Sunday, December 20, 2009

Paul Gogarty?

At a time when Ireland has cultivated an image of a cultured, educated and able nation, Lucan TD Paul Gogarty has made us an international laughing stock on youtube, featuring on MSNBC and the BBC's HIGNFY, re-enforcing a stereotype of the thick Irish who cannot contain their temper.

His infantile, self justified outburst does not really project the desired image needed to promote a smart economy.
It was petulant, a comeback to heckling that would be unworthy of a 15 year old.
The childish frustrated schoolyard bully tactic of screaming profanity shows a lack of intellect and reason
His qualified excuses for his immature reaction to heckling was that his sincerity was called into question.

However, despite his bruised ego his sincerity is very questionable - but he does not see it that way, childishly he blames others.

Dep Gogarty has failed, the Green agenda has moved backwards in coalition with FF.
They have become a prop to a party that does what it wants with a little greenwash.
Mr Gogartys legacy is very different from the election promises of 2007.
A 50 point program to a better education system, including 2400 new teaching jobs, reduced primary class size and a statutory max primary class size of 25 was an election promise.
But when in office he backed savage education cutbacks that have impacted on every primary school in the country and Ireland has the 2nd most overcrowded class size in Europe.
He also voted for 5% cuts in student grants, this will have a very serious effect on families with kids in college and compound other government cuts despite
His eventual resignation as education spokesman was called pointless by the INTO.
He sees the cutbacks to education and NAMA bail out failed bankers/developers, which he publicaly protested but yet fully supported, as the conduct of others.
This was further enforced in an interview berating the Fianna Fail party.
Hardly sincere - but interesting as a classic separation of id and superego.

Several people have referred to Mr Gogarty as being a legend in hs own mind, and this common sense expression is based in fact.

Our society has followed an Anglo-American model in recent times. Being famous is seen as a life aim by children, whether through achievement or accident is unimportant.
It is a cult of personality. Some vestage of fame is seen as a life goal rather than achievement.
It explains Big Brother, X Factor and other trends in popular culture.

As an example Kate Moss is asked for her opinions - to which she is entitled - on current issues, not because of knowledge, but because of fame despite the fact that if she were not a 'celeb' she would be seen as being disfunctional.
Bono, regardless of the fact that he has never been elected or appointed to an answerable office, is percieved as an authority and world spokesman for various causes. He comments frequently on the Irish overseas aid budget despite the fact that by avoiding tax he contributes nothing to it.

Gogarty's fellow Lucan locals (and his former office workers I believe) twins known as Jedward did quite well in a UK talent show with no real discernable talent. Some tried to explain it as a reaction to poor programming in the UK, but in reality name recognition and newspaper coverage had more to do with it.

Fame for whatever reason, not ahievement, is more recognised. Famous for being famous.

This is partially due to people wanting to live vicariously. They base some of self efficacy on the achievements of others, best demonstrated by reference to the importance some people place on the performance of a football team - and in Ireland that may well be a football team in the UK with no regional tie to the supporter whatsoever.
When the team wins 'we won' giving a sene of achievement despite not actually participating. It also creates a collective mentality.
Due to the collective mentality, the elevation of professional footballer allows behaviour on and off the pitch which in general would be unacceptable.

There is a link between the acceptable berating, cursing at and insulting of referees and anti social behaviour experienced by social workers and teachers.

Dep. Gogarty, as with a soccer player - is excused by others, Yes he did it - Yes he is sorry - Yes it was regrettable - BUT (enter excuse of provocation/passion here) - apologies are always qualified.
This was demonstrated by Green and FF deputies in interviews.

Dep. Gogertys ego, in Freudian concept, seems modified in an example of Bandaras concept of self efficacy
In brief, social cognitive theory is that individuals possess a sense of self that enables them to exercise control over their thoughts, feelings, motivation, and actions. This self system provides reference for regulating behavior appropriate to our environment.

It provides individuals with the capability to influence their own cognitive processes and actions.
Most improtantly Bandura's emphasis that ones achievments, if you will, are the most influential self-efficacies. Individualy this is realised mostly through verbal persuasion methods.
Social cognitive theorists shift that emphasis and focus on a joint effort to raise competence and confidence primarily through successful experience.

Dep Gogarty, judging himself differently to others, coupled with his self justified berating and insulting of others due to inflated self worth and a readily apparent disregard for peer endorsement seems central to his superego.

Every thing centres around him. Others are there to assure, elevate and praise him, to pleasure the id, please the superego and hence effect the ego.
Because his ego percieves superiority, People should be more like him, he cannot be questioned and can behave in a way that others cannot.

