Shatter gets away with it, but at what price?

Martyn Turner sometimes has a way of grabbing hold of what’s really going on in Irish politics and turning it inside out… As does Miriam Lord

Shatter stood his ground. No idea how the commissioner came by the information. He never looked for it, in the same way he never seeks information on any member of the House.

Wallace and his sidekick, Clare Daly, were furious with him. But they got no answers. And in the end, Shatter, who is a street fighter, ended the bout with a haymaker of a story about Ming Flanagan writing to him to explain his travails with the traffic corps.

The Minister, putting on a plaintive little voice, read out the letter. It was a hilarious performance, but a vicious closing attack. In the letter, Flanagan names (and blames, as Shatter helpfully pointed out) the people who had done him a turn by helping him lose his penalty points.

“I do not hold any malice against Mr ‘Blank’ for this,” said Shatter, as the place erupted. The trio of Wallace, Daly and Flanagan shot sulphurous looks across at the floor at Shatter, who knew he was through the gap and clear.

Along with James Reilly and Phil Hogan, Alan Shatter is one of three unlucky Fine Gael Ministers. But the truth is that they are none of them used to wielding executive power but have already acquired the habit of treating the Oireachtas with contempt.

Nothing can be done about their experience (or incompetence depending on where you are viewing them from), but its surely time the balance was shifted in favour of parliament?

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

  • sherdy

    Okay, he seems to have got away with it, for now.
    But at what cost to his name and character?
    When the Minister for Justice claims ignorance of the source of information he has used to denigrate a TD, he loses all credibility.
    Next time he tries to gain advantage in an interview his word will be of no value whatsoever.
    His reputation has been Shattered.

  • Granni Trixie

    Would love to understand this its like gobbledygook. Is it me?

  • Sp12

    “When he entered her, he knew it was her first time. He moved slowly and she dug her fingers into his back, moaning and gasping for breath. When she loosened her grip and her body relaxed, he knew he was going to erupt.
    She gasped again and as he pulled himself free of her and overflowed on her slender body.”

    From Alan’s novel which has been thrust back into the spotlight this week. 🙂

    Listening to the radio these last few days, between the morning shows and the last word, it’s hard to tell if Shatter is now to be characterised as a nasty piece of work who should be hauled over the coals by the data protection people, or a grubby old man who writes sub-porn about powerful TDs riding their young virgin office workers. Or both.

    I suppose what is clear is that he was the last TD voted through in his constituency under STV, just barely ahead of a FF candidate. I don’t think he’ll be so lucky next time.
    What is saving him for now, I suspect, was the target of his attack being considered a bit of a joke by many people in the southern press. Sadly, it was only the Mail that really took the fight to him in any meaningful way over this.

  • Granni Trixie

    My god what is thisost about? Explain.

  • Mick Fealty
  • Canisp

    “But the truth is that they … have already acquired the habit of treating the Oireachtas with contempt.”

    The truth is, vast swaths of the Oireachtas (and many of the Dáil Technical Group) deserve contempt.