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Posts tagged ‘Green’

The beleaguered Green Party

posted on Sunday 27.03.2011

On Saturday the 26th Around 300 members of the beleaguered Green Party  met to discuss its future.

The gathering in Dublin was the first such event since the party’s disastrous showing in the General Election, when the former coalition government partner lost all six TDs.

It also came in the wake of party leader John Gormley’s announcement that he would be standing down.

The meeting, called Re-Gather and Refocus, was organised by grassroots members with the support of the leadership.

During the event, members put forward their ideas on how to revive the party’s flagging fortunes.

But the issue of who will succeed Mr Gormley was apparently not on the table.


I am amazed that they would be so calm with the leadership the party is ruined and they have destroyed any chance of a return to government  in my lifetime .Gormely  can afford to just wander off into the sunset with his massive pension and leave the country in the mess it is in .

The party deserves to be wound up and the leadership deserve to be put in jail.

As for the remaining membership they should emigrate they will not be missed!

The Greens:They are a disgrace and no loss to the Irish Nation

Former minister for the environment John Gormley is to step down as Green Party leader.

Mr Gormley, who lost his Dáil seat in the general election, told party members in an email that he would not be seeking re-election.

In an email to party members, Mr Gormley described the party’s performance in the election, which saw it lose all six of its Dail seats, as a “temporary demise”.

The party will hold a meeting of its national executive council at the end of this month, before its annual general meeting in May. It is hoping to initiate a strategy for the next local elections in three years’ time.

Under party rules, a leadership contest must be held within six months of an election.

Mr Gormley won a ballot of members to become leader in July 2007, taking over from Trevor Sargent, who resigned when the party entered coalition with Fianna Fáil.

Senator Dan Boyle, party chairman, would not be drawn today on whether he would contest the leadership. But he was confident the party could rebuild. “It’s not a unique experience,” he said. “The German Greens, the Belgian Greens and the Czech Greens have all had similar experiences. It’s something of a rite of passage almost for the Green Party in terms of their first experience of parliament, their first experience of government.”

Senator Niall Ó Brolcháin said Mr Gormley had been considering his future since the election and felt it was time to go. “The election performances of the party haven’t been exactly very positive, the local election and the recent national election,” he said. “He had decided himself that it is time for him to go. I think there will be a lot of respect for that decision. Obviously there was a bit of a punishing time in Government.”


These gangsters should be in Jail

They have destroyed the green party and have shown themselves to be just as corrupt and attracted to power and perks .Goemely is sitting pretty with his big pension and why wouldn’t he now set off into the sunset while the rest of the country sinks under a mountain of debt that he helped to shove on to the shoulders of the taxpayers of this country

I say good riddance to the lot of them .they should not be allowed to benefit from the nations misfortune they helped bring about !

They are a disgrace and no loss to the Irish Nation

New comment to your your post “The Greens:They are a disgrace and no loss to the Irish Nation”
Author : Diarmaid O Seigefriede E-mail : dsugdub@yahoo.com

If you dont know the nuts and bolts you dont get it
The Greens might have been in the distant past a grass root enviormental movement. The Communists changed from red to green to use enviormental movements as a method of controling peoples.
Enter Gormless and his type sponsored by Rockerfellers and Rothchild Banks to hijack Green movements make communt governments in the  EU and spin the lies about CO2 from the club of Romes decision to find a type of pollution, that can be hijacked to control sociecty and unltimatly make all the EU a communist run empire.
Naturally Gormless doesnt care he is a puppet to his masters in the Tri lateral globalists  who we  filmed in Ireland at the Tri Lateral meeting in Four season Hotel  Ballsbridge Dublin . They were there engineering the take down of Eire and all Europe
Gormless is a traitor to the nation along with FF Mehall Martin . The then minister for forgien affairs and the then Atorney general    Paul Gallagher (Barcellona Bilderberg attendee )aided and abieted the escape from legal justice from a european  war crimes arrest warrant for the Henry Kissinger who was in Ireland on that occasion may 8th 2010( Film evidence at youtube/user/dcbourbonireland)
If you think FG blue shirts are any better forget it they are just as bad puppets and got the head globalist of the European Tri lateral Peter Sutherland and linked to globalist Bildergberg movement into high positions in Ireland which launched him into the EU empire
The real power structure in Ireland for many year up to now is the Head of state the Toichioch gets his instructions from the Governer general  who the Bilderbergs have chosen well in advance  .The Atorney general gets his instructions from the Bilderberg annual meeting and ensure the Irish state does thier bidding .
Everything we see on RTE and similar main stream mussled media is a dog and pony show to confuse us.
 The Rockerfeller and Rothchild families decide in advance what laws we Irish  will have and ensure the loop holes are there for them to drive the Globalist agenda and thier communist bus projects through. Ask yoself why they can never get the child protection laws done correctly .Its manditory in the Globalists religion that they can have sex with young children and have legal  loop holes there to protect them if they ever get caught
So now do we get a new puppet Kenny who will take his instructions from the communist hijacked Labour party position wearing pinky camoflage and they ensured they now got e the Atorney General position  who up to now has always been   the true head of the Irish state( Ireland Inc.) .
If she goes to Bilderberg meeting in Switerland  29th june 2012 this year you will know the globalists and communists have taken more control for Ireland
Ask yourself why does Labour NEEEED the Irish  constitution changed . Is the present Irish constitution  blocking thier communist agenda to break up the Irish family unit so that all children will go into government dorm at birth and parent will rarely see them  ???  All the more access for the Globalist peodofiles to gain accesss to even more young unprotected children
The rest like Gormelss and kenny are muppets

