Skulking in the wings is not in Ireland's interest
Published 24/03/2016 | 02:30
As the game of thrones continues in Leinster House, the plot thickens. Some deft footwork by TD Denis Naughten has seen him eclipse Shane Ross as the current man who would be kingmaker. Naughten's commendable clarity of thought and no-nonsense approach to getting something done for rural Ireland has put him at the head of a clutch of TDs who are intent on moving the agenda forward, instead of being limited by the myopia of party interests. The Roscommon-Galway TD spoke plainly: "We have seen the economy in Dublin expand and we have seen the turnaround of the recession here but we have not seen it outside of the M50 and all of us have common issues. That point was made quite clearly to us today. This is an issue for backbenchers in government and for TDs on the opposition benches."
Such a sense of urgency to get things moving is refreshing and makes for a contrast with the small-minded, parochial approach Micheál Martin has thus far displayed in making sure nothing will be done that might in any way be detrimental to the interests of Fianna Fáil, irrespective of the fact that his party must be part of the solution in putting a government together.
Those who togged out and stood for office, and now have the honour of representing their constituencies, will not be rewarded for their roles in being the loudest hurlers on the ditch. Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny has had enough time playing with the abacus to have done the sums. In the next few days the final figures will be added and subtracted. If Fianna Fáil is to play a constructive role in the running of the country then it behoves Mr Martin to show some authority and initiative and spell out precisely what is his stance on government.
Skulking in the wings waiting for a chance to pull the rug on a minority government may have its attractions from a pragmatic point of view, but is it what is best for the country? It would be ironic if fear of losing power as a party was the ultimate reason for staying out of power.
As one of the founding fathers of America put it: "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Even in politics fortune favours the brave.