Monday 11 December 2017

Another sloppy cabinet debacle

Within the curious life cycle of Leinster House, July is the most dangerous of months, where politicians, irritated by the stresses of these uniquely difficult times, lose focus and become accident-prone. Such is certainly the case with this administration, which has followed up two successful EU banking summits with a pandemic of sloppy controversies over such political tumbleweeds as gay marriage, phantom assaults on the Taoiseach and its asinine constitutional convention.

The "state o' chassis" within the bickering Coalition is now so bad it has even managed to lose political capital over how it intends to fulfil the promise to comprehensively investigate how its predecessors allowed our rogue banks to bankrupt the country. Instead, the curiouser and curiouser lack of enthusiasm, allied to the unedifying row as to whether the PAC or the Finance Committee should engage in yet another truncated inquiry, has left this administration dangerously open to the charge that clever mandarins and our still unreformed banks are stealthily wagging its political tail.

Ultimately, nothing epitomises the endemic messiness doing unnecessary damage to the reputation of the Government more than the doleful Reilly affair. Politics has endured many indignities in recent years but even Fianna Fail managed to avoid the spectacle of seeing one of their ministers joining the rest of the fiscal derelicts in Stubbs Gazette. In fairness to Dr Reilly, much of the furore surrounding his affairs has the weight of a bottle of smoke. The disingenuous attempts of the Opposition to make political capital out of the mess are all the more unfortunate when set against the dearth of politicians with expertise in key areas such as health or business to be found in our political system. And their participation is unlikely to be encouraged by the notion that Dr Reilly should sort his difficulties out with a quixotic flourish of a €1.9m cheque.

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