It is possible to argue that Vincent Browne has had the best election of anyone so far. His handbagging of the Taoiseach at the beginning of the campaign was by far the heaviest punch taken by the government during the campaign and his more recent dig at Fianna’s Spinmeister General PJ Mara, delighted hacks, bloggers and political players. Now he turns his attention to the Labour party. He reckons the last place prospective Labour voters should seek to register their vote is against the Labour party. Instead, he argues, the politics of most parties has become anaemic and debased ‘managerialism’ (subs needed).
If would-be Labour voters want to avoid putting Fianna Fáil, or Fianna Fáil-Tony O’Reilly, back in power, they should not vote Labour. Nor should they vote for the Greens or Sinn Féin. Their only options are to vote for Joe Higgins’s Socialist Party candidates, or the People Before Profit candidates, or anti-Fianna Fáil Independents or, yes, Fine Gael.
For, if Fianna Fáil do well enough, they may not need Labour. There is a real chance they could do a deal just with the Greens or Sinn Féin. The Greens would frighten Fianna Fáil because of the “flaky” factor – you wouldn’t know when and where they would find a principle and up and out.
Sinn Féin would be more reliable, but there would be the slight embarrassment of going back on repeated commitments not to entertain them in government this time. But that need be only a temporary little discomfort, for it will be “discovered” there is no incompatibility on economic policy between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin and no bother about the EU, because Sinn Féin does not stand for anything either.
We have managed to take policy out of politics here. Now it is all about managerialism, who can best manage the economy or the health service or whatever. Nothing about policy.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty