Rate the party spokespersons on budget day

How do you rate the Opposition Finance spokespeople ?

  • Noonan was best

    Votes: 39 49.4%
  • Bruton was best

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Doherty was best

    Votes: 34 43.0%
  • Noonan was awful

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • Bruton was awful

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Doherty was awful

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of them inspired me

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    79

TommyO'Brien

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Today's budget offered a chance to see the Finance spokespersons that will most likely still have those posts come the election campaign. So how would you rate their performances?

NOONAN:

Noonan had the most difficult job of the day. Lenihan had to read a script he had rehearsed. The three opposition spokespersons don't get advanced notice of the budget's speech - they get it the same time as everyone else. Each of them has to spread read the budget, do an analysis, check the maths, come up with a speech and deliver it within 40 minutes (first speaker), 80 minutes (second speaker) or 120 minutes (third speaker).

The spokesperson for the first party up in the opposition has the worst task because they have the shortest time to prepare and unlike the others can't nip out to talk to their numbercrunchers to get an analysis.

Noonan's performance in that context was remarkable. He managed to get to the heart of the budget, spot what was missing, what was hidden, where the holes were, all ad-lib, deliver soundbites for the news, savage Lenihan (and you could see in Lenihan's face that he was not enjoying the roasting he got). Noonan's performance was one of the best I have ever seen given by an opposition spokesperson. While of course like all opposition spokespersons he will go in with the outline of a speech worked out, he ad-libbed a combination of sharp criticism, savage sarcasm, and in depth analysis.

BURTON:

Joan is never good on budget day. Her witticisms are usually more cringing than funny, and she can miss the point and fire off in odd tangents. Today she was poorer than normal and quickly lost her audience - a fact shown when a Labour TD was accidentally caught on screen acting out the 'fancy a pint' hand up to the mouth moves. When even one of her colleagues starts inviting someone to go for a jar during her speech you know she has completely lost her audience.

Some of her comments and odd references (Churchill and Roosevelt?) were . . . em . . . Laboured. Overall a poor performance.

DOHERTY:

It was Doherty's first budget speech and only second Dáil speech, which put him at a disadvantage. He did however have the advantage of speaking last so had 80 minutes after Bruton's speech to prepare.

Doherty's speech was frankly in my view one of the best SF speeches on a budget I have ever heard. Sharp. Focused. Blunt. Analytical. I wouldn't agree with his conclusions. But he came across as a heavy hitter and clearly will have a bright future in SF.

CONCLUSION:

I am, I am aware, biased given my background. But in trying to be fair I have to say that Noonan and Doherty for me were extremely impressive. Both had different styles but both gave credible performances that were memorable. Noonan tore the budget to shreds through analysis, through communicating a clear message and through ad-libs that ridiculed the Government and clearly left them squirming in their seats. (His put down to Paul Gogarty's attempts to heckle were a classic and made Paul look even more of an ejjit than normal). Doherty communicated anger and rage highly effectively to attack the contents and aims of the budget and commanded the house.

Joan, quite simply, was very very poor indeed - and that is even to judge herself against her normally poor budget speeches.

Whether those performances will have any electoral consequences is anyone's guess. But overall, if they do, among the opposition parties, it will be Fine Gael and Sinn Féin that are the most happy with their performances, while Labour is be more than a little deflated at their failure to make any major hit on the biggest parliamentary date of the year.
 


He3

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Gone. I'll make the occasional post in the future but that is all.

Interesting signature there Tommy.
 

Ulster-Lad

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No comment on Lenihan Tommy?
 

PUFF DADDY

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Noonan won hands down, was excellent and I learnt more from him on the breakdown of this FF led GOVT'S MOF !

YouTube - michael noonan budget

Also think, though bruton is good on economic detail, but he would not have made a speech like that !

This man is getting an email of congrats from this mama tomorrow !, the personality and breakdown of the implications of what this lazy lying spinning ff bstds have done to this country, made me raise off my couch. ex member of LAB here, Joan was fluffy same ole same ole
 

trendy

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Messages
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Joan stole the show, for the wrong reasons.
She was brutal, worse than useless.
Is she the next Minister for Finance?
 

Holy Cow

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Lendahand : more spoof, bluster, lies and just not believable, heard it all before.

Noonan : like a slug on a wall on a wet day, another time server, like his leader, heard it all before.

Burton : moan moan mona joan, heard it all before.

Doherty : This lad makes a bit of sense, a real alternative to the 3 morons mentioned above.
 

civilserpant

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Oct 21, 2010
Messages
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Lendahand : more spoof, bluster, lies and just not believable, heard it all before.

Noonan : like a slug on a wall on a wet day, another time server, like his leader, heard it all before.

Burton : moan moan mona joan, heard it all before.

Doherty : This lad makes a bit of sense, a real alternative to the 3 morons mentioned above.
wow, that was predictable....
 

