To govern is to choose between disadvantages. So read yesterday's Salthill Seapoint casino's quote-of-the-day. It's an apt quote (the internet attributes it to Charles De Gaulle) considering Friday's impending general election. Perhaps today's quote might read something like – “to vote is to choose between bad and worse.”
For the past few weeks, I've been hurling abuse at Fianna Fáil via Twitter, Facebook and the radio (I don't just scream at the wireless, sometimes I text in as well). Now I might have a higher than normal sense of self-importance (I actually expect someone might even be reading this blog) but I doubt my FF-abuse has done or will do much damage to the soldiers of destiny. Really I've been just venting. But I will get the opportunity come Friday to inflict some harm, however slight, by not giving Fianna Fáil a single preference.
Here's another quote-of-the-day – a wise man hates no-one – I read it once on a calendar. Hatred is stupid, dangerous and destructive. Most times it's the hater who gets hurt the most. Yet hate is also easy, seductive and (to me anyway) addictive. Boy do I love to hate. And man do I loathe Fianna Fáil. I hate them.
I blame Fianna Fáil for the mess we're currently in as a nation. They lost us our economic sovereignty. They have left us in an almost comical position – we the taxpayers have bailed out the banks and yet many of us same taxpayers are still in debt to those same banks. As far as I can tell, there really is no immediate alternative to our deal with the ECB/IMF. Therefore we will have to accept severe cutbacks as well as higher taxes in order to receive the ECB/IMF funding. I wish Sinn Féin and others were correct in their assertions that we can go it alone and tell the ECB/IMF to sod-off but Gerry Adams can't seem to tell us where the money will then come from to pay nurses, light streets, run buses and pay the countless other bills a nation has to pay. So it looks like we have no choice but to accept the harsh medicine that's coming our way. And that's what angers me the most – Fianna Fáil have left us with the choice between something bad and something worse.
Another reason I despise Fianna Fáil is their ongoing refusal to truly accept their responsibility for this disaster. Cowen (remember him? He's our Taoiseach still) when he was ever asked about his party's unpopularity would answer that any party would be unpopular if they had to make the difficult choices his government were forced to make in order to save our economy from total annihilation. Martin as Fianna Fáil leader has continued this line since taking over. It galls me to hear it. It entirely misses the vital, salient and simple point that it was Fianna Fáil who caused the financial mess in the first place. Theirs is the party who were in power for almost fifteen years and it was Fianna Fáil ministers for finance and taoisigh who had political control of and responsibility for our economic policy. It was Fianna Fáil who slept while our regulators slept while the banks ran out of control. It was Fianna Fáil who allowed our economy to become almost entirely dependent on construction. It was Fianna Fáil who ignored the voices who called out, stop the madness. Were Fianna Fáil the only ones to make mistakes? No. Were Fianna Fáil the only party to be in power throughout all of this recklessness and waste? Yes. Have Fianna Fáil accepted the blame? Never. Whenever a Fianna Fáil member or spokesperson is actually forced to acknowledge these causes of our economic ruin, he or she invariably cites the downturn in the world economy and nimbly sidesteps Fianna Fáil culpability.
A paraphrased quote – I'm trying real hard Ringo not to hate.
I hate Fianna Fáil but it is not good to hate. It's bad for my soul. So I will try not to hate. I will try to tolerate. I will try and acknowledge that not all of Fianna Fáil is to blame and Fianna Fáil is not to blame for all. Finally I will try and not get angry with those fellow citizens who will, despite all that's happened, vote Fianna Fáil come Friday.
But I will not be one of them.