Politics »

  • Bonfire of the Presidential Inanities

    October 3, 2011 @ 12:16 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    That was the week that was! The last days before close of nominations were a mad scramble for Norris and Dana. Your humble blogging scribe was present at South Dublin County Council in Tallaght when Fine Gael and some Labour people voted down the Norris bid. (more…)

  • Showbiz politics in presidential race

    September 22, 2011 @ 7:01 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The news that RTE’s presidential debate will be broadcast on the Late Late Show says it all – this is a showbiz election. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and it is even, in a way, heartening to think that a political race could have the same crowd-pulling power as The X Factor. (more…)

  • ‘He Who Is Not With Us Is McGuinness’

    April 25, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    So are we in for a period of dissent in Fianna Fáil that will be reminiscent of the Haughey era? John McGuinness is certainly not taking his dismissal as a junior minister lying down. But could he seriously undermine Cowen’s leadership?

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    Mary Coughlan and John McGuinness in happier times, with still-in-situ Minister of State Michael Finneran on left (photograph by Eric Luke) (more…)

  • Pat Kenny’s New Politics Show: a cri de coeur

    March 28, 2009 @ 6:43 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Pat Kenny showed that he can keep a secret. His announcement that he was quitting the Late Late Show to take over the Monday-night politics slot on RTE television caught everyone by surprise.

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  • Those Senators on the ‘Late Late Show’

    March 21, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    People who couldn’t get through to RTE to complain about the Senators on the Late Late Show last night were ringing The Irish Times instead. It’s very hard to blame them. To watch the programme, click here (item is about one hour into the programme.)

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  • How would Bertie have coped?

    October 22, 2008 @ 11:25 am | by Harry McGee

    Bertie Ahern broke his leg yesterday. It could have been worse: he could have ended up having his reputation shattered into smithereens like Brian Cowen did.

    The former Taoiseach’s mí-ádh brought him back to public attention and prompted questions about how he would have weathered this particular storm. Over the weekend, his brother Maurice made an intervention saying that the Anorak’s political smarts were such that he would never have allowed the medical card measure through in that form.

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  • Brother, where art thou?

    September 27, 2008 @ 10:31 am | by Harry McGee

    The first thing I did when I got home after the holidays was turn on the radio.

    The second thing I did was to change channels.  It’s a simple law of physics. Half an hour of Liveline will ruin every minute of 10 days away from home.

    And that is how I stumbled across Gordon Brown.

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  • Brian Cowen on the Late Late Show

    September 5, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | by Harry McGee

    The Late Late Show has become a rehab centre for prominent politicians whose careers are hitting a downer, providing a home-grown Oprah moment to give a little lift to flagging reputations.

    It’s did the trick for Bertie (his LLS show appearance in the run-up to the 2007 campaign did him no harm at all as he showed himself expert at striking exactly the right balance between serious politician and man of the people).

    Tonight will be very important for Cowen. There has been no substantial interview with him for two months and tonight will tell us a lot about the measure of the man. He’ll have to be able to give a strong impression to the public that he is in command and knows how to get the country out of this crisis when Pat Kenny asks hard questions (and, with his current affaris edge, he will ask hard questions).

    He’ll also to be able to lighten up and show a little of his human side, his talent for mimickry, his quick wit.

    And as sure as rain on any give day this summer and autumn, Brian Cowen will be prevailed upon to belt out a song… which he will do!.

    It’s the Late Late and it’s classed as light entertainment. But don’t let that fool you. This is an enormous test. The history of the show is littered with dead political stiffs like Padraig Flynn’s spectacular gaffe about Tom Gilmarting and then Northern secretary Peter Brooke’s disastrous decision to sing ‘My Darling Clementine’ only days after an IRA bomb had killed several people in 1992.

    Cowen is a bit like Eamon Dunphy. You are so mesmerised when they are outraged or outspoken or on the warpath that you forget how incredibly dull and boring they can be at other times. Cowen is ultra cautious and always on guard. So his biggest danger when asked about the economy will be giving long indeterminate and rambling answers, kicking to touch in slow motion.

    The problem with the human side of the interview is that he just won’t lighten up. He was on with the supreme witterer and interview-lite merchant Ryan Tubridy early this year and came across as stolid and wooden. The same happened with Pat Rabbitte. This kind of chat show dross is well outside their milieu and their comfort zone… unlike the chameleon Bertie who thrived.

    Of course, it’s important to hear what Cowen does say. Knowing his paranoid caution, he’s going to let no cats out of any bags. But he needs to be able to communciate the sense of where the Government’s thinking is and the kind of strategy they want to implement. And despite the Government media handlers dismissing my story about a State of the Nation address at every turn, you know, if it works out well for Cowen tonight… this might in fact be it.

    But it will be keenly watched on all kinds of levels. This will be our first real chance to assess whether the dauphin prince of many years is really a king, or merely another man who would be king.

    If you want another listen to his rendition of Paddy’s Green Shamrock in Tullamore (with cartoon accompaniment!) here it is:

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