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Thread: Is there any real animosity amongst Oireachtas members personally?

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    Politics.ie Member Darren J. Prior's Avatar
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    Default Is there any real animosity amongst Oireachtas members personally?

    I don't mean extreme hatred or punching matches.

    I went into the Dáil twice on the first week of the new Dáil term for Near90fm.

    My limited experience of Leinster House would lead me to believe that all the Oireachtas members get along great with one another on a personal level and are probably all friends. So our politicians are all political actors in the literal sense, are they?

    Some people on the site would know more about this than others. So am I right?
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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    There's animosity between members of the same party never mind between parties. Politics is a lonely game, the top guys all think they can be Taoiseach and the others, the ward bosses, don't want constituency competition even from their own.

    While they wouldn't mount the path to run one another down, they certainly wouldn't hit the breaks too hard if there was one of them in the road.
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    Politics.ie Member Darren J. Prior's Avatar
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    There is competition to be promoted and there is competition often within constituencies between candidates. I admit that on the latter is probably where you would find the animosity. I think that they generally all get on great though within the Dáil. I think so anyway. I would not put my house down on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren J. Prior View Post
    I don't mean extreme hatred or punching matches.

    I went into the Dáil twice on the first week of the new Dáil term for Near90fm.

    My limited experience of Leinster House would lead me to believe that all the Oireachtas members get along great with one another on a personal level and are probably all friends. So our politicians are all political actors in the literal sense, are they?

    Some people on the site would know more about this than others. So am I right?
    Having fundamental disagreements on policy and politics does not mean, and should not mean, developing personal hatreds. In politics in all democracies it is possible to have friendships with people you fundamentally disagree with. Ian Paisley and John Hume, for example, are good personal friends. So are Hans Kung and Pope Benedict. George Bush senior and Bill Clinton as very close friends and have been since the mid 1990s. Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy were close friends. So are John Bruton and Des O'Malley.

    Equally one can agree with someone and not get on with them personally.

    Prior to the treaty three of the closest friends were Éamon de Valera and W. T. Cosgrave. They fell out over the treaty but re-established their friendship in their final years, being seen in the Áras laughing and joking to each other. De Valera had a major row with Governor-General James McNeill which led to McNeill's resignation. Yet McNeill's wife, Josephine, was a close personal friend of de Valera's - she had once been his secretary. Similarly, not withstanding the treaty, Sinead de Valera and Michael Collins were close friends.

    Yes there are personal friendships across parties the Dáil as in Washington, Rome, Berlin, South Africa or elsewhere. Friendship does not mean one agrees with someone, not does a lack of friendship mean one disagrees with them.

    In college, I had complete contempt for Sinn Féin and a strong dislike of Fianna Fáil. That didn't stop me counting among my close friends the chairman of Ógra Sinn Féin and the chairman of the Kevin Barry Cumann of FF. I have been highly critical of the bias of RTÉ and the Late Late Show. That doesn't change the fact that Ryan Tubridy is a friend of mine. Nor does the fact that we are friends mean that I won't be critical.

    That's how life works. Life is too short to turn personal disagreements on policy or politics into personal disagreements. I hope FF lose a heck of a lot of seats in the Dáil. That doesn't mean that there are not some FF TDs I know I would be sorry to see lose because I know them to be decent people.
    "In [Ireland] a wife is regarded as a chattel, just as a thoroughbred mare or cow." Mr Justice Butler in the Irish courts. 'Traditional Marriage' in the 1970s.

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    Politics.ie Member Darren J. Prior's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe though that people in Ireland particularly in the Labour Party- people like Eamon Gilmore, Pat Rabbitte and Michael D. Higgins- can politically loathe Fianna Fáil when they are talking publicly and to constituents, but be friends with them.
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    Politics.ie Member Darren J. Prior's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong I think that it is a good thing that they do not hate each other. But when they hate each other politically and when Fine Gael and Labour say that Fianna Fáil (in large part) destroyed the republic I find it to be a charade that they are all friends. Friendships can happen of course amongst unlikely groups, like as you said John Hume and Ian Paisley. An rud is annamh is iontach. But I find it unusual that they could all be friends in Leinster House.
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    Politics.ie Member ocoonassa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren J. Prior View Post
    I find it unusual that they could all be friends in Leinster House.
    I find it entirely likely given that they're all the same breed of brown nosing careerist pigs at the trough selling out their electorate to whoever the whips and the brown envelopes tell them to. Really political parties make these kind of people inevitable. Their faction fighting is all pantomime for the most part, like WWF wrestling for gombeens.

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    Politics.ie Member corelli's Avatar
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    Pretty much every one, cross party, dislikes Dermot Ahern, personally. Is that the type of thing that you were looking for? Not being smart. It's actually true.
    "......... we must sometimes listen to those who, consumed with zeal, have scant judgment or balance. To such ones the modern world is nothing but betrayal and ruin.........We feel bound to disagree with these prophets of doom who are forever forecasting calamity -- as though the world's end were imminent."

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    Politics.ie Member Mushroom's Avatar
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    Shortly after I entered the civil service I was given the following advice by an experienced old Leinster House hand - the key thing to remember about about politicians of all hues is that, regardless of the team jersey that they may be wearing at any given time, they're all members of the same exclusive club - and we're not in it!
    Founded in 2003, Politics.ie has one of the most engaged, respected and influential politics and current affairs communities.

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    Whether there is, or is not, personal animosity amongst Oirechtas members often depends on intra-party and/or inter party partisanship.

    Sometimes the degree of opposition and lack of regard towards a political person may be related to the degreee to which that person is loved or loathed within their own political party.

    The greater the division in ideology between politicians the greater the liklihood is that
    they will not see eye-to-eye. The closer they are on the spectrum or continuum of ideology, the less they are likely to be separated by differences.

    On top of this, common courtesy kicks in and respect is sought and demanded by most politicians from their opponents. It should not be surprising therefore if one finds opponents in the Chamber perhaps sharing a meal or a cup of coffe in the restaurant. We all do it every day .i.e. share our daily space, eating rituals, sometime drinking rituals, sport past times and even neighbourhoods with people whose views and sometimes behaviours are contrary to ours.

    It is called being civilised. Politicians are no different.

    You, for instance, may have totally different views from other members of your family or neighbours but this should not cause you to shun or behave badly towards them. We live and let live and get along as best we can.

    Accommodating others does not mean we discard or compromise our views on bad behaviour or bad ideology; in the case of the latter, we wait our opportunity and kick such people out of office. It's called democracy.

    Sometimes other people may not share our views that this so-and-so is a bad, corrupt, nasty politician. But sooner or later, often later, they tumble to the obvious and they too eventually share our view. This is called democracy.

    It may not be perfect..........but it sure beats the alternatives.

    P.S.: In the Norwegian parliament, elected TDs do not sit in party political blocs. They sit in a horse-shoe shaped House from left to right on the basis of the first letter of their surnames. All the A's together, the B's next to them, followed by the C's etc etc.
    The feeling is and was that having to sit next to, rather than opposite your political opponents, was better for harmony, peace, compromise and nation-building.

    A bit like fostering togetherness in a family eating and talking together around the meal table.

    Democracy and fraternisation may not be perfect......but it sure beats the alternatives.

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