No difference between Fine Fáil and Fine Gael: both are different but the same

So Noonan saved Kenny’s bacon again but in the process, no doubt unintentionally, proved the charge of cronyism against Fine Gael.

Because otherwise the response from Noonan should have been for the party to face up to the issue of cronyism head-on, no matter how uncomfortable it was for Fine Gael. But like the old-school politician he is, Noonan’s advice instead was to do nothing that draws attention to Fine Gael’s cronyism. To be more discreet about the cronyism.

No wonder Fine Gael TDs and Senators lapped it up, anything that gives them an excuse to wallow in denial and carry on as usual claiming tax free expenses without publishing receipts and forwarding the names of friends and family for appointment to the quangohood.

It’s no matter to them that two extra places were deliberately created on the board of IMMA at the taxpayers’ expense, for no other reason than to provide two crony appointments to Fine Gael candidates, one of whom is still on the board getting €15,000 a year.

It still leaves all of the dozens of appointments made since 2011 every single one of whom were made to people who have links with Fine Gael or Labour.

But of course when there is no ethical example from the President down through the Taoiseach or Tánaiste, all of whom continue to overpay themselves and refuse point blank to publish the receipts to verify the tax free expenses they claim on top of those overpaid salaries, not to mention refusing to publish audited accounts for how their parties are funded, or diaries of their lobbying meetings, is it any wonder the lower orders wouldn’t know what ethics or standards in public office looked like it was written out for them on the back of a Seanad nomination paper.

Oh, and don’t forget there’s a vacancy on the board of IMMA. Applications should be sent via a Fine Gael head office official so they can be blamed later on when it becomes clear how unsuitable for the role the person appointed is.

As this government has comprehensively proven, there is no different at all between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in matters of ethics, all the remains is to pick the name of the new party when they join back together, will it be Fine Fáil or Fianna Gael?

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf



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