independent

Monday 5 December 2016

Talk of chaos replaced by a game of chess

Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30

'The 'certainly not' reply Mr Kenny gave when asked if he’d do business with Fianna Fáil during one of the TV debates meant absolutely nothing.'
'The 'certainly not' reply Mr Kenny gave when asked if he’d do business with Fianna Fáil during one of the TV debates meant absolutely nothing.'

If this is chaos then stability must be an awfully boring place.

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We were warned repeatedly that a post-election scenario whereby the make-up of the next government was unclear would send the bond markets into a state of shock and have Angela Merkel crying into her porridge.

Instead, we've got a slow game of chess where every move is anticipated with a sense of inevitability.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will make his first public appearance since the Mayo count centre today after confirming last night what we knew all along.

The "certainly not" reply he gave when asked if he'd do business with Fianna Fáil during one of the TV debates meant absolutely nothing.

Throughout the campaign, Mr Kenny got annoyed with journalists for repeatedly asking the question. But the truth is that we didn't believe his answer, and now here we are.

On the other side of the fence, Fianna Fáil is loving it. Barry Cowen claimed on radio yesterday that they had "won" the election despite the fact that Fine Gael are still the biggest party.

He seemed to be trying to move from chess to a game of chicken.

They have started drawing up red-line issues which would need to be addressed in order for Mr Kenny to continue as Taoiseach.

Micheál Martin's decision to seek major reform of the Dáil was a clever move. He has lured Fine Gael into a trap where they are damned no matter what. If the Taoiseach accepts his proposal, then Martin gets a bonus point from the smaller parties both men are trying to win over. If he doesn't enter some sort of negotiations he looks like he is trying to stymie reform.

But really neither side is making any effort to have a government ready for March 10 - disproving all the predictions of doom that a hung Dáil would bring.

Meanwhile, the left is making even less of an effort to pull itself together.

Our politicians would do well to remember that it's a small step from boredom to disillusionment.

Irish Independent

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