If you believe that we might, at least, get some real political change out of the economic crisis, then you will find Enda Kenny’s remarks in the Irish Times today to be shockingly depressing. Regardless of your stance on abortion, the fact that the man who will most likely be our Taoiseach has expressed a view that despite having over 50 full-time taxpayer-funded researchers at his disposal, he has no policy other than to set up a committee with (seemingly) no deadline to actually produce a possible solution. Talk about gutless.
Then, on political reform, he advocates a bit of tinkering, marginally reducing the size of the Dail, abolishing the Seanad and setting up more committees for TDs. He opposes changing the voting system or appointing ministers. He actually claims, bizarrely, that TDs concentrate on constituency work “because they have no other role”. Our current batch of TDs are just itching to legislate and hold the government to account. If only we’d let them! In other words, Enda Kenny does not really believe that our current political system has any real responsibility for where the country is today. Instead, he seems to believe that same old Fine Gael adage: There is nothing wrong with the country except that we are not running it.
But what is really reach-for-the-revolver stuff is when you take all of the above together. A Taoiseach who wants to be in power, but avoids making decisions which might be right but unpopular with vested interests (Politicians and the anti-abortion crowd). This from a party leader who complains that his predecessors didn’t take “tough” decisions to dampen down the property market even though the decisions would have been unpopular. Didn’t we already have a fella from Drumcondra who kept his life savings in a sock under the bed and didn’t like making unpopular choices already?
It is becoming very clear that a vote for Fine Gael is not a vote for change.