General election speculation
A chara, – Cllr John Kennedy of Fine Gael (July 27th) argues that Micheál Martin lacked “statesmanship” when the Fianna Fáil leader criticised Leo Varadkar’s spinning that an election should be held in 2020. He said there is a need for a “Tallaght strategy” approach from Mr Martin.
Fianna Fáil has adopted that kind of approach since 2016 through the confidence and supply arrangement, when others were not prepared to have a government formed. It has been a difficult position to sell at times, including to party members and supporters. It would be easier to be populist and come up with handy slogans rather than working to influence policy, particularly the direction of the budget. In an era of snazzy socks and sharp soundbites, it is tough for debates on substantial issues to gain attention.
If Mr Kennedy wants to see the current “Tallaght strategy” continue, he would be well advised to urge his leader to address the concerns about challenges in housing, health, agriculture, transport and education that Fianna Fáil continues to raise, rather than focusing on how long the current Government can stay in power. Only by showing real progress on the urgent need to invest in infrastructure and to tackle inequality should the current arrangement continue. If we see delivery there, then we can consider extending until 2020. Statesmanship is about using power (and influence) to create change, not seeking to cling to it. – Is mise,
Cllr MALCOLM BYRNE,
Sir, – Cllr John Kennedy expresses his concerns that without an agreement from Micheál Martin on Leo Varadkar’s proposal of a 2020 election, the Taoiseach “may find it difficult to give definitive pledges during the key endgame of Brexit”.
I seem to remember Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael having no difficulty making numerous definitive pledges on housing and homelessness on their elevation to Government. Their difficulty seems to be keeping those definitive pledges. – Yours, etc,