Tuesday 16 January 2018

Labour Party was the real loser in sorry Shatter saga

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

The only loser in the Shatter saga was the Labour Party. Led by Pat Rabbitte, the Pensionable Old Guard Stewards (POGS from now on) protected Fine Gael in advance of knowing the full facts. But the butcher's bill will be paid by backbenchers at the next general election.

The Fine Gael position was at least predictable, if not praiseworthy. Shatter is not only a member of that party but a Kenny loyalist. And the Taoiseach's policy – as we saw when James Reilly, Phil Hogan and Michael Lowry were in hot water – is to back old pals to the hilt.

But what should not have been predictable, but by now is predictable, was the Pavlovian response of the POGS of the Labour leadership. They supinely repeated their recent shows of loyalty to Kenny by backing Reilly and Hogan and, more recently, by helping to bury the Lowry tapes, lest they lead back to the findings of the Moriarty tribunal, a sensitive subject for Fine Gael.

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