Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

What’s happening in Fianna Fáil?

February 19th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Irish Politics

While it seems that everyone in office and university land is googleing ‘anglo irish golden circle’  and arriving here or another blog (one visitor a minute earlier today!) and lists are being made and crossed off, many people are wondering what has happened to Fianna Fáil.

Yes I think many are wondering what’s happening to the country also but the melt down of a government party which usually could fight it’s way out of a fix is surprising to many.  Key battlers in the party are very quiet recently – Micheal Martin, Dermot Ahern and Noel Dempsey being hard enough to find these days. Minister Martin is in Cuba of all places, I wonder what he might learn.

Tonight Minister Batt O’Keefe is not sent out to defend education cuts on Prime Time aginst Labour Party spokesperson, Ruairi Quinn T.D.  We were treated to Junior Minister for Integration Conor Lenihan instead – twice in one week for Conor as he also chilled out on Questions and Answers on Monday night.

Martin Mansergh, Willie O’Dea and Dick Roche are not exactly ‘A list’ Fianna Failers but they never seem to be off the air either (or at least I’m having a very difficult time avoiding them!)

Harry McGee blogs tonight about a FF backbencher thinking the plain people haven’t really grasped how bad things are – when in fact it’s looking like the other way round entirely.

And in all that, is there no place for hope, or for some kind of solidarity in all of this? Does Brian Cowen and his government have the emotional wherewithal to spell out the reality of the situation but offer some semblance of hope and normality, some distant gleam of light over the far horizon?

I suspect that, ultimately, they don’t. Nor does the Fianna Fail side have the vocabulary or maturity to ready up and admit the mistakes, its culpability (along with the PeeDees) in overheating the market and ratcheting up the greed factor over ten years.

FF TD’s are nowhere to be seen (and like Gormley and Eamon Ryan are missing in the Dáil) and there are few if any opportunities to donut a visiting minister as there are no new schools to open and few jobs to annouce. But the other thing that’s missing is the safe pair of hands, the battler, the leader who makes a speech or gives Brian Dobson an interview and says it’s all going to be ok, sort of, eventually!

No I’m not saying bring back Bertie  – but leadership is something sorely lacking and this only lends itself to hype the rumours that circulate of heaves being prepared, or general election campaigns readied.  It’s being said again and again that the holy trinity of Brian, Mary and Brian L are being left to make a mess of it all because there’s no money to spend and hard times ahead for years.

Meanwhile Fianna Fail are soft launching a YouTube Channel, an official party Facebook group and a Twitter account and recruting bloggers for a mailing list and event invite list. Maybe I’ll get asked to blog the ard fheis next week and I can find out more about what ails the party and if it can find it’s mojo!

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