— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) February 6, 2020
Ivan Yates on Newstalk.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin struggles to sum up Leo Varadkar in one word.
Top pic: iStock
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) February 6, 2020
Ivan Yates on Newstalk.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin struggles to sum up Leo Varadkar in one word.
Top pic: iStock
From top: Terry Prone; Ivan Yates (right) and Matt Cooper during the Leaders’ Debate on Virgin Media One last night
Further to last night’s immoderate moderation.
How did Ivan Yates develop his lovable telly persona?
Who on Earth could craft such a character?
‘On the day of the [General Election 2007] count, Sean O’Rourke went around the studio asking who would be the outstanding candidate of the election.
…When he went to Terry [Prone], she didn’t hesitate for a second.
“The outstanding winner of the election was Ivan Yates,” she said, “He came out of nowhere, or at least out of being half-remembered and, in a matter of weeks, he became a media star. He should abandon betting and move into media.”
…Terry had already turned me into a newspaper columnist whether I liked it or not. I had done a chapter on Celtic Bookmakers for a book KPMG had produced about entrepreneurs. The Communications Clinic does consultancy and training for KPMG and decided I should talk to Tim Vaughan, editor of the Irish Examiner, about a column. He said ‘Yes’.
In the beginning, I would send my first draft to Terry for her to sub-edit and tidy up but, after a few weeks, she told me I didn’t need her anymore.
…so when Terry ordered me into doing some [television and radio] run throughs [mock interviews], I said ‘Yes, Ma’am’.
…Terry pushed me relentlessly, tolerating no excuses…she had nothing to gain. I kept offering to pay her. She kept telling me to shut up and take notes.
She seemed in charge of basic skills while Anton Savage, managing director of their company, put a useful frame around the programme.
…Our ratings began to climb, I became surer of my radio persona, helped by a note I’d made when Anton had trained me.
‘Don’t set out to be likeable, you’ll be so bland and boring you’ll have nobody listening to you.’
That gave me courage when texts came in saying, ‘Ivan, I now know you are the greatest wanker of all time’.’
Ivan Yates in Full On by Ivan Yates
She had nothing to gain.
— @Aoifs123 (@Aoifs123) January 30, 2020
What the country cant afford is to pay €70k a year on pensions for 50 year old former politicians.
— Mick Caul (@caulmick) January 30, 2020
From top: Panel on Virgin Media One’s post-debate show, Political Correspondent Gavan Reilly, debate moderators Ivan Yates and Matt Cooper
Virgin Media One hosted a seven-way leaders’ debate which was moderated by Ivan Yates and Matt Cooper.
Mr Yates opened the debate with the following line:
“I’m wondering has there ever been such a collection of chancers and charlatans put before the Irish public. Because I put it to you, starting with the Taoiseach, that is a fundamentally dishonest election because the presumption is there’s €11billion to have a giveaway on tax cuts and spending when, in actual fact, the Department of Finance have not assured us that money will be available.”
Following the debate, Virgin Media One’s Political Correspondent Gavan Reilly hosted a post-debate show with a panel including journalist and commentator Alison O’Connor, Associate Professor of Politics at DCU Gary Murphy, Irish Independent‘s Fionnan Sheahan and businesswoman Norah Casey.
The manner in which the debate was moderated came in for a lot of criticism on social media and from the panel.
Ms O’Connor said she’d like to have one of the moderators “drug tested” to see how much “Red Bull” they had drank before adding that she felt there was too much testosterone in the room.
Mr Sheahan reluctantly admitted he’d like to see Vincent Browne back, in a nod to the former host of The Tonight Show on then TV3.
During the debate, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told Mr Yates to “calm it” at one point [see above].
Eventually, Mr Yates and Mr Cooper joined the post-debate panel.
Then Mr Reilly put the criticism up to them and they had this exchange…
Gavan Reilly: “Welcome back. Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates have joined us straight from this evening’s debate which, technically speaking they moderated but gents I have to put it to you, Ivan, you specifically, the way you set the tone in the first 15 seconds. It hardly really set the pace for what should have been a very mature exchange of views about the future of the country and how Ireland ought to be run…”
Ivan Yates: “Well, part of what I do, both on this show and on radio, is not to do the ‘journalistic-ask-the-questions’. I’m not a journalist at all. I have an opinion and I’ve a very strong opinion on this election that the Department of Finance is muzzled for saying what they really think.
“And I think they are having a conniption about the promises that all parties are making. They actually don’t believe there’ll be 2.5% growth each year for the next five years, that we’ll be record breakers.
“And all those things.
“And I’ve seen the correspondence that they’ve sent the parties and they’ve totally, dishonestly misrepresented what the costings are. Because, like, if you say ‘what’s the reduction of pupil-to-teacher ratio? it’ll cost €50million’. They’ll give you a figure but they have an opinion of the knock-on effects of tax change…”
Reilly: “No sure, and all of that is fine…”
Yates: “The public have never got that…”
Reilly: “But that’s fine, but that’s your opinion, and you’re not running…”
Yates: “That’s right.”
Reilly: “…in the election…”
Reilly: “So why then did you take up so much time from the seven people who do have aspirations to lead different cohorts of the Government and take up so much time, not only setting the tone but not letting them finish when they tried to reply?”
Yates: “Well, a lot of that was to do with crowd control. There was nine people in the room and there was only so many minutes. But the whole entire first section was taken up with the economy and their promises. And I think that has to be put squarely to the voters, to say ‘are they really trying to buy my vote here?’.”
Alison O’Connor: “Yeah, but I think the viewer, I think that the problem was, appreciating what you’re saying, the problem was that in that section the viewer wasn’t served. Because it was like ‘reach for the Solpadeine’. That was the problem. It was very shouty and camáile and it was difficult, appreciating that there were nine people. So it was very, it was very difficult to…”
Talk over each other
Yates: “…the seven leaders because they were very anxious…”
Reilly: “Matt, having just come back from the studio what do you think the other seven leaders made of the tone of the conduct of tonight’s debate?”
Matt Cooper: “That’s not something we discussed with them afterwards. You do your handshakes, you let them go off and do what they’re going to do…”
Reilly: “No, and I appreciate you have to come down here too but surely you talked to them during the ad breaks?”
Cooper: “No actually, we didn’t. We go and talk and talk to our producers, whatever, so there wasn’t, we had, I had one brief conversation with them at the second ad break in relation to, that there was an issue that perhaps there was a bit too much talking over each other. And I think then when we moved into the discussion about a united Ireland was particularly interesting and particularly illuminating, and I was very, very happy with the third and fourth sections.
“I see where you’re coming from in relation to the early parts. And that’s something obviously that, well we can’t change, we take very much on board.
“But one thing I would say, I think one thing that we are probably, I think we should be glad of in Ireland is that we do actually have an awful lot of really, well-intentioned politicians. Whatever you might think of the particular positions that they take in relation to things. I’d say I was impressed by all of them with the way that they stood their corner, the way they articulated their positions, some of them perhaps maybe are not as well thought out as they might think and some of them are…”
Gary Murphy: “But that’s not the way...That’s not the way you introduced the debate though. That’s not the way you introduced the debate. You introduced the debate saying that basically they were all, you know, chancers because of the Department of Finance…your views…”
Cooper: “It’s not…in fairness to Ivan, sometimes that is to provoke the response from the people to say ‘well no, we’re actually not chancers, this is what we’re doing and why we’re doing it’…”
Watch back in full here
Previously: Lose The Hattitude
From top: Public Services Card, Data Protection Commission, panel on last night’s The Tonight Show, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty; Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates; Executive Director of Irish Council for Civil Liberties Liam Herrick
Further to the Department of Social Protection lodging an appeal against an enforcement notice handed down by the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the controversial Public Services Card…
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty told journalists that the department hopes the court case will be “done and dusted by March”.
The appeal challenges the findings of a two-year investigation into the card by the Data Protection Commissioner.
The commissioner Helen Dixon found there is no legal basis for anyone to have to present a Public Services Card in respect of any transaction between a person and a public body outside Ms Doherty’s department – such as obtaining a drivers’ licence, passport, education grants, etc.
She also found that the supporting information that 3.2 million card holders had to hand over in order to get their card – such as utility bills, proof of ID, etc – must be destroyed.
Last night, Ms Doherty was on the panel of Virgin Media One’s The Tonight Show with Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates.
Also on the panel was Executive Director of Irish Council for Civil Liberties Liam Herrick, Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Bríd Smyth and Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers.
From their discussion about the card which has cost the State €68million-plus to date…
Matt Cooper: “Regina Doherty, why are you doing this? The Data Protection Commission is an independent office, set up to do an important job and you have undermined it by appealing against an important decision it has made.”
