Enda breasts another leadership crisis…

Hmmm… So George Lee, the brightest star in Fine Gael’s firmament last year has gone. In his trail some degree of disarray, although the party now say they are backing Enda for the foreseeable future after a marathon love in at Leinster House last night. While Lee’s getting it in the neck for being nothing so much as a flaky public sector journo, Enda’s the one with the serious long term problem. Miriam Lord in today’s Irish Times notes the real problem for Fine Gael: the government is beginning to get out from under its own partly self inflicted pall:

The general health of Fine Gael was the live issue and in the corners and the corridors, little huddles of deputies anxiously weighed up the party leader’s performances in the wake of George’s departure. The strain of the last few days told on Enda Kenny’s face. For the second day in a row, he looked tense and preoccupied. He appeared distracted.

Brian Cowen, on the other hand, was in very good spirits, a living embodiment of the God doesn’t close one door but opens another school of thought. George gone. Inda Kinny on the rack. What’s not good about that? No amount of prodding from the Opposition could knock him off his stride. He also returned to his early habit of treating the Fine Gael leader like a half-wit.

In truth Enda’s problem amounts to what has his greatest strength in building his party back up. He’s a nice guy, but with zero instinct of a killer. His party feel beholden to him because he has built up it’s base with latherings of care and attention.

I have no idea why George Lee left. But it seems Enda was as unprepared for it as the rest of the country. His dithering for days after are what has given rise to to a frenzy of media speculation. Noel Rock (H/T Mulley), makes three credible suggestions for what might have filled the void:

1.We still have the best economic team in the country. Richard Bruton, alone, is head and shoulders above anybody else in terms of qualifications for running the economy.

2.George Lee joined this party for a reason: those reasons are still the same.

3.Without being in Government, George thought his services would be best deployed elsewhere. Fianna Fail are going to stay in their trenches until 2012.

Of course Gerard may be right when he suggests that he’s been handicapped by a team around him that simply wont let him be himself. But I’ve heard an early, long play version of Enda unplugged, so I have some sympathy with the caution of his media handlers.

More to the point, Kenny needs to heed his parliamentary party’s wishes that he return to the city farm at Leinster House not just to co-ordinate his party’s cross departmental attack on Government and develop consistent lines to ram home awkward truths to the government, ad nauseum. But he needs to keep a closer eye on his own troops too, and keep them better informed.

For instance, there were no shortage of Fianna Fail Senators to inform Slugger of just how little warning Enda’d given his own men and women in the Seanad before announcing his plans to abolish the upper house to the wide world. For all the talk of Lee’s journalistic background leaving him unprepared for the unglamorous life of a lowly Deputy in the Dail, that’s probably the single most important lesson he and his leadership must learn from this embarrassing episode.

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  • Alias

    “George Lee, the brightest star in Fine Gael’s firmament”

    Really? Can you point out any economic papers he has written or plans he published while a TD?

    Lee was pure hype, and no substance. He reflects the public’s disenchantment with the established political class. He also reflects a general trend in the EU towards government by ‘experts’ who are not to be elected by the people (who are not to be trusted in such matters) but appointed by quangoes.

  • Mick Fealty

    Erm, only he WAS elected Dave…

  • Alias

    He was ratified. Being parachuted in by quango. 😉

    Also, the trend in the EU (as engineered by the EU) is to transfer governmental functions to panels of so-called experts who are appointed by quangos rather than to allow people who are elected by the public to make the decisions.

  • Alias

    To make that last point a bit clearer: there is a general dynamic that we need ‘experts’ to run the State as opposed to whom the public elects, who are generally not elected because of their qualifications.

    This is the dynamic that sustained the hype surrounding Mr Lee. He was an expert who would – so the theory goes – implement the basic economic principles in government that others who came into politics the hard way (i.e. not by being plucked from RTE and having a seat handed to them on a plate) had no grasp of.

    Except, of course, the public selected a far more capable economist in Mr Bruton than the quango selected in the Running Boy from RTE.

  • Mick Fealty

    In fact I broadly agree with that. But the gist of the post is less to do with Lee and more to do with Enda’s slow footwork.

  • Alias

    And I agree with that. But then again gingers can’t dance. 😉

    He should have known that a prima donna’s ego would envision itself as party leader or in that inner circle in order to complete its fairy tale. So Mr Lee was always going to sulk and turn petulent if he was ignored. Having ignored him (using him only as token ‘expert’ poster boy) he should have slapped him very hard as damage limitation when the prima donna stormed off the stage.

