I have never been a Pat Kenny on television fan, because I always felt that he was more Paxman than Gaybo and was squandering his talents on the Late Late. But watching The Frontline last night, I have to give it to him. It was solid, fact-based stuff, where he forensically took Jack O’Connor, Moore McDowell and others through their answers, blasting the guff away, and in particular making Jack O’Connor look like a man who is just against everything.
I’m biased, of course, and and I actually understand why Jack O’Connor says the things he says, but the real revelation (Aside from Pat, and the flash of steel he showed when Jack made an instantly regretted (And apologised for, to his credit) remark about the size of Pat’s house.) were Moore McDowell and Tax specialist Suzanne Kelly, who both cut through the guff with hard statistics. My one regret about that was that they couldn’t use visual aids to explain their points, which I think would have been very useful, but both did more to enlighten me and others about the public finances and the “easy option” of taxing the rich (75% on anyone earning over 75k) than months of Dail and media debate. I’d actually watch a show with just the two of them. Fintan O’Toole made some valid points too, especially about the national pension fund, but he can be so “will someone please think of the children” sometimes. Still, I suppose someone has to.
The one flaw of The Frontline is the audience, which kills the real debate with Joe Duffy style stories of “suffrin'” I know, these are people’s lives, but they are telling us things that we all know from our own lives and families, and add nothing to the debate. Maybe if a “civilian” was allowed take part in the debate from the panel it would help, but these little nuggets of mediocre observation (A Bit like your blog! Boom boom!) are where I go for a widdle.