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 The PDs - A Post Mortem

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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:11 pm

jmcc wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
In recent times, the PDs have been a successful
inhibitor of SF.
Ah that old Sindo fiction again. Smile The only
thing that inhibited SF was SF. McDowell was a legend in his own mind.
The electorate were not so fooled.

Regards...jmcc
In fairness.

The man held a fine contempt for anyone not of his own mind, it had nothing to do with SF. The amount of bile shown towards elected representatives - from a party with double the support of his own - puts YFG in the ha'penny place.

How anyone could have missed the Rumble in Ranelagh is beyond me. Here's Miriam Lord's take on the saga, proof that she's worth every penny.
Quote :

McDowell's intended return to pole position ends in shambles


Like a myopic mongrel recognising the scent of his favourite lavatory, Michael McDowell panted blissfully down Ranelagh Avenue towards the fourth telegraph pole on the left, writes Miriam Lord.
God, but the Tánaiste looked pleased with himself. Wreathed in smiles, he saw the microphones and the cameras and the reporters, and couldn't have been happier.

This telegraph pole was kind to him during the 2002 election, when he climbed it one Saturday afternoon near the end of the campaign and attached his famous "Single Party Government? No Thanks" poster. Not soon after, the PDs returned to the Dáil with double the amount of seats.
The received wisdom has it that McDowell's publicity grabbing stunt was the turning point in that election, depriving Fianna Fáil of their overall majority. One grinning man and his billboard changed the course of Irish political history, apparently.

Sometimes, you might fall to wondering if the nation really is that impressionable. But who are we to argue with our betters, the people who claim to understand these things? Michael McDowell certainly believes his own publicity, and that is all that matters.

And so yesterday at lunchtime, when journalists got a text message saying the PD leader intended to resume pole position within the next 90 minutes, they abandoned their grub and hot-footed it to Ranelagh.

This would be history in the making. At least that's what one PD handler said, proof that they've lost their marbles.

Of course, the whole thing was ridiculous. Televison camera crews, photographers and over 20 journalists from the daily and Sunday newspapers gathered in a cul-de-sac near the Tánaiste's constituency office.

Please don't write in. I know. We're worse for taking the bait.

The pole was still there. Outside a very nice house. Two children peeked out the downstairs window at the commotion. Sensibly, their parents kept them indoors: there was a lot of ribald talk outside about the wisdom of those PDs getting themselves up the pole again.

John Gormley, chairman of the Greens and the Tánaiste's constituency rival, ambled down the narrow street.

He had been dining in the Dáil canteen, when a throng of belching journalists rushed past his table. Through their last mouthfuls of lunch, they told him Michael McDowell was planning a spectacular at the Ranelagh triangle. A poster would be involved. He followed them out.

Oblivious of the pandemonium about to happen, a delighted Michael, with deputy leader Liz O'Donnell and Senator Tom Morrissey flanking him, rounded the corner and made for the telegraph pole. The billboard of history was about to be unveiled. The lovely Liz would do the honours this time.

"At least I have trousers on today," twittered deputy O'Donnell. Quite. "Oh, thank God," wheezed a jaded political correspondent.

With the Tánaiste gallantly holding the ladder, Liz and her high heels clacked gingerly up the first few rungs. Then she pulled a string and her party's "Don't Throw It All Away" poster fell to the ground, discarded in favour of the new one beneath.

The PD supporters cheered in an effort to imbue the occasion with a bit of drama. Slack-jawed journalists, realising that dog-lover McDowell had sold them a pup, stared at the uninspiring message.
"Left Wing Government? No Thanks." That rules out any continuing partnership with Fianna Fáil, given that Bertie is a socialist.

Everyone gathered around the Minister for Justice, parked contentedly at the base of his favourite telegraph pole and preparing to relieve himself of his magnificent script.

Deputy Gormley lurked.

