Wednesday 22 November 2017

Johnny Fallon: Stage-managed Sinn Fein walk-outs won't cost Enda Kenny any sleep


POLITICS is nothing without a bit of drama. We can expect to see plenty of theatrics over the coming months. Indeed it has made the last few years in Irish politics quite interesting. When Brian Lenihan struggled with the banks and the economic turmoil he knew that he could seldom rely on the opposition benches for support. A quick witty remark was always at the ready as a put down of his latest effort. As that beleaguered government stumbled towards its end, the blows came thick and fast. There would be no mercy, no hint or admission that any policy might have been correct in even the slightest of ways.

This led to the overwhelming majority that was awarded to the new government. Such an utter defeat of their predecessors would not have been attainable were it not for the fact that every popular opinion out there was courted. The bondholders would be burned. The EU would be told who is boss. The health system would be sorted out and an end brought to reduced services. The public sector would be rewarded. The private sector would get more jobs. We voted for it and believed it just as easily as we did anything ever promised by Bertie Ahern in the past.

Of course the new government now has to face up to the harsh reality that none of that was really possible. They knew that. They have, however, set to their task responsibly. They know Ireland cannot afford to turn its back on the EU and they know that there are consequences to things like default that are never mentioned by those who propose such measures. There is little sympathy for their plight however, you reap what you sow and the government must answer for promises made and even more so for the parts where it cleverly created an impression of believing one thing to get votes while knowing that doing it would never be an option.

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