Friday 24 November 2017

It really is time to move on

FIANNA Fail have an old trick which they like to deploy in the immediate wake of a blunder, usually within a day or two. The issue, they say, has been settled. We must focus on matters of greater importance. Time to move on.

In recent times their Green partners have adopted the same tactic. The Green leader and Environment Minister, John Gormley, showed his mastery of it yesterday in the latest chapter of the controversy which has followed Taoiseach Brian Cowen's unfortunate radio interview last Tuesday.

Sadly for Mr Gormley, not all his ministerial colleagues share his attitude. Still less do the Fianna Fail backbenchers share it. It is not too much to describe their mood, when they think of their chances at the next general election, as one of panic. And that of the grassroots, for all their genuine and long-held affection for Mr Cowen, is close to dismay. In short, the question of the Taoiseach's future just will not go away. His own party, at every level, has begun to doubt whether he can ever restore his authority and credibility.

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