Media turns spotlight on Gilmore

Grumpy Jack

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I've noticed in the last few days certain media commentators have turned on Eamon Gilmore and Labour now that they are flying high in the polls.

Two particular pieces caught my eye - one in today's Indo by Fionnan Sheahan and the second in Sunday's Tribune by Michael Clifford.

Mick Clifford's piece was particularly damning as he articulated what I have heard quite a few people say in recent weeks - that Gilmore is another Bertie attempting the classic Ahern trick of making promises that he cannot possibly deliver.

Michael Clifford - Gilmore suffering from bad attack of Bertie-itis

Last week, he told the Evening Herald that his party will "not hit middle-income earners". Existing tax rates will not be increased. There will be no cuts in social-welfare rates or child benefit. Instead, he will hunt down the billions by increasing the income tax rate for the 5% of the workforce which earns in excess of €100,000.

Taxing the rich is socially just, but anybody who believes that alone will deal with our woes should be dispatched to the dunce's corner.

Out of the other side of his mouth, he declared: "I think we're going to have to go through a couple of very difficult years. I don't think you can pin it on individual things."

Difficult for who exactly? His specifics suggest that 95% of the population will sail through the forthcoming times of austerity. In reality, Gilmore's economics has the ring of a missive direct from Planet Bertie.
And he concludes:

As things stand, he will sail into power. Once there, he will do as the Liberal Democrats did in the UK, and engage in swingeing cutbacks. Taking such a route will lower politics further into the mire and heighten disillusion. But will Gilmore care? By then, he will have achieved power, and his current focus is far more concerned with a strategy for power rather than any vision for a fair society.

He still has time to give us the true picture, to lay out his vision, to say how exactly he will be different from what has gone before. But he'd want to get his skates on or he is in danger of going down in history as just another Bertie.
In the Indo today, Sheahan takes a different tack - that Gilmore has been exposed as the 'naked emperor' whose 'bluff has been called' in the wake of Black Thursday and the depth of the fiscal and budget crisis Ireland faces.

Fionnan Sheahan: 'Naked emperor' exposed as Gilmore's bluff is called - Fionnan Sheahan, Columnists - Independent.ie

'A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

'The Emperor is naked,' he said."

-- Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Emperor's New Suit'

EAMON Gilmore's lack of a credible cabinet of policies is the modern day political equivalent of the vain emperor's folly.
Woolly figures about savings to be made from "efficiencies" and vague numbers around "abolishing tax exemptions" would no longer cut the mustard.

Where previously a disaffected public was the only audience that needed to be persuaded, there were now altogether more critical analysts.

Genuine plans would have to be presented for appraisal with sums involved far in excess than the previous experience.

The Labour leader ought to have realised that, once his party had reached such unheard of heights in the polls, his platform would come under ever greater scrutiny.

Buoyed by his standing in the polls, Gilmore fails to recognise the political climate has changed. He still thinks he can get away with ruling out a range of high-spending areas for cuts, while claiming his party is taking the responsible approach.

Gilmore's bluff has been called and it's not going to get any easier for him over the next six weeks.
The Sunday Tribune also reports that Fine Gael's plan for public sector reform is partly designed to 'flush out' Labour policies on the PS and spending cuts.

FG agrees to

"The government see the four-year plan and the proposal for consensus as an opportunity to flush out the opposition. But we're quite prepared to be flushed out. We see the four-year plan as the chance to flush out Labour," one [Fine Gael] front bench figure told the Sunday Tribune.
And the Sunday Business Post has a piece by Niamh Connolly on how Gilmore is playing a 'waiting game'.

Gilmore

She quotes pollster Sean Donnelly on Gilmore's strategy:

‘‘Labour is polling consistently way above anything they’ve got before and we have to take it seriously," he said.

It suggests that Gilmore’s fudge on its fiscal plans is currently much less important to voters than his capacity to articulate the mood of public anger because of the country’s finances.

‘‘Gilmore is not saying a lot and being clever, but people are so cheesed off with what’s happened and with Fianna Fáil telling us they’re the ones taking the hard decisions. Fianna Fáil’s vote had dipped even before it began taking those decisions," said Donnelly.

‘‘You have Gilmore fulminating and Joan Burton blamingt he government, while people are sittinga t home saying‘ Here Iam,mad as hell,and someone agrees with me’. People are happy that someone is agreeing with them." Nobody doubts Labour’s strength in Dublin, but it still has a formidable task in bucking the civil war legacy in the countryside where voters still vote along traditional Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael lines.
Are they right? Is Gilmore another Bertie? Are Gilmore and Labour exposed on the policy front?

Or is he cynically exploiting the anger of ordianary voters by deliberately being vague - or even deliberately lying - about how Labour will close the deficit to 3% by 2014?

Labour and Gilmore are up in the polls because of anger at FF and Cowen, and doubts about FG and Kenny - but now the spotlight is on them like never before. Can they stand up to the scrutiny?

As the late Seamus Brennan put it: "You're playing senior hurling now lads!"

But are Gilmore and Labour, Kilkenny (canny old dogs and perennial winners who are seldom beaten, FF), Tipperary (great pedigree but only deliver once in a Blue moon, FG) or Waterford (early season promise, flatter to deceive but fall when they play the traditional big boys because they lack substance, Labour)?
 


stoichkov

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if fionnan sheehan thinks that fianna fail have more "credibility" than labour, then there really is nothing more to be said here.
 

mido

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go to the Fianna Fail website and play how many policies have we got - there are none-all ff policies are drafted and provided by your civil services not by FF. labours lack of aof a policy on the slaughter of the first born is to be condemend also! Fionan sheehan is merely reflecting HMV from some tax exile abroad
 

firefly123

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God Gilmore must be upsetting someone because their has been a sustained assault this past few weeks. Normally begins with comparing to Bertie (bertie=bad). Then a shot at how they have no policies( other than the ones they publish or the fact they are the only main party to stand against the bank guarantee in the first place). Next the suggest labour is in unions pockets or under the thrall of some secret public sector lodge( not like fianna fail or fine Gael with business\ developers). They then move on to suggest it is because cowen is a busted flush and kenny a moron. Within a few sentences they will ask you if you want a weak fine gael being driven by labour or a "reformed" fianna fail with that pesky cowen gone and a brave new world to follow. Are people really buying this?
 

oceanclub

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Michael Clifford's opinions I would have respect for.

Fionnan Sheahan, give me a break.

P.
 

redhead101

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Very good OP.

Yep, 'Get Gilmore' has become the national pastime among the commentariat.

Three pieces in Indo today alone, having a go at him.
 

stoichkov

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the o'reilly press are terrified of him. that's why they're now trying to do a number on him.

these are the same people who are seriously advocating a "national government". they know the game is up, and all this stuff is just so much damage limitation.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Well this looks like a policy

18/10/2010 - 09:01:08
The Labour Party has said it will produce a plan to fix the public finances which will not be targeted at lower or middle income families.

Labour has this morning begun a briefing with Department of Finance officials who will outline the true state of the public finances.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen warned that economic growth and the tax take next year would be lower than previously expected - leading to much tougher Budgets ahead.

But on her way into the department of Finance, Labour's Joan Burton said her party will produce a plan which will not force low or middle income families to take all the pain.



Read more: Burton: Labour will spare low and middle income families | BreakingNews.ie
and this looks like the row back
18/10/2010 - 12:18:46
The Labour Party has described the economic figures it has been shown by the Department of Finance in a pre-budget briefing as "very challenging".

Officials at the Department told Labour's Joan Burton that they are concerned about lower than expected income tax returns for the months ahead.

The party says it will receive a series of briefings in the run-up to December's budget so it can formulate its own economic proposals.

But Deputy Burton, the party's finance spokesperson, said officials are concerned about a lower than expected income tax take in the coming year.

"I think that what they told us is very challenging," she said following the meeting.

"It means that this process is very important - they are concerned… that the income tax receipts are below expectations and the reason for that is that less people are actually working, and also an awful lot of people have taken wage cuts."


Read more: Labour: Dept books reveal 'very challenging' figures | BreakingNews.ie
Has anyone gone through the much vaunted Labour policy papers to see if they addred reality?
 

anewbeginning

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Unfortunately there are no billions to be had by increasing tax of 5% on those over 100,000.

