Car crash TV – Ivan Yates style…

Former Fine Gael hotshot Ivan Yates had a bit of a car crash on Brendan O’Connor’s show on Saturday night.

In brief – most people know him now as a bookie and a well-paid broadcaster on Newstalk where he is a vocal opponent of the current government (aren’t we all). He was a TD for 21 years and also Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for a few years in the 1990s. In the course of the interview Yates repeated most of the general criticisms of FF and the cuts that are needed and the inequities that exist in the system. O’Connor managed to ambush him (apparently by accident) by pointing out that Yates was drawing a substantial state pension as an ex-TD and Minister (despite being only 50 or so years of age, whilst he is in extremely gainful employment and not exactly in need of the same pension). The audience did not take this too well and roundly boo-ed Yates.

While no longer in Fine Gael he talked of attending at least one recent major Fine Gael event and admitted that they are not exactly in great shape for fighting an election. As with the whole George Lee debacle, Fine Gael appear so inept that maybe FF think that, before Labour organise in the West, this is probably not the worst time for an election.

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  • DC

    Greedy bastard.

  • Alan Maskey

    Mary Robinson got a great pension package for her “services”. The Irish politicians are amongst the world’s highest earners. Biffo is Europe’s highest paid politician.

  • aquifer

    Maybe ROI should start exporting brass necks

  • Greenflag

    A good idea but alas our brass necks have long since upgraded themselves to ‘gold necks’ and nobody else on the planet could afford them much less want them with a few notable exceptions in which I would include Mary Robinson our first woman and Labour Party President .

    Yates acquitted himself well during the interview and the ‘booing’ referred to above was by a few in the audience . Yate’s points about how the Dail actually works and how it doesn’t and his suggestions re how to handle the economic crisis came across clearly and he made some useful suggestions . His comment on getting rid of quangos and streamling administration must have had Ireland’s Sir Humphrey Appleby’s choking on their biscuits and spilling their cuppas 😉

    FG lost a potential Taoiseach when Yates left politics for the business world . But then FF never managed although they tried to get Tony O’Reilly to stand for the Dail . There are some people out there who do not relish the prospect of going to four funerals a week and sitting in clinics dealing with matters that should be dealt with by the local councillors and/or council . Multi seat constituencies contested by members of the same party also add to and exacerbate local ‘factionalism’ at the expense often of the national interest.

    It’s an issue (the role of the TD ) which will sooner or later have to be addressed. Getting rid of the Senate is a placebo and a doggie bone thrown to appease the anti politicians crowd .

  • Greenflag

    She’s earning her crust .She’s at least telling the world what’s going on in Gaza which is more than you’ll get from the USA or UK media at least in so far as the latter media are controlled by Murdoch and company .

    To listen to how much actually has’nt changed for Gazans because of the Israeli siege – as Mrs Robinson having half a million children growing up in a collective prison is not making Israel -safe !

    We can all be very proud of our Mrs Robinson in ROI and we should encourage Norn ironers to be proud of her too and to be more sympathethic of their Mrs Robinson 😉

    http://www.rte.ie/news/av/2010/1018/page1393856_av2838725.html#&autoplay=true&search=mary robinson gaza

  • You missed the point, though, Greenflag. Yates did provide an excellent outline of what is wrong, particularly with the parish pump system – and then unintentionally illustrated how the choice between FF and FG (at least, if not Labour too) is largely ilusory when Brendan O’Connor brought up his pre-retirement state ‘pension’. From about 27mins 50 or so in, techincally the audience didn’t ‘boo’ Yates – they cheered on O’Connor for highlighting the contradiction and hypocrisy between what Yates was saying and his own actions.

  • Greenflag

    If Yates was/is being hypocritical then so too are the other 165 current TDs and the couple of thousand ? former TD’s who have served the State since it’s inception although in financial terms probably the past 20 years has seen ridiculous ‘overpayment ‘ for services rendered .

    I thought Yates was being very honest and direct in his comments and probably much more so than at least a 100 plus other current TD’s I could mention . I’m sure there are many former TD’s who probably could’nt exist or maintain themselves in the custom to which they became accustomed during their period of ‘service’.

    Off the top of my head I can only think of two former TD’s who left politics and went on to found ‘successful’ businesses Ivan Yates and Paddy Power ironically both in the business of ‘gambling ‘ What that says about the ‘national character ‘ or the character of our elected chancers is not for me to comment .

    The audience btw was a relatively young one and responding to the eh ‘current ‘ economic conditions as they right to . I don’t recall the Labour Party ever suggesting that ‘retirement ‘ pensions for TD’s should be means tested . ?

    O’Connor is of course a state employee with RTE and will not be too much out of pocket when his own index linked inflation proof pension kicks in ?

    What the country needs is a politician of the calibre of a Sean Lemass or a Liam Cosgrave to lead the nation at this time . Unfortunately the ‘inheritor’ generation among our politicians haven’t a patch on the integrity of a Cosgrave or Lemass at least from my perspective . There are some excellent TD’s and sadly former TD’s out there but the system tends to drag them in for about 10 years and then spit them out . They arrive some of them wanting to change the world , Ireland , their county , constituency etc etc and finish up losing their seats because they haven’t attended enough funerals or weddings 🙁

  • DC

    Preparing or proposing the bad medicine for the populace that he himself isn’t prepared to swallow – or more so doesn’t need too. Because he’s a very wealthy man.

    He could forgo his State/Dail pension, which is paid to him already despite him not being of retirement age. The rest of the population he once represented doesn’t get that sort of preferential treatment laid on to them! In today’s chilly economic climate they haven’t a hope in hell.

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  • Alias

    When a politician tells you that he is “totally immoral” and you still think it an awful shame that he didn’t get to be the leader of a major political party then you really ought to question ponder if you could best serve the public by spoiling your ballot paper at the nest general election.

  • Jane Jeffers

    B O’C isn’t great though is he?

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    You misunderstood Mr Yates . His attitude to gambling reflects the views of the vast majority of people on this island and indeed on the neighbouring one . There are a few Churches usually of the extreme fundamentalist kind who have about 30,000 members out of a total UK + Ireland population of 72 million approx . People like to have a flutter now and again on the Grand National . Of course habitual gamblers be they at the race course or in Las Vegas are destined to lose the longer they play . Nobody beats the odds in the long term .

    Better to beware those professing the business ethics of bankers and hedge fund managers and the religiosity of bishops , priests and ministers and the cant of neo con politics or their extreme opposite .

    I’d trust Yates a lot more than Seanie Fitzpatrick or Drumm or the hundreds of Wall St and City CEO’s in the financial world who have lied the world into economic recession .

    And on that very point heres a little usefool know how the latest on how to tell when a CEO is lying ( no it’s not when his/her lips are moving -it’s a bit more scientific according to the psychologists ). They now need to come up with a similar test for politicians . Probably no point in even testing the neo cons 🙁

  • Alias

    I didn’t misunderstand him at all. He made a simple a simple declarative sentence: “I’m totally immoral.” I accept his own insight into his character at face value, since it is either true or he is lying, and if he is lying then it is also true!

  • Alias

    By the way, since you appear to be the trusting sort that could easily be led astray, I’ll give you some brotherly advice: never chat online to any woman online who uses the word ‘b*tch’ or any other self-purgative as part of her moniker because she really means it. Honest folks don’t call themselves rogues, and nice women don’t use nasty monikers. Now, aren’t you glad I helped you out with some advice there? 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘I accept his own insight into his character at face value,’

    Then you might learn a bit from this expert on the vagaries of the English language and the dangers inherent in mistaking the ‘literal’ truth for the real truth 🙂