Councillor of the week: Cadogan Enright…

Sorry for the unintentional commercial break, but today we return to our occasional series, Councillor of the Week. It’s Down District Council and the Green Party’s co–option candidate Cadogan Enright, who Slugger understands has just returned from the US after campaigning for Barrack Obama. I particularly like the interactive map of the district where there are issues he’s been working on. His newsfeed is also nicely up to date (or at least until the day of the US election it was!!).

You can download his own Newsletter that carries specific detail of campaigns he’s been involved in. Like his council colleague Colin McGrath, he’s using video. But his video piece is trained on the issue of fish poisoning in the River Quoile.

His photo gallery is similarly issue focused and has good high resolution copies that can be easily used by journalists looking to illustrate local stories. It’s worth noting Cadogan’s statement on his experience of the Obama campaign (not yet on the website):

I was quite stunned to see the level of neighbourhood-based activity, mostly by people who were not necessarily members of any political party, coordinated over the web. Groups were organised in areas of only 150 to 250 houses and the number of people working on Obama’s campaign was estimated to be over one million.

Neighbourhood by neighbourhood is a councillor’s natural territory. It will interesting to see if Councillor Enright begins to find new ways to engage his neighbourhoods directly through is own site and that of Down Greens.

  • Continental Drifter

    Councillor of the week?

    What are you on about?

    We don’t elect people to disappear off for weeks to “campaign” for Americans!

    The clue is in the name: “local councillor”…

  • Ann

    Mick, I have to be honest with you, I never heard of the guy before in my life, but it is nice to know he was in the US campaigning. While he was in the US was he still being paid as a councillor, is it part of his duty to the people he represents on down district council.

    After a 52 wk break by MLA’s I wouldn’t be surprised at what goes on in any level of our over staffed government, which seems to be money for doing what ever the hell you like, any chance of a job I wonder…..

  • Continental Drifter

    Oh yes – and it’s “Barack”, one “r”.

  • Ann

    We don’t elect people to disappear off for weeks to “campaign” for Americans!

    Thats bloody ridiculous. Why is he councillor of the week on slugger. Are you rewarding people who eff off elsewhere and leave locals unrepresented.

    Surely the world is in a terrible state of chassis.

  • Continental Drifter

    Ann – they get 9-10 grand a year, and yes, he’ll still have been being paid.

    Thanks for proving my point!

    CD

  • Ann

    they get 9-10 grand a year

    Slugger ought to call this thread name ’em and shame ’em.

  • Continental Drifter

    While I’m at it, why is the Green Party clobbering our carbon footprint?

    Why has he “just returned” from an election that took place over two weeks ago?

  • Ann

    It will interesting to see if Councillor Enright begins to find new ways to engage his neighbourhoods directly through is own site and that of Down Greens

    Is this why he is councillor of the week on slugger, because of his use of the web to ‘engage’. Isn’t that just a lazy way of engaging, whats wrong with doing surgeries, and hoofing it around the place, going to meetings and BEING THERE.

    He hardly connected to people in down via the web and did his duties as a councillor.

    Media usage wasn’t what he was elected for mick, lets get things into perspective. New media is not politics, try not to get the two mixed up.

  • susan

    I haven’t had time to read Mick’s links, so I apologise if this is a dim question. But…considering Obama won, isn’t it possible that by forging connections and hopefully picking up a few friends and allies within the new American administration, Cadogan’s connections and/or entree to the new administration may serve his constituents well over the next four years? I realise with the hits the US economy is taking, cries of “INVEST NI!” are unlikely to sweep Washington, but there’s always grants, as well as constituent issues with individual student and visitor’s visas, etc. etc. that arise, especially in times of economic downturn.

  • Shirley McGuffin

    “While I’m at it, why is the Green Party clobbering our carbon footprint?”

    LOL. Good point. Following Gerry and the Peacemakers.

  • dewi

    You are unfair to Cadogan. It’s a thankless and time consuming role.I’m always impressed by the sense of civic duty on all sides of the spectrum….strange name Cadogan though – etymology?

  • Mick Fealty

    Right picking up on CD’s assumption that local councillors should never do anything other than remain tethered to the constituency (I can assure you, s/he is not the only one who thinks like that), I’m tempted to ask people what should a local councillor busy himself in doing?

    – Do you want a local man/woman who gets potholes fixed whenever you need it?
    – Or do you want a campaigner on larger issues concerning the whole area?
    – Or someone who doesn’t work so hard, but makes smart decisions?

