Number of visits

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Political pantomime leaves us with 7 dwarfs!

I wish the surviving 7 cabinet ministers good health. That may strike you as being out of character for someone who opposes the policy of the Fianna Fail government and as of a few hours ago it is a Fianna Fail single party government that runs this country for the first time since 1989. However if any more ministers resign and the Dail does not replace them then there will be no functioning government in this country. You need a minimum of 7 cabinet ministers for a cabinet meeting. This possibility would be farcical. My main concern is that the international standing of Ireland and the political standards that should apply in this country have been trashed by the government that is now leaving power.

As far as I’m aware there are no ministers junior or senior in the Department of Transport and the ongoing dispute at Aer Lingus threatens to escalate. What started out as an internal Fianna Fail matter brought on by Golfgate developed into a crisis after a good old fashioned Fianna Fail stroke backfired. The likelihood is that the next Fianna Fail leader will never be Taoiseach and that what we are witnessing is the relegation of Fianna Fail to the role of just another political party. They’re not a movement as Mary Hanafin claims but an embarrassment. Eamon Ó Cuiv’s hope’s of re-establishing the party on a parish by parish basis fundamentally misses the point that people’s focus under this government has gone from the community that they live in and the party stands no chance of re-invigorating a sense of societal participation as Fianna Fail spent the last 14 years in power cosying up to the wealthy at the Galway Tent. Many people live detached from their communities because they couldn’t afford homes in the communities that they were born in.

Brian Lenihan and Mary Hanafin seem to have shot themselves politically in the foot and that leaves the main battle between O Cuiv and Martin unless Connor Lenihan makes good his threat to run. Running is good for the profile and may be the difference between re-election and the P45. I hope Micheal Martin wins. Of all the candidates he spent the last 14 years in cabinet stoking up the bubble and he cannot distance himself from the impact of his policies. Fianna Fail under Martin will fit into the 2 and a half party system very well in the half party slot.

I expect a General election to be called for Friday February 25th. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fianna Fail appointed 3 new junior ministers as the vacancies exist and the appointments are by the government and not by the Dail. Here’s hoping that the people of Wexford put the boot in to the Fianna Fail ticket. It seems likely that the older FF TD’s with a reputation for clientelism will survive. That’d be a bonus as the image that a new Fianna Fail leader would like to create in the opposition benches will conflict with the reality.

Or maybe just maybe there may yet be a sting in the tail for us all? A reverse Tallaght strategy where Fianna Fail support Fine Gael so long as Enda Kenny follows the 4 year economic plan? Or Fine Gael falls short of a majority and is supported by the new right wing economist grouping? By the way isn’t it peculiar that these right wing economists will only stand for election in constituencies with good social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, LUAS, DART etc? If some of these guys felt that their policies were beneficial for the entire population why won’t they run for election in socially disadvantaged parts of the country?
Strange country with peculiar politics.


Paul Rowley said...

And if Lab gets into government whether in coalition or on its own, the 'curious politics' must be a thing of the past.

People want relief from the slavery to the banks (which still won't lend to those same people), they want transparency and innovative ways to get us out from under the bailout burden. Anything less won't wash.

Be warned, more of the same-ism will be swiftly rejected by the citizenry.

Oh, and Lennie last night admitted he and other ministers lied to us, this from last night's Week In Politics;

"All of the ministers were aware that it was essential to protect the position of Ireland in the markets, and that you couldn’t concede that you were going into the IMF, for fear or prejudicing that position further. That was the position the government was in."

And he wants to be FFailure leader?

Anonymous said...


I notice you don't have that 'ragbag' candidate Seamus O'Brien on your poll (although you have those other two 'ragbags' Dwyer and Kelly).

Does Labour even pretend to be left wing anymore? Good luck with getting that finance bill through.


Unknown said...

I wasn't aware Seamus was running. As you know the Greens have yet to select a candidate too so I never said the poll was complete. I think its unfair of you to refer to John Dwyer and Anthony Kelly as ragbag candidates.

You seem to be at cross purposes Labour is opposed to the Finance Bill and will be voting against the bill. Only since the Labour No confidence motion has the pending Finance Bill developed into a key issue. I think Eamon Gilmore should get due credit from the left for a shrewd decision on that.
You're right when you ask does Labour pretend to be left wing, it doesn't have to pretend, it is and always has been left wing.

True its not the same analysis of the micro left groups who've done immense damage to the left in Ireland by their narrow almost zealous pursuit of intellectual purity at the expense of the lives of ordinary people. I'm old enough to remember pickets by left wing parties at the Labour conference where the May Day bank holiday was declared.

The Labour Party is a Democratic Socialist Party, proud of our links to trade unions and has improved the lives of many people through the years and will continue to do this after the next election, come what may!

Anonymous said...


By unsing the word 'ragbag' in inverted commas I was making a sarcastic reference to Rosin Shorthall's recent derogitory comments about other left-wing parties and groups.

While ther IRSP does not believe that there is a democratic route to socialism we do believe in the formation of broad left alliances.

Personally I am disapointed at the Labour Party's arrogant dismissial of the United Left Alliance and Sinn Fein. I am also sorry that the ULA have not taken a more concilliatory approch to Labour.

I see a possibility of a majority left wing government in this state within the next five years.

No doubt Labour will mess this up by discrediting the left while in goverment with the most right wing party in the dail (Fine Gael) yet again.

I would love to see the right (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens) forced to work together against a united left. It would be the best thing that has ever happened to poltical debate in the Free State.


Unknown said...

If the IRSP doesn't believe that there is a democratic route to socialism what are you doing involving yourself in an election? Does ULA share this view and does the ULA candidate support this stand?
I strongly suspect that the vast bulk of people believe in democracy and that's where Labour and the IRSP differ. You seem to have a pre-conceived view of the outcome of any government.
The problem with ULA is who leads it and whether it will follow a SP or SWM line and where their view on the north is a recipe for a split.
The last time Labour was in power, the country was in a hell of a better state than it has been left today.

Anonymous said...


The IRSP has always had a policy of involving itself in 'broad left' fronts and movements. Anything that creates political awareness among the working class is a good thing and there is nothing like a general election to create political awareness.

My own personal litmus test on whether a candidate deserves a preference from me in this election is their, or their party's position on the Lisbon Referendum (I voted NO both times).

The IRSP is not part of the United Left Alliance so I can not comment on their political befiefs. The IRSP position on the ULA can be read by clicking on the link below.:

IRSP Position On United Left Alliance


Unknown said...

BTW the Free State hasn't existed since 1937! Like the EEC the state has moved on!
I note your interest in giving a preference vote for candidates oppposed to Lisbon. I'm amazed that you believe that the likes of Declan Ganley would share IRSP/INLA values.

Anonymous said...


I didn't know Declan Ganley was standing in Wexford. He certainly would not get a high preference from me. I am voting for Kelly, Dwyer and O'Brien. Not necessarily in that order of preference.

I like the term Free State, and since this is supposed to be a free country, I will continue to use it.