Sunday 25 February 2018

Simon should be everything we want in a new Taoiseach

Simon Coveney should have all the qualities we would want in a leader, but that's not what this competition is about, says Brendan O'Connor

Simon Coveney: Adversity to deal-making has not helped his cause
Simon Coveney: Adversity to deal-making has not helped his cause
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Does all of this not make you a bit nervous? It was seemingly all over bar the shouting in 24 hours. Leo hadn't even officially popped his head up. His supporters - the choreographed, coordinated choirboys - had done it all for him. It was as if he was just watching, waiting, as the plan unfolded, as they came out at staggered intervals, each one taking him closer to the coronation. It seemed to show an utter disdain for the process that Fine Gael had put in place to choose a leader, to end it before that process really began.

Sometimes the choirboys seemed to be all using the same hymn sheet. And when questioned on what Leo has ever actually done? The Gathering, The Children's Hospital and the medical cards for the under-sixes apparently.

Meanwhile, Simon Coveney was out talking about policies, about his vision for Fine Gael and for the country. He was impressive on Prime Time last Thursday night. The answers were mercifully short and snappy. He seemed tough and confident. But in the weird beauty contest that this had become, it seemed that when you were talking you were losing. And when you were talking national politics you were certainly losing. The game was over already, apparently. Like Conor McGregor, Leo had won the fight before he stepped in the ring, won it over two years of beer and pizza.

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