FF: Just too cute this time?

Today FF and the Greens looked interested in leaving behind bobby traps for any incoming government as they face a humiliating removal from office. Both have declared their actions as in the national interest. But how much of recent events have been about FF, in particular trying to minimise their forthcoming time in the electoral wilderness and how much is really about the national interest?

Following the Doherty court challenge and his likely victory in DSW, with further by-elections in early spring, independents leaving the ship and an increasingly skittish backbench – a no-confidence expulsion from office looked likely and much of recent weeks posturing could seem to be playing a poor party hand as well as possible.

Nobody expects anything but the worst ever result for FF and close to decimation for the Greens in the next election. It is hard to see why they were hanging onto the levers of power with terrible economic news of their horizon – unless they were just hoping ‘something might come up’.

The Greens buckled first and declared they would, in the national interest, see next year’s budget and 4 year plan agreed, before pulling the trigger on the Government in January.

Cowen and FF gave a post-dated resignation letter a few hours later declaring they also will see this important business through before dissolving the Dial.

However, with two independents Jackie Healy-Rea and Michael Lowry indicating they are withdrawing support from the government, the likely arrival of Doherty on Friday and some FF backbenchers preparing to jump before supporting a punishing budget that will further jeopardise their seats it seems increasingly unlikely the December budget can gain support.

It may require at least one opposition party to abstain in order for the budget/plan to be accepted ahead of an inevitable election in weeks, not months – a booby trap?

Why would they abstain? Well, someone is going to spend the next 5 years overseeing cuts that are the legacy of FF ‘economics’. They have the choice of implementing cuts already in place by FF or imposing them directly post-election.

FG and Labour, the almost guaranteed next government, are going to have to decide between them whether they reject the FF budget and end up accountable for the cuts when in power or if one/both abstains to let them go through as a FF package they are just linked to.

Regardless, they end up covered in the shit FF created and delivering the pain FF caused. An impossible choice, a huge booby trap.

It surely gets worse though as negotiations are not finalised on the bailout, the last card in the Irish deck is gone. The EU/IMF now knows Ireland needs an agreed budget in weeks as they finalise their negotiations – being able to hold out for favourable terms on Corporate taxation while those pumping in the cash worry about how this sorry saga is impacting on their interests is no longer possible.

Low business taxation could be the final victim to FF’s cuteness before their implosion – along with public pensions, salaries and state benefits.

They have taken down their party, their business friends and destroyed Ireland’s economy. The only thing open to question is just how much shit they leave to stick on those that will replace them.

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  • Alias

    “But how much of recent events have been about FF in particular trying to minimise their forthcoming time in the electoral wilderness and how much was really about the national interest?”

    You’re assuming that the government requested the loan when the reality is that the EC decided that the government needed extra funds to prop up the eurosystem.

    As it wasn’t engineered by the government, speculation about why they egineered something they didn’t engineer is pointless – even for self-confessed nerds such as yourself.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Much and all as I dont like Feckless Fail lets not forget Feckless Gael were happy enough cheering from the sidelines. Those who shouted stop like the Socialist Party or SF were ridiculed in the Dail and in the Irish Times and of course here on Slugger – as being economically illeterate.

    FF will rigthly take the blame for the mess but it is extremely doubtful if FG would have behaved any differently.

    We will have to wait and see what has been been going on over the last few days – but if FF’s last act was to cutehoor a few points off the borrowing rate – then we can at least say they got something right.

  • Mark McGregor

    Sammy,

    I suspect they played the bluff too far (Ireland gets to dictate to Europe – aye, for a few weeks we’ve been here before) and as negotiations climax they’ll fold and lose the lot.

    Say goodbye to the lot.

    FF are now about getting a budget and 4 year plan agreed before collapsing.

    The International money men can wait a few days/weeks to get the deal they always wanted.

  • Munsterview

    Well it had to happen eventually I suppose, FF the arch practioners of cute hoorism have been finally out hoored, not by one of their own but, wait for it, …… by the innocent, unworldly Greens of all people !

    This farce would be hugely enjoyable were it not for the seriousness of the situation for the country.

  • White Horse

    Ah, go on, Munsterview, despite the seriousness, you’re still gloating. I don’t see the Irish people turning to SF at the moment. After that idiot’s actions at the gates of the Dail today, how can anybody take them serriously?

    Fit for government? No, fit for bouncering at the FF FG Labour Green Party Christmas parties.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mark,

    FF have been dead in the water for months and although we have moucho drama there is really nothing new here -whether IMF or Bond Market you have to toe the line or you dont get the cash and 5% looks like a good deal.

    On balance developments in the last few days should be welcomed as it is unlikley that the IMF et al will not get to see all the books in detail and we get to start with a clean slate.

    With FF gone the next biggest loser may well be Labour – I just cant see how they can form a government in the current circumstances and not expect to suffer serious losses the election after next.

    Just like with the Catholic Church the once subterannean activity of Feckless Fail has appeared above the surface and the Plain Poeple of Ireland are not best pleased and hopefully feeling at least a bit guilty.

  • DC

    Labour are stressing the need for a budget prior to election as they are picking up a desire for *stability* on the doorsteps, but stability at what price?

    I think if it goes through, moral hazard must be addressed, the politicians who looked the other way when property prices rose by 560% should be held accountable, if a budget happens as part of it legislation should be enacted so that this government leaves with only basic state pension or is accrued as such for this elected term, no frills nor privileges for this term.

    If the electorate want to let these losers out of the bag with full privileges and state pensions so be it, they will be the ones paying for the cuts etc, democracy will be made to look inadequate and inappropriate as no one pays nor fesses up. Boom or bust who cares, Ireland may as well elect dummies, as if you bankrupt your country to the IMF you still leave on the same terms as you would do if you’d overhauled it and provided real increases in living standards.

    Thing is, the electorate are about to face an almost if not actual unbearable squeeze on their income – should this government be allowed to get out on luxury terms just after delivering a poverty-line budget??

    That’s where the fight is – if you can’t win that one Irishmen and women then maybe it is a case of croppy lie down, croppy – croppy lie down – and sadly sit and suck those cuts right up.

    Where’s Bertie Ahern these days anyway, now there’s a man whose bank account and properties ought to be frozen?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    WH,

    At least if he’s out on the street he’s not on the radio.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DC,

    “now there’s a man whose bank account and properties ought to be frozen?”

    The boy Bertie doesnt do bank accounts.

  • DC

    I do feel genuinely sorry for the decent Irish people who worked hard with a degree of honesty because they’ve been completely had.

  • DC

    No to mention a loan from George Osborne – things must be so so bad and dire for both countries.

  • Alanbrooke

    We serve neither King nor Kaiser but … oh feck – wait a minute – we have to pay them both how much ?

  • DC

    True – good point.

    Personally given the absolutely shitty state the Irish State is in – if it were me – I would’ve walked and in doing so null and voided my government pension (took basic peanut pension) and resigned as Taoiseach.

    Then in departing encourage others to call in Merkel for the haircut arrangements and let Merkel give Germany a trim and then tell Osborne and RBS that they could expect a complete head shave 🙂

  • Mark McGregor

    What you are very cynically saying is that once Labour experience dealing with FF’s crap – you hope SF might benefit.

    No plan, just that when other options are exhausted the electorate may finally cast a glance your way.

    Hardly a strategy, FF will be back before it works out for you.

  • joeCanuck

    Not for the first time, too many blogs.
    Mick needs to lecture his gang on consolidation. Different takes might pass scrutiny but no “me too” ones.

  • DC

    There’s a lot of coverage out there on it – imagine if Cowen had grown a set and resigned and left the IMF bailout to the voters to decide.

    Alarm bells!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mark,

    I presume you were speaking ot me?

    “What you are very cynically saying is that once Labour experience dealing with FF’s crap – you hope SF might benefit”

    My view on SF is that unless they drop the pseudo-Marxist-anti-Euro-mumbo-jumbo-jibber-jabber they will only gain a few seats in the cities at Labour’s expense. I presume that will be Grizzly’s first job when he gets to the Dail.

  • Alias

    “There’s a lot of coverage out there on it – imagine if Cowen had grown a set and resigned and left the IMF bailout to the voters to decide.”

