Sunday 26 February 2017

The chances of giving ourselves good governance are as remote as ever

James Downey

James Downey

'Michael McGrath, often spoken of as a future contender for the Fianna Fail leadership, envisages a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition'
'Michael McGrath, often spoken of as a future contender for the Fianna Fail leadership, envisages a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition'

Chief whips seldom speak in public. They know a great deal but say very little. Their job is to keep the show on the road, not to make dramatic or controversial assertions.

The current Government Chief Whip, Paul Kehoe, is typical of the profession. It was therefore a surprise when he decided to open his mouth, and a bigger surprise when he put his foot in it.

Not that he said anything startling when he suggested that Enda Kenny might serve two full terms as Taoiseach and part of a third. Many prime ministers serve more than two terms. Many, indeed, secretly or not so secretly, long for more. But third and later terms are seldom successful.

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