Is what we’ve been served up for the past few days. It’s been a regrettable few days for the opposition. Funnily enough the FG faithful don’t want us to forget about them as they fall over themselves to publicly condemn Lee for his naivety, lack of creativity, childishness, immaturity. If I hear the phrase “threw his toys out of the pram” once more I’ll actually consider voting for Fianna Fail. Only kidding!
While I still don’t agree that George Lee should have resigned his seat, it’s disgusting how FG are attacking him now that he’s left. This is a party that in the worst economic crisis in the history of the state (perhaps) and on the back of 2 tribunals still can’t land a killer punch against the FF government. They were happy to wheel Lee out to support policies in some cases he clearly didn’t agree with. Yet there’s been no letup of party brown-nosers on the telly-box and the radio insisting Lee was useless, Enda “will lead FG to the next election” and how they’re all united under Enda. Lucky them. It’s like aphids being united under a weed.
They need a healthy dose of reality. It’s very clear that the people of Ireland don’t believe Enda is a credible alternative as Taoiseach whatever he may feel. All this talk of unity is flim-flam. When George says he had only 1 meeting with Richard Bruton in his 8 months in FG and that he was having no influence on their economic policy, you believe him. When Brian Hayes suggests George left due to money you don’t believe him. It feels like a tawdry cheap shot. Lee himself was happy to categorically state he was doing very well between his TD salary and expenses and won’t earn that amount in RTE. I believe him, why would he lie? Anyone can find out his RTE salary as it’s public record.
I understand why most people are annoyed that Lee didn’t stay in the Dail as an independent. I’m disappointed. Mostly I’m disappointed that we’ve lost a potential challenger to the hegemony of inherited seats and parish pumpers. It reinforces the notion (perhaps empirically correct) that Irish politics is the sole preserve of the so-called “political class”. What FG seem to miss is that the only people who are surprised Lee left FG are staunch supporters. There’s probably not a single vote to be won by lynch mobbing Lee. It only confirms an impression of disarray and ineptitude.
Someone once succinctly explained to me that “disappointment is when reality and expectations diverge”. Whatever disappointment I have about George Lee is eclipsed by the disappointment I feel about Fianna Gael.