  • Greenflag

    Richard Bruton may well be a more capable economist but to get to Finance Minister will require Enda Kenny being elected as Taoiseach and that will require the support of the Labour Party.

    I can’t see the Labour Party supporting further public sector pay cuts nor can I see an FG led by Enda Kenny coming close to winning an election with FG alone having a majority .

    It’s likely that the country will have to continue to rely on FF to clean up their own fiscal mess and there is some justice in that . FF will have to face the electorate and tell them that that Government can’t create jobs , and that real wealth and sustainable prosperity cannot be built on ‘property’ and the ‘public sector ‘but must come from investment in the economy .

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    What this whole furore has done is shown up how stuffy and a clique Irish politics is…like it is the world over. It has demonstrated that political parties always put their own interests first and foremost and the people’s second….as it is the world over. The Green Party have demonstrated this on many an occasion especially since joining the FF coalition government. Sinn Féin are masters of it….but Fianna Fail are the experts! Should be all hung from the lamposts throughout the land as well as the paedo priests, bankers etc….

    greagoir o frainclin

  • Jaggers

    Anyone who’s ever looked at Israel’s political system will normally come away baffled as to how they can achieve anything given the huge number of parties with different aims and so much horse-trading and partisanship, it really is a miracle they can do anything. However as soon as a substantial external threat is identified, they pull together as one – again this is a marvel to behold.

    I mention this because Ireland at present is faced with one of the biggest threats in its history (think back to ’69 with the army massing on the border to go in to protect the Catholics) and how do our Opposition politicians re-act? With misplaced sarcasm and personality politics that belong to the time when the biggest challenge facing us was which US state had the lowest sales taxes and best shopping, for our annual shopping trip. Those days are dead and we need serious politicians. At last week’s news conference at Hillsborough Brian was a national embarassment missing the Robinson Olympics joke for 10 minutes and the photo on the front of Sunday’s IT of him with Mark Durkan’s young daughter wasn’t too far off Saddam’s video with western hostages in 1990 – the child’s face was a sight with the bould Brian grinning beside her. Nobody really cares though, that sort of celebrity politics belongs to a different time.

    Let’s give Enda credit. FG are at 32% in the polls, compared with 22% for FF and 24% for Labour. Enda is second most popular leader after Eamonn Gilmore. Tomorrow if there was an election Enda would be in govt with Eamonn as his deputy.

    What really pisses me off though is the failure of FG to hold the govt to account in a serious way. Other than accepting the poor man-management of George Lee, a line needs to be drawn under that episode. Enda needs to start doing serious politics

    1. If NAMA is the way to go then demand transparency, low risk to taxpayer, valuation clarity.
    2. If NAMA isn’t then at least support your one (1!) FG senator who has complained to the EU.
    3. The expenses scandal was a missed open goal – demand online vouched expenses.
    4. Develop policies to encourage the multinationals to re-invest their giant profits (courtesy of our 12.5% CT rate) in Ireland.
    5. Investigate hitting a multinational for competition fixing in the State – get 10% of their global income and hang the head of a CEO on a spike outside Leinster House to get the message across to multis – stop ripping Ireland off.
    6. Get a property tax in place ala Greece (1% over €800k value property) and scrap the €200k passport tax, the second home tax, the carbon tax.
    7. If VAT has to be levied on local authority charges then reduce the net so that the gross to consumers doesn’t change.
    8. Harry the Govt to get the car scrappage scheme in place.
    9. Investigate why Sberbank (Russia) and ICICI (India) aren’t doing business in Ireland – it will open your eyes as to what the true problems are in Ireland’s duopoly of a banking system.

    Above all else, concentrate on the meat – help the govt with some initiatives, hold them to account on others, adopt a serious tone (personality and celebrity politics are gone for now) and man-manage your TDs and Senators better. The country will respect you and your day may come in 2012.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    meant to add that Enda Kenny is Captain Slooooooow and did not capitalize on Lee’s talents and popularity. Kenny would not make a dynamic leader or Taoiseach…but would be more of the same of what we have already……and that’s the sad thing about it all.

  • RobertNoonan

    Mr Lee had ample time to promote his ideas, did he produce 1 leaflet,1 policy document, he could have completed outside of the party structure, he could have presented it at the many meetings he chaired he didn’t his ego got in the way.

    Good bloody riddance, I will give him credo for having the guts to resign and take the flak, but then again he has a cushy little job to go back to

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    …….any relation of Michael?