    Also, on a point of clarification, the money councillor’s take is not payment in the sense that any one in private or even the public sectors would see it. It is a fairly paltry expense rate. The new tranche of councillors however will be paid a salary.

    As for the political points, well I’m not going to censure anyone from making them, but the focus of these threads is on local government and governance. As far as possible can you try to make your criticisms within that context?

  • Tony B

    Good grief, if everyone was as bitter and twisted towards people who’ve been elected as half of this thread is, no-one in their right mind would ever stand for election again.

    I’d *want* my local councillor to go out into the world, pick up a bit of experience and few contacts and bring them back. The Obama campaign was particularly good at using the web to reach out to people – I hope he’s picked a bit of that up as well?

    The idea that councillors should be sitting in public libraries or Orange Halls attending the surgeries that no-one wants to know about, or knocking on doors on Sunday mornings when people are trying to having a lie in, is just a ridiculous one.

    There’s a huge slice of the population now that *want* to contact their councillors and MLAs online and find out about them. Not that many of them are met half way, and Cadogan (yes, it is an odd name, isn’t it?) seems to have gone further than most in doing so.

    If you think it’s a good idea to snipe at politicians, and you think you could do a better job yourself, Ann, then stand for election and I’ll phone you up at 11.30pm to complain about the dogmuck on the pavements.

  • John McF

    Very unfair comments by people who do not live in Enright’s ward – i DO, and can tell you that he’s very active, as indeed seem to be the local Green Party who are active in the Fairtrade campaigns, local environmental groups and a million other local issues… He’s working very hard and yes he does have a surgery and from his website and newsletter there’s a huge backlog of work that he’s done.

    Judging by what he’s done already in less than a year of being a sitting councillor he’ll certainly be getting my vote in 2011.

  • Big Maggie

    There’s a Cadogan Road in Fairview, Dublin. No idea whom it’s named after.

  • 6countyprod

    Welsh boy´s name – Cadogan
    Meaning: honor in battle

    http://www.yeahbaby.com/meaning-name-etymology.php?name=Cadogan

    So, Obama had a million volunteers working for him. Impressive, although getting only 400.000 votes more than Bush did in ’04 is not so impressive. (I know, I’m a bad loser :))

  • 6countyprod

    Or, if you want the full wack for ‘Cadogan’ check this out:
    http://www.surnamedb.com/surname.aspx?name=Cadogan

  • Ann

    Susan fair point. But he didn’t know Obama would win did he? What if Obama had lost? That would make your point void, so he took a gamble, left his constitutents and took the money and went to the US to help get someone elected there. Busying himself with the affairs of another nation, instead of his own. Thats how it looks in my book.

    Mick

    Do you want a local man/woman who gets potholes fixed whenever you need it?

    You are dead right I do. I want the streets swept, and bins emptied, and pot holes fixed and green areas tended and graffitti removed and all the other mundane not very sexy things that goto make life in cities a little better. Which councils are paid for, by all of us via rates.

    – Or do you want a campaigner on larger issues concerning the whole area?
    – Or someone who doesn’t work so hard, but makes smart decisions?

    Let me tell you what I don’t want. I don’t want a councillor who is absent and working in another country to get someone else elected. If he wants to go somewhere else to campaign for his own agenda then go do it, just don’t do it while picking up tax money for representing people here. Are all the good people he represents Obama supporters.

    We’ve simply had enough of absentee representatives, now its time for accountability, and accountable government.

  • susan

    Ann, I respect your opinion, but John McF is a constituent, and he’s vehement that Enright is doing a bang-up job representing his constituency’s interests.

    As to my point, my point would only be “void” if Obama lost, and Obama won. Furthermore, given Obama’s electoral college advantage and favourable polls before Enright departed for the States, Cardogan’s decision was less of a “gamble,” more of a “safe bet.” Now Cardogan Enright’s constituents may well profit individually or collectively from his contacts within the new American presidential administration.

    Furthermore, Cardogan Enright is Green Party — a Party that is passionate about renewable energy, sustainable growth, cleaning up the air and the environment. That’s by needs and definition a global agenda, not just a local one. Given the differences between the Obama/Biden ticket versus McCain/Palin on Green issues — Enright could argue in that doing his bit to help elect Obama president of the still enormously influential USA, he was championing not US democratic voters, but…wait for it, you know it is coming….the Green Party agenda and…drum roll please…the Fate of the Earth.