At most a couple hundred million would be generated from this.

There is probably no escaping the fact that low earners have to be brought into the tax net, while the long term unemployed should have their social welfare reduced. By long term unemployed, I mean those 3 years or more on the Dole, since these same people remained unemployed even before the current recession and appear to have no interest in ever getting a job.

I believe FG and FF have come clean on where money will be got and who will be taxed. Labour are still being evasive and playing the waiting game. Gilmore just doesn't want to come clean and alienate potential voters.

It's a great strategy for Labour and very popular. Promise no-one except the evil rich will suffer tax increases. But it's hardly a credible approach from Gilmore. I think many even within Labour are getting annoyed by the lack of policy substance and direction of the party. You can fool the people only so much. It's time for responsible politics from Gilmore and Labour, not more of the same auction politics of the Ahern era that got us into the mess.
 
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redhead101

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and this looks like the row back
Ehh, she said the same on the way out as on the way in. Nice try though.

Oh and re Labour's position on the budget, think I'll wait until they have all the information they need from Dept, and they publish their detailed proposals, before I form an opinion.
 

Baron von Biffo

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With FG on the slide while Lab rises it's clear that Lab will have a greater say in the next government than Mr. Beans would like. Expect more 'Gilmore eats babies' stuff as the election draws closer.
 

Tough Paddy

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With FG on the slide while Lab rises it's clear that Lab will have a greater say in the next government than Mr. Beans would like. Expect more 'Gilmore eats babies' stuff as the election draws closer.
It'll make a pleasant change from your typical 'Enda eats babies' stuff :rolleyes:
 

firefly123

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Enda eaten by baby would be the indos approach.
 

dónal na geallaí

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Fine Gael's policy is a bit like Avis Rent a Car long ago.They had an ad that ran 'Because we're smaller we try harder.'


People thought:how clever they are beating up Hertz for being big and aloof.In reality they were burying all the smaller rental firms.So if you wanted to hire a car you thought Hertz/Avis.Now FG is hugging FF and big business close hoping people think :Brand X FF and Brand Y FG are the 'proper' responsible parties;the rest are not serious.Let's give FG a turn at the wheel.

But will it work and should it,even? Looks very much like a fait accompli behind our backs,then a snap election to 'sanctify' the unholy deed.With Edward Walsh,P Sutherland ,M &M McDowell et al cheering from the sidelines.Let's shaft the poor - hey they agreed to it!
 

Macy

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I believe FG and FF have come clean on where money will be got and who will be taxed. Labour are still being evasive and playing the waiting game. Gilmore just doesn't want to come clean and alienate potential voters.
Have they though, or is it just a myth? I look forward to the links to Decembers budget and FG's costed alternative budget (or the co-agreed budget).

It appears to me that Gilmore/ Labour are being asked for something the other two parties have yet to produce themselves.
 

bormotello

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and this looks like the row back
"It means that this process is very important - they are concerned… that the income tax receipts are below expectations and the reason for that is that less people are actually working, and also an awful lot of people have taken wage cuts."
Does it mean that Labour admitted that it was not only public servants, who had cuts?
 

redhead101

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It appears to me that Gilmore/ Labour are being asked for something the other two parties have yet to produce themselves.

That's right nobody has produced a budget plan yet. How could they? Not even the Dept of Finance has all the raw data that they're going to need to formulate the budget.

I wonder therefore, precisely what is behind this ploy of singling out of Gilmore.
 

realistic1

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the o'reilly press are terrified of him. that's why they're now trying to do a number on him.

these are the same people who are seriously advocating a "national government". they know the game is up, and all this stuff is just so much damage limitation.
'the o'reilly press are terrified of him' What sort of a fairytale is this? Whats Gilmore going to do? burn doen the printing presses, execute the owners. Labour in power will be more or less similar to Fianna Fail in power. They may not be as corrupt as Fianna fail at the moment but when you see some of their new candidates e.g. ex PDs and FF members it wont take them long to be the new FF. 'the o'reilly press are terrified of him' I am still laughing.
 
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