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That FF/FG agreement: Buyers remorse! June 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Got to laugh when I read this in a profile of the new government and the ‘new politics’ (sheesh, that line is getting old, isn’t it?) by Michael O’Regan of the Irish Times from early this week. It appears if the largest parties can’t agree on much many in them are as one in their discontent over the status quo.

“Enda has made history as a Fine Gael leader to achieve a back-to-back victory as taoiseach,”said a Fine Gael TD. “He is going to hang on as long as he can and he will take care of his pals in the meantime.’’


Some Fianna Fáil TDs are equally scathing about Micheál Martin, believing that he made a major political error in not considering Kenny’s offer of a coalition.


“He went out on the Dáil plinth to boast that he had told Enda Kenny where to go when Kenny offered a coalition,’’ said a Fianna Fáil TD.
“It went down well with the grassroots at the time, but now I am not too sure they are happy when we are keeping a minority government in power at a time when hospital waiting lists are getting worse.’’

Whatever about Kenny, and clearly the penny has dropped in various circles that he is a tough shrewd operator who has had his eyes on shaping a political legacy that includes a first, that of first returning FG Taoiseach, it is the FF situation that is most notable. Months ago IEL on here noted that FF members and representatives might be less than happy to see themselves out of power but locked in with an FG in it. For all the stuff about Martin controlling the government, and it’s not entirely inaccurate, at the end of the day Kenny remains Taoiseach, Fine Gael remains in government and they are able to announce decisions publicly.

Intriguingly O’Regan suggests that:

The Leinster House consensus before the formation of the current Government was that Kenny and Martin did not get on personally or politically.
“That is a load of nonsense,’’ said a Fianna Fáil TD. “Martin is too friendly with Kenny as far as some of us are concerned.”

And what of this particular slice of realpolitik.

Kenny promised he would have a list of Bills next week. They were really important and Ministers and departments were really anxious to put them through the Oireachtas, he added.
His backbenchers were less than impressed. “Some of us are waiting for chairpersons of a committee,’’ said a Fine Gael TD. “It is a poor consolation for not receiving a junior ministry. I know that is cynical but it is where we are.’’

Which leads to O’Regan’s conclusion.

TDs across parties are saying the same thing: the new politics is not working.

Yeah, but not working for who?


1. dublinstreams - June 8, 2016

the old cynic Regan is schtick


2. PaddyM - June 8, 2016

One word of caution about that piece is that O’Regan was personally very, very eager for a FG/FF coalition and was not at all happy when a formal coalition didn’t emerge.

Not that I would dare suggest that a political journalist would view everything through the prism of his own desires and select those people to quote who would confirm his own biases. Not at all.

Liked by 1 person

3. gendjinn - June 8, 2016

Take away message for me is that the bulk of FF/FG TDs didn’t think through the consequences of their decision. Not even a couple of months out.

No foresight, no judgement, no motivations but selfish and venal.


CMK - June 8, 2016

‘No foresight, no judgement, no motivations but selfish and venal.’

Well put! You’ve very succinctly set out the core principles of Irish political life for the mainstream parties, which includes the Greens.

Budget 2017 should be interesting.


gendjinn - June 8, 2016


Your point about the Greens resonates most strongly. The plurality of BernieOrBusters are going Green because Environment/ACC. Which is fair enough, but I’ve finally realised there is no room for compromise, no deals that can be made, no middle ground, unless you are articulating your solutions through the prism of class you will be co-opted/defeated every single time.

We never had poverty until we created wealth.


4. dublinstreams - June 8, 2016

Daniel McConnell in the Irish Examiner really going hell for leather writing articles saying the government is on the verge of collapse every other day, he’ll be right at some point I guess.


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