Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Phoney war continues

The Dáil is a great craic all the same. Nothing happens for ages and then all hell breaks loose. In the last few days we witnessed a lot of hot air and false outrage. Enda Kenny is a man desperately trying to be something he is not. He is competing with Gilmore for who comes across as the most outraged, most upset, most passionate and most in tune with public anger. It’s funny and cringe worthy at the same time. Meanwhile Gilmore spouts endless clichés and offers nothing by way of an alternative. He has still to offer a clear and credible economic alternative to the present Government. It’s a classic case of style over substance.

What we are witnessing is a phoney war. Remember Lisbon. Remember the cosy consensus between the Government and the main ‘so-called’ opposition parties. Yes to jobs, yes to investment and yes to save the economy was the mantra. Since Lisbon was passed we have lost more jobs with record numbers of people signing on. The real issue here is not about Lisbon. It is to point to an economic consensus shared by the main political parties. In truth Fine Gael are a slightly more conservative and right wing version of Fianna Fáil. Labour is not much different and has yet to provide a credible policy platform.

The phoney war is entertaining. Sharp Dáil exchanges make good telly. Kenny trying to outdo Gilmore is fun to watch. In the end it will not make a blind bit of difference to families who are struggling to pay mortgages, pay bills and put food on the table. It will not create a single job or get people back to work. It will serve a political purpose and may in the end provide new faces in Government. However new faces will not bring new ideas or new polices just more of the same. And more of the same is the last thing we need. The phoney war will continue and the misery for so many people with it. But it makes good telly right?

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