New Old Politics


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach-in-waiting Leo Varadkar

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Presenter Audrey Carville, in an interview with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, asked him about the front page story in today’s Irish Independent, headlined: “FF deal with Leo will quieten Left parties in Dáil’.

In the story, Kevin Doyle reports:

Fianna Fáil is pushing to have the allocation of speaking in the Dáil dramatically restructured to favour larger parties.

In a shift away from so-called ‘new politics’, Michéal Martin wants to team up with incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to rebalance power in the Dáil to reflect the number of TDs in a party.

….During his meeting with Mr Varadkar, the Fianna Fáil leader argued that the d’Hondt system should be used for deciding speaking time. This would see time allocated based on the size of a party’s representation.

“I think Leo understood where I was coming from very strongly on that,” he said.

Further to this.

From Morning Ireland earlier…

Audrey Carville: “Let me ask about the front page story in the Irish Independent this morning. That you, along with Leo Varadkar, are planning to restructure Dáil speaking time, away from left-wing parties. Is that true? Are they getting too much?”

Micheál Martin: “No, I’ve been saying this for quite some time. This is not news in the sense that my, or our, position is that we should have the d’Hondt mechanism which basically means that people get the time that reflects their parliamentary strength. The majority of our TDs are not getting the time, fair time in the Dáil and it’s the same for the Fine Gael party and, indeed the Sinn Féin party…”

Carville:Are you feeling threatened by the quality of their contributions?

Martin:No, no it’s just that we want fairness. I think nobody an argue that if you 45 TDs you should get a proportion of the amount of time that reflects that. We’re simply saying that the current situation is not fair and a lot of deputies are getting squeezed out and excluded from having the opportunity to participate in Dáil debates so I think it’s only fair that the amount of time we get should reflect our strength in the Dáil.”

Later, when asked if he’ll miss Enda Kenny:

Martin: “On a personal level, we got on very well and I wish himself and Fionnuala the very, very best. I think, fundamentally, he was a courageous politician, he took over when Fine Gael was at a very low ebb. I think he’s probably smiling a bit today that there are many people who are out there declaring that he was the greatest leader since Brian Boru even though they were looking for journalists to brief a short time ago against him, that’s the nature of politics. So I think he’s probably enjoying the moment that he’s enjoyed the last number of weeks. But I wish him well and I think he worked on behalf of the country, extremely enthusiastic, he was a patriot and he was a courageous leader.

Previously: ‘They’re Loud And They’re Growing’

‘This Hard-Left, Conspiratorial View’

Listen back in full here


Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy (above) has released a statement, saying:

“Fianna Fail want the best of both worlds, they already have the benefit of having one foot in Government and one foot in opposition and now they want to effectively silence those of us who actually present real opposition to what is essentially a cosy Fianna Fail and Fine Gael arrangement in the House.”

While Fianna Fáil may, in name only, be the main opposition party, their deal to support the Fine Gael minority Government ensures that they do not offer a credible opposition. In such a scenario the rest of the opposition become vital at holding the Minority government and its supporters to account.”

“For Fianna Fáil to try and dilute that opposition is yet another breathtakingly arrogant move by a party who seem to be confused about whether they are in Government or Opposition.”

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20 thoughts on “New Old Politics

  1. bisted

    …heard that interview…you left out the bit about him giving out about the shinners and their abstentionist policies…wouldn’t catch the FFers at that crack…

  2. Jonickal

    Speaking time proposal makes sense.

    Mick Wallace gets about as much speaking time as the entire FF backbench. Not exactly fair.

    1. ReproBertie

      Who wants to hear from the FF back bench?

      Unless they’re apologising for leaving the country bankrupt, being run by the Troