Political desperation. That is the only reasonable explanation for the missive sent by the leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, to the Fine Gael leader, Leo Varadkar, asking the Taoiseach to rule out the possibility of a general election in the near future. Given the controversy whirling around the Government following the forced resignation of Denis Naughten, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and the ongoing crises in housing, the health service and the administration of policing, FF of old would have been champing at the bit to unseat their Civil War rivals. Instead, Martin’s begging letter reflects how far the Republican Party has fallen since its electoral heyday, a situation made worse by his stagnant leadership.
In light of recent developments and as we head into this critical period on Brexit, I think it best if we both state upfront, irrespective of what happens during the Confidence and Supply review process, that we both agree not to bring down the Government.
The Irish people would, I am sure you agree, be rightly concerned at any risk that a general election campaign would have on these talks at such a crucial period and an uncertain post-election situation.
An election during this critical time would create a dangerous instability during a period when the Brexit deal; could be detailed by the constantly changing situation in Westminster.
Of course, this is the same Fianna Fáil which has spent the last year scolding the voters of the country, insisting that Fine Gael’s approach to Brexit is entirely wrongheaded and counterproductive, and that only they have the political skills to sooth the frenzied British lion. Yet, when the opportunity presents itself, it turns out that the Soldiers of Destiny would rather leave the gladiatorial stuff to Leo and the Blueshirts while shouting criticism from the edge of the arena.