By Red Hugh
And now for the final push…
A quick snapshot …Joan Burton is fighting for her political future as Labour is facing wipeout. Gerry Adams has problems with detail, tripping up regularly even on his own party’s figures.
At the weekend Enda was let loose by his handlers, went off script and called people in his own back door whingers. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
The only one to have a good campaign so far, Micheal Martin, is looking good until someone comes on air to remind him of Fianna Fail’s appalling behaviour in the past and then there’s deflation all around.
On Friday I caught a contribution from Hugh O’Connell, the political editor of the web news site, the ‘Journal’, when he said one of the reasons the government’s campaign was stuttering in recent times was their not stop repetition of ‘recovery’ was actually jarring with up to 70 per cent.
Sitting in my own home that very same Friday night I had a visit from a man who when asked if he was better off today than he was five years ago, replied he was far better off ten years ago than he is today. He blamed the last government for total incompetence and this one for being massively uncaring. A plague on all their houses.
Obviously someone in the Fine Gael spin department was listening because the objective now is, according to the Taoiseach, at least since last Sunday night, to “bring the recovery to every home in the country”.
The Labour Party is the big loser this time around. It’s implosion has been spectacular. Joan’s voice is getting shriller by the day as she travels around the country, telling us how they took the tough decisions for our good. It would seem the people beg to differ.
The government introduced serious punitive water charges back in the day with a warning that supply would be cut to a trickle for those who did not pay.
There was zero provision in regard to ability to pay – you paid up or else – yet Labour justified the measure and stayed in government.
Then they started taking medical cards from people with cancer, kids with Down Syndrome, even took a medical card from a person suffering with Motor Neurone. And still Labour stayed in. Did they have to start shooting poor kids on Monday mornings before Labour thought it unfair?
Fine Gael, meanwhile, looked after their constituency – the well off. They have neither moved up nor down much in the polls in recent times. At least they were honest.
I suppose If there is one thing I could say without fear of contradiction in this election week is that there is a real anger out there, a real alienation. How those in opposition harness that will determine how well they do come Friday.