“this triumvirate of party aristocrats..”

From today’s Politics Show, Jim Fitzpatrick introduces Dublin correspondent Shane Harrison’s regular short report on the political fortunes of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Fianna Fáil, noting the “triumvirate of party aristocrats” in whose hands power now lies in Ireland.

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  • Greenflag

    A good report unlike the pink shirted effort a while back. Looks now like Bertie was a bit of a ‘nouveau’ gatecrasher. The PR multi seat constituency system aggravates this tendency in Irish politics . Once the necessary 5,000 to 7,000 votes are gathered for first election -thereafter = patronage , favours , pull and clinics keeps the ‘family’ in contention . Northern Ireland has yet to experience how this ‘generational ‘ transfer works . Early signs are however indicative that poltical nature north of the border at least in this respect is no different from south of the border. No doubt if the Assembly survives people will be electing the son/nephew /niece of Martin , Gerry , Peter etc etc .

    It would be wrong to exaggerate this party aristocrat line . Where now are the De Valeras , the Lemasses or Reynolds or Lynch’s.

    Bert Ahern was lucky . He owed his election to the failure of Cosgrave’s Coalition 1973 to 1977 when Bertie scraped in for a second FF seat in a constituency that would normally have been 1 FF, 1 FG and 1 Labour . The ‘constituency’ review initiated by Jim Tully (Minister of Local Government which was supposed to deliver 30 seats for Labour instead decimated the party’s representation . When many of the three seaters designed to help Labour backfired and elected 2 FF and 1 FG or 1 Labour .The Irish Labour party has never recovered from the Tullymander having been eviscerated from within by politicians like Gilmore and Rabbitte who ‘jumped ‘ ship from the Workers Party via Official SF .

    Irish Labour will have to get to at least 30 Dail seats to be able to break the mould . I can’t see this happening under their present leadership .