Looking forward vs looking back

HarshBuzz

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A thought that occurred to me during the last election campaign:

The 'debates', such as they are, consisted of old people (Enda, Gerry, Michael, Joan) refighting the battles of the past. Very little airtime was given to fighting the battles of the future i.e. in laying out a coherent long-term strategy and defining how it will be implemented.

It strikes me that the former activity is relatively easy and the latter is hard. Maybe that's part of the reason why our political leaders are so comfortable refighting the battles of the past - it's territory they know well, they understand it and they know that their core vote will approve of their interpretation of the past.
It also strikes me that we the voters have likewise fallen into this trap. Look at 90% of the posts on here. We beat ourselves up constantly about the past yet fail our children by failing to look to the future. It's one constant of Irish politics of all stripes - we know our system is sub-optimal, yet we refuse to change it.

We're a nation of intellectually lazy, backward-looking conservatives.

Fair point or ludicrous generalisation?
 


greengoose2

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A thought that occurred to me during the last election campaign:

The 'debates', such as they are, consisted of old people (Enda, Gerry, Michael, Joan) refighting the battles of the past. Very little airtime was given to fighting the battles of the future i.e. in laying out a coherent long-term strategy and defining how it will be implemented.

It strikes me that the former activity is relatively easy and the latter is hard. Maybe that's part of the reason why our political leaders are so comfortable refighting the battles of the past - it's territory they know well, they understand it and they know that their core vote will approve of their interpretation of the past.
It also strikes me that we the voters have likewise fallen into this trap. Look at 90% of the posts on here. We beat ourselves up constantly about the past yet fail our children by failing to look to the future. It's one constant of Irish politics of all stripes - we know our system is sub-optimal, yet we refuse to change it.

We're a nation of intellectually lazy, backward-looking conservatives.

Fair point or ludicrous generalisation?
Fair point!

Best example is the Brexit panic followed by the Trump president panic.
 

TheWolf

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A thought that occurred to me during the last election campaign:

The 'debates', such as they are, consisted of old people (Enda, Gerry, Michael, Joan) refighting the battles of the past. Very little airtime was given to fighting the battles of the future i.e. in laying out a coherent long-term strategy and defining how it will be implemented.

It strikes me that the former activity is relatively easy and the latter is hard. Maybe that's part of the reason why our political leaders are so comfortable refighting the battles of the past - it's territory they know well, they understand it and they know that their core vote will approve of their interpretation of the past.
It also strikes me that we the voters have likewise fallen into this trap. Look at 90% of the posts on here. We beat ourselves up constantly about the past yet fail our children by failing to look to the future. It's one constant of Irish politics of all stripes - we know our system is sub-optimal, yet we refuse to change it.

We're a nation of intellectually lazy, backward-looking conservatives.

Fair point or ludicrous generalisation?
When you see Kenny, Martin etc spending their time dragging the names of IRA victims across the floor of DE every time any democratically elected TD from SF asks a legitimate question on the economy etc, you know who the backward looking conservatives are.
 

HarshBuzz

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Fair point!

Best example is the Brexit panic followed by the Trump president panic.
I actually think we can look much closer to home for pertinent examples.

Look at the Childrens Hospital fiasco. Or how long it takes to join up two Luas lines. Let's not even mention IW.

We are terrible at strategic thinking, planning and execution. And even worse, we penalise politicians who even try to raise such issues. We have institutionally set ourselves up for failure.
 

HarshBuzz

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When you see Kenny, Martin etc spending their time dragging the names of IRA victims across the floor of DE every time any democratically elected TD from SF asks a legitimate question on the economy etc, you know who the backward looking conservatives are.
SF don't want change either. And are just as bad at strategic thinking.
 

SuirView

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Speaking of the future, it must be mentioned that SF won't go into govt in the 26 any time soon.
If you vote SF it's a wasted vote.
The SF are down in the latest opinion poll and have stated they won't go into govt unless they are the leading party.
Wasted vote
 

HarshBuzz

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Speaking of the future, it must be mentioned that SF won't go into govt in the 26 any time soon.
If you vote SF it's a wasted vote.
The SF are down in the latest opinion poll and have stated they won't go into govt unless they are the leading party.
Wasted vote
Thank you for proving my point.

What is your party's 10 year strategic vision for Ireland?
 

TheWolf

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SF don't want change either. And are just as bad at strategic thinking.
Have you ever heard any SF TD accuse Michael Noonan of covering up or failing to report the rape and abuse of 'Grace' to AGS, across the floor?
SF want change ok.
 

TheWolf

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Thank you for proving my point.

What is your party's 10 year strategic vision for Ireland?
The FFailures plan is to keep FG there for the moment, watch them make screw up after screw up, keep an eye on the poll numbers and then pull support for their partners.
FG should be thankful for the poll yesterday, it means Tricky Mickey will hold fire for a while yet.
 

HarshBuzz

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Have you ever heard any SF TD accuse Michael Noonan of covering up or failing to report the rape and abuse of 'Grace' to AGS, across the floor?
SF want change ok.
See, there you go. Just the same as Suir View. Backward-looking nonsense.

What is your party's 10 year strategic vision for Ireland?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
The major problem with political groups- parties as such, is that they are formed of people who are not naturally proactive in thinking. They are gathered around reactive thinking.

You'll know the old political truth in the saying 'there go the people. I am their leader. Therefore I must follow them'.

There is no profit for a politician in being proactive. They are only concerned by public opinion measured yesterday and will frame today's work (or more likely a statement written for them by a PR company) in reaction to that.

If you note that whenever some major event occurs the first thing politicians will do is slow the whole thing down so that they can agree a narrative on it.