  • Greenflag

    jaggers ,

    ‘this because Ireland at present is faced with one of the biggest threats in its history’

    True .

    ‘think back to ‘69 with the army massing on the border to go in to protect the Catholics’

    Not too sure about that . Did you mean the army were going to mass in hastily erected field churches ? There was’nt enough of them (i.e the Army )to fill the Pro Cathedral never mind cross the border 😉

    ‘and how do our Opposition politicians re-act? ‘

    Not much different from 1969 . You see jaggers our opposition politicians are in a similar bind to our Government politicians. Neither knows what to do except to keep hoping that the present lid is’nt blown off .

    PS The Irish are no Israelis . If we had been -crossing the NI border would have been done in a jiffy in 1969 and the subsequent invasion and occupation of England would have been completed by the end of the year . Lizzie would have been deposed and the Grand master of the OO and the quisling UUP leadership would have had to face a war crimes tribunal and would all have been hanged -having first been found guilty of crimes against the Irish people by a unbiased Irish jury 😉

    We Irish also don’t have a billion Arab neighbours well not yet anyway 😉

    I hear now that the Gardai have voted to go on strike . I suppose a lot of them got burnt in the property meltdown due to the sideline speculation as landlords and now have to recoup their earnings via the ‘taxpayer’.

    We’re not Greece yet but we could be heading that way 🙁

  • RobertNoonan

    12 .Yes both of us have failed in our professional careers

  • richiep

    Journo friend of mine ( regional newspaper ) speculates that the whole Lee thing was choreographed to allow him resign and replace the Birdman in Washington.

  • Alias

    “Should be all hung from the lamposts throughout the land as well as the paedo priests, bankers etc….”

    Not enough lamposts. Also, could we afford the cost of cutting them all down again and burying them? I suppose they could serve as food for all those abandoned horses and stray pedigree dogs that Tiffany, Sophie, Hannah, Chloe, Jessica and Lauren got for birthday presents during the Celtic Tiger years…

  • Mack

    Jaggers –

    5. Investigate hitting a multinational for competition fixing in the State – get 10% of their global income and hang the head of a CEO on a spike outside Leinster House to get the message across to multis – stop ripping Ireland off.

    Are you talking about something specific here? Multinationals weren’t / aren’t responsible for the rip-off republic – blame gombeen protectionist policies (e.g. Groceries orders) and gombeen local companies for that. The vibrant and modern part of Ireland’s economy is almost _entirely_ driven by multinationals – attacking them (in particular attacking them for locally made problems) is the fastest route to poverty I can think off.

  • Mack

    Also..

    8. Harry the Govt to get the car scrappage scheme in place.

    There is a car scrappage scheme in place. In my opinion a terrible idea. We don’t have a car industry in Ireland as such, we have a car trade (we buy and sell cars made elsewhere) – where do add local value is primarily in servicing existing cars – and we probably spend more doing that for older cars. Encouraging our citizens to splurge on new cars is encouraging them to mail their money overseas… but sure, anything to keep a few car salesmen happy..

  • Jaggers

    Mack,

    With respect to the multis, I am of course talking figuratively about sticking a head on a spike but, without naming names which might get me and the blog in trouble, there are plainly multis doing substantial business in Ireland where the prices charged to consumers are significantly greater than other markets – yes, wage costs are somewhat higher in the State and property used to be (not so much any more), but logistics are about the same and taxation is significantly lower and the end cost to consumers is generating superprofits for these companies off the backs of Irish consumers. The general EU competition laws allow a fine of 10% of global income. I could draw a list of 5 multis right now which would need the oversight of competition lawyers before action was taken but a message needs to go out that Ireland is a competitive economy – want to buy your Levis or Gap in Europe then pop over to Dublin because we should be among the cheapest, not the most expensive [not having a pop at Levis or Gap, they’re just representative of consumer goods].

    Agreed about the car scrappage scheme, though it appears not to have had any effect in January, in the UK it has had the effect of rejuvenating the car industry at the same time as getting old carbon inefficient, less safe jalopies off the road. It needs to be applied better here to have the same effect and it should have kicked in 6 months ago. And “Encouraging our citizens to splurge on new cars is encouraging them to mail their money overseas” – look at the amount of tax in a car and commission and profit that goes into the pockets of Irish car dealers and their employees and you might change your mind [used to hear that sort of argument about goods I used import from China until I explained to people that the actual amount of money going into the pockets of Mr Wang in Guangdong was far less than was going into my company and my company’s employees here.;

  • Jaggers

    Greenflag,

    I was referring to Operation Armageddon and the plan to send Irish troops into the North to protect Catholics. I think the papers are now public property after the 30 year expiry. No other comparison with Israel is intended. I just wanted to get across that the financial crisis confronting the country is momentous in the history of our State and in such times, other successful countries put aside traditional politics to make sure the best minds are dealing with the problem.

