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Is Berties PR machine really powerful enough to pull this off?

  • 23-02-2023 4:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭veryangryman

    I see he now gets free reign on Newstalk and (lest we forget) has now podcasts on how he saved the North. Right place right time but anyhow.

    Should i just accept that he plans to buy the Presidency via the national media to let us all forget what a <insert words not allowed on boards> he was and is.



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,725 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    My concern isn't that his PR machine might be quite strong but more that there is a possibilty that public can so easily be conned into thinking that vermin like Ahern should be allowed return to politics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,239 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    Time is a great healer.

    As someone who was very vexed at the time of the crisis in 2008 I really don't care much anymore, it's far enough in the past for me to be ambivalent about it.

    And after 14 years of MD in office I really don't care who is president.

    So people like me may not even vote and he could be elected via apthy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,583 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Anyone running against him is going to make sure people are reminded of some of his quotes from back in the day. There are enough quotes from him that are in the public domain, but not necessarily remembered/known by everyone.

    I don't necessarily have an issue with the financial crash during his tenure (which I am sure he will distance himself from) or the peace deal(which he is claiming credit for) but the ways in which he treated the public at the time in relation to naysayers and moreso that he thought it was acceptable not to have a Bank account etc etc.....this things won't be forgotten and I'd reckon we will see the alternative PR machine get these narratives back up and running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,023 ✭✭✭Gregor Samsa

    He won't win the Presidency. It's not like the old days where there was only 2 candidates and no-one cared. Last election had 6 candidates, one before had 7. While we won't have half the cast of Dragon's Den going next time, there'll be a large field of candidates, and it will be competitive, which means scrutiny.

    In 2011, David Norris went from total shoo-in to dropping out and only getting 6.2% because of the letter he wrote seeking clemency for Ezra Nawi in 1997.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,892 ✭✭✭Augme

    While certain media outlets will be happy to let Bertie swan around avoiding the tough questions his fellow presidential candidates certainly won't. If he does enter, his chances will be decimated after the first presidential debate.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭trashcan

    With any luck ! I’d welcome him running, just to get the chance to vote against him, but I’d never underestimate the amount of gullibles who might vote for him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 DrivingMrDaisy

    Will never listen to Newstalk again giving this creep a platform to spout his rubbish. Shame on them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,918 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    Brian Lenihan SR was a shoe-in back in the early 90s until “on mature recollection” and Mary Robinson got in. But with the tripe that line up these days to become our president, I shudder at the thought of it. Micky D was the only acceptable candidate from the last lot who are now thankfully well forgotten- I’m not a Micky D fan btw, but it’s come down to the “least worst” and on that note, I wouldn’t quite rule out Bertie just yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    Pat kenny is only short of kissing his hole on Newstalk. Disgraceful stuff. The man, like Haughey should have been before the courts and not some mickey mouse tribunal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,780 ✭✭✭buried

    As long as people keep calling this gadge by his first name, like they do every other politician that doesn't give two fiddlers f**ks about them, there is every chance they will get whatever they want. Because as long as you call them by their first names you are already giving them what they want, which is subservience. When it is them who should be subservient to you. But carry on addressing these shysters like you intimately know them, it works out so well for us, doesn't it?

    "You have disgraced yourselves again" - W. B. Yeats

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,918 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    i don’t think I ever called Haughey “Charles” - but I still knew he was a shyster.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,780 ✭✭✭buried

    Fair play to you, but plenty of people addressed him as "Charlie", just like plenty of people in the same timeline called Thatcher "Maggie". This is a PR tactic. RTE even made a dramatic docudrama about Haughey which was titled "Charlie".

    "You have disgraced yourselves again" - W. B. Yeats

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,397 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    What done for Norris also is that he pulled out of the race only to re-enter it. Showing that his judgement was questionable on that count as well as the decision to write the letter, the letter didn’t proffer support, it asked for clemency it was also written on parliamentary headed notepaper which is amazingly poor judgement.

    so three examples of absolute dreadful decision making. Two examples are of borderline skullduggery. Never liked the cut of the man’s gib. Always keen for a photo op and a few minutes in front of a camera but I doubt he has the qualities, savvy or substance to do the job.

