Good old Aodhan O’Riordain. He really is the Little Christmas gift that just keeps on giving. (Unless you’re a member of Fine Gael of course, in which case he bears more than a passing resemblance to the Grinch That Sacked Constituencies). Just when you think all of the holiday fun is over, he opens his mouth and sets out on a blame campaign of, er, his partners in government.
Reminding everyone that with friends like him, you really don’t need enemies, he let rip to the Irish Examiner:
“People are frustrated with the Government and we have had a very bad year – none of it, I would say, caused by Labour ministers.”
It’s all Fine Gael’s fault, sulked Aodhan on behalf of Labour TDs everywhere who’ve been hard put to “keep things afloat”.
At this stage, it looks like Aodhan is starting to lean towards the beliefs of the many commentators who feel this government is the political equivalent of the Titanic. But in spite of his evident anguish at the lack of a sufficient number of electoral lifeboats, my sympathy went elsewhere.
I thought immediately of another Minister, Aodhan’s cabinet colleague Simon Harris. Listeners of last week’s Saturday Show with Claire Byrne will have heard Simon start the new year with a robust defence of this government. Battling storms of statistics and polling results that showed it was nigh on impossible for this government to be returned, Simon fought with the tenacity of a violinist on the deck of a certain ship who knows what his job is and is determined to do it, come what may. And this was sterling stuff by anyone’s standards.
Would Fine Gael consider going into government with Sinn Fein? Fianna Fail? A left-wing alliance? The cast of Sesame Street? On and on they came, each question whittling away at the already traumatised wreck that is this coalition. But no, Simon stood firm.
“My preference is for Fine Gael and Labour being returned to Government and that’s what I want to work day and night for.”
Day and night. You hear that, Aodhan? DAY AND NIGHT. That’s sheer, blind commitment in the face of sheer, blind impossibility. Poor Simon. It sounds like Aodhan’s words will have come as a shock to him. For the rest of us, it’s just more of the same.