Michael Martin: The Matt Talbot of Irish politics?

Two words hold the key to Fianna Fail avoiding complete catastrophe, and Michael Martin voiced them within minutes of becoming party leader: “I’m Sorry”. It can’t be overestimated, the power of being seen to genuinely express that feeling, and not in that Brian Cowen “I’m now going to qualify my apology and completely suck the goodness out of it” way. 

Michael Martin must be willing to spend the next four weeks in chains and sackcloth letting people vent their fury at him and his party, and taking it, and not lashing back. That’s a big ask for Fianna Fail, whose gut instinct is to retaliate with a ferocious kick in the goolies, but the reality is that Fianna Fail cannot progress without forgiveness, and forgiveness only comes when one owns up to one’s failings. Why do we think Bill Clinton was so personally popular in Ireland? Because he was flawed and admitted it, and that is something the Irish people respect. We all carry more baggage, as a people, than Samsonite. Martin would do well to remember that. 

3 thoughts on “Michael Martin: The Matt Talbot of Irish politics?

  1. Could it be possible that Michael Martin has not been a Government Minister for the last 14 (fourteen years), that he was not responsible for that monstrosity the HSE, That he was not responsible for having to repay nursing home money illegally deducted by his department, that he did not partake in Cabinet discussions to hammer , among others taxpayers, carers, the blind , the social welfare dependants and anyone you can think of and worst of all he comes out with that awful earnest and hurt look about him when he tries to explain away what he was doing for the last 14 years. Wake up and smell the coffee Miko, were going to give you a reason to be feel hurt on the 25th Feb.

  2. From what I’ve read of Gorbbals Mick, I suspect he would have been quite at home in Fianna Fail!

  3. You shouldn’t do it to us Scots – for one wonderful moment I thought you’d enticed the late UK Parliament Speaker to stand for the leadership of Fianna Fail to add a huge measure of gravitas and integrity to the party in its hours of need – which is greater than ours just now. OK he needs elected but I’m sure there would be a safe place somewhere.

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