Thursday 22 February 2018

Kenny not out of woods over Lee

THE departure of George Lee has highlighted two remarkable Fine Gael shortcomings. Regardless of allegations about George's aloof manner and the panicky offer -- after nine months -- of a frontbench position, it is clear that neither the party leadership, nor rank and file, displayed any sense of urgency in getting the best out of their new star.

And, in an economic crisis, a sense of urgency is essential, even in opposition, perhaps especially in opposition. Would such a languid approach be a feature of a Fine Gael government? Secondly, the party's dearth of possible alternative leadership candidates has been sharply exposed. Richard Bruton stands alone and apparently is content to stand still.

There were hints of George Lee's "large mutterings" in the party fold yesterday as Enda Kenny sought the backing of his frontbench. Some Fine Gael deputies, including a member of that frontbench, conceded that his continued leadership depended on the support of Mr Bruton.

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