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Walk into my parlour…

On the Edge

On The Edge
Áine Ryan

BERTIE Ahern may have called the Greens ‘flaky’. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar may have said trusting Fianna Fáil with the economy would be like putting John Delaney back in charge of the FAI. But does anyone really care other than political commentators who have spent the last week flailing around for a bit of colourful reportage about the new coalition that will hopefully form our next Government?
(Who wants another election! Haven’t we more life-threatening matters on our minds?)
Of course, we all know the cosy little arrangement between the two main parties – forthwith to be called Fianna Gael – was always inevitable. The key question is why did it take so long? After all they were spawned from the same gene poll and should have stopped wasting all our time bickering since the Civil War.
Just think of all the hot air that has been wasted over the last century. (Best not tell the Greens or they will increase the carbon cuts even further than 7 percent.)
And, indeed, talking of the Greens, who really cares that the Fianna Gaelers having been forced to bring those muesli-eating, sandal-wearing, dope-smoking (only joking) Greens in to their parlour to make damned sure their nemesis Sinn Féin is left sulking in the schoolyard for the next five years?

Sinn Féin sulk
ALL On the Edge will say about that is: Beware of Sinn Féin sulking. The country is about to have its strongest left-wing Opposition in its history and, moreover in the aftermath of the greatest crisis we have faced since the foundation of the State.  
Will I tell you why we don’t care? We don’t care because the coronavirus pandemic has put all the parish-pump political squabbling into perspective.
Notwithstanding On the Edge’s left-leaning political preferences, haven’t we been shown some tremendous leadership throughout the crisis? Hasn’t Young Leo stepped up to the plate when his country needed him? Hasn’t Young Simon Harris done well – despite his little faux pas about the 19 in Covid-19 relating to the number of novel coronaviruses that are swirling out there in the ether – even turning up for Saturday briefings when he looks as if he needs to shave and wash his hair? Hasn’t she-who-lost-her-seat-in-Meath-East Regina O’Doherty done really well in rolling out that pandemic payment more quickly than it would take Uachtarán Michael D Higgins to enunciate one deeply meaningful sentence with more poetic gravitas than William Butler Yeats.
(Did anybody notice that her hair was grey there for a while but now it is perfectly blonde with great highlights. Hmm! Hope she hasn’t a hairdresser in her closet.)

Pretend politics
ISN’T it hard to go back to all the pretend political bickering after three months of rather inspiring leadership? Doesn’t all the side-swiping and faux outrage seem rather vacuous now?
This is a time for the highest standards to be held and used in our national parliament.
We need good governance with sustainable long-term goals that are inclusive of all members of our society, particularly the most marginalised. In a way, it is within Sinn Féin’s gift now as the main Opposition party to put pressure on the government parties to not only deliver on their promises but to create a more equitable society.   
Despite the incoming Taoiseach’s long tenure and wide experience in our national parliament I wager he will not duck Mary Lou’s verbal missiles as cooly as Young Leo did. He has too much baggage, even though he is a latent Green, just ask him what flavour tea he drinks. In the coming months incoming Taoiseach Micheál Martin will undoubtedly be repeatedly reminded that he was Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2004 to 2008, just before the Celtic Tiger Crash.
Ah! Yes. “Will you walk into my parlour?” said the spider to the fly.