    I don’t think I can top myself tonight in pretentious posting after that effort!. Signing off now , good night and good luck —

    p.s. 6county I don’t think you’re bad at losing at all. ;o)

    C -A- Single R = D -0 -G -A -N spells “Cardogan”….

  • Mick Fealty

    Ann,

    Fair enough. Though I have to say if you surely don’t believe that a councillor spending two or three weeks out of the country (at his, rather than the taxpayers expense) that that: 1, is in any way representative of what he does for the rest of the year; or 2, that he spends it learning about how politics is done elsewhere any way means he’s therefore null and void as a councillor?

    Our councillors don’t have much power at the moment, but planning is going to be dropped down in their laps from next year. The truth is the pot hole fillers will simply not suffice. We need people who are prepared to take a professional approach to the business of local politics. And be prepared to carry the can if/when it goes pear shaped.

    If you think that can be conjured up from the backyard of a system that was deliberately striped of real power 35 years ago, fair enough.

    I have serious doubts.

    Some of the guys getting out are going because they are getting on in years, others perhaps don’t fancy taking genuine responsibility for the well-being (in the broadest sense of that word, not the personal servicing we’ve become accustomed to).

    We should think now about what kind of challenges are going to be faced by local councillors, and what kind of people will best fill those roles. Replicating the conventions of the past simply won’t serve us when they are in and can’t be shifted.

  • Ann

    Ann, I respect your opinion, but John McF is a constituent, and he’s vehement that Enright is doing a bang-up job representing his constituency’s interests.

    One constituent doesn’t an argument make Susan, and if Councillor Cadogan is internet savvy and is connecting with his constituents via the internet – where are they?

    Very unfair comments by people who do not live in Enright’s ward – i DO, and can tell you that he’s very active, as indeed seem to be the local Green Party who are active in the Fairtrade campaigns, local environmental groups and a million other local issues… He’s working very hard and yes he does have a surgery and from his website and newsletter there’s a huge backlog of work that he’s done.

    Judging by what he’s done already in less than a year of being a sitting councillor he’ll certainly be getting my vote in 2011.

    Posted by John McF on Nov 19, 2008 @ 06:29 PM

    million other local issues…

    I wouldn’t mind knowing what they were. The points in John’s comment could have come from a website, but if he could tell us a little about the million other local issues it might help flesh things out a little.

    As to Obama, if Cadogan is to be given the nod from Obama that jobs are on the way here, I’m sure he’d have told us all about it. Whereas in fact it doesn’t look like he got anything, or that Obama or any one of note even knew he was there.

    I’m off now too, good night.

  • Dewi

    “I don’t think I can top myself tonight in pretentious posting after that effort!.”

    Lol Siwsan but I’ll try and beat you:

    Thanks 6countyprod

    Cadwgan was the most popular Welsh Boys name in the poll of 1326 AD – since then it’s not been quite so cool. Isn’t it astonishing that it emerges in Ireland in 2008?

    If Councillor Enright (and I won’t start about his surname) is about perhaps he could explain if Cadogan is a family thing?

  • Ann

    Mick, I don’t know how others feel, but I’ve had it up to here with absentee representatives. I live in Belfast, and I have never ever seen my local MP in a surgery, its always delegates. I see my local councillor at election time, and if you phone the constituency office to discuss an issue they write it down and do bugger all. I used to work for citizens advice, and I learnt its useless to send people to these representatives, because they are totally useless. I’ve even accompanied people to the local MP’s and councillors only to see them return for me to go chasing people for them again.

    Put simply I don’t know what is to be done, but something needs doing. the pot holes need filling no matter what changes we face, and seeing a councillor on the net doesn’t get ppl help when they need it . We are very badly represented. Not by them all, but by a lot.

  • Dewi

    Ann – join a party – stand for the council. Do it yourself.

  • Ann

    Plus Mick, its difficult when you are asked to write a letter for someone to see how they can be in touch with their local rep via the internet.

    I don’t think the net is the answer, it won’t replace the personal touch. What of the elderly, those with partial sight, there are lots of people where contact via the net is either limited or none at all.

  • Dewi

    Ann – I repeat – do something about it. Stand for the council. Where are you? West Belfast? – then talk to Sinn fein.

  • Ann

    Ann – join a party – stand for the council. Do it yourself.

