Facebook throws up some woefully inappropriate ads sometimes, and I begrudge them for it, but every now and again, it only gets them slightly wrong. Like when it implored me to "Vote for Mike Deegan". Alas, he's asking to be elected "as your TD for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown".
I don't get a vote in that constituency, but I am curious to see what motivates this independent candidate, so I decided to stick around and see if he's really "NOT more of the same", as his Facebook page insists.
The Facebook page started on February 2nd. Since then there have been a grand total of ten posts by Mike Deegan. He has 31 'likes' at the time of writing, and two of the three posts by visitors consist of someone who (ostensibly) loaned him the tie in his profile picture, and another with the same surname. Of the ten posts, six of them consist of the same two YouTube videos posted and reposted. One of the four remaining posts explains his modus operandi:
"I am running my campaign as did Obama using the internet and personal interactions without environmentally damaging printed material."
This is hugely commendable! An online-only campaign! So where's the rest of the information? Well, there's no website, so the Facebook page is the only information repository. Since I want to know about this would-be public servant, I suppose I'll have a look at the first of his two videos, which serves as a de-facto manifesto.
A middle-aged, somewhat dishevelled man is sitting in a badly lit room. He speaks slowly with a distracted affect, punctuating his sentences with long 'em's and sighs. It's a bad first impression. But let's not discount him yet. He could be the future of Irish politics!
|Click here to watch it for yourself (or just read on and avoid the hassle)|
He didn't really hook me with the opening salvo:
"This video is me, talking to you. Telling you that much as I don't really want to, I will be running for the Dáil in the next general election."
Okay, the begrudging public servant. It's an angle that could work! Do go on.
"People say "Mike are you crazy?" Perhaps I am"At least he's not saying anything so far that the audience can disagree with. But why is he going to all this trouble?
"For me. For my family. For my parents, my child. For the future and the current state of Ireland."
Inspiring stuff. He's a patriotic family man who will stand up because nobody else will. I'm on board. But others won't be won over so quickly. Why should we vote for you?
"If you want to vote for me, vote for me. If you don't, don't. That's how it works, isn't it?"
I take it back. Mike, you're insane. Such banal lessons on the democratic process have led me to realize that I'm eighty-five seconds into a rambling YouTube video from some mentally unstable internet-addict.
I may as well sit here for the next three minutes and see what other verbal diarrhoea spills forth:
"I'm not going to be putting my poster on every lampost in the neighbourhood or anything like that. No. I'm not going to be doing that."
Making your total lack of a budget sound like a virtue isn't particularly effective Mike, can we please get onto the policy stuff?
"Hmmmmmmmmm... What else should I say? What am I pushing? Well, older people is a major thing for me. One day, I will be older, just like you, and I want to address the way we treat older people in Irish society. The disabled also come in under a - connected, similar remit of how they are treated in our society."Finally! But these statements are a bit vague. What exactly does he mean? And what does he propose we should do about it?
"And then onto the wider picture."Mike, don't you think that you should finish your thought on the disabled and "older" people, (whatever that means exactly) you didn't even go into --
Well, jobs. Absolutely. Of course. Jobs. There's so much to talk about. Job creation. It's difficult to know where to start... The government [says] that whatever has to be done to create jobs has to be done. And I would agree"
Hang on. You've said nothing at all here. And you agree with the government that you're railing against? I don't think that you have any original ideas in your head whatsoever. I think you're just some cretin with a webcam who is jumping on the bandwagon of exasperated people who are fed up with the current government, even though they have no better ideas of how to address the problems Ireland is currently facing themselves.
"Aaaaaahhh further to that. The environment. Some call it climate change, some say it's not climate change."
Yeah, that's right Mike, the discord surrounding climate change rev the nomenclature.
Whatever it is, it's happening. It's affecting our world. It's affecting everybody. We have big problems with delivering potable drinking water to large parts of the world. We have difficulty providing food to large parts of the world. we are burning too much fuel to power our - everything, and an alterative needs to be arrived at... Discovered."
What the hell? You're running for TD in FUCKING IRELAND. If a major Irish industry consisted of "delivering potable drinking water to large parts of the world", maybe this would make sense, but it doesn't. And your magic-bullet solution to environmental trouble is "discovering" an alternative to burning fossil fuels? Shouldn't you be doing that now instead of nattering into a camera?
Let's have a quick look at what else he's been posting:
Good. Fucking. God. Mike got drunk for his birthday. Now he's making birthday resolutions. He's going to turn his life around. But first he'll go to the city. But he can't remember why. What a tard.
You goddamn ignoramus. How dare you waste my time by populating my web-browser with your Facebook ads. How dare you waste Google's bandwidth with your rambling, hollow pontifications. Yes, jobs are important. So is the environment. If you had something worthwhile to say about it, you would've said something tangible, but you didn't. It's commendable that you're putting yourself out there for your principles, but you've completely failed to show what they are exactly. Instead of making a positive impact on Irish politics, you've just wasted ten minutes I could have spent researching some credible candidates. This pitiful pageant of quixotic balderdash leads me to believe that you're just some manic-depressive desperately trying to give his life some meaning.
"That is basically me."