A new Government and a realignment of Irish politics

 

Sir, – June 27th, 2020, will go down in Irish history as one of the most momentous days in Irish politics. It represents the beginning of a realignment of Irish politics into right and left. Civil War politics are officially over, and it is clear that there is not one scintilla of difference between a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael . No longer can any one of those parties occupy the dual position of being in government and leading the opposition at the same time. They should, in these days of marriage equality, seal the deal entirely and sign an instrument of amalgamation. There will now be a distinct difference between right and left, with a few confused entities, like the Greens, occupying the middle.

People who use the word “change” are being derided but change is happening and change is coming. There has been a seismic shift in Irish politics. This change is only just beginning! – Is mise,

KILLIAN BRENNAN,

Dublin 17.

Sir, – The reflex reaction from Mary Lou McDonald and her colleagues within Sinn Féin to the successful formation of the new coalition Government was depressingly predictable.

She is continuing to cling to her default position of spinning the line that the Irish people are not getting the change they voted for. What she really means is that the version of change, as defined by Sinn Féin, is not coming to fruition.

Over a million citizens voted for the three parties who have now formed a Government. The programme put together by these parties promises much of the social change needed and, indeed, desired by many people in Ireland.

This administration now needs to be given an opportunity to get on with delivering on this programme which has been ratified strongly by the voting membership of all three parties.

Sinn Féin never had any serious desire to enter government. It is much more in line with their strategic agenda to snipe from the sidelines, and we know Ms McDonald will excel at this. What will be more interesting to observe is whether she and her party can provide a productive, coherent and mature Opposition, something which will demand a lot more authenticity and skill than constant shouting from the high moral ground. – Yours, etc,

GERRY PRIZEMAN,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – We have a new Taoiseach and he will lead a new Government. Sinn Féin and some others say this is not the change we voted for. That is their right, but we don’t have to believe them.

We voted for 160 TDs and they in their turn have voted, 93 to 63, or 58 per cent of their number, for Micheál Martin. This is a stronger mandate than has been given to most other taoisigh. Now it’s up to him and his team to deliver what they promised. – Yours, etc,

PN CORISH,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – Overall, it is very unlikely that there will be any significant change in the way things are done. Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are most likely engaging in this process merely to sit out the Sinn Féin surge. There will be no change of ideology and all matters coming before the ministries that they control will be accessed, in the first instance, through the same prism, which is to ensure that the “market” in as much involved in Government affairs as possible.

The result will be no change in the two areas that dominated the February election campaign, housing and health. In housing, we will see a few lucky couples getting State aid to buy a house while the core cause of the homelessness problem, insufficient supply of social housing, will remain unaddressed. In health, another sticking plaster will be used to distract. In this case, more public funds filtered to the private sector by way of the treatment purchase fund. The lack of Government focus on the wish of the people for the establishment of an NHS-style system will persist while every assistance will be given to private providers to flourish.

The electorate tried hard to get the message for change across but given the fractured political landscape, fortune contrived to thwart their wish, which in turn allowed those so minded to distort the message.

The new Government, wedded emphatically to “small government” thinking, will continue where the last one left off – to protect and enhance the wellbeing of the few at the expense of everyone else.

This generation will have not only left a huge financial burden on our children and our children’s children, but by allowing the failures in the provision of social goods to continue, will ensure that deprivation and misery will be the lot of many. I deeply hope that I am wrong. – Yours, etc,

JIM O’SULLIVAN,

Rathedmond,

Sligo.

Sir, – Despite the abandonment of political distancing by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Civil War virus may persist for some time. In the interests of having a stable Government, perhaps NPHET could offer some advice to Green Party on how to track, trace and isolate as and when the symptoms arise. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL WILSON,

Belfast.

Sir, – I, for one, am delighted to see the formation of a new coalition government by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. We live in a democracy and the voting process by each party highlights the very strong mandate these parties have.

Despite the fact that the political landscape has changed completely during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sinn Féin continues to reiterate its mantra that the people voted for change in the general election. That’s exactly what we’ve got – a collaboration of three parties which, despite previous differences, are coming together to work for the good of our country and its people. – Yours, etc,

DEE DELANY,

Raheny,

Dublin 5.

Sir, – Michael McDowell said about the Progressive Democrats that they were the mustard in the new government with Fianna Fáil, giving it some flavour. We now have a new Government with the Greens. I hope they add more than lettuce to the mix. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN DEVITTE,

Westport,

Co Mayo.

Sir, – Apparently it took the Green Party from noon to 8.30pm on Friday to count 1,892 votes, with 1,437 for and 457 against. Were they waiting for the pigeons to land? Let us hope that they move faster for the duration of the next Dáil. – Yours, etc,

TOM FINN,

Ballinasloe,

Co Galway.

Sir,– I suggest that, in keeping with the dignity of Eamon Ryan’s new position, he upgrades his current transport to a tricycle with a sturdy wicker basket for his papers and his lunch. – Yours, etc,

HUGH PIERCE,

Celbridge,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, with the assistance of the Green Party, have anointed Sinn Féin as the real Opposition. – Yours, etc,

CIARAN CLANCY,

Booterstown,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Habemus Corkie. – Yours, etc,

CORMAC MEEHAN,

Bundoran,

Co Donegal.