Jim Carroll

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On The Polls: “she’s looking down on you now”

Canvasser of the Week: Olivia O’Leary accompanied a “rueful…languid, laid back, self-deprecating” Minister for Children Barry Andrews as he roamed Dun Laoighaire looking for Number Ones. It may be worth remembering that Andrews is a brother of comedian Dave McSavage …

Tue, Feb 8, 2011, 10:02


Canvasser of the Week: Olivia O’Leary accompanied a “rueful…languid, laid back, self-deprecating” Minister for Children Barry Andrews as he roamed Dun Laoighaire looking for Number Ones. It may be worth remembering that Andrews is a brother of comedian Dave McSavage because what happens on a doorstep in one estate reads more like something from The Savage Eye. “A soft-spoken woman at the door said her mother, who had died in November, was a real Fianna Fáil supporter. ‘‘I don’t think she would want me voting for anyone else,” she said. ‘‘So do it, then,” said Senator Geraldine Feeney gently, ‘‘for your mum.” ‘‘She’s looking down on you now,’’ smiled Barry.” JMJ.

The reform paragraph: there was a lot of talk and guff about the need for political reform before the election was called and, indeed, yesterday was reform day with the main parties throwing policy documents about the need for same at the media. Fianna Fail also contributed to this, which is rich considering they had nearly 14 years in power to do something about it. Anyway, maybe this is why reform is getting such an outing at the moment because it sure as hell isn’t on the mind of most of the electorate. Down in the small print of last week’s MRBI opinion poll for this newspaper, reform was in the also-rans when it came to what the general public thought was the most important issues facing a new government. The pole positions were taken by jobs (51 per cent), public finances (23 per cent) and health (10 per cent), with reform scrapping in the single figures along with political accountability. FYI Green Party TDs: no-one was talking about plight of the mink, directly-elected mayors for Dublin or any of your other much touted policies.

Posters: is it just us or are there much less posters on the poles this time around and that was before the gales started blowing? Maybe the parties really are strapped for cash.

The leadership debate and missing the point: tonight, two men in dark suits will gather in a room and there will be a lot of hot air about one missing man in a dark suit. Does anyone bar the spin-doctors on either side really think a leadership debate is what we need right now? Reading Elaine Byrne’s column in Friday’s paper, you really do feel as if this election is akin to sticking all the kids in one room to squabble amongst themselves while the adults are elsewhere sorting out what really matters. As our heads are turned by Enda, Eamo, Micheál’s mojo and Baron Gerry, the IMF and ECB wait for everyone to notice that they haven’t gone away.

Dylan Haskins: we’re mentioning the young fellow running in Dublin South-East mainly because he turns out to be the only prospective member of the 31st Dail who has been previously interviewed in OTR. Haskins is running an interesting campaign which has gained a lot of online traction, though turning those clicks into votes is going to be quite a task (by the way, everyone is at it, though calling it a “twolicy” is a mite Peppa Pig). Is it possible? Well, in the 2007 general election, the Dublin SE quota was 6,769 and John Gormley made the cut with 4,685 first preferences. Haskins will attract transfers from all over the shop so it could be possible. Certainly, I’d be putting a wager on Haskins to make it to Kildare Street before I’d bet on Gormley or indie Mannix Flynn (Haskins taking a lot of the soft floating votes which would have otherwise went Flynn’s way). One interesting question, though, is if Haskins will hang around in politics if he doesn’t get elected or if this is an one-off thing. You can catch Haskins, Gormley, Flynn and other Dublin SE candidates discussing Climate Change, The Incinerator and Me at the Unitarian Church, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 next Monday at 1.10pm

More election coverage: check out the paper’s Live Blog now running for the duration of #ge11. You’ll also find all the paper’s election coverage here.

#vinb vs #rte11: RTE have flexed their muscles and have put up The Eleventh Hour to take on the might of Vinnie Browne and his feral eyebrows. It’s not really working chiefly because presenters Keelin Shanley and Daire O’Brien are simply not Vinnie B. How the hell can you compete with Browne when he’d on the late-night tuts-and-sighs circuit for years, perfecting those asides, miscues and bizarre conversational twists (see last week’s interview with would-be Wexford TD Mick Wallace)? The Eleventh Hour does have some good ideas – last night’s panel discussion with Alastair Campbell giving an outsider’s view was the best yet and a droll Liam Fay has been a good addition to the ranks – but the presenters (especially Shanley) are still very unsure of themselves, the show is not long enough and the comedy is cat. When you turn over to TV3 to see Conor Lenihan in full-blown Comical Ali mode again, you know you can’t compete with the original and the best. And then, something like this pops up on the screen.

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