There are public meetings and private meetings and both have been happening today. The first of Sinn Féin’s public rallies/meetings and the FF/FG talks quietly continued in private.
Nuremburg by the Lee?
There are plenty of things to remember about SF’s past and plenty of things to highlight from the present too (climate policy is not at the races, certain successful candidates may be woodentops). But having the Taoiseach warning that parties holding public meetings is equal to “intimidation and bullying” is risible.
There’s surely a price to be paid for this sort of hand flapping over Sinn Féin by the civil war parties.
The party received its largest ever vote based on
- An overwhelming wish to change the government from the FG and FF led one
- A series of policies about the things people cared most about, most of all housing.
The civil war parties refusing to engage on either ground leaves voters with only the choice of acknowledging they should not have cared about the things they did or intensifying their ardour.
What’s in the box?
So why do these self-evidently counter productive things?
Well, FF and FG have a problem, which Michéal Martin knows about. Most of the population didn’t want either of them in government. And, given rumbles from his own TDs, it’s possible that most of his own party don’t want to see FG back in government by FF’s hand either.
The flapping (see above) this week has been to try to frame a world (for their own supporters) where they have to go into government with each other to keep the Terror of the Shinners out.
Basically, it’s a bad bit of comms, but all the others are worse.
Because, by making the price of a SF/FF government his own head, FF’s leader (who, lest we forget must get into government) has nowhere else to go but Leo Varadkar.
Fianna Fáil won the most seats in the election.
So far, it’s left them with only bad choices.