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ENDA Kenny might go down in history as the man who introduced the boomerang to Irish politics.
It certainly found its mark on its return journey, lodging itself in the metaphorical backside of Fine Gael when he opted effectively to sabotage the Tánaiste’s planned trip to the US.
He must have known that its purpose was to promote desperately needed investment in Ireland and encourage more students to visit our country.
What appalling judgment and insensitivity he has shown.
He has certainly vindicated the position of those dissidents in his parliamentary party who wanted him replaced as leader.
The planned Enterprise Ireland trip is by any standards a most welcome undertaking. We should be demanding many more such initiatives from the Government at this hellish time for the economy.
Fine Gael has been crowing for months about the primacy of job creation and education, lambasting the Government for its part in “blowing the boom” and for not addressing the unemployment crisis.
Now we see that the party is more concerned with getting its hands on power than with the plight of the 455,000 people on the dole. Instead of rowing in behind the minister on this one occasion, when she was committed to an obviously important and worthwhile trip that has the potential to benefit Ireland, Fine Gael tries to wreck the whole project.
This is the narrowest form of self-serving political opportunism.
The mask has truly dropped, revealing a bunch of ambitious politicians who are mad anxious to form a government before Labour overtakes Fine Gael as the main opposition party. Mr Kenny proclaimed, in defence of his action, that his party must take the gloves off in its dealings with the Government. It might also consider taking its blinkers off before again opting to engage in what could have amounted to economic sabotage. Fair play to Labour for having the sense to agree a pairing arrangement to facilitate the visit.
This makes a refreshing change from its decision last June to oppose the abolition of stag-hunting despite being on record as supporting a ban. Perhaps it has learned from that episode that most of us would prefer to see government decisions or proposed laws supported or opposed on their own merits, and not from a desire to indulge in short-term political point-scoring.
The Fine Gael frontbench will hopefully learn that lesson too as it sets about the painful task of extracting the Kenny boomerang.
Lr Coyne Street
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