Current Affairs Politics

The Rejected Fine Gael Government Is Returned To Power By Fianna Fáil

It seems that we are to have a new government after weeks of politicking, as the leading component of the Fine Oibre administration, the coalition of the majority Fine Gael and the minority Labour Party, is returned to power with Fianna Fáil approval in both houses of the Oireachtas. Despite the heavy FF rhetoric acknowledging the electoral rejection of the FG and Labour government – “the people have spoken“, “the voters demand change” – the party will now support a minority administration led by Enda Kenny and quite possibly a ragbag of Blueshirt-lite independent TDanna and Seanadóirí and whatever else you’re having yourself. One can only hope that we won’t witness the haunting of the government benches by Joan Burton and spectral company, though the lure of the “perks and Mercs” may be more than the avaricious Labour Party can resist, despite their public pledges (which as we have seen over the last two decades, mean very little indeed on the political right and centre-right).

So next week the Fine Gael TDanna, plus hangers-on, will vote for Kenny as Taoiseach na hÉireann, the first successive head of government in the history of the post-1930s’ party, while Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, will order his deputies to sit on their hands and abstain from voting against the Mayo TD. Which of course makes Martin the first head of FF to support a government led by historic Civil War rival, Fine Gael, since its foundation in the 1920s as a breakaway faction of Sinn Féin (some achievement for the “saviour” of the Soldiers of Destiny!). All of which is not entirely unrelated to the last general election and the fall in support for the big two parties of Irish politics to below the 50% threshold. Desperate times make for desperate measures, and apparently the measures will last for the next three national budgets.

I suppose I can now retire the term, Fine Oibre, and introduce its 2016 replacement, Fine Fáil. The odd thing is, it looks almost exactly like the previous one…


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