A sea of troubles… September 26, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
As if to hammer home the point the news of Róisin Shortall’s resignation came after this was posted up earlier in the evening.
Don’t know if others agree but there’s something a bit unhinged about the Government at the moment. It’s not just the Reilly issue which promises a world of pain for them – and perhaps more specifically for Enda Kenny. Nor is it the mutterings taking place in the Labour Party which are problematic for Eamon Gilmore. Nor is it solely the issue of some in Europe making the supposed deal on deficits appear hazy – at best. Each is enormously serious, but each is happening at effectively the same time. It is this which is the real problem. It’s one damned thing after another, or one damned thing coming all together.
There’s also the problems – that were intrinsic to this government from the off, of it pulling in two directions. One doesn’t have to agree or disagree with the idea that the Labour Party is just another neo-liberal party to know that all else excepted Fine Gael and the Labour party have a different tone to one another. And this isn’t a small thing. It’s a very function of the fact they appeal to somewhat divergent constituencies in electoral terms. From the beginning they had a markedly different emphasis on spending cuts as against tax increases and this is merely symptomatic of such things. It doesn’t matter whether their respective leaderships take a cynical or self-serving view of such matters, these can be used as yardsticks to measure their subsequent behaviour against.
Small wonder that there are those mutterings. But as with the polls the problem is that all this, even though some of it is potentially deeply damaging, is in advance of the Budget, a Budget which the Government parties will require all their strength to get through reasonably intact.
Actually, there’s a thought. Last year saw the departure of three TDs from the Government (albeit Patrick Nulty is in some ways sui generis having arrived in the Dáil on foot of a by-election). What are the chances that we’ll see more this year. Doesn’t matter of course, unless there was a major rupture in one or other party, and frankly hard to impossible to see that taking place in FG.
But returning briefly to the main point. Here’s another problem. That majority is so large that it near enough guarantees that the Government will remain in situ barring something entirely catastrophic. So, no change until later in the Dáil term, and no change then either because – as with its predecessor – the closer the election draws near the more likely the parties will tend to stay on board until the bitter end until something, anything, anything at all turns up. But that raises another interesting possibility. In that respect it might also be like its predecessor, moving on towards the inevitable meeting with the electorate and losing legitimacy all the while – albeit staying in power until the bitter end. Which means that we’d have a scenario where both FF, FG and the LP would each have major problems in relation to credibility (and ironically perhaps only FF able to mount something of a resurgence). Which leaves…
Granted it may not be as bad as that, three and an half years is a long time in itself, plenty of scope for other matters to change the situation. But…