Campaign Gist: Departmental ventriloquism, FG novelties, SF hysteria
Day 17 of the Campaign and the Gist will be zigging while everyone is zagging at the Cooper/ Yeats debate tonight. Instead, here are some bits and pieces you may have missed.
Minister Katherine Zappone came out strong, with plans to force childcare workers to give a day in lieu for their strike day or see the children’s grant cut.
Then she reversed this position after it was exposed to air and burst into flames, a sort of political phosphorus.
This is the danger for Ministers used to having their department tell them what their policy should be. When departmental priorities depart from what is acceptable to voters, the department relies on its captured minister to take the flak. And the Minister almost always obliges. Though it takes a particularly dedicated spokes-Minister to burn their goodwill with the parents of small children days before an election.
Perhaps the example may act as a warning to some of the incoming batch of Ministers on the danger of becoming the one moving their mouth while their Department drinks a glass of water.
Fine Gael’s New Tune
Fine Gael have been having a mare of an election. For the second time running they managed to misjudge the electorate by talking about the things that Fine Gael cares about, not what voters felt. The people who last time brought you the Sindo Xmas Party of Election slogans, Keep the recovery going, were back this time with talk about Brexit that nobody wanted to know about.
They’re still flogging that horse, presumably because all the fliers are printed now so they have to do something about it. But it has somehow been noticed the response to “half time” metaphors on Brexit haven’t provoked political rapture. Hence the new tune to whistle- Only FG can be trusted with an economy.
On the one hand, it’s at least a snappy message with no sport metaphors.
On the downside it faces into what is increasingly clear is a change-hungry electorate and offers More Of The Same.
This seems a tune destined for very low royalties for all the play it’ll get.
Sinn Féin: Are They Made of Evil Bees?
The two main parties, along with much of the media have been surprised and alarmed by the success of Sinn Féin in the polls. The result has been a blizzard of assertions and questions on the party which run from the reasonable (All The Things In The Past) to the incoherent (These Plans For Building Houses Are Cursed by Ghost Pirates! Shun Them!)
If the polls are reflected in the results, all of this will go out the window- and some of those reasonable questions could do with not being drowned out by demented wails before then.
OK, the Debate