Elite speaketh to elite: That pro-Seanad abolition ‘new civic society group’ September 2, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
Check out who comprises it (from a Sunday Business Post report by Pat Leahy):
Chaired by Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission, and including economist Jim Power, political scientist Eoin O’Malley, academic and journalist Kevin Rafter and others, the group is called One House and will campaign on the slogan “Because one house is enough”.
The group is supported by a number of former politicians, including Alan Dukes, Mervyn Taylor and Liz McManus. It will not solicit or accept financial contributions, but will seek to be part of the debate in the media.
So who is going to fund it, and will it be evident in the public sphere beyond the rhetorical and making up numbers on television and radio panels?
Leahy notes, that:
Although Fianna Fбil now opposes the abolition of the Seanad (having previously supported such a move), the opposition to the referendum proposal has been led by non-political, civic society groups.
Yeah, up until this morning, where FG had a raft of posters up on the matter (one of which – referring to a court of civil appeal, if I read it correctly, is deeply disingenuous given the actual choice facing the electorate on the ballot).
And non-political is an tactful way to put it, when ‘former’ politicians are so closely associated with it, and indeed it’s opposite number on the pro-retention side – ‘Democracy Matters’. Leahy suggests that:
In a climate of mistrust of politicians in general and of the government in particular, the non-political character of the main No group constitutes a significant disadvantage to the Yes side. Having non-political figures argue for a Yes vote evens up the campaign somewhat.
No doubt that is in part the intention of this ‘new’ group. But – seriously, non-political in character, simply because these are ex-pols – a definition that is, at the least very very fluid?
More broadly, this is hardly the stuff to get the pulse racing…