How Strategic?


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

This morning.

In the Irish Examiner.

In an article about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Strategic Communications Unit…

Juno McEnroe reports:

Emails released under freedom of information show how the SCU is stretching its reach right into the nerve centre of departments and government decision making, at very senior levels.

The unit, led by marketing guru John Concannon, was even asked to participate in the controversial public services card project with the ID system under fire and receiving “an amount of public attention”.

…Emails between Mr Concannon, the SCU, and senior department officials, reveal fresh concerns, including:

The SCU drafting a parliamentary answer for then tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, instead of her staff, which was about justifying the existence of the unit itself. The same wording was used, after the SCU told a senior department senior official “grateful if you could use this version”;

Mr Concannon and the SCU oversaw plans for a health event launch in Mr Varadkar’s constituency relating to the new children’s paediatric outpatient and care unit at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown;

The Department of Public Expenditure told the unit that the controversial public services card was attracting “an amount of public attention” and sought the unit’s help for a PR campaign.

The SCU repeatedly tried to get ministers and their secretaries general to attend meetings, it trained senior civil servants, and was also asked to help the “anxious” short-staffed rural affairs department.

Leo Varadkar’s spin unit at heart of key decisions (Juno McEnroe, The Irish Examiner)

Previously: Strategic Communications Unit on Broadsheet

28 thoughts on “How Strategic?

  1. bisted

    …if Concannon thinks that his transient spin-doctor department can win against the permanent civil service then he is not as clever as Leo thinks he is…

    1. david

      Ever wonder why we have no reform in the public sector? Exactly that
      Leo really is to learn that the knives will be out now
      He really is digging a ditch
      I suppose the SCUM unit sent him over to the frau to Avoid the baying mob in the dail after his stupid boast to trump
      They will be waiting as will many people when they finally realise little Leo verrucas team have messed up regarding brexit when Mickey martin finally pulls the plug
      Sadly this SCU is not what people voted for and it reminds me of a propaganda unit Stalin would of set up

  2. Jake38

    The permanent civil service wastes vast amounts of time answering self-serving parliamentary questions posed by some TD or other (“Can the Minister tell the house where Facthan O Maoelshechtains medical card is?..etc, etc.)

    Maybe now they might actually be able to do some productive work.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Funny you should give the medical card example. You cannot get to speak or email directly with an actual government employee when dealing with the medical card section. You only get Arvato- a call centre. You get a prepared script. You never get a call back from an actual department official – only when you get a TD involved. When the local HSE offices dealt with it it was more efficient and more than likely cheaper.

    2. david

      The system works like this
      The question is asked in the dail
      The minister then asks his staff in the department
      They answer him
      He then answer the dail
      The department has information on citizens data that is illegal to be passé on
      Data protection comes to mind and this information is protected and I honestly think a massive legal question is there regarding others having access to it
      And a massive question regarding leaks of personal information that can Ruin peoples lives

      1. GiggidyGoo

        The FG grassroots will take care of him, and those that put him in the position of Taoiseach, come next election. By the looks of it, that election mightn’t be far away. A shoe salesman won’t save him. The game is up.

        1. david

          Maybe ambassador to deli
          For little Leo verruca
          I would say the meeting with the frau will be interesting as Ireland gets its orders for brexit

      2. david

        Please do not say that I would prefer him to end up impeached
        This idiot is possibly the worst head of government this country has ever experienced

          1. david

            Yep and they were also asked in by Iceland
            Iceland stood firm and look at them now
            Ireland did what it was told and look at us now
            The only reason we are still here is we are slowly being drained
            But when we can no longer pay that’s when we see the true folly of what our leadership did

  3. steve white

    Irish Examiner story quite weak, so the Dept of Justice asked the SCU to help it give an answer to a PQ about the SCU big whoop

  4. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Marie Devine started the Sinn Fein SCU last night. Not as good as FGs, but early days yet.

    Mary Lou says the bigger error was to not delete the tweet, the mask slips.

      1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

        Ha good point.

        They are desperately trying to appear legitimate, a bit like Putin, but everyone sees thru it.

  5. realPolithicks

    Many of Broadsheets rightwingers arguing amongst themselves on this thread, its lovely to see.

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