Thursday 22 February 2018

Prepared for the plucking, again

THE musical Oklahoma famously notes that the "farmer and the cowboy should be friends". Last week it was very clear that when it comes to our public sector 'cowboys', the Rainbow has the same views as Rogers and Hammerstein.

In fairness, Labour's enthusiastic advocacy of the interests of its main group of supporters is entirely sensible. However, we should remember the Fine Gael wing of the 'curiouser and curiouser' political Coalition that rules us, when in opposition, made much of its intent to evict the over-mighty social partners from the parlour in Government Buildings.

Such, then, was the hostility there were claims the relationship between Fianna Fail and the public sector had turned us into "a Ceausescu-style East Bloc" state. Last week, however, in the sneaky style that is becoming a worrisome feature of this administration, it was very clear the parlour of Government Buildings is no longer a cold place for the public sector trade unions. Mr Kenny may have very publicly booted them out the front door on his arrival but the much-touted public service reform document tipped them a wink and a nod to let them know they are more than welcome to trot back to their old seats in the parlour via the side entrance.

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