Monday, September 27, 2010

He's Chariman of the Zig and Zag Cumann, you know.

Just on the way into work there, and I was listening to Today FM's Ray D'arcy giving out about Fine Gael removing the pairing arrangement it has with the Government for this week, preventing the Tanaiste, and general wunderkind, Mary Coughlan from visiting the US with Enterprise Ireland. Essentially, the pairing arrangement means that if the opposition know in advance that a government deputy will be absent from the Dail  (perhaps for illness or official business) then the opposition will remove one of its deputies from the vote on a motion, rather sportingly ensuring the government does not suffer from having reduced numbers.

Such gentlemanly procedures were perhaps better suited to happier times; you know, when Ireland wasn't circling the bowl. But in today's world, the pairing system smacks of a silly rule that the insiders have developed which gets in the way of actually representing the people. I must applaud FG for having the cojones to stick it to the government like this (and yes, yes, I am a Blueshirt!). But even objectively, I think this is a good move.

So I am perplexed as to why so many Irish people seem to view any demand that the Government actually govern as being beyond the pale, as best illustrated by Mr. D'Arcy today. How incredible - the opposition won't cover for the second-in-command of the Irish government jetting off to New York St. Louis, Chicago and Boston, during the Dail's first week back in work (after 12 weeks holiday! What, Mary, was New York shut for the summer?). How dare those dirty Blueshirts expect that the Government should now get down to the actual work of trying to save the country - sure isn't that why Mary is going to New York, to wow the Yanks with her talk of the knowledge economy and green jobs? As Ray himself said, shouldn't the whole Dail be banding together to get the country out of this mess, maybe by creating some form of, as Ray put it, "All-Star team", with the best from each party working hand in hand to clean up the unfortunate and highly unexpected recession we are now in. With a Fianna Failer as Taoiseach, I bet, Ray? Maybe that nice Brian Lenihan!

We should never forget just how much faith so many of the main figures in our society have invested in the current administration - so many of our media commentators, so many socialites, so many big business figures, so many overpaid quangocrats. They are terrified that when Fianna Fail get the boot that we might actually get good governance, and the FF myth of the party of leadership will be exposed as the fraud it is. Sure, good governance -  Jesus, that's not very Irish, now is it?

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