If your weekend became an involuntary sun-related roll-over, get yourself a choc ice this morning and catch up with the week in politricks as seen by Ragbags. Then return to the existential debate about whether it’s ever really t-shirt weather in Ireland.
The never-ending media managing of government formation and Irish Water finally came to something of a conclusion. The super-multi-arse has risen, the ‘Fianna Gael Alliance’. Kenny and the Endapendents – but Fianna Fail really.
The agreement, a semi-detailed list of principles and a “confidence and supply” arrangement is exactly how Willie O’Dea proposed a stitch-up would work weeks before the election actually happened.
All Fianna Fail have to do is wring their hands and push their shiny new ‘abstain’ button – which leaves Enda and Independents a mathematical majority of what’s remaining.
That it took 70 or however many days to conclude was evidently just an exercise in boring people, grinding them down into submission so that they would accept anything. All the media coverage was shouting “hurry up!” not, ye know, debating whether it held true to the electorate’s wishes.
Now we have a government mostly consisting of the most blueshirty saps, Fianna Fail as their backbenchers, and some token gombeen vultures.
Fianna Fail managed to get Fine Gael to agree that water charges will be suspended from as early as next month, kicked it to an independent commission for 9 months,whereupon a Dail committee will have a vote on it considering all options including abolition of domestic charges.
Considering early next year we’ll probably be in pre-election mode, it’s debatable as to whether a majority in the Dail will stick their neck out to champion the charges and risk another round of political guillotining.
Consider the historically epic clatterfucking the last government got over it – of the new Dail 90 of the 158 TDs were recently elected on a promise to abolish the lot..
They would want to be some right thicks.
There were other elections, too. England, Wales, Scotland, London and in Norn Iron had their dose. In brief, Corbyn survived, Scotland elected a pro-independence majority and London got its first Muslim mayor.
The most interesting thing may have happened here though. West Belfast elected a Gerry which potentially signals the dawning of a new era. No, not the Ballymurphy n-bomb (FFS Gerry), but young twenty-something millennial Gerry Carroll who insisted he was “neither Orange nor Green”.
Are these some good vibrations from an Alternative Ulster? Veteran of the Civil Rights movement and Hot Press columnist Eamonn McCann was also elected at the ripe old age of 73. Who the fcuk is Bernie Sanders!
So obvs, something’s up, something’s stirring. Turnout was low. Sinn Fein lost the most of anyone, and in its very heartlands – nearly 3% which is a lot for Stormont’s turgid standards. In the South they’re known for espousing social justice values. Nothing major like, but they do.
But, in the North, in power, they’ve negotiated an IMF-style programme of cuts/PPP/privatisation with Westminster, push for a 12.5% tax-haven regime to match the South, endorse the EU of Troika fame (nay, making it the *basis* for reunification), boasted of its status as “a pro-life party” and have pursued permanent coalition with a bigoted right wing party.
In a certain light, if it bounced off Marty McGuinness’ head in that way it might, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a different party. Not too different from the ones people are gradually kicking out in the South..
So that was the week. What this week holds, who can say – the sun even turned up a day late to its own heatwave.
No government for 70 days, grand – just as long as there’s certainty about the cans on the canal, and the unexplainable urge to jump into questionable bodies of water.