I have been around long enough to recognize obfuscation, disingenuousness and hollowness in the speeches and pronouncements of almost all our leading politicians. Long enough to recognize the trademark complacency, arrogance and condescension. And long enough to see how the exercise of party politics polishes off the edges that once promised something fresh or different.
It appears that we are stuck with the system, but do we have to be stuck with the same parties? Where do you turn when you run out of choices?
It’s just musical chairs isn’t it. The recent rise (from the ashes) of Fianna Fail is a case in point. This is the party that wedged us into today’s predicament through mismanagement, with leaders who lined their own pockets and who, through carefully honed “common touch”, betrayed their own roots.
The Labour Party, laughably misnamed now, got it in the neck at the recent by-election; they are now almost more Fine Gael than Fine Gael themselves. (By the by, I heard Pat Rabbitte recently say in relation to another jurisdiction on how politicians might, as a matter of course, be less than honest in the lead up to an election; he and the interviewer missed the irony). But we’ve seen them rise and fall before.
Fine Gael: Fianna Fail without a sense of humour; I’ve seen all the signs of smugness and arrogance in this government. Their very choice of ministers delared they were not interested in a new approach. As for Sinn Féin, they are distrusted by too many voters to be a viable alternative for a while to come.
But surely there is a big enough number of TDs between all these parties who, sharing the interests of the people, would leave these broken organisations to found a party big enough and principled enough to provide a worthy, viable choice for the Irish electorate?