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Pompey

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Jul 26, 2005
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Trust me

Interesting Debate, well I can assure you that this is about the only lace you will hear question marks about Cowen. Shoe in for leader no contest, some backbenchers are surrounding Dermot Ahern but its not even considered by them to be likely. Noel Dempsey is the key to leadership believe it or not, who ever he backs will be leader as he is a master of working the party. Dempey will support COwen, Country and Western set to return and are far to strong for new wing Martin/Ahern. But Dermot Ahern has certainly surpassed Martina t this stage according to the backbenchers. As for those who have been saying COwen is having no impact, emmmm I think IBEC and trade unions an anyone involved in finance would disagree, just because you are not in the headlines doesnt mean you are not making waves. Headlines are for those who are doing something wrong. 8)
 

hiding behind a poster

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DaveDublin said:
Thats a silly attitude.

Ive seen both Dermot Ahern and Brian Cowen utterly annhialate Empty Enda in debate.

Any of the FF frontbench would wipe the floor with him. Thats why he does not go head to head with ministers anymore. FG Pressoffice have not put him out in a long long time.

Where on earth have you seen this nonsense? And who woke you up? This constant usage of the juvenile title "Empty Enda" reminds me of the way the Tories tried to refer to Blair as "Phoney Tony" in the run-up to the 1997 election. It dodn't work, and the people using it sounded like frat-boys.
 

BarryW

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DaveDublin said:
But what has he ever done?????????
I've asked this of a number of FFers over the years (mainly Ogra, who think the sun shines out of his rather ample posterior)

The best they can give is that he sings songs at the Ard Fheis; and does impressions of a host of political personalities.
And thats about it.

I'd be interested to know what Ministerial achievements mark him out as such a fabulous candidate for Taoiseach. His time at Health was an unmitigated disaster (topped only by his successor); Foreign Affairs is always a cushy number - and i can't remember a single thing that distinguished his term in that office; his first Budget caused FF serious problems, and he has (literally) disappeared from publi view since then.

So what has he done that makes him so great?
 

Trojanhorse

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if we told you Barry we'd have to kill you :wink:
 

hiding behind a poster

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BarryW said:
DaveDublin said:
But what has he ever done?????????
I've asked this of a number of FFers over the years (mainly Ogra, who think the sun shines out of his rather ample posterior)

The best they can give is that he sings songs at the Ard Fheis; and does impressions of a host of political personalities.
And thats about it.

I'd be interested to know what Ministerial achievements mark him out as such a fabulous candidate for Taoiseach. His time at Health was an unmitigated disaster (topped only by his successor); Foreign Affairs is always a cushy number - and i can't remember a single thing that distinguished his term in that office; his first Budget caused FF serious problems, and he has (literally) disappeared from publi view since then.

So what has he done that makes him so great?


Ssshhhhhh, Barry - lets go along with the pretence for a while - they might even choose him as leader then.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

DaveDublin

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Pompey - you sound very close to FF backbenchers etc.

From those associated with FF I know - none of whom are TDs I woud add - the days of Cowen being a shoe-in are gone. Backbenchers love the guy - he's great fun and wit - but not a leader.


On the North he delivered............nothing.
In health he delivered....a nurses strike.
In Finance he has delivered............nothing.

He is seen much in the sme way they saw Brian Lennihan Snr.!

Re his record on the North - I quote from Brian Feeney, an good barometer of northern nationalist sentiment writing in Irish News just before the reshuffle;

"Cowen has been a disappointment for northern nationalists, never developing any political agenda to drive the Good Friday Agreement, simply following the line of his very able officials. "

Mabye I'm wrong - i just dont see what this guy offers the party.
 

CookieMonster

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I'll admit I am a fan of Cowan.

But I am unsure of any certainty that he will be the next leader of FF.
I do have a suspicion that his recent (some would say constant) inaction and that fact that he is usually absent from the public eye is a strategic one.

It's not politics I favour, but if he's doing nothing he's upsetting nobody.
He is a powerful politician, both within the party and one his own. If my suspicions (and Paddy Power's) are right I would be far from upset to see him as the next leader of FF.
 

