On another historical day I have two thoughts going through my mind. Will the Bears beat the Packers tonight and go to the Superbowl, and how many of the 81 men and women who sold us to the IMF will be returned after the general election. I think it will be a good guide line just to see how close their individual decision that day marries with those of the people who placed their trust in them by voting them in.
The Green machine have finally ended one of the most disgraceful periods in politics this country has ever seen. They announced but an hour ago that they were not continuing in government, and that they were resigning all their Ministerial posts. They are still insisting that the Finance Bill has to be implemented in the 'national interest.' With the austeric measures contained in that piece of legislation and the social consequences of that for the coming generation, how anyone can define it's passing as being in the 'national interest' is beyond me. But we are where we are...
The Greens reckon with cross party backing this could be done by the end of next week, though the Failers are insisting this time frame is impossible. With motions of no-confidence on the tables we will see what is possible now, won't we? There won't be time to eat this week so that should save the taxpayer a few bob in expenses.
A party, a government, a system and a country all crying out for leadership and what's on offer instills little hope at the moment.
The Greens are true to their party colour when it came to their first foray into power. Whether it will be their last only time will tell. The one point they may be able to build from is an admission of that rawness, ask for a second chance, which everybody deserves at least once, and attempt to build again. They have some promise, I do believe that. They have a party with characters and we Irish like our characters, particularly us writers.
Gormley, as leader should pay the price. I reckon he won't even run. I'd give Boyle and Gogarty a first and second chance. Eamon Ryan, who I think has something to offer needs to grow a set of balls and instead of looking like a rabbit that's been caught in the headlights this past year needs now to demonstrate some leadership of his own now that he is free of the Failers. I've no doubt there will be a few climbing down and not running over the coming days.
They said in their departing statement that education and the arts would be close to their hearts in the upcoming election. This is good. In fact, it's great to see these areas held in the highest of regards. Education in this country is bad. I'm saying it, bad. Anyone wanting to argue against that is welcome, I'm open for the debate. The arts offer something more than forms of expression. I believe that the arts can have a positive cognitive effect on certain individuals and their lives and can in some cases provide a purpose beyond the pales of addiction. This will be crucial in the period ahead as we try to deal with the consequence of what Fianna Fail have done to this country.
Green work on the civil partnership bill is also admirable and probably their best contribution to the debacle which has moved like a slow moving avalanche, only to subside totally over the past seven extraordinary days, smothering Fianna Fáil into blind chaos.
People should have the right to be recognised as equals no matter who they are or what their persuasion may be. It's one of the foundation blocks of any true democratic and progressive society.
Now we find out what they will all be offering in exchange for a couple of slips of a pen which we will use again as the e-voting machines lie in storage, unused and at massive cost to the taxpayer.
Where's the jobs coming from? The support for SME's? Stem the tide of emigration which gives the false impression that unemployment is levelling off when in fact it's worse than any figures suggest. Negative equity? How to deal with the IMF and the ECB who pull their numbers from the sky? Banks? Real term accountability? Investigations?
The range of policy and ideas will be played out now. I hope people listen and seek the answers and people for how they would like to see Ireland shape itself in the coming years. There is no quick fix so we may as well do it right. The people of Ireland won't stand for more of the same. That's the responsibility now for all those who want to be in the political arena.
I hope this is an opportunity to start that change. A new starting point. In the interest of positivity I won't make my personal feelings felt on that one today. Today is a good day. Finally a chance to see who are the leaders among us. See who wants Ireland to be something different, a cultural, technological and scientific hub to the masses of the world. A case study into ideals and the practice of proper democracy. I want what Iceland are doing. People should count in Ireland before all else. That's the major issue in this election. You can talk economies all you want, but when you build an economy off the back of a distressed people, well let's hope those who think they have what it takes actually know what they are doing. Failure is not an option anymore. Not that it should ever have been in the first place.
It's a terrible thing to watch people walk away with rip-off pensions, the highlight of their political lives the bankrupting of a nation.
We, as a people must make sure that never happens again.
Our forefathers demand it. Ireland demands it. The people demand it.
Over to you...