Vincent Browne is a polemicist not a moderator. Kenny right to say No!

Vincent Browne as Moderator in a National Political Leader’s Debate

A moderator’s job and role is to mediate or arbitrate in a dispute. In this instance, the issue is policy and alternatives for government.

An assessment of the public Vincent Browne could reasonably conclude that he is a polemicist rather than a journalist reporter. He is not a newshound. He is a highly opinionated and skilled word manipulator with exhaust valves for his opinions in the Irish Times, the Sunday Business Post, TV 3 – ‘Tonight with Vincent Brown’ and often magazines.

His ideological objective recently seems to be to assume the role of an advocate for the materially poor and downtrodden. So where are the moats in his eyes? Who paid for his losses in publications including Magill Magazine, the Tribune and other publications? How many rich individuals ‘invested’ in his failed publications? What sorts of sums were involved? His unfortunate financial experience with Village Magazine suggests to me that he has an inadequate grasp of business principles and that he has personally suffered as a result. Does his sale price of €3.5 million on his house in Dalkey not suggest that he is little plutocratic himself and is unlikely to have an unclose and personal experience of poverty as I see regularly living in Dublin 11.

Vincent clearly has an urge to be a player in politics, not just a reporter or a facilitator. It is not hard to imagine that Vincent would scheme to be the story and not the facilitator in a debate involving Enda Kenny, Mick Martin and Eamon Gilmore.

So is Vincent a David Dimbleby? A John Bowman? Or is Vincent just another player without a nomination?

I think the latter.

It is not difficult to anticipate an attack of sighing or a few answer the questions or gestures of exasperation from Vincent Browne during such a Leader’s debate.

Kenny has his own style of collegiate governance of Fine Gael. He has invented Team Fine Gael on the economy. This absence of hubris and arrogance is a key component of Kenny’s character.

Conclusion: Why should Enda agree to having Vincent Browne as a moderator in a Leader’s Debate when Browne has shown dismissal and contempt for performance and abilities?

Vincent is entertaining but suffers from a serious lack of insight into his own behaviour and motivation.