Michael launched into his speech. It wasn't long before he got to the Greens. John started to roar. "It's a lie. It's a lie. It's an absolute lie." The Tánaiste looked over. "Is that Michael Foot or John Gormley?" he asked. "It's John Gormley," came the strangulated reply.

His blood was up and he would stand for no more "nonsense" from Michael McDowell. "Calm down, John. Calm down," urged the Minister.

Talk about a red rag to a compassionately reared organic bull. The media parted generously to, push, er, allow John to the front. He launched an unmerciful verbal onslaught at Michael. There was no calming the Green Party chairman, who demanded that the Tánaiste retract inaccurate claims made in a PD pamphlet about the Greens' taxation policy. "Michael, I'm sick and tired of this. Smear, negativity. That's all you do." PD supporters began to heckle. "We're sick of you! Bye Bye." The photographers were fighting over the ladder.

"You're losing it!" said Michael, gripping his script. "No, you're losing it!" said John, brandishing his pamphlet.

The Tánaiste asked to be allowed finish his speech. John assented, but reserved his right to interrupt.

"Your party is behaving like headless chickens." "Relax John. Relax"

"I AM RELAXED!"

Liz O'Donnell was highly amused. "It's like street theatre," she murmured.

Michael tried to plough on. A photographer emerged from a nearby house with a kitchen chair and stood on it. McDowell: "You're out of the picture, John." Gormley: "No, We're in the picture, we are very much in the picture." Then he got carried away and declared the next government would comprise "the Green Party, the Labour Party and Fine Gael." It was like a good night out at the Abbey for Liz. "That's a scary thought, scary, scary, given your performance today, John." Deputy Gormley's phone rang. "They're just ringing to say 'don't make a fool of yourself John'," sniggered the Tánaiste.

"You're the guy that's made a fool of himself in the last two weeks. You've gone completely gaga."
At this point, Cllr Lucinda Creighton of Fine Gael - a third candidate - raced into Ranelagh Avenue with a group of supporters and another ladder. Michael's spectacular was in a shambles by now.

Lucinda made for the telegraph pole opposite and shot up the ladder with a poster of her own, featuring half of the Tánaiste's face. "Don't want single party government? Well, thanks to him, it's a reality." She was jubilantly breathless. The journalists deserted Michael. A man at the corner asked what all the fuss was about. We told him about Michael McDowell's lamp post."Huh. If I was a dog, I wouldn't piss on it." Just as well. The Minister got there before him.
© 2007 The Irish Times
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2007/0517/1179315438060.html
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:10 am

It was great drama and fair balls to Gormley, he snatched the oppurtunity handed to him on a plate and made hay with it. Very Happy

Actually looking at it again, its not hard to see why we got the boot last year.

Nicola Byrne, one of our local election candidates was at last years convention in Februaray 2007. I missed it and asked her how it went.
"Jesus, most people here are walking around with huge grins on them like we are the greatest things since sliced bread. I don't like this at all", she says.

I had seen it all on TV and I had this unnerving sense of forced laughter and false bravado, like things were bad but no one could bring themselves to admit it.

What-a mistake-a to make-a. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:19 am

Fair do's to you Johnny, you say it like it is.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:26 am

If my old granny was in hospital, still fighting fit if a little frail and weak, talking the talk if not quite walking the walk, I'd take a handful of scalpels to anyone who'd talk of carrying out a postmortem while she still had breath in her body.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:47 am

Kate P wrote:
If my old granny was in hospital, still fighting fit if a little frail and weak, talking the talk if not quite walking the walk, I'd take a handful of scalpels to anyone who'd talk of carrying out a postmortem while she still had breath in her body.

"fighting fit"? CPR might be in order I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:50 am

An aspirin under the tongue, perhaps. CPR is overkill, so to speak.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:51 am

Kate P wrote:
An aspirin under the tongue, perhaps. CPR is overkill, so to speak.

