Wednesday 13 December 2017

Labour's civil war rattles Coalition

Not since Charlie Haughey and George Colley fought over the soul of Fianna Fáil has there been such a fraught relationship between a party leader and deputy in Irish politics. Here Shane Coleman asks if the stand-off between Labour's Joan Burton and Eamon Gilmore could prove costly for the Government

Politics, Richard Nixon once observed, only half jokingly, would be "a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people".

Given his awkwardness in dealing with the public, the former US president was probably referring to the electorate. But it holds just as well for the people within politics.

Politicians like to expound on policy, but relationships are the glue that binds governments, particularly coalitions. When inter-personal relationships break down completely, so usually does the government.

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