OPINION: FFers deserve crack at ruling the roost

December 30th, 2019 11:40 AM

By Southern Star Team

Share this article

IT’S time they got a crack at government, those decent, honest-to-god, unimpeachably moral, perfect politicos in Fianna Fáil. They deserve it.

Would they be any better than the present crowd?   Of course not, but within the context of our Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee system, they too deserve a crack at ruling the roost and having access to that lovely loot and everlasting ‘pinsins’ that define our version of parliamentary ‘democracy’.

Polls show that in the popularity stakes the F&Fers aren’t performing badly which ought to inspire Our Mickey (a politico who does not lack initiative) to do a deal with the Blueshirts regarding a general election date.

After all, it hasn’t been nice keeping the Horrible Ones (Fine Gael) in power since 2016 – a situation that was triggered, of course, by Fianna Fáil’s electoral misfortunes. But for the rank and file what really hurts is to get nothing back from the perks and privileges department.

But hope is on the horizon. Snot-green shoots of something or other are beginning to appear in Fianna Fail’s electoral weed-patch and, although the leaves are as yet pale and sickly, the trickle of political aspirations flowing through the tubes indicates that for Mickey the long political winter might well be over.


Easter election?

In other words, signs are that Mickey the Gardener, Our Mickey, might be nourishing a plan that would satisfy his favourite vegetables. It’s this: an agreement with Fine Gael on an election date – possibly next Easter!

Whatever about the indifference of most of the population, the idea is tickling the fancy of RTÉ pundits and newspapers such as the Indo-Sindo,

Interesting too that despite Mickey’s letter to Vlad on the topic, at first the Indo pals were not brought into the equation but, needless to say, it wasn’t long before the world and his wife became aware of the content of the letter: namely that it was time for Fine Gael step up to the plate and give some ‘certainty’ about a general election.

‘The responsible thing to do,’ Mickey announced when the secret was out, ‘was to end the speculation and agree a date for the dissolution of the Dáil.’ The people needed ‘certainty’ about a general election and ‘certainty’ had to be on the cards when Vlad reconvened the Dáil in January, he said.

‘Certainty’ became the buzz word for the Turners Cross man and, linguistically, the expression seemed to indicate his determination to pull no punches.

Whether or not Varadkar got the message remains to be seen.


Orderly wind-down?

Certainly the Plain People of Ireland understood the word to mean that in the event of any wavering, Mickey would pull the plug, presumably with a no-confidence motion that would bring down the government.

Yet, true to form, almost immediately, he told a journo that no-confidence motions were gamesmanship and he did not play games. ‘Putting down no-confidence motions did not demonstrate good faith,’ he said.

He also made clear that no dramatic event would happen before Easter and called for ‘an orderly wind-down of the Government to allow for important legislation to be passed by the Oireachtas.’ A noble aspiration indeed, which raises a question concerning the identity of the planet on which Mickey lives!


Most popular party

Of course, his demand might well have been influenced by a Sunday Business Post-Red C poll last month which showed Fine Gael at 30% and dropping.

Whatever the precise figure, it meant good news for FF, which is running neck and neck with Fine Gael. It permitted Mickey to swagger a little around the barnyard like a jaunty turkey, flaunting his ‘derrring-do’ in taking on the Blueshirts and being duly rewarded with that Leeside cry of approval: ‘dowcha boy!’


Sniffed in disdain

Not too impressed, however was the Cork patrician, Simon Coveney, who sniffed in disdain at excessive FF enthusiasm. ‘Mr Martin has been somewhat slow off the mark,’ he commented drily, while Michael Creed TD wisely observed that Mickey’s letter to Vlad was bizarre. ‘If Fianna Fáil really wanted to collapse the government it could have done so at any time,’ he accurately said.

Point is, to what extent has Mickey been revitalised and is the Day of Judgement really looming for the Blueshirts?


No influence

A flaky website that purports to be ‘leftist,’ The Cedar Lounge Revolution, occasionally makes a relevant point or two. In an analysis of the success of two SDLP members in the Westminster elections, it makes the point that it doesn’t matter how many seats the SDLP and Sinn Féin win in the House of Commons. Their combined vote (should Sinn Féin ever end its policy of abstention) will never be big enough to influence British politics.

The writer remarks: ‘One is hard pressed to think of a point at which the votes of Sinn Féin were so important as to make a tangible difference to the course of events in the past three years. But even were they to exercise that vote, against the democratic mandate of their voters, the effects would be counterproductive.

‘With a Tory majority of the scale currently seen, even double that number of Sinn Féin MPs, or SDLP MPs, would make no difference whatsoever. Double it again. Again no difference.’ Spot on!


Tectonic plates

And yet, things are changing in the North. Varadkar recently described the process as ‘political tectonic plates’ shifting to create a transformation that was not due mainly to Brexit. With which we agree but regret that Vlad did not attribute any overt reason for the fundamental change.

For reasons best known to himself he ignored the obvious: that Belfast, the capital city of the weirdest part of Ireland, politically is now nationalist – a fact that has yet to sink into the uppermost part of the Unionist vertebrate, the head.

Oh, and Vlad (if he ever returns to the topic) might also mention that the majority of third level students in the Six Counties are ‘nationalist’ – all of which makes for interesting years ahead.

Share this article