Diarmaid O Seigefriede

Focus Ireland on Homelessness

Dear Thomas ,

Thanks for your extraordinary support for our campaign to make ending homelessness an election issue. We know from candidates and from your own feedback that our issues are getting raised at many doorsteps. Over 1,200 e-mails were sent to candidates and TDs looking for answers since the start of the election, and we can see some of the impact this is having now that all the manifestos are published.

We have analysed all the manifestos. Remember, in the last election there was virually no reference to homelessness, so we are making great progress! There is a lot of good news – a good recognition of the importance of tackling long-term homelessness in most of them. Of the main parties, the odd-one-out is Fianna Fail, whose manifesto, this time round, does not present a broad policy platform and makes no mention of homelessness, aftercare or, indeed, social housing. This is the nature of their man ifesto rather than a reflection on their homeless policy and outgoing Fianna Fail Minister, Michael Finneran‘s commitment to the issue was notable. Nevertheless their manifesto is silent on the issue and this is reflected in the analysis.

Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and the Green Party all commit themselves to ‘ending long-term homelessness’, though only Sinn Fein put a timeframe (2 years) on it. Disappointingly, Labour only commit to ‘alleviating’ long-term homelessness. Minister Finneran, in his farewell speech , said long-term homelessness could be ended by his successor in just 6 months!

Commitments on Aftercare were not so clear cut, with only Sinn Fein giving a manifesto commitment to legislate, though Fine Gael refer to implementing the Ryan Report recommendations.

We have posted a summary of what the party manifestos say on all the issues we raised, and also link to longer quotes on the key issues. You can use this to help you make up your mind about which party and candidates you will support in the election.

Our next challenge is to ensure that the best of these commitments is actually included in the new Programme for Government.

Of course, to do that we must wait until next weekend to know what parties (or party) will be making up the Government, but in the meantime keeping up a constant flow of e-mails (and questions at the door) will make sure that ending homelessness remains in the forefront of candidates’ minds. If you have not downloaded the notes to ask canvassers you can do so here, and if you have not sent an e-mail to all your candidates you can do so here . Please do.

If you have any feedback from canvassers or e-mails you can post it on the Facebook page or e-mail it to me.

With thanks again for your support and congratulations on the impact so far.

Mike Allen

Director of Advocacy

Vincent Browne & Joan Burton


Are labour in trouble have they lost the plot?

In the public eyes they seem to be focused on grabbing power at all costs even to the extent of allowing the Finance Bill to be brought into law, supporting a four year so called recovery plan that they keep telling everybody there are against .People had enough and want real solutions and they are not going to take the same old party mantra of labour knows best anymore.

So Joan calm down and put real solutions on the table for the voters to scrutinize. Joe is making a lot of good points!

Ps Just because the Fianna Fail calls their four year plan a recovery plan doesn’t mean that it is in fact a recovery plan!  

Has anybody seen Edna Kenny lately or has he emigrated ?

The shenanigans over the past twenty four hours in relation to the Finance Bill

The shenanigans over the past twenty four hours in relation to the Finance Bill, as noted by Harry McGee yesterday on the Irish Times website and quoted here… was indeed as he put it when…

“…both [Labour and Fine Gael] will facilitate the passage of the Bill (which both really really want to see going through) and then both will have the luxury of voting against it. In collusion with the Greens (and relucantly) Fianna Fail.”

