Dara Calleary TD makes a fair point here about FF looking for its leadership from the next generation, as indeed has Barry Andrews. It may well be very desirable for FF to skip over the cabinet, and a generation of soon to be former cabinet ministers associated with failure. But then what?
There’s a scene in an episode of The West Wing when President Bartlet, debating his Republican opponent, asks him what’s the next line after his carefully chosen focus-grouped soundbite. That’ll be the question that confirms whether the Calleary generation are suited to the job. Can they articulate, in detail, what it is that they would do differently? One of the great flaws of the current generation of Irish political leadership has been a desire to reach those positions and then decide what they want to do with them. If the Calleary generation can enunciate convincingly why they want to lead, and specifically outline what objectives they hold which are unique to them, without resorting to the usual “Jobs are the issue” guff, then they’ve a legitimate claim to make.