News Opinion

Monday 24 October 2016

Opposition stuck in the middle of going nowhere

Published 28/04/2015 | 22:00

Pearse Doherty, the Sinn Fein TD from Donegal, takes on the Spring Statement
Pearse Doherty, the Sinn Fein TD from Donegal, takes on the Spring Statement

The template for being in opposition was set by a very different Muppet Show many years ago when Kermit the Frog sang that soulful ditty about the difficulties of being Green.

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Fianna Fail certainly looked fairly green by the time the ‘Spring Statement’ concluded.

The party is uneasily stuck in the middle, caught between their competing instincts to challenge the government on the over spending give-away front or to engage in a bit of Haughey/Bertie style what does the man want and I’ll give it to him politics.

The problem they, alas, face is that if FF takes the respectable road then what’s the point in voting for the fellows who are out of government in to replace the government if they are not going to do anything different?

But if FF move into let it rock mode; well then they’ll be just seen as being irresponsible.

And in the new age of ‘careful now Reverend Mother’ politics we can’t be having that.

In fairness to Michael Mc Grath he did his best with the usual lines about the evils of a Government over-promising and PR exercises by a Government that is quickly running out of road.

Poor Micheal got very upset about this ‘exercise in self-congratulation and self-serving statement from both Ministers clapping each other on the back.’

Read more: Spring Statement: Government pledges tax cuts and spending increases until 2020

Sadly, the sole response from the Little and Large combination of Howlin and Noonan consisted of even broader smiles and claps on the back.

The mood was not deteriorated in any way by Michael Healy-Rae’s squawk of ‘Electioneering’.

That was what the lads were at all right.

For once FG and Labour have the moolah.

Paddy wants the moolah.

Go figure what the plan is.

Read more: Spring Statement: Key points

Or to quote Pearse Doherty: ‘you wouldn’t need to be a blood-hound to smell there is an election in the air’’.

We knock back twenty cigarettes a day and even we could catch the not so sweet scent of politicians in a giving mode.

As for FF the most unbelievable moment occurred when Micheal Mc Grath said ‘I welcome that the Government has made a fundamental shift in its budgetary policy today’ from austerity.

The toothy grins grew ever larger on the faces of Messrs Noonan and Howlin as Mc Grath said Noonan was shaking his head in denial.

Both knew though that it is FF and the Opposition who are in denial and there are a lot of crocodiles waiting there to consume it.

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