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Paul Gogarty

Posted by Jason O on Dec 13, 2009 in Irish Politics |

" In the most unparliamentary language, Deputy Stagg, Fuck you!" Great slogan for a tee shirt!

" In the most unparliamentary language, Deputy Stagg, Fuck you!" Great slogan for a tee shirt!

I first heard of Paul Gogarty before he was even elected a county councillor. A guy I worked with was raving about the work this Green party activist was doing in the area, and predicted that he would easily get elected in the locals, and then the general. I thought nothing of it but then he topped the poll in his ward. Then he got elected to the Dail in a 3 seater in 2002, no mean achievement for a Green candidate.

As for ‘effing and blinding, it seemed to be a human response, and in the pubs of Lucan and Clondalkin I suspect he’ll be forgiven. In fact, the po-faced response of some in Fine Gael will probably help him. Gogarty’s problem is that if he’s not careful, he won’t have the word “maverick” attached to him, which is always worth a few votes, but “petulent”, as a guy who has strops and gets in a huff, and that is a very unattractive quality in any person, never mind a TD.

More than any Green politician, Gogarty seems to have struggled with the change in the public’s perception of the Green Party, from the safe default protest party to a party that has had its head kicked in the the electoral car park. He needs to stop protesting, and show his substantial side, perhaps with a calm measured speech as to what a blooded-by-government green party is actually for, and can actually do. There are many of us who have been disappointed by the Green Party but have not given up quite yet, and could be brought into the fold. Gogarty, with a penchant for plain speaking, could yet be the man to do that. 

3 Comments

James Lawless
Jan 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I don’t know the guy personally but am afraid am far more cynical about him and his actions. It got him on the news. Job done.


 
justin treacy
Nov 25, 2010 at 6:05 pm

we become accustomed to treating our politicians pretty badly, and so people of real capacity choose avenues other than politics, this often leaves people not competent for the work or fringe candidates as the only options on the ballot.


 
Paul Gogarty
Mar 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Interesting looking at this piece and these comments from a distance. I logged on here to look at the piece about the Frontline, which I agree with wholeheartedly.

James Lawless, given his political pedigree, cannot be taken seriously with views about the motivation of someone he doesn’t know. He mustn’t be aware that all the times I actually got elected I did so working hard on the ground with no desire for national prominence. The one time I was a household name, it flopped. But I predicted such myself given the times we were in and the assumption that the bank bailout caused the financial crisis rather than being a symptom of bad decisions going back to 2001 and an action insisted upon by the ECB in return for any monies to start trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we found ourselves in.

Having a profile nationally does not get you elected. It is the national dynamic and the location situation on the ground. Alan Shatter lost his seat, McDowell lost his seat; both regained them subsequently. Both had high profiles. I could list many other examples. So why would someone, objectively speaking, be motivated to seek media attention as a means for seat retention?

Justin Treacy makes a fair point, even if his comments are directed at me. Too often, people turn away from politics and the practice of paying them poorly led to an increased temptation to engage in corrupt acts. That poor payment ended years back, in fairness, and since 2002 I had as an elected rep been seeking pay cuts for TDs, Senators and Ministers.

The interesting thing in terms of what Jason wrote about is that there were actually many speeches of substance, many constructive, balanced, reasoned contributions and indeed some tangible achievements during my time in office. These tended to be ignored for the sound bite, the colour piece or perhaps for sheer divilment.

Not to avoid taking responsibility for the many mistakes I actually have made, but it was telling when a particular issue was being prominently featured about 18 months ago that when I asked a journalist why so much coverage about a minor issue that surely wouldn’t warrant many column inches or airtime she simply replied: “Because it’s you”.

Mea culpa for many faults and failings. But I still don’t believe that one should be punished for being honest, or that politics should be about caricaturisation rather than dealing with the substance of what people are saying.


 

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