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

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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:31 am

4. Please clarify what is "disgusting" about the people of Laois Offaly exercising their democratic right to vote in the way that they see fit? It would be unfair of me to presume.

5. I shouldn't be defending the fact that three of my local TDs had parents who were TDs? If you read the post again a little more carefully, you'll notice that I simply stated the fact. However, I do defend the right of the voter to make his own choice and I do defend the right of any eligible man or woman in the country to stand for democratic election. Democracy is not an exact or perfect science - it's a blunt instrument that attempts to value the rights and opinions of all people. If voters trust a brand that they are familiar with, a candidate who comes from what they consider to be good stock or who has been steeped in politics since childhood, that is their choice.

Charlie Flanagan regained his seat in the last election having lost it to Tom Parlon. Dynastic politics does not guarantee the success of its children. The voters will make their choices for their own reasons.

6. "jeez our leader comes from that type of area, *shiver*" You'll pardon me if I choose not to engage with that comment, I hope.

7. "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."

I think I clearly made the point that these families are dynastic in nature but that in the case of Cowen in particular and the others in general, but they are not nepotistic because - and you persist in ignoring this point - voters make the decisions; they are not appointed to office by their family members.

Democracy has forced nothing on them - because they stood for election of their own free will and received a mandate from the people. This is not a conspiracy theory, lostexpectation; it is a fact of Irish politics.

Are they involved in power networks who know how to work the system? Absolutely. But I think you'll find that your beef there should probably be with party politics rather than families. Fianna Fáil runs an extremely well oiled machine in Laois Offaly and has had three out of five TDs here for as long as I can ever remember (though this time John Moloney only got in by the skin of his teeth following poor vote management - most of Cowen's second preferences went to Sean Fleming because it was thought that he was in trouble when he wasn't).

If we get into the business of denigrating those who know how the system works, then we can criticise Leaving Cert students who concentrate on exam technique rather than just study, businessmen or local organisations who make sure they take advantage of every grant or opportunity that comes their way.

You may not like the dynastic nature of Irish politics - and I'm not sure that I'm crazy about it either. That, however, is the democracy in which we live. Can we change it? Of course we can, but only by making it less democratic. That is not something I'm in favour of but I note that you haven't put forward any solution or any alternative.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:42 am

It is interesting, as well as thinking about whether we feel it is right or wrong, to consider why family political succession is so common in Ireland. I have lived in a few different countries and to some extent look at all of their systems with an outside view. From where I am it looks like one of the reasons for political "dynasties" or nepotism in Ireland has been lack of opportunity economically. A post as elected rep offered a degree of financial security and power in a prolonged era when emigration was the only way a lot of people could get a job. Families who survived hung on to every job in their grasp - shops and farms were handed on in the family, medical practices, solicitors firms etc. etc. In this context, personal career preference came low down the priorities and children stepped into their parents shoes. The legislation in local government actually provided for unelected hand on until the next local elections and this in practice nearly always meant to a family member.

This has to some extent become part of the culture and survived into the boom, although in the farming community a lot of farmers sons and daughters have walked away to urban careeers. Maybe in time the same will happen with politics, depending on the alternative career opportunities on offer.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:09 pm

Quote :
Can we change it? Of course we can, but only by making it less democratic.

this i where i think we come from different dimensions, i prefer to change it to become more democractic.

for example getting rid of the double jobbing being td and a councillor did you think that made things less or more democratic ie spread the power.

i can understand your description cactus flower but i think as family pub owner, auctioneer etc, i think something more commen down the country the neccessity for multi-jobbing, but also the impression that one man owns half the town...one particular tribe having too many positions of power, again this is where the FF 'we are Ireland', we own this place, you can't do anything without our say type of stuff comes from, its what brought down bertie.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:13 pm

Do you live in a rural area, lostexpectation?

Getting rid of double jobbing was a good move - but that's not the issue here and now.

I'd be interested to hear what move you'd make that could make the current situation more democratic.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:26 pm

its all in the past , where did i hear that recently, double jobbing is entirely relevent to brian cowen's career


Last edited by lostexpectation on Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:49 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:27 pm

How so in this context?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:01 pm

By the way, Cowen got a really good welcome last night in Tullamore at the Inclusion Ireland conference.

There's a piece in today's Indo - page ten of broadsheet, not online which might indicate to you the fact that he also does a bit of work in the community rather than actually relying on the machine to get him elected.

"And some in the audience gave him credit for ensuring services for people with disabilities were introduced to Birr where no services existed.

"He knows people," said PJ Wyer, a Tullamore man and father of a child with an intellectual disability.

"He knows people's circumstances and he knows the circumstances they live with. Bring him the figures, show him the need and he'll do his best."
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:03 am

Kate P wrote:
This is not a conspiracy theory

no conspiracies are generally difficult and exciting, picking his son was the easiest, laziest and most boring choice
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:51 am

Then your problem is with the electorate and not with Brian Cowen.

When we get into the business of deciding who the public are entitled to vote for, then we've left democracy behind. He wasn't the only candidate in 1984.

Voters aren't stupid. They try to make the best choice they can from what's on offer and based on the information they have to hand.

Voting for someone on the basis of a family track record is perfectly legitimate - and there are reasons I mentioned above, which you have chosen to ignore - that indicate why people might make the choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:03 pm

no who chose him as candidate, the local cumamn, ff hq? there could have been other ff councillors etc with actual experience and a track record of working in the community, he was chosen because of the five letters in his last name. i chose to ignore yout points because i thought it they were invalid.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen the product of nepotism and local old boys network?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:29 pm

We have a few threads here on Brian Cowen (although Auditor#9 will point out fewer than we have on Declan Ganley who never won a vote).

Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen

Brian Cowan on Trade Mission to Japan.

Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government

Will Brian Cowen Reform the Public Sector?

Brian Cowen - Is it Forward or Back to the Future?



This old one is interesting as it shows that a some people had high expectations of him. Perhaps these expectations were not unreasonable at the time. lostexpectation pointed to the culture of connections from which Cowen emerged.

As well as family connections, Brian Cowen, if the Press are to be believed at all, seems to be a man with a circle of friends who are very important to him.

Fintan Drury (?) formerly of AIB seems to be one.

Who are Brian's best buddies?
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