Monday 20 February 2017

Leadership may surprise us all yet

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

'Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were both losers in the General Election. Now they have a chance to redeem themselves.' Photo: Barbara Lindberg.
'Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were both losers in the General Election. Now they have a chance to redeem themselves.' Photo: Barbara Lindberg.

It wasn't the most promising start. The General Election gave us Independents who couldn't do anything, Fianna Fail who wouldn't do anything and Fine Gael who did not appear to want to do anything. But the weeks since then have worn them all down to the point where we now have a Government. And if all goes according to plan, we may also achieve something which has been long promised without any real attempt at delivery - Dail reform.

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What we were promised was a new way of doing business, and at first glance, it looked like it might even happen. Micheal Martin began impressively in his new and unprecedented role of Opposition leader and semi-detached member of the Government. Enda Kenny not only depends on Fianna Fail and some Independents for backing, but could at different times need support from all ends of the Chamber, depending on the issue.

The bigger parties still retain the whip system, but without a comfortable majority, the arrogance of the past is less likely to prevail. This Government is not without talent, and if Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney can get over their perceived demotions, we could see some solid achievements. Varadkar was foolish to task Fianna Fail with not demanding a better health service, raising the question - why did he not make it a priority himself? But that should now be in the past.

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