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Killing two birds with one political stone… Hey, never mind the Lisbon Treaty, check out our candidates… May 28, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

Got to agree with a letter in the Irish Times today from a correspondent writing about the visuals of the Lisbon campaign.

He writes that:

My thought on reading Richard Greene’s letter of May 21st was: why would Cóir hide its name in tiny letters on its very “imaginative and eye-catching” posters if it was not to separate the message from the messenger?

He notes a curious feature of many of the posters currently up for the Lisbon both on pro and anti side.

But I was surprised, on travelling around my area, to see that many politicians are doing exactly the opposite with large images of Mary Lou McDonald (No), Eoin Ryan (Yes), Lucinda Creighton (Yes), Gay Mitchell (Yes) and Paddy McCartan (Yes) plastered on lampposts.

And asks, one presumes entirely rhetorically:

Is this relating the message to the messenger or just self-promotion in advance of next year’s European and local elections?

Answers on a poster near you today…

Meanwhile, hark, is that splashing the sound of a ship being abandoned, or at least some nervous crew members sizing up the iceberg seemingly embedded in the prow, doing the math, and coming to their own conclusions (rightly or wrongly)?

For also reported in the IT is the following…

TAOISEACH BRIAN Cowen’s behaviour towards Fine Gael is causing “unprecedented” difficulties for the party in keeping its supporters campaigning for a Yes vote, the party has declared.

Unprecedented? Why so? For here is a fulsome apology from Offaly…

Mr Cowen said yesterday he was “sorry” if some had taken offence at remarks he made in Portlaoise on Sunday, but he insisted he had not questioned the contribution being made by Fine Gael to the Lisbon campaign when he responded to questions about a Sunday newspaper poll.

Not enough according to FG, not nearly enough…

Fine Gael yesterday said that it had faced “a deluge” of calls from party councillors, party members and supporters to the party’s headquarters, its Leinster House press office and the party leader Enda Kenny’s office.

“We have not seen anything similar. It is a hard sell as it is to separate Lisbon from everything that happened last week, and Mr Cowen’s Dáil outburst [ when he said he could silence Mr Kenny if the latter did not control his backbenchers],” said a party spokesman.

This doesn’t mean that they’re not good Europeans.

“There is no margin in it for Fine Gael. We are supporting the treaty because it is the right thing to do.

They want to do the right thing, but… you know how it is… Big Brian put the screws on, and now it’s all up for grabs. They need respect, y’know, like any other party…

The stuff at the weekend was the final straw. It certainly doesn’t help to motivate anyone,” the spokesman continued.

The final straw? I doubt it very much. That’ll be in two weeks time if all is lost…


1. Dan Sullivan - May 29, 2008

“Mr Cowen said yesterday he was “sorry” if some had taken offence at remarks he made”

Hmmm… that sounds mighty familiar for some reason. Oh yes, it was the format for an non-apology apology favoured by Pope Benny (aka ex-Cardinal Ratzonger) when he quoted some remarks about Islam a year or two back. Sorry people had taken offence, not sorry he had said what he said, just sorry people that took offence. I’ve also noted that the same tack of saying sorry if people took offence regarded as not an apology when it came to people being getting mass emails on some charidee type social network. If the tender residents of the recently declared non-existent blogosphere won’t accept non-apology apologies why would anyone else in the non-virtual world?


2. WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2008

Doesn’t it strike you though as a bit of a storm in a teacup, Dan?


3. Joe - May 29, 2008

I was particularly struck by the Labour posters. You see the photo and the name of the candidate very clearly but you have to look hard to see the very faint Vote Yes slogan. The other parties FF, FG and SF have printed their Vote Yes/No’s clearly and in bold.


4. Dan Sullivan - May 29, 2008

I think it is the fit up job that Cowen is attempting that is annoying people on the ground in FG most. FF are late to the campaign and then start off by complaining that enough work hasn’t been done. It’s the “you’re doing it all wrong” attitude that has closed many a production before opening night. I’ve had nothing in the door from FF, nothing, nada, not a sausage or even the rind of a bit of bacon but I have had stuff from FG and SF.


5. Niall - May 29, 2008

Mountains and molehills come to mind with the FG/Cowen interplay. Are FG going to try and use this to attack the govt if Lisbon is rejected? It’s fairly pathetic, methinks. Cowen’s words wouldn’t have gotten any attention if FG hadn’t made a big deal about it.

Fionnan Sheahan used this episode to continue his anti-Cowen series of articles in the Indo yesterday making all kind of tenuous extrapolations based on very little. Is this what politics is reduced to in this country?


6. John Palmer - May 29, 2008

Speaking at The Guardian literary festival at Haye, John Bolton, Bush’s former UN ambassador and arch neo-con apologist for the war in Iraq and the need for a new war against Iran said that he thought Britain and Ireland were “too close to the European Union.” Maybe the “No” campaign will want to use this – maybe along the lines “Vote NO and cheer up George Bush.”


7. ejh - May 29, 2008

That doesn’t strike me as the most coherent argument I’ve read today, and I’ve spent most of it on the internet…


8. WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2008

It is true that the neo-cons are enormously suspicious of the EU.

I agree Niall, though. There’s a real sense of this being, let’s take offence.


9. Conor McCabe - May 30, 2008

The reason for the huge candidate posters with “yes” or “no” on them is probably because each constituency office has a fuck-load of them left over from previous campaigns, and it’s a case of sticking them up to save money. It gets the politician’s name out there, but more importantly, it saves having to redesign and print up new ones for what would be a once-off poster.

Well, maybe not once-off. If it’s a “no” vote the gov. will simply run it again in the Autumn.

oh, and the FF/FG spat over this whole thing is fucking hilarious. Laughing my ass off. It’s a campaign about Europe but these fuckheads can’t get past their county colours mindset. Play the man boys, play the man.


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