Saturday 27 February 2016

Sad Day For Ireland

As the results of the General Election emerge, it appears that this country is going to be plunged into a chaotic situation in which neither of the two main parties have sufficient numbers to form a government.

The outgoing government came to power when the country was in a disastrous economic state. The way they have turned the economy around is the envy of other countries all over the world. They have, of course, had to take harsh decisions. Over the past two years, "pay-back" has started; admittedly at a low rate, but the economy was on target to be fully restored within a few years when further easing would follow. Public services, such as health and justice, would benefit from the increased cash flow that only a healthy economy could deliver.

Yet the people have sacrificed the recovery for "pie in the sky".

When Fianna Fáil was established ninety years ago, they built up a base of support from cottiers and council house dwellers, many of them with an illusory notion of "republicanism" and a mental antipathy towards anyone they perceived to have an advantage over them. This base remained loyal to Fianna Fáil down the decades. However, when things got very bad there would be a slight shift, leaving Fine Gael and The Labour Party with the unenviable task of forming a government on a slim majority while having no option but to introduce harsh measures to restore the economy. At the next election, the electoral backlash would return Fianna Fáil to power just in time to reap the benefits of an improved economy. In this way, they have been able to dominate things, governing for almost twenty uninterrupted years on a number of occasions.

In this election, the electorate have not returned to Fianna Fail except in a small measure, but have spread their votes to disparate Independents who would never be in a position to form a government.

I feel sorry for the decent voters who were willing to give the outgoing Fine Gael/Labour government a chance to finish the job.

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