Madam – Please! Please!! Please!!! Do not abandon your 'anxious', exhaustive and exhausting search for 'leadership' (Sunday Independent, February 17, 2013) among the great, the good – and the barely washed behind the ears. There are leaders out there, in the furze and the heather, and you can flush them out.
The problem is that almost all of our current paid 'leaders' are men and women of the 'old' politics – even the 'younger' ones. And slow learners to boot. The current Government believed, when power was thrown into its lap by a desperate citizenry, that it could 'do it' according to the old failed rules and rubrics.
There is no 'soft' way out of where we are. The Labour Parliamentary Party, under duress from its 'leadership', decided to act, not as a shin-guard for the people against the sincere but right-of-centre elements in Fine Gael but as a shin-guard for Fine Gael against the people. The result has been to create a huge vacuum in our politics.
The arguments in favour of a 'new politics' are very strong. However, the record for new parties is very poor. They need time to create, not just an organisation 'on the ground', but a cohesion of internal agreement on policy, if not 'philosophy'. We do not have that kind of timescale. In your pages are hints that the so-called 'deal', is or may be unravelling. There are few signs of the 'growth' in the indigenous economy upon which all the Coalition's assumptions are based. We may yet muddle through. The Coalition may be able to 'buy' next year's local and European elections and the 2015 General Election.
The Labour Parliamentary Party could get its act together and send Gilmore to renegotiate the programme for Government right down to its very fundamentals – using the principle of proportionality of pain. If that does not happen, the current crop of one-term Labour TDs and Senators should spin out the life of this Government in order to maximise their pensions. Let the party sink back into its comfy traditional, 10 per cent electoral ghetto – not actually a party but a network of fiefdoms.
Tralee, Co Kerry