Monday, February 8, 2010

International Politics

Sometimes I'm just stunned by how wonderful the internet is. It's terrific!

Browsing Magicmum this morning with Tweetdeck running George Lee's name cropped up everywhere all at once. It attracted me as I'd had a conversation with my Dad last night about him. I don't know much but here goes.

George Lee was an economic correspondant in RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster. In the economic recession of the last few years he was very busy and very well respected. Then he joined Fine Gael, the opposition political party. He was elected in Dublin south nine months ago.

So Dad was saying he'd been holding meetings and so on in the last while, but that he hadn't appeared to influence party policy in any way. Dad was wondering if Fine Gael was taking full advantage of his economic mindset.

Now lunchtime today, just in time for the one o'clock news, he resigned, not just from Fine Gael but from his seat in the Dail (Irish parliament). In double quick time he appeared on the 'News at One' on RTE, on Newstalk and currently he's getting an earful from a member of his constituency on 'Liveline'. Liveline is a national institution, hosted by Joe Duffy, it allows anyone to call in a make a comment on whatever is being discussed. And I could listen over the internet to all these interviews.

On Twitter he caused a terrible amount of confusion when the #Glee hashtag was taken over by Irish politics in place of an American high school musical.

But there were some fantastic one-liners:
@DeclanFlynn George Lee & Charlie Bird to star in new RTE reality show, Celebrity Big Baby. #georgelee
(Reference to another RTE reporter coming home early after a shorter-than-expected stint abroad)
@Padraig #georgelee is quitting over a lack of influence over the policy of a party that has no power to implement it.
@urchinette God, George Lee is such a ridiculous baby. Did he think that just cos he's famous he'd suddenly become a leading politician?
@RositaBoland Cover your ears. The sound of George Lee whining on the News at One right now might just blast your eardrums
@eoinpurcell How hilarious is it that the OPPOSITION is imploding when the economy is in the toilet?
@RositaBoland He's unstoppable. There is nothing #georgelee is not saying "I don't like your preachy voice"!! to the female caller on liveline!

And two new Facebook pages too:
Who cares if George left Fine Gael group
George Lee: Don't let the door hit you on the ass as you leave the Dail page

And he's been caricatured too Caricatures Ireland

So whether I think he should have resigned or not; whether it was ego or not; whether he's causing greater economic hardship by forcing a by-election; whether Fine Gael are right or wrong; whether Fine Gael will win or lose (again) the next election; or whether it's all a bit irrelevant to me (the hard truth of the long-term expat); I could still instantly access a range of opinions and facts and even hear the man himself.


  1. I think he left too soon. I reckon he thought he'd be running the country but it didn't happen quickly enough for him.

  2. Don't really know enough to say. But I'd be fierce disappointed if I'd voted for him!

  3. Thanks for the link!

  4. No problem, loved the caricature!