FG Front Bench Stronger than Cabinet

Supermanpolitician

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I want (non-trolling) opinions of FG and non FGers here but when I was listening to Dr. James Reilly yesterday, I was thinking that there is no one on the FG front bench who would do a worse job than anybody in the current cabinet.

Dempsey, Hannafin, Harney...all utterly useless. And my favourite of all time, Martin Cullen. None of these could hold a candle to James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, Richard Bruton.
 


Pidge

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Leo Varadkar? Jaysus.

Yeah, I don't really know much about the FG front bench, and I suppose that they're something of an unknown variable. As far as I can tell, there's a total of seven years experience in the FG front bench, so it's tricky to say if they'd be better or worse.
 

JCSkinner

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I like the look of Bruton, Reilly and Varadkar. The rest are pretty poor. Then again, so is the culchie cabinet.
Deciding which bench is more politically talented is a bit like trying to decide which of two earthworms is most likely to resolve quadratic equations.
 

TimBuckII

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Supermanpolitician said:
I want (non-trolling) opinions of FG and non FGers here but when I was listening to Dr. James Reilly yesterday, I was thinking that there is no one on the FG front bench who would do a worse job than anybody in the current cabinet.

Dempsey, Hannafin, Harney...all utterly useless. And my favourite of all time, Martin Cullen. None of these could hold a candle to James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, Richard Bruton.
Harney is doing a great job. You are wrongly assuming her and the Governments intentions are to run a good public health care system. If this were the case she would be doing a bad job. However, this is not the case and she is one of the best ministers we have.
 

jerryp

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Supermanpolitician said:
I want (non-trolling) opinions of FG and non FGers here but when I was listening to Dr. James Reilly yesterday, I was thinking that there is no one on the FG front bench who would do a worse job than anybody in the current cabinet.

Dempsey, Hannafin, Harney...all utterly useless. And my favourite of all time, Martin Cullen. None of these could hold a candle to James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, Richard Bruton.
How can you tell until they're in ministerial office themselves ? TBH, I would be afraid of Michael Ring if he was in charge of a Tidy Town committee !
 

dotski_w_

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Supermanpolitician said:
I want (non-trolling) opinions of FG and non FGers here but when I was listening to Dr. James Reilly yesterday, I was thinking that there is no one on the FG front bench who would do a worse job than anybody in the current cabinet.

Dempsey, Hannafin, Harney...all utterly useless. And my favourite of all time, Martin Cullen. None of these could hold a candle to James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, Richard Bruton.
Have to say I'd disagree. Reilly isn't bad, particularly for someone new to the Dail, Bruton certain has some appeal, but there's others who I couldn't imagine holding Ministerial office. Varadkar at the moment is a bruiser from the opposition benches, but I can't imagine him as an effective Minister (running the country is rather different to slagging off the present incumbants). His capacity to put his foot in it is a greater liability when you're in charge of a Govt Dept.

I can't stand Olivia Mitchell, hard to work out why one would think she'd be particularly effective as a Minister (possibly, but again I've seen nothing to suggest it). Coveney trades on his looks, I've heard him make very weak interventions in debates (one I recall during the election where he was eaten alive), and he doesn't strike me as having a good grasp of issues. Micheal Ring ... well enough said ... Jimmy Deenihan ... again not going to set the world on fire ...Brian Hayes some ppl think he performs well (I don't) so presumably that amounts to something, but again his grasp of the issues never impresses me and you need that as a Minister, Billy Timmins seems a decent guy, but when he's the Foreign Affairs spokesperson you've got to worry about the depth of talent .... Charles Flanagan = great future behind him. probably wouldn't make cabinet now if the Rainbow got in. Enwright and O'Dowd are both more impressive, I could imagine them doing well (although of course you never know until they get elected) .....
 

The Earl of Desmond

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The fact of the matter is there is not a single FFer who you could class as being intellectual except Mansergh and he isn't exactly Mr Stable - his mood swings and his defence of Ahern make it impossible to take him seriously.

