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

5 uncomfortable truths about Irish politics today.

Posted by Jason O on Nov 11, 2012 in Irish Politics |

1. It is almost impossible to engage the electorate on any sort of mildly complex issue. Many modern voters refuse to accept an obligation to inform themselves, and will use the phrase “there wasn’t enough information” when they mean “I’m not reading a three page leaflet. Twink is on The Late Late.”

2. Certain counties in Ireland have now started wallowing in self-pity, and vote accordingly. The only thing that agitates them more than being run by dem fellas in Dublin is the thought of their county being run by themselves and their neighbours. Or paying their money towards services in their county.

3. Many elements of the Irish media struggle to prevent any debate on a social issue descending into hysterical emotionalism. You rarely hear Jeremy Paxman ask an interviewee how they “feel” about something.

4. Contrary to popular belief, most Irish people are quite happy with the above. The fact that more people get more energised about the government trying to stop their own faeces from contaminating their children’s drinking water than reforming our inept political system says it all, really.

5. Irish politicians, for the most part, see the political system as being a means of paying them salaries and pensions they never dreamt of. Governing is a bit of a nuisance. The only time you’ll see them debate democracy will be when the EU/IMF starts asking what exactly we need 218 full-time parliamentarians for anyway?


gary boland
Nov 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

good article, put there are 226 (not 218) members of the oireachtas.

Jason O
Nov 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Sorry, was writing about Dail after losing 8 seats.

Nov 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I was explaining this my 13-y-o daughter (‘dd’):

dd: they’re (classmates) all thick chavs, bieber & 1-d fans, can’t spell, baffled by arithmetic, don’t know what meters and kilometers are (this is a noice south dublin secondary).

me: it’s the television – eradicates critical thought, replaces goals with desires, trains brains to feed needs by buying useless crap.

Nov 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Of course Jason, you are above all this yourself. Oh, apart from voting Yes because Dana’s voting No. And not a word from you about the disgraceful illegal use of funding by this government to push a yes vote. And no one believes it was some accident due to bad legal advice; it was a clear cynical judgement that they would get away with and in reality they did. Dragging out the case until it was too late. And then having the neck to keep repeating that the High Court found in their favour. If people behave badly in this country, this government certainly isn’t doing anything to change that.

Feb 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Excellent article. I’m surprised you haven’t had more response to it.

I strongly agree with points 1 to 4 (though in relation to point 3 I don’t see much sign of the media struggling against empty emotionalism).

For what it’s worth, I don’t agree with point 5. Replace “Irish politicians, for the most part” with “Far too many Irish politicians” and I’m with you. I think very many politicians are very well aware of points 1 to 4, but feel they simply can’t swim against a much too powerful current. There are many, though, (especially in Fianna Fáil) who have evolved to swim with that current.



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