Chaos theory… May 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Pat Rabbitte wonders ruefully what has got into the Irish electorate. For all is chaos for him. Seriously.
Stability or chaos. Sections of the electorate who may not have understood the import of that slogan on Feb 26 understand it now. And the chaos is likely to get worse. More correctly, the implications of the public interest of the chaotic situation in Dáil Éireann are likely to get worse.
But is it and are they? I argued last week that the ‘chaos’ line was overdone at best. That far from this being a polity under threat of disintegration in actual fact the system is, as might be expected, ticking along much as expected. And that’s hardly a surprise because this situation isn’t unprecedented, or not entirely, and is covered under the Constitution.
Arguably running to a second election would be more chaotic (as well as making a mockery of the votes of citizens earlier this year).
He calls on the usual suspects…
After some very tough years since the financial crash, the silent majority might reasonably have expected the traditional parties to behave responsibility. They might even have expected, given how recent is the hardship caused by earlier political dereliction, and the public interest might come first. How could we have learned so little and forgotten so quickly?
Who though is the silent majority? How does it express itself? Unless it is merely a short-hand for people who agree with P.R. Okay.
Still, there’s some contradictions in his line as it stands. FF is one of the traditional parties. If it recovered somewhat ‘despite earlier political dereliction’ (a line by the by that comes oddly from one who stood over the LP manifesto in 2007 in relation to income tax) then presumably the silent majority were comfortable with that, or were they? Who can tell. They are silent.
Further contradictions – this time in relation to the LP manifesto of 2011.
The savage retrenchment necessary to correct the public finances has inevitably left us with deficits in infrastructure… it couldn’t have been otherwise though the public debate is often conducted as if all this could have been avoided….
Really? That debate didn’t start on the first day of government in 2011, but surely before. And the LP wasn’t shy about suggesting that it could have been otherwise.
Anyhow, water consumes him.
… the issue that has dominated the talks for new government is how best to pander to the anti-water charges campaign. Both parties know that, in substantial part, that campaign was reflective of a wider anti-austerity sentiment and not only about water. And both parties know that abandoning charges here – because that is what is being done – will inspire other similar campaigns.
And he complains that only 8 per cent of voters felt it was the ’top issue’.
And so he blames FF.
The opportunity presents to humiliate FG, to protect their flank against SF and pose as abolitionists in the event of an early election.
No doubt there’s some truth in all those. And yet, and yet, what other course of action does he propose? His own party lost thirty TDs this year. Fine Gael lost fewer but still a substantial number. Does he feel that FG and FF should simply push charges through and then see them lose TDs subsequently and perhaps not be in a position to govern? I can’t follow his logic at all. Because for all that he complains about others reifying water charges, there is a political reality that they are a political issue and one that has damaged all the ‘traditional parties’.
All he can do is mutter about the precedent (as if such precedents weren’t set with the abolition of rates decades past). And forget the position of his own party on the issue until very recently. No self-criticism there for misleading people as to the necessity for water charges (as he would see it) when he was leader. Odd that. Yet surely that has to be factored in to all the superheated talk of environmental treason.
And in all this, as ever, a weird inability to see that perhaps these matters are better funded through central income taxation, that that might be the most equitable way forward even from what passes as a social democratic position.