Monday 16 January 2017

Bruce Arnold: Endorsing Cowen would be lunacy for Fianna Fail

Published 18/01/2011 | 05:00

By keeping his cabinet position as Foreign Minister, Micheal Martin delivers an unspoken but plain message that he anticipates defeat. A true leader would have gone into the wilderness first and then challenged the man he sought to replace. Martin's behaviour is at best eccentric, at worst defeatist.

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To me, as to many others, this is a relief. Of the three publicly identified contenders, Martin is by far the worst. He lacks Mary Hanafin's sharpness and clear focus, her reasonably broad-minded grasp of political issues and her preparedness to debate them. Martin also lacks Brian Lenihan's undoubted and ameliorative appeal. Lenihan may talk nonsense but by God he makes it sound good!

When Martin spoke at his press conference of the smoking ban in public places as a main achievement hearts must have sunk. Where was the real man? Was he standing up at all? Astonishingly, he had no voice on reform, on remedying our collapsed sovereignty, on greater respect for the Constitution and on a different approach on our debt. Despite his ministerial responsibilities, he has nothing to offer on how to deal with Europe. Will he bow the knee in the craven way Fianna Fail has done for more than three years?

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