    Like he let the Irish nation decide the result of the Lisbon Treaty? Sorry, that isn’t how the EU works.

    If you don’t do what your masters want you to do the first time then you must do it again until you do what your masters want.

    Your ‘sovereignty’ in voting is merely a comfort blanket.

    Likewise, the EU decided that Ireland did not have the funds to bail-out the eurosystem on its own and that the required funds must be supplied to Ireland for the purpose and duly underwritten by the taxpayers.

    Biffo, as the head of a troublesome EU region, didn’t have the level of sovereignty to do other than as directed by his masters.

    Having partial sovereignty is a bit like trying to dance with one leg when the rug is shifting under you and your other leg is moving in the opposite direction.

  • joeCanuck

    Mark,

    Is Cowen really from Offaly?

  • Alias

    And just to prove the point about retaining partial after you have given the resy of it away. If Biffo had declined, the EU would simply have replied: “Fine, you do have the sovereignty to say no but if you say other than yes then let us remind you that we also have the sovereignty over your ‘currency’ and can pull the pulg on your funding via the ECB.”

    Ergo, an impotent government that has given away its currency can do nothing other than agree with what its masters declare.

  • Munsterview

    Fintan O’Tool is currently on RTE TV and he has made some good cracks !

    First he said that this mornings muddle arose from the fact that the Greens had been around FF so long that they had learned stroke politics, but not long enough to have learned to do it right !

    He also described the current arguments about the best government of an FF coalition or of a Labour FG one as ” A woman debating the merits as to the best make of condom after she had become pregnant” !

  • Alias

    Typo: “…prove the point about retaining partial sovereignty after you have given the rest of it away.”

  • pippakin

    I have said before that the next election will not be the one to win it is doomed from the start. FF have effectively guaranteed the unpopularity of anyone elected to the shite they leave behind.

    Perhaps there is something in us that has admired the cute hoors of politics and of course we all have a sneaking admiration for those who know how to make the ‘system’ work for them but none of us thought they would be filling their black sacks while letting the country sink. We were wrong.

    Sammy says it will be wonderful if they get a rate of 5% for us. If that is their legacy it will go down in history.

  • Munsterview

    WH

    Some months ago I advocated Sinn Fein resorting to Street Politics and giving people radical leadership on the ground. If they were outside the power structures tonight and the TD were each addressing a few hundred people in their own areas to advocate a march in Leinster House, they would not march alone !

    Politics are indeed volatile in the South at present. However anything can happen. In 1966 my first introduction to Trade Union Street politics was when I see officials of my own NEETU come to meetings with weekend bags, ready for jail in defiance of a Government no strike order.

    That Union always had a significant Republican membership ; last week at conference an emergency motion supporting a campaign of civil disobedience to bring down the government was passed. Sinn Feins hour may have passed and they may find street leadership coming from other sources.

  • Munsterview

    Joe,
    Do you not know the meaning of Biffo ?

    ‘ Big Ignorant F****r From Offaly.’

    It’s a badge of pride actually for those from that neck of the woods !

  • joeCanuck

    No MV. I didn’t know so I asked today on another thread. Mark said the same as you except he mentioned a fecker. Always wondered. 🙂 so you have confirmed it.

  • pippakin

    SF are a bit late. It does look as though their sudden interest is more to do with the fallen idols descent on Louth, even the protesters turned up late.

    If SF want to be taken seriously they need to put in real effort, paying equal attention to the south and giving equal concern to the people there.

  • Munsterview

    Been saying that for years ! ( here you ,we should be sparring not agreeing, this thread is dull enough as it is)

  • White Horse

    I certainly hope not, Munsterview.

  • pippakin

    MV

    How was I to know you had mellowed!

    It does look as though someone in SF was watching the news last night saw the few protesters in the original bulletin and decided they better take advantage and get out there.

    GAs sudden interest is good and may, over time, be enough to take SF into a stronger southern position, but he is not clear of the accusations and SF have few ‘stars’ and no power here.

  • Alias

    Joe, BIFFO means “Bloodbath In Fianna Fail Organisation” before the next election.

  • Alias

    The Shinners are good at rent-a-mob antics. It’s a bit like someone said of Biffo and Beritie: they good to have around if you want a bit of craic in a pub but not for running a country.

  • joeCanuck

    Good one, Alias.

    Mark, love that new photo; very clever.

  • pippakin

    Alias

    If the disaster that has struck the south had happened in the north SF would have been on it from the start, they would have done their homework, and organised the protests well in advance of important meetings.

    Yesterday one solitary protester was thrown to the ground in broad daylight with no more than a few Shell protesters in the background. The next thing we saw on tv news was the SF protest, in the dark so much later. It was effective but very late. GA needs to do better than that here, much better.

    Biffo is finished and Bertie is the first leader of any country I have ever seen doing adverts – from inside a fridge.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Then again, Sammy is the person who believes that SF are dictating the terms along which politics in this part of the world progresses.

  • Munsterview

    WH,

    Been in this game for over forty years. Because I generally keep my cultural and political life separate I have been in a company several times in the recent past where politics are the order of the day. I play the devils advocate against SF to see how the mood is and from the feedback, SF are in very good standing indeed.

    Of course `I am also around long enough to know that the same people that admire and even financially support Republican causes such as prisoners do not necessarily vote SF. However at this time the old dispensations are cast aside, the Twenty…… Thirty Five age group see Sinn Fein in contemporary, not historical terms, hence the hysteria of people such as Maskey who can see the way the winds are blowing.

    I do know from my own sources that FF are like headless chickens to night. As an old back-room boy said to me ” Thanks be to f*** it is the start of the week and they (TD’s) can be herded, if it was the weekend, half of them would be gone over the nearest hill ”

    Very interesting times indeed ! What a day it had been, it used to be a week was a long time in politics, to day it is a case of each hour !

  • Drumlins Rock

    Sammy you have been on about the “favourable rate” before, but is it not just the same one that Greece got?

  • Mick Fealty

    His race to the Aras was gaining traction with Leinster House waiting to see if they needed to re-write their copy for tomorrow’s papers. Mary O’Rourke’s (and Mary generally speaks for the solid middle of the party) suggestion on Newstalk this morning (before Gormley’s announcement) that the question of a new leadership for FF needed tackling in January was taken by many as an indication there is a growing mob inside the party that want Cowen out.

    That may well be broadly true. But Cowen’s mantra (and it is repeated right down to constituency level) is that the ‘national interest’ must be served by getting all the current arrangements finalised.

    FF have not got much choice but to back him and his soon-to-be-minority government until the bitter end. The Greens have not walked. And even Healy Rae (“very unlikely” he would support the Budget but would have to wait to see what it contained) and Lowry (“as it stands at the moment, it is highly unlikely that I will support that Budget”) have been playing with words in precisely the same way as Cowen and Lenihan over the last few weeks.

  • Alias

    “…Bertie is the first leader of any country I have ever seen doing adverts – from inside a fridge.”

    I haven’t seen that.

    He wants to be the next president of Ireland. Can you beleive that? The man is an abject traitor to Ireland. It just shows the level of vanity and insanity that underpins these muppets.

    It’s time for another 1916…

  • Alias

    Vincent Browne just gave Gormley a rough time of it on his show. But one of the interesting comments from Gormley was that the government consulted with the ECB which strongly recommended that the government extend the Deposit Protection Scheme to cover unlimited amounts and to indemnity all liabilities of the eurosystem banks, in effect forcing the government to bail-our the eurosystem banks. That adimission of ECB direction is new.

  • pippakin

    Alias

    Well it hasn’t been on, as far as I know, for few weeks and I am notorious for my mistakes but it was him. I know because I was looking for the brown paper bag, so hard to keep paper dry in a fridge.

    If he becomes president, as affable as he is, we will deserve what we get.

  • Alias

    And, of course, Gormley’s admission that the policy was being directed by the ECB undermines Cowen’s bogus mantra that the government was acting in the national interest and not in the EU’s interest.

  • pippakin

    Alias

    “one of the interesting comments from Gormley was that the government consulted with the ECB which strongly recommended that the government extend the Deposit Protection Scheme to cover unlimited amounts and to indemnity all liabilities of the eurosystem banks, in effect forcing the government to bail-our the eurosystem banks. That adimission of ECB direction is new.”

    No way, are you of all people, surprised by that, feel free to say “I told you so”….

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    I’m not sure what is in it for Feckless Fail to remain in office. Some backbenchers may think it is better to let FG and Labour try and push a budget through and take all the flak and there may well be a bunch of FF backbenchers who might try and distance themselves from the leadership and opt to let the country have their say. They might then hold their own seats.

    Paddy Power have pulled their bets on – the year of the next election – and there is a bit of a whiff of the fall of Saigon about the place.

  • Alias

    Not surprised at all, Pippy, and yes I said that the policy was to prevent contagion. Those were Gormley’s exact words: the ECB wanted to prevent contagion. Or, as I have often put it on Slugger, the policy of the EU is to contain eurosystem debts in the borrowing state rather than allow them to default to the borrowing state. It is obvious what the policy is even if the government and europhiles deny it. It is an explicit abdication of the national interest, i.e. an act of treason against the Irish nation by the government.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DR,

    I dont know what they got – but 5% is a lot better than 8%.

  • Alias

    Typo: “…the policy of the EU is to contain eurosystem debts in the borrowing state rather than allow them to default to the lending state.”

    But it’s all academic now since Ireland is just another region of the EU and it isn’t possible to reverse the treason other than by revolution.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Alias,

    “other than by revolution”

    I think the dissers may be up for that – Mark Mc G. may be able to confirm that?

    If they are not available, or deemed unsuitable I suppose you will have to look outside of the country – normally I would recommend the Germans, historically exccellent mercearies but they might not be too keen given they are also the target of your displeasure.

    So it might just be yourself and the boy Aognhus O attempting a full frontal on the GPO.

    Best of Luck with that.

  • iluvni

    When Sinn fein are placing blame on the bankers for destroying the Irish economy, would they attach any of it to the ex-President of Bank of Scotland (Ireland).
    Mabe someone could ask Mr Adams his opinion.

  • Munsterview

    I have flagged here months ago that there was a move by sections inside both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to join forces in a modern new center- center right political force. Inside Fianna Failure the driving force for this is centered in the Lenihans.

    The Lenihans are now a powerful force inside Fianna Failure. When Brian was left swinging in the wind on his way to the Presidency and his liver fund was looted by Haughey, senior figures looked the other way. The Lenihans have neither forgiven or forgotten that.

    If the day comes for a break, they can claim they are breaking with corruption and taking the values of Fianna Fail with them ! Likewise there are plenty in Fine Gael who have little time for the ‘ Wild West’ elements of their own party and that included Noonan, Enda and Ring. They want to see Fine Gael and its leadership anchored in its natural hinterland Dublin, rather than the Mountains of Mayo.

    Lenihans address at Beal Na Blath some months ago was supposed to be the opening moves in this new realignment in Irish politics. However both groups fluffed it and the opportunity seemed to have passed. Donegal election results should see Endas leadership goose finally cooked. If so it seems the games afoot.

  • JJ Malloy

    How did we get ourselves in this mess? Can we not default? What is the worst that could happen if we did?

  • sam

    Since the financial crisis has now become so serious would it not be better for the ROI to have some of kind national coalition of all the major parties. The last thing the south needs is a political crisis at same time as a financial one. Britain has managed to create a historic coalition of political foes so why can’t Eire. If all the serious parties agreed a common strategy for tackling the economic situation the financial markets would be reassured and more inclined to help. So long as you keep the Shinner terrorists out the ROI should be ok.

  • Munsterview

    iluvni

    For some reason or the other a story comes to mind !

    A certain Bank Official from the Irish Corporate HQ of an international bank with some branches in Ireland, called to one particular East Coast branch and had a chat with the Branch Manager. ( He was acting on a complaint by a local business man) He asked to see current business new accounts etc and a cross section of these were reviewed.

    The Official then asked to see rejected accounts and picked one file in particular as the business was a proven success and ticked off all the right boxes. Why the loan refusal ?

