herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Savage i: Labour campaign shifts to 'buddy cop' Gilmore taking FG bullets

FOR the last number of weeks we've seen a Labour Party campaign directed at the national electorate. That campaign was 'Eamon Gilmore for Taoiseach'.

Last night's debate saw Labour launch a new campaign at a different electorate. That campaign is 'Eamon Gilmore for Tanaiste' and the electorate is Enda Kenny.

A new, conciliatory Gilmore appeared last night, talking about 'sitting around a desk' with Enda.

More importantly the new Gilmore threw himself in front of Enda every time Micheal Martin attacked him.

It was like those movies where the buddy cop dives in front of the incoming bullet to save his partner.

As soon as Martin went on the attack, Gilmore, who completely ignored Fianna Fail's record in the first debate, leapt into the path of the missile, drew his weapon and shot rounds of 'you've been in Government for 14 years' at Micheal.

Gone were Eamon's attacks on FG's tax policies.

Whatever the posters say, last night told us once and for all that Gilmore's sights are no longer set on leading the Government.

They're set on not leading the Opposition.

A POLL today shows Fianna Fail on 14pc. Something doesn't add up here.

Fianna Fail claims to have 3,000 cumann around the country.

We can estimate the average reach of each cumann at a minimum of 150 people (wives, husbands, family and friends).

That adds up to 450,000 people around the country. Out of an electorate of roughly three million that's more than 14pc.

These numbers may not be the most accurate in the world (I ran out of space on the back of my envelope) but surely there has to be a lot more than 450,000 people in this State who are friends with, or children of, or married to someone in Fianna Fail?

It feels very like 'shy-Tory' factor; that term invented by pollsters in the UK to explain how they vastly underestimated the Conservative vote that saw Kinnock's Labour suffer a shock defeat.

The polling companies may be faithfully recording what people say to them, but are we sure those people are giving their true intentions?

It's arguable that we could apply the same principle to other parties about which people may not be totally honest.

Take the Green Party as a case in point.

Like Fianna Fail, its numbers are difficult to believe.

The party is on 1pc. Which suggests that -- including party members, friends, family and neighbours -- there are roughly 30,000 people in the country who really like the Greens.

I find that very hard to believe. Seems high.

THE election will soon be over.

This is a bad thing.

Not because it was entertaining. It wasn't.

Not because we won't get a good government. We might. Not because we didn't get enough policy discussion. We did, oh God we did.

It's a bad thing because papers and radio stations will have space to fill when the politics runs out.

And you know what will fill it?

Awfulness.

Bankruptcy.

Insolvency.

IMF. Bailouts.

NAMA. And general depressing crapiness of the highest order.

While the election was going on, it was possible to read a newspaper without wanting to crawl behind your couch and cry.

It was a little sunny break. It's over now.

So, to get you in the mood; we're doomed, coffin ships will soon leave our ports, we'll have to eat road-kill, and our children will be sold for medical experiments.

The State will compulsorily purchase your grandparents and everyone's teeth will be removed to create dentures for German investors.

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