Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Is it time to ban Fianna Fail?

Posted by Jason O on Nov 17, 2010 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious. |

And to think, all he ever nicked was a newspaper.Sad and all as this is, you have to appreciate the irony. Fianna Fail, the party of Dev, is the party that is negotiating the de facto end  of Irish independence. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Eirigi/Coir sovereignty nuts: Sovereignty is only any use if you can do something with it, and in this case, trading sovereignty is what’s needed to stabilise our country’s banking system. So be it. But the fact is that it is happening on Fianna Fail’s watch, because of Fianna Fail mismanagement. I wonder is this going to be the thing that finally tips FF over into being, like, say, the Irish Home Rule Party, a symbol of a past Ireland that needs to be moved on from?

In fact, is there an argument for the new non-FF government to begin a process of DeFiannaFailisation, like denazification in Germany, or debaathification in Iraq? Supposing we banned all FF Oireachtas members from holding office, like bankrupts, and made FF a proscribed organisation, like the IRA or UVF? True, it would probably take a constitutional amendment, but even that would be a fun day out.

Even if FF appealed to the Supreme Court, there is certainly enough evidence about to at least make a reasonable case that FF is, if not a de facto criminal organisation, certainly a threat to the continued existence of the state. The interesting thing is that given the make up of Fianna Fail (10% idealists, 90% gougers, hucksters and sticky fingersmiths) even a temporary ban on the party would disperse the gougers to the political winds as they found another political dog to infest. At least they’d be less concentrated in lower doses.

18 Comments

Pidge
Nov 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

What I’ve always found weird is how they inexplicably keep ending up in power. Must be something to do with people voting for them, or the like.


 

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bosca and Jason O'Mahony, Cormac Bohan. Cormac Bohan said: RT @jasonomahony: Time to ban Fianna Fail?: http://jasonomahony.ie/?p=7325 [...]


 
The Oncoming Storm
Nov 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

20 years ago a major economic crisis in Italy led to the collapse of the Christian Democrats, a party that like FF had dominated national politics despite their “interesting” connections. Looking at the most recent polls taken even before the latest crisis began and knowing from friends in Ireland how much anger there is towards FF I wonder if it could suffer the same fate in the coming years?


 
Jason O
Nov 17, 2010 at 11:44 am

Pidge, this is true. Maybe we could round up the FF voters?


 
Jason O
Nov 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

The thing about the Tangentopli scandal which destroyed the DC and Craxi’s PS is that the same thieves crossed into Forza Italia. People forget that corruption comes from the culture of a country as much as a political system. The biggest aid to corrupt politics in Ireland has been the ability of politicians to say that “If I had any power, I’d do something about it, but I don’t.” In the old section four days on Dublin County Council, corrupt councillors used to get mates from the other side of the county to propose the corrupt motion in their ward, and then they would oppose it publicly! Directly elected powerful mayors would at least be held accountable by voters for their acts, as opposed to blaming the county manager.


 
M Collins
Nov 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Jason
Forget legislation – maybe all we need is an election. I live in hope that FF will go the way of Canada’s (once) governing party, the Progressive Conservatives. In the 1993 Canadian federal election their overall vote dropped from 43% to 16%, and they lost all but two of the 151 seats they held when parliament was dissolved. In fact, the reasons for the fall of the Progressive Conservative party in the 1993 Canadian election sound eerily familiar to Ireland (recession, unemployment, deficits, corruption, mismanagement etc).
See http://puckstownlane.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/could-canada-1993-be-a-pointer-to-fianna-fails-fate/

MC


 
Jason O
Nov 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Don’t forget that Canada uses first past the post, and Kim Campbell got votes right across the country, and came third out of five, wheres the BQ clean up in Quebec, the Grits won in the east and Manning’s crowd won in the west. It was a perfect example of how ridiculous FPTP is as a voting system.


 
Cynic
Nov 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

In fact, is there an argument for the new non-FF government to begin a process of DeFiannaFailisation, like denazification in Germany, or debaathification in Iraq?

Indeed, how could anyone forget how Fianna Fáil governed on their own, totally without assistance or ideological inspiration from any smaller coalition partner, for all of that time?

