Niamh Brethnach: Victim of a bad dose of Ungrateful Bastards!
Imagine a minister, representing a middle class constutuency who brings in a law which saves her constituents thousands of Euro which many of them didn’t even need to save. Wouldn’t you think they would shower her with votes at the next election?
Not this crowd. When Niamh Breathnach scrapped third level fees she would, in any other country, have assured her political future. But not in Ireland. At the following election, the Labour party, which abolished third level fees, brought in divorce, decriminalised homosexuality, legalised contraception, enacted freedom of information, and implemented huge swathes of their manifesto promises whilst leaving the economy in a decent state, got hammered at the polls, losing half their seats. Why? Because in Ireland, policies do not matter as much as perception, and the perception was that Dick Spring had stabbed his voters in the back by putting Fianna Fail, whom he had ridden the Spring Tide railing against, back into office.
The recent news that the Greens are demanding action on climate change as the price for remaining in office with Fianna Fail shows that John Gormley has not learnt the lesson. Green voters care about the environment to a point, but that’s not really why they voted Green. They voted Green to put manners on Fianna Fail, and acting on climate change is not doing that. The Greens need to take a leaf out of Des O’Malley’s book and realise that primarily, their voters want to see Fianna Fail ministers bitchslapped around the place a bit, as Dessie did in the 89-92 government, and was rewarded by entering the election with six seats and coming out with ten. The purpose of the Greens in government is to make Fianna Fail cry, and the Greens would be wise not to forget that.
P.s. I know she’s not dead! It’s artistic licence, go look it up!