Thursday 8 December 2016

A coalition of FF and FG would work for everyone - including the Left

Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30

Debate: Stephen Donnelly (left) was ‘head and shoulders’ above the other party leaders – including Lucinda Creighton. Picture: Oisin McHugh FusionShooters.
Debate: Stephen Donnelly (left) was ‘head and shoulders’ above the other party leaders – including Lucinda Creighton. Picture: Oisin McHugh FusionShooters.

A few things occurred to me when watching the TV leaders' debate the other night. The first was that Stephen Donnelly appeared to be head and shoulders above the other candidates in terms of his delivery, his clarity and his message.

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His message was straightforward: if we want a Scandinavian-style welfare system, the next government should not be made up of parties that promise to cut taxes. This made him stand out initially because here was somebody who was stating the obvious and not focusing on scoring points.

Maybe it is the luxury of being a small party leader or, in his case, co-leader and how Scandinavian is that? (Who's for smorgasbord, herring and Aquavit?) However, his basic proposition that "if you want X, you have to have Y" struck home as being eminently sensible. It may not be the rhetoric of electoral victories, but it is a breath of fresh air and a move away from the dreadful "auction" that is going on every day at the doorsteps.

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