TommyO'Brien

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No comment on Lenihan Tommy?
He was different as he knew the contents and had rehearsed the script. The other three were going into the debate blind. So I was focusing on those three for that reason.

BTW do you know why Lenihan read it so fast? The quicker he read it, the less time Noonan would have to prepare. Its an old trick. But Noonan was cool as a cucumber. He had speed-read it, and got his thoughts ready long before Lenihan stopped, and was sitting there staring at Lenihan. Noonan's coolness under pressure was remarkable.
 

Seanie Lemass

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I would say Burton lost Labour a handful of seats today. Noonan was good and had disadvantage of having to respond immediately but hit his audience. Doherty probably won the seats Joanie lost :D
 

Halo

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Oct 23, 2007
Messages
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i missed joan burtons speech but i must say that dohertys speech did stand out. All and all though i believe it was fg's day with noonans performance on primetime standing out. After the infighting about kenny's leadership they seem to have moved on.
Labour should be worried. They have flatlined a bit over the last month and sinn fein seem to be attacking them on the left and making inroads. interesting times ahead.
 

logic

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I agree 100% with your analysis of Noonan. I'm a huge fan of R.Bruton and wasn't sure if Noonan could fill his shoes. However, this has shown me how sharp Noonan is on the spot (I do not think he is very charismatic during interviews), and with Bruton in Enterprise, FG are, in my opinion, by far the best equipped party to fix the problems.

I did not watch Burton for LB, I've seen her too many times before and she's always the same. Boring and does not really give alot of LBs policies. Its insane for LB to have her as 2nd in command, if Quinn or Rabitte won't take it they should at least give it to someone who can speak.

I saw some of Doherty..... for an Irish politician he is quite charismatic (By trying not to be biased I may be actually generous through overcompensating). However, he is SFs finance spokesman and if there's one thing that doesn't add up, its SFs economic policies. He may have charisma, but he has no substance. I don't think many people will see past his rhetoric however and for that reason, it may be too early right now, SF should make him leader in the next 4 years
 

Trophonius

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Nov 6, 2010
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Noonan :D

Burton :(

Doherty :)

Excellent performance by Noonan. Got straight to the points.

Poor poor performance by Burton. Not helping Labour at all.

Excellent first speech by Doherty. Articulated the anger of the people well.

Just giving best performance by a head to Noonan.
 

Chadster

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Sep 16, 2010
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Noonan was the best, Doherty a close second.

Burton started off poorley but finished well, what was she thinking with those stupid lines about shopping bags and weight watchers or whatever it was she was waffling about, if she left that stuff out the rest was good. and the woman needs to learn to not try to speak and drink water at the same time, she always does it, i seen her one day choking for around 5 minutes but she just kept on sipping water and trying to speak before the glass left her mouth which made her choke even worse.


what was the story with lenihan? it was like he was trying to avoid eye contact with everyone in the dail, we know its not that he is ashamed of what he has done to this country, must be true about him and Cowen being at war behind the scenes, he couldnt bear sitting next to him. with any luck it will be pistols at dawn soon enough and with another bit of luck they will shoot eachother in the head.

Doherty is going to shake the dail up big time, you can tell he hates useless bastards just as much as the rest of us, no keep your head down and pick up the wages with this fella.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Lenihan, usual bluster and chest puffing. 'Confidence in ourselves' ending was terrible coming from a man who looked anything but confident about the merits of the speech he had just delivered.

Noonan was great. He was composed, articulate, informed, measured and composed.
He drew attention to policy omissions in the budget which had Cowen looking away nervously. Cowen will not speak about the specific Budget policies Noonan requested tomorrow. He does not have them.

Burton was a liability to the labour party today. Labour policies are weak and their reaction to the budget shows their incompetence where numbers are concerned.

Doherty was good. He's a bit younger than the others so Doherty naturally came across as a bit more lively and passionate in his reply. He was energetic, passionate, informed, unfazed, articulate and damning of the governments budget. He was quick to call to heel the 'yapping' Tanaiste Coughlan. Doherty did better than I expected him to do. He has shown he is well able to handle himself in a debate and that he won't be intimidated by the gombeen collective. A bright star for Sinn Fein.

Noonan and Doherty were great. Burton was a disaster. Lenihan get your coat.
 

TommyO'Brien

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Messages
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Lenihan, usual bluster and chest puffing. 'Confidence in ourselves' ending was terrible coming from a man who looked anything but confident about the merits of the speech he had just delivered.

Noonan was great. He was composed, articulate, informed, measured and composed.
He drew attention to policy omissions in the budget which had Cowen looking away nervously. Cowen will not speak about the specific Budget policies Noonan requested tomorrow. He does not have them.

Burton was a liability to the labour party today. Labour policies are weak and their reaction to the budget shows their incompetence where numbers are concerned.