And lo, it came to pass.

As neat a piece of political work as one could imagine. But one which shows up the enormous credibility issue for Labour, and much more so than Fine Gael.

For those who were preparing for the LPs stint in government for the inevitable, as they saw it, sell-out, wait no more. They may well be, indeed will or are, pointing to this positioning and say – ‘we told you so!’. And in truth the LPs position, one which has not merely converged on the political centre but crossed it, is far from creditable. If they disliked the Finance Bill so much, well, push the no-confidence motion in the Taoiseach and watch the Government fall, or better still watch Fine Gael attempt to prop it up in order to pass the FB. Or do something, anything, but something better than this shambles where their race to be respectable and ‘provide stable government’ outweighs any other consideration, even the serious attrition of their vote to the left and further left.

And as Mark suggested last night in the comments on the above thread, ‘Saw that too with a sinking feeling. And I thought the 18% tax promise in 2007 was just a blip.’

But it wasn’t and this isn’t. Labour, for whatever reason, has decided that in order to retain its current levels of support (but note that decline) it needs to play to… well, who precisely?

I generally take a sympathetically critical line towards the LP. None of us on the left can ignore how difficult it is in this state to argue a left of left of centre line. Decades from the lives of leftwing activists have been spent on fairly marginal achievements, and that’s true from the LP leftward.
It’s a difficult ask in a society as conservative in some respects as this, at least in terms of pretending that there is no such thing as left/right politics much of the time, to be leftwing, even mildly so.


And there’s a danger in complaining about the rhetoric emanating from the worthies mentioned in the headline to this post that we forget that the further left has never been behind the door in articulating precisely its discontents with the Labour Party. Meetings the length and breadth of the state will echo to the sound of complaints about them. No one here, LP or otherwise, can claim the status of innocent victim.

But that party leaves me exasperated as regards not merely its innate caution, something that seems to me have been intrinsic to it from its foundation, but also its politeness as regards the centre and centre right and a remarkably deaf ear to all others. Because while one has to appeal to a broad variety of voters and people in many different circumstances there’s all too often a sense that the LP has lost sight of who and what it is meant to represent while making that appeal. This may seem unfair to the many many genuine leftists I know within the LP, but from the outside, and from a position that is certainly some way short of say the SP or SWP this is a perception. I can’t say how widely shared it is. But it exists and it frustrates.

And every time a Roisin Shortall or a Rabbitte articulate something along the lines of a ‘rag-tag’ left, something that seems inexplicable given the personal political history of so many people in the LP, you can sense the SF, ULA and Independent vote bump slightly upwards. And remember, it only needs slight increments because – as also noted previously – the targets of all three are actually quite modest. SF will be pleased with 7 TDs, sufficient to form a Technical Group. If the ULA happen to get Higgins, Healy and RBB back into the Dáil that will be a good days work, any more and they’ll be naturally delighted. As for the Independents, each extra one is one more. ‘Nuff said.

Does Shortall or Rabbitte care? Probably not. They’ve got their eyes fixed on a larger percentile of the vote than the ULA, or SF or whoever can dream of. And they’re all too aware that the further left and SF can deny them second seats here and there, but particularly in Dublin. But, there’s a problem, it’s not entirely working. – How else to explain that the FG vote is more or less constant while the SF and Independents/Others vote is increasing while the FF and LP votes are declining? Labour has seemed at best coy for quite some time now, coy and evasive. And the latest deal has something of that tone too.

So no wonder they’re throwing the odd rhetorical comment agin the further left. By their calculation they have little to lose and if they discredit said left even slightly… but the damage to the discourse is difficult to take, even if we put all else aside.

This is, as was also noted last night, oddly reminiscent of the Green Party, who also went through a similar process, albeit one after they arrived in government rather than before, of attempting to project ‘responsibility’ as if were the primary political virtue, and the jettisoning of if not the entirety of older policy positions, at least an effort to put green water between them and the party.

That that strategy wasn’t exactly successful is now all too evident, and there’s more, much more, to be written about the Green Party and what went wrong during the past three years.

Implicit in that though is a warning to the Labour Party, who though they may think that from a 2007 base if they lose say two-thirds of the support they’ve gained across the last two years they’ll be doing well.

Surely, in purely electoral terms. But if they believe that being in government is its own justification then they’re in for the same shock as the Green Party when not dissimilar circumstances leech the political capital from them.

And, unlike the Green Party, they won’t have the excuse that all this was completely new to them.

This post originally appeared on Cedar Lounge Revolution.

Is the government’s manipulation of an election date being determined by the recapitalisation of the banks?


By namawinelake 

Financial Regulator’s Prudential Capital Assessment Review (PCAR) announcement 28th November, 2010
Having closely followed the progress of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill through the Dail before Christmas, I am a little confused by the claims from the Taoiseach that the Finance Bill that was published on Friday last can’t be voted into law by the end of this week. And I wonder if the government might be stalling so as to remain in power for the crucial period covering 28th February, 2011 when the fate of AIB and more importantly Bank of Ireland, will be decided.
Whilst it has been the case in previous years that the Finance Bill has usually taken two months to debate and enact, let’s look again at timetable and Oireachtas time given to the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill
10/12/2010 – ECB receives draft of the Bill
14/12/2010 – Minister for Finance publishes Bill. This was his statement, these are the explanatory notes issued for the Bill.
15/12/2010 – First Stage
15/12/2010 – Second Stage
15/12/2010 – Committee Stage
15/12/2010 – Committee Stage (Resumed) and Report and Final Stages
15/12/2010 – Seanad Éireann – Second Stage
16/12/2010 – Committee Stage, Report and Final Stages
16/12/2010 – Motion for Earlier Signature
17/12/2010 – ECB issues criticism of Bill which is effectively ignored
21/12/2010 – the President consulted the Council of State
21/12/2010 – following the meeting the Act was signed by the President.
My recollection is that the passage of this Bill through the Oireachtas took seven hours. Several sections were not even debated. Were it not for the intervention of the President in calling a Council of State the Bill would have passed through all stages in the Oireachtas and would have been signed into law on 16th December, 2010, having first been publi
23/12/2010 – Hearing in-camera at the High Court where lawyers for the government sought to inject €3.7bn into AIB and there is the likelihood that other applications were examined because the government successfully sought to exclude journalists and interested parties because of issues of “extreme commercial sensitivity”.
So in a nutshell we had the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill being rushed through the Oireachtas in a matter of hours and remember the Bill allows the Minister for Finance to spend billions of euro on our behalf from our reserves in the NTMA and NPRF without presenting his decisions to the Oireachtas for oversight, it allows the Minister to interfere on an extraordinary level in the operation of any company operating in Ireland including appointing special directors. It is arguably the most draconian and undemocratic legislation since the Emergency Act in 1939.
On the other hand we have a Budget 2011 which was largely put into effect on the night of the Budget – 7th December, 2010. The taxation and government spending provisions have largely been put in place. The provisions to be debated might contribute €100m here or there. Compared with the €1.5bn that now seems almost certain will be taken from the NPRF at the end of this month and shovelled into BoI under the provisions of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill, it’s chickenfeed,
From the Constitution:
3.2 A general election for members of Dáil Éireann shall take place not later than thirty days after a dissolution of Dáil Éireann.
So the question asked on here is this : is this Government procrastinating over the enactment of the Finance Bill so as to retain power long enough to direct new injections into the banks at the end of February? Unless the Opposition secure a dissolution of the Dail by this Friday 28th, January, 2010 it will be the incumbent administration that makes the billion euro injection decisions at the end of February.

sourceURL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-Yl

Fianna Fail grassroots turn backs on Cowen

By Fionnan Sheahan, Brian McDonald and Fiach Kelly

Saturday January 22 2011

EMBATTLED Taoiseach Brian Cowen was an increasingly isolated figure in Fianna Fail last night as his party’s grassroots turned against him.

Mr Cowen fended off the growing demands to resign as Eamon O Cuiv, the champion of Fianna Fail loyalists, refused to back the Taoiseach.

The Taoiseach faces into a second weekend of intense pressure on his leadership of the party following his botched reshuffle crisis.

And there was speculation within Fianna Fail that Mr Cowen would be approached by close friends in the party over the weekend and told it was time to resign.

In a sign of the growing uncertainty in the Coalition, the Green Party did not guarantee to vote for the Government in the motion of no confidence next week.

The junior coalition party opted to wait until Tuesday to decide after seeing how the weekend’s events panned out.

A party source said these were not “ordinary times” and the party was evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis.

Defeated leadership challenger Micheal Martin urged the party’s TDs to “think about what has happened and begin to chart a way forward very quickly”.

But the former Foreign Affairs Minister ruled out launching another challenge to Mr Cowen.

The Taoiseach’s own supporters conceded his position appeared to be becoming untenable yesterday morning, but as the day went on, he fought back.

Mr Cowen stubbornly insisted he would lead his bitterly divided party into the general election on March 11 as he categorically refused to step down.

Fianna Fail TDs have reported being savaged by members following the reshuffle affair.

And support for Mr Cowen wavered as TDs who backed him in the confidence motion reconsidered their positions.

A string of others who publicly backed Mr Cowen before Tuesday’s confidence vote would not answer calls yesterday or publicly support him.

The shift in support among those who backed Mr Cowen casts further doubts on his position as party leader. And a number of TDs said they were spending the weekend starting their election campaigns.

Fianna Fail TDs also reported dismay in the party grassroots over Thursday’s reshuffle fiasco, with one minister saying that party activists “to a man and woman” are raging.

Mr Cowen shrugged off suggestions of a threat to his leadership by insisting he would lead Fianna Fail into the general election. He tried to move on from the controversy over his botched reshuffle by saying “that issue is over”.

He also announced he would be creating a new Fianna Fail “frontbench” instead — so that younger TDs in the party could become spokespeople in portfolios ahead of the election.

“I have the support of my party, as confirmed by democratic decision last Tuesday, to lead this party into this election and beyond, and that’s what I intend to do,” Mr Cowen said.

After backing Mr Cowen earlier this week, Mr O Cuiv yesterday refused to say he had confidence in the Taoiseach when speaking in person to the Irish Independent.

The Social Protection Minister’s stance is viewed as significant as he is regarded as being most in touch with Fianna Fail grassroots membership.

The grandson of the party’s founder, Eamon de Valera, is always staunchly loyal to Fianna Fail and defends the party to the hilt from attack.

Mr O Cuiv’s reluctance to back Mr Cowen is a real sign the party membership has now turned on the Taoiseach.

After being the first cabinet minister to publicly back the Taoiseach last Sunday, when Mr Cowen put down a motion of confidence in himself, Mr O Cuiv refused to endorse his leader yesterday.

At the opening of a Brothers of Charity day-care centre in Furbo, Galway, Mr O Cuiv was directly asked if he still had confidence in Mr Cowen as Fianna Fail leader. “I have no comment,” Mr O Cuiv said.

Mr O Cuiv also surprisingly declined to be interviewed on Raidio na Gaeltachta. He frequently avails of the opportunity to speak to station listeners in his Connemara heartland.

Former minister Willie O’Dea has again warned of an electoral catastrophe for the party if Mr Cowen leads it into the general election. Conor Lenihan, Michael McGrath, Thomas Byrne, Ned O’Keeffe and others all want Mr Cowen to resign.

– Fionnan Sheahan, Brian McDonald and Fiach Kelly

Irish Independent


It’s far too late these so called supporters are every bit as blind as the last fanatical followers of Hitler in the Berlin bunker in the last days of the war.

These followers deserve Cowen as they have become totally detached from the rest of the citizens of Ireland .They have enjoyed the perks of been in power and been able to call minsters friends while the rest of us have seen our livelihoods destroyed by the policies of this dysfunctional political system as they cheered Cowen and his cronies on .Fianna Fail is a toxic brand and any attempt to rebrand i.e.   “New Fianna Fail ” will be seen as window dressing

giving these economic terrorists golden handshakes?

sent in to us this evening


Cowen’s Fianna Fail and the Greens have destroyed our country as the top rats abandon ship Cowen and some of his die hard pirates are set on running the ship aground!

Far from giving these economic terrorists golden handshakes they should be swinging from the yardarm!


Green Party wants a General Election by March.

Green Party leader John Gormley says he has told Taoiseach Brian Cowen that the country needs a General Election by March.

Mr Gormley had an hour-long meeting with Mr Cowen at which they discussed the timing of the election and the legislative timetable.

One of their backbenchers Paul Gogarty has indicated they might be prepared to sacrifice their corporate donations legislation to achieve that target.

Mr Gormley said they firmly believed that the Finance Bill could be finished by the end of February and that his conviction was there should be an election in March.

Green Party Senator Dan Boyle meanwhile said that the party wants the General Election to be held in March, and not in April or later.

Mr Boyle was speaking in the Seanad, in response to opposition protests about the lack of certainty over the election date.