    I don’t want to stand for election, I want those who have stood and got elected to do better than they’re doing. As a citizen, I want accountable government, dealing with bread and butter issues, including pot holes if necessary, instead of representatives on the net but not available locally, why is that asking too much?

    I’ve never experienced politics working, like it does in Britain or the republic. Politics should be working. I remember visiting a friend in Dublin, and while I was there she was on the phone – to the relevant department, because there was a lot of litter in the street. Accountable government that works, I want some of that.

  • Ann

    I’m signing off now, bed time. (I’m all sore after exercising on the wii 🙂 )

    Night .

  • IJP

    Mick

    I must say I’m fairly sympathetic to Ann.

    I genuinely feel expectations from Councillors can be a little too high – we are effectively volunteers (even if remunerated) and Ann herself admits that she wouldn’t volunteer.

    However, I think the basis of her argument is that a representative’s job is not to tell constituents what they are doing, but to listen to constituents about what they want them to do.

    That means getting about the constituency as best you can, not preaching from behind a screen. I’m not having a go at the Cllr concerned here, but rather at the idea that being internet savvy should count as the main virtue of an elected representative – it’s really quite a long way down the list, particularly at local level.

    To be fair to Cllr Enright, at least he seems to have paid his own way rather than gone at ratepayers’ expense. (Mind, indeed, what about that carbon footprint? If you’re going to live by the sword…)

  • The Raven

    “Replicating the conventions of the past simply won’t serve us when they are in and can’t be shifted.”

    Spot on, Mick. I’m going to get a bit personal here, so if I come back in the morning and find this post deleted, I fully understand, and accept the ref’s decision.

    In my own area, and looking at the new Council structure:

    There are some real political dinosaurs who WILL stand again. I can’t believe they’re even going to be fielded, but there you have it – it’s all about bums on seats. I mean, one of them is in his late 70’s, for crying out loud!

    One is a councillor and an MLA, and he can barely write his name. I mean, this chap is illiterate. Before anyone barracks me about making fun of what is an increasingly prevalent modern societal problem, can I just say that while it is a problem that needs to be tackled, surely I can raise a “here, hold on a minute” when people elect a barely literate, neaderthal not only to a Council, but to the main legislature in the region? Bums on seats. Again. Quality? Are you sure that’s how it’s spelt?

    More worrying in the new Council area, I am aghast to see the behaviour of the Shinners in their own existing area. I have actually heard them say – publicly – that they find it ok to hit the unionists with the same behaviour that they were hit with over twenty years. D’hondt played to the point where one section of the community is excluded? I don’t think I want to live in an area where that sort of political behaviour is not only tolerated, but encouraged.

    Another Councillor…Jaysus I couldn’t even believe I witnessed it…was at a Council meeting and publicly reduced one of their own officers to tears over the most trivial of matters – email me, and I’ll give you the ins-and-outs. With complete impunity too. Such a lack of manners, professionalism…words start to fail me. Anywhere else, and a Director berating a member of staff in that fashion would be in a tribunal so fast, their head would spin.

    Folks, please spread the word. Ask people to think very carefully before they tick that box.

    IJP…about “volunteering” for a party. I’m a prod and a very liberal one at that.

    I walk into a UUP meeting – because I wouldn’t degrade myself by aligning with the DUPs – and say “Irish Language – let’s go for it. Embrace it. Gaelic sports? Love it – I go on a regular basis. Increased cross-border cooperation? All for it!” Can you imagine the looks?

    AND I’m under 35 – they’d never have me.

    As for standing for either “Prod” party, I’d have to push the moneyed, the Bible-bashers, the “faithful”, the over-70s, and the plain old arse-lickers out of the way before even SEEING a ballot paper.

    Besides, I’m not sure that I suit the standard issue Nazi haircut that Young DUPers have to have.

    SDLP? Who? Oh they’re a Derry Party, ye say?

    Sinn Fein? Sorry, Gerry, I was born with free will, and I WILL speak my mind. Errrr…what do you mean, there’s no place at the table for me?

    Ach well sure. I could always run as an independent.

    Rant over. Apologies for any offence caused.

  • susan

    Bore da, Dewi, sorry I missed you!

