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 Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen

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PostSubject: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 15, 2008 3:57 pm

As he's just been inaugurated maybe it might be good to have a media-watching Brian Cowen as Taoiseach thread. It is not about Cowen specifically but about him as Taoiseach. A similar thread might be good for the other leaders or the Ministers.

It should be just a cursory overview of the Taoiseach with points and the briefest of discussions - so the thread can be flicked back over easily in years and years to come. I'm hoping it will be like cactus News threads or Brandubh's On This Day threads. If a discussion develops on a point then that part will broken off into a thread of its own, again like what happened with the Battle of Clontarf thread from a Brandubh history thread so feel free to launch discussions.

Just to start with, Des Bishop appeared with Cowen in the papers recently on the subject of Irish. The Indo:

Dail cub scouts in class of their own when speaking 'as Gaeilge'
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 15, 2008 4:14 pm

Was anyone else shocked and appalled at the hooleys they had for Biffo and Coughlan in Offaly and Donegal? I wasn't, but I was amazed at the amount of people whinging in the IT letters about 'parish pump politics' and the like.
Quote :

Madam, - Am I alone in finding something distasteful in the triumphalist and parochial tone of the recent "celebrations" of Mary Coughlan's appointment as Tánaiste and Brian Cowen's accession as Taoiseach? Ms Coughlan was paraded across the Donegal border (Home News, May 10th) in a manner suggesting she had just won the Lotto, or perhaps sold a prize pig at the fair for a record price.
How condescending and 'distasteful'is that? To my mind the people of Dongal and Offaly were glad to see some of their own doing well. Why should Coughlan and Cowen turn up their noses at the people who elected them, like Pip in 'Great Expectations'?
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 15, 2008 4:22 pm

That man Sarkhozy is to blame I think. There is no sense of the dignity of public office any more. Mad

On a more serious note, and in relation to "Back to the Future", I suspect Cowen of wanting to convince us all that he is doing us a favour by taking us back to the good old days when we had no jobs and no money but still knew how to enjoy ourselves on sixpence.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 15, 2008 5:14 pm

good letter exactly what everyone was saying on p.ie about the tribal triumphalism
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 11:19 am

Cowen caught by the machines using idiom, question tag and other unparliamentary language:

"Ring those people and get a handle on it will you ... bring in all those f* ers"

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/cowen-i-am-sorry-for-fword-dail-gaffe-1382695.html
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 11:29 am

I found it fairly comical that RTE almost defended the comments by assuring us they weren't aimed at the opposition. That sort of language, in the Dáil chamber, is unbecoming of any member of the house, particularly the Taoiseach, on any occasion and to whomever it refers.

A sufficient apology should have been made, an RTE correspondent telling us that Cowen 'regretted any offence' is harly sufficient to my mind.

I am certainly no Fianna Fáiler but I was giving Cowen the benefit of the doubt as he entered office. Not that this is an important issue from a policy point of view, but it has certainly lowered him in my estimation.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 11:30 am

I didn't hear it. Even though I listened to a lot of the exchanges yesterday. Have the media cut it out ?
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 12:15 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I didn't hear it. Even though I listened to a lot of the exchanges yesterday. Have the media cut it out ?

Which f******s was he talking about ?
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 12:20 pm

cactus flower wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I didn't hear it. Even though I listened to a lot of the exchanges yesterday. Have the media cut it out ?

Which f******s was he talking about ?

Quote :
The Irish Independent understands Mr Cowen was referring to either the National Consumer Agency, oil companies, British retail chains operating in this country, or a combination of all three groups.
Very Happy Maybe they f****** deserved it.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 12:25 pm

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Cowen might want to register F***.me
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 1:21 pm

Kenny's criticisms are a bit rich given that he recently referred to EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson as 'Mandelson' during an exchange, and that was on the Dail record.

Enda Kenny may not like Peter Mandelson, but he's an officer of the European Union and should be referred to by either his title or his full name.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 1:52 pm

That's still not quite the same as "f -ing Mandelson".
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 1:57 pm

cactus flower wrote:
That's still not quite the same as "f -ing Mandelson".

Precisely.

I really do feel we can do without vulgarity on the part of our leaders in Government. Not only does it devalue the man himself, and the office of Taoiseach, it also looks very poor generally - as evidenced by reports of the remark in Bloomberg, Reuters and the BBC.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:11 pm

Cowen is in a bit of a bind here. He will have to listen to the recordings a few times before he knows whether he can say he was referring to Tesco et al. He might even have to call representatives of the retailers to a meeting to make it look like he was talking about them Very Happy In any event, let's hope he sorts that f-cker Mandy out soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:16 pm

I don't like the sort of abdication of responsibility when someone makes a faux pas like that. Just apologise to the house, say it was an error of judgment and get on with it. Just like that young TD who got caught cogging Joane Burton's speeches.

