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That ‘new’ politics July 22, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Irish politics, indeed all politics, is how often matters devolve to personality. For example, note how the last week and the polls at the weekend have seen the issue of Enda Kenny’s tenure achieve a prominence that is frankly absurd given the nature of our political system. And it’s not, unfortunately, without political import.

Richard Colwell in the SBP when discussing that paper’s polling data and in particular the belief amongst some that FF is ‘running the government’ suggests that ’a significant change may be needed within FG’. Well, we all know what change that would be.

Yet such a change would mean less than nothing, because the structural aspects would still remain in situ. Kenny could leave in the morning and any one of his rivals take the reins and to all intents at a functional level few would see a difference.

Another point that in a way runs in tandem with this is the chorus in the SBP of disdain at the ‘new politics’. Somehow the belief of the voters polled that FF is ‘running’ FG in government means that the idea of the ‘new politics’ is an empty concept. But that seems to me to be getting the issue completely the wrong way around. The ‘new politics’ was always an empty concept from day one. Simply put the government is in government because neither FG nor FF wanted another election so soon after the last and so it made more sense for the latter to support the former in a sort of semi-detached fashion.

There is no ‘new politics’, never has been and never will. Even if FF supports FG for five years – something that I think most would think beyond belief, it would still be a fiction.

What is telling though is that it is no more a fiction than any government dependent upon other factions to support it in power. It merely is a bit more obvious in relation to the contradictions implicit and explicit in such an arrangement.

Pat Rabbitte in a way gives some of the game away when he writes in his column (also taking potshots at the ‘new politics’) that:

I don’t care how they do government in Denmark. there are few Danes in Ireland. The sooner we revert to two (or more) elected parties taking responsibility for an agreed programme for government and endeavouring to deliver it in the public interest, the better.

But the agreement between, say, the LP and FG is hardly more artificial or lacking in contradiction (though less so in regard of the latter as time has progressed than it might once have been) than that between FG and FF. Indeed one could make a strong argument that the agreement between FF and FG is actually both more sensible and logical given their nominal political neighbourliness on the political spectrum.

What Rabbitte is really saying is that he pines after the good old days – for the LP, at least, of predictable outcomes, etc.

Well, I don’t know whether that constitutes the ‘public interest’.


1. dublinstreams - July 22, 2016

there was alot of criticsm from Fine Gael’ers of the election campaign centered on FG HQ and advisors and the distance between them and FG TDs. Getting rid of Kenny may be the only way to get rid of some of those advisors, who’ll be replaced by another lot of distant special advisors. They have a post election report coming out thats supposed to deal with the problems FG TDs had, what ever it recommends is unlikley to get implemented.

one hoped that the changes to the Dail and budget process might create new politics, although it seems to be getting mostly overridden by FG/FF deals.


WorldbyStorm - July 22, 2016

I think you are spot on there ds


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