(The answer to that question being: very easily, if the blogger was an active member of that said smaller coalition partner.)


 
david morris
Nov 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Oh the irony of it all.

ED kicked off in 32 by stating on the one hand “The British Government can rest assured that any just and lawful claims of Great Britain, or of any creditor of the Irish Free State, will be scrupulously honoured by its Government.” and yet was instrumental in ending the land annuity payments to the UK (recurring payments on bonds that had been used to buy out the landlord class in the late 19th century under the Irish land reforms when it was still part of the UK).
The Free State’s subsequent termination of these payments, which was interpreted by the UK as akin to default, set off a costly trade war between the two countries, far more costly for the Free State than for the UK given the country’s heavy dependence on the UK as its main export market. It set in train an export orientation of Irish economic policy that has remained in place ever since.

So if the current FF government is looking into its own past for the experience with creative readings of debt obligations, it’s not a happy one. In the heady days of the Celtic Tiger, the Irish government probably saw itself with a clear path to stay in power all the way to what would be a lavish celebration of the 1916 Easter Rising and their own political ancestry in it. But when 2016 rolls around, the government of the day will be only half way through billions of euro in interest payments, mostly due to an entity called Anglo Irish Bank. In 1932, ED was playing the long game and didn’t see the costs of a little debt trickery as the end of the world. Maybe the lines of a certain poet had more resonance in 1932: “Too long a sacrifice/can make a stone of the heart.”
And the economy ?


 
Jason O
Nov 17, 2010 at 10:01 pm

We have already been euthanised by the Irish people, alas.


 
Jason O
Nov 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

In fairness, I think the Irish position to the land annuities goes on the basis of how can we owe money borrowed to purchase our own land?


 
Cynic
Nov 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm

We have already been euthanised by the Irish people, alas.

The regret is not widely shared. By the looks of tonight’s opinion poll, Fianna Fáil will be taking the same trip to the vet’s soon enough.

Hopefully, members of the incoming Government parties will take the opportunity of the bye-election to scout out suitable locations for “re-education through labour” camps where you lot and your FF colleagues can consider the error of your ways.


 
Cynic
Nov 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm

As far as the costs of the 1930s Economic War go, there’s an interesting article about the period on Irish Economy:

Concurrent Irish Perspectives on the Great Depression.

That would have been a period before FF fell among thieves…


 
Don
Nov 18, 2010 at 3:08 am

Would be easier to just abolish the Dail. Public services are crap, the legal system is beyond pointless and most of our taxes will going towards someones elses debt anyway. Parliamentary democracy was never designed to serve us anyway, hence spent hundredths of years trying to oppose it.


 
Jason O
Nov 18, 2010 at 8:11 am

Funnily enough, the Irish people, whilst not liking the PDs much, still love most of their policies even today. Or did someone return the billions of Euro of taxcuts without telling me?


 
SK
Nov 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

If RTE had some balls then there is the basis for a great “reality” TV program here once things settle a bit – “The Trial of Fianna Fail for Treason”.

Play it straight, get 2 real senior counsel for each side to argue the case for and against on a two our special and then get a real jury of random punters to decide (no text voting nonsense). I am sure it would be riveting TV.


 
Cynic
Nov 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Funnily enough, the Irish people, whilst not liking the PDs much, still love most of their policies even today. Or did someone return the billions of Euro of taxcuts without telling me?

The hollowing out of the tax base will be reversed soon enough by our new masters, I imagine. (Or at least the new masters will be used as the excuse.)

It’s not all going to be about forcing the lower orders to survive on Tesco Economy cat food, you know, Jason, much as you might wish otherwise.

But it’s good to know that you do acknowledge some of your party’s responsibility for the mess we’re in.


 
Jason O
Nov 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Ah. If people chose to spend their tax cuts on cat food, that’s their business. Personally, I’ve a soft spot for a nice wll done sausage sandwich myself. It’s true though, the PDs did some bad things in government, like letting public spending get out of control, making a bags out of benchmarking and relocation, and not taking an axe to the HSE’s manning numbers. People must take responsibility for their actions. Like posting with their actual names.


 

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