This week I do wish some of our leaders would take a reality check and I will start with Mary Lou McDonald. Anyone with a brain in their head realises that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is highly likely to fail to get through the House of Commons. It is a matter of simple arithmetic. She doesn’t have enough votes. Sinn Fein hold seven seats at Westminster and won’t use their votes. Mary Lou hides behind the defence that her M.P.’s can’t swear “allegiance to a foreign power”. This is hogwash. If the Sinn Fein MPs took their seats for the specific purpose of defending the Republic’s national interest and explained that taking the oath was merely a mechanical gesture to achieve this end, the dogs in the street would understand. What happens at Westminster over the next few weeks is of vital importance to every man, woman and child on this island. Sinn Fein are in a unique position and not to use a democratic instrument that has been cast into their hands is downright inexcusable. To compound the idiocy of her stance, we then have Sinn Fein, M.E.P. Martina Anderson, demanding that our government cede the euro seats they will gain when the UK departs the EU. I have always been astonished by Sinn Fein’s ability to trot out double-think but this latest nonsense beats the band.
Still this failure to address reality is not confined to Sinn Fein. I have winced in recent months when I have seen evidence of triumphalism present in government ranks which I would go so far as to say has encouraged the Bash The Brits syndrome. Two stark facts stick out. However misguided the British decision was to withdraw, they decided to do so by a referendum. The vote to leave had many causes but let us not forget that our recent experience with E.U. has not been exactly joyful. We got screwed and generations of taxpayers have been saddled with the debt. The argument that all of this is the Brits own fault doesn’t really wash for me because what is critical for us all now is to try and minimise the damage to our economy.
I had high hopes for the competence that our Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, would bring to the Cabinet table. This was shattered when he brought in a thoroughly ill-advised increase of 4 ½ % VAT to be levied on the hospitality sector. Does he not understand that this is being imposed at a most inopportune moment ? Has he factored in the impact of a fall in the value of sterling ? The private sector is the engine that drives our economy and this obsession of providing cushions for multinationals while hammering Mom and Pop businesses makes me sick.
Increasingly Fine Gael is detaching itself from its supporters and I bump into more and more people who are not sure in what direction it is heading.