    Bertie can win it… he is well regarded on the international stage, a quietly yet forcefully respected diplomat on the international stage… his achievements far outweigh his failures…

    so I’d say the requirements for a PR machine might be overstated, the CV is quite padded with success. Like him or not, those be facts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,918 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    I think the “Bertie” brand has long dissipated- there’s close to 500,000 young voters out there now between the ages of 18 and maybe 25 or so to which “Bertie” means feic all to them or at most a distant memory from their childhood. They’ll certainly be given many a history lesson by the other candidates but really, does “walking around money” or backhanders or whatever else they decide to highlight really matter or resonate in 2023? Calling him by his first or second name will mean little to these people

    If he doesn’t get their vote, it will be more down to him being a dianosaur or just some old man they care little about and more relevant and energetic candidates to choose from and if they do vote for him, it will likely because of the peace process or “he’s a legend”

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,780 ✭✭✭buried

    That's not my point though Oscar, my point is that you, as a citizen, should not address any politician by their first name. Haughey, Ahern, Varadkar, Martin, Ryan, any of them. The very minute you address them by their first name, then you immediately submit subservience. They have won. Then they know they have you. When it is them that actually need you. Just like Trump supporters addressed him by "Donald", he knows he has them, he knows they are subservient to him, his detractors always addressed him as "Trump", always "Trump". As long as people and the media that they consume keep addressing politicians by their first names, the people are on a long road to nothing, because you submit subservience to a public servant who should be working for you. If they have monumentally f**ked up that public service, like Ahern did, you should address them even less than their surname, let alone their first name.

    "You have disgraced yourselves again" - W. B. Yeats

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,675 ✭✭✭John_Rambo

    This is important.

    There's a chance he may be judged on his peace process legacy which may perceived by some as unimportant & scoffed at but nonetheless considered less important than his personal financial arrangements.

    It's something to consider.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,807 ✭✭✭Ahwell

    Fianna Fáil's share of the vote has nearly halved since the crash in 2008. Prior to that there was only 2 general elections since the 1930's where they dipped below 40% and that was only just - 39.1% and 39.3%. In 2011 they got 17.5%, 24.3% in 2016 and 22.2% the last time around.

    No ff'er is going to be the next President. Especially not one who was the architect of Ireland being among the most severely affected countries in the global crisis. People haven't forgotten.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,062 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    He would need another 10 years before he could win the presidency but OP is very correct, he did save the peace process. It's easy for people now to say it would have happened one way or another & yet almost every person involved in the peace process says it wouldn't have happened without him. Jasus he's still working on the north even today as we speak.

    There is a reason history is written years after it happens. It's worth remembering that Michael Collins was a traitor in the vast majority's minds for over 50 years before history began to give him a fair shot. He was no hero in any history book when I was a child. History will be very kind to Bertie but not in time for him to win the presidency

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,584 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    Its now or never for Bertie.

    He has made a big push to have some sort of cherrypicked personality back in the media in time for the anniversary of the GFA with the objective of seeing if he can carry that goodwill into the 2025 presidential ‘race’ and whats interesting is that Leo has all but endorsed him while MM must have given his approval to allow him back into FF.

    The danger here is that presidents have been elected with as little as 600k votes in the recent past and thats an attainable target for him.

    What will be interesting is the candidates that FFG allow to run against him from within their own party, he might have enough pull within the party to run un-opposed from FFG leaving a small pool of candidates from opposition political circles and whatever crawls out of the private sector woodwork.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,583 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Seriously, once other candidates get involved he is screwed. There's so much dirt on him in the public domain, just needs to be packaged up and communicated.

    He's getting his pat on the head now but that will change.

    As for calling him by his first name, nonsense.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,220 ✭✭✭HalloweenJack

    There'd be a chance of redemption for him if he'd ever owned up to his responsibilty for his time as Taoiseach. But his public comments since show an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the situation. That, or he's genuinely deluded and has no idea. I don't know which quality I loathe more. From what I've seen, he's never accepted any criticism of his tenure. He's always responded with bluster and finger-pointing.