Pompey

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Well I can see where the arguments are coming from on this one, however I think there is an over reliance on comments and opinion by the media for forming that opinion. Remember the media will not select the next leader, personal and informed views of the parliamentary party will. Albert Reynolds would never have been selected leader if you were to follow media opinion of him at the time. A Lot of queston being asked here about Cowens record........

Minister for Labour and Minister for Transport and communications - Distinguished himself early on in Alberts firt cabinets as a tough and extremly effective negotiator. Averted disputes at Aer Lingus, and kept the party steady during a rocky period over Shannon airport. Gained immense respect among Employers and Union groups.

Health - Minister at one of the most difficult periods, it should destroy a career the fact that it didnt is remarkable. When faced with a Nurses strike, terrible PR about the poor unfortunates not being paid a penny he faced down the strike, bringing them back to the table and negotiated a deal well below what Nurses had hoped for. Given the state of Healths finances this was essential otherwise the pay deal could have broken the service altogether and several hospitals would have to close and be cut back. Yet he managed to give the public the first insight into why Public sector pay was spiralling out of control and had to be tackled without destroying himself, no mean feat when one considers, others who tried, Barry Desmond, Rory O'Hanlon, Michael Noonan, Micheal Martin. In truth Health probably needs someone with his single mindedness to take on consultants and wastage in the system, but time will tell if Harney has the courage to risk the fight.........

Foreign Affairs - The cataclysmic events of September 11th evoked deep and widespread sympathy in Ireland on a human level. This did not always translate into political support for the US "war on terrorism".
But while some commentators believed Irish public opinion was insufficiently "on side", they could hardly fault the Government, who were with Washington in principle from the moment those planes crashed into the World Trade Centre.
Cowen was to the forefront in this respect, although he was careful to channel his support through the UN, which endorsed the US right to self-defence under the Charter. He also gave approval for US planes to use Irish airspace and landing facilities if required, a gesture that turned out to be more symbolic than practical.
On September 11th itself, Cowen was on his way to Gaza City to meet the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Given all the uncertainty at the time and suggestions that the Palestinians might even have instigated the attacks, it was an act of some political courage on the Minister's part to proceed with the meeting. He steered Ireland through what turned out to be a very eventful period on the security Council gaining the respect of Friend foe and counterparts at the same time. His admirers, including many Iveagh House officials, speak in complimentary terms about his ability to grasp a brief at speed as well as his intelligence and skill in negotiation. The mandarins are happy to have a minister who could talk to his German counterpart Joschka Fischer and his French opposite number, Hubert Vedrine, on equal terms.
His critics complain that he is more a safe pair of hands than a visionary. While conceding that he has "kept the show on the road", they accuse him of excessive caution and lament his failure to take imaginative initiatives. But his tenure has been marked by a distaste for "grandstanding" and a preference for quiet diplomacy.
Cowen was Always famous for being the Rottweiler the big speech maker, everyone knew he could do that, his time in FA showed his ability to be a diplomat and a statesman essential to Leadership.

Finance well to be honest we have to wait and see, his first budget was agreed by all except those bitterest opponents as a good one and I certainly dont think it caused us any problems however much of the credit must go to McCreevy who had done a lot of this work. Cowens next budget will be the big test. Ministers for Finance tend to be quiet simply because they will get so much eposure for the Budget it is about all the need. McCreevy was the exception and he tended to talk too much to ever be leader. Already Cowen has re-opened the opportunities for PPP across all departments, he has instigated a review of Tax incentives and worked with Justice and Environment on Llegislation along with conducting a review of the Gaming law in Ireland which has now gone to Justice. Still he is the type of guy who will love to hear himself being discounted for leader.......underestimate him at your peril.
 

BarryW

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CookieMonster said:
I do have a suspicion that his recent (some would say constant) inaction and that fact that he is usually absent from the public eye is a strategic one
You can certainly see his logic.
EVERY Cabinet Minister that has so much opened his/her mouth in the last 12 months has steered into some kind of public controversy or media furoré.

