Fianna Fáil could do business with Fine Gael! May 4, 2016Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
Thanks to the person who forwarded this from Archon of the Southern Star…
LAST week we watched in amazement the wannabe Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, as he put together a political ‘arrangement’ aimed to please his Blueshirt butties and allow a government to be formed.
Dumbfounded at the sight of him propositioning Enda Kenny, our cognitive processes went into overdrive until eventually we came to the conclusion that the message he wanted to convey was simple, although definitely indecent: Fianna Fáil could do business with Fine Gael!
He seemed to be saying that Fine Gael was a party symbiotically related to Fianna Fáil, as close as the bark is to the tree and that he and Enda Kenny were like … go on, spit it out … blood brothers! Estranged, perhaps, as some members of the same family can be but, in the current political crisis, prepared to let bygones be bygones, and to kiss and make up.
What’s more, he was intent on ignoring the naysayers who were ready to place obstructions in the way of an historic alignment – even if it was with the most right wing outfit in Europe, the inheritors of WT Cosgrave and General Eoin O’Duffy’s disreputable legacies!
But for Martin the point at issue seemed to be the remarkable similarity between the FG policy portfolio and the policies that he himself considered during his undistinguished 14-year stint as a FF cabinet minister – USC, property tax, water charges, health, housing, education, etc, etc. Consequently, FG policies would be amazingly easy to endorse!
Pleased too were Carlow-Kilkenny TDs John McGuinness and Bobby Alyward, guardians of the FF ethics and morality department. In the wake of the election results, they nailed their colours to the mast and urged Martin not to ignore the decision of the electorate. They encouraged him to enter coalition with Fine Gael for the good of the country.
(Here’s an aside: When sensitive people hear politicians regurgitate that clichéd and meaningless phrase ‘for the good of the country’ they reach for the sick bucket! Disgusting but true.)
John McGuinness appealed to deputies to stop thinking about their own personal interests, while Bobby Aylward reminded Martin that nobody wanted a second election and, if one should occur, the party would suffer the consequences.
The backbench advice was as plain as a pikestaff within the context of Martin missing opportunity after opportunity to form a government. A maritime F&Fer explained the situation in poetic terms: ‘because of his ineptitude, Michaél Martin had turned a calm lake into a rough sea. Now was the moment to do things right and pour oil on troubled waters. Carpe diem and all that stuff.’
Then the punters came up with this conundrum: if Kenny and Fine Gael had now taken to wearing Fianna Fáil’s multi-coloured suit of policies, what remained in the locker for the FF party? After all, what is a party without a policy? (‘Like Plumtree’s potted meat, incomplete,’ as James Joyce might have answered!)
But, for Micheál Martin, having no policies was not a problem. He’d invent new ones, the most important being ‘The Bash Gerry and Sinn Féin policy.’
So, as if he were taking lessons in journalistic invective from certain excitable fellas in the Sunday Independent, he began denouncing Mr Adams and his party.
He accused Sinn Féin of a ‘deeply-cynical and dangerous attempt to exploit the 1916 heroes.’ Adams, he said, was ‘rewriting history by claiming a direct link to the Easter Rising.’
He claimed that when Fianna Fáil was founded, people who participated in the Rising led it. However, he emphasised that his party was not a Civil War party – a statement that will have the historians in Dinty`s arguing for years
On the other hand, Sinn Féin was ‘a sinister organisation that tried to destroy the State.’ It waged an illegitimate war against a democratic republican tradition directly enabled by 1916. The H-Block hunger-strike exhibition at Dublin’s Ambassador Theatre also ‘twisted’ Irish history.
A bemused Gerry Adams commented that his party never tried to claim ownership of 1916. Instead it sought to ‘popularise the centenary and place the message of the Proclamation at the centre of the commemorative events.’
It was also his opinion that Martin’s ‘revisionism of recent history’ did not serve the cause of Irish Republicanism. ‘It is clear that in terms of republicanism and the national question Micheál Martin is more aligned with John Bruton than with the traditional republican base of Fianna Fáil.’
Sinn Féin, he said, had a mandate in both parts of the island and it was that fact which drove Martin’s hysterical rant. ‘His speeches centred on negativity and invective, offering no message of hope or policy proposals on which could be built a better future.’
Martin’s reference to the H-Block hunger strike was interesting, particularly since his much-respected father, Paddy Martin, RIP, a former member of the Irish Army, publicly supported a campaign that focussed attention on the human rights violations of prisoners in Long Kesh and of women prisoners in Armagh Jail. The H-Block campaign ran for several months and the names of those expressing support were published in the Evening Echo, including that of Mr Martin Snr.
Also intriguing is that Fianna Fáil`s anti-Sinn Féin policy infuriated DUP leader Arlene Foster. She described it as ‘offensive and unjustified’ after Martin pompously called on the British and Irish governments to intervene directly in the North because the DUP-Sinn Fein ‘stranglehold on government was causing immense damage to public support for the institutions and to public engagement in politics.’
Ms Foster advised Martin to cop himself on, and that it was a bit rich for a chap who couldn’t form a Government to be telling the North how to run its business.
‘It’s not up to him to tell the people of Northern Ireland how to elect their government,’ she said, adding that the DUP and Sinn Féin led the executive because they secured the most votes at the last Assembly election. In other words, the Northern message was ‘put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Martin!’
Also curious was the silence from TD Eamon Ó Cuív, grandson of Eamon de Valera, the man who founded Fianna Fáil. Last year Ó Cuív complained of an ‘absolute collapse in FF self belief’ and of ‘a corrosive difference’ between the top of Fianna Fail and the supporters. Importantly, he saw merit in close relations with Sinn Féin.
Which raises this question: If Martin makes a bags of his earth-shattering alliance with the Blueshirts, and if he fails to sell the idea to the electoral backbone of the party, will he be in danger of the chop?
The story goes that already long-standing party rivals are sharpening the hatchet. Martin, despite all his bravado, is playing a very high-risk game.