McDowell slipping over the edge?

Southern Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, has made a hasty and humbling retreat from his bizzare claims yesterday about members of the Green and Fine Gael parties. Having compared Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton to Joseph Goebbels and told the Green party leader that the Dublin rioters were ‘your kind of people,’ McDowell has finally over-stepped the mark. Could it be that the pressure caused by the relentless gangland activity in the state is getting to the Minister, or is it more a case of the Minister’s propensity for running at the mouth catching up with him?

  • Shore Road Resident

    If he is, he’s slipped no further over the edge than President McAleese and Father Reid.

  • GurnyGub

    Surprising the number of Nazi references recently, given the assumed national pride in neutrality

  • nutjack

    i blame that Devlin from The Eagle Has Landed….

  • Topple the Auld Sod’s version of the Oirish Joe McCarthy?

    The dude has a damned near bulletproof karma.

    Try a vial of Knock water and an oak stake.

    Yes, Sluggiepoos, Knock-out drops.

  • D’Oracle

    Barmy motor-mouth ;sorry ,no way.!

    This man is an amazingly successful media manipulator ; blew the default story of the upcoming week right off the front pages – the three to a trolley health service scandal.

    The trolley story was all set to run on sunday, Mick went pscyho monday morning, media lapped it up, he apologises to the hapless Brutal on Tuesday for going OTT and ..then ..silence.

    Magic !

    The really big question though is – did the media boys and girls really not notice or is it just that they like a spot of Ministerial theatrics!

  • Sin ickle

    I’m with you D’Oracle. He knows what he’s doing.
    And the media don’t care if they’re being used for someone’s agenda as long as it’s aligned with theirs – “Sell more papers and advertising”

    This story can run for three days — the ‘gaffe’, the apology and the post-match analysis of Garda stats (yawn). The 3-to-a-trolley can wait to bore us another day.

  • Crataegus

    You can tell an election is coming and the PD’s fortunes are on a knife edge.

  • Sinickle

    And what’s wrong with an analogy to Goebbels, one of the great pioneers in propaganda. Richard should have been flattered. It’s all PC gone mad.

  • You’re right, it’s a backhanded compliment to Richard Bruton, from a man who lauds the use of flash statements and dismissive pigeonholing.

    I can almost imagine the sychophants surrounding McDowell all the time, ‘haha Mr Justice man, you’re so funny’.

    Pig out on the humble pie, Big MAC

  • Brian Boru

    I like McDowell. I hope he stay’s on. He is the only politician with the guts to speak up on bogus asylum-seekers. He cracked down on their abuse of the citizenship laws, and while deportations are still not as high as they could be, they are miles higher than his predecessor O’Donoghue. The liberal media down here have never forgiven him for winning the Citizenship referendum and showing how out of touch they are with the man on the streets on immigration.

    He does go on about SF too much sometimes though, possibly at the expense of the peace process. This may be part of a strategy to win votes on the back of saying “voting for PD’s or FF can form a govt with SF”. They will probably not hold all their seats, as a few were won on a fluke last time (FG transfers e.g. Mae Sexton) when the Opposition did not have a pact. They have a pact now and the govt has been in the doldrums since late 2002 when the media ganged up on them for supposed broken promises. The fun of our electoral system is that a party vote can collapse and they might still end up in govt e.g. FF in 1992. Will make interesting viewing next year. Hope McDowell stays on as Justice Minister.

    On the Goebbels remarks, I think FG’s reaction to it resembles the DUP’s to McAleese’s remarks i.e. putting the worst possible interpretation on it. He was not calling the Blueshirts Nazis but rather alluding to the black propaganda emanating from that source. They know that. Political-Correctness strikes again, eroding freedom of speech. Bah.

  • Nicholas Pugachev

    “I can almost imagine the sychophants surrounding McDowell all the time, ‘haha Mr Justice man, you’re so funny’.”

    Thats actually closer to reality, than you might think.

  • BogExile

    I find myself in the strange position of almost agreeing with Brian B. (Except for cracking the whip on the Shinners – more please).

    We need politicians who occasionally call a spade a fucking shovel. At least you know where he’s coming from despite the occasional howler.

    And his stock amongst Northern Unionists is very high at a time when it is fashionable to dismiss their interests as some footling and trival barrier to an inexorable SF dominated reunification.

    When he’s not sticking his foot in his mouth or kicking Gerry’s arse with it, he does seem to me to be trying to reconfigure Republicanism as a concept in a way which shows the beginnings of an understanding of the conditions necessary for Unionists to be persuaded.

  • GrassyNoel

    He showed some humility and dignity in apologising but he needs to start getting a grip. He’s an able politician but he enjoys grandstanding too much. And I agree with journalists who say that casually flinging around these ‘Nazi’ characterisations is not only grossly insulting to whoever the insult is aimed at, it also ‘devalues’ the insult and trivialises the memory of what the Jewish people suffered at the hands of Nazi butchers.

    Irish people need to cop on a small bit. Richard Bruton was just doing his job. it is his JOB to scrutinise official figures compiled by Government appointed civil servants which may be manipulated for political ends and spun to favour the govt. That’s exactly what he did.

    McDowell promised an extra 2,000 Gardaí on our streets when campaigning for the last election. Have we got them yet? No. Will figures suggesting that that target is just about to be reached or has already been reached, be released to the media in the last few months before the election? Of course they will. How trustworthy is that information? Who the f*ck knows?

    Ever watch the craic that goes on in Westminster? You’ve got to give it up to British politicians, the robustness of the exchanges in the House of Commons really keep them on their toes, with sharpened wits, and make our politicians look positively comatose by comparison. Tune into or try to get your hands on a copy of ‘Oireachtas Report’ and try to watch it for half an hour and try to stay awake. Then compare that to the cut and thrust of the to-and-fro between Blair and his opponents in the House of Commons.

    In this country if you DARE challenge a govt minister while in office, McDoell’s reaction is typical of how you’ll be received. We don’t demand performance from our represetnatives in this country, rather we round on those who question their performances and berate them for being cheeky, and who the hell do they think they are, do they thing they could do a better job, etc. etc. Then we dismiss them as begrudgers, a very handy term for batting away criticism.

    Well sorry but sometimes – in fact very often in this country – criticism is justified. And If people really want to know if ‘that other crowd’ thinks they could do a better job, why not give them a chance to try and prove whether or not they can (more than once every few decades), rather than shrugging shoulders and shirking responsibility by always voting the same way your parents have voted, or the way the media tells you to.


  • Comparing people to Nazis seem seems to be all the rage at the moment. The trend set by Mary McAleese and Ken Livingstone is rapidly catching on.

    What next? Arsene Wenger likening Alex Ferguson a Hitler figure? Rafa Benitez calling Jose Mourinho a blueshirt? (although, technically this would be correct) I wouldn’t be surprised…

  • missfitz

    Thought the more interesting part of all of this was how his demeanour during the original tirade was reported. I listened to RTE yesterday and there was a clear implication that he seemed to lose control when speaking and appear quite crazed. That is what is being reported as the core reason for some of the questions that are now being asked.

    Personally, I think his arguments have always tended to playing the crowd and he has slipped further and further away from responsible engagement.