Responsible Opposition

23rd January, 2011

Brian Cowen’s resigned yesterday as Leader of Fianna Fail but not of the country. In doing so he became the first ever Fianna Fail leader not to contest an election in that role. Yesterday was historic, but for all the wrong reasons. I had the amazing experience of watching all of this unfold while sitting inside an RTE studio participating in Saturday View. So, a day I won’t forget in a hurry.

Our government is in tatters, our economy is in ruins and our society is in deep trouble. The sideshow of the Fianna Fail leadership should not be diverting our attention from the desperate need to fix our broken country.

And then Michael Noonan went on television. It isn’t easy be constructive when your political opponents are falling apart in front of your very eyes but Michael Noonan did exactly that yesterday. On the request of Enda Kenny he put forward a proposal to rush the Finance Bill through this week, with FG support, on the basis that

a. the Government would dissolve the Dail on Friday and

b. Fine Gael would reserve the right to reverse or amend some of its measures upon taking office.

That is Responsible Opposition in practice. Yesterday I said there were 47 days to the election. Something tells me there will be considerably fewer.