Business as usual

27th January, 2011

Michael Martin’s words yesterday gave those of us who want the debate to be on policy, not personality, some hope. “Our country needs an election which is as serious as the issues we must tackle. This can only happen if the leaders of the parties show a real commitment to moving away from political business as usual,” he said. So far, so good.

Then he said sorry for the mistakes of the Governments he has participated in since 1997- mistakes that bankrupted the country. So far, so much better.

And then he went on television.

He defended the bank bailout. He defended the profligacy of the Ahern administration. He said all the parties were to blame. He claimed that “consensus” had led us to the brink of the abyss, something Richard Bruton and the rest of us in Fine Gael might have something to say about. He grandstanded and called for a three way leader’s debate, ignoring the fact that the Greens and Sinn Fein have as much right to have their say as Labour.

The leader may have changed, but the message hasn’t. Business as usual