Regina Doherty: “Yeah, I don’t think we’ve undermined the office and it isn’t the first time that we’ve appealed a decision and it certainly isn’t the first time other decisions from the commission’s office have been appealed.
“And the reason we have to appeal it is we don’t agree with the findings of the report in August. We don’t agree with the recommendations in the enforcement notice that was issued to us in December…”
Cooper: “Which is to destroy all of the information that you have assembled?”
Doherty: “Ehm. No. Because there is a difference between the report in August, the enforcement notice in December and a number of letters that happened between August and September.
“And so on the basis that we firmly believe that the route we’ve taken, and successive previous governments have been taken, with regard to the introduction of the legislation that supports the card. We’re gonna challenge the findings and see what a court has to say, so…”
Ivan Yates: “Couldn’t you have avoided all of this if you took the policy decision some time ago and said, upfront to the nation, we’re going to have a national ID card. We’re going to provide a comprehensive legal basis for it, instead of trying to do it by creep, through the Department of Social Protection…”
Doherty: “But you see the problem with that…”
Yates: “And adding on these other things?”
Doherty: “But no, the problem with that, Ivan, is that it isn’t a national identity card. And so I agree with you. I think if there was any government that wanted to introduce a national identity card – for the record, I don’t agree with them and I don’t support one – but if I was of a mind, or a government was of a mind that they wanted to do that, yeah, they should have a public consultation and they should bring forward legislation and have, you know, a proper conversation about it.
“But this isn’t a national identity card. You can’t even use it as a national identity card…
Talk over each other
Cooper: “But hang on, haven’t you got it by stealth?”
Doherty: “…in any other form, you know, other than you access in government services.”
Cooper: “But hold on, your idea was, not just for claiming your social welfare entitlements…”
Doherty: “No it wasn’t…”
Cooper: “That was the initial idea…and then you were asked…”
Doherty: “Actually it wasn’t…”
Cooper: “…if you’re going for your driver’s licence or renewing your passport. And if you didn’t have it…I mean you had this line that ‘It wasn’t compulsory but it was mandatory’.”
Doherty: “Yeah, and actually…”
Cooper: “Explain the difference to me between mandatory and compulsory.”
Doherty: “Well actually, of the original findings that the Data Protection Commission offered us in August, she upheld the fact that it isn’t compulsory but it is mandatory for certain social welfare services and that’s what I had said a number of years ago.”
Later – after Ms Doherty said 3.2million people are using the cards “on a very regular basis” and that they have a choice not to use them because “there’s a route for all of the services in a paper-based route”…
Liam Herrick: “I disagree that what we have now [the PSC] doesn’t have all of the attributes of a national identity system. And I’m very surprised with the minister again repeating again what she said in the Oireachtas recently – that there’s always been alternative routes to getting these public services, other than the Public Services Card.
“That’s simply just not the case. The Passport Office required the Public Services Card until a couple of months ago where they changed their policy. The Road Safety Authority required the Public Service Card until a year ago when the Road Safety Authority changed its policy of requiring it for the driver theory test.
Doherty: “But that’s not true, Liam.”
Herrick: “Well. It’s not just me that’s saying it.”
Doherty: “The Road Safety Authority did change their mind but they never had a policy and changed the policy. They changed their mind from introducing it in the first instance which is entirely different.”
Later – after Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers said Ms Doherty’s department has “shown total contempt” for the office of the DPC and asked Ms Doherty why her department won’t publish the legal advice that it received in light of the DPC’s report…
Doherty: “We spent two years engaging with the public, or the Data Protection Commission, so to say that we didn’t engage is not true. Two full years we spent engaging with the commission. Since the report was issued to us in August, on the 15th of August, we have written to the commission probably four, maybe five, times, looking to engage further and those engagement requests have been refused.
“And so I’m not sure what else you would have me do, to try and get clarification and seek…”
Cooper: “Sorry, didn’t you have the report for long before last August?”
Doherty: “No, I’m sorry, we didn’t. We got the report on the 15th of August. It’s actually, it’s quite difficult to have a conversation with people when they don’t even know the facts. But the simple fact of the matter is that we have a different view and our understanding of the legislation differs from the view of the Data Protection Commissioner.
“Two people have different views of a piece of legislation, we’re quite happy to defend our view in the Circuit Court.
“It certainly won’t be millions and millions and millions of euro…It certainly won’t be millions of euro.”
Herrick: “This is a question about law. It’s not about having opinions about a piece of legislation. The Data Protection Commission is the statutory body which is mandated by law, by primary statute to adjudicate on questions of data protection. And it’s made a binding finding.
