The ‘new politics’… September 23, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Courtesy of Stephen Collins in the Irish Times based on this piece of his on Fianna Fáil from last Saturday. In it he frets about whether FF is ‘returning to their old ways’ having seemed to join the ‘new politics’ by supporting the FG led coalition. The cause of this is the FF promise to abolish water charges – a promise that during the week was retracted (or as IEL noted wasn’t really a change of position at all by FF).
This is terrible he feels, this promise (of sorts), and is that old FF there poking through the ‘new politics’ flesh. Hmmm… odd imagery that.
But how many key words and phrases can he get into one article? You may be surprised!
Starting with: “Has the old Fianna Fáil come back to haunt the country once more?”
The party’s pledge to abolish water charges certainly looks like a return to the carefree, populist policies of old.
It does not sit easily with the party’s commitment to the “new politics” which has facilitated the Fine Gael-led minority Government
Here’s a good one. Perhaps two or three:
The party’s abandonment of a rational and sustainable approach to the supply of water is a worrying development as it indicates that it has not, after all, really learned any lessons from the cavalier policies that led the country to the brink of economic ruin twice over the past 40 years.
Too many to mention here:
Only time will tell whether inside the party of “new politics” the old-style Haughey-era Fianna Fáil is simply waiting to burst out, when the opportunity arises. The signal given by the decision on water is ominous. The aggressive element in Fianna Fáil has been encouraged by the surge in support for the party in the opinion polls since the general election but that could be a serious misreading of the public mood.
It is arguable that Fianna Fáil has regained public confidence by the manner in which it has built on its election comeback by adopting a mature approach to the formation of government.
It could very easily squander that new-found respectability by lining itself up with Sinn Féin and the array of hard-left Independents who have campaigned against the water charges.
And how about some class disdain?
The move may well help the party wrest a seat or two from the left in working-class constituencies but it could lose many more in middle Ireland. More than half of all households paid at least some of their water bills and another chunk of the population who live in rural Ireland pay for water already. Who will represent them?
There’s more. So much more. And throughout what is clears an absolute certainty that the orthodoxy, at any given time, is utterly deserving of adherence and that any deviation from that is a disaster. That view from “middle” Ireland can be very constraining, and no mistake.
Though perhaps special mention for this last paragraph – a triumph of hope over experience some might think.
Coveney and Bruton have demonstrated that the Government can do positive things if the will is there, regardless of its minority status. If Fine Gael can come up with initiatives in other vital areas of public concern, it might even rebuild some of the credibility it lost through a disastrous election campaign last February and differentiate itself from Fianna Fáil in the process.