Tuesday 21 November 2017

Parish pump nominations

Sir -- The parachuting of Pat Cox, former Fianna Fail, Progressive Democrat and Independent politician and latest blow-in to the ranks of Fine Gael to contest the presidential election, should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

As a hitherto non-party member of FG and by virtue of his status as a former President of the European Parliament, former MEP and TD, Pat Cox is regarded as having a better chance of being elected President of Ireland than Gay Mitchell and Mairead McGuinness. Following so closely on the parachuting of former RTE finance guru George Lee and GAA President Seán Kelly to represent FG at national and EU level, this is political chicanery at its worst.

Do our politicians never learn? Have they collectively forgotten about the attempted shoehorning of Orla Guerin to contest the European elections on behalf of the Labour Party in 1994? Ms Guerin was rejected by the electorate, who rightly took exception to being regarded as automatons by then Labour leader Dick Spring. It seems the only calculation taken into consideration by Labour Party chiefs was the ability to win a seat, and party loyalty and capability was replaced by political expediency. Ms Guerin's cough was well and truly softened and we the electorate, in our innocence, foolishly believed that parish pump political nominations were to be confined to the graveyard of political has-beens and never weres. How wrong we were. FG's appetite for personality politics and scatter-gun candidate selection has not yet been sated.

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