    The local police had been very helpful apparently and unrequested, had provided ‘off the record’ information that the man had been a former subversive and a political prisoner no less. What a lucky escape the Bank had, he would actually have taken the account and lend money to the businessman !

    The official then produced another file from his case, ( his own ) and asked the official to review it Everything was there, trial notes, jail details etc. The hapless branch Official did not actually know the HQ mans Record. He was told from there on in any refusals had to be based on financial criteria only and not on ‘off the record’ cop briefings.

    Win a few, loose a few….. that win was a landmark one !

  • Munsterview

    Sam

    Do you not realize that every significant political party in the South is a breakaway from Sinn Fein and contained subversives and gunmen ?

    Secondly how many times and in how many ways must my old sparring partner Alias explain this, it is not about Ireland stupid ! It is about filling the Irish Banks to prevent the Spanish and Portuguese ones emptying, never mind revisiting the Greek mess, we will not go there just now!

    I do of course from a historical perspective find your Good Old Blighty……. centre of the universe…… the Continent do not exist……mentality interesting. However like us you too are also just bit players in this International political circus. Class is not the same as landmass and besides it is not always about you !

    Do not be too worried about the Irish political class, yes this Government and ruling party are gone, only a question of when but the main opposition party can supply an even bigger set of incompetents. Ireland will not even notice the difference, other than the fact that the Government leader in waiting is old enough to be the finance minister Lenihan’s father.

    Still for a man approaching seventy he is remarkably spry and he certainly is enthusiastic. Never mind the fact that he had to sack his entire front bench some short months back when the majority expressed no confidence in him. Its politics right, these things happen !

    He did win back the party leadership, he had even two votes to spare. And he made it up with his front bench, he immediately re appointed most of them. Incidently the votes of his election were burned immediately afterwards, I kid you not. All the drama of the Papal election.

    Now you might understand why the Irish people are not too concerned about Sinn Fein. Incidently do you recall that Explosion in Aldershot Para Barraks in the early seventies ? Good. That was The Offecial IRA, with me so far ?

    They later went into politics, became Offecial Sinn Fein, then Sinn Fein, The Workers Party, then Democratic Left and then they engineered a reverse take over of the Irish Labour Party during what they still refer to with a straight face as the amalgamation period !

    Labour will be a significant part of the new incoming Government, it even looks like they will hold the Head of Government position. However I fully agree with you, the current Shinners should be kept anyway from these people…… they could be a bad influence.

    Jeasus wept ! Isn’t there someone else in Slugger that wants the job of Educational Officer to the Bloody English !

  • Mick Fealty

    Don’t be so patronising Munsterview, and play the ball!

    The solution is obviously about preventing further contagion in the Eurozone, but we’ve not yet heard the full measures being demanded by the ECB.

    But the fundamentals of that are that Ireland’s regulation of the banks was so weak it left the country vulnerable. The focus on the immediate loss of sovereignty temporarily obscures that fact.

    Sam,

    There will be a national coalition, it just won’t contain every party. nd the country’s situation will not allow for any massive variation from ‘the plan’.

    People are are bursting to allocate blame for the domestically generated aspect of this crisis. And a few bodies strung up when they get in might also help reduce the immediate ire of the population.

    So long as they then get on and do the right thing, and the vengeance is proportionate that may be part of the getting out of where we currently are.

    The fear the opposition parties have is that this government has lashed the wheel to a single direction they cannot shift. and that they will get the blame when the boat hits rocks.

    The poll figures at the moment mean FF could be reduced from natural party of government to small party status. Sooner or later that means the people must have their say.

  • Reader

    JJ Malloy: Can we not default? What is the worst that could happen if we did?
    You daren’t default until your annual budget is balanced, because you can’t borrow to pay the bills any more.

  • Munsterview

    In the 10’oc. RTE Radio News.

    Meering between Ollie R and the Irish MEP’s including Joe Higgins.

    He offered to brief them on the ‘True Situation” but only on a pledge of their secrecy.

    Joe Higgins refused the terms and walked out.

    Ollie R is now briefinng the remaining MEP who apparently met his terms.

