Saturday, April 25, 2009

John McGuinness is Not John the Baptist. Irish Nation Please Copy.

An Spailpín Fánach is stunned by the reaction to John McGuinness’ whining during the week. McGuinness got the road during the junior minister reshuffle and isn’t happy about it. Nobody would be – some people have enough in to take it on the chin and move on, some throw rattles from prams. God didn’t make us all the same after all.

But what is stunning, and deeply depressing, is the way the man is being hailed as some sort of Messiah. Marian Finucane is reading out texts on her radio show this morning along the lines of “at last, someone with the guts to speak out.”

But that’s nonsense. An Spailpín wants to know if McGuiness is only “speaking out” because he lost his state car. John McGuinness was a junior minister for two years – why didn’t he do something then? Talk is cheap. McGuiness held the reins of power for two years – what did he do with them? If he hadn’t got the road, would he be doing half the talking?

John McGuinness is doing a lot of whining about Mary Coughlan, having carefully picked the softest target in the Government. Twenty years ago Mary Harney was a junior minister to Pádraig Flynn at Environment, and she managed to clear up the smog in Dublin. Mary Coughlan can hardly be trickier than Pee was in his pomp. Has John McGuinness done anything like that with his junior ministry? Or even close?

No, he has not. And yet you read on the front page of yesterday’s Mail about what a clever and talented fellow John McGuinness is. Clever and talented how? His website would suggest his IT skills are limited, for instance.

An Spailpín Fánach has a question for John McGuinness – if things are so golly-gosh bad with Brian Cowen, why doesn’t McGuinness resign the Fianna Fáil whip entirely? Joe Behan in Wicklow, at least, had the courage to do that just that – why doesn’t John McGuiness put his money where his mouth is and quit the party?

McGuinness can’t join Fine Gael. Not because of any ideological issues of course ... but because Phil Hogan is the sitting Fine Gael TD for the Marble City and There is No Way on God’s Green Earth Phillo and McGuinness are going hand in hand up the aisle. Phil has had quite enough trouble with one McGuinness as it is – he doesn’t need another, thanks very much.

John McGuinness could always run as an independent of course, and put his money where his mouth is.

Or maybe not. How about the Labour party? Séamus Patterson got elected for Kilkenny and Labour for forty years – there’s certainly a seat there. Why doesn’t McGuinness nail his colours to the mast and do that? Labour would certainly welcome him – they got hammered in the last election in Carlow/Kilkenny and are desperate for candidates all over the country – look at whom they’re running for the European elections, for instance. Why doesn’t John McGuinness join them if he finds the current Government so intolerable – as and from the moment of his sacking, and not so much before?

But even more to the point – why doesn’t someone in the national media ask him, instead of giving him a free ride? Have we given up entirely on joined-up thinking?

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