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Ironically this Government and Enda Kenny, in particular, are beginning to resemble not so much a party in disarray but as a king in distress. That king is King Canute.
Sat on his coastline with his hand up trying to command the sea. But the angry tide has turned against Fine Gael and the futility of concessions being bandied about will not be enough to hold the waves back.
Canute is doomed, doomed by the very element he tried so disastrously to control: water. From the moment this Government guillotined the Water Bill in the Dáil the process has been dogged by criticism and angry response. The rushing through of that bill, without any proper debate, has resulted in confusion and anger among government ranks. Now it is plain for one and all to see what happens when blatant disregard is shown to the democratic process.
From the demand for PPS numbers to the revelation of bonus schemes and car perks, Tierney and his cohorts have shown two fingers to the Irish public. But it has been a gross under-estimation and the Government are now in full retreat and introducing measures almost on a daily basis. This is evidenced by the ludicrous welfare package just introduced whereby all those on the household package will each receive €100 towards their bill. That is 650,000 people costing €65m. And yet the people are not standing for it. They want to know why they are paying for water twice.
They want to know why a proper procedure of tendering never went out for all the tasks of setting up Irish Water. They want to know why tens of millions of euro was squandered on “advisers”. They want to know why, if they cannot pay, their rights to water will be “cut to a trickle”. They want to know why personal information has already been mishandled. And they want to know why this government has failed to enshrine into law the idea that this company will not be flogged off into the private sector.
King Canute may sit there but soon the waves will engulf him.
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