The thing is you can easily imagine anyone on the FG, Labour or Green front benches sitting down and making decisions based on policy and advice from people who know what they are talking about and then toward the end of the process the political angle comes into play.

Whereas with FF the political angle is the first, second and third thing that is taken into account and the actual evidence in favour or against a policy is way down the list.

It is inconceiveable that FF would ever do something as politically stupid as the Tallaght Strategy - but it was the right thign to do. Also FG has a pairing arrangement with FF - I don't know why - I think that should stop because you can be sure FF wouldn't do the same and FG is out working for Lisbon when no one in FF is and if FF were in opposition you can be sure they'd be doing everything to undermine the vote.

FF is the ultimate me feiner group of people which is why it attracts the bottom of the pond types. The shame is it reflects a large portion of Irish people.
 

Supermanpolitician

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The Earl of Desmond said:
The fact of the matter is there is not a single FFer who you could class as being intellectual except Mansergh and he isn't exactly Mr Stable - his mood swings and his defence of Ahern make it impossible to take him seriously.

The thing is you can easily imagine anyone on the FG, Labour or Green front benches sitting down and making decisions based on policy and advice from people who know what they are talking about and then toward the end of the process the political angle comes into play.

Whereas with FF the political angle is the first, second and third thing that is taken into account and the actual evidence in favour or against a policy is way down the list.

It is inconceiveable that FF would ever do something as politically stupid as the Tallaght Strategy - but it was the right thign to do. Also FG has a pairing arrangement with FF - I don't know why - I think that should stop because you can be sure FF wouldn't do the same and FG is out working for Lisbon when no one in FF is and if FF were in opposition you can be sure they'd be doing everything to undermine the vote.

FF is the ultimate me feiner group of people which is why it attracts the bottom of the pond types. The shame is it reflects a large portion of Irish people.
I wouldn't class Mansergh as an intellectual...not after hearing some of the comments he has made. He likes to portray that image and having a PhD helps, but intellectually there are many in both FG and FF (and a few in labour) who would outshine hine. Eugene Regan made mince meat of him on Morning Ireland a while back.
 

The Earl of Desmond

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I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual if you take out Manergh. Which of FF would be considered on a par with any FG or L person in terms of intellect? I don't think FF's mentality gives any credit to intellectual issues because it's all about keeping FF in power and that doesn't allow for any room for 'thinking' - an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
 

White Horse

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Supermanpolitician said:
I want (non-trolling) opinions of FG and non FGers here but when I was listening to Dr. James Reilly yesterday, I was thinking that there is no one on the FG front bench who would do a worse job than anybody in the current cabinet.

Dempsey, Hannafin, Harney...all utterly useless. And my favourite of all time, Martin Cullen. None of these could hold a candle to James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, Richard Bruton.
I'm trying be respond in a non-partisan way. Here goes.

My initial view of the cabinet is that it is the weakest in the history of the State.

The Green ministers are competant but are lost in their own idealogical world (do the publin give a flying **** about the Broadcasting bill?). Mary Harney is a woman of incredible ability, but has gone down the wrong road on health and knows it. Being a politician she cannot admit she was wrong. (This is why we have cabinet reshuffles by the way; someone else fixes your mistakes).

As for the FF members, Brian Lenihan could have been good in Justice or Foreign Affairs. However, he is in Finance as he is the FFer best able to deliver bad news (hardly what the country needs).

Any FG front bench would look good in comparison (ditto for the Labour front bench). However as Pidge said, experience is their Achilles heel.
 

dotski_w_

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The Earl of Desmond said:
The fact of the matter is there is not a single FFer who you could class as being intellectual except Mansergh
not sure that is a prerequisite - would Michael Ring and Jimmy (mujiha-)Deenihan be on your front bench if it were?

Cowan, whatever he isn't, is very intelligent and capable, a fact accepted across the spectrum I think, whereas even in FG there are those who accept Kenny, if electable, is not the brains of Ireland. You don't have to be Umberto Eco to be a good Minister or taoiseach, but you probably have to be brighter than some (most?) of those on the FG front bench, IMHO ...
 

