Inquiries June 17, 2014Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Irish Politics.
Brendan Howlin hasn’t left the house in two years without cribbing at voters for rejecting his inquiries referendum, the planned 30th amendment of the Irish constitution. I imagine him rising each morning, darkly muttering about an ungrateful electorate as he snaffles his coco pops.
The entire circus was a vanity project for Howlin & Shatter who felt personally slighted by the judiciary in 2001. Who needs separation of powers when there are scores to settle. Accountability and democracy were a convenient cloak for damaged egos.
The government had eight months to prepare for the vote but when the time came, they largely kept their mouths shut, hoping it would pass quietly along with the presidential election. And they were right. Three weeks into the campaign and only when pushed, the silence finally broke. Howlin bluffed his way through a Sunday morning radio interview before, remarkably, managed to come across more repellent than Michael McDowell on Primetime. Alan Shatter was just being himself but it was enough to drive a majority of voters towards a big fat Níl. Some justice.
Since then, Howlin hasn’t missed an opportunity to lay it on. How could ye. Sean Fitzpatrick and the rest of them will get away with it now, we were so often told.
The minster for public expenditure even commissioned a troop of political scientists to look into the hearts of Irish people. We usually do what we are told. What went wrong. The resulting report now doomed to dust in the oireachtas library for all eternity.
And so the banking inquiry falls down a tediously predictable hole, before even starting. The Taoiseach told the Dáil last week that;
The matter that has been a cause of some controversy in the Seanad will be dealt with very shortly.
And it was.
Donnelly is already gone while FF & SF are too busy waiting for the other to blink. Even Joe Higgins was less than convincing on radio yesterday. Overturn Abbeylara, trust your public representatives. There hasn’t been a peep out of Brendan Howlin for two weeks.