Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Irish celebrity economists and "living room" credibility via RTÉ

On Monday, George Lee the former economics editor at the Irish State broadcaster RTÉ, resigned his seat in Dáil Éireann, which he won in a by-election in June 2009, to return to his full-time public sector job.

He cited lack of influence in policymaking in his party, Fine Gael, even though he didn't publish one significant policy proposal himself since his election.

It seems nothing has changed since Bertie Ahern's era of fantasy economics.

Despite the evidence that George Lee had not the motivation to produce any detailed proposal himself, his gullible admirers persist in arguing that he should have had a key role in economic policymaking.

He had 2 direct staff and access to Oireachtas research facilities and as I said previously for whatever he wished to propose, he had an inside track to the media.

Besides, he had long holidays to produce some new ideas/proposals.

I write this as an individual who has put forward several proposals on reform.

The same gullibles put all the blame on Richard Bruton for poor personal relations.

It's only a fool would believe that Lee's sole motivation in resigning was because he had no influence on policy when he couldn't be bothered developing any proposals himself.

He has been good at using the media to sell his version of the story and he has of course a mainly receptive audience in the media world.

Mr Deeds goes to Washington fighting for the little guy while having an insiders safety net in his former public sector operation!

David McWilliams styles himself a "high-profile economist" along with Lee in the Irish Independent and not surprisingly supports his media colleague and writes: "I have huge respect for his talents and know that he has "living room" appeal. Ordinary people believe him because he has been both right and honest in his work over the years. What the insiders don't understand is that he has done his time, just not in the Dail. He has done his time where it really matters, in people's living rooms."

This is the fantasy world where being on television gives people more credibility than experience in the real world of business or whatever.

There are of course no insiders in RTÉ!!

Are people idiots to swallow this tripe?

I guess Bertie Ahern and Charlie Haughey also had "living room" appeal at some stage.

Finfacts article: George Lee and the job he hated

Thread on the Irish Economy Blog

Song tribute:

The George Lee Song : words and music the Corrigan Brothers (Gerard, Brian and Donncha Corrigan) and Pete Creighton: