Mary Hanafin has had her turn.

Mary Hanafin was a competent minister in the last Fianna Fail government. She was always on top of her brief, and was one of the government’s better communicators. Her canvass card, which I received recently, alludes to her time in office, and talks about integrity and honesty.

That’s the point. Reading the card, one is left with the impression that Mary Hanafin believes that there is nothing wrong with having been a member of the last Fianna Fail government.

You can, in fact, go one further. The official Fianna Fail candidate in this ward, like many of the members of “New Fianna Fail”, recognise that errors were made, and that FF has to change.

Reading Mary Hanafin’s card, it’s reasonable to assume that if she re-enters political office she will carry on with the same mindset she had during the last FF government. In short, a vote for Mary Hanafin is a vote for the old Cowen Fianna Fail way of doing things, as if 2011 never happened.

It’s a vote for the sort of politician who thought it was perfectly normal to insist upon keeping a spare teaching job open for herself if she lost her seat, as if that were open to everybody else. The sort of politician who took a €60,000 pension, an €88,000 severance package, kept her €400,000 teachers pension fund and yet now wants another bite of the cherry?

Mary Hanafin has had her turn. It’s time for new candidates who not only have new ideas about the future, but also don’t regard the past as a place worth returning to.

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