Tuesday 26 September 2017

What they said about each other

NOW that they are in government together, it is worth reflecting on what various members of Fianna Fail and the Greens said about each other before and during the election. Some of it was less than complimentary, but it just goes to prove the old saying that a week is a long time in politics.

"Let's be clear. A deal with Fianna Fail would be a deal with the devil. We would be spat out after five years, and decimated as a party. But, . . . would it be worth it? Power is a many-faceted thing. I met a few pals this evening and we discussed it all. One is in IT, another works for the fourth estate; another works for the UN and the last guy is an astrophysicist who is used to looking at far-away galaxies." Green TD Ciaran Cuffe. Posted on his website at 12.35am, May 28.

"I don't need anybody to keep me straight or clean me up." Brian Cowen, May 26, following his election as Fianna Fail TD for Laois/Offaly.

"I'd rather cut off my two legs than go in to government with the Greens." An 'off-the-record' quote attributed to Bertie Ahern, leader of Fianna Fail, by Eoghan Harris on the Late Late Show, May 18.

"Asking the Green Party to go into government with Fianna Fail does not take account of the real world." Trevor Sargent, then Green Party leader, May 22.

"All the people are telling us that they don't want a Fianna Fail government back. This is clear from what we are hearing at the doors. It is clear from recent polls, the numbers don't stack up, people want change." Trevor Sargent, May 16.

"The Greens are benefiting, not from anything the Greens in Ireland are doing and I'm not saying any of this being disrespectful against the Greens. But all over the world, the Greens are taking a huge jump except in Germany where the Greens were in power and they got rid of them and they went through the floor. All of the places where they have never had power, they are doing well." Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in an interview with Harry McGee, April 10.

"He has created more confusion than clarity, when he uses the word completeness, he needs to mean it." Trevor Sargent on the Bertiegate controversy.

"I know from speaking to delegates at our convention last weekend that they want Fianna Fail and the PDs out of government." Trevor Sargent.

"Bertie Ahern can't quite decide whether he's St Paul or St Augustine. Last year we had his Pauline conversion to socialism, but when it comes to the environment, it's a case of 'make me green, but not yet Lord'. All his plans for the future are in the future." Green Party TD John Gormley, speaking on March 1, 2007.

"The people are telling us that they don't want a Fianna Fail government." Trevor Sargent, May 17.

"So I wonder where that leaves the tax policy of a putative government involving Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens." Brian Cowen on the Green Party's opposition to cutting the standard rate of tax from 20 per cent to 18 per cent.

"The feeling I'm getting is that a lot of people would be comfortable with the Greens - as I would be - but there is also this sense that they could be unstable, just like the early days of the first Fianna Fail/PD relationship." Chris Andrews, Fianna Fail's new TD for Dublin South East.

"The world has at last woken up to the reality that burning fossil fuels is threatening our very future on this planet. It is an economic issue; a quality of life issue and a human rights issue. In Ireland, we have endured 10 years of a Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat administration, who have deliberately ignored the issue. This Government has proven that it's not up to the task: it doesn't understand the scale of the climate change challenge ahead of us and thinks it can buy its way out of trouble. At every occasion it has taken the easy option - not the right option." Trevor Sargent, February 18, 2007.

"If it was Fianna Fail on their own, I'd be happy. If it's Fianna Fail and the PDs, I'll be happy. And if it is Fianna Fail, the PDs and the independents, I'll be happy. I'll work with what the people decide. Any of these will be better than losing." Bertie Ahern, Irish Sun, May 14, 2001.

Liam Collins

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