    Raven, I’m not sure what you’re apologising for. You’re describing your personal experience with individual cllrs to back up why you agree w/ Mick new times and needs call for new conventions, but you’ve avoided specifically “naming and shaming” (as Ann might say) any individual. Given your moniker and posts on other subjects I’m surprised you didn’t even mention the Greens in your rundown of the parties — there are golden plovers out there that need you, they haven’t gone away (Completely. Yet.) you know.

    Ann, on the one hand you are quite articulate about the failings of a system you’ve seen firsthand and have mightily attempted to help others to navigate, and good on you for that. On the other hand — reading over this thread, you’ve made extraordinarily condemnatory personal charges against an individual you turn out to have zero personal experience or even exposure to. And the remark about not coming back from the US with a jobs contract signed is willfully naive and you know it, global no less than local politics is all about degrees of separation and I guarantee you as well-run and wired-to-the-speed-of-light as the Obama campaign was Cadogan is now better placed than most to get the ear of people in Washington come January — this isn’t “Bat Man” (or “Bird Man,” given its the Greens) he doesn’t need a Green Phone to the Oval Office to have done his constituents some good.

    Back to matters closer to home, the online site is in addition to traditional weekly Wednesday surgeries set aside solely and strictly for listening and responding to constituent enquiries, not in any way a replacement. Realising you are not a constituent but recognising a genuine passion for constituent care, you might as well give the “Cllr of the week” a ring next week and share your ideas for improving outreach to the elderly and others you’ve mentioned with limited access or exposure to the net.

    Or better yet you could email. ;o) Or just post your ideas here — they will eventually find their target.

    Dewi, insomnia struck and I saw at Cadogan’s site he has already produced Cadogan II, an adorable wee “mini me” for the campaign photo ops. They did wait til several offspring on to pass on the name, though.

  • Mick Fealty

    IJP,

    Before I answer directly, let me try to scutch some suggestions raised earlier in the thread. One, councillors should never leave their post (would we make the same demand of volunteer firemen); and two they should take no active interest in the way politics is done elsewhere; three, then to extrapolate from one blog post that a given councillor is an ‘absentee representative’; oh, and four that a person’s carbon footprint is measured on the basis of one return flight to the States (or Bali for that matter).

    Now to your points directly. Agree entirely on listening. And that real presence is better than virtual. But this is not an either/or situation. I deliberately picked up on Cadogan’s trip, because there are intimations in that experience that the net is not just for geeks and anoraks.

    If what you do online is not bringing you closer to your constituents, they I guess the sane adivce is don’t do it! In first place of course, even with a site like Councillor.info which is searchable primarily by postcode, you may not get many coming to you via the net. But if you play it well and seek to engage your constituents directly, you’ll get to eavesdrop and pick up more than you think.

    At a Hansard Society debate about four years ago, I offered Slugger as a model for the value of online engagement on a very tight geographical issue. I don’t claim that our commenters are typical of every hue of opinion, but they have certainly helped any of following the broad sweep of opinion and views on a huge range of issues.

    As I am sure won’t surprise you, I recommend always playing with a straight bat (it goes a lot further than popular mythology allows, and reduces the chances of you getting ‘bitten on the ass’ at some future date. But if you want to listen, you have to be prepared to engage in conversation in the first place. And if you want to understand how the net works, you have to participate.

    For my money, Killian Forde is one of the best Councillor online talents on the island. He doesn’t over invest, but it’s witty, intelligent stuff, and he keeps it coming. But you can see something valuable in all of the Councillor of the Week sites so far. IMHO, the learning involved is as valuable as the product. Engagment and the conversations it provokes is the primary value; but building a necessarily modest local brand is what the Councillo.info site was focused on bring to the party.

    Which gives me an idea….

  • Ann

    Appreciate the comments. To conclude I would like to say a few things. Firstly, any comments made re the councillor under discussion. I do feel (if a councillor is away, on his own expense or not,) to ask, did he miss any council meetings while he was away. Was he away on council business, and if not, why? I would expect a school teacher to go away during the summer months when school is out, why is it not comparable to a councillor? I don’t feel I asked any personal questions that should not be asked, otherwise how do you achieve accountability? Why should a constituent or a rate payer not query where were you during that meeting that you should have attended?, why were you absent. To be told in reply that he was off campaigning in another country is simply not on.

    Volunteer or not, his responsibility is here not in the US. If he didn’t want to do it, don’t volunteer, let someone else do it, and go off and engage in any political system you like elsewhere, just don’t pick up nine to ten grand a year of my rates while you are doing it.

