The (Revised) Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: Fianna Fail

Whatever you're in favour of, or against, so are we. Any chance of a vote, so?

Whatever you're in favour of, or against, so are we. Any chance of a vote, so?

The Tesco “Whatever you’re buying, we’re selling” Party. Fianna Fail were doing the middle way when Tony Blair was a member of CND. Political Acrobats to a man. Founded by Dev in 1927 with a vision of a barefoot, pregnant maiden dancing a jig at every crossroads, there was a time when FF’s leaders used to consult with the archbishops (The clergy, not the 70s funk band.) before making decisions, or lectured the rest of us on the evils of contraception as their party leader worked his way through so much of the nation’s illicit condom supply that he pretty much stank of burnt rubber. Now the party of the municipal interchange shoe-free maternity policy takes out ads in gay magazines. Supple or what?

Their policy platform, being the government, is More Of The Same. They’re now a low tax party, but given the speed at which they changed from being a high tax party, don’t hold them to that.

Big beliefs? A united Ireland, but not quite yet and preferably with someone else putting their hand into their arse pocket for it. And stuff. They’re big into stuff. If you meet an FF canvasser on the door, ask him is he in favour of anything, and he’ll say Yes. Or No. Depending on the cut of your jib.

The Fianna Fail core objective is, as always, to stay comfortably ensconced around the Cabinet table. Every thing else is up for trade. To Fianna Fail, a policy is something you claim on when your ceiling leaks.

In recent times, a lot of FF people have found themselves sitting in the corner of their offices, heads buried in hands, rocking and chanting “Take me away to my special place, take me away to my special place!” as the harsh punch-in-the-mouth reality of spending cuts impacts on them. The current generation of FFers, gorged on a banquet of public largesse to fling at their constituents just can’t compute that There-Is-No-More-Money.

Even now, they call on their own government to “Review” spending cuts which they themselves vote for in the budget.

Loyalty used to be the big thing with Fianna Fail, but with the downturn and the realisation that they can’t throw other people’s money at their constituents, don’t be surprised if you see a load of Fianna Failers running for election wearing false moustaches and talking about that “awful crowd runnin’ the country. Sure somethin’ should be done about them!” 

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