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Don’t mention the war… January 12, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.

…is the thought that comes to mind reading Stephen Collins latest exercise in defending the indefensible.

Apparently Pat Rabbitte has a point in the following, according to Collins.

[Rabbitte’s] key argument is that the media has become engaged in a relentless denigration of politics which could ultimately have adverse effects on society.

Problem is, as Fintan O’Toole noted some weeks back, and Vincent Browne at the weekend in the SBP, our situation is dire, and all the panglossian stuff that some cheerleaders for the government can’t conceal that.

As Brown noted:

Kenny and Michael Noonan had been so positive throughout 2012, celebrating it as the year of return to economic growth. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) was less positive, recording negative growth in 2012, as measured by gross national product (GNP), the more reliable growth measurement.
Not very positive either has been the statistic of the number of people leaving Ireland. In the 12 months to April 2012, the CSO estimates that 87,100 people left Ireland, while the number of immigrants is estimated at 52,700, a net outward migration of 34,400 in the year.

And he addressed Rabbitte’s contention head on:

Labour’s Pat Rabbitte kicked off the silly season in mid-December with a great burst of positivity. He claimed the government would certainly not pay the €3.1 billion promissory note bill in March. But then it turned out he had no idea whether this was so or not.
When it comes to his own bailiwick, however, Rabbitte is depressingly lacking in positivity. He says he will oppose any attempt to legislate for privacy, just as he seems determined to do nothing to challenge the media control enjoyed by Denis O’Brien, both because of the extent of O’Brien’s media control and the findings against him by a tribunal of inquiry, instituted by the parliament of this state. But then this is positive news for O’Brien.

But Collins is indefatigable.

Given the mistakes made by senior politicians in the years running up to the crash it is hardly a surprise that media coverage of politics turned increasingly negative. Unfortunately such scepticism was sadly absent when the big mistakes were being made, but it has been applied unremittingly towards the politicians who have been left with the task of trying to sort out the mess from 2008 onwards.

It brings another question to mind, one that could be put to Collins, ‘where were you during that war?’.


1. CL - January 12, 2013

All this stress on ‘positivity’ could reflect the influence of American culture, or maybe it just shows the political bankruptcy of a government that has nothing to offer but the cliches of Norman Vincent Peale.
‘In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude.’-


2. Ciaran - January 13, 2013

Wasn’t this called ‘Smile Or Die’ in a previous incarnation?

If so, I’d recommend it – think of it as an antidote to ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’.


John O'Farrell - January 14, 2013

Same book, different titles for UL and Us. Whatever the title, you really should read any book by her.


3. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Note that Collin’s praises ‘Borgen’ as ‘politics for grown ups’; I was wondering why the tone of that series had become more right-wing…


WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

I haven’t seen Season Two, but though I liked what I saw of Season One it was certainly centre/right. That’s not a problem in itself, but when certain people pick up on it as you note Branno, well…


4. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

First episode the PM had to take the ‘tough’ decision to increase involvement in Afghanistan


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