Coins on the eyelids?
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:53 am

Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:14 am

Kate P wrote:
Rolling Eyes

Post mortem is, indeed, premature. I'm off to the Shelbourne tomorrow night to "meet the leader".
I'm looking forward to it. I have a small band of merry men and women in Fingal. The way we see it we have fcuk all to lose and everything to gain.
I reckon we can get our seat back in Fingal County Council.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:33 am

Johnny Keogh wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Rolling Eyes

Post mortem is, indeed, premature. I'm off to the Shelbourne tomorrow night to "meet the leader".
I'm looking forward to it. I have a small band of merry men and women in Fingal. The way we see it we have fcuk all to lose and everything to gain.
I reckon we can get our seat back in Fingal County Council.

Johnny, I shouldn't like you as you are a PD, but how could I help it. Damn You! Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:07 pm

Fair play to you Johnny, as Cactus Flower said, you always tell it like it is.

I'd be interested to hear what you think of your new leader after you meet him.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:22 pm

Johnny Keogh wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Rolling Eyes

Post mortem is, indeed, premature. I'm off to the Shelbourne tomorrow night to "meet the leader".
I'm looking forward to it. I have a small band of merry men and women in Fingal. The way we see it we have fcuk all to lose and everything to gain.
I reckon we can get our seat back in Fingal County Council.

I don't know if you've heard that Offaly PD Eddie Fitzpatrick has handed in a letter of resignation and is going independent. All over local media today but I was referring to him last week when I suggested that maybe one or two might leave...

Laois/Offaly probably isn't real PD country anyway... sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Fri May 02, 2008 10:49 pm

Well, I met the leader.

On wednesday night last this political diehard went without the fantastic spectical the was Man U. V Barca, and trooped on down to the Shelbourne Hotel for 7pm to meet Ciaran Cannon, leader of the Progressive Democrats.

It was a beautiful evening in Dublin. The sun was shining on Stephens Green, the bar was packed with American tourists, the menu was outraguosly expensive (I ducked out for a hang sangwich from the Spar down the road).

The room was a nice size room. Not too big with seating for about forty or fifty people. By the time Ciaran, Fiona, Mary and the other lad whose name I've forgotten, took their seats, we had to put extra seats out in the reception and there were people standing around the walls and by the doors. There was a great buzz and most interestingly, a good mix of ages. Lots of young faces (many of them "internet" people which was cool).

Ciaran spoke for a while, Mary spoke for a while. Q and A session for a while and then an informal mingle around for a chat and a few pints.

There is very good spirit amonst the members although no one on the night was predicting some great massive revival out of nowhere but there is still great people involved in the party. even after all that has happend since May 2007.

Ciaran Cannon is as sound, down to earth bloke as your likely to meet. In my opinion, he will do a good job becuase he is focused on the practical and the pragmatic.

So if any of you Democrats out there missed it, it was a great night AND WE WON 1:0.


http://fingalfirst.blogspot.com/
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Fri May 02, 2008 11:00 pm

Johnny Keogh wrote:
Well, I met the leader.

On wednesday night last this political diehard went without the fantastic spectical the was Man U. V Barca, and trooped on down to the Shelbourne Hotel for 7pm to meet Ciaran Cannon, leader of the Progressive Democrats.

It was a beautiful evening in Dublin. The sun was shining on Stephens Green, the bar was packed with American tourists, the menu was outraguosly expensive (I ducked out for a hang sangwich from the Spar down the road).

The room was a nice size room. Not too big with seating for about forty or fifty people. By the time Ciaran, Fiona, Mary and the other lad whose name I've forgotten, took their seats, we had to put extra seats out in the reception and there were people standing around the walls and by the doors. There was a great buzz and most interestingly, a good mix of ages. Lots of young faces (many of them "internet" people which was cool).

Ciaran spoke for a while, Mary spoke for a while. Q and A session for a while and then an informal mingle around for a chat and a few pints.

There is very good spirit amonst the members although no one on the night was predicting some great massive revival out of nowhere but there is still great people involved in the party. even after all that has happend since May 2007.

Ciaran Cannon is as sound, down to earth bloke as your likely to meet. In my opinion, he will do a good job becuase he is focused on the practical and the pragmatic.

