If it suits FG's interests to shaft Labour, they will do it
It was meant to be the Budget or bust.
On Tuesday, Ireland will be treated to a little fantasy. A Budget speech fairy tale will be relayed live to the nation. We will be subjected to a familiar fable about how the economy is recovering, of how, despite that, the Government is going to behave responsibly in the face of temptation. The Irish people will be thanked once again for their "sacrifices". Michael Noonan will insist that his measures are not a giveaway package. And then he will indulge the nation in an orgy of spoils, a sight unseen since Fianna Fail bribed its way to electoral victory back in 1977.
Wait for the standing ovation at the end of the minister's speech. The Fine Gael troops will cheer their man to the rafters. Labour TDs will join in the applause, but their cheering will be slightly more piano. They have been measuring their moment of destiny with the firing squad in weeks, not months.