Former Fine Gael hotshot Ivan Yates had a bit of a car crash on Brendan O’Connor’s show on Saturday night.
In brief – most people know him now as a bookie and a well-paid broadcaster on Newstalk where he is a vocal opponent of the current government (aren’t we all). He was a TD for 21 years and also Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for a few years in the 1990s. In the course of the interview Yates repeated most of the general criticisms of FF and the cuts that are needed and the inequities that exist in the system. O’Connor managed to ambush him (apparently by accident) by pointing out that Yates was drawing a substantial state pension as an ex-TD and Minister (despite being only 50 or so years of age, whilst he is in extremely gainful employment and not exactly in need of the same pension). The audience did not take this too well and roundly boo-ed Yates.
While no longer in Fine Gael he talked of attending at least one recent major Fine Gael event and admitted that they are not exactly in great shape for fighting an election. As with the whole George Lee debacle, Fine Gael appear so inept that maybe FF think that, before Labour organise in the West, this is probably not the worst time for an election.