“In hindsight…”

In the Irish Times Stephen Collins signs off with a line on the electoral prospects of Fianna Fáil that’s worth considering as the ECB and the IMF have those detailed discussions in Dublin.

The voters who rewarded it for being so irresponsible in the good times are likely to be merciless now that everything has gone so badly wrong.

Read the whole thing.

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pretty standard stuff there from IT – cant really argue with any of it. Feckless Fail are indeed fecked.

    …but those of us who wrote the politcal obituary of cute-hoorism may have moved a little to early. A 5% loan rate is great acheievment and direclty contradicts the Prof. from Trinity predictions (as was pointed out at the time here on Slugger)

    Ireland, and Feckless Fail/Gael in particular, pissed the country’s money up against the wall but that does not mean Brian Lenihan has not played an absolute blinder with a really shit hand of cards – though clearly not enough to save his party’s ass.

    Labour and Feckelss Gael will now have to implement Feckless Fails/IMF/EU plan and just to cheer you up Pete – the only really likely political winner in this is SF who will now snipe happily from the sidelines fo the next 4 years.

  • Nordie Northsider

    ‘…the only really likely political winner in this is SF who will now snipe happily from the sidelines fo the next 4 years.’

    You’re probably correct, Sammy, but one possibility arising from recent polling is that Labour will be the biggest party in Dail Éireann and capable of forming a coalition with one small party such as Sinn Féin – if they can add a few seats to their tally. What would happen in that scenario? Would a former Workers’ Party stalwart like Gilmore be able to work with the Provies? Would SF, knowing what’s coming down the line, really want to go near Government?
    I still think that a Labour/Fine Gael coalition is the most likely option, with Labour the senior partner. But a coalition of the left is not fantasy politics any more.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Nordiee Northsider ,

    Didnt there used to be a song about that?

    (to the tune of the sash)

    “On the green grassy slopes of Ardoyne where the Provies and Stickies will join” etc…

    ps SF need to steer well clear of government until the economic dust settles.

  • Nordie Northsider

    ‘SF need to steer well clear of government until the economic dust settles…’

    And given the traditional fate of small parties in Irish coalition Governments…

  • Merciless != still polling 19% in Donegal.

  • DC

    The Irish people after indulging in hindsight will want to vote for leaders with foresight, that rules SF out.

    Come next election for Ireland you choose your leaders, you place your trust. That rules FF out.

  • Dr Concitor

    What do you mean lack of foresight, Is not GA going to the Dail or should I say Leinster House because things have got so bad in the 26 counties or should I say Ireland. The is typical of the anti SF bias on slugger. I want it stopped and I want it stopped now. We don’t do criticism, we haven’t in the past and we a not going to start now.( where do you get the wee yellow faces)

  • pippakin

    Daniel Hannan (spit) has his say in the Belfast Telegraph.



  • DC

    Well I had heard of a wee west Belfast boy disappearing to Louth – that Adams then?

  • pippakin

    Just thought I’d mention Prime Time tonight is brilliant! I almost (only almost) feel sorry for the FF apologist!

  • Munsterview

    There are a significant section of the ‘junior leadership’ in both Fianna Failure and Fine Gael who want to see a left / right split in Irish politics and sections of their respective parties are prepared in principle to join up in another third force do this.

    How significant these numbers in the various parties are just now it is hard to say. It has made the mainstream media down here. FG are slugging it out with labour in Donegal to avoid being last. FG as a whole know that they are better than that and many will not see their futures tied to Kenny the looser for much longer. Many in Fianna Failure too have had enough.

    If the numbers start stacking up for labour as it now looks like they will, then political self preservation will quickly take precedence over political differences. Labors current attraction with disaffected voters is that it is not Fianna Failure or Fine Gael!

    The politicians of FF,FG who recognize this cannot afford to see their natural constituency go to labor by default. They must act and the stronger labor is becoming, the more the imperative for these ‘alternatives’ to offer a credible alternative.

    That old Chines curse of ‘may you live in interesting times’ has come to pass in Ireland 2010 !

  • Munsterview


    Agreed, great to see Rabbit back in form, that was for real, there was no pretense about his anger or frustration. They should have send in Dick Roach for FF but he was probably too cute and dodged it.

    How shaky Fianna Failure are from now on in can be judged from the numbers of Minister Pat Carey political second rater types !

  • pippakin


    I have to say it was a joy to watch! even though the poor devil getting the ‘thrashing’ was clearly in considerable difficulty,.

    It is long overdue. It is as though some people have been happily imagining that the ‘real people’ of Ireland don’t know and don’t care, tonight they got a glimpse of the pain and the depth of the anger.

  • Mick Fealty

    That would be the *Daily* Telegraph…

  • pippakin

    Mick Fealty

    Sorry! rely upon me to get it wrong…it was a ‘stirring’ argument nevertheless!

  • pippakin


    I hear the hope is it will be on U Tube! FF are toast!

    Go Labour!!!

  • Munsterview


    Under estimate Fianna Failure at your peril!