“And the Government hasn’t liked that finding. And now starts to refer to is as if it’s some type of discretionary opinion. This is of enormous significance because…”
Yates: “Bríd. You’re a common sense woman. Can I put it to you? What’s on this, your PPS number, your date of birth and a photograph of ya? Like where is this Big Brother fear? If it accesses a more efficient way of getting public services and as we become more computerised and more software [inaudible] … surely it’s a kind of common sense provision?”
Smith: “Well you’re making the argument that the minister makes quite frequently in the Dáil when this issue is raised…”
Smith: “I think the Government want to send out a message to big data, globally, that this state is a safe pair of hands for the big operators like Google and Amazon and all the rest of it to do their data business in. They don’t want heavy regulation on data, they want light-touch regulation…”
Herrick: “I think the Public Services Card is fundamentally flawed and it’s not just the reports we’ve had up to now. There’s ongoing investigations into the biometric nature of the card. Bizarrely, the Government is saying the card isn’t a biometric card…”
Cooper: “Sorry, explain, what does that mean?”
Herrick: “It means that it’s processing biological information – in this case, a high-resolution photograph which can be processed and, using facial recognition technology, match against a database…”
Yates: “Ah here.” [puts head in right hand].
Cooper: “You love that type of stuff, don’t you?” [to Yates].
Yates: “Give us a break, Liam. The fact of the matter is if I produce my driver’s licence, it has my photograph on it. My passport, like don’t make it sound like Big Brother, oh my god, my privacy has been breached because of a photograph.”
Herrick: “I’m actually telling you what’s, the scientific description that was on the Government’s tender document that went out in the first place. And the company that makes the cards was originally called Biometric Card Services. And now the Government is denying it’s a biometric system. There’s another investigation…”
Yates: “It’s a photograph. Let’s call it what it is.”
Doherty: “It is a simple photograph. It’s exactly the same photograph that’s on your driving licence, it’s on your passport, it’s no different…”
Herrick: “It’s part of a database that’s shared across all Government departments.”
Herrick: “In the lead up to the election, whoever that’s going to be, we’ll be calling on all political parties to make a commitment not to dig ourselves into this any deeper and to step back.
“If we’re concerned about identity systems. Let’s start by reviewing what we already have. The passport and the driver’s licence work perfectly effectively in proving people’s identity. This is a project that’s just got out of control.”
Doherty: “Oh. My. God.”
Herrick: “And it’s a real shame that the Government is compounding, you know, mistakes, misrepresentations on top of each other at this stage and compounding it with legal fees on top of the money that’s been wasted.”
Watch back in full here
Previously: House of Card
Lawyer and Information Rights Programme Manager for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Elizabeth Farries
Lawyer and Information Rights Programme Manager for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Elizabeth Farries tweeted in response to Ms Doherty’s comments on The Tonight Show last night.
Ms Farries tweeted:
“The Irish Council for Civil Liberties joined The Tonight Show yesterday to discuss the Public Services Card.
The minister [Regina Doherty] also appeared and said it’s “difficult to have a conversation with people when they don’t even know the facts.” Respectfully, we know the facts.
The minister said “Of course they have a choice” about the PSC.
Fact: Our right “to access an ever-increasing range of public services has, in effect, been made conditional upon production of a PSC” (DPC, at p21) What kind of “choice” is that?
Many have reported their lack of choice regarding the PSC.
Remember: The person denied a pension.
The teacher denied benefits after breaking her ankle.
The firefighter denied a passport.
The minister said the card involves a simple photograph.
Fact. It’s not simple. The photo is processed using facial recognition technology software for comparison against a database. See the department’s own report.
Not worried about facial recognition technology? You should be. It’s inaccurate, insecure, and destroys our privacy. This is why other governments are banning it.
The minister said this is simply a case that “two people have different views”.
Fact. This is untrue. The minister is not arguing with a political view.
The Data Protection Commissioner is the independent regulator, with the authority to make binding decisions on Government.
The problems with the Public Services Card don’t disappear simply because they are misrepresented.
The PSC is a facial recognition project that significantly violates our data protection and privacy rights.
Join us in fighting this illegal scheme today!”
National Concert Hall, Dublin 2
Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates officially unveiled as the new anchormen of the Tonight Show, the replacement for Tonight with Vincent Browne.
A ‘double header’ at 11pm Monday to Friday and Mario Rosenstock will “also join the pair every Thursday”.
