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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 14, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    A snapshot in time?

    Harry McGee

    If by chance monsoon rains had fallen on Friday and the carpark of Leinster House was under several metres of water, it would not have deterred Eamon Gilmore. He would have waded through it  (or maybe walked on it!) without breaking a stride in order to get to the scrum of reporters waiting on the plinth (a raised platform outside the front of Leinster House where most media interviews take place)

    To say Gilmore was buoyant is as obvious as saying Brian Cody likes hurling. The only thing he didn’t deliver was a little leap into the air to clicfk his heels.

    It’s amazing the feast or famine attitude that politicians adapt to opinion polls. If it’s good, well you’re talking revolution. And if it’s bad, it’s just a snapshot in time.

    Eamon Gilmore himself accepted as much, referring to that very human response to good and bad news.

    “You get a good opinion poll, you cheer. You get a bad opinion poll, you talk about the real opinion poll will be the election. I know all those answers. I have done them all!

    “But what is happening here [is] a bit more fundamental than party political allegiance.”

    But is it? One opinion poll does not a revolution make.

    But then. All the other certainties of our lives are evaporating before our eyes. Maybe too, people are now looking at the historical (and now seemingly) arbitrary divisions of Irish politics and saying, no more.

    How short term is Fianna Fail’s decline. Is it medical cards? Is it he pension levy? Or is a realisation that all those years of plenty and all that low tax codology was just our version of a Mephistopolean deal: prosper now and pay with your soul later.

    • Paul O' Sullivan says:


      Between you and Senator Eoghan Harris (p.25 Sunday Independent 15/02/09 – for critical response see http://www.indymedia.ie – Opinion and Analysis) you’re giving revolutions a bad name.

      New political parties budding like daffodils; revolution. Storming of Leinster House by politically motivated militia; revolution. A public stirred into mass action by self-immolation outside government buildings; revolution.

      One party favoured over another because of cataclysmic mismanagement; mere reshuffling of old hat.


    • dealga says:

      I don’t believe a question that asks people which party they’d vote for reflects the reality of what a lot of the same people would do in an election.

      The national elections in this country remain ridiculously parochial. How many individual career Fianna Fail TDs will really be punished for the mismanagement of the boom or the mismanagement of the bust?

      The local pothole fixers are just going to go to their constituents, remind them of what they did for the locals, and blame everyone else, including their own party leadership, for people’s woes.

      Enough people will buy it to ensure that FF will lose, at most, the marginal second or third seat in a handful of constituencies with very precise gripes about the government.

      There’s a reason the likes of Lowry and Flynn get re-elected.

    • dealga says:


      Jebus… where do I mark ‘x’ for FF again…

    • Paul O' Sullivan says:


      How concise of you, one of the country’s fundamental problems provided with one question and remark!


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