Wednesday 13 December 2017

Eilis O'Hanlon: Taking a stand on termination doesn't make Loose-Lips Lucinda a heroine

The 'maverick' Junior Minister has shied away from opposing devastating cuts

Eilis O'Hanlon

People say they want politicians with courage and conviction, who put principle before career – until they get them. Then they're not so sure.

For example, Lucinda Creighton has been lambasted for the past two years for kowtowing to an economic programme which makes Scrooge look positively benevolent. Last week, she finally broke ranks with her government colleagues. And what did she get? Even more abuse from some of the very people who'd previously called on TDs to do just that.

Lucinda's problem is that she chose to make a stand on abortion rather than the Budget. Throwing her toys out of the pram on child benefit would've garnered her some brownie points, whereas doing it because of plans to finally legislate for terminations in cases where a woman threatens suicide is regarded as embarrassing at best. Especially as she can't win. If the Taoiseach has to lose the European Affairs minister as a price for keeping the Labour Party on board the Austerity Express, then lost she will be. A few defections here and there won't make much difference to a coalition which is already so huge it has stamped out all hope of proper accountability by the Dail.

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