Monday, September 3, 2007

Ireland - The politics of spin

Increasingly in Ireland we are governed by the politics of spin. Willie O Dea spoke about Armageddon when he criticised the axing of the Shannon- Heathrow route by Aer Lingus.

Similarly other FF TDs and councillors in the Mid West rushed to the media to lambast the decision. Noel Dempsey Minister for Communications is confident that no FF TDs will break ranks in the Dail and vote against the Government on the issue. The Government refuses to call an EGM of Aer Lingus shareholders. If this is Armagheddon Willie O'Dea and other FF TDs have no option but to vote against the Government. Of course this will not happen. At local level FF TDs are against the decision. In the Dail they vote for it. They are pretending to do something about the Aer Lingus decision. They are not serious.

Now apparently John Gormley of the Green Party and Minister for the Environment is opposed to incineration. Yet he is a member of a government that has incineration as a fundamental plank in its environmental policy. He is learning quickly from his FF colleagues. Mr Gormley admitted that changes he proposed could make incinerators less financially attractive for developers. However, he said the existing policy gave undue incentive to for these facilities to be used.

He knows quite well that he has little prospect of derailing the governments incineration policy. The FF and PD Ministers support it. He will be outvoted at Cabinet level. He is engaged in the politics of spin. He is pretending to do something about incineration.

1 comment:

diarmuid said...

First of all Noel Dempsey is not the Minister for Communications.
Secondly, FF TDs being the parochial beings that they are by necessity have to spin the aer lingus decision. They know there's nothing they can do about it and so do the people who elect them, yet they will still be elected come five years time. The people almost expect the 'spin'.

On incineration: the programme for government clearly states that means other than incineration will become the mainstay of waste policy :

This Government is strongly committed to a waste management hierarchy based on the cornerstones of reduction, re-use, recycling
and marketing of recycled products.
We are also committed to meeting the targets to divert biodegradable waste from landfill required under the 1999 EU Landfill
Directive. To achieve this, we are committed to the introduction of Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facilities as one of a
range of technologies.
We will ensure the highest operating standards for all waste management technologies based on best international practice. We will
also ensure that all waste facilities have good transport links and where feasible are close to the national road or rail networks.
We will undertake an immediate international review of waste management plans, practices and procedures and act on its conclusions.

It would seem that not all of them are engaged in spin on the basis of this.