Can Santa deliver Stephen’s Day for Donnelly?

IT MAY be a contradiction but sadly it is also a reality.
Our dithering Government has become a playground for perfectionists of imperfection.
Ideas may have been thrown around with good intention but for the most part ended up in chaos.
Crazy cock-ups since the formation of Government have been akin to a groom who bought a trousers for a wedding but discovered only on the morning of the nuptials that the damn thing was four inches too long in the legs.
Every time Fianna Fáil set out to march together they trundled to disaster as if most have their bootlaces tied together.
Joined up planning may have been the plan but the common conclusion was that some if not all involved in any launch, press conference or debate may have been members of a committee that set out to design a horse but ended up with a camel.

Cleverfest party
Awful leadership, most notably in Fianna Fáil and The Greens could be fingered for a lot of the bungling but many ministers have not covered themselves in glory either.
As we have pointed out in recent weeks, Fine Gael is by far the cleverest party when it comes to strategy.
Its obvious plan is to let its so-called colleagues in Government make fools of themselves and in fairness the Greens and FFers have become masters of imperfection.
That FG has taken this route at a time when a pandemic is biting brutally is hardly to its credit either.
As a Coalition it should be all hands to the pumps but with FG with home alone ambitious, obviously playing politics, taking advantage of weaker opponents all is certainly not fair in love and war.
Or perhaps the latter would be more aptly a cold war.

Square pegs
With some notable exceptions, politics has developed a habit of trying to fit square pegs into round holes in Government.
A man with a law degree could easily fine himself in charge of an environment department while an agricultural student might end up in charge of Defence Forces affairs.
That badly thought policy we could blame for many catastrophic appointments.
But, on the other hand we have had some doctors as ministers for health, appointments that should have been neat fits but, sadly results were not great either.
In modern politics it would appear that the belief is that it takes teams of highly paid advisers, jobs for the boys, to keep politicians with notions on the straight and narrow.
Providing props for any strugglers has to be a waste of good money as confusion continues to reign supreme.
Any FG master plan towards eventual domination in Government, we would assume, centres on a political game of man-to-man marking.

Plot is working
Whoever came up with the tactic may get kudos as the plot is working and until FF and the Greens waken up it will continue to do the business for the Blueshirts.
Leo Varadkar has done a brilliant job of man-marking Micheál Martin, stealing his thunder at every hand’s turn.
The latter is hardly a tough assignment in fairness as Martin is akin to a soccer player in his near retirement years, still togging out but with more emphasis on copper-fastening his nest egg than concentrating on promotion for his team.
Former Health Minister Simon Harris always appeared to be under pressure in office.
But for whatever reasons the general public took him to its heart, perhaps because of his youth.
We have no doubt that Harris was happy to offload the health burden and he too is now part of the Fine Gael man-to-man team.

Knight in armour
The latter is a party favourite that is keeping a watching brief on the latest incumbent to a post that has to be a poison chalice of sorts.
Many students of politics had suggested that Stephen Donnelly would eventually be a knight in shining armour.
As an independent, he looked to be the real deal. Then, amid controversy he joined the Social Democrats where he continued to impress.
Next stop was Fianna Fáil where, with respect, he has the demeanour of a former Second Division player struggling with life after a surprise transfer to The Premiership.
Again Harris is his shadow and is being lauded by some pundits simply for hanging around while Donnelly has the dubious presence of a groom ambling to the altar because the bride’s father has a shotgun to his back.
FF will long for Stephen’s Day for Donnelly.
Their best bet is to have a word with Santa.

We could go on but in summary we simply remind that the dirty world of politics hasn’t change and may never be any different.

Killing field
The real war should be against Coronavirus but the reality is that it is a background battle for future power is the killing field that would appear to have grasped most minds in the Dáil, perhaps because the rewards are lucrative.
That politicians cocoon in a bubble of privilege there is no doubt. Most haven’t a clue about the realities of life.
That is mainly because they live in a world where €100,000 a year and maybe as much again, plus generous expenses, has to mean a better quality of life than your average worker who may have to survive on €30,000 or much less while feeding and clothing children.
The other world that well-heeled politicians live in was highlighted before the last General Election when so-called bigwig gurus from FF, FG and the Greens were asked if they knew how much an old age pensioner got a week from the State.

Blankety blank
Some guessed and got it wrong and then had to admit that they simply didn’t know.
Imaging asking those lads and lassies what is the average price of a sliced pan or a tin of peas.
Blankety blank faces would no doubt result.
Until politicians come out of their protective shells there will always be two worlds, one for the wealthy and the other for the struggling.
The next election could help to change that but as our people have made no real effort for change over 100 years of same old, same old, there is little reason to believe that any cages will be rattled any time soon.

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