Saturday 24 February 2018

Look good, drink tea, smile and blame the Government

It's time for Eamon Gilmore to bin the soundbites and stump up some clear policies, writes Celia Larkin

IT WAS with some amusement that I heard Eamon Gilmore rule out any possibility of a coalition with Fianna Fail a few weeks ago. It's nice to hear him so decisive about something, given that he has been a member of no fewer than five political parties: Sinn Fein, Workers' Party, New Agenda, Democratic Left and now the Labour Party. I hesitate to say "finally, the Labour Party" -- given his track record, anything is possible. Making a decision and sticking with it isn't what he's done in the past.

On the other hand, there is an underlying consistency to all of those moves. They've all been in some direction. In the direction of Mercs, perks and power. Like the persistent little spider whose determination taught Robert Bruce the lesson that, if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again.

Mr Gilmore is never deflected from his intent to be in Government. He is going to get there, come what may. As evidenced in the TV3 Millward Brown poll, he's well on his way, not least because so far he hasn't given us anything concrete to assess him on. He's big on rhetoric, small on reality. Big on broadcasting punch, non-existent on policy. In the absence of any real policies, we are left only with soundbites. But, probably because voters are exhausted trying to come to terms with Nama, borrowings on the international markets and the entitlements of bondholders, the idea of a policy-free party looks positively inviting.

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