Fianna Fail heading for ‘toxic Government’ status?

There is a lot of anger and speculation about early elections about the way the Fianna Fail led government has conducted itself in the face of the recent crisis. I was particularly struck by commenter Oilifear’s observation that:

Cowen, Coughlan and Lenihan have made a subtle move from calling on someone to take decisive action to realising that they are the Government and that it is up to them to take decisive action. From there, they made the quiet transition to saying nothing more about it while predicting ominous consequence (presumably if no-one takes decisive action).

It chimes with Sarah Carey’s plea to the heavens that any government is better than none

Am I wrong in thinking that in six months time a cruel-looking German in a pin-striped suit will board a plane in Frankfurt bound for Dublin? Flashing an ECB identity card at Government Buildings, will he enter the Taoiseach’s office and announce: “For you Herr Cowen, ze var is over!”? And Brian, rather than protesting, will be rather relieved that the cup has finally passed. Perhaps he will return gratefully and quietly to Clara while the Eurocrats or, God help us, the IMF, get on with running the country we ran into the ground.

Am I wrong in thinking that Cowen hates him so much, he would rather see international intervention than Enda Kenny as taoiseach? Is his belief in Fianna Fáil’s divine right to rule so ingrained that he would rather the country hand over sovereignty to the fund or the ECB rather than the Opposition? Is that why, no matter how much the Sunday Independent demands a national government, we won’t get one, not because Enda or Eamon won’t say yes, but because Brian can’t bring himself to ask?

Am I wrong in thinking that the Taoiseach remains paralysed by a combination of shock and delusion that cute hoorism still has a place in Irish politics? His insistence on outsourcing a decision on tax increases to the Commission on Taxation is surely evidence of both. The commission is due to report in July and the Taoiseach, despite his clear majority in the Dáil, will have the permission he craves to implement the tax hikes everyone else has long accepted are necessary.

A government of national unity argument has emerged over recent weeks from various sources, some of them very close to the Government… If the goes as bad as as some are speculate, Fianna Fail may find itself as isolated as those as yet fictional toxic banks we keep hearing about…

The canary in the mineshaft is the Greens. Unless and until they weaken (Paul Gogarty, for now at least, excepted), it will be business as usual… The rest is hysteria and speculation…

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