Nothing worse than someone doing something stupid and watching them trying to weazle out of apologising for it. It is like a toddler who doesn't want to say sorry for kicking a friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:18 pm

Anyone know where I can listen to it ?

You finished all the 'xams Johnfás ?
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:20 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Anyone know where I can listen to it ?

You finished all the 'xams Johnfás ?

They played it on the news last night so perhaps if you look it up on RTE. It was more of a mumble than anything but it is the point of the issue that concerns me. I was under the impression that Cowen wanted to move away from this weazling around issues which we had for so long. He should have just said look, I said a naughty word, which was rude, I shouldn't have said it and I am sorry.


Last exam tomorrow Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:21 pm

Cowen apologised quickly. He just couldn't resist pointing out FG were wrong about who he was talking about. He should have been able to say sorry without having to have the last word. His need to be seen to be right and to have the last word will be used by the opposition against him. Perhaps he will learn form this but we probably have a leopard and spots situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:28 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Cowen apologised quickly.

He didn't really, according to RTE News last night anyway. What they reported was that a spokesman of the Taoiseach had said the Taoiseach regretted any offence which he may have caused to people. That is no apology for the act of referring to people as fuckers. Nor is it a particularly direct apology from the man to my mind. RTE were fairly explicit that the apology was coming from a spokesman for the Taoiseach rather than the Taoiseach has apologised. I feel there is a difference.


Quote :
He just couldn't resist pointing out FG were wrong about who he was
talking about.

Which was pathetic and irrelevant to my mind. There was no apology for the fact that the leader of the Government publicly referred to someone as a fucker. The media were more concerned that it wasn't a member of the opposition to whom he was referring. We should expect standards in office generally, not just towards members of the house.

----

Anyway, it isn't exactly an enormous issue, but I must admit it did get on my wick a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:28 pm

He had just completed his response to a question put by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, who queried price increases in food, consumer goods and diesel. Mr Gilmore had argued that the National Consumer Agency (NCA) and other bodies had failed to intervene.

As Ms Coughlan, the Minister for Enterprise, stood to leave the chamber Mr Cowen spoke to her. Their brief conversation included the comments: "Ring those people and get a handle on it, will you? Bring in all those f***ers."

The comments did not appear on the Dáil record, giving credence to Mr Cowen's assertion that they were made during the course of a private conversation.

However, in a detailed statement last night, the Taoiseach expressed regret for his use of language. "This was a casual exchange between working colleagues inadvertently and partially picked up by the Dáil microphone. In that context, the Taoiseach regrets any offence caused by the word complained off," a Government spokesman said.

He also maintained the comments had not referred to any TD or political party, or to the NCA individually. The reference, he said, was to all bodies - including Government departments, the NCA, oil companies, supermarkets and agencies - who could explain price increases, or price disparities between Ireland and the UK.

IT

Audio Link
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:29 pm

It is amazing that food and fuel prices are only now beginning to generate some heat in Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:31 pm

johnfás wrote:
There was no apology for the fact that the leader of the Government publicly referred to someone as a fucker.
In fairness it was a private remark.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:33 pm

905 wrote:
johnfás wrote:
There was no apology for the fact that the leader of the Government publicly referred to someone as a fucker.
In fairness it was a private remark.

But see this is where I disagree. When you say something outside in public, within earshot of a microphone, you should be held to account for what you say. It is purely negligence on the part of him for stating that sort of thing in public, he should have minded his manners better and he should have directly apologised for that. If that was any other of us in a work context, that is what would be expected of it.

I would expect that any leader in that situation should directly apologise. Like when Bush called someone "A major league asshole" - though I have no idea whether or not he apologised.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:37 pm

The style is intriguing but I am far more interested in the substance.

He (Brian Cowen) had just completed his response to a question put by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, who queried price increases in food, consumer goods and diesel. Mr Gilmore had argued that the National Consumer Agency (NCA) and other bodies had failed to intervene.

As Ms Coughlan, the Minister for Enterprise, stood to leave the chamber Mr Cowen spoke to her. Their brief conversation included the comments: "Ring those people and get a handle on it, will you? Bring in all those f***ers."

I would read out of this that the Taoiseach was displeased to be brought under pressure from the triple whammy of fuel, food and quangos and is not happy at the bad press over euro - sterling pricing. He was not happy that he and his Minister for Enterprise did not have a handle on these matters. That makes at least three of us.
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PostSubject: Re: Taoiseach Watch: Brian Cowen   Thu May 22, 2008 4:50 pm

he is a child, he's clearly never grown up


Last edited by lostexpectation on Thu May 22, 2008 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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