Sunday 24 June 2018

Eoin O'Malley: Labour would drown in sea of Opposition noise

Labour will have suffered all of the pain and none of the gain by rejecting a return to government, writes Eoin O'Malley

Alan Kelly. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Alan Kelly. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Eoin O'Malley

In a week in which we learned our political leaders need to discover WhatsApp, we are slowly moving to a situation where Fine Gael and Fianna Fail talk to each other. The process of government formation has been messy and we should consider a more organised system. Perhaps if we had an informateur - an honest broker appointed by the President - to direct ­government negotiations when situations like this arise, the country would be spared this spectacle, which has all the panache of a slow-set at a teenage disco.

The process has been dominated by Independents, which is surprising because most of us said that Independents would be irresponsible when it comes to government formation. In fact, it has been the small parties - with the honourable exception of the Greens - that have been sitting out. Nothing ventured, nothing lost.

Labour met last week to discuss the election campaign. You don't have to have read reports of the meeting to know what sort of messages will have come out. They'll have said that they were surprised by the voters' anger, and that they will have to listen to what the electorate was saying. There'll have been calls to go back to its roots, and to reinvigorate the party grassroots. Some excitable souls will even have said the party should invoke the spirit of James Connolly. There will have been an attempt to blame the leader, and we'll hear that new leadership can take the party in a new direction. It's the same guff you hear coming out after any party loses an election. It's meaningless.

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