Wednesday 19 June 2019

Kevin Doyle snap analysis: Our politicians are actual adults

Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin
Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin

Group Political Editor

SOMETIMES we’re a great little country.

We should not feel smug today that our politicians are actual adults, but there should be some sense of pride that the national interest does matter in Leinster House.

While disruptive forces have brought Westminster to its feet, this island has learned the true value of political peace.

In the Dáil today, Micheál Martin made a massive personal decision. It could prove to be a defining moment in his long career.

There are plenty of reasons why Fianna Fáil could collapse the Government now, having faithfully allowed the passage of three budgets as agreed in 2016.

The housing crisis is relentless. Health is worse than ever. And rather than a basic expectation, broadband has become a pipedream for more than one million people.

“The chronic deficit in delivery, the failure to understand public concerns, and the increased politicisation of public funding points to the need for a new government,” Mr Martin told the Dáil this afternoon.

“In normal times there would be no issue.  An election now would be the right thing for our country.

“However these are not normal times and Ireland is immediately confronted with one of the biggest threats for many decades.

“It is a threat which is not just of a short-term nature; it impacts on the core economic, social and political future of this island.”

There are many within his own party, particularly at grassroots level, who don’t agree with the leader – but has made the call.

In reality though, he had little choice. The madness of Westminster is a cautionary tale of what happens when politicians lose sight of what is best for the people they represent.

“The contagion of political chaos will not spread here from London,” Mr Martin said, adding: “There is a clear majority in Dáil Éireann which will ensure stability and the national interest will be put first.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the level of agreement on  Brexit in Leinster House as “noteworthy”. He said it makes our country “a much better place”.

But the truce should not mean the Governments sits back safe in the knowledge that an election has been postponed until 2020.

For weeks now, ministers have been overly secretive about what plans are in place for dealing with a no deal Brexit.

All the political goodwill in the world won’t save us from a hard Brexit.

The economy might be strong and the political might be stable. But let us not forget that Theresa May famously described herself as ‘strong and stable’ in the past.

Online Editors

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