Deputy Leader of Fine Gael Dr James Reilly has said his main concern is for the people of Ireland to have their say on the next leader of the country.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Deputy Reilly called on the Government to announce the date of the General Election as soon as possible.

Elsewhere, the Taoiseach has ruled out allowing a Labour Party motion of no confidence in the Government, in Government time, saying that even Fine Gael thought it was ‘stupid’.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said the people of the country wanted the Government out and branded it as dysfunctional.

Mr Gilmore said the Taoiseach was using every excuse under the sun to prolong his stay in office and said the country was stuck in the mire.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Mr Cowen said Mr Gilmore was the ‘spokesman for negativity’.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said he thought the no confidence motion was ‘ill-timed’ and ‘ill-judged’.

Earlier, Mr Kenny asked how much money was paid out by Bank of Ireland in bonuses to staff since the introduction of the guarantee scheme and asked if the bonuses would be subject to 90% tax.

The Taoiseach said an intensive investigation was now under way into the matter and said there will be consequences for those who had engaged in any wrongdoing.

Mr Cowen also repeated that the game of golf he played with Sean FitzPatrick in 2008 was an ‘innocent engagement’. He was replying to questions from Sinn Féin’s Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, who said it was time for Mr Cowen to go.

Cowen assumes Foreign Affairs responsibility

Separately, the Taoiseach has confirmed he will be taking on the Foreign Affairs portfolio.

Mr Cowen said that President Mary McAleese has accepted the resignation of Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin.

Mr Martin resigned in the wake of Mr Cowen’s motion of confidence victory at a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting last night.

Fianna Fáil backbencher Mary O’Rourke has said the Taoiseach won last night’s secret ballot by a margin of two to one.

She made the statement on the social networking site, Twitter.

There has been speculation that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan’s position might be damaged by claims from opponents of the Taoiseach that – despite his supportive statement yesterday – he had been encouraging dissent within the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

However, Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick East Willie O’Dea has said he sees no reason for Mr Lenihan to resign. Mr O’Dea said the focus for the Government and for the Finance Minister was on getting the Finance Bill passed.

Along with eventually filling the vacancy left by Mr Martin’s departure, Mr Cowen may decide on a broader re-jig of his Cabinet by replacing retiring ministers Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern and Tony Killeen.

That would give him the chance of promoting a younger generation and TDs whose seats are in danger. It would be a popular move in the parliamentary party.

Although, Green TD Paul Gogarty said his party would have concerns about what he termed a ‘massive reshuffle’ of ministers.

Hanafin voted against Cowen

There was also speculation that Mary Hanafin’s job as Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport might be in the mix.

However, the minister has said after voting against a motion of confidence in the Taoiseach last night she met with Mr Cowen, but did not offer her resignation.

Her resignation was not sought by Mr Cowen, she added.

Ms Hanafin said she was happy to remain part of Government, and she said the Taoiseach was happy with that situation too.

The minister said she decided not to discuss her stance at last night’s meeting because she did not want to influence other members of the party.

She said the Taoiseach knew how she would vote and how she felt about his position as Fianna Fáil leader.

The minister said she now has confidence in Mr Cowen as Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader, and added that she would take credit, as well as blame, for the Government.

Ms Hanafin insisted her credibility remains intact. Asked if she retained leadership ambitions, the Dún Laoghaire-based TD said her big challenge at present – and only priority – is to get re-elected as a member of the Dáil.

source :http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0119/politics.html

Golf-Gate: Cowen just go !

Here is something I found on youtube

Brian Cowen you’re lucky the taxpayers did not know what you were up to that day!

Even as his political career crumbled, and with party rivals probing his wounds, Brian Cowen couldn’t shake off the tired cliches, defensive persona and sheer bad luck that have defined his time as Taoiseach

ON THURSDAY EVENING he stood in his lovely office, with the flags of the Republic and the EU behind him, his pale face set and strained, impatient at the impertinence of Bryan Dobson’s questions, barely suppressing an explosive frustration. It was impossible not to feel a surge of sympathy for a proud, good man so publicly tethered to a time bomb.

Even still, as the offices of state trembled in anticipation of a heave, even as his mortal political wounds were being clinically probed by his own storied loyalists, Brian Cowen was unable to rise above the tired old script.

“No, I haven’t considered resigning . . . I am now engaged in internal discussion with my own party colleagues . . . I must recognise the concerns within the organisation regarding the election . . .”

