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.