Friday 20 April 2018

Shatter tattered beyond repair

As the Opposition publicly speculated last week about how many public servants would have to be sacrificed to protect the political hide of the Justice Minister, privately his coalition colleagues were wondering if the Government may be the ultimate sacrificial victim of Alan Shatter's follies.

During the implosion of the Irish economy in the Brian Cowen era, one of the few certainties was that if a government policy initiative was incomprehensible, our puzzlement, far from being informed by fiscal illiteracy, was proof positive that the solution would not work. Sadly, this is a rule of thumb that is equally applicable to the political alibis that have been constructed around the Justice Minister. They may stack up for now but the declining poll ratings of the Coalition suggest the public is not buying.

Last week, the Taoiseach tried to drape the political nakedness of Mr Shatter with the cloak of history. But the plea that the Justice Minister is being condemned for the sins of the past is feeble. Mr Shatter is instead being weighed over his response. And increasingly he is being found wanting in the balance.

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