Then the lights went out. RTÉ’s connection to Government Buildings went down. A technical malfunction? Or had he pulled the plug? The episode was almost a metaphor for Brian Cowen’s two and a half year stewardship as Taoiseach: the contempt for the messenger; the obsession with internal party considerations; the blindness to the concerns of a vast, troubled audience behind the loathed media; all punctuated by the sudden, dark, desperately unlucky intervention.

When the link was re-established Dobson asked how he could persuade his party that he was the best person to lead them. Cowen could have delivered a passionate, direct appeal over the heads of his party rivals. Instead he replied irritably that he would be “having a discussion with colleagues and I cannot say until I sit down with them . . .”

What was the time frame? Like the scorpion with the frog, he couldn’t help himself. “We don’t run the organisation on the basis of what you say in the media,” he replied. He had to strike. It’s what he does. No matter that it is born of self-delusion and ends in mutual destruction.

No doubt there were loyal party members watching on Thursday who reckoned he had played a blinder, had stuck it to the Dublin media again. Above all, hadn’t he survived? Confounded his critics again? But, like the scorpion, it’s just what he does. It requires no great will, scheme or energy. Nearly 20 years ago he coined the phrase “If in doubt, leave them out” to express his contempt for the party’s PD partners. It was Cowen’s bull-headed, belated call to arms in 2007 that persuaded many voters that only Fianna Fáil had the strength to manage the economy. He survived two no- confidence votes in two years.

The trouble is that for many citizens, those years have been among the most traumatising in living memory. When the old guard rallied around Cowen on Thursday, imploring him not to throw in the towel “after all we’ve been through – for a bloody golf game”, in the words of one, they were missing the point again.

For many of the public that “golf game” crystallised everything that was rotten about the State: the golden circles; the alpha-male covens; the lack of concern for the optics; the blank space in the diary; the drip-drip of information; the routine dismissal of legitimate questions as political gamesmanship – all of which led us to where we are, a place best represented by the devastating image of the IMF’s Ajai Chopra walking past a beggar on St Stephen’s Green.

It’s pertinent to remember that when the Government finally woke up to the threat of losing the Lisbon referendum and an uneasy alliance reigned among the parties, it was Cowen who almost put a spanner in the works by declaring that the Opposition wasn’t working as hard as Fianna Fáil.

“I think there are occasions, in the country’s interest, where the Taoiseach will have to resist the temptation of giving the Opposition parties a kick every time he sees us,” remarked Eamon Gilmore. Cowen chose to ignore that piece of advice, an omission that would gain significance as time went on. Political junkies and bare-knuckle fighters may cherish the notion of a tough and bruising political operator.

The rest of the population has learned painfully that such traits really only count when applied for their benefit, not merely for political survival. Eighty-seven per cent of them, of a 10,000-strong mobile-phone poll on Liveline on Thursday, believed Cowen should step down now. The enduring mystery of Brian Cowen is that he could never lift that famous fighting spirit or command of language to inspire and lead a people craving safe hands and respectful engagement. He used terms such as activation measures, progressity and automaticity, internalising, conflating and subvening.

When the world’s media tuned in to a Dáil speech in the expectation that he would address the financial crisis in the autumn, they heard only robotic assurances and impenetrable Cowenspeak about the “front-loading of consolidation”. He only left behind the Civil Service jargon when he was defending himself or his party. It meant he was capable of doing it. He talked but never appeared to listen, however, even while his Government was making decisions of immense consequence, knowing there was profound confusion and little public support. It seemed the aim was not to engage in meaningful debate but to get across the idea that there was nothing to be debated.

That autocratic attitude was spawned either of arrogance and too many years in power or of a disrespect for the people’s intelligence. Either way it found its apotheosis in “Garglegate”, the infamous Morning Ireland interview after a late night at the Galway think-in last September. For many the problem lay not in the “hoarseness” or “nasal congestion” but in the fact that, when these were stripped away for an interview that ranked as a state-of-the-nation address at a critical time in the nation’s history, the leader was saying nothing that was distinguishable from every Cowenspeak interview he had given for the previous two years.

In recent days he has even had to take lectures on communications from Bertie Ahern, the man in the News of the World cupboard. Cowen should have kept the public informed about the EU-IMF bailout, said Ahern.

“These aren’t state secrets, after all . . . I always took the view, and maybe it’s a difference in style, that you go out there every day and you talk to the media and do your bit . . . When I went the guys took a different view . . . They wouldn’t go out very often and do the daily doorsteps . . . If you ask me, my view is you’re better doing it my way, but he opted not to do that,” he said.

Cowen, by contrast, had commented that Ahern’s resignation marked the end of an era, describing Ahern as the consummate politician of his generation. It’s what Cowen does: that dogged, sightless loyalty to the party and to the tarnished leaders before him, a loyalty that defines his ultimate political philosophy, to the point of self-destruction and even the loss of his beloved party’s electability.

How could he have hoped for credibility and authority while he refused to question their legacy? His excuse for an apology on Ryan Tubridy’s first Late Late Show about the sorry pass to which the party had led the country – “If people want me to apologise, I apologise in the event that people think I did something purposely wrong” – was eloquent testimony to his unwillingness to listen to wiser voices.

For an intelligent man, with Fianna Fáil stamped in his marrow, this week must be akin to Armageddon.

It is almost trite now to recall that glorious sunny day outside Dáil Éireann in May 2008 when he was elected Taoiseach. It seemed to mark a turning of the axis, a new dawn for Irish politics, where substance would replace style and gruffer, timeless rural values would supplant the Westlife bling.

He came with sterling credentials, the first person in the history of the State to fill the four main government offices of taoiseach, tánaiste, foreign affairs and finance. To be sure, aside from that ineradicable party loyalty there was little evidence of convictions in his previous high offices. And the top job had fallen into his lap, without contesting an election as leader, which later would begin to look like a weaker mandate. But back then he had the nation in his hand. They wanted, needed, to believe.

An exultant Offaly poured into the capital on the day of his elevation, wrapping tricolour feather boas around gardaí and dancing to The Offaly Rover . He was greatly loved by his county people, revered by backbenchers, regarded as decent and a man of integrity, even by opposition figures. In the exuberant crowd outside Leinster House Fr Tony Egan, the Augustinian prior proudly kitted out in an Offaly shirt, talked about “huge, huge pride tinged with a little sadness, because [the Cowen family’s] lives are never going to be the same again”. He was prescient. Brian Cowen did not see a day’s luck thereafter.

Under his stewardship the Government developed an uncanny ability to turn bad to worse, to transform a banking crisis into a sovereign-debt crisis and a sovereign-debt crisis into a full-blown crisis of Irish democracy. What began with Seánie and Fingers and Bertie and Charlie ended up with Ajai Chopra and Olli Rehn. In the meantime all the roads that could have been taken – early refusal of the pay rise, dealing with quangos and cronyism, delivering ethics legislation, the chance to usher in an era of honesty, openness, a new trust in authority – were bypassed.

Imagine the difference they would have made when the hard times began to bite. But within six months of that great May celebration in 2008 a committed Cowen supporter was already confiding that Cowen had surrounded himself with cronies and yes-men – “but none that are his equals” – and had stopped listening to more independent voices. He failed to rise above his modest, low-key persona, telling Tubridy when questioned about his drinking that he was trying to be “authentic and true to myself and run a normal life”.

Given the devastating speed of events after his elevation, was such a “normal life” a realistic, even sensible aspiration? The inauguration of Barack Obama only seven months later was almost cruel in its timing for Cowen. Here, at the new year’s dawning, was a tough, confident, intelligent leader offering harsh medicine and hope, placing Americans’ challenge in the context of their forebears’ toil and sacrifice, articulating with curled lip and righteous gaze the people’s disgust at bankers and lobbyists and their cheerleaders.

Back in Ireland people waited and yearned for that decisiveness, that same independence of mind, someone to brew the bloody medicine and get us to swallow it. But they were equally yearning for a vision beyond the sour, gauche “it’s brutal and will get twice as brutal for years and years” mantra, someone to articulate the hope of a more noble, more sustainable nation at the other end, whenever that might be.

Instead the country lurched from drama to crisis, and last September, in a country already utterly humiliated on the international stage, Brian Cowen’s drinking would rear its head again after the Galway fiasco. “He doesn’t realise the dignity of his office,” sighed an Offaly man. “It requires a lot more than he wants to give it.” A trawl among supporters and opposition people of goodwill at the time yielded a view that he was “a natural number-two person”, never a leader.

Who saw that coming on that lovely May morning only 30 months earlier? “He didn’t change; the circumstances did,” says an ally. “But then, thinking back, who else in Fianna Fáil was up to it?”

source :http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/0115/1224287558065.html?via=mr

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