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Prima donnas, he says… September 15, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Pat Rabbitte – for it is he, writing in the SBP at the weekend writes:

I and my own tax-free windfall last week that not even Margrethe Vestager can attack. A small wager that the Social Democrats party would become two, rather than three, deputies before the year was out came home early than I had expected.

Three prima donnas in one parliamentary party is a challenge at any time. Three prima donnas in a parliamentary party of only three members is at least two two many…

Woah there Pat. Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think!

Now those of us who have seen Pat, perhaps even known him slightly, might feel that he’s not best placed to opine on this particular topic, but then again. Write what you know, write what you know. Isn’t that the advice?

Just on Donnelly, here’s an intriguing line:

When Donnelly emerged in the dark days of the the disintegration of the FF-GP government it seems a genuine cvici-minded response to the financial crash. however, when he came out as a social democrat, it was something of a surprise. His social democratic credentials will now either be confirmed or exposed by his next move.

Hmmm… What is he implying there? And would Donnelly be a prima donna should he go to a small party, say of seven or so TDs? We’ll see!

Meanwhile this gives an excuse, if one were needed, for him to go hammer and tongs against independents.

So for the moment we have another Independent member of Dáil Eireann in a week when once again, the fortunes of independents threatened to determine the fate of the government. No week now passes without one independent or another using the airwaves to tell us, in greater detail than we need to low how agonising is the struggle with their conscience.

So unlike the LP of the 1980s when it was in government, some of us with long memories won’t think. For I recall various LP TDs wrestling with their consciences on air in the 1982-87 period. But I guess that’s different in some way. Or another. Which makes the following quite entertaining:

Other politicians, apparently don’t experience such struggles or perhaps they just don’t put them on parade every time a difficult decision must be taken.

How quickly he forgets. Fine Gael…cough… RENUA… cough…

And in a burst of hope he writes:

There is a discernible weariness with this approach to governing.

Perhaps. Perhaps. Or probably not. Though that burst continues:

Does it, together with the near-demise of Renua and the current travails of the SDs suggest that perhaps the fragmentation of the political landscape in evidence since the crash is beginning to face? Or are the se developments no more than the latest personality squabbles on initiatives that were never more than personality driven in the first place.

Well as to the latter, perhaps he doesn’t believe that communities do genuinely and sincerely care about these issues (if we’re talking about Waterford), or perhaps he doesn’t care. As to the former. That’s a convenient if illogical line. As well he knows There’s was no lack of fragmentation demonstrated at the last election at which RENUA was pointed to the exit door. And surely, surely he’s not suggesting that someone leaving a political party indicates less fragmentation?

He continues:

Or are they the first small steps towards a wider realisation that party structure and discipline in politics have merit after all.

There’s a lot of problems with this thesis. Consider if you will the wreckage that is now the Irish Labour Party. Hasn’t worked out quite so well. What makes him think it will go otherwise any time soon? But in relation to Donnelly, once more Donnelly is leaving a party and the structure and discipline that is meant to engender (in his eyes).

There’s more.

Ever since the Gregory Deal it has become fashionable if the exigencies of the situation are right, for some independent members to extract funding for favoured projects in their own constituencies in return for supporting the government of the day.

But surely the great cynic can’t be so naive. As was stated on this site by someone once, every election is a Gregory deal for Dublin-Rathdown. And his own party has TDs who have extracted promises in return for support. That’s just the way of it and to pretend otherwise is to misunderstand deliberately or otherwise, the dynamics of Irish politics.

Still, in fairness to him, he makes one solid point. That ‘ministers should have the confidence to argue their case behind closed doors’. And yet there’s a phoniness about all this, the sense that the stakes aren’t quite as high as is being made out, that deals will be done.


1. Ed - September 15, 2016

“…to extract funding for favoured projects in their own constituencies in return for supporting the government of the day.”

If I remember rightly, there was a good post here a few months ago spelling out in detail exactly how Brendan Howlin had used his ministerial position to divert money to his constituency and shore up his electoral base even as Labour’s national base was collapsing.


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