Tuesday 24 October 2017

Fine Gael -- are you just Fianna Fáil in disguise?

Fine Gael was once a family at war. As an RTÉ documentary of that name colourfully recounted in 2003, the party's officer class spent almost two decades squabbling between themselves in what frequently threatened to become a fight to the political death.

Conventional wisdom among Fine Gael loyalists concluded that the problem was opposition and the limitless opportunities for mischief that arise when a party is exiled from power for too long. All families have internal tensions, but it's only when the kinfolk have no other distractions that personality clashes turn into head-butts.

However, after less than 18 months in government, a much more unpalatable truth has now emerged: Fine Gael isn't so much a family at war with itself as a family at war with reality. Despite desperate efforts to disguise the fact, it has become increasingly obvious that Fine Gael is the new Fianna Fáil.

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