Saturday 20 December 2014

Candidate doesn't do irony as he plays blame game

Published 31/05/2014 | 02:30

Alex White confirmed he will contest the leadership of the Labour Party at a press briefing on the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Alex White confirmed he will contest the leadership of the Labour Party at a press briefing on the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Alex White doesn't do apologies or resignations. The Minister for Medical Cards is launching a bid to become Tanaiste and leader of the Labour Party after dicing with ministerial death twice this week.

In an act of betrayal, Mr White was involved with the coup against Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

The minister confirmed yesterday he had intended to tell Mr Gilmore of his intention to "support the motion of no confidence".

Yet Mr White claimed he didn't threaten to resign.

"The question of my continuation in (ministerial) office would have been a matter for him," he said.

Such a move would have made his position untenable if the Tanaiste had decided to stay put.

But Mr White's approach to facing up to the responsibility for his actions was evidenced by his response to the medical card crisis.

The junior minister with responsibility for primary care was quite happy to take credit when free GP cards for the under sixes were being announced.

Not so when it comes to the backlash over the savage review of medical cards and the removal of cards from sick patients.

Suddenly it's the Cabinet's fault. No acceptance of responsibility. No apology. No resignation.

Mr White said the local and European elections results "demonstrates a clear disconnect with our traditional support base".

The Minister for Medical Cards doesn't do irony as his handling of the medical cards fiasco makes him the embodiment of this disconnect.

Irish Independent

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