Friday 21 October 2016

Flip-flopping on election made Enda look puerile

Published 12/10/2015 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny took to the airwaves yesterday for a pre-Budget interview with RTÉ.

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Instead of extolling the virtues of the economy, he spent much of his time seeking to subdue a controversy, entirely of his own making, about the date of the forthcoming General Election.

For more than a week, Mr Kenny has fudged questions about whether he intends to call a snap election in November after tomorrow's Budget, or to go to the park next spring - as he has always said he would.

The controversy reached a crescendo last week when Tanaiste Joan Burton was bounced into a series of denials that the Labour party she leads would itself be bounced into an early election.

The election date frenzy led to tensions, not just between the coalition parties, but also among Fine Gael Ministers and backbenchers who had been led to believe that the election would be held in November.

Mr Kenny, who said he sees 'no reason' to change his mind, needlessly wasted vital capital and trust with his partners in Government and the public over the timing of the election. It was completely unnecessary and has made him look weak and puerile at a time when he - along with Labour - should be facing the electorate with a show of solidarity.

It is puzzling that Mr Kenny, with his long experience - and surrounded as he is by so many strategists - should choose the twilight phase of a generally stable first term as Taoiseach to go weak at the knees.

Irish Independent

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