Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,-The Second Coming, WB YeatsYeats could have been channelling the spirit of the modern political campaign manager. For nearly twenty years political parties and candidates have been successful in imposing previously undreamed controls on campaigns.
Politics is not a horserace. And politicians, contrary to the misleading impressions given by some political correspondents, are not the primary deciders of their own fate. For months we've been treated to articles detailing poll results and trying to find a correspondence with the doings and transpirings of our elected representatives.
Last Saturday's Irish Times opinion page, like most Saturdays, had a piece by Noel Whelan. In this the former FF candidate and FF electoral advisor with a weekly column in a national newspaper laid out the reasons why citizens ought not be permitted to state their opinions publically. It was, he argued unpersuasively, a danger to democracy.
The Minister for Justice is sometimes accused of not being able to control himself. Here, in the midst of a Seanad Debate, he veers off topic in order to unburden himself on the question of the press, in general, and Fintan O'Toole and Vincent Brown in particular. Special note: Spot Martin Mansergh trying to staunch the flow, and failing.
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