I see that Young Dev is going to split Fianna Fáil in two, just like his illustrious thief of a grandfather did. Well Yada Yada. Little Dev is going to split the atom.
A party with 10% support has no support at all, and Fianna Fáil is going nowhere. If Éamonn Ó Cuiv wants to rebuild the party, he had better be thinking for the long term because the thing he’s leaving behind has no credibility left and the thing he plans to create is tainted by association.
Meanwhile, Micheál Martin presides, like Ozymandias, King of Kings, over a political desert strewn with the wreckage of his former all-conquering machine. He must be wondering where it all went wrong while, at the same time glancing over his shoulder towards Croke Park where one of his recent predecessors, Bertie Ahern, held his sixtieth birthday party not too long ago. It must be hard for Martin to spin anything positive these days as he contemplates how anyone could afford to hire an entire sports stadium for a big birthday — especially the prime minister who presided over Ireland’s financial collapse, and yet who still makes a great virtue out of his poverty. Ahern, after all, can’t even afford his Tribunal lawyers’ fees.
Whatever you might say about Micheál Martin, nobody will ever accuse him of being on the take, or for that matter, of being a cynic. He isn’t part of the malaise that destroyed Fianna Fáil, but the very fact that he chooses to remain within its ranks places him outside the pale of civilised Irish political discourse. Martin heads the party of the damned. I don’t know why he chose to take on the thankless job as the man to dress Fianna Fáil in its funeral habit. I don’t know if Martin even realises that this is to be his fate, but the truth is that Fianna Fáil, having connived Ireland into its worst ever financial collapse, is now a political write-off with no credibility in any quarter.
Fianna Fáil was found out, but too late.
I have been arguing forever that both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are anachronistic shadows of a time now gone and that they should be amalgamated. They should be replaced with something more representative of a modern European electorate instead of speaking for the outdated and irrelevant civil war tendencies who had no ideological differences between them. Priest-ridden lunatics the whole lot, both parties represented people with influence, money and power. Neither party cared in the slightest for the poor or the vulnerable, and nothing has changed except that Fianna Fáil overstretched itself in seeking to enrich its own particular insiders. The fact that they destroyed the country in the process is almost incidental. Almost, but not quite.
I have little confidence in Fine Gael. They’re the obverse of the same coin and they sprang from the same well of self interest so don’t hold your breath if you expect them to blow away the cobwebs. However, right now they might be just marginally less crooked than the Fianna Fáil party that preceded them.
Jesus, they could hardly be more crooked, but time will tell.
Previously: Time for complete change