Tuesday, May 09, 2006

These days it is the lack of an alternative that really scares me!

Regular readers know that I don’t do politics very well. In fact, I only seem to get exercised about the whole democracy lark when something really annoys me. Now I’ve found a new motivation – fear!

The reason that I’m not ‘in to politics’ is not because I don’t find current affairs or social policy interesting. It is like religion – great in concept but the organised options just don’t inspire. I’m an ‘a la carte’ person. I pick and choose my views on subjects and these just don’t align with party politics.

Each party has some ‘flawed pedigree’ that repeals me from their otherwise easy charms. With Fianna Fail, it is the shyster/cute hoor complex that seems to be a prerequisite for party membership. I get the feeling that intellectually they are at the front of the class, it is just that they are pathologically driven to screw everyone over. Apart from being founded on the principal of a collective abhorrence of Charlie Haughey (not in itself unreasonable), my biggest issue with the Progressive Democrats remains their odious Minister for Justice. In my opinion, he’s a boot-boy bully who has done untold damage to our criminal justice system and has single-handedly brought the PD’s into disrepute. Frighteningly, Labour who should be most attractive to my left-of-centre views, elicits no particular strong emotion. Under Pat Rabbitte’s stewardship, this party evoke nothing more than a dull irritating pain in the butt. Mr Rabbitte’s smart-arsed wise cracks just annoy me and don’t enthuse me to support his party.

My mother had an expression that she reserved for people who were mentally or physically handicapped. “God bless the mark”, seemed to explain away all sorts of unjust afflictions. This saying comes to mind every time I encounter a Fine Gael activist. Like a gormless fool that you know you shouldn’t laugh at, I can’t help but smirk at poor Enda’s hapless efforts. Being less crooked or cunning than the other shower is as damning a raison d'être as you can imagine. Like “Wales, it isn’t as bad as it sounds” or “Donegal, up here it’s different”, if Fine Gael was a holiday location it would be Beirut. Perhaps not as bad as Rammalah but not exactly the Seychelles.

But I’m mixing my metaphors and I apologise.

The latest Fine Gael campaign showing a presidential Enda Kenny sums up both the lovely Mayoman and his party. “I’ll sack the wasters of tax payer’s money” as a slogan doesn’t quite do it. It has all the hall marks of why poor Enda flatters to deceive. He can’t resist the temptation to add five or six unnecessary words into each sentence. This gives the impression of a man who doesn’t want to offend, isn’t sure of his ground or is just helplessless caught in the headlights like a startled bunny.

In the interests of making Fine Gael more accessible, could I suggest the following improvements?

Enda : “I’ll sack those FF wasters” (Now we know who proposes to sack)

Enda : “Sack those FF wasters” (Recognising that it is the electorate who does the hiring and firing)

Enda :”Stop wasting Tax Payer’s Money” (Keeps the focus on the problem, not the largely irrelevant sacking)

Enda : “FF are wasting Tax Payer’s Money” (A more direct confrontation that lays blame unambiguously)

Enda : “I won’t waste Tax Payer’s Money” (Creates the impression of FG in power, something the electorate struggle to conceptualise)

If you offer no alternative to the incumbents in terms of policy and you only differentiate yourself from them on the basis of what you don't have, I think it is hard to convince anyone to vote for you. Being a pleasant, decent guy is not enough when you are up against a pleasant, decent guy who happens also to be a bit crafty.

Paige Harrison political consultancy service is available to all parties irrespective of the extent to which they have no distinguishing features. For a one-off no obligation consultation, please email Paige at paige.harrisonATgmailDOTcom.


Blogger Curly K said...

Great post Paige. I too am an a la carte or floating voter. Its hilarious when they call to my door canvassing - they all believe that I vote in their camp!

Your title has hit the nail on the head - there is no real alternative out there which leads me to believe that you might as well let the other guys in for a while to shake things up. I don't believe it's in anyones interest to let any political party rest on their laurels in power for too long. Keep the buggers on their toes and jumpy about their position.

10:05 a.m., May 10, 2006  
Blogger Fence said...

I tend to vote independent, followed by Green. Then anyone but FF.

But most of our politicians are pretty similar to the rest. There is no alternative cause they are all same.

Maybe we should have a random draw of the entire population and compell whomever's name came out of the hat to become a politician for a while. It'd bring in some new blood if nothing else ;)

8:59 a.m., May 11, 2006  
Blogger -Ann said...

Excellent post. Definitely thing Enda should hire you to write his slogans.

5:17 a.m., May 12, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

Please just come back and write something. Anything will do. Look at the good you did with your full stop. I bet a comma would open up a floodgate, a semi-colon a deluge. As for what an exclamation mark from you would presage...

All the Munster supporters are fed up holding on.

On another serious note: I do trust you are well and in fair form.

8:30 a.m., May 13, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

Give up the politics! Look, it's left you all exhausted, no energy available for days after. Stick to real life. That got you going.
Or is it the new job leaving you no time to blog?
I hope it's nothing more serious. Just letting you know, we miss you. Grace and I have a dull look on our face and I'm sure it isn't only the weather. Take care.

10:08 a.m., May 15, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

Thank goodness for the clock. At least there is someone inside turning the hands.

9:48 a.m., May 17, 2006  

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