Twin masters of the art of morphing for survival
Fine Gael realises the North is good for Fianna Fail, who have a lot in common with the unionist party, writes Eilis O'Hanlon
Belonging to Fine Gael must be like being a bride-to-be who is perpetually jilted at the altar. The Irish public keeps leading you on, getting your hopes up, promising that this time they really will go through with the marriage ceremony, and then, at the last minute, changing their minds and tying the knot with Fianna Fail. Again. Remember how excited they all were before the last election? Their expectant faces as they contemplated consummating the new political union in government? The disappointment when reality dawned?
Still they never learn. Fine Gael members have spent the last year trying desperately not to let it show in their eyes that they're secretly choosing the wallpaper for their new offices in Leinster House when the delicious moment comes that the electorate finally punishes Fianna Fail and the Greens for the recession, and installs Enda Kenny and colleagues in power instead. And what happens? The opinion polls show Fianna Fail support creeping steadily upwards, whilst Fine Gael heads meekly into reverse.
Have the Irish people no heart? We can't keep doing this to them. If ever there was an example of cruel and unusual punishment, this is it.