Hanafin: sound like she’s an overpaid county councillor, not what’s needed as a party leader

6 January, 2011

Mary Hanafin, supposedly one of the front-runners in any battle to take over leadership of Fianna Fáil, has revealed in comments to the Irish Times not only that she is unsuited to a leadership role,  but also the dismal state of our national politics.

Ms Hanafin said she had taught in Blackrock for 17 years and had a very strong base there.  In her 13 years as a TD she had “absolutely worked every day of it, with every group, every school, every community, every church fair, every everything. I mean, this has been my life”.

These revealing remarks again demonstrate that we are electing messenger boys/girls to Dáil Éireann, who love the feeling of power that being a TD entails, but have no guiding principles as to what should be done with that power.  Have you any idea, dear reader, what Ms Hanafin stands for politically, other than getting elected and helping her party retain power? 

I am more than ever convinced that our current electoral system is unfit for purpose, in that it produces TDs who are good at local stroke-pulling to win votes, but have little grasp of vital macro issues.  The standard of debate in Dáil Éireann is as a result execrable, and it is futile to expect such politicians to carry out their role as legislators with any degree of competence or any degree of independence from the Executive.  It is not stretching things too far to say that the genesis of our recent economic collapse lies in our persistent unwillingness or inability to elect serious, intelligent politicians.

In the same Irish Times article, fearing she may have given the game away, Ms Hanafin tries to recover ground with her parting comments, which seem to contradict her above assertion of parish-pump primacy:

“The next election is about the future of the country and the economy.    It’s not about the Dún Laoghaire baths or the 46A [bus],” Ms Hanafin said.

Too late, Mary.


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