Johnny Fallon: Fine Gael will ignore this slap in the face at their peril
BEING in Government is never easy. Even at the best of times you find yourself as the natural enemy and target of so many groups and individuals. However, there are some things that will only compound the situation and there are some that can make your life a little easier.
The Fine Gael/Labour coalition government still enjoy strong enough popularity, but they need to realise that it can be a fickle thing. In the first few months of this government, before the summer break, a number of Fine Gael Ministers went on solo runs. This led to Enda Kenny playing the role of sweeper and clearing up the confusion, soothing over any early tensions with Labour. This can be expected but it was an early warning that a certain amount of control needed to be exerted. A government is bigger than any one minister, their proposals or their ego. Each and every minister must know where the buck stops.
The run up to the recent referendum campaigns was equally disjointed. It would appear that rather than using the summer break to get their troops in order the government instead used it as a holiday. Certainly Gay Mitchell disappeared for most of the summer and his presidential campaign was evidence of that. At the outset the government was always disorganised, we were told there would be two referendums on the same day as the presidency but it took quite some time before the got around to telling everybody what the second referendum would even be on.