Power now lies in hands of Lowry and Healy-Rae…

There is a part you that has to admire the cool with with Biffo and the boys of Fianna Fail take their knocks. Having your whole fiscal policy dictated by a virtual committee of the ECB and the IMF and fronting the toughest budget in many generations takes some doing. But as Miriam Lord notes in today’s Irish Times, the loss of Jim McDaid was already priced in by his erstwhile party colleagues.

With the Greens keeping their nerve and even calling for moral courage like the old pros they’ve so rapidly become, it is only Jackie Healy Rae and the former Fine Gaeler Michael Lowry keeping the opposition wolf from the Fianna Fail. Last word to Miriam Lord:

And so, Jim McDaid has left national politics. A one-day wonder. Yet in the Dáil chamber – where not one Green appeared during Leaders’ Questions – there is an inescapable feeling that everything is falling apart. Only one man looks happy: Michael Lowry. He’s in charge now. He holds the balance of power. With Jackie Healy-Rae. Happy days.

Quite (I think).

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  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    Can’t help but feel that Fine Gael and Labour are secretly hoping Fianna Fail can hang in there for a while longer yet. The gloss of Opposition won’t be long disappearing were they to assume the mantle of Leadership during such sobering times.

  • Mark McGregor

    Doherty just won his High Court challenge on moving the writ for byelection – court described delay as unreasonable.

    Looks like an appeal is likely but we could see at least three byelections coming soon and then the inevitable collapse.

    Interesting times ahead.

  • The High Court has just found in favour of Senator Doherty over the refusal to hold the by-elections.
    Fine Gael and Labour ran away over ending the pairing agreements that would have, in effect, forced them to be held (suggesting Chris is right that they actually don’t want in there yet).

    Game Up?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Chris,

    Yes heard Gilmore on RTE on Sunday – he was appalling (I’m something of a fan) as he would not engage in providing answers to where the Labour party would yield the knife.

    SF are in the ‘lucky’ position of not having to go into government in the South and can wait until the (Irish) Labour party get the Libdem treatment from the electorate for getting into bed with FG.

    SF seem to still have a credibility problem in the South as opposed to their sensible/pragmatic approach in the North (cue Unionists banging on about Education).

    I think their crypto Anti European policy will simply have to go – dont you think?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Paddy Power still has an election this year at 12/1. Next year is 1/6. Not sure how long it takes if government collapsed tomorrow i.e. how many collapsing days are left before xmas?

    http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/irish-government?ev_oc_grp_ids=88128

  • FF have a very short window (maybe 24 hours) in which to decide they aren’t going to take the heat that will follow the budget cuts and decide to call the election instead with the budget to follow in early December. I don’t know how practical that is, but if you glance around – I heard Kathleen Lynch (Lab) completely unable to articulate a Labour policy on the economy. Similarly, with the likes of Leo Varadkar and Noonan on solo runs (never mind Michael Ring) and Enda Kenny largely invisible, Fine Gael seem rudderless and un-focused.
    With the parish pump TDs like Lowry practically rubbing their hands over what they might get out of this, FF may decide that it is time to go for it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John,

    I think it has to be assumed that both Labour and FG like the Tories have decided it is better to say nothing and sound “rudderless and un-focused” rather than say something that can be construed as ‘agreeing’ with the government otherwise the government will simply (reasonably) say – you would have done the same yourself after the budget.

    Like the Tories, they will wait until getting into power before then telling everybody that now that they have seen the books they have to now follow a differnet policy.

    Politically this is probablly their wisest choice as the Plain Poeple of ireland are not in the mood to let FF have another chance.

    The wisest choice for FF should be to publically and repeatedly make it clear that the opposition has been fully briefed .

  • Drumlins Rock

    Makes our lot look good, even Cat and Pootsy seem more cedible than the whole lot down there atm.
    Might I suggest an election would help only if many new faces are elected, and preferably face without strong genetic similarities to the old ones, dosn’t matter what party really.

  • Yeah, FF have, to some extent, nobbled the opposition by showing them the books – maybe that is why they appear somewhat reluctant to perform a coup de grâce on the government. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is going to try moving the by-election writ in the Dáil tomorrow – presuming the government will be in contempt if they refuse it. I think that is the window FF have to make their minds up.

  • Mick Fealty

    However you put it, after being frozen out of southern politics since 07, this will be a nice wee PR coup for SF, if they can claim it was they who triggered the next GE.

    New thread on the judgement… http://url.ie/81yb

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John,

    Gilmore was still trying to claim on Sunday that he needed more information from the government and therefore couldnt yet say what Labour would do. He wasnt very convincing but still used the lack of information to avoid answering questions about Labour’s inentions.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    I wonder will Lowry have many problems getting his casino development through in Tipp now.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Tochais Síoraí,

    FF can have a word with Anglo to put a few quid for the project as it sounds like their type of venture.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Odds on an election this year now cut from 12/1 to 4/1.

  • Alan Maskey

    Doesn’t the current system totally discredit the Irish electoral process north and south? In the North, those who did the Disappearing are at the trough. In the South, the balance of power is held by dishonest and totally corrupt pork barrel type politicians.