    Too late probably for Donegall but I will only believe they have collapsed when they have clearly done do.

    Been around too long and seen too many last minute strokes pulled all the way back to when Jack Lynch did away with dwelling house rates and bought the election.

    He also left local government both without local funding and with bended knee to central funds, so in central government control.

  • pippakin


    FF are too long in the tooth to be completely gone but they are seriously diminished and tonight’s performance by Labour was excellent.

    I agree with your comments that Irish parties are looking for a way to introduce a right and a left and maybe that is necessary in a healthy democracy but I cannot see FF re materialising for at least a decade and then only if they have changed to one side or the other rather than this incredibly unhealthy ‘all things to all people’ masquerade we have been enduring.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    ” dwelling house rates and bought the election.”

    No – this is different bag of frogs to anything that has gone before – to be fair to Feckless Fail it was their misfortune that the desperate Greens were tempted into an unlikely alliance as Feckless Gael with Labour under its wing would probably have brought the country to its knees anyway.

    The Plain People of Ireland, I’m sure you must have noticed as well, simply believed the unbelieveable – that the good times, based to a large degreee on property appreciation, were here to stay and it was unlikley that any mainstream party was about to tell them otherwise – as they would have faced wipe out at the election.

    Having said all that if the boy Lenihan get a good big loan for 5% he will have done well.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    re. “incredibly unhealthy ‘all things to all people’ masquerade we have been enduring.”

    People have been saying this for decades – and exactly the reverse has happened – e.g. Englezeland where Labour and the Tories (and the Libdems ) are all largley fighting over the middle ground. The left has had its arse well and truly tanned just about everywhere for the last 20 years.

  • Munsterview

    In large measure agreed !

    Yes the current situation is different from back then and abolishing rates to buy the election. However what I was warning of is not to underestimate the capacity of Fianna Failure to pull one last stroke of smoke and mirrors with just enough substance to rally the troops yet again achieving enough to make a respectable showing.

    And yes it was also the ‘plain people’ that fell for it, in as much as syndicates of doctors, lawyers and other professional groups acted professionally and collectively in land and housing speculation with borrowed cash, are plain people!

    With ten or twenty doctors etc chipping in it was easy to get the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker to believe that there was easy money and that they could not loose. The madness was not just a few wide boy builders, it was fairly widespread from the top down and well spread laterally among all professional and monied classes..

    If truth were told, this is why we have had no repeat of Iceland or Greece in Ireland, many here who got burned took all the easy money the banks threw at them and then went back for more. They know that and for them this is the morning after the night before, such people know that they are not innocent victims.

  • pippakin


    Sure, but I think it is different this time. FF and FG are in many ways alike which is one of the reasons FG have been unable to ‘capitalise’ on the situation.

  • pippakin


    The rate is irrelevant! the government were always going to get a good rate.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    ” the government were always going to get a good rate”

    In fact that is not the case. If you read the original article from Prof. whats-his-name at Trinity (published here on Slugger from the IT) which arguably brought this underlying fiasco in the banks to world attention – he suggested exactly the opposite. ie they would geta a very high rate to punish us.

    Immodesty allows me to mention that I rewrote the last part of his statement and said that Ireland would get low rates because we were members of the Euro club and could feck the rest of the club up and then posted that on Slugger.

  • DC


  • pippakin


    I don’t believe it was ever the real intention, what good would punishing us do? The EU is not that popular here, a lot of the money is owed to EU banks and they would charge high. It would have the potential to cause serious problems.

  • I have three questions for Republican commenters.

    Firstly, I want to make an assumption about the future. The year is 2021. In 2010, Ireland, having been overcome with debt, accepted a European bailout and effectively surrendered its sovereignty. Some thought the surrender would be for just 4 years but others knew better. After the bailout, crisis after crisis engulfed the Euro. The Germans wanted more power and pressurised Ireland and other states to allow more control over National Fiscal Policy. But the other states protested. This was not fair. The Germans had power and control. They gave out bits of money here and there to appease the weaker nations. Eventually, there was a political uprising. Enough was enough. The weaker nations could never move to the top table of prosperity without help. There was only one solution. A United States of Europe with full national sovereignty transferred to the European Parliament and its executive. In 2020, all 16 of the original Eurozone nations united under a treaty which was agreed in 2013.

    Britain continued to oppose political union. Eventually, it was told “join us or get out of the EU completely”. It sought alliances with the nations not in the Eurozone and strengthened its trading links with those countries. By 2016, the UK had got its national budget into balance. Its economy was under control and thriving.

    All right, you might consider that story fantasy. You might not. Here are the questions

    (a) What will Irish Republicanism look like in 2021?

    (b) Whether you agree with that projection or not, could Republicanism be altered by what happens in Europe?

    (b) Is it possible that Irish Republicanism will be eclipsed by Irish Europeanism?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    The Professor at Trinity Morgan Kelly called it wrong – as pointed out at the time – he seemed to think that Ireland would be punished – as a deterrent.

    I suspect he let allowed his arguement to get dragged into the anti Euro undergrowth in the excitement of it all.