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Accountability Corruption Cover-up Double-standards Facebook Fianna Fail Fine Gael General election Ireland Law Local elections Politics RTE Sinn Fein Social Media Society Twitter

Future Election Coming? Old Political Tactics.

You would expect Fine Gael to attack Sinn Fein and other parties for being successful in their attempts to communicate with their public. In attempt to woe voters, any reason must be turned on it’s head if possible, to undermine those you wish to defeat. If that means operating again in double-standard, Fine Gael’s attitude is again, so be it!

Fine Gael is all to aware that better communication with the public means more votes for the communicator. So it irks Fine Gael that Sinn Fein has been successful at something they are daily trying to do also – but failing at despite burning through public Euro millions.

Sinn Fein, it’s been official recognised by internet stats, as been the most active with the general public during the last election. By far, Sinn Fein for example, in their social media activities, been the most successful in challenging Fine Gael’s churn out of PR – an near daily onslaught of FG propaganda belted out by been given regular RTE TV air time. Seeing that Sinn Fein was the most active and more importantly, far more interactive with Irish net users,  Fine Gael didn’t like it. How dare Sinn Fein and others attempt to usurp wonderful Fine Gael and it’s glorious leader. All should bow before him!

The latest attempt to claw back more support (in other words, more votes) by FG, is their spouting to media the phrase “Spin Fein“. Fine Gael are attempting to change a long standing narrative that the public know about and many reporters commended on – that Fine Gael (especially Leo) are the ones in fact, who produce more PT attempt by the week than any other party in a single month.

Those without short memory will of course remember Leo’s own official PR team (“communication unit”) that operated sneakily behind Leo’s office doors, just so he could be make look good at every attempt. For a long time his personal communication using, while burning through millions of public money, operated as an organised unit to sell product “Leo”. Many of the attempts were very successful. The public and other TD’s however, were browned off not just with the constant PR spinning of the unit but after some serious digging, discovered the mega taxpayer money they were flittering away for paining a never ending Leo gloss coat.

The communications unit became a PR embarrassment – negative PR – the opposite of what it was meant to create for Leo. It had to go  and go it did with time. It’s individual members were sent off to various state departmental locations. Their individual media work continued but better operational and less observable under a public and reporter radar.

Fine Gael subsequently, has still continued to churn out its own mass PR attempts. Often on a daily basis. Some of them have backlashed on Fine Gael big time. One foot in mouth effort, was when Fine Gael to give out about Sinn Fein members being camera captured while out doing door to door charity or social work. Leo Varadkar Dail ripped into them for that and RTE of course, broadcasted his words repeatedly with every news bulletin in case someone might have missed them.

Fine Gael’s double standards were quickly exposed, however! Citizens more awake and less PR brainwashed, were able to easily see his own members camera captured doing the exact same as Leo was giving out about! No only that but Leo too – just the week before – had gone out of his way to try get yet more camera publicity while out on Covid-19 related rounds!

Such operational double standards however, doesn’t matter to Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael. To political observers, it’s a party regular practice. One that Fine Gael hopes the public doesn’t kop on to. Sadly, some don’t or have too short memories about similar things of the past.

Presently, Fine Gael is attempting to again berate Sinn Fein for their efforts to communicate with the public and state their official positions on matters and show off their brightest and best. The Fine Gael attack machine has started to churn out the phrase “Spin Fein” in order to undermine their main oppositions attempts at public communication.

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In truth, it’s not the first time Fine Gael (and it’s daily newsletter, the Independent newspaper) had actually used the phrase “Spin Fein“. They are in fact, copying the phrase from a previous 2015 attempt to besmirch Sinn Fein while their own mega costly PR attempts were ongoing in double standard. Like operational double standards, copying things remains nothing new to Fine Gael – even as they copy words from own prior failed attacks or from famous films – without asking for copyright permission to be broadcast as part of their own publicity activity!


