There is an air of Alice in Wonderland about the reaction of Fianna Fail to the rejection, by the majority of the people, of the party, their policies and their handling of the economy.
Spokesperson after spokesperson trots out the line, obviously prompted by spin doctors, that they were faced with a massive economic problem caused by the global recession and banking crisis. A Fianna Fail apologist on RTE this week even went so far as to say that they “inherited” the crisis? From whom? They have been in power for years, so this disaster happened on their watch.
Fianna Fail fuelled the bubble; encouraged crazy development and speculation; splurged out on wasteful projects; presided over massive waste of money for e-voting; watched while FAS burned cash; got us into a disgraceful bargain with the criminal rapists and brutalisers in the church and allowed the banks to behave worse than gamblers running amok in a casino. They have mortgaged our futures and those of our children by putting billions into the banks. At the same time, they make the people – not the banks and developers – pay for the criminal or negligent activities of banks and builders.
We all appreciate that we have to bear some burden to get things back on track, but a bit of humility, rather than superior arrogance demonstrated by Lenihan and Ahern, for example, would be welcome, as would a genuine acknowledgement and apology for getting us into this mess. How they have the nerve to even appear on the media without admitting these failings is beyond me.
They also suggest that their problems were caused by poor communications, (another one from the spin doctors), while continuing to communicate poorly. The underlying suggestion is that the people don’t understand. Do they think we are all fools? If there is a communications problem, it is Fianna Fail that is suffering from it. They have not listened to the people for quite a long time; that’s the problem. It is very clear to me, from being on online forums all weekend following the election and from listening to radio and TV that the people understand very well what is going on in Ireland. They very clearly understand that Fianna Fail and the Green Party destroyed the country and blighted the future for so many people, while letting their banking and developer friends off the hook.
Then Dermot Ahern argues that the government has not lost the confidence of the people. Is he joking? Read the results and the RTE/Sindo exit poll, Dermot. You were roundly rejected by the people. You now have no mandate to govern and the sooner you are gone the better.
And then the best of all came from that fount of wisdom, Mary Coughlan, the incompetent, useless minister for enterprise and deputy prime minister. She tells us that Fine Gael’s call for an election was a populist move and that the Government had to focus on sustaining and creating employment. It’s a pity that they did not focus on sustaining and creating employment a bit sooner, rather than presiding over the loss of thousands of jobs and the ruin of so many lives. Their response to the recession will add to even more job losses and to our economic problems.
In Fianna Fail’s defence, however, I suppose that if they did not anticipate the deep recession we are in, despite being warned by many commentators (not least George Lee and David McWilliams), they could hardly have been expected to anticipate the electoral disaster that was about to befall them last weekend.
So what do you think? Did Fianna Fail and the Green Party get what they deserved? Should there now be a general election, as opposition parties want? Leave a comment and let me know.