  • Mack

    Jaggers –

    I get the impression you’re talking about retailers? Most of the value-add from Multinationals in Ireland comes from Pharma & software producers (lesser extent electronics). Some foreign (external) retailers such as Tesco, Lidl etc have done their bit to drive prices down – though I’d hold that Irish retailers (Dunnes, SuperQuinn, Roches, Arnotts, Clery’s etc) did more than their bit to drive prices up in the first place. Aided and abetted by the Irish state and the Groceries Order which protected Irish retailers charging extortionate prices..

    (The Gap are _very_ recent arrivals to Ireland (south) by the way).

  • Mack

    Jaggers –

    Also worth noting that while we periodically see populist emails chiding British retailers who charge more in the south than in the north – I’ve yet to see one which attacks Irish retailers for doing the same. Yet, they pretty much all do it.

    Here’s a question for ya! Why did Ikea set up shop in Belfast before Dublin? The Dublin market is much bigger in Euro / Pound terms and Ikea started planning their move to Dublin several years before? HINT – it required a change in Irish law (a one-off exemption, only for Ikea).

    Eddie Hobbs reports that the present government are planning on rolling back some of the recent pro-competition change to the Groceries Order. It appears Irish suppliers don’t like lower prices!

    http://eddiehobbs.com/_blog/EddiesBlog/post/Forget_your_5_A_DAY/

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    See that Deirdre de Burca has left the Green Party after becoming unhappy about the way the Greens pander to FF. Good to see some folk still have principles.

  • Jaggers

    Mack,

    Far be it for me to be populist – that’s a dirty word now, right? used by FF when FG are trying to score an open goal and it means “And no knave brought to book
    Who has won a drunken cheer—
    The witty man and his joke
    Aimed at the commonest ear,
    The clever man who cries
    The catch cries of the clown,
    The beating down of the wise ”

    Yes, it is the retailers that I would suggest targetting – the Competition Acts allow fines of up to 10% of global income – I just figured that a multi national’s would be greater than an indigenous retailer’s – there’s nothing nationalistic about it. If the economy is to get back to being a “small open flexible and competitive” place to site and do business then the minimum wage needs to come down but that can’t happen when the basics are so much more expensive than elsewhere. Actually most wages need to come down but for those at the bottom, it’s not socially acceptable to do that when the basics are so expensive.

    Thanks for the Eddie Hobbs link – now what he writes about (if accurate) is the sort of thing a decent Opposition consults about and then engages with the public about and instead of firing snide rhetorical questions across the floor of the Oireachtas asks brief, pithy non-confrontational questions and then follows up in the media and with citizens. Time for Enda to abandon the attempts at neat epigrammatical debate and look people in the eye and confront issues that are key to citizens.

    Let me have a look at IKEA – don’t know them beyond case studies many years ago and was only once in a store near Hull – think I bought a chair for £4.

  • Mack

    IKEA – the Groceries Order placed a maximum floor size on stores at a limit a tiny fraction of the size that IKEA operates at. They couldn’t enter the Irish market profitably until that restriction was lifted. Irish legislation deliberately prevents retailers operating at scale – which is one way to lower prices..

  • Greenflag

    jaggers ,

    ‘I just wanted to get across that the financial crisis confronting the country is momentous in the history of our State and in such times, other successful countries put aside traditional politics to make sure the best minds are dealing with the problem.’

    I agree and it’s true that other countries do put aside traditional politics . The British did it in WW2 -the Germans formed a national coalition in the 1970’s iirc .Other examples don’t immediately come to mind but I’m sure there are some.

    In Ireland (North and South ) factiousness is endemic . Scarcely had SF succeeded in winning independence than it split into FF and Cumann Na Ngaidheal. We have had FF,FG,PD, Labour, Greens, SF, Independents and SP. We have seen a plethora of factions and divisions amongst what would be called the more militant Republican movement -SF/Workers Party/Democratic Left /SP /CPI etc etc and then the various Provos/Officials / INLA, and now the various brands of ‘Reality republicanism ‘

    I would ‘enjoy’ pointing to Unionism as a model of unified stability but even there you now have UUP, DUP,TUV and their history includes the NIUP, Vanguard and then ‘unionist ; paramilitary factionalism in their various manifestations probably use up all the letters of the alphabet bar Z .