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Copying and double standards are not the only things Fine Gael are used to doing however! While berating others for their internet activity and attempts to communicate not just with their supporters but also other electorate, during the 2011 general election Fine Gael was in the process of carrying out their own social media campaign. The then party election strategists Phil Hogan and Frank Flannery, even went to the extent of hiring a brought over American social media expert. Further more, a floor within Fine Gael headquarters became I.T equipped and then staffed with young party volunteers. Their job was:

(a) to try positive interact with people through the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other then growing social media forums.
(b) to multi-post under many fake anonymous names, to the likes of boards.ie, baseless lies into political sections within Boards.ie. This was done in part so that others would then (and sadly did) run with the FG invented fake smear lies, so that others in opposition to Fine Gael could be further undermined.
(c) To go onto the likes of Journal.ie news article comment sections, quickly fill them with FG supportive comments and to berate others that dare post opposition exposing comments.
(d) To quickly vote and re-vote (entirely easy possible) on any news media posted polls.
(e) To undermine others critical Facebook/Twitter comments by swooping in like a pack of attack dogs, on individuals that dare challenge a FG PR attempt or put awkward questions to a slick FG operator.

When it came to Fine Gael operating using fake names, even Leo Varadkar was apparently caught doing it. All this is on public record – deliberate buried in some cases – but still there to be found with a bit of digging. LINKLINK

When Mr Varadkar was running for party leader lection, here too social media (thus public) was tried to be possible manipulated. A detailed account of Leo’s leadership contest is in Leo: A Very Modern Taoiseach – by Editor Philip Ryan and Niall O’Connor. Their book outlined how Mr Varadkar created a team to improve his bid to for the position of Fine Gael leader. It details stated how the campaign’s social media strategy was devised.

At one point, Varadkar floated the idea to one TD of creating anonymous accounts to make positive comments under online stories on popular news websites. It’s unclear how far the proposal was pushed.
(Fine Gael deny such a plan was then carried out. Others continue to have their suspicions.)

At the time, one Mr Lawless, TD, accused Leo Varadkar of being “obsessed with spin“. He claimed the allegation in the book shows why his proposed Online Advertising and Social Media Bill has stalled, citing “lame excuses” for Leo’s attempts to shoot it down. It would have undermined Fine Gael online activity then – and possibly even now!

QUOTE: “Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has said the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his team thought of worse things than setting up fake Facebook accounts during his leadership campaign. Mr Murphy was Mr Varadkar’s campaign director and was asked at the Fine Gael think-in about the revelations that the Taoiseach suggested setting up the fake accounts to write positively about him.” LINK

 

The Signs Are There.

Despite all this and more, Fine Gael now attack Sinn Fein for using the same tactics in some cases as themselves – while also being up to more internet devilment themselves which Sinn Fein another parties have not participated in. The more devious media spinning guilty continues giving out to any listening media (thus public) about others who are equally reaching out in communication to support bases and local communities. Blatant double standards by any measure.

Fine Gael however, are keen to knock lumps out of Sinn Fein not just because they can try – but also they know, like Fianna Fail, they face a real issue that could blow up soon. A new 2020 general election. It’s important that they score as many ‘dig’ points against their main political opposition.

Short version: If the Green Party rejects by inner member vote not to go into coalition with FG and FF, then the independents haver stated they won’t either as they are not greater politically covered from ‘in office’ flack.

The signs are there that Fine Gael are more expecting a general election. From upping their attempts to win back voters though double standard stunts, they have also started putting out reasons why they still might not go into government with the Green Party – a potential face saving exercise if they don’t get their coalition way – not willing to compromise on serious issues. There is a quiet big number of Fine Gael members who in fact, now welcome a second general election. These inner FG members hope to take advantage of any ‘Covid-19 poll bump‘ before it eventually does dissipate.

The public meanwhile, is expected yet again by swallow Fine Gael own PR stunts online and off while Fine Gael incredibly gives out about other for doing the same thing – and doing in in some cases, far more successfully! You couldn’t make it up – but Fine Gael can!

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About JeffRudd

20 year barman. Re-educated as an I.T. professional, website creator, I.T teacher, digital media management & marketing professional. Studied accountancy, taxation, business management & law. Founder of UnitedPeople political party - click here. Previously the first National Chairman of Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) & founder of the Louth branch of DDI. Author. Regular contributor to social media. TV & radio guest experiences. Appeared in the Oireachtas & Dublin Highcourts to defend the rights of citizens along with exposing many wrongs. Consistently seeks greater democracy & accountability from all elected levels of Ireland. Currently writing two books, non-fiction "Life Behind Bars" & "Better Tomorrows".

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