    Some democracy, some Ireland, some Europe. Revolution Anyone ?

  • sam

    I still think getting all non terrorist parties to work together would help. There must surely be a solution on which they could all agree instead of fighting amongst themselves. I don’t hear any calls for Italy to include the mafia or Spain to include ETA in their governments. This would be unlikely to increase their financial stability.

  • Munsterview

    Sam

    “….I don’t hear any calls for Italy to include the mafia or Spain to include ETA in their governments. …..”

    In regard to Italy, anybody that knows the real politic of the country also suspect and claim that the mafia are the government in many local regions and that the organization are already in State Governance having either placed their own members there or bought and paid for bribable public officials.

    As to Spain, the ETA military organization may not be yet in power but politicians that share almost all of their objectives bar the use of physical force are. Not two very good examples if I may say so.

    May I remind you that in the last government headed by Bruton, when numbers were needed Fine Gael, fire and brimstone, law and order had no difficulty in sitting down with former members of the Official IRA in cabinet, individuals on whom the Special Branch and the old C3 Intel section of Garda HQ had extensive files.

    Post election, if numbers are needed and the terms are right, Sinn Fein PSF will like OSF before them, suddenly find all doors open. The core of Western Governments or indeed any other Government is most times about acquiring and wielding power, not about politics and principles.

    I can recall a prominent politician ( at least he was in his own cabbage patch) in Northern Europe not too very long ago casually tossing his wife over the side to keep his own political boat afloat. Where this was escapes me just now but if you want to continue this debate about the suitablity of Sinn Fein for Governance, I am sure I can look up the references and other assocated details.

    Fine Gael are claiming to be an alternative with new clean politics, yet the recent shafting and back stabbing that went on in the heave against Enda was as down, dirty and unprincipled as anything FF got up to in the Haughey years. Enda lost the confidence of his shadow front bench and sacked the lot as they were plotting to replace him.

    When the fog cleared the FG Titanic was again steaming on headed for the bottom of the poll iceberg with Enda still at the helm. Most of the same faces were still on the Shadow Front Bench, they had however changes seats around with each other. Very reassuring indeed to know that such people of sterling intrigrity are part of the Government in waiting.

    Obviously your knowledge of Southern politics is not an insider one, if it was then you would know why Sinn Fein are looking so good to the electorate….. so very good indeed !

  • JJ Malloy

    Good for Higgins, although maybe it would have been better for him to stay and then break his ‘pledge’ and let the people know what is the “True Situation”. It’s not lilke they are the ones footing the bill or anything.

  • Munsterview

    JJ

    Joe, like him or hate him is a principled man, sometimes too bloody much so for his own good as in this morning ! However one thing about the same Joe he will not blow with every wind and you do not have to look too far to find him, he is always standing on the high ground and making no apology for it.

    Over twenty years ago he was involved in a big meeting in Dublin, Gregory was someway accommodating but Joe was unyielding, right was right, black and white for him.

    I was talking to an old republican in Munster the following evening and I recounted what I had heard about the meeting. When he considered what I had told him he exploded ……..” Do you know this, if that fellow was John the Baptist he would have refused to baptize Jesus as he would have found something wrong with him”

    Unfair as it may be to Joe but an indication of his uncompromised and uncompromising stand on issues. He will have one hell of a receptive audience the next election.

  • pippakin

    MV

    Are SF looking ‘so very good to the electorate’? Not from all I have heard.

    Where have they been whilst all this has been happening in slow motion: nowhere to be seen until his eminence in Belfast decided to move home. Do you think that has gone unnoticed?

    Classic too little too late. they will win more seats, almost anyone would in this climate, but the sweeping gains they need will not come this time. Let it be a lesson to them: without the south there is no UI.

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    first of all no argument from me on SF not having put more effort into the South, that has been a consistent mantra of mine since I came on slugger and began commenting on SF.

    Politics are about two main ingredients, perception and performance.

    In perception, operating in a hostile media environment Sinn Fein has not got it’s message out there on a National profile on par with other parties. However SF on the ground have, full time offices and is giving a good service. This work do not show up or make the headlines but it do get results in the ballot box. Just because SF are not in the headlines, do not mean that they have gone away. Any thing but!

