By Eugene McGloin
Political EditorCHRISTMAS 2017
is barely digested and Our Leo turns his eye towards gobbling up another turkey.
That’s no way to speak of Our Meehawl sez the assembled ranks of greenshirts.
Bah, Christmas humbug. There was a truce at Christmas 1914 and that’s it; no more truces.
Besides, haven’t you heard the news? ‘Tis Our Leo wot wears the green shirt now, helped into it by Our Simon.
The two sometimes look more like Foster and Allen, what with all the shamrocks and greenery with which they now both tog out.
The two of them have left Our Meehawl wearing no shirt at all.
surprise to Our Leo and Our Simon then that yesterday’s Irish Daily
Mail showed a tsunami surge in support for a United Ireland.
is; maybe when you take a ‘United Ireland’ out of its box there’s no
batteries included and you have to wait awhile to actually play with it.
are relative: One hundred years have passed, damn near to the day,
since Fine Gael imposed the Border and cast ‘The Six’ adrift.
matter now, we’ll all be singing ‘Off to Dublin,’ in the green of
course, when Our Leo and Our Simon have concluded the ‘unfinished
That result would mean Our Meehawl would have nobody left to fight with anymore.
The nationwide opinion poll published on Christmas Eve by The Sunday Times got scant coverage.
There was no hiding the fact though in that Behavlour & Attitudes poll Fianna Fáil is heading for a good hiding.
Hardly ground-breaking news either as the same trend has emerged in several recent opinion polls.
All of them now show Fine Gael ahead of the pack and all of them show Our Leo as the preferred leader, whatever that is.
Still, Our Leo hasn’t been waiting around for the batteries shop to open before he can be activated.
Yesterday, Thursday, he had the front page news quotient of the Ireland edition of The Times all to himself.
His big idea is to extend the life of the ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with the Shirtless Ones in Fianna Fáil.
As things stand and unless something dramatic changes Our Leo and Our Simon will dance a two-hand reel in 2018.
Drama? How about Our Leo staying centre stage while enter stage right they want Our Meehawl in a walk-on and walk-off role.
is being scripted now as shown scurrying after his own shadow before he
exits stage left, pursued by the unbearable thought.
The unbearable thought? Such as becoming a three-times failure in the bid to become Taoiseach.
In Ye Olde Englishe law you got a reprieve if they thrice tried to hang you and failed.
will not be so much ‘reprieve’ as retirement for Our Meehawl if he
pulls off the hat trick of falling into that particular empty hole.
Meanwhile, The Times daily newspaper itself Is offering the punter some good value for money.
Which is more than can be said right now of Our Meehawl, either the daily version or the weekly weakling.
All Our Leo has to do is stay ahead of the Munster Pretender to be home and dry.
The Shinners can hardly vote down Our Leader, in his new green shirt, when the Dáil elects a new Taoiseach.
They can hardly install in his place their (new) Auld Enemy, the Fianna Failures.
You see, Fianna Fáil is in no place under its current Cork Command to talk about the teanga duchas or any understanding of it as a living language.
When did Fianna Fáil last speak meaningfully about the alienation of Northern nationalism?
Fine Gael has quietly moved into both of those spaces. Behind the scenes you suspect somebody is playing a blinder in Fine Gael.
blinder as in they’re shredding the credibility of Fianna Fáil on core
values, the ones that used adorn party membership cards.
Oh and back to that opening message about Our Leo looking for more turkey.
You see, the oldest, oldest lesson in Irish politics is that in coalition arrangements the lesser partner ALWAYS get eaten up.
Eaten, gobbled up up like leftover turkey from the Big Day, minced without mercy.
Fianna Fáil thought the present temporary little arrangement with Fine Gael would not ever be viewed like that. Some hope.
Fianna Fáil has become a bit too like The Bird O’Donnell in “The Field.”
Their many, many fierce protests of innocence cut no ice, none whatever.
The reality is that Fianna Fáil AND its identity is being gobbled up, cannibalised, in its temporary little coalition with Fine Gael.
But the opera, as they say, ain’t over til the fat lady sings. Meaning Fianna Fáil will fight on.
Just as it did in History.....and they can only hope the result is different this time.
By the by, no fat ladies have been harmed in the making of this argument!