Monday 26 September 2016

If this is stability, God help us

Published 13/12/2015 | 02:30

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly was on Marian yesterday, sounding eerily like a young Brian Cowen, as he talked about how he likes to tell it like it is. His main underlying message was that people will re-elect the current Government because people want stability. At which the whole country shuddered and thought: if this is their idea of stability, then God help us all if there's chaos.

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As Alan talked about stability, the West was undergoing one of the biggest natural disasters in living memory. Half the country was swimming in its own waste, and there was not only more rain on the way but, just in case things weren't apocalyptic enough, there was snow coming too.

And as Alan talked about stability, a councillor - who was until recently a member of the major party in Government - was going viral with his own dance, a take on the Macarena that involved his unique patented moves for sliding bungs off the table and into his four pockets.

And as Alan talked about stability, his own party was jumping up and down because Fine Gael, their partners in this stable Government, had started stealing their policies, and poor Joan had found herself having to oppose an effective minimum wage of nearly 12 quid, purely because she hadn't got in with it first.

Of course Alan, the model of stability, is the man who decided to go to war with his partners in Government, and specifically Michael Noonan, about the issue of rent control. Oh yeah, that's another aspect of this golden age of stability we live in. There are homeless people all over the streets. It's just lucky for the Masters of Stability that the people who sleep on the streets live on the opposite side of the country to where the streets are running with sewage and people have taken to travelling around their towns in canoes.

Yes, things are stable indeed as we head into the most hotly anticipated election since, well... the last one. So stable that the two leaders couldn't even agree on when their alliance of stability should be re-elected. That too turned into a very public spat.

Eventually Enda caved in and waited to have an election, because it was important to the message of stability. He's thrilled with how everything from the IBRC inquiry to the banking inquiry has unravelled since. Not that he'd be blaming Joan for making him wait. That wouldn't be stable.

But of course, everything is relative isn't it? Anything looks stable next to the last Government, which was adrift on a sea of sewage itself for a year or more, with various cabinet minsters falling overboard until Pat Carey eventually became the Minister for Everything.

So even if, when it comes to the stable, you'd have to say the horse has truly bolted these last few months, no doubt the Government will be fond of reminding us in the run-up to the mutually agreed election date, that when it comes to the relativity of the stable, a mule is still better than a donkey.

Sunday Independent

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