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TD’s – they watch Youtube – especially David Davin Power and Zombies!

March 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Elections, Irish Media, Irish Politics

Much mirth in Dáil Eireann yesterday during the committee stage of the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2009 – an interesting bill with amendments being tabled on electoral expenditure limits, website costs and the like.

Alan Shatter could hardly control himself as he recounted to the house his frequent visits to Youtube to view that clip of David Davin Power at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis (31,000 views and counting) and congratulated John Gormley at the lack of a repeat performance at the Green Party National Convention last weekend.

Deputy Alan Shatter:…One aspect struck me. A comment from my colleague, Deputy Terence Flanagan, brought it to mind and perhaps the Minister could provide the House with some assurances concerning the matter. I find it difficult not to laugh when I refer to it but, at the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis, a unique political event, the well known reporter Mr. David Davin-Power appeared on the “Nine O’Clock News? with a group of individuals who have been described, rather unkindly, as zombies.

Deputy Ciarán Lynch:On a point of information, I believe the incident can be viewed on the “Youtube? website.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: There is no such thing as a point of information in the House. The Deputy must make an intervention.

Deputy Alan Shatter:It is a constant source of entertainment to me on “Youtube?. I was fortunate, along with hundreds of thousands of people, to have the “Nine O’Clock News? on live on that night. I was obliged to call my wife in, who had disappeared into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, and I was delighted when the group reappeared. I genuinely have a difficulty discussing this matter. To move on—–

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Will the Deputy move on, please?

Deputy Ciarán Lynch: Is he getting to the punch line?

Deputy Alan Shatter:There is a punch line and I will get there. I seek an assurance from the Minister that when press conferences are held by him—–

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I am sure this is not relevant.

Deputy Alan Shatter:—–during the local elections, or indeed by his ministerial colleagues, that the initiative we witnessed on the “Nine O’Clock News? last Saturday evening was not a practice run for something that is going to be repeated during the course of the elections.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy should speak to the amendment.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Will we see groups of mute and startled candidates running for the Green Party or the Fianna Fáil Party gathered around a Minister in a state of some distress, but unable to speak, in the hope that it would advance their political cause? It is important that we know this, because if we do not get such an assurance there may be a need to calculate the financial benefit of such an appearance and to amend the legislation on Report Stage. The question that arises is whether a zombie presence attached to a Minister—–

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:This is entirely outside the scope of the amendment.

Deputy Alan Shatter:—–is worth 5% or 10% of an election spend in the 60 days leading up to a general or a local election.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: We must deal with the amendment. I call the Minister for a very brief response.

Deputy Alan Shatter: I conclude by congratulating the Minister’s Green Party colleagues at that party’s national conference on not doing the same thing live, but in believing it necessary to have a practice run in the privacy of the conference building after the RTE “Nine O’Clock News? went out. That was a sign of originality.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:I call the Minister to provide a relevant conclusion to this matter.

Deputy John Gormley:I hope it is relevant, but if the Deputy had tabled an amendment referring to zombies, I would have been more than pleased to consider it. Since he has not, I am afraid I cannot.

Mea Culpa:I should of course have mentioned the Young Green’s Party’s Zombie reconstruction as covered by Mark last Sunday.

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