Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

The Debate: Game Changer or Media Obsession?

Posted by Jason O on Feb 5, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

Yes, but does it actually matter?

Yes, but does it actually matter?

A strong Fine Gael supporter I know made a very valid point to me during the week about Enda Kenny. He reckoned that those of us close to politics are missing the fact that the polls are showing that FG under Enda continues to be the most popular party, despite the  fact that the media are obsessed with Enda as a liability. It’s a fair point. It’s very possible that come Feb 25 Enda could lead FG to their greatest ever election victory. Some liability!

The debate is part of that dynamic, and all hinges on the question of whether the Irish people really do feel that it matters who will be Taoiseach. Maybe they don’t, after all, it’s not like he gets handed the codes to our fleet of nuclear submarines. Instead, he actually gets emails from the ECB saying ” €15? For a stapler??? What’s going on over there???”

So what matters? Will the debate change anything? Given FG’s approach to the debates, it has certainly weakened Enda’s image, but with whom? People who were never going to vote for him anyway?

I would suggest that the biggest opportunity is for Eamonn Gilmore to close the gap. Michael Martin is not going to be Taoiseach this time, it’s between Enda and Eamonn, and Eamonn Gilmore has an opportunity not to beat up the Fianna Fail leader (who will spend part of the debate flaying himself like Gladstone anyway) but to show that he is a man with a plan for the future. Most importantly, Gilmore has to break free of the “Jack O’Connor’s Man” and convince that he will be a broadly based Taoiseach not captive to any sector of society. If he can do that, it could be game on. 


An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Labour Zealot.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 5, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

These boots are made for governin'She’s always been a supporter of “wimmins” issues, whether it was Mary Robinson, Ivana Bacik or the morning-after pill, and always referred to people running committee as pieces of furniture, but of late, she’s become impossible. Ever since Labour started doing well in the opinion polls, she’s gone into overdrive. Of course, it’s not helped by the fact that her tall, lithe and blonde figure, wrapped up in that “air” they seem to issue down the Law Library, gives her a natural dominance anyway, but the moral certainty really is the last straw. Eamonn Gilmore WILL be the next Taoiseach, Ireland WILL have its first progressive Labour government, and anyone who says different is either a simpleton or else a fascist enemy of the people.

After all, she doesn’t really know anyone who doesn’t vote Labour. Everyone on her Ranelagh mews certainly does, and down the Law Library there are of course FFers who want to be judges, which sickens her. Imagine being in a party just for preferment? Of course, if Taoiseach Gilmore offers her a judicial position that’s different: That would be reforming the phallocentric judiciary.

If Labour fail to break through that’ll be it: She’ll be off to the London bar and to join the Harriet Harman wing of a proper Labour party, where she’ll be shocked to discover that because she’s never had a lesbian affair with a one-legged Jamaican public sector worker, wears high heels and Chanel no.5, she’s regarded as a Tory blow-in. Or worse still, a Liberal Democrat.


Enda to debate “when Jupiter in line with Aquarius”

Posted by Jason O on Feb 5, 2011 in Election 2011, Not quite serious.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has issued another demand to be met before he would be willing to participate in a three way debate on TV3 with Eamonn Gilmore and Michael Martin. “It is quite apparent to me that the most optimum moment for my participation is when Jupiter is in line with Aquarius, nine sparrows are seen flying west over the GPO, and Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. Until then, no dice.” Deputy Kenny’s remarks were in addition to previous demands that the debate be as broad as possible to include five party leaders, Yoda from the “Star Wars” franchise, a man whom Enda met in Roscrea who makes cathedrals out of matchsticks, and “How to look Good Naked” presenter Gok Wan. Fine Gael also insisted that the debate be broadcast simultaneously in Minnesota and translated into Serbo-Croat. The Mayo deputy insisted that he would not participate in a debate with Vincent Browne because the veteran broadcaster “gave him a look” in 1997.

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