Updated: 11/04/18 : 05:31:19
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This


Martin, ‘former future Taoiseach,’ still just that

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

MEEHAWL MARTIN is still leader of Fianna Fáil, a fact which underwhelms many of ‘The Faithful.’

In many eyes, in many Fianna Fáil eyes, he is (still) seen as ‘the former future Taoiseach.’

Of course some others — and not just in Fianna Fáil either — would say he is the REAL Taoiseach.

He wouldn’t be the first Fianna Fáil Leesider either of whom it was said, in Opposition, that he was ‘the real Taoiseach.’

Is he? Certainly, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is there in the top post (only) at the will and pleasure of Martin, plus his close cadre in the Parliamentary Party.

Ministers, though, are answerable only to Varadkar and NONE  of the current Cabinet seems unduly worried by the prospect of a political mauling by Martin over their failures.

Martin has done only an average job, 45/100, in holding Ministers in the two most recent Cabinets to account.

That includes an assessment of EITHER of his roles — namely, as Leader of the Opposition or, as some would have it, in his role as ‘the real Taoiseach.’

Meanwhile, the recent Front Bench rejig had all the same pizazz and wow factor as a shake-up of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Some woefully average talent remains on the Front Bench of Fianna Fáil.

Meehawl Martin won’t even be allowed to feel the wind of the door on his arse swinging shut in the party if he fails to win a decisive number of extra seats next time.

Scrap Heap

The next general election in this State will be, more than than most such polls, be a Presidential style hustings.

Can The Old Man beat The New Kid on the Block — Varadkar not yet 40 and planning to be gone from the job by 50.

Old man? Supporters of Meehawl will remind me that he is just 57, be 58 this August.

In turn, I will remind the same people that Meehawl was consigning some of our local party faithful to the national scrap heap in their early 50s not so long ago.

So, if and when that day comes and Meehawl falls for the third time he will be told, as above, ‘don’t let the door touch your arse on the way out.’

A. This April 2018 morn, Martin commands only a minority of support among his party TDs and Senators on the upcoming abortion referendum.

B. There is still a lot of divided feeling in Fianna Fáil that Meehawl Martin so willfully ignored the express decision of an Ard Fheis on the abortion issue.

The situation he could face when that vote is over next month recalls the famed cartoon in The Irish Times from the Haughey FF era.

Real Illusion

It showed Cee Jay singularly at work sawing in half the box marked ‘Fianna Fáil.’

A voice in the audience quips: “The real illusion is when he pretends to put them back together again.”

How Meehawl Martin must wish this April morning that he was within a whiff of the opinion poll support percentages enjoyed for Fianna Fáil under Haughey.

Ninth Centre

But it was Martin’s era which (finally) destroyed Fianna Fáil for a generation.

1. For example, the arrogance and stupidity with which that era of Fianna Fáil politics dealt with Sligo’s fair claims for a ninth centre of cancer excellence.

2. Martin, of course, was midwife-in-chief to the delivery of the monstrous hotch-potch that is the HSE.

3. Dail accountability for that man-made monster disappeared in that era, too.

4. Meehawl Martin has failed 100% to retrieve any of that REAL public accountability of the HSE in his time as ‘the real Taoiseach.’

Come out showing ‘hands up’ on those four big-test failures and I might (I might!) be able to begin to slouch back towards the ranks of believers.

For now, it’s all Leo’s to lose, any time soon.....or any time. But it doesn’t look any time soon for the date of the next election.