Tuesday 6 December 2016

A handful of socialists could save us

Published 01/05/2011 | 05:00

LABOUR, it has to be said, is not playing by the rules. The deal, as we all understood it, was very simple. Fine Gael couldn't be trusted on its own in government. Leo Varadkar was a latter-day Ronald Reagan, Enda Kenny was Margaret Thatcher in disguise and the blueshirts unchecked would destroy the country with untrammelled Toryism.

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So we needed to mix a little red with the blue. We needed the solid comrades of the Labour Party to be in there, too. Most of them dated back to the Cold War era anyway so they would bring a good, solid dose of communism to the new Government. When Fine Gael, as it doubtless would, tried to decimate the public services, Labour and its union buddies would be there to keep it in check. People wanted change, but they shoved Labour in to make sure it wouldn't happen just yet.

But, somewhere along the line, it's all gone horribly wrong. Fine Gael has become the new Fianna Fail and has inherited that party's sole motivation, which is getting power and keeping power. Varadkar is in charge of sport; Michael Noonan, who used to pop up with an ominous Churchill impression every time you turned on the TV, appears to have largely gone for a nap since he was sent home from Europe with his tail between his legs.

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