    Second, performance in localized areas the goods have been delivered. There are very seldom any complaints about the standard of services provided by Sinn Fein on the ground, as in Limerick in that fine new office so generously provided for SF by Willie O’Dea, SF sets the standards for all parties on services delivery. Again these things are only seen at at the ballot box.

    SF have the heavy lifting done on the ground and that will pay and show at election time.

  • sam

    If the ROI’s electorate is foolish enough to elect Sinn Fein representatives to government it will fatally undermine the republic’s creditability as a suitable place to invest. This of course will deepen the financial crisis and require greater financial sacrifices. These will of course in turn led to greater social unrest and increase the chances of disorder, violence and even revolutionary overthrow of the government. I take it this it is Sinn Fein ideal scenario. What an appalling prospect.

  • Munsterview

    STOP PRESS

    Just had a phone call from Limerick, a friend there in the last few minutes had a ‘Gilmore for Taoiseach’ political leaflet dropped through his door with with an appeal for the local candidate Joe Ledin (?) to be voted in as TD in the back.

    Damm it, that Boy Gilmore is good……. he can sure Stick with it !

  • pippakin

    MV

    Labour can do it!

  • Munsterview

    Sam,

    I will pass if it is all the same to you !

    Pip and all the usual targets…….. anyone seen Maskey ( unmasked) and since posting as alanmaskey ? He seems to be conspicuous by his absence on this thread !

    I wonder……?

  • Greenflag

    Don’t wonder just remember the Austrian Jew holding a large framed picture of Adolf Hitler at Vienna Airport in 1938 while boarding a plane for Paris en route to the USA .

    Fellow jewish passengers remonstrated with the man some suggesting he was crazy others that he was just mad . Asked by one irate German jew why he was taking this framed picture of the Fuhrer to the USA the Austrian replied that it was an aide memoire to prevent him from getting nostalgic over the land of his birth .

    I would’nt get anyway nostalgic over your nemesis . Just enjoy the respite 😉

  • pippakin

    MV

    What have I got to do with it. He has gone, but not I suspect for long enough.

  • Munsterview

    pseudo may have gone….. keep an eye out for another pseudo poster surfacing……the mind cannot resist the game, just do not have the skills for it. I think you became the next favorite target after me.

  • Munsterview

    Pip

    9.52 meant for you.

    Greenflag; did Hitler deserve that comparison ?

  • joeCanuck

    Maskey got yellow flagged because of personal abuse.

  • pippakin

    MV

    In the end he was very rude to someone and deserved the card for that alone.

    This kind of site attracts those who get a thrill out of making outrageous statements and sometimes it is just too hard to ignore.

    Enjoy the respite Maskey may return but if he does not sooner rather than later there will be someone who tries the same thing he did. I’m practising being cool, calm and collected. lol.

  • Munsterview

    And him a good Catholic ? I am shocked !

  • Alias

    “The solution is obviously about preventing further contagion in the Eurozone, but we’ve not yet heard the full measures being demanded by the ECB.” — Mick Fealty

    The reason the government won’t admit that the bail-out is about protecting the eurosystem’s interest is because that would be an explicit acknowledgement that it an abrogation of the national interest.

    It isn’t in Ireland’s national interest that its citizens should underwrite several hundred billion of eurosystem debts that do not belong to them. It is, however, in the EU’s interest that the Irish state should be sacrificed for the purpose of saving the euro.

    If the EU wants to save the eurosystem then it should pay for the cost of saving it. It is, after all, in its interest that it should not fail.

    It is treason for the Irish government to use its own citizens for that purpose, and it has no legitimacy whatsoever.

  • anonymous

    I’m not sure about Mark’s take on this. FF is being comparatively big to stick around for a couple more months, formulate a plan, and pass a budget.

    Austerity plans are, of course, always terrible for the target economy. The whole point of the traditional IMF ones was to deliberately crush the debtor’s economy in order to keep third world countries under the thumb of US policy. If the creditors demand the plan, though, at least Labour or whoever leads the next gov can vote against it now and then remind the public over the next few years that it was FF, not them, who agreed to it.