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Leader of Fianna Fáil declares Sinn Fein untouchable
"Most politicians would recognise that the Sinn Féin option probably is the best option for the party and the country. But he appears to resist that," said Eoin O'Malley, associate professor of politics at Dublin City University. "I suspect he's a very moral person."
The irony, it drips...
"It is a problem for Fianna Fáil that they have a leader that is wrestling with his conscience," said O'Malley. Politicians usually win such bouts, but perhaps not this time, he added. "The conscience may win."
His moral scruples are about forming a government with Sinn Fein, who have, you know, history... His own party has its origins in a split with Sinn Fein in 1936 -- they were the Mensheviks who were prepared to make deals with the English.
Just as likely, his scruples are a beat-up to allow delay and instill doubt in the minds of the electorate... if he refuses to deal, the result is probably new élections, and a moral stance might be a vote winner, I suppose.
(I have scruples about linking to the Guardian, who identifies Fianna Fail as "centre left", a classification I haven't seen elsewhere)
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
Fianna Fail started a whole raft of semi-state companies to fulfill unmet infratructural and economic needs in electricity generation, public transport, fuel, communications and telecommunications, air travel, shipping - almost every sector of the economy you can think of - state socialism by any other name.
The problem is that most of those companies became, in time, sclerotic and run more in the interests of their management and workers than they were to serve their customers, and so the only solution identified was to break most of their monompolies and allow the private setor to compete or to privatise them fully.
That too was a managerial disaster, as some privatised companies, like telecommunications giant Eir, were simply passed from one vulture fund to the next which gutted their capabilities, stripped their assets, loaded them with debt, and moved on. So we still don't have nationwide broadband.
Now, parties like Fine Gael (and the Progressive Democrats before them) have an allergic aversion to the government taking direct responsibility for any economic activity whatsoever creating loads of quangos to buffer themselves from direct responsibility for delivering on public healthcare, childcare, housing, transport or planning.
But these quangos have neither the autonomy, resources, nor ambition to meet unmet public needs, being composed mainly of bureaucratic place holders adept at passing responsibility onto others and finding reasons to justify their owh lack of dynamism.
But politics in Ireland used not to be dominated by these ideoplogical concerns - except for obsequiesce submission to the Church in education, health and child care. With the fall of the Church, the field has become much more open for public or private provision. The argument is about where that balance should be struck.
But privatisation per se is now beyond the pale and socilaisation the growing trend. Sanders would probably be a fairly centrist politician in Ireland.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by eurogreen - Jun 28 21 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 3 4 comments
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