REALLY and truly, Mickey Martin is a ‘disperate man altogether’ or, as they say up in Knocknaheeny, he’s a gentleman who embodies the Christian virtues of self-effacing, political modesty.
High moral standards, as we all know, are terribly important things to have in today’s self-centred Ireland. Interestingly, Mr Martin’s elevated standards are particularly demonstrable through his self-imposed exclusion from any Fine Gael coalition government – a position that is indicative of putting his own party, Fianna Fáil, first at all times.
But not everyone agrees. Some pundits complain that Fianna Fáil now resembles a biblical Lost Tribe of Israel, with Mr Martin and followers traipsing aimlessly in a political wilderness, going nowhere. The party, they say, is devoid of ideas, which is causing pundits and politicos alike to seek an explanation for the heart-wrenching situation, and failing.
But, whatever about the so-called ‘political analysts,’ it is the ordinary punter, accustomed to having the FF minister intervene with the ‘powers that be’ to get the special favour done, who is most concerned. Problem is, not enough ‘good deeds’ are coming the way of supporters in the traditional heartlands of FF support. And a warning cry has arisen: ‘We won’t forget!’
Sadly, the point at issue is that the rank and file do not understand Mickey’s Grand Strategy of not wanting to precipitate a general election until the time is right. But, when is the right time to pull the rug from under Fine Gael?
Tomorrow, next week, next Easter? Mr Martin doesn’t seem to know and, if he does, he ain’t telling the party faithful!
His supporters explain that, in the meantime, he’s building confidence within the party, even if that means keeping a tight lid on any ideas the hardy boys might have for ‘doing in’ Fine Gael.
Nonetheless, it sticks in the craw to have Fianna Fáil, that once great party, obsequiously subordinate to Fine Gael. Painful too is the sight of the Great Leader Mickey seemingly morphing into the role of a character from one of Boccaccio’s tall tales: ‘The Paragon of Patience.’
Like stunned mullet, the ordinary members remain utterly baffled as to where he has taken Fianna Fáil and what its future is to be.
And the future looks grim. Fine Gael rules the roost even though a November poll saw the Blueshirts experience a drop in support, but still hold a 30% rating. Crucially, the poll also endorsed the Blueshirts as the country’s most popular political party despite scandals that would have sunk any other bunch of politicos.
These included night-club shananigans, multiple votes by the same deputies in Dáil debates which facilitated comrades who couldn’t be arsed to attend and, of course, the infamous demand for asylum seekers to be ‘deprogrammed’ in case they had been ‘infiltrated by ISIS.’
But, incredibly, Fianna Fáil seems unable to exploit the plethora of self-inflicted scandals that are cutting the tripes out of the FG government. Result? The Soldiers of Destiny are stuck at a miserable 24% popularity rating.
But change is on its way. A General Election looms!
Last month, it was revealed that Mickey, was prepared to strike a deal with Varadkar on a possible date that the latter kinda suggested during a Fine Gael ‘think-in’ at Garryvoe.
The preferred date for Fine Gael is May 2020 because, according to Vlad, it would allow the party to complete a full parliamentary session and discharge Government duties around St Patrick’s Day (the junket orgy?).
Martin seems to agree, having declared last month that the election should not happen before Easter and that there should be a professional, orderly wind-down of Vlad’s government (whatever that means).
He’s demanding a precise date, telling Vlad that ‘it was time to step in and give some certainty’ as that there was no point in re-convening the Dáil if nobody was sure when the next election would be.
In response, Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, described Mickey’s analysis as ‘bizarre,’ commenting that Fianna Fáil could have collapsed the government at any time. Implicit in Creed’s accurate observation was the suggestion that, although Martin genuinely seeks an election, he doesn’t want to be seen as the person who triggered it!
More indecision from the Corkman?
Sinn Féin and Workers’ Party councillors on the Cork City Corpo have slammed the proposed branding of Cork’s MacCurtain Street as the Victorian Quarter. To do so would be an insult to Tomás MacCurtain, murdered by the RIC in January 1920 while he was the Lord Mayor of Cork, they say.
Cllr Gould asked who was the person who wanted to name a food and drink area after the Famine Queen? Cllr Tynan reminded councillors that MacCurtain’s vicious murderers came from the RIC barracks on the street.
Nevertheless, Fianna Fáil councillors were of the opinion that linking Tomás MacCurtain with Queen Victoria was a good idea. Perhaps they should dig out The Cork Examiner account of the Queen’s visit in 1900. The newspaper famously reported that as she drove through the streets, which were lined with spectators who greeted her with great enthusiasm, ‘she pissed over Patrick’s Bridge’! (A typesetter accidentally confused an ‘a’ with an ‘i’ to create the historic and unforgettable description of her visit!)
Perhaps our politicos don’t give a hoot about anything they say, even when they resort to the foulest of language, such as the comment from the independent TD who condemned the Government’s handling of the housing crisis. She proclaimed that ‘the Government just does not give a f**k.’
Curiously, the Dáil tolerated the vile outburst as merely an unfortunate lapse in grammar, and that the F-word had been used as a sort of ‘linguistic crutch’ by a parliamentarian temporarily stuck for the right word.
Codswollop, of course, but it was the response of the Leas Ceann Comhaire, Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, that grabbed our attention. Instead of booting the deputy out, as would be the procedure in any well-run public house, he reminded the offender that use of ‘the four-letter word’ was ‘unparliamentary’.
He asked the TD to withdraw the word. Which is she did.
But, in our opinion, it was not good enough. The deputy should have been suspended for bringing the Dáil into disrepute. Members of the Dáil have a huge responsibility with regard to the proper use of language. They should think of the kiddies who might be listening.
Indeed, we know of parents who use live streaming (no, not screaming!) of Dáil debates, particularly those that include the TD in question, to help their kids fall asleep!