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Think-ins, smackdowns and desperation: Winners and losers (and one for you to decide) from the political week...

David Cameron’s in the firing line for travelling north, Mary Lou’s in the headlines for flying Down Under, and we’re not sure what to make of Leo…

EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie casts its eye over political goings-on in Ireland and further afield that have got people talking.

As the saying goes: ‘You win some, you lose some.’

There’s been plenty happening — with Big Phil’s ascension and the set-to between Enda and Leo dominating the news cycle on the domestic front.

Their spat, of course, was knocked out of the headlines yesterday with the death of Ian Paisley.

Here are our political winners and losers from the past seven days…

The winners of the week are…

1. Phil Hogan, obviously.

Enda Kenny’s towering* political ‘bruiser’ landed the plum job the Government had spent months lobbying for this week, as he was nominated to become EU Agriculture Commissioner. He’ll have to steel himself to absorb some bruises of his own for a change when he goes before a confirmation panel shortly — but despite opposition from the likes of Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy and Independent Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, all going to plan, he’ll be able to start the job after a vote of the EU Parliament next month…


2.  Michael Noonan

His pronouncements about an end to the cycle of “boom and bust” in years to come had something of a calming effect, after Leo Varadkar’s comments at the start of the week kicked-off a fresh cycle of Budget speculation. Of course, There was also the small matter of his European charm offensive, bidding to reach a new deal on Ireland’s loans. The veteran Limerick TD’s had a bit of an ‘it’s Friday, so this must be Milan’ week — he’s been popping up all over the continent.

3. Fine Gael backbenchers

Backbench TDs attending the party ‘think-in’ in Cork felt like they had a genuine input into the workshops during the two-day event, and left feeling a bit more positive than they’ve been in recent months.

That said, we agree with the deputy below — the ‘political selfies’ have to stop, folks. It’s all a little bit 2013…

4. Martin McGuinness 

For his remarkable tribute to Ian Paisley.

“Today, I have lost a friend,” he said.

A statement that would have been unimaginable, had the former DUP passed away, for instance, in 2004 and not 2014.

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

… and the losers of the week are…

1. David Cameron (and friends)

The British Prime Minister’s decision to cancel PMQs and travel north to campaign for a ‘no’ vote in next week’s referendum smacked of desperation. Labour’s Ed Miliband and the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg went with him across the border… The way the polls are going, they may need passports next time.

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

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2. Mary-Lou McDonald

The Sinn Féin vice-president traveled business class on a trip to Australia, and the ticket cost a cool €4,000. For a party that constantly talks up its policy of elected members only drawing down the average industrial wage, perhaps not the smoothest of moves.

3. The far-left

There’s now two far-left candidates in the race to fill Brian Hayes’ old seat in Dublin South West. Back in May, Paul Murphy — the Socialist former MEP — was fiercely critical of PBP rival Bríd Smith for entering the European race in the aftermath of his election defeat, saying the vote count showed her presence in the field had split the vote. Looks like it could happen all over again. 

And the one we can’t decide is…

Leo Varadkar. He’s earned a number of public rebukes (‘smackdowns’ if you want to be a little more dramatic about it) from the Taoiseach this week for his comments on plans for the Department of Health.

For a recap, click here (we’re getting tired of writing about it to be honest).

What do you think of the recently-installed health minister’s strategy?

Poll Results:

Winner. (735)
I'm sick of the whole thing, and have just decided to browse TheDailyEdge instead. (228)
Loser. (178)
I can't decide either. (145)

See all of our winners and losers from previous weeks > 

Like politics? Then ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?





About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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