Wednesday 25 April 2018

FG due a harsh reminder of the old adage: if it ain't broke. . .

Bringing Pat Cox into a race FG already looked like they might win could prove a fatal move, writes Eamon Delaney

CONTENDER: Taoiseach Enda Kenny with FG candidate Gay Mitchell
CONTENDER: Taoiseach Enda Kenny with FG candidate Gay Mitchell

HaS Fine Gael lost its mind? Riding high in the polls, with possibly its best chance ever of winning the Presidency -- something that has always eluded it -- and it decides to admit into the party, as a prospective candidate, someone who is not an obvious party personality but an independent, and a former Progressive Democrat, and former FF veteran, in the shape of Pat Cox.

Meantime, the party has two perfectly capable candidates in the shape of Mairead McGuinness and more especially Gay Mitchell, who would be an ideal candidate: a working-class Dub, for a change, after Robinson and the northern McAleese. Mitchell is a populist, sure-footed, with long experience of politics -- Irish politics -- and, crucially, he has a vision for the job, which McGuinness doesn't appear to have. He is politically right of centre and, most importantly, a big vote-getter -- the biggest nationally.

All due respect to Pat Cox, but what does he stand for? He is avowedly Europhile when the country is increasingly Eurosceptic and we are getting shafted by Europe and its Franco-German core. He is immersed in the Brussels mindset. But, more to the point, he appears arrogant: cold and careerist. I was in the company of some ex-PDs recently who rated his intellect and ability but their comments gave the impression of someone with an immense sense of entitlement.

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