Even the ministries where, normally, you couldn't create hassle if you tried (O' Cuiv, Mary Coughlan) have all steered into serious rows.

So Cowen could be playing a smart game. Surrounded by arrogance, incompetence, and downright stupidity - silence looks to be a good tactic.
Only problem is that he may inherit a ruined party when Bertie is finally shoved
 

DaveDublin

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Pompey - just read your long and considered post.

You really are a Cowen fan. You post deserves a considered reply.

You say that negative opinions about cowen are based on media reports etc. They are of course, most of us dont know cowen first hand - its all we have to go on.

However, I think the media let Cowen away with murder. Today the Government announced a new NDP - FG set the agenda on the issue by saying the Govt should not waste money etc - thats Cowen's area, but he is nowhere to be seen. He let his party down.

More than any other politician I think the media is overwhelmingly positive and BEHIND Cowen. The media seem to hype up his abilities based on very little.


Lets go through his record - which you have already pointed out - to see just what as easy ride he gets.

Transport and Communications - I know about this as I worked in the sector at the time he was Minister. Bertie as minister for finance was the minister in charge of shareholder (ie IR) issues in the troublesome semi-states. Cowen was responsible for policy alone. The troubleshooting was the civil service and bertie - full stop. I was there.


Health - you seem to have completely rewritten the history of the nurses strike. Of course the nurses got below what they asked for - thats the nature of industrial relations - you ask for lots and get a bit less! The fact that there was a strike means that the minister messed up. You seem to say he was great to avert strikes in transport adn communications and ok to have one in health!

Foreign Affairs - anyone i have spoken to about this says he read the briefs he was fed, full-stop. The Presidency was good -but all presidencies have been good. He made no impact here.

Finance - the main problem place for cowen - why why why is he not defending his party? No action of tax breaks for the rich - apart form announcing a 'study'! No new tax strategy or defence of the existing one!


Finaly - you say the media will not pick the next FF leader - thats only partially true.

The Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party will pick the next leader on the basis of national popularity and ability to get votes. Is that Cowen?
 

TKwhiskers

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DaveDublin said:
Finaly - you say the media will not pick the next FF leader - thats only partially true.

The Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party will pick the next leader on the basis of national popularity and ability to get votes. Is that Cowen?
Yes.
 

livingstone

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Out of curiosity, when do people think this will become relevant? Bertie wants to stay til he's 60, which I think is 6 years away. Will FF let him stay til then. Assuming the election is held in 2007, Bertie would be retiring 4 years into the 30th Dail. Will it depend on next election results, or will even a return of FF to govt with diminished seat numbers result in a heave against him. Will he be allowed remain leader of the opposition if FF lose the election? Finally, how old will Cowen be in 6 years and will this be a factor? I'd guess that the longer Bertie holds out, the worse Biffos chances are - in 6 years a potential challenger can emerge; 6 years would give dermot ahern or mary hannafin the chance to improve their profile and try to improve their popularity. Public perception would be a big factor for any challenger, given that biffos main problem seems to be that he comes across as grumpy - that and the fact that he's not noted for any major minesterial achievement - health was 'angola' and he was uninspiring in Foreign Affairs and hasnt lit the world on fire in Finance - the reality is that any sucess will be attributed to former ministers while biffo will cop any problems on the ass.
 

Biffo

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livingstone said:
Out of curiosity, when do people think this will become relevant? Bertie wants to stay til he's 60, which I think is 6 years away. Will FF let him stay til then. Assuming the election is held in 2007, Bertie would be retiring 4 years into the 30th Dail. Will it depend on next election results, or will even a return of FF to govt with diminished seat numbers result in a heave against him. Will he be allowed remain leader of the opposition if FF lose the election? Finally, how old will Cowen be in 6 years and will this be a factor? I'd guess that the longer Bertie holds out, the worse Biffos chances are - in 6 years a potential challenger can emerge; 6 years would give dermot ahern or mary hannafin the chance to improve their profile and try to improve their popularity. Public perception would be a big factor for any challenger, given that biffos main problem seems to be that he comes across as grumpy - that and the fact that he's not noted for any major minesterial achievement - health was 'angola' and he was uninspiring in Foreign Affairs and hasnt lit the world on fire in Finance - the reality is that any sucess will be attributed to former ministers while biffo will cop any problems on the ass.
All talk of a leadership challenge at the moment is not really relevant. A couple of months ago if we were having a thread on the future leadership of FF then Michael Martin would have been amongst the front runners. So I agree with you that in 6 years a lot can happen. Just also like to say that when you say Cowen is grumpy what do you base that on? do you expect him to sit smiling and joking with his political opponents on tv, the fact is you couldnt meet a sounder person. Your one sentence analysis of Cowens ministerial record is pathetic. Cowens record speaks for itself and the fact that he has been promoted time and again is no coinsidence. Also Cowen is 45 years old and whatever happens in 6 years Cowen will still be a prominent member of the FF front bench. I would be amazed if Bertie stayed on as leader of the opposition should the other parties manage to form an inter-party gvt.
 

Biffo

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livingstone said:
Out of curiosity, when do people think this will become relevant? Bertie wants to stay til he's 60, which I think is 6 years away. Will FF let him stay til then. Assuming the election is held in 2007, Bertie would be retiring 4 years into the 30th Dail. Will it depend on next election results, or will even a return of FF to govt with diminished seat numbers result in a heave against him. Will he be allowed remain leader of the opposition if FF lose the election? Finally, how old will Cowen be in 6 years and will this be a factor? I'd guess that the longer Bertie holds out, the worse Biffos chances are - in 6 years a potential challenger can emerge; 6 years would give dermot ahern or mary hannafin the chance to improve their profile and try to improve their popularity. Public perception would be a big factor for any challenger, given that biffos main problem seems to be that he comes across as grumpy - that and the fact that he's not noted for any major minesterial achievement - health was 'angola' and he was uninspiring in Foreign Affairs and hasnt lit the world on fire in Finance - the reality is that any sucess will be attributed to former ministers while biffo will cop any problems on the ass.
All talk of a leadership challenge at the moment is not really relevant. A couple of months ago if we were having a thread on the future leadership of FF then Michael Martin would have been amongst the front runners. So I agree with you that in 6 years a lot can happen. Just also like to say that when you say Cowen is grumpy what do you base that on? do you expect him to sit smiling and joking with his political opponents on tv, the fact is you couldnt meet a sounder person. Your one sentence analysis of Cowens ministerial record is pathetic. Cowens record speaks for itself and the fact that he has been promoted time and again is no coinsidence. Also Cowen is 45 years old and whatever happens in 6 years Cowen will still be a prominent member of the FF front bench. I would be amazed if Bertie stayed on as leader of the opposition should the other parties manage to form an inter-party gvt.
 

DaveDublin

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FF taxation policy being attacked day and night.

Cá bhfuil Cowen????


I thought he cared about FF.
 

aodh_rua

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DaveDublin said:
FF taxation policy being attacked day and night.

Cá bhfuil Cowen????


I thought he cared about FF.
Good question - 500,000 viewers tuning in to hear about rip-offs and ne're a sign of either the Finance or Enterprise ministers... Maybe they're stumped about how to out 'populise' an even more convincing populist.
 

DaveDublin

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ANyone see SUnday Indo poll where more people wanted to see M. MArtin leading the country (11%) than Cowen(08%)
 

DaveDublin

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...said with the passion of a Reynolds supporter in the early 1990's.

Bad move for the party man!!!
 

ChrIreland

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DaveDublin said:
...said with the passion of a Reynolds supporter in the early 1990's.

Bad move for the party man!!!
Yeah................and the worst move was the day they contaminated themselves by inviting PDs into coalition government.
 

DaveDublin

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But honestly - I log on to this site every so often to see how the various Party people are thinking about the threats/opportunities to/for thier own parties.

WHy FF would elect the man who has made not one single policy initiative/never deviated from civil service advice (and I know many who worked with him) but allegedly tells great stoies and is a hillarious mimic is mad!!!!!

For every 1 time the guy in brilliant there are 100 he is arrogant or narky.

FF really need to focus.
 

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