Monday 27 February 2017

Political jousting is entertaining, but not always informative

John Downing

John Downing

'Joan Burton is ‘Ms Volubility’ dispensing words by the dozen'
'Joan Burton is ‘Ms Volubility’ dispensing words by the dozen'

We were back with the old puzzler about the difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil - if indeed there is any difference. Leinster House folklore has it that Seán Lemass used to say: "The difference is we're in - and they're out."

And, bar reversing the "in" and "out" order, it may still be as good a delineation of difference as any other in contemporary politics. These thoughts occurred as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton arrived to help the Oireachtas bank committee with their inquiries yesterday.

The Fine Gael pair were there in their capacity as leader and finance spokesman of the main opposition party spanning the years 2002 to 2008 in the lead-in to financial and banking calamity. In similar roles we had appearances by former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte and former finance spokesperson Joan Burton.

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