2005: FF Organisation in Crisis, says internal report

BarryW

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Sep 8, 2003
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262
For months and months I, along with many others on this site, have stressed the fact that the FF organisation is moribund and in grave danger of falling to pieces.
Strangely, many of the FFers on the site seem completely oblivious to this fact.

A report commissioned for FF HQ, leaked to the Irish Times today, outlines the serious situation that FF are in.
Incredibly, the IT claims that party officials fear that the FF membership is in fact Half of what they had previously estimated - at between 15,000 and 20,000.

This could theoretically mean that Fine Gael has a larger grassroots membership that Fianna Fail - with a membership of around 20,000-22,000 since the revival under Enda Kenny.

First FF fall behind FG in terms of Euro Parliament seats; they come within an inch of the same in the Locals; and now they may have fallen behind FG interms of membership.

Is this the biggest crisis FF has faced since the splits of the mid 80s ??
 


eurocrat

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Dec 23, 2004
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Barry, considering that they won re-election only 3 years ago and their support is holding up in the polls to such an extent that it looks likely that they will take a third term in office, I wouldn´t worry that much.

This ´leaked´ report is jsut a rallying call to the faithful in advance of the 2007 general election.

You are better off worring about your own party and how they intended to win they first election in 25 years, than concerning yourself about the possible numbers of signed-up Fianna Fail members.
 

jimmylibel

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Mar 3, 2003
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3
BarryW said:
For months and months I, along with many others on this site, have stressed the fact that the FF organisation is moribund and in grave danger of falling to pieces.
Strangely, many of the FFers on the site seem completely oblivious to this fact.

A report commissioned for FF HQ, leaked to the Irish Times today, outlines the serious situation that FF are in.
Incredibly, the IT claims that party officials fear that the FF membership is in fact Half of what they had previously estimated - at between 15,000 and 20,000.

This could theoretically mean that Fine Gael has a larger grassroots membership that Fianna Fail - with a membership of around 20,000-22,000 since the revival under Enda Kenny.

First FF fall behind FG in terms of Euro Parliament seats; they come within an inch of the same in the Locals; and now they may have fallen behind FG interms of membership.

Is this the biggest crisis FF has faced since the splits of the mid 80s ??
The report says no such thing. It says that there are only 15,000 - 20,000 ACTIVE members. It also points out that the membership list is 50,000 strong.
 

CJH

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Feb 24, 2004
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214
Obviously I haven't read this article, but really BarryW, your rabid desire for any bit of bad news concerning FF is becoming ever more desperate, maybe if you and your blueshirt friends concentrated on your own party you might improve in the polls and have some chance of getting elected, if not nmext time round well maybe the election after that.
 

Trojanhorse

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Jan 12, 2005
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here here!!
 

thegeneral

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Perhaps if BarryW actually read the article he's posting properly he'd have made a better fist of his original post. I agree with Eurocrat that its no coincidence that this was leaked to get the membership motivated and alert well in advance of 2007.
 

Harpey

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Dec 1, 2004
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100
Right that was a superb example of bashing the enemy into the ground when ever the chance presents itself.

Allow me to steer this conversation somwhat.
96fm here in cork interiewed local politicians, including Batt O' Keefe. From the horses lips he admitted that the age profile of the party is 60% above the 65 age group(OAPs). This is unprecedented, especially for Fianna Fail. My own grandfather, a life member admitts as much, and if you look at the membership of the average cumman, the same is true.

FF lacks cosmopolitan appeal believe it or not, and the party lacks the excitment of other groups. I mean fractionalism can be exciting. The official membership is now nowhere near the 43,040 members that FF has officially signed and card carrying but according to the report, and lets be serious about this we are talking about active membership(anything else really means very little), FF stands at 19,000, 5000 less than FG on a bad day. That is saying something
As to active members, the constant refusal of the party to allow slakening of the leed from head office means that the appeal of Ogra has abated. These again are not my words but of several of my Ogra aquaintances.

One final example, YFG attracts more members to meetings nowdays than the competition OFF here in UCC. This is fact. Both groups occupy neighbouring conference rooms, and a head count can reveal as much.
In fact, SF attract more members than OFF nowdays. The youth element had deteriorated hugely, in most cases from becoming disenchanted. I mean if you want to join a real republican party, why not go to..... well you know.

This question was addressed at the Euro elections. "Why was the FF support not out with its usual vehemence?" was the question on a massive ammount of spectators lips. The comparrison was being made between the SF electoral machine and how it compared to what FF used to be like.

I think that this is a very valid issue. I would advise the people here to stop dancing on the FG demise platform, the locals and Euros disproved that, and now perhaps its time to go back and over-estimating them once again. FF has problems. They primarily stem from inertia in government, and a complacency on the memberships part.

Eurocrat, do not mistake the power of FF at winning elections with ground support again. They now win, only because of their position in government and that alone. Also examine the Italian example. The early ninties saw the total demise of the largest and most supported party (CDU) to Forza d'Italia. Compare that to the current Irish malaise. FG have had the bad election, but who is next to recieve the kick, and will they be able to recover. The Italian CDU now find themselves a minor coalition party. Will the same fate await FF. Wait and see.
 
