDs took seats that once belonged to a parent - Olwyn Enright, Cowen and Flanagan.

that's disgusting, you shouldn't be defending it, jeez our leader comes from that type of area, *shiver* are you saying these families have nothing to do with being involved in these political dynasties, it just democracy forced it on them, or are they involved in power networks who know how to work the system.

its not a brand its a scam.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:10 am

lostexpectation wrote:
you're being silly in your previous post, of course he didn't plan to die to get his son the job, but that's where the old boys network come in, keep the connections flowing is most important.

you think cowen first election was a good example democracy at work...???

Quote :

Three of the Laois Offaly TDs took seats that once belonged to a parent - Olwyn Enright, Cowen and Flanagan.

that's disgusting, you shouldn't be defending it, jeez our leader comes from that type of area, *shiver* are you saying these families have nothing to do with being involved in these political dynasties, it just democracy forced it on them, or are they involved in power networks who know how to work the system.

its not a brand its a scam.

I'm giving this post the benefit of the doubt, lostexpectation, because you wrote it in the middle of the night.

1. I object to being called silly; though you are perfectly welcome to criticise any content here, MN is not a site which encourages personal comments about posters.

2. Certainly the old boy's network may wish to keep the connections flowing - but as I pointed out in a previous point which you chose not to refer to, Brian Cowen got almost 2 quotas; Laois Offaly is not Manahattan or Washington, it's a rural constituency where a third of all votes cast went to Cowen. He's been in politics since he was 24 - for 24 years. Certainly there are a host of voters who don't car who his father was since the Midlands Hospital in Tullamore was improved. In fact there are whole generations of voters who have never heard of Ber Cowen and still vote for the man.

But if you have solid evidence of the motivation behind each vote cast and if you feel that local voters don't vote for the person they see best fit to do the job in the system we have, then by all means, hand it over.

3. Do I think Cowen's first election was a good example of democracy at work? Hmmm. Was anyone intimidated at the ballot box? Was there vote rigging? Votes miscounted? Were there no other candidates? Were candidates who might have been a threat to the Cowen vote prevented from running?

It would be undemocratic to prevent a person from running for office, solely on the basis that they've had the biological misfortune of being born into a political family. It would be undemocratic to deprive voters of the right to vote for whomever they choose for whatever reason they choose.


Last edited by Kate P on Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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