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A former Minister writes on the poll May 31, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Chutzpah. That’s the word that comes to mind reading one P. Rabbitte on the SBP/REDC poll. Why you may ask. Well, we’ll come to that in a moment. But first up, he’s not wrong in suggesting that the poll presents:

…a remarkable stability about voter opinion since the general election. Any change is within the MOE. After a particularly unedifying period in Irish politics, some change might reasonably have ben anticipated. Following the prolonged ritual of government formation, we have got a very rickety makeshift minority govt. over which the main opposition party has a veto.

Well, what does he suggest as an alternative? Does he expect voters to flock from FF or to FG or vice versa? And given the combination of forces really what else could we have but a rickety makeshift minority government?

Actually it gets stranger for he writes:

Some government minstrels may hold office, but their hearts (and mouths) are in opposition. FF like a hawk is waiting to pounce after a decent period, but it is hopeful that the govt itself might implode. SF can’t wean itself way from completing with the Trostkyite [sic] left, one of whose leading advocates, Richard Boyd Barrett, has come out in favour of raising the threshold for inheritance tax. And then there is the immediate back drop to this poll in the endless controversy about policing.

Well, let’s unpick some of that. All opposition parties, whether there are minority or majority governments, wait to pounce on governments. It is indeed part of their function, as well as expedient. It is mere pretence to suggest that it is otherwise. Of course the LP too will have to play this role, and indeed will do it to the fullest of its extent if it can. So to berate FF is to miss the point entirely. As for the lash at SF. What does he propose? He, after all, is one of those staunchest in suggesting before the election that SF wasn’t to be trusted, or dealt with. What should SF do, what does he recommend? He doesn’t say.

Oddly, having dismissed the polling data as within the MOE he now suggests that FF will be ‘pleased to have drawn level with FG’ etc, etc. Apparently ‘FG will convince themselves that if they can make the govt. work they can get their noses ahead’. So unlike the LP in the last Dáil. And so on.

He seems puzzled that voters might not have changed their minds since the GE. But I’d think a bigger puzzle would be if they had. And he concludes:

It confirms that the new fashion in Irish politics is to be beware of going into government.

And here comes the chutzpah!

Go into government at your peril. It is a dispiriting conclusion. What is the purpose of politics if not to implement your policies?

And later:

Whereas this reflects diminished confidence in conventional politics, it is also a direct legacy of the perceived political responsibility for the all-embracing bank guarantee, the collapse and horrendously costly recapitalisation of the banks, the bailout and the painful prescription the troika. This is the legacy that above all else shapes our politics and the electorate is not much troubled about distinguishing as between the traditional political parties.

Really? And how would one distinguish between the ‘traditional’ parties given that one which was flying high in the polls in advance of GE2016 entered government, promptly ignored its own electoral platform and acted in a manner indistinguishable from the other two ‘traditional’ parties. It takes some lack of self-reflection to ignore that particular history.


1. benmadigan - May 31, 2016

Ma heid’s spinnin’ tryin’ to contort with the former minister.

“the electorate is not much troubled about distinguishing as between the traditional political parties”.

What does this mean?


2. sonofstan - May 31, 2016

go into government at your peril

“Well that’s the kind of thing you say when you’re no longer in electoral politics”

Liked by 1 person

3. fergal - May 31, 2016

There used to be a kiddies’ programme on years ago called ‘fragglerock’…Pat Rabbitte= ‘the trashheap has spoken’


4. An Sionnach Fionn - May 31, 2016

“…a particularly unedifying period in Irish politics

I presume that is establishment code for 40% of the electorate choosing not to vote for the “traditional political parties” of government, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. The ingrates!


Jim Monaghan - May 31, 2016

While I like the idea of FF, Fg and Labour dying, I think it has a long way to go. Eg 2 Healy-Raes as replacements for a start. As the current governmental lashup shows there is mainly fragmentation rather than change. And the pols showing the revival of FF, God, if he exists, help us.
Oh and a thought for the FGers who are not ministers and don’t get to be Chairs of Dail committees, well they might just do a Naughton.
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose


5. gendjinn - May 31, 2016

How long before the new groupings solidify and start peeling off support from the FF coalition? The first budget?


Jim Monaghan - June 1, 2016

More likely wardheeling blackmail. Give me a hospital and airport or I am walking. Halligan is secure for at least a generation.


gendjinn - June 1, 2016

Didn’t a “Senior FG source” say that Halligan’s version of the understanding and the govt may not be quite the same thing?

But yeah, well do I remember Tony Gregory and Dublin Bay Loftus in the 80-82 elections. And just a wee pup at the time.


6. Dermot O Connor - June 1, 2016

BTW, be sure to check out A Kavanagh’s series of ‘target constituencies’ series (he’s done one for FF/FG/LB/SF/GR).


Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2016

Yeah very interesting and I see he did some projections on most recent poll


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