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but ya see the thing is, ff are being honest and they have the initiative to actually set up an internal review.

fg are in the same boat, but are papering up the craics depending on convention paper branches boasting 'membership.' I should know, I have loads of people got for the convention, most of which are a one meeting a year man, no interest in the party, the only interest is a favour to the guy running for convention.

then you have the loyal fg member as shown through gallaghers days of blue loyalty book, fg members who are loyal no matter what. thats great but the thing folks is thats limited cos its an aging profile.

there are youth members. or canvessing fodder as I'd like to call them. but HOW MANY OF THEM then go on to become fg members!!! the transfer is pathetic. there was an informal report in fg a number of years ago which showed that the number of yfg people in fg several years later was very very little. there are exceptions, there are councillors and executive members who are youth fg, but as an overall percentage the number of yfg peoiple in fg is very very low.

under kenny theres been lots of restructuring, lots of internal reorganisation, but its not finished and the reason fg are out of gov for 18 of the last 20 years is becosuse of complaincy. lets not get complaincet on our organisation of the party folks.
 

Harpey

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Dec 1, 2004
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Again I say that the age profile is deteriorating in FF more than any other party. That much is unavoidable what ever you may say.
As for papering over cracks, the complete revamping in the FG organisation since Kenny's enthronement, has ment that we have no longer got those cracks, and infact we built a whole new house.
Now FF can continue to occupy the crumbling mansion, constantly doing it up, a new lick of paint now and then, but ultimatly, it needs demolishing, and a smaller feasable building is more suited to them now.

Metephorically speaking of course
 

Trojanhorse

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harpey FYI the university membership for Ogra rose significantly last year with UCD wiping the floor with our numbers including YFG who resorted to giving out FREE membership( though even with free membership I wouldn't join!!;) )

So I don't know how your point of the age profile deterioration holds up ...the Youth Conference was huge last November with the vice chairship hotly contested......trust me the party certianly is not on any downward spiral from a youth point of view.
 

eurocrat

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Dec 23, 2004
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Harpey said:
Eurocrat, do not mistake the power of FF at winning elections with ground support again. They now win, only because of their position in government and that alone. Also examine the Italian example. The early ninties saw the total demise of the largest and most supported party (CDU) to Forza d'Italia. Compare that to the current Irish malaise. FG have had the bad election, but who is next to recieve the kick, and will they be able to recover. The Italian CDU now find themselves a minor coalition party. Will the same fate await FF. Wait and see.
Well if it happened in Italy it will happen here too. You are right. FF are only in power they are the Government party. But, the country is being generally well covered (low unemployment + high growth) and the people are rewarding them consequently.
 

thegeneral

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Trojanhorse said:
harpey FYI the university membership for Ogra rose significantly last year with UCD wiping the floor with our numbers including YFG who resorted to giving out FREE membership( though even with free membership I wouldn't join!!;) )

So I don't know how your point of the age profile deterioration holds up ...the Youth Conference was huge last November with the vice chairship hotly contested......trust me the party certianly is not on any downward spiral from a youth point of view.
Trojanhorse is quite correct here. Harpey you should get some facts right and avoid the prospects of FF bashing.
 

Harpey

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Trojanhorse said:
harpey FYI the university membership for Ogra rose significantly last year with UCD wiping the floor with our numbers including YFG who resorted to giving out FREE membership( though even with free membership I wouldn't join!!;) )

So I don't know how your point of the age profile deterioration holds up ...the Youth Conference was huge last November with the vice chairship hotly contested......trust me the party certianly is not on any downward spiral from a youth point of view.
I was only passing on the words of greater men-re batty o keefe.
 

brenofg

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Well i Must agreed with Barry on this one it seem that FF HQ will lose the next General Election in June 2007. they have fails on issues that need to be addressed like Anti-Social Behaviour, suicide among youth and now the Disability Bill will they ever listen to the importment issues today. I see the results of the Euro & Locals Elections coming back to FF in the next GE 07.

Brendan Searson
YFG Vice-Chairperson
Edcuation Committee
 

Barbarian

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Jan 13, 2004
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brenofg said:
Well i Must agreed with Barry on this one
Well quelle surprise!
brenofg said:
it seem that FF HQ will lose the next General Election in June 2007.
However you are mistaken in you belief that FF HQ actually run for election, see this is an office not an actual person.
 

geraghd

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Dec 22, 2003
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I do.

Derrick Geraghty
Former Vice-Chair
TYFG.

Damn!.. :cry:
 

spos

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Nov 7, 2003
Messages
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I know nothing of the FF age profile although I don't see too many of them in Coppers on a Monday night - shall we say.

However I would agree with some of our friends in FF when they point out that all parties have a significant gap between registered membership: 50,000 in FF's case and 30,000+ in our own. However realistically only half that are active in FG and, this report suggests, the same for FF. The fact of the matter is that all political parties, including FG have a huge problem motivating members and, to use a worn phrase, "electrify" new members into action.

For me this is something that all parties to focusing on i.e. how do we attract more people to political life. Increased and active membership of all our political parties only serves to benefit democracy.

But I am happy to say that this is not as big a problem for YFG, whose activity has been striking of late...or as was pointed out to be yesterday, since I left the executive!!!
 

Neutral

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Feb 17, 2005
Messages
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There's been a shift in many parties towards people volunteering for a particular candidate's camaign without joining that candidate's political party.

Since FF & FG are more likely to have 2 candidates in an area, they probably have hundreds of people who canvass for one of their ticket but who never join the party.
 


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