Joan Burton in battle mode as Labour builds its defence
Party's biggest asset leads charge in town as crucial election draws near
WE are in Portlaoise, and Labour Party Senator John Whelan, in freshly-polished shoes, is clucking over Social Protection Minister Joan Burton with the proprietorial delight of a hen who has laid a particularly fine egg.
Though it has not upset the consciousness of the voters too much, the political establishment are acutely aware that only two months remain before the local and European elections.
Normally, such elections are dismissed but the imploding status of FG, Labour's standing as the walking dead and FF's ongoing position as the Unforgiven Ones of Irish politics means almost anything can happen and any meaning can be taken from the results.