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Whereas this guy ain’t going nowhere…yet. June 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…that would be the conclusion from Stephen Collins in relation to Enda Kenny. In a run-through of the ‘new politics’, Collins notes:

Some Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil Deputies make no bones about the fact that they are having trouble adjusting to the notion that the old rules of government versus opposition no longer apply.
“I would much rather know which side of the fence I am supposed to be on,” said one Fianna Fáil TD, while Fine Gael counterparts mutter about being in government but not in power.
What really troubles TDs of both parties is that they can’t work out which of them is going to benefit most if the arrangement works, but there is broad agreement that whichever of them brings it to an end is likely to suffer most.

Some of us, I’ll bet, are kind of enjoying this dilemma that confronts those parties.

Collins argues that:

The bewilderment goes farther than the two big parties. Smaller parties and Independents are finding it more difficult to get media coverage for knee-jerk denunciations of every action of Government because it is no longer quite clear who the target should be.
What disgruntled TDs are ignoring is that the old Punch and Judy way of doing politics was no longer working. That manifested itself in the inconclusive general election result, and the Dáil had to find a way of responding to the outcome.

Perhaps. Part of it is that there are so many smaller parties and independents. The jockeying for position of various groups and formations in the last few weeks is testament to that. Whether the old Punch and Judy way is not longer working is a different matter. It sure worked fine for long enough. That said given the numbers he is right that the Dáil had to respond to the numbers.

But look. If FF or FG returned an overall majority next time, or something close to it, that ‘old P&J way’ would return pretty sharpish too. Collins is worried though about something else:

…that the recourse to extra spending in health could mark the first step in a concerted raid on the exchequer for money to throw at every issue that poses a political problem for the Government.
If some outside event like Brexit or another euro zone crisis suddenly derails the positive economic growth and tax revenue figures, then we could find ourselves back in the mire very quickly.
The warnings by the fiscal council during the week were a timely reminder of the need for prudence and of the danger that things could go wrong if circumstances change to the country’s disadvantage.

There’s a truth in there. But… I always find it difficult to take entirely seriously when it is uttered by proponents of low taxes. Meanwhile, as noted at the top of the piece, Collins is certain that Kenny is safe for the moment. How could it be otherwise? He is the Taoiseach, if the parties don’t want an election then for certain those within the parties don’t want a contest that might lead to an election. And it would be kind of unseemly to have any sort of leadership heave this close not just to the election but the formation of the government.

Where that changes is when some decide that it might be worth taking the risk. That’s when Kenny is going to be in trouble. Could be sooner than some think though.


1. dublinstreams - June 14, 2016

Stephen Collins you mean?


2. gendjinn - June 14, 2016

Being a faux opposition is working great for the Democratic party – perhaps they can teach FF the trick.


3. Joe - June 14, 2016

Yeah, the consensus after the election seemed to be that Kenny wouldn’t last out the year as leader of FG. But little talk these days of him stepping down any time soon.
John Lennon summed it up didn’t he – Strange Days Indeed.


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