Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fairytale of the Next Election

"It was Christmas Eve babe In the drunk tank An old man said to me, won't see another one And then he sang a song The Rare Old Mountain Dew I turned my face away And dreamed about you. Got on a lucky one. Came in eighteen to one I've got a feeling. This year's for me and you”. Is this what Enda is singing to Pat these days?

I am not the first nor will I be the last to use the famous Pogues song in relation to Enda Kenny’s ludicrous Drunk Tank’s proposal. Part of the coalitions strategy is going to be that they are the caring coalition. But unless they are going for the cruel to be kind tactic they are torpedoing their chances of that.

In his speech at the weekend Ard Feis “Get the drunks out of A&E. Put the weekend warriors into drunk tanks. Fine them. Hit them where it hurts, in their pockets.” Firstly why are drunks in A&E. How often have you been drunk and have been in A&E? If you have been in A&E it is because something is happened. You have fallen, hit, fell etc you are there because you need medical attention. Now I am sure that many will say it is their own fault. Sure it is. So is lung cancer from smoking, heart disease from eating cheese burgers, car crash’s from bad driving or ODing from taking drug’s. Are Fine Gael going to stop health to all these people? Are they going to throw people out who have lung cancer. Well that certainly would solve the A&E trolley problem.

Labour are in favour of Universal Health care that everyone should be treated equally. Yet the party they want to put in power does not want to do this. They want to deny health care to people in need. But do you see Labour or the Greens coming out against this? No. Do you think if the PD’s or Fianna Fail came out with this would they be silent? Of course not they would be out loudly complaining.

But by showing that they are unwilling to call Fine Gael on this disgraceful proposal they showing that they are no better then any other party. They are sacrificing their principles for the sake of power.

Here is an interesting fact that I am surprise few people know. Labour and Fine Gael have been in coalition on 6 times in the lifetime of the state. Do you want to know how many times they lasted together for the full term.

The answer is once from 1972-1977 (I am guessing then elections happened every 4 years). When Liam Cosgrave and Brendan Corish led the government. The next longest they got together was Dec 82-Mar 87 just shy of the 5 years full term. The reason the coalition fell apart? They disagreed over the budget.

In 1981-1982 the coalition fell apart after about 6 months due to a disagreement over the budget the famous tax on children’s shoes.

The first inter-party government fell due to a combination of Noel Browne and farmers party TD’s pulling out.

The Second inter-party government from 1954-1957 fell when Clann na Poblachtain pulled out of the coalition.

Fine Gael don’t last in coalition’s. Fianna Fail’s first coalition was in 1989 Fine Gael’s 1949. Yet Fianna Fail have, had as many and by the next election will have more full term coalitions as Fine Gael. Looking at Labour and Fine Gael with the amount of disagreements between them. It’s a fairytale if anyone thinks they last 5 years.

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