As with football players this is apparent in qualified apologies issued after the outburst.
As for being in a position of responsibility, the Deputies level of self control is questionable.

A Garda, Social worker, Fireman, Nurse or Soldier at entry level, facing cutbacks to their pay, and work conditions as well as their childrens allowance and student grants cannot behave in a similar manner without facing disciplinary proceedure.

This is especially true of teachers while facing large class sizes - and pupils far more abrasive than Deputies Shorthall or Stagg - could never behave in such an unbecoming fashion.
They are public servants, why should elected representatives be expected to behave in any less a controlled and dignified manner.

His appointment as education spokesperson for the green party is in my opinion very questionable.
In my opinion, from what little I have heard from him, in terms of syntax, context and application his use of english is surprising for DIT journalism graduate.

His use of what I would refer to Palinesque psychobabble. The use of unusual, important words totally out of context may - for a soundbite - may sound impressive, but when looked at in writing are meaningless.
There need to use 'big' words to fill a silence is to appear slightly smarter than the average as we have seen with Sarah Palin and from Gogarty on a facebook page in his responses.


The use of words entirley out of context, and such angry reactions to any questioning in turn leads to other questions on his suitability.
A light hearted questioning of his linguistic ability resulted in a personal response and petty squabbling. Another posting resulted in an ill tempered response to a young woman on the facebook group.

Neither required his personal response in a time of national crisis but due to his inflated ego his priorities are skewed.
Also of note is the lack of any critiscism of homphobic comments about Deputy Stagg on the group.

Yet in a paradox they both appear to revel in a percieved dumbdown in a celebrity culture. His personal facebook  responses to a remix of his outburst demonstrate this.

"Mortified as I am this is the best, funniest and most tuneful remix of the lot! Highly recommended."
As Michael Franti said, in a celebrity obsessed culture the straightness of the teeth in your mouth are more important than the words that come out of it.

Much like Palin, there is a psycological reason for this. It is best described as a resentment of others whose professional achievements are percieved to outweigh their own.

This may be a driving force in some seeking self worth and through fame via politics or populism. In our celebrity culture, as evidenced with Blair, Palin, Johnson or Sarkozy - these are often interchangeable.
In the case of Deputy Gogarty this requires a sense of inflated importance and worth attached to the goal aim of election to a parliament in what is a very small country on the periphery of Europe.

Having resigned as a spokesman on education for the minor coalition partner to the obscurity of the back benchs with less influence than a local councillor the "Fuck You" explosion can be exlained in light of this.
The reason Labour were targeted by Dep Gogarty is simple.
If there was an election tomorrow they would replace the Greens as the minor partner in the Dail, as it is they rather than FG that would pick up the liberal vote from the Greens. It will be a Labour candidate most likley to replace GoGo.

Rather than try to increase self achievement - or falure to accept the lack of applied intellectual capacity to equal the percieved value of others, it is easier to lower normal standard of behaviour slightly and lash out, safe in the belief that the majority of people - i.e. the unelected, are percieved by the ego to be worth less, but will understand.

Unlike Palin/Paisley (politics is identity) targeted demographic core vote the average Dublin mid west voter is not a theological conservative with focus on ethnic divisions.

Unlike the Healy Rae/Tipp O'Neil (politics is local) targeted demographic core vote the average Dublin mid west voter is not a person with long term ties to a regional political dynasty or system who is known to them and helped them or theirs in the past.

If this was an attempt cultivate an image of a straight talking, no bullshit TD appealing to the male demographic then this was a terrible mistake by Gogarty, despite the fact that he has attracted the lowest common denominator homophobic defenders online.

He simply does not have the charisma or the undeniable survivability of a Flynn, Lenihan, Healy Rae or O Donahue.
The average Irish voter is not suspicious of someone who projects a level of intelect or success - and the core Green voter, as it is a new post civil war party, tends to think about things, and is generally liberal.

He certainly has, like Gov. Palin, a political animal cunning that should never be mistaken for intelligence.

But the hubris of being elected can lead to a self deification and delusion of superiority, where power corrupts.
The anger and loss of self control indicates a sense of entitlement, that now in power he can behave as he wishes, without consequence or question.

Any questioning of him provokes a disproportionate and unreasonable reaction.
The reaction to Deputy Stagg was just one example of this.
This includes posting to a facebook group and mamanpoulet

This in comparison with Deputy Stagg, who understands and keeps sight of the bigger issue.
"I think the whole thing is a storm in a teacup. The huge issue is the Social Welfare Bill and its nasty cuts,"

Deputy Gogarty's behaviour is unconventional, but a meeting at Rathcoole against a proposed incinerator in the area his behaviour was utterly egocentric, normally behaviour of this extreme nature is a self preservation mechanism of toddlers.