Female host (out of picture).
Pic via Daragh Brophy and MediaHQ
From top: Shane Colemen and Sarah Mcinerney and Ivan Yates
Her’s back (again).
Ivan Yates will replace Sarah McInerney and Chris Donoghue on Newstalk’s drivetime show.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Patricia Monahan, Managing Editor of Newstalk said:
“Ivan Yates is one of Ireland’s foremost commentators and has a long history with the station. His brand of straight talking, opinion led commentary will provide an engaging forum for listeners.
This is an exciting time for the business as we continue to develop a brand of opinion led content.”
Ms Monahan added: “We are currently in discussions with both Chris Donoghue and Sarah McInerney about alternative roles within the Communicorp Group.”
Ivan Yates writing in today’s Irish Independent:
Irish Water is a monstrous Tower of Babel. Thirty four local councils are better placed to administer/collect revenue for Irish Water. They have in-house data from registers of electors, itemising and validating adult members of every house.
They can pinpoint, through the planning system, additional new houses and multi-residential buildings. They had systems of water rate collection for all commercial outlets and records of local authority houses.
….[Enda] Kenny and [Alan] Kelly [Environment Minister] have vested all their credibility in a top-heavy, platinum-plated quango, happily wasting another €650,000 on advertising campaigns that won’t change anyone’s mind about Irish Water.
The political exit to extricate ministers could be Eurostat. They know the Government’s revised charges plan won’t raise 51pc revenue relative to the projected expenditure model. Exchequer finance underlies Irish Water’s economics and balance sheet; without it they’re already insolvent. The NTMA accesses cheaper cash anyway.
The EU can do the Government a favour; get them off a flight plan towards an electoral crash. Irish Water can’t deliver acceptable, accurate, conservation-based billing and metering systems – maybe ever – but certainly not before polling day.
Ergo: Kenny and Co are impaled on a lethal hook that happens to be the single issue they could lose power on. Time to think again.
(Photocall Ireland/Photocall Ireland)
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, outgoing Secretary General of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2012
Further to the publication yesterday of the Report of the Independent Review Group on the Department of Justice and the revelations that Brian Purcell is to step down from his role at the Justice Department – and to be re-assigned elsewhere – Ivan Yates put forward his thoughts on the matter during Newstalk Breakfast this morning.
“These are the questions that Brian Purcell has refused to answer. On the day of the 10th of March. And remember the context of this was to save Shatter. On the 10th of March, the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan sends a couriered letter to the Secretary General, Brian Purcell. This was no ordinary letter. It was the months of analysis of a working group involving the gardai, the attorney general, civil service about recordings of telephone conversations from the gardai.”
“The first line of the letter says, on the 10th of March, bring this letter to the minister’s [of justice] attention, in accordance with Section 41 1D of the Garda Siochana Act 2005. The question that Purcell won’t answer is why did he not bring that letter to the attention of Alan Shatter for 14 days. And, from the get go, I had serious reservations about the veracity of that.”
“The second issue that he must answer is: there is indications that on the weekend, on the 21st of March, that Callinan was prepared to withdraw the ‘disgusting’ remark and was advised not to do so. And the next set of questions he won’t ask [sic] is: Purcell was called to the Taoiseach’s office on Monday the 24th of March and asked questions in relation to the tapes controversy.”
“Now, in my view, the tapes controversy was significant for the Bailey case, but otherwise it was a bottle of smoke. It was blown out of all proportion but it was Tapegate, which led to the drive-by sacking as such. So then Purcell was then dispatched on the Monday night to the house of the Garda Commissioner and he resigned. What then happened was the next morning, on the Tuesday morning, the first the Cabinet heard of this was that they were notified at 9.30am, before the Cabinet met, that Callinan was retiring. No explanation was given.”
“Now the law, and the Constitution says, yes, a Government can fire a Commissioner but the Taoiseach does not have that power. It must be a resolution of the full Government sitting and, therefore, what then happens is it’s not what you do when you’re in a sticky spot – which was all to get rid of Callinan, to save Shatter – was the cover-up.”
“And, basically, what I’m suspicious of is: that Purcell is being paid €200,000 a year to keep his mouth shut. Now what the strategy was, to set up a Commission, under Niall Fennelly, to make sure that this investigation of Tapegate – but also the specific instances of what happened in relation to the Garda Commissioner – to kick this beyond Spring of 2016.”
Listen back in full here
Previously: The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]