Thursday 18 January 2018

A dashing blade without an edge

We should not be surprised that the most impressive analysis of the challenge we face was provided by Ruairi Quinn's recent pithy observation that "Michael Collins had more room for manoeuvre than Michael Noonan". So far in government, Labour, and Mr Quinn and Brendan Howlin in particular, have displayed an uplifting degree of practical realism, honest speaking and an apparent grim determination to do the right thing.

The performance of Fine Gael and Enda Kenny has been more speckled. They have been quite busy sacking people and walking into work but too much of the Taoiseach's activities bear the veneer of spin. In fairness, Mr Kenny is entitled to be reasonably happy for the vaingloriously dismissive claims by the Cowen wing of FF that Kenny would, as Taoiseach, have to wear slip-on shoes into work because shoe-laces would be too complicated have been routed.

After Mr Cowen, having a Taoiseach who believes each morning that the glass is full may be no bad thing. Indeed, such is the pervasiveness of the 'bliss was it in that dawn to be alive' mood, that our grey eminence of a Finance Minister has taken to making sunny observations about how Ireland is meeting its economic targets. The dyspeptic Mr Noonan is far too lachrymose to embrace the sort of blithe 'Ireland has turned the corner'-style approach that precipitated the speedy collapse of Brian Lenihan's credibility. But FG, and Mr Kenny in particular, are starting to become far too cocky for their own good.

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