    One thing I will not be told in NI after all we’ve come through is not to ask a question, I will ask. I may not be given an answer, but I will ask.

  • Ann

    And the remark about not coming back from the US with a jobs contract signed is willfully naive and you know it, global no less than local politics is all about degrees of separation and I guarantee you as well-run and wired-to-the-speed-of-light as the Obama campaign was Cadogan is now better placed than most to get the ear of people in Washington come January—this isn’t “Bat Man” (or “Bird Man,” given its the Greens) he doesn’t need a Green Phone to the Oval Office to have done his constituents some good

    You’ve no way of knowing that. I think Obama may be looking after his own interests at home and providing that change we’re all hearing about rather than phoning Cadogan about anything this side of the pond. He may be better placed now, or think he is, but if he is not there for his constituents he may find himself out of office and all that experience wasted. Call it the Gorbachev effect…..

    No point in being liked abroad if you can’t hold the votes at home.

  • Ann

    and two they should take no active interest in the way politics is done elsewhere;

    That is not what I’m saying. Theres no point in volunteering if you’re not around. Jesus Mick we’ve just had 5 months of absence with no leadership during economic hardtimes and you’re telling they should go off and take a look at how politics is done else where. If by now they haven’t learnt compromise, how to work together, how to debate an issue without walking out and all the rest, they’ll never bloody learn. And I’m not speaking of this councillor, I’m speaking now generally.

    Perhaps you just picked the wrong time to praise government, local or otherwise here? I think that could be the problem.

  • Ann

    Back to matters closer to home, the online site is in addition to traditional weekly Wednesday surgeries set aside solely and strictly for listening and responding to constituent enquiries, not in any way a replacement. Realising you are not a constituent but recognising a genuine passion for constituent care, you might as well give the “Cllr of the week” a ring next week and share your ideas for improving outreach to the elderly and others you’ve mentioned with limited access or exposure to the net.

    Thanks for the tips Susan, as one private citizen to another, since you’re giving me some much appreciated advice, could I enquire what your level of involvement is? Cheers.

  • Ann,

    “Jesus Mick we’ve just had 5 months of absence with no leadership during economic hardtimes and you’re telling they should go off and take a look at how politics is done else where.”

    Not at all. But consider:

    – local councillors have been serving without break since the reorganisation back in the early 70s. I humbly suggest that you save your anger for a class of politicians who deserve it more.

    – Personally, it might be better to have people who have clue what’s going on beyond their own backyard. Some councillors are tomorrow’s political leaders… (I’m not for a moment suggesting that we’re picking them here btw)… smarter is better in my book…

  • Ann

    Fair enough Mick.

    (ps I’m more frustrated than angry at politicians.:)

  • Continental Drifter

    I think in the end we’re all expressing discontentment about being told what to do by absentee politicians – whatever way they are absent.

    Ann,

    Think all your points are fair, though I must recognise Mick’s point that perhaps the comments should be aimed higher up the scale.

    Mick,

    There’s a difference between ‘taking an interest’ and disappearing for weeks. As Ann says, if he’s into international politics, don’t volunteer for local politics. There is more than one way to represent a party.

    And I’m sorry, but taking a great big plane to go to America harms your carbon footprint. As IJP says, if you live by the sword…

    Raven,

    What about an Alliance Party meeting? They are probably not that bad once you get past the scones.

  • prolefodder

    “Where can we get vidoes of his campaigning on behalf of IRA terrorists in the Maze, wheren he was a leading UCD activist, along with convicted terrorist bomber and suspected murderer, Liam O’Dwyer?”

    Eh? Any more detail on this accusation/description Shirley? More interesting than all this talk of councillors being away from the constituency for a period IMO.

  • Mick Fealty

    Can’t let that pass CD. Are you really arguing that we want to exclude anyone who knows anything past the village pump as Councillors?

    I’m not in any way implying that people who devote themselves to ‘the parish’ are village idiots, but there is a serious question about the rising levels of competence and experience that will be required from the Local Government Reforms that require serious (rather than flip) answers.

    On carbon footprint issue, I’ll leave that one open to a Green party member to pick up and run with (if they dare)…

  • prolefodder

    Didn’t the Alliance’s Stephen Farry have a year-long sabbatical with the National Democratic Insitute in Washington a few years ago? Perhaps he could comment on how to deal with constituency business at a distance?

