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

I’m impressed by Pat Kenny, and I’m shocked too.

Posted by Jason O on Nov 3, 2009 in Irish Politics |

Pat Kenny: Surprisingly really good!

Pat Kenny: Surprisingly really good!

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. 

2 Comments

James Lawless
Nov 4, 2009 at 10:05 am

Those tax figures from Suzanne Kelly, it’s worth clarifying the 75% on earnings over 75K applies to joint income couples combined earnings not just single incomes. Suddenly it’s not just the ‘fat cats’ (Is 75K fat cat money even for one person?!) but it could well be two members of the “frontline alliance”, a nurse married to a guard who are suddenly in this “super rich” category and being asked to directly answer their own calls for increased taxation. Now there’s grist to the mill eh?!


 
Daniel Sullivan
Nov 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm

What is striking about the sudden deficit right now is that it shows again the boon to the FF government in the late 80s of the reduction in unemployment due to emigration and the increased wiggle room they had due from any rise in employment and thus income tax revenue. The FG/Lab never had the room because unemployment was increasing all the time while employment and income tax revenue was falling.


 

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