It’s always great to see a political party leader coming to the county. Kinda makes us feel remembered, and important. Briano’s visits don’t really count, seeing as he lives over the road!
Now I know we like to give the Government a hard go, seeing as the state the nation is in has a lot to do with their inability to run the country, and from time to time I wonder if the Opposition could do a better job. But I’m not too sure.
Enda’s visit to Athlone was the sixth in a series of Fine Gael business fora, which involved their main economics spokespeople meeting directly with business interests all over the country. The forum in Athlone was aimed at businesses in Westmeath, Longford, and Roscommon, and with IndaKinny’s new toy George Lee in tow it could have been an interesting morning. But it wasn’t. There was a brief mention of Wednesday night’s travesty, with Enda saying it reminded him of the 1996 All-Ireland final when Liam McHale was sent off. Yeah, that means nothing to me either.
Anyhow, he then went on to say something about how businesses are sick of the Government, and want change. I think we’ve heard all this before! There was some giving out about Briano and his comments on pensioners, medicalcardgate, carbon tax, VAT, and everything and anything else.
In fairness he was mad to talk to people about reforming the public sector and making a really effective public service. Oh, and in an attempt to make all this even the slightest bit relevant to the people of the Midlands, he went on a bit about how Fine Gael-controlled councils are going to freeze commercial rates for three years. Yeah, let’s see what the Director of Services thinks of that one.
There was also some talking about Nama and AIB, and all the bold bankers and builders. I must say he did hit the nail on the head when it came to the recent AIB job when he said; “Well Richard Bruton has asked a number of questions here. Who conducted this trawl? How many applications were received? How extensively was this advertised? Frankly I don’t believe that in all of the Irish diaspora all over the world - people have been contacting me in respect of their financial experience - that there wouldn’t be countless numbers of excellent people from the outside who would be interested in a job like this. Indeed some of them have said to me that they could sort it out in 18 months.”
He has a point. I would go for pretty much any job that earns me €500k a year, that’s some decent danger money. Besides, it’s the staff on the ground who really get the abuse, even though it’s the men in suits who deserve it.
It was nice to see Indakinny and the team, but apart from inserting the word ‘Midlands’ here and there it was clear he was looking for national coverage. It seems it doesn’t matter what politician you have in town, they’re all about what’s going on in Dublin, and don’t seem to really consider the intimate details of grassroots politics.