Friday, January 21, 2011

Fianna Fail Meltdown

My lovely long post on the Sudanese situation is lost and gone forever. When my rage subsides I may do it again. Anyway it is hard to avoid writing about the political madness happening in Ireland right now. Fianna Fail, the party that has dominated Irish politics since it first came to power in 1932 is in the middle of a meltdown. It is like watching a car crash in slow motion. In fact it is being compared on a daily basis to the Gubu era of the early 1980's of which this blog is named after. It was during these tumultuous days of IRA hunger strikes, playboy murderers and their political connections, recession, and political instability in Dublin that saw three general elections being called in 18 months that led people to describe events as being Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented. I don't think we are quite back there just yet, but the bad news keeps on coming. Roll on March 11th. For those of you unfamiliar with the events of the last 48 hours, I will let New York based Irish lobbyist Niall O'Dowd, writing for the Huffington Post, explain the situation.

After a day of complete chaos in the Irish parliament Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has called an Irish election for March 11, and in the process sealed the fate of his party, Fianna Fail (Feena Fawl).

The party is likely to be wiped out in the election. Latest opinion polls show them at 14 percent, down from 44 percent in the 2007 election.

They will likely fall to under 20 seats from the 77 they held after the last election. For a party that has been in power 22 of the last 24 years, it is an incredible collapse.

Fianna Fail has no equivalent anywhere in the world, in terms of their ability to hold on to power.

Since its inception in 1927, it has dominated Irish politics, but incredibly, now may be wiped out in one election.

The wheels finally came off when six of Brian Cowen's ministers resigned over the last 48 hours and Cowen found himself unable to replace them after his minority partner in power, the Greens, vetoed any such move.

Cowen's preference was to kick the election down the road, name new ministers and hope for the best, but now his bluff has been called. The Greens finally discovered their cojones and demanded an election date.

Fianna Fail will pay the price for the extraordinary economic collapse in Ireland.

The party collapse will be the legacy of the Wild West era since 2000, when developers and bankers aided by a cozy relationship with government politicians plundered the Irish economy, building ghost housing estates all over Ireland and granting massive loans to insiders.

No oversight of banks, no oversight of property speculation, no ability to read that the Celtic Tiger was about to crash has doomed the party.

The IMF eventually were called in to rescue Ireland, but left the Irish taxpayer saddled with $100 billion in debts from bad banks and toxic real estate deals.

The hatred and resentment against Fianna Fail is incredible to witness, which is why the ministers resigned knowing they could not get re-elected.

Now comes the comeuppance, the moment when Europe's most successful political party is brought to its knees.

After March 11, the Irish political landscape will never be the same again.


thesystemworks said...

While it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch, I worry about the caliber of people lined up to replace Fianna Failure and the Greens.

Fine Gael have a few bright sparks, in the form of Creighton, Varadkar and Shatter. On everything except the EU, Varadkar is great. Some like him have a more free market stance and are not obsessively hostile to Israel as FF. However, if left-wing parties get in coalition with FG, it could mean very bad news for Israel and the Irish economy.

Then again, people may be turned off the anti-Israel movement if moonbats like Boyd-Barret are the face of the movement in Irish politics, rather than Human Rights Industry figureheads like Mary Robinson and such.

Ted Leddy said...


I worry that if the Fianna Fail party are wiped out, the centrist nature of Irish politics may be replace by a left right divide similar to that in Greece or Italy. The Irish people have always rejected far left politics. I think they will continue to do this. I hope and think Fine Gael will win over 60 seats. Hopefully they could form a coalition with the Greens and the many independents likely to be elected so they can form a government without Labour. I too like Shatter, Varadkar, Creighton and others.

In a way I would like to see Boyd Barrett elected. He will now have to be confronted when he talks about violent revolution and a one state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.