The events leading up to the bank guarantee in Dublin were a classic example of a group of people who for years had made out that they deserved executive level salaries and pension arrangements equivalent to private sector multinationals being completely sideswiped by events they had no understanding of whatsoever.

The reaction was immediately to start organising meetings for a few days ahead and buying in expert advice to try to explain to them what was happening.

The one thing that politicians can never admit to in public is that they don't actually know what is happening or how to fix it.

That is the last thing they will ever admit because that is the first thing that will get them dumped by the electorate.

I've watched Fine Gael try and pretend that they have 'handled the crisis' even up to the point of lying to the electorate about having 'seen off' the Troika which is very far from the truth.

It is all smoke and mirrors played out over a reality which they'll never admit to. They deal only in perceptions.

Same with FF and FG hacks you see on this forum. Simply alleging over and over again that their team has all the knowledge and a plan when in fact neither have either of those things.

All they can do is try to manage perception and a view of past events to their advantage which is why they spend so much time trying to get their version to be the accepted narrative.

Neither FF nor FG have one iota between them of sufficient economic understanding to be able to prepare a crisis management plan for the Irish economy for example. All they want to know is how to pretend to the electorate that they could do if they were given the chance.

The airports are not chock full of headhunters every Monday morning pleading for meetings with Irish cabinet politicians or the civil servants of the central bank.

In truth politicians are fakes when it comes to any crisis. They aren't specialists and their only skill is in pretending that membership of the debating club at school and some stock PR phrases gives you a skills base for running a country in a complex world where the news cycle is 24/7.

They have no influence over the future, very little over the present, so spend much of their time trying to get their narrative of the past accepted- a narrative that paints them in as good an electoral light as possible.
 

HarshBuzz

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The FFailures plan is to keep FG there for the moment, watch them make screw up after screw up, keep an eye on the poll numbers and then pull support for their partners.
FG should be thankful for the poll yesterday, it means Tricky Mickey will hold fire for a while yet.

Again, you effectively prove my point.

What is your party's 10 year strategic vision for Ireland?
 

greengoose2

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Speaking of the future, it must be mentioned that SF won't go into govt in the 26 any time soon.
If you vote SF it's a wasted vote.
The SF are down in the latest opinion poll and have stated they won't go into govt unless they are the leading party.
Wasted vote
How typically negative! As the OP stated:

We're a nation of intellectually lazy, backward-looking conservatives.
Thanks for proving that point.
 

HarshBuzz

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Good post Lumpy. You've far more eloquently than I said what I was trying to say!

The sad thing is that we, the electorate, reward our politicians for being like this.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
You do occasionally get a glimpse of the truth- for example when Sir Dead Lenihan referred to the bank bailout as 'the cheapest bailout in the world'. He was just telling the electorate what he'd been told.

Mostly by the very people who were going to benefit from it.

He was supposed to be the Minister for Finance with a team of experts around him highly recompensed for knowing the world of finance. He got screwed over and so did his highly paid team of advisors mainly because neither he nor they knew what questions to ask, had no assessment of what the bailout was going to cost and didn't even know how to find out.
 

TheWolf

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Again, you effectively prove my point.

What is your party's 10 year strategic vision for Ireland?
First, we need the island united....
The vast majority of people on this island want to remain in the EU and reform it from the inside.
The Brexit thing has the potential to do serious damage to our economy.
The FFG 'government' should be concentrating 100% on this at the moment, but they're sidetracked by the numerous scandals they've allowed develop during their time.
 

HarshBuzz

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Lumpy; would you agree that The Troika was, in essence, the most effective government we've ever had?

They came in, surveyed our national setup and made several (blindingly obvious to external eyes) decisions on what needed to be done to rescue things. They then told the notional Government of the day to get on with doing them.

Of course, instead of embracing the opportunity to implement far-reaching reform that would benefit us for decades to come, our politicians pandered to the lowest common denominator in trying to water down these reforms. And the electorate rewarded them for it.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Good post Lumpy. You've far more eloquently than I said what I was trying to say!

The sad thing is that we, the electorate, reward our politicians for being like this.
Psychologically it is even worse than that. Most people of any intelligence and experience in the world know that professional politicians only have a soundbite to offer at best in any crisis and aren't by any means administrative talents. But the electorate buys into that casually available fraud at every election because it is one of those areas where they don't want the truth but only a form of comfort.

Politicians are a comfort blanket and handmaidens of the reassuring noise and no more. If a FG politician or an FF politician tells you they can manage the Irish economy apart from sitting there sniffing at the international economic breeze they are lying. Neither can create jobs in an international economic downturn mainly because the Irish economy when the international economy catches a cold is one of the first to develop pneumonia.

It is one of the most open and protectionist free economies in the world and therefore hypersensitive to any change in the international trade winds.
 

TheWolf

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Lumpy; would you agree that The Troika was, in essence, the most effective government we've ever had?

They came in, surveyed our national setup and made several (blindingly obvious to external eyes) decisions on what needed to be done to rescue things. They then told the notional Government of the day to get on with doing them.

Of course, instead of embracing the opportunity to implement far-reaching reform that would benefit us for decades to come, our politicians pandered to the lowest common denominator in trying to water down these reforms. And the electorate rewarded them for it.
Indeed, what happened to the total reform of the legal profession?
 

HarshBuzz

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First, we need the island united....
The vast majority of people on this island want to remain in the EU and reform it from the inside.
The Brexit thing has the potential to do serious damage to our economy.
The FFG 'government' should be concentrating 100% on this at the moment, but they're sidetracked by the numerous scandals they've allowed develop during their time.
Again, you prove my point. This isn't strategy.
 


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