    General De Gaulle once asked the very reasonable question ‘ How can you rule a country that makes a 1,000 different cheeses . We in Ireland might well ask the question . ‘How can you rule a country with so much factionalism’

    It took the Irish a couple of centuries before they realised that the Norsemen who had been pillaging and looting the country were foreigners hell bent on taking the entire island . The Irish ‘united’ (although not entirely ) the Northern Ui Niall Malachy stood on the sidelines just in case the wind blew in the other direction. What’s new ?

    It did’nt take long after Clontarf for the inherent ‘factionalism’ endemic in the Old Gaelic Order to reassert itself so that when the Normans arrived -by invitation would you believe- they found enough Irish ‘faction’ leaders to ally with. .
    I will not mention the ensuing factionalism and tribalism of the period 1200 through 1920 and the erratic and spasmodic efforts by the larger island next door to impose it’s sway . There are several hundred tomes that describe the detail.

    As we look out at Ireland 2010 and see the serious problems facing the State what does our media focus on ?

    George Lee and now De Burca and who will be the next man or woman of eh ‘principle’ to rise up and ‘save’ the country by resigning ? . A few militant republicans are still desirous of saving Ireland by killing others and probably themselves as well ?. Batshit crazy is how I see both of these symptoms of national fractiousness.

    It’s all a load of self sanctimonious shite in most cases . Politics in Ireland is a rough business.

    Despite the poll numbers for Enda Kenny and Gilmore I believe such a coalition in present circumstances would be about as effective as the DUP/SF combo in NI ? Is that what ROI needs ? Not that I’m any happier over the FF/Green Government .

    A National Government for 10 years sounds to me like a good idea . They may get around to forming one when it’s 5 years too late and the country has emptied out another ‘disaffected’ generation.

    Our political leaders Government and Opposition are deficient in ‘cojones’ . They are also trapped into a political bind which combines local factionalism , with multi seat PR constituencies in which opposition from within the same party can end a political career just as quickly as opposition from without .

    Endemic as I say perhaps even ‘genetic’ ?

    Ironically all parties subscribe to the idea of a United Ireland when they can hardly unite amongst themselves at this critical time in the country’s history .

    We can laugh at Irisgate and Adams lapsed memory and at the cretinous backwoodsmen of the TUV but in truth we are often laughing at our own reflection 🙁

  • Jaggers

    Greenflag,

    Probably the most dysfunctional circus of a government I have ever seen is the Israeli one – I’ll borrow a lot of the following from wiki for expendiency but

    The composition of the current Knesset was determined by the 2009 election. At present there are 18 parties represented in the Knesset on 12 lists (some parties run for election together on joint lists). Though it has not yet happened in the current session, in every Knesset to date (save the remarkably stable Third) parties have split up during the Knesset’s term, leading to the creation of new parties or resulting in MKs sitting as independents.

    The parties in the current Knesset are shown in the table below.
    Party Seats
    Kadima 28
    Likud 27
    Yisrael Beiteinu 15
    Labor 13
    Shas 11
    United Torah Judaism* 5
    National Union** 4
    Hadash 4
    United Arab List-Ta’al 4
    The Jewish Home 3
    New Movement-Meretz 3
    Balad 3
    Total 120

    So 18 parties and where a simple majority can change laws including the constitution and where parties can be so small that they are akin to niche unions eg the Taxidrivers party. Not to be stereotypical towards Jews but all looking for deals and improving things for their tribe. There are Arabic and Israeli parties in the Knesset.

    And yet, once a few khaitushas come over the fence from Gaza or West Bank or the neighbours get uppidity, the country pulls together.

    Yes we have a history of factionalism in this country, but we don’t have 18 parties in the Dail all getting respectable shares of votes. Yes we have had personality politics for the past 25 years. But that FG and indeed Labour can’t grasp the seriousness of the crisis and what it means for the next 50 years is beyond me.

    And yes, I agree with you on faulting the media with its obsession for the facile but FG and Labour should be astute enough to be able to get their messages across and quit blethering about the media conspiracy.

