Tuesday 16 January 2018

Promising talk, Lucinda, but people need leadership

Leave too long between thought and deed and the Reform Alliance risks the same fate as Democracy Now, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

LAST summer seems like a lifetime ago now. Sunshine? What's that? Heat? Nothing but a memory. That's not the only thing which has changed either. Back then, Lucinda Creighton showed all the signs of having a "carpe diem" moment that might finally shake up the moribund Waxworks Museum of Irish politics. There was a stirring of expectation in the warm summer air.

Fast forward to a wet and blowy new year. The Reform Alliance, the loose grouping of mainly Fine Gael rebels who refused to be put in their place by the Taoiseach, is preparing to hold its first public meeting at the RDS. It sparked days in which the group was rarely out of the news. Centrepiece of it all was an interview with Lucinda Creighton on Prime Time. Here was a chance to make a pitch directly to the people. Except... she didn't. Not really.

The former junior European minister looked ill-prepared, diffident, unsure of herself. She was vague. She got easily distracted into a long, pointless discussion about whether the Reform Alliance, having signed up separately with the Registered Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO), was now an actual political party or not.

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