So it’s “more of the same ahead” after yesterdays fest in the Dail. Micheal Martin has decided that his tweedle dee party will not be forming the next “same old” government. Fianna Gael beckons.
This leaves Enda Kennys tweedle dum party to go back into government. It will be a minority Fine Gael government propped up by the Fianna Fail party.
No matter what name is put on it, partnership, bed fellows agreement etc it is still a coalition. The only difference is the where people sit in the chamber. Fine Gael cannot continue the tradition of dictatorship without Fianna Fail.
Now that we have the Axis of Evil we have a clear view of the government side. 93 Fianna Gael TDs along with their strongest supporter the infamous Michael Lowry followed by Catherine Zapone who had emphatically tweeted early in the day that she would abstain from the leader vote. She was obviously promised something in the intervening time causing her to fully support Enda Kenny.
That gives us a clear 95 seat majority for the Axis side of the house. So what about opposition?
That is a far murkier pool to look at. There are some clear parts though. Sinn Fein, AAA and People Before Profit have all held to their election mandate. Even a heavy onslaught from the mainstream media who tried to vilify them for not playing the traditional dictatorship game didn’t work. They held firm. So the left opposition is crystal clear with 29 seats.
Those three parties have played a blinder. At no point did they balk. Under extreme unfair pressure from both the corporate owned media and the government owned media they kept to their voter mandate and didn’t give in.
They didn’t give in to the artificially created populist view that they should abandon their principals. Abandoning principals and mandates once elected is a time honoured tradition created by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.
This has been the only glimpse we have had of new politics in this Dail to date. Everything that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael has done in the last 48 days has been “more of the same”. The tag line of all of these parties should have been “If you don’t like our principals and policies then we have others”
The Murky groups
The rest of the opposition is not as clear cut. It is made up of a few real independents and more party independents that claim one thing but are not quite what they seem. We also have the minor parties who are just as murky.
It is probably the seediest side of the current version of the old party politics. We saw it here in Wicklow during the local elections where blindingly obvious party people stuck the “Independent” tag before their name to hoodwink voters.
We also saw candidates looking for the nomination from both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Another sign there is little or no difference between them.
Once elected to the council they had handed their vote on all important decisions to the Fianna Fail before the first meeting had even convened. This cannot be argued against as the proof of this is easily found in meeting minutes and their voting pattern. Anything else is either lies or uninformed rubbish from people too lazy to look.
Back in the Dail that leaves us with 34 seats. The 7 Labour seats must be taken out of this group immediately as they are still trying to get the grips with the fact that their right wing view has been found out. How they vote and their contribution is to the Dail is going to be very interesting though.
Will they castigate the Fianna Gael government for continuing to implement the right wing policies they were central in forming? Will they now vote for all these policies as another fake member of the opposition like the Fianna Fail half of the government?
Either way they’ve a no win situation of their own making.
So now we are down to 27 seats. The Social Democrats are a murky bunch. We have an extreme right winger in Stephen Donnelly who supported Fine Gael in the last government. While he gave very well put together speeches lashing out at the government he by and large voted with them.
Most notably in the Land Conveyancing Act which made evictions a handy number for banks. He also fully supported the closing of Loughlinstown hospital. Which should us that money is more important than people to Stephen. Regardless of his articulate bluster the hard proof is in his voting record. Just a quick look at KildareStreet.ie shows in black and white that the two don’t match.
The other two ex Labour TDs in the Social Democrats would appear to have left leaning ideologies which makes their going into bed with the right wing Stephen Donnelly all the more mystifying. As they are of the Labour persuasion I’d guess they will either the support the government with Stephen in the Austerity measures or the party will collapse.
The Greens will do whatever the birds and the snails tell them. Having watched both of these I have to say they are the poorest pair of Greens I’ve ever seen. Steven Matthews would have done a far superior job than these two twits. The Ceann Chomhailre is out also.
And then there were 21. Here is where we get our hands really dirty. How do we sort the real from the party independents? Between their backgrounds and their performance over the last 48 days we can tell a lot about most of these.
But that is a whole article all to itself.