So if any of you Democrats out there missed it, it was a great night AND WE WON 1:0.


http://fingalfirst.blogspot.com/

Thanks for that Johnny. Would it be pushing it to get a hint of what CC said in his speech?
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Fri May 02, 2008 11:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:

Thanks for that Johnny. Would it be pushing it to get a hint of what CC said in his speech?

No, not at all. He spoke of the need produce a small number of really good policies rather than spreading ourselves thin over a plathora of issue.

He spoke about having a Conferance. Probebly in October/November. A one day affair. He reckons we wont get an RTE leaders speech programme because we are now too small but is hoping to get them there in some format.

He spoke about the need to move away from being seen as the party that bashes the Public Service. We could change the way we speak about the Public Service. Rather than attack them all the time, we use constructive criticism.

He spoke about the way in which we choose candidates. No more celebrity candidates. Stricter vetting of potential candidates. He acknowledges the position we are in will make that difficult but it'll need to be done. Quality over quantity.

Mary Harney gave some pretty good advice to him in her speech. In particular about the way we elected our party leader. She spoke about the loneliness of being leader. Of needing to listen to all sides but still make that final decision alone. Tough stuff but really interesting to hear especially from her.

A good night. About 120 people attended. Only seat for about 70. they were not expecting so many to turn up.
The hunger is still there.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Fri May 02, 2008 11:31 pm

Thanks for the report Johnny: keep us posted Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:12 am

The blog looks like it could be a great idea, Johnny. Hope it works out. It's a courageous move. Best of luck.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:20 am

Kate P wrote:
The blog looks like it could be a great idea, Johnny. Hope it works out. It's a courageous move. Best of luck.

Thanks Kate P. I have shown it to a few in the party including Ciaran Cannon. It seems to have been well received. A couple of candidates have asked me to set one up.

My plan is to offer this service to ALL our candidates for the locals and link them all to our main webpage. They can then update them themselves or I can do it for them by emailing info to me.

Its free, which is especially helpful and its relatively easy to do.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:28 am

On a cautionary note, I'd question your decision to have your mobile number on it - but that's your choice. It does look good and has great potential.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:31 am

Perhaps you might like to put a link to it in the PD forum here?
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 1:08 am

anmajornarthainig wrote:


1. Michael McDowell. He`s despised in many quarters. Politics is a popularity contest and while an aggresive, obnoxious leader won`t turn off your core vote it will alienate transfers.


That was the major problem. When he wasn't a TD, they won 8 seats. When he was a TD, they won 2.

I'd prefer to have McDowell in the Dail that 90% of the other TDs, but it was too easy for the media to lampoon him.

And the way he was treated by SF in the RDS last year was disgraceful.
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:24 pm

Kate P wrote:
On a cautionary note, I'd question your decision to have your mobile number on it - but that's your choice. It does look good and has great potential.

Google Johnny Keogh Donabate. I'm all over it like a rash. Rolling Eyes
I've never received a nasty call from anyone yet. (touch wood)
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Perhaps you might like to put a link to it in the PD forum here?

How do I do that?
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:41 pm

Cactus johnny has put a link to the blog site above in one of his posts - do you mean put a link to it on our portal? I think that should be done. What do we call it? Fingal PD Blog? Hiker's Blog?

It looks good Johnny - it's communicative - the phone numbers are important for transparency accountability and standards - and progressive i.e. you have a lot of links to lively net spots there on the right. Is our Síbín Reoite here too gonzo for a link there?
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PostSubject: Re: The PDs - A Post Mortem   Sat May 03, 2008 12:48 pm

Hi Audi and Johnny - I have just been in to our Links to Political Manifestos/information thread and cleaned it up - that would be a good place to put a link to the PD webside and to Johnny's site. Perhaps, if there is room, we could put all the political parties links on the latest discussions page, as people from the parties come here and put them up (I think it is better if they do it themselves, in case anyone complains if we do it and leave them out).
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