A tweet on Saturday From Dubin Fire Brigade about the Taoiseach’s visit to North Strand 


Derek Mooney writes:

It’s not that Leo Varadkar’s Strategic Communications Unit has “blurred” the lines between governmental and political, between the State and FG… it has demolished them completely.

Fine Gael spin is compromising State agencies who are just trying to do their best.

Earlier: Tony Groves: The Original Strategic Communications Unit

35 thoughts on “Backdraft

  1. Cian

    Politicians, of all hues, in all countries, will do anything to get exposure.

    This isn’t a new thing. This isn’t a FG thing, and it isn’t a Varadkar thing.

    1. Adama

      Seriously yes.

      You’re right, politicians everywhere will do anything to get exposure but Varadkar’s becoming a serial social media flasher. He’ll be so exposed shortly there’ll be nothing left of him.

      There is a concerted effort by the SCU to plonk his mush everywhere. This effort makes the days of Bertie look like amateur hour. The recent revelations on the blurring of lines between advertorials and genuine news copy is only another symptom of this. Obviously this government values spin, message and presentation over all else. Probably a sign of a party hierarchy that’s grown too comfortable with being in power.

      1. ReproBertie

        “The recent revelations on the blurring of lines between advertorials and genuine news copy is only another symptom of this.”
        This is a massive red herring. Every local newspaper in the country takes promotion written as copy and prints it without question. If it was an actual concern to FF then they’d pull the plug on the sexless marriage that is this FF/FG coalition.

        1. Adama

          Okay – I can accept that a small local paper might, for the sake of filling copy and also to ingratiate themselves with a local TD might blur the lines between promotion and factual reporting. But national papers? No way is that acceptable. Also bear in mind that the 2040 was rolled out like a product launch along multiple media channels. This was an ass-grab of the agenda by FG. Varadkar’s childish antics arguing with FF in the Dail last week only proved they were caught rapid with their hand on the press.

          1. Cian

            “Varadkar’s childish antics arguing with FF in the Dail last week ”

            Do you mean when he produced the 2006 FF strategy that was ‘promoted’ in the exact same way?

          1. Adama

            Yes Cian – I mean exactly that. It doesn’t matter to me which party did what to when to who first. It doesn’t and shouldn’t set a precedent for succeeding administrations to continue in the same vein. FF and FG are shades of the same colour politically. However with FG there is a much more hardened cynicism when it comes to matters of spin, public perception and presentation. Varadkar revealed himself last week clashing with FF over the 2040 plan. For a brief moment you got to see the real Leo. Also apparently (according to Ellen Coyne of the IT) the SCU is now ‘distracting from the business of Government’ and may be scrapped.

          2. Cian

            Adama, Bertie “smoke and daggers” Ahern was the master of spin – he spun his way through 11 years as Taoiseach. Never gave a straight answer to anything.

          3. Cian

            Politicians be politicking.

            Adama – you’re the one making is personal against Leo and FG.

            Is it acceptable that Leo poses in a photograph with Dublin Fire Brigade? Yes – he is highlighting the amazing work that they were doing last week.

            Explain why you think it’s not acceptable.

          4. Adama

            Now Cian I’m not referring specifically to that picture. I’m talking about the wider implications of Leo and the SCU. But If you want a comment on the pic it’s of course commendable that Leo would thank hard-working public servants for their tireless and underpaid work.

          5. Cian

            If its the wider ‘spin’ implications – why are you limiting your ire to Leo and the SCU? Surely it would be fairer to include the pervious governments too?

    2. Otis Blue

      Did we really need him and Eoghan Murphy to provide a daily briefing to the Nation during the bad weather?

      1. rotide

        So when politicians do nothing, you complain.
        When they do something, you complain
        When they do a lot of something, you complain.

      2. Otis Blue

        Not at all.

        But that looked like a grab for soft, uncritical publicity. TBH I was surprised to see them reprise the ‘man of action’ ruse given that it had failed dismally on the housing/ homeless issue.

        It seems to me that they both need some PR guidance.

  2. LuvinLunch

    I’d like to see him visiting some homeless people. He can tell them what he told the Dail. Homelessness is no worse here than in other countries.

    Then he can tell them about the 21K pay rise he gave himself in December

    1. Neilo

      I’ve seen better dressed wounds; so much for his alleged sartorial flair. Comedy socks and now a Trespass factory outlet special. People gave about Haughey – with good reason, in many cases – but could you ever imagine the Northside Napoleon kitted out like an icepop? Buy a decent coat, Taoiseach…great offers are still available online and ‘in store’.

        1. Neilo

          @Otis Blue: what is seen cannot be unseen. I’m typing this out using Dragon as I bleached my eyes after that workout attire shot.

          1. Otis Blue

            It’s hard to know where to place it in the awareness – lack of awareness spectrum.

            Either way not good.

      1. Frilly Keane

        the Irish Team at the Junior Womens World Boxing Championship recently had to chip in themselves for matching hoodies and pants from Penneys
        borrow the lads vest and shorts
        and get their own boxing boots etc
        and are tipped to be big winners in Tokyo

        and he’s going around in a freebie from Irish Winter Olympic Squad!!!!

        what a boopy booper
        let see ye spin that lads

  3. david

    His clowning glory
    A whistle stop tour is to be announced as he tours Dublin but sadly down to country the brave firemen paramedics etc will not be visited as well as in his own words many dead that were taking shelter in their homes
    Meanwhile brexit gets closer and closer and no back up plan and our worst crises with clueless SCUM
    (Stearic communications units ministers )in charge

    1. ReproBertie

      No backup plan to Brexit? I suggest you pick yourself up a copy of Tony Connelly’s book. Ireland has been planning for this for longer and in more detail then the idiots in Westminster. Just because they’re not parading their “worst case scenario” plan doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    2. Frilly Keane

      Sign up for updates from @finegael.ie if you want to know about their Brexit Back Up plan

      Simple as da’

  4. :-Joe

    Derek “FF/fg-Spin-bot” Mooney calling out John “FG/ff-Spin-bot” Concannon….

    You should both have a long spinning face-off together… down a short pier…



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