Talking to a brick wall: how to make politicians listen?

It took me a long time to warm to advertising agencies. The first time I worked with one I was working in sales management on Fairy Washing Up Liquid. I was due to attend a meeting at which I was to be told what consumers really thought of the brand. I remember my reluctance to attend. Surely, I reasoned, we already knew the answer to this question as millions of consumers picked up the dark green bottles off the shelf …

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What Ireland did right (and what it needs to do)…

It is difficult to believe now that one country recently sent 19 delegations to Ireland to study how well our economy was managed. The revelation that our model of economic management featured positively in political and economic discussion in countries including Estonia, Greece and Scotland may also come as a surprise. As we survey the ruinous aftermath of the collapse of a property and banking bubble, it is salutary to read that ‘Ireland turned out to be the first country …

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Books: ‘Who’s in Charge, Towards a Leadership of Service’

Father Harry Bohan and the Ceifin Centre were probably the most prescient in analysing the effect of economic exuberance on our society and the impact of the rapid loss of this success has had on our national spirit and psyche. This work has revolved around the Ceifin conferences that Fr Bohan has organised since 1998. The papers from each of these gatherings form an annual publication. These publications broadly charted the absence of values and of leadership based on non …

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Oppositions winning elections – not as easy as it appears

The idea that politicians don’t care about opinion polls is, at best, a half truth. In my experience politicians rarely care about individual polls (unless their own name features on the ballot paper) but instead focus on the trends in polls. Sometimes individual polls do stand out that make professional politicians stop and ponder them. This has happened to me over the last few days. It was not the Red C opinion poll in the Sunday Business Post that caught …

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Dan and Wille

Dan Boyle, in fairness, is acknowledged to do two things well. He is a regular contributor to the Seanad and is also a good user of social media. Therefore when I saw his (now famous tweet) when heading into Leinster House on Wednesday night I thought something was up. When he didn’t appear in the Seanad yesterday I knew something was up. We placed a motion of No Confidence in Deputy O’Dea yesterday morning in the chamber. It was a …

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Why only €10 million?

This question was raised every day by my colleagues in Seanad Eireann and in a stormy Dail debate. It referred to the Government commitment of €10 million to deal with the devastating floods that destroyed large parts of Ireland. Why so little? The deserts and sky rise cities of Dubai have literally nothing in common with the ruined homes in Athlone, Carrick on Shannon and Ennis. But some of the answer to the question of how the Government can find …

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