The denigration of politics January 5, 2013Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Irish Politics, media.
The press don’t “give a damn” and Pat Rabbitte is not pleased.
It’s been a bumpy few weeks for Pat and the PLP, inside and out. The year finished with he and former colleagues duking it out in the national press while the Minister’s The Week in Politics comment played on loop for most of December.
This week we’re fighting a war on two fronts. Papers one day, social media the next. It’s difficult to know whither debt or negativity will do us in.
Back in May, before refusing to outline a single example, Pat thundered
Nowhere has the standard dropped so much as in the coverage of politics,
Well, if you were to read the orgy of negativity that’s around the place today, including from RTE, you would get the impression that, in some quarters, there is absolute glee about the remarks of Angela Merkel and then you ask me, with a straight face, why is the Tanaiste concerned?
There is an all-pervasive negativity in the media that is not helping the mood of a people that is in distress and difficulty. I don’t think the media give a damn about where this is going to bring politics. It is worthy of some thought of where the constant denigration of politics is going to bring us,
The cribbers and moaners are still with us but isn’t it remarkable how far the standard has dropped since Pat took office?
Last year while Ministers posed for photographs, assembled journalists found themselves kept in glass boxes at the gates at Government buildings before returning to find the Taoiseach’s answer to questions never asked in their inbox.
In Oslo, Enda & our Nobel prize had to be tracked on information from the Norwegian PM’s office, no one was informed of his visit to London and the year finished in Brussels with Handlers deciding our’s would be the only the Prime Minister declining a press conference after the final summit before we assume the EU presidency.
He later appeared for a hastily arranged doorstep.
Three questions & fifteen minutes late.
But none of this really accounts for the, evident, denigration of politics. Journalists now longing for the breezy communications of Brian Cowen doesn’t quite cut it. Could it be linked to the wave of personal abuse sweeping the country? Recently highlighted when Ming Flanagan spent two minutes under a barrage while trying to make a point about his own children being on the receiving end because of comments made in the House and elsewhere.
Could it be the Taoiseach surfing twenty odd months of leaders’ questions with ad hominem attacks on the opposition. Is denigration a rattled Tánaiste, in response to the conundrum of Reilly, NAMA and that site, shouting
How many bodies are buried on this island because of Sinn Fein?
before passing same bodies around cabinet for shield against further questions of respite care? Absolutely but not entirely.
Is denigration just the general to and fro of parliamentary politics?
The Tánaiste: ——public servants which will be done through the mechanisms provided for in the Croke Park agreement, in other words, by voluntary arrangements that have already been negotiated and provided for.
Kelleher’s remark and other heckles usually show up on the record as ‘(interruptions)’. A search of which runs to over ninety seven pages with twelve or so instances per page.
It wouldn’t give near an idea of how much time is wasted in a parliament with already huge constraints on speaking time.
The denigration of behaviour in Dáil Éireann probably runs parallel to the denigration of the institution itself and many others.
The futile debate mirrors the sheer pointlessness of what passes for representation and it’s here we get closer.
Pat nailed it in his own interview.
“We have garnered some brownie points with our paymasters and our European partners. [The State’s] standing and Ministers’ undertakings are of value and are accepted.”
The denigration of politics. Ah but the market..