In a packed hall FG Sen. Fitzgerald made a number of points, many that questioned Minister Gormley's and the Green Partys bone fides in objecting to the incinerator project.

During this Gogarty jumped to his feet, fell to the floor flailing his arms and rolling before lying still for a few minutes after which he sat back down?
Essentially an attention tantrum - in itself a preservation mechanism used by toddlers..

His explaination for this bizzare behaviour was that he 'took offence' the senators 'scaremongering rant'
The offence taken caused him to 'kinda fall on the floor in absolute puzlement. She always induces that sort of reaction in me. Hypocriscy and false indignation reverberating from a persona has a damaging effect on my psyche"

In the Sunday Tribune Dec 13 he stated "I am sorry for the language I used, but it was about a gut reaction. It was not an intellectual reaction. I psychologically bought time by saying 'With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language' before using expletives. I was trying to say what I felt in a parliamentary way but I couldn't. It was an emotive outburst".
But again to quantify the apology he went on to say he had recieved a "barrage of heckling" and was disgusted when Stagg claimed on Friday that he was insincere, despite his support of Government after public protestation

His adolescent qualification of every apology issued, hypocrisy and false indignation cannot be attributed to him - again the superego and id create a barrier to that.

Within these two statements there are examples of freudian slips - and while again using terms out of context in an effort to convey a higher intelligence - quantifying his behaviour is in essence a denial of responsibility to reassure the superego - to control the immeadiate environment and make people like him despite his errors.

There is the use of adolesent language structure and the 'Yeah but, No but' syntax, or as might be better understood a Viki Pollard syndrome.
The quantification and denial process seems to me indicitive of a mid life crisis. For example, his statement that  "So far the reaction to my comments has been 50% of people telling me I am a disgrace, and other 50% saying 'fair play' is a denial, when a glance at or facebook show the vast majority of posters think his outburst was undignified at best.
The general opinion seems to be it was hypocritical, insincere or manipulative.

Having based so much of the self efficacy on electoral success, then to reach a sub ministerial position as a junior partner, only to face the reality that the partner party will do as they wish regardless of his input is emasculating, a loss of power resulting in anger.
In addition to that he is facing the very real prospect that his self worth goal of election is now slipping further from his grasp due to the fact the electorate have seen his ineffectiveness despite self promotion.

And his self promotion is very much in the search for notice. As a youth he apparenly was a flamboyant character, and in Dail Eireann we see him cultivating a new image.
Perhaps trying to emulate Tony Gregory, who was percieved as a cool maverick by some we note he does not wear a tie and suit, rather the open collar, blazer and slacks in an attempt to project non-conformity, youth and a rebellious image - much like that of the new romantic.
Because he attributes his own failings to the conduct of others a Medusa complex has become a factor.
He stated in an Irish Independent interview that his Fianna Fail colleagues were ' cute hoors' and hopes they get a drumming in the next election. Someone else is to blame for his failings.

In the words of a U2 song - I must be an acrobat - To talk like this - And act like that

So what will this outburst do for him. He had such a low national profile figure, this is going to be the first exposure people are going to have of him.

The only opinions which matter at the moment are his constituents and local party. If they have any sense they will replace him as their candidate, but one feels that the Deputy would ensure that those who make the decision are personal friends.
I can well imagine him featuring in some reality TV show, like the Osbornes - or doing a Galloway and going into a Big Brother format, and I feel he would be attracted to it.

His new profile should stop him  holding a public office.
Sadly, the way Irish politics operate this may well not be the case - as with John O Donaghue and Stroke Fahy - but one has hope that the voters of Dublin west will not return a man who has become an international joke - and has made the Dail a laughing stock because of his bruised ego.

If he did achieve anything it was to draw attention away from the most brutal cuts in social welfare that I have ever witnesed. This in addition to the continued crucifiction of public sector workers.
But the distraction may aid Fianna Fail - and may lead to a seat in the Senate.

Whether he wishes to admit it or not he has been party to a Government that has carried us into the worst financial crisis in the history of the state.

We are taking money away from those who can least afford it, and bailing out bankers and developers.
NAMA scares the bejesus out of me.

The deputies party should live up to its asperations and ban Stag hunting, inside and outside the Dail.
I admire a lot of Green party activists, but up to now the Parliamentary Green group have been a dissappointment.
Locally I am concerned that even with the promotion of public transport, rural bus services are under threat.

And my opinion is that the deputy should seek professional help from a psychiatrist or Max Clifford depending on which route he wishes to take.

Oh, just in case you missed it - heres the hissy fit

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