Supermanpolitician

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The Earl of Desmond said:
I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual if you take out Manergh. Which of FF would be considered on a par with any FG or L person in terms of intellect? I don't think FF's mentality gives any credit to intellectual issues because it's all about keeping FF in power and that doesn't allow for any room for 'thinking' - an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
I had FG parents and we were encouraged to do both.

I think FF parents encourage their kids to read the Beano...and then continue with believing that fiction is reality. Just look at the tribunal testimonies, especially Dominic Dillane!
 

The Earl of Desmond

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Supermanpolitician said:
The Earl of Desmond said:
I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual if you take out Manergh. Which of FF would be considered on a par with any FG or L person in terms of intellect? I don't think FF's mentality gives any credit to intellectual issues because it's all about keeping FF in power and that doesn't allow for any room for 'thinking' - an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
I had FG parents and we were encouraged to do both.

I think FF parents encourage their kids to read the Beano...and then continue with believing that fiction is reality. Just look at the tribunal testimonies, especially Dominic Dillane!
But the grim thing is that FF accurately reflects the mentality of a large portion of the Irish population - that's why they are so successful. For FG to change that mentality we'll need a shrink as well as media and political advisers.

Has an FFer ever taken part in large policy discussions like the EU Constitution Convention for the Forum on Europe etc? Does any FFer have an opinion piece in the papers that is accepted as being reasoned and in depth rather than the guff the likes of O'Dea spouts in the Inde - Fianna Fail -pendent?

Not even Ray McSharry was offered anything liek the positions PEter Sutherland or other FGers were offered.
 

Supermanpolitician

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In fairness to big Pete, he is in a league of his own. He could have been Taoiseach, President...anything...and Goldman Sachs and the Vatican are about as good as it gets.
 

The Earl of Desmond

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Supermanpolitician said:
In fairness to big Pete, he is in a league of his own. He could have been Taoiseach, President...anything...and Goldman Sachs and the Vatican are about as good as it gets.
I don't know about that - lots of people have great skills in certain areas but not as leader - like Kenny. No one thinks he is an intellectual giant but he is able to motivate people and as long as he has a good team then his skills are great in the role he has - he'll be a great Taoiseach and would have made a great Minister in various roles. I don't think Sutherland would have made a good leader even though that would not be as he lacked brains or skill just not in that role - you can't be good at everything and he seems to have found his niche and is good at it.

The depressing thing about the lakc of intellect in FF is that it means public services just drift along getting worse and worse and then when FG do get back in they've got to make all the tough decisions.

FG need to get the balance right to set people's expectations that there will be major changes but not scare them so they won't vote for FG and instead stick with the status quo which is what FF excel at. FF sees things and says 'why change it suits FF this way' and FG sees things and says 'let's make it better'.
 

Barbarian

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The Earl of Desmond said:
I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual ...an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
When you grow up and learn English syntax and spelling you might have another think.
 

Supermanpolitician

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Barbarian said:
The Earl of Desmond said:
I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual ...an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
When you grow up and learn English syntax and spelling you might have another think.
Well someone didn't have their Weetabix this morning!
 

The Earl of Desmond

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Barbarian said:
The Earl of Desmond said:
I can't think of anyone else in FF who would come close to being intellectual ...an FF parent would be the type who sneers at their child who wants to read instead of playing GAA?
When you grow up and learn English syntax and spelling you might have another think.
Why should I waste my time using snytax when discussing FFers - it's not like anyo f you will know what it means.
 

Barbarian

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The FG version of a female intellectual colossus
 

Barbarian

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The Earl of Desmond said:
Barbarian said:
When you grow up and learn English syntax and spelling you might have another think.
Why should I waste my time using snytax when discussing FFers - it's not like anyo f you will know what it means.
Quite correct, run along now won't you...
Oh, forget the syntax, learning how to spell might be more suited to your evidentially limited capabilities.
 


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