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Thursday 19 October 2017

Gerald Kean: I wanted inspiration, but Kenny's speech was just one big yawn

ENDA KENNY sounded more like a boring schoolteacher than a future Taoiseach.

I went along to the Fine Gael Presidential Dinner on Saturday night to see if there was something there that would give me some hope.

But it was the same speech as Brian Cowen gives, and John Gormley and all the rest of them. I don't know if a 14-year-old writes them or what.

I yawned my way through Enda Kenny's address to his own people. It was filled with waffle.

Listen

He was on his home ground, with a full house and he came across with a load of waffle.

It was like he was playing for a nil-all draw and that was what he got.

I was an invited guest but I have no political affiliation.

I've an open mind to these times and I'm willing to listen. I just didn't get the lift I had hoped for.

It would almost have lifted me more if he were to compliment the Government for achieving something, instead of knocking for the sake of knocking.

There were some great things that happened during the Celtic Tiger. I can drive from Dublin to Cork in two hours now on a super motorway and there are other infrastructure improvements.

So maybe it's time that people like Enda Kenny started acknowledging that and then saying that, yes, other things went badly, badly wrong.

I'm waiting for someone to tell it like it is. I would respect that.

Quangos

Having said all that, I picked up a paper on Sunday and saw the Fine Gael plans for the HSE and FAS and that enlightened me.

I got a bit of a lift when I read that Fine Gael was ready to go after the quangos.

They want to break up the HSE -- which I've already called for -- and to close down FAS.

I've said that all the pen pushers should be let go from the HSE and that would save frontline jobs.

The newspaper piece had everything I wanted Enda Kenny to say. It was about attacking the HSE and quangos and dealing with them swiftly. Like I said, it was enlightening.

In his speech, though, he talked about creating 100,000 jobs but it was all waffle. I hate waffle.

I'm waiting for someone to tell it like it is but we're back to playing for a job. He doesn't like to upset anybody because that might lose a few votes.

He should be saying what he'll do to the public service and how he'll get rid of the pen pushers.

They should be talking about selling off Government bodies - that would make a saving of €10bn for us and increase competition. I think there are many great politicians in Fine Gael but I do think it's time for something new and fresh. And I don't think I'm in a minority.

Look at the banks. They've put mainly the same faces back in again. Maybe it's time to put in people like Michael O'Leary, Eddie Hobbs, Bill Cullen and David McWilliams.

I'm certainly not saying that they always get it right. I'm not saying I always get it right.

We need fighting talk but only if it doesn't blind us to the reality.

Faith

I went to the Fine Gael dinner to see if my faith could be restored. I think Eamon Gilmore is one of the more believable, acceptable politicians as a speaker. I'm not a rebel but Enda Kenny was like a teacher telling the pupils how to pass an exam.

I yawned myself through his speech. It was like a teacher (Kenny is a teacher, after all) talking to a teenage pupil in the rhetoric of a safely prepared stage managed dialogue.

I'm afraid after hearing his ideas that what we now need is Divine intervention.

hnews@herald.ie

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