Saturday 22 July 2017

George Lee describes his political career as being 'like a lamb to the slaughter'

George Lee
George Lee

Kathy Armstrong

George Lee has described entering the Dail as being "like a lamb to the slaughter."

The RTE broadcaster was elected as a Dublin south TD for Fine Gael but quit after just nine months in 2010, admitting that it wasn't for him.

Lee said candidly today that he was "too idealistic" for the job.

Speaking on the Today Show with Maura and Daithi on RTE, he said: "I went in like a lamb to the slaughter because I went in too idealistically.

"I think people recognised what I recognised, that this was a huge economic setback, a huge economic crisis.

"We needed to do what we could and I was somebody probably known to them and fresher.

George Lee pictured at the south Dublin Fine Gael constituency meeting at the Stillorgan Park Hotel where he was nominated as a candidate
George Lee pictured at the south Dublin Fine Gael constituency meeting at the Stillorgan Park Hotel where he was nominated as a candidate

"Some people might say I was naive .. but ultimately I was not cut out for politics because I was too idealistic."

He also said that his personality didn't suit the Dail.

He said: "The Dail is a very difficult place to describe, there's a saying that the same boiling water that will soften a potato will also harden an egg. So it depends on what your made of so when I went in to the Dail what I was made of reacted in a particular fashion to the environment of the Dail.

"Other people who are brought up in politics expect it to be the way it is, it's  a tough business, a hard business and I'm not sure big parties are the places for people who are idealistic."

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He also summed up the responsibilities that come with being a TD, saying: "What I learned, the hard way, is that politics is about power ...

"The way I see it is that if you have a gun in your hand you have a powerful instrument in your hand but the whole issue about you having that power in your hand is not that you have that power ... it's the responsibility with which you hold that gun and how you use it.

"I think that politics for me was about the sense of responsibility to do something for those people who are going to be unemployed rather than holding on to that power."

Although politics wasn't for him, he said he doesn't regret trying his hand at it.

George said: "The things you often regret most are the things you didn’t do ... I learned a lot about myself."

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