Wednesday 21 March 2018

It's not so much a banking inquiry as yet another Fianna Fail witch-hunt

Enda's big populist ideas turn to nothing as people start to question the details and uncover the farce, writes Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Conor

You have to give Enda credit for the big idea and the big announcement. Like that day in 2010 when he announced, to the surprise of his colleagues, particularly those in the Seanad, that Fine Gael was for abolition of the Seanad. At the time it seemed like a rush of blood to the head, a squeaking for attention from a man who had trouble, at that time, being taken seriously. This was in the early days of the ill-fated Gilmore for Taoiseach movement, another big idea that turned into a farce, and Enda needed to show some cajones. So he suggested the wiping out of one house of the Oireachtas, to show that he was a hard man with big ideas.

The follow through has been slightly messy. We are now having a referendum where the argument for abolition is largely based on a bogus, and relatively miniscule amount of savings (€20m, though it seems to be less than half that in reality) and the rather spurious notion that the Seanad should be abolished because they didn't warn us about the property crash, unlike the Dail, which apparently played a blinder through all that period.

We are also supposed to get rid of the Seanad because it would mean fewer politicians, which has led most people to point out that getting rid of the Dail would be a more effective method of achieving that aim.

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