Man paid to give a certain opinion gave a certain opinion… Now he doesn’t give that opinion! Or Naoise Nunn’s departure from Libertas… and support for Lisbon! April 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, European Union, Irish Politics.
Tough times for the Chairman. His European pan-political party project is rapidly morphing into a socially conservative pro-life/anti-abortion entity (something I intend to return to later in the week). No harm there, if that is to your political taste, but one might have thought that in the absence of a policy platform (and hey, we’ve what, seven weeks to the elections, better get working on it a chairde) this might have been noted before the election trail.
Meanwhile, as most of us read this morning, one of his lieutenants has turned…er…apostate. Naoise Nunn has:
…resigned as executive director of Libertas last September said: “The circumstances have changed: internationally, economically, financially and domestically.
“We don’t have the luxury of doing anything else. I am glad that we had a referendum. We were the only member state to do so, to have a proper debate, or something like a proper debate,” Mr Nunn told The Irish Times .
Greater joy in heaven over one sinner who… etc, etc.
The Irish Times certainly seems to think so:
His public declaration will come as an embarrassment for Libertas founder, Declan Ganley, who is running for the organisation in the European Parliament elections in the North-West constituency.
Still for me the most curious admission was not that:
Both sides were guilty, he said, of “scare-mongering and misinformation” during the referendum campaign. Mr Nunn, who was one of the central figures in Libertas’s campaign last year, is understood to have written a detailed critique of Libertas’s performance last year for Mr Ganley’s attention before his departure last year.
Or indeed that:
Mr Nunn declined to reveal its contents yesterday: “I am not into washing dirty linen in public’.
But the following:
I did work for Libertas. I was an employee. I was doing my job. I put the arguments out.”
Now, I’m not going to have a fit of the vapours over the fact that someone working for a political grouping might have divergent political opinions or that they would see it just as a ‘job’. But… Libertas seems to have treasured the old employee/job commercial model for quite some time and in a way which other political groups seem to eschew, at least partially. Sure, there are consultants and communications directors of all stripes in the most unusual places in formations one might not expect them, but most tend to at least publicly confirm their allegiance to the broad brush strokes of the enterprise they’re attempting to promote.
But this sense of ‘just doing a job…folks’ seems to permeate Libertas, perhaps in part because of its genesis as a thinktank/lobby group rather than a politically active vehicle. And that can, and perhaps has, lead to oddities.
Perhaps I should welcome his honesty. But somehow, when Lisbon was not merely a part of the Libertas agenda but was absolutely central to it, such a workaday attitude seems – odd. And it raises questions as to how fully aligned others within it are to the overall project.
It’s also interesting to read that:
He said he had changed his mind on the treaty before he left Libertas last September: “My opinions evolved. Political views do evolve over time.”
That latter is absolutely true. But… before last September? When before last September. The referendum was hardly three or four months before.
BTW, I see Nunn, clearly on a personal voyage of discovery of the more exotic corners of our polity, has been busy ‘advising’ former fire breathing anti-public sector, large number of civil servants employing, Junior Minister John McGuinness in what has been described as some as his ‘campaign’ following his departure from office. Er… what campaign? To what purpose? It sure isn’t to get himself reinstated by a grateful Brian Cowen.
Nor can it be to assume the role of colourful cult hero in this polity. So, what gives?