Fine Gael’s shabby ducking and diving around the Maria Bailey affair continued last evening when local members in Dún Laoghaire voted on whether or not to change the party’s election ticket in their constituency.
The vote was not concerned with new facts or previously unknown principles.
Rather it tested the water on the plausibility of Ms Bailey’s candidacy and the level of risk the party, one that insists it has the highest standards, is prepared to accept if her name is on the ballot paper as an FG candidate.
It was at least a consistent fudge. When her insurance claim was exposed the party hid behind an entirely unnecessary inquiry and deferred making the only decision open to it if it values its integrity.
Last night’s vote, no matter what the result, did not change that in any way.
The ultimate decision still lies with the party’s leadership even though it will hide behind whatever decision was made last night.
How tragic it is that probity might be sacrificed for expediency, how sad it is the party has to have a vote to know what the right thing to do is. Such bad example, such cowardice.