An unremarkable recovery and a remarkable outburst
A little more on the poll. I don’t know if the word stoic can be transferred to a political body. But in a sense all the political parties have remained stoic in the face of all the dramatic events of the past four months. The swings up and down are all within the margin of error.
Fianna Fail’s figures show that the party can no longer rely on the traditional core. Public servants who provided a bulwark of its support have migrated to Labour and Fine Gael. Some older voters who deserted FF at the time of the medical cards fiasco have not returned.
I have no doubt that the party’s fortunes will recover as the economy recovers. But its support levels has sagged so much that at the present moment in time its future looks all behind it. Three words come to mind: Fine Gael 2002.
Not that Fine Gael can crow all that much. Sure, it’s floating higher now but still doesn’t look like it is sweeping all before it. Enda Kenny’s appearance on the Late Late didn’t help. What was wrong? The body language, that unfortunate smile at the end of each answer; the quality of answers. Ryan Tubridy was tougher than I expected him to be but he’s no Sean O’Rourke or Richard Crowley. At this stage of his career, as a putative Taoiseach, Kenny should be stronger.
I also believe that the adjustment used for support possibly favours Labour a little bit, with the contrary effect for Fianna Fail. The high level of opinon poll support Labour enjoyed last year was not fully reflected in the local or European elections.
Now to the second big political story of the day.
The remarkable outburst referred to in the title was that of Martin Cullen’s, who was speaking at a seminar on defamation yesterday
My colleague Paul Cullen has written the story here.
It’s clear that the relentless pursuit of him over a false story had a terrible impact on him and his family. You can understand that, given that, he’s not a great fan of the media nor of the new Defamation Act.
If his sons got the daylights beaten out of them, that is terrible. The only comment of his that I’d take issue with is his description that it was like getting raped every day. I’m sure it was very hurtful to have to listen to such upsetting and baseless allegations. But to say it was like being raped every day was not the best comparison.