I have to say that over the Easter break this Government might think about how they could clean up their act. First of all, I find it astonishing that the Attorney General, who is after all the highest legal officer in the land, should openly criticise a piece of his own government’s legislation as it is going through the Oireachtas. The fact that he described Minister Ross’s Judicial Appointments Bill as a “dog’s dinner” somewhat mollifies the gaffe, because he is right on the button. Ross’s constant bleating on this subject is becoming tiresome. I personally disagree with his suggestion that there should be a lay chairman of the Board that selects Judges. Who is going to choose him ? Shane Ross ? This Minister should concentrate on his own portfolio and next time he tries to pull off a photo op with the Irish Rugby team, he might find out which Kearney brother is in the shot.
The other member of the Cabinet to put his foot in it is, of course, the Tanaiste, Simon Coveney. Well, to be honest, with the performance he put in over struggling with his conscience over the 8th amendment I felt like I was waiting for a tablet of stone to be delivered. Then I loved all this muttering from the Fine Gael big wigs that he had “landed well”. What elevation in Cork does Simon live on ? Then came the gaffe. He wanted a two thirds majority of the Dail to approve any further changes to abortion legislation. Big problem, apart from the fact that it was a damn silly idea in the first place, such a measure would be unconstitutional. Result of all of this is that instead of landing well, he fell flat on his face and the damage to his credibility will take a while to shake off.
Finally, I can’t let this sense of flaky behaviour in the government go as I was astonished to read about an amazing gaffe made by An Taoiseach on March 9th. . In a radio interview with Pat Kenny when talking about the 8th amendment he made reference to the then ongoing Belfast rape trial. An absolute No, No, in case it influenced the trial. Bottom line, like his Tanaiste, he should have known better.
Still Fine Gael’s support is holding up well in the polls and Fianna Fail are faced by a serious difficulty as to how they deal with the Confidence and Supply Arrangement after the next budget. The economy is undoubtedly improving and despite the appalling problems with housing and the health service there is a feel-good factor emerging. In these circumstances I’m sure Leo would love an election but when to hold it ? First there is the Referendum on the 8th Amendment, the Pope’s visit, the budget and the Presidential Election. Yes, an Easter thought for Michael D. You told the Irish people you would only serve one term ? So why would you go back on your word.