    Anyway let’s see how Enda adapts (heard a good one yesterday, that Darwin said it wasn’t the fittest, strongest, most beautiful or intelligent that would survive best – it’s the most adaptable)

  • Greenflag

    jaggers , -it’s friday

    Disappointed with mankind’s performance as well as that of FF, FG , DUP, SF , Kadima , Likud, Shas and UCUNF as well as British Labour-God decides upon a second flood to take place in 10 days time and tells the Archangel Gabriel to inform the leaders of the world’s religions of the ending of the world .

    Gabriel goes to Mecca and tells the elders gathered around the Kaaba . The elders command all Muslims to pray to Allah for the next 30 days. Gabriel next visits Rome and gives the Pope the bad news . The pontiff orders all Catholics to repent their sins but in the circumstances urges them to make the best of their remaining days .

    Finally the Archangel visits the Jewish synagogue in Rome and conveys his message to the Rabbi , who asks :

    ‘Is it really so’?

    ‘Alas . yes .’
    ‘Is it to be fire or water?’
    ‘Water’
    ‘Will it be twenty metres , fifty or seventy metres deep ?’

    ‘Seventy , I’m afraid .’

    ‘Oh well ,’ sighs the rabbi , ‘We’ll just have to learn to adapt to living under water !’

    Darwin was perfectly correct -a quick glance around our political elite on these islands would confirm his observation 😉

    Let’s hope the Ireland rugby team learn to ‘adapt’ tomorrow as they take on the French 😉 It looks like the Welsh won’t have to adapt too much before they send the Scots back home to Caledonia with their haggis trailing behind them and the dismal prospect of another woodener .

  • Greenflag

    jaggers,

    ‘ Not to be stereotypical towards Jews but all looking for deals and improving things for their tribe’

    Insert ‘constituency’ and supporters for tribe and thats Irish politics in a nutshell. Americans use the term ‘pork’ for similar endeavours while In Britain the politicians just keep it for themselves as to grant largesse to their constituency would be considered ‘corruption’ .

    I’m impressed by the Knessets’ 18 parties and a simple majority . That could never work in NI unless the parties were allowed to bring their ‘self defence’ weapons into the Assembly ‘

    So how do the Israelis avoid having having a new Government every Monday morning as was standard Italian operating procedure before they joined the Euro ?

    Your Knesset listing has tempted me to update that old Italian joke .

    One Italian is a poet .
    Two Italians make an opera .
    Three Italians make an army in retreat

    to

    One Israeli is a soldier
    Two Israelis make an army
    Three Israelis make a political party 😉

  • Jaggers

    Greenflag, thanks very much for lightening the mood on a Friday evening. Like yourself, looking forward to tomorrow for a ‘charged’ game in Stade de France – maybe Thierry Henri will be on, he’s certainly had more success with playing football using rugby rules.

    If you ever get the chance to see the Knesset in action, I’d recommend it – I don’t know anywhere in the world with so many focussed politicans from so many parties acting like clowns but on occasion acting as one.

  • Greenflag

    Jaggers ,

    Henri the swine now there’s a thing .

    As O’Driscoll leads out the men in green tomorrow for the great battle his war cry should not be Remember Skibbereen but instead

    ‘Remember Thierry Henri and stick it to the Blues’

    I’m sure soccer fans all over Ireland will raise a great cheer if the Ireland team beats the odds tomorrow . With Ferris back it could be on .

    At least in the Knesset you say they are acting like clowns .

    Our shower on this island don’t have to act as clowns 🙁 They are the real McCoy at 🙁
    If they are focused on anything it’s their chances of making it back to the Dail next time out 🙁

  • Jaggers

    Mack, if you’re still reading … In 2004 there was controversy about an Irish law restricting the maximum size of a retail outlet to 6,000 m2. IKEA’s plan to build a much larger store in Dublin caused the law to be put up for debate. The law was changed to remove the size limit for retail outlets selling durable goods in designated areas.[55] The Minister for the Environment was criticized for allegedly changing the law to suit one company and other agencies protested the law change as damaging to small businesses while the government defended their decision stating that the move was a positive one for Irish consumers. IKEA Dublin has since opened on 27 July 2009. [from wiki]

    If you look at Tesco, it is only the Tesco Extra stores (which make up 6% of the total of Tesco stores, though by square footage they make up 40%) that are on average over 6000 m2 (the average is 6625 m2). It’s difficult on a day like today to support Tesco where Tesco are being reported as having demanded €500,000 from Irish suppliers for the right for their (the Irish suppliers) goods to be sold in Tesco stores. You say the restriction is hampering competition in the State – in what particular circumstances?