Doherty was good. He's a bit younger than the others so Doherty naturally came across as a bit more lively and passionate in his reply. He was energetic, passionate, informed, unfazed, articulate and damning of the governments budget. He was quick to call to heel the 'yapping' Tanaiste Coughlan. Doherty did better than I expected him to do. He has shown he is well able to handle himself in a debate and that he won't be intimidated by the gombeen collective. A bright star for Sinn Fein.

Noonan and Doherty were great. Burton was a disaster. Lenihan get your coat.
I couldn't disagree with any of that.

I knew Noonan would be good, but he exceeded my high expectations for him. I didn't know what to expect from Doherty so watched him closely and was impressed. I didn't agree with everything he said but already he comes across as definite leadership material. Joan, I know from past budgets, is not great on budget day but she was even worse than I expected.

If I was to sum it up, I would say

Doherty - a star is born.

Noonan - a star is reborn.

The latter is premier league. The former is on a fast track to the premier league.
 

Cyberspaced

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Mar 16, 2009
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Michael Noonan: I was very impressed by him. Reluctantly, I'd have to say his delivery was much more striking and poignant than any of Richard Bruton's budget speeches since this crisis began. The fact that Noonan is far more political than Bruton really shone through today. He landed punches on Lenihan that Richard wouldn't have been able to due to his gentlemanly Parliamentarian approach. Brian Lenihan had a general air of extreme discomfort throughout the whole response. He couldn't hide the fact he knew Noonan was making a show of him.

Noonan was also very good at offering the alternative FG perspective during the speech without losing track of the task at hand given the time constraints. He followed this up by making a show of Lenny on Primetime. I was skeptical about how he'd do before today but he certainly proved me wrong.

Joan Burton: I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Joan to be honest. Her abilty to think on her feet during budget speeches seems lacking but I had always thought she improved as she got in to it. However, today I thought she did the opposite. It got worse and worse. She had me near falling asleep. This coupled with the shameful and dangerous approach Labour have taken over the past couple of weeks really shoves her down in my estimation. I found it hard to appreciate her sermon-like approach given the Labour Party have been fairly disingenuous with regards to the level of adjustment required and its relationship with the IMF/ECB loan. I expect that of SF given their far left credentials and the reality they won't be playing a significant role in our recovery, but Labour have a responsibility as a party who will be in the next administration to set out their stall in a realistic manner. All we got today was a poor performance backed up by unrealistic half-arsed policies.

Pearse Doherty: As far as a SF budget speech goes it was the best I've seen anyway. Whilst I wouldn't agree with the SF proposals to get us out of this mess his analysis of what went wrong and his ability to capture the public anger was very good. He really stuck it to the Táinaiste. His delivery was very polished all things considered. Out of the three I think he most illustrated the volcanic anger inside most Irish people at the moment.

Again, the content of the submission itself was, I feel, fairytale stuff and whilst the Shinners do genuinely and sincerely believe that they have an approach to our problems I think only they are naive enough to think any of their proposals are credible.


The most unfortunate thing is that after today I'm awfully frustrated by the fact Burton/AN Labour TD is most likely to be the next Finance Minister. FG clearly have the most well thought-out, realistic and ready-for-government proposals and it will be a shame if Noonan or Richard Bruton are not the next Minister for Finance. As a member it's very frustrating to have to swallow this and I can only persevere and do my bit to ensure we have a big seat advantage but as it looks I can't see both Kenny as Taoiseach and a FG MoF.

The reality is that the incoming Government will have to be assertive, decisive, and indeed antagonistic with our European partners whilst trying to renegotiate the terms of the bailout. Equally the prospect of default has to be dealt with and a plan needs to be put in place to map out Ireland's turbulent journey thereafter. I don't think a Lab Finance Minister will be up to that task. They've shown by their populist rejection of necessary adjustment that they'll do whatever resonates as the softest approach with Joe Soap to garner votes. That's not the type of politics I want in trying to win back Our Sovereignty.
 

Mitsui2

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Nov 13, 2009
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Noonan : like a slug on a wall on a wet day, another time server, like his leader, heard it all before.
Holy Cow: A dedicated curmudgeon, determined to disbelieve what legions of people longing for fresh air from the political echelons will very clearly see.
 

Davidoff

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I'd agree with the consensus, but surely only true anoraks were listening to much of Burton or Doherty's replies. The broadcasters had certainly moved on to studio-based analysis at that point.

I'd usually be more polite, but it's late, so I'll just put it out there: Joan Burton is an idiot.

She expresses people's grievances - and the polls suggest voters respond to that - but she has no solutions and almost everything she says is gibberish.

In the TV debate this evening her opening shot was to complain about how much interest the government would pay on its debts next year, oblivious to the fact that her own budget plan called for an extra 1.5bn in borrowing, which would push the interest bill even higher. In effect, she was slagging off the government for something that could only be worse under Labour.

She strikes me as the mirror image of Lenihan. The media loves her, she can bluster and waffle with the best of them. There's even that veneer of earnest professional competence. But scratch beneath the surface and there's no substance at all. Days like today prove that.
 


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