20 January 2011

50 Days to Change the Country

So, I was away from my computer today, did I miss anything?

Now then, now then, now then, this is where all the fun begins. Its not often here in Ireland that we get to have such a long election campaign, 50 days or thereabouts, 50 days to change the country as Eamon Gilmore said this afternoon, and while there are many of us who would have wished for an election to be even sooner, it is what it is and we are where we are.

Which is a damn sight happier than we were 24 hours ago.

It was pretty obvious last night with the orchestrated resignations of four Ministers that the fix was in, with Brian Cowen's leadership win rumoured to have hinged on less than five votes it was pretty obvious to all and sundry that promotions and Ministerial positions had been offered to key influencers in return for their vote. The resignation this morning of a fifth minister left no one in any doubt as to the shenanigans that were being attempted.

For once the Greens seemed to have called a halt to it all, we'll know more in a few minutes when they hold a press conference. The course of action that the whole nation wanted to see today was for them to pull the plug entirely and walk away from Government, but at every step of this sorry process they have been adamant that they would see through the passing of the Finance Bill to placate our new IMF masters, and try and get through their watered-down Climate Change Bill so that could face the electorate with at least one positive thing (two if you count the equally watered-down Civil Partnership Bill) to show for the last three-and-half miserable years.

Thus a very enjoyable morning was spent with my Grandfather watching the Dail break-down into an apoplectic frenzy of Constitution waving and animated castigations followed by one of the most humiliating about-faces that any Taoiseach has ever faced in the history of the State, topped-off with the oh-so-yummy icing on the cake that was the long awaited announcement of the date for the election. Magical stuff, the like of which we may never see again, and I am delighted to have been able to enjoy with him.

And the farce which began with the shambolic push against Cowen's leadership of Fianna Fail may not even be over with the setting of the Election date, for Conor Lenihan, whose PA's Facebook comment less than ten days ago suggesting Cowen would be gone by the end of that week started off the first great talk of a heave on Twitter, has openly called again for Biffo to resign immediately in the wake of today's epic humiliation.

The day isn't over by a long shot, and Fianna Fail certainly hasn't hit the bottom yet by any stretch of the imagination.

Its going to be a fun 50 days.

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