Top two Fine Gael players in government find themselves in a swamp of their own making

Sometimes, only satire can be relied on to report what would otherwise be classed as the bleeding’ obvious.

Mario Rosenstock’s skill in showing a good man (Paschal Donohoe) losing it (which he rarely does in real life) is put to good use here as he interrupts Leo preening over his picture chilling at a London music festival at the weekend.

No doubt it seemed like a good idea at the time, to stay and enjoy Britain’s more lax covid rules (though I notice today the UK government is quietly pushing a line that we may be heading for another lockdown in October).

In Northern Ireland there’s concern amongst senior school staff that Covid positive testing is causing chaos at the start of the year, and everywhere in the UK hospital admissions are rising again. This was always a crisis of capacity.

But that’s not the only trouble brewing. Leo’s long ‘partner in crime’ and one time contender for leader of Fine Gael Simon Coveney is still in hot water over the Merriongate debacle…

It’s odd how such trivia as opposed to the really big stuff can drag a government otherwise set to try and get some serious work done (on Covid, Housing, Health etc.), but that’s how most governments get eaten away at over time.

The Fine Gael side of this government has been in office since 2010, and it’s starting to show. More of this and the internal calculation that FF will ship more damage from any terminal fall out could suddenly be reversed.

As one time predecessor of Micheál Martin’s at Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern notes in the Irish Daily Mail yesterday:

…the attempt to look after Zappone merely confirms the universal, but somewhat unfair, perception that all politicians look after their own, when they can.

The entire sage suggests that some, currently at the top of the political tree are there far too long. Definitely food for thought at the upcoming think ins of FF and FG.

And I would add that it also demonstrates that if your primary concern in politics is only about becoming more popular, you will eventually meet yourself coming back the way, running from the very people whom you once relied upon.

Martin on the other hand (whom I have long admired for his stoic patience and pluralist good sense on the need to balance interests in Northern Ireland) is the quintessential anti populist, with unremitting focus on action rather words.

As my good friend John Kellden puts it more poetically, at times like this, ie of endless contention and controversy (large and small), when…

…our nature [is] stirred to its depths over questions which we feel to be overwhelmingly vital, you get the bad stirred up as well as the good; the mud as well as the water.