    It was eleven years and he only wants people to focus on something he achieved in his first year. It doesn't say much about his accomplishments in the other ten years. His term amounted to an eighth of the state's existence at the time he scurried away. He played a key role in shaping Ireland as it moved into the 21st century. He should also be held responsible for the calibre of the cabinet he left in his wake who had to pick up the pieces. We were left with Cowen and the likes of Coughlan, O'Dea and O'Donoughue to lead a country not even a year into a Government cycle. Nobody voted for Cowen to be Taoiseach but Bertie left us with potentially four years of him leading us.

    The Bertie persona was just like Bojo or Trump, a public facade to win people over and convince them he was their pal, a lovable, down-to-earth person of the people. He'd love to be Preisdent: all the media exposure and shaking heads and no need to explain himself.

    The personality contest aspect of the Presidential election, as opposed to having to actually have a programme when running for the Dail, gives him a decent chance. We've seen how well Gallagher and Casey and various senators can do in Presidential elections, though it never transfers into getting elected to the Dail.

    As a serious politician, he's finished but I fear there's enough people out there who can be fooled into thinking he's some kind of respected elder statesman who'll do a good job at representing us on the international stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,584 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    If your going to talk about bertie running then consider the opposition he would have? Because while it might not take a lot to beat him its conceivable that not a lot could run against him

    What candidates have the like of Labour / SF got ? The ideal candidate is someone with some or all of the following, years of political life, statesman / stateswoman experience, a base of support, of good standing in the party

    Could people like Gerry Adams, Pat Rabbitte, Enda Kenny run?

    Could someone come from media circles and run like has been muted about Mirian Ocallaghan in the past? People like Adie Roche have thrown flirted with it in the past.

    from those areas is the most likely candidate but dont rule out someone running on a platform of Race / Religion / sexual orientation and getting a lot of support for it.

    So talk about bertie running and hopefully being well beaten, but who else could be in the race.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I keep hearing about what an awful person he is without actually hearing about the awful things he did. I wasn't into Irish politics 15 years ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,918 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    I would wager there will be a not so complimentary “Bertie” documentary planned for release just before the presidential election kicks off which will be designed to bury him from an election perspective- that and countless weekend supplement articles in the newspapers detailing similar negativity- if the media don’t want him as president, they’ll try their damndest to write him out of history

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,392 ✭✭✭BrianD3

    Some of it is just due to laziness and certain figures having relatively distinctive first names. People refer to Varadkar as "Leo" because others will know who they are talking about and it is easier to say and spell than "Varadkar".

    See also Bertie, Enda, Charlie, Garret, Albert but less so with Brian, Micheal, Liam etc.

    Anyway, I do agree with the point that people should not refer to politicians by their first names. It introduces a human and colloquial aspect to the interaction which can then be used to the politician's advantage "ah, Bertie is a decent ould character" etc.

    Post edited by BrianD3 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 15 PJ2022

    Basically took payments from developers and businessmen that were almost definitely bribes.

    Also presided over an economically illiterate Fianna Fail that led us to the worst economic crisis in the history of the state, that directly led to the current housing crisis, and compounded many of the current issues we face.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,047 ✭✭✭timmyntc

    Minister for Finance who didnt own a bank account

    Won all his money on the horses and kept it in brown envelopes so he did

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,574 ✭✭✭veryangryman

    People need to be reminded about what an absolute white-collar-scmbag the man was. Its actually scary that people are already forgetting. Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,611 ✭✭✭quokula

    A lot of his sins would be forgiven had he not happened to be in charge of the country in the run up to the global financial crisis which was always going to heavily impact a small open economy like Ireland - he was extremely popular up to then but very few people will now admit they supported him.

    Polling at the time showed his government actually rose in popularity even as controversies around his financial dealings became known.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 422 ✭✭Popeleo

    He also said that anyone who was (correctly) predicting in 2007 that he and his government were driving the economy over a cliff should consider suicide:

    'Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something,' he said.