That’s your problem right there, mate! October 13, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Pat Rabbitte states in the SBP at the weekend that:
I am unwavering in my conviction that the public interest is best served by a decisive government, an effective opposition and robust media.
And he goes on to note that the polls do not agree with him. He appears particularly exercised by the fact that while 44 per cent approve of the ‘new politics’ there is only a 29 per cent satisfaction rating for said administration.
Clearly the very high approval rate for this type of government – apart from being reject of political parties – reflects the reality of strong support for independent candidates. If almost a quarter of the electorate prefer independents and small parties, the logic seems to be why should this preference not be reflected in government?
Take it away Pat as to why they’re getting it wrong!
The result is a go-slow government constantly looking over its shoulder and forced to delay or defer important decision – unless, like housing, it is national emergency. Everybody wants a share of the credit for popular decisions and nobody wants to know about difficult decisions being postponed.
So unlike any other government we’ve lived through, or that he’s been a member of – eh?
But that first unwavering conviction of his is, to my mind, the bigger problem. For he leaves out one vital ingredient. That being the political/ideological direction of said decisive government. Time and again we see this with Rabbitte, an adherence to processes rather than outcomes. Perhaps this is making a virtue of necessity having been a representative, and sometime leader, of a small party participating time and again in government as a minority partner in coalition with larger parties. Trimming the sail once or twice would be one thing. But every time? At that point the function of the party having an independent political platform becomes almost supernumerary to requirements.
Indeed note that for him there’s a public interest that is entirely detached from the actual politics of the situation. The big problem is that one can see any number of different complexioned governments and oppositions in all this engaged in whatever course they see fit and said public interest only being narrowly accommodated, if at all, under this schema.
One could, for example, have two essentially, and functionally, right of centre parties dominating a polity with no left wing input whatsoever… what’s that you say?
And that’s where his peculiarly depoliticised politics leads us. To a point where his position is an abdication of political responsibility, where literally any political position is open to question and jettisoning in the face of whatever is deemed the public interest. Emphasise tax increases over expenditure cuts – whoosh… no, we’ll do the opposite in government. And so on.
The rather mundane truth is that the government we have is, as it were, a continuation of the status quo ante in somewhat more complex form. Instead of an LP bending to the will of the larger parties we have Independents of a variety of complexions. One might argue that in fact they’re actually slightly more, only slightly mind, likely to put up a defence for what they regard as their interests because they are independent. But in truth matters proceed much as they have. Centre-right governance, with largely rhetorical or cosmetic nods to equality etc. Perhaps I am being unfair to the man but it’s difficult, really, to understand what his complaint is, other than he’s not a part of that particular process.