  • Shirley McGuffin

    “There’s a Cadogan Road in Fairview, Dublin. No idea whom it’s named after”

    Cathal Goulding, the former OIRA boss, lived there.
    Cadogan Enright claimed many years ago hs Welshe grandfather was in the Tans and his Irish grandpa was in the IRA. The letter was read out by Gay Byrne on his radio show. One should know one’s councillors.
    Mr Enright jetting Stateside to help Obama has touches of the Skibereen Eagle about it.
    Councillors terrorise the civil servants who do the work for them. Having a passable website is only a sheen. The BNP have a nice website to as do the Provos. Enright is not the Councillor of the week. Sure he has energy but look at all the bloodshed that gave us. Hitler had energy too though in fairness he would not be camapigning for Mr Trendy Obama.
    Hitler was good at fixing the potholes, pre Dresden and reducing politics to that William Walker level is a cheap trick.

  • Mick

    Shirley,

    Are you against energetic politicians? Or is this just a personal thing? If it’s the latter, try to pick a critical difference between ball and man?

  • prolefodder

    Shirley

    Just to confirm – are you claiming Cllr Enright was a member of Sinn Fein and/or supporter of the IRA in the 1980s? A letter read out on Gaybo’s show about one’s grandparents is hardly evidence?

    Even if he was a member/supporter of the IRA/SF, to use a phrase once used here in NI, ‘just because one has a past, does not mean you don’t have a future’?

  • aine

    I have been reading this site for some time now but I’ve never been prompted to comment until now.

    [nice to hear from you at last Aine – but try to play the ball, and not the man – mods]

  • susan

    I have to confess I have not scanned every Cllr of the Week thread — is it unusual to reach comparisons to Hitler by the end of Page Two, or par for the course?

    Ann, I’m squandering time I shouldn’t be, but I wanted to clarify something. In asking you to post your suggestions to increase cllrs’ responsivity to constituents here on this thread, I’m afraid you may have mistaken my request as a challenge, or worse yet, a taunt.

    It was not. The frustrating thing for me about this thread is that while, for example, you and Mick F are at loggerheads on this thread, at heart you both care about the same thing — increasing communication between elected reps and those they are supposed to represent between elections, as Mick puts it in the newer thread on dancing and De Toqueville.

    You have worked as a citizen’s advocate in Belfast. I have not. I know enough to know you therefore are in possession of some concrete knowledge of how more pols could cut through some bureaucratic red tape with a machete.

    For example, in your experience, you might have suggestions for the best days and drop-in hours for pensioners, the best times or ways to be accessible to working parents of school age children, etc. etc.

    My request was meant as an opportunity to nudge things just a little bit forward.

    Gotta run. On a lighter note, let us know if you are seeing good results with wii fit!

  • Ann

    Cheers Susan I seem to have misread you, my apologies. I don’t think I’m at loggerheads with mick f. ( Mick x x 🙂

    On the wii fit 11 lb since May, not bad. (:I like the ski-ing.)

  • So, Obama had a million volunteers working for him. Impressive, although getting only 400.000 votes more than Bush did in ‘04 is not so impressive. (I know, I’m a bad loser :))

    You’re also wrong – it takes a long time for absentee votes to be counted in many American states and many places are only reporting final figures now. So far, Obama has polled 5 million more votes than Bush did in 2004. That should be a close to final but not absolutely final figure.

  • Richard

    So Cadogan Enright is in Downpatrick? [Sorry Richard, but you have to try to play the ball, and not the man – mods]

  • tree fellahs

    He lives in a nice part of Downpatrick where sadly behind his street many lovely trees were felled by some moron up the hill who wanted a better view of the traffic.

    I think Cadogan was very upset by this and will pursue this matter as best he can.

    Actions indeed speak louder than words.

  • downtown

    As a Downpatrick resident, its worth noting that Cllr Enright and the Green Party have a regular newsletter which is hand delivered through all the doors in the area. impressive operation.

  • downtown

    as for the name, there is a cadogan street on the ormeau road, cadogan park on the malone road, mace have a filling station called cadogan in belfast, there is a belfast based political group called the cadogan group. cadogan enrights family are welsh and his dad was also called cadogan.

  • Marcus

    http://www.downgreens.com

    Just looking over that downpatrick website you can see how active he is.
    as well you can tell that he is building up a strong group of local activists as well! Come 2011 id be pretty confident he will not be the only Green Cllr in that area!