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Lie detector September 29, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Meant to mention this before now, from last Friday, and a remarkable, I mean genuinely remarkable political story.

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has dismissed suggestions that he should take a polygraph test, following allegations that he was behind a sting operation to identify an individual who was leaking from Cabinet.

Minister O’Donovan told Limerick’s Live 95 that the proposal from Senator Rónán Mullen that both he and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, should undergo a polygraph test was not a reasonable one.

That it has come to this is incredible. And the fact that suggestions about polygraphs are being bandied about surely puts the complaints by Fine Gael about Matt Carthy, the SF TD, using Dáil privilege to suggest the idea that Minister Harris was apparently leaking from Cabinet (something that had been it seems alluded in the media to long before Carthy raised the idea) some what in the shade.

But there’s a deeper point, which is that Fine Gael for all that it is riding reasonably buoyantly in the polls has the appearance of a party that is unmoored in some ways. Across a range of areas feet keep being planted firmly in mouths and that raises questions. Why now? The obvious answer is that it has been in power, in one form or another, for a decade or so. And perhaps even the nature of that period, as part of a coalition with FF, confidence and supply from FF, coalition with the LP, is such that it has in some sense integrated the idea that it is now the natural party of government. 

In fairness with FF becalmed in the polls at 15% or so, and with Sinn Féin it’s clear rival, that makes considerable sense. There is a pool of Independents who while external to the government appear to be supportive of keeping it in power, for the moment. The Green Party, and others no doubt, have demonstrated their willingness to support it. Perhaps it is betting on the proposition that no plausible government can be formed without its participation. And yet, I wonder. If this haphazard approach it has taken continues there are multiple options for coalitions to be formed to keep it out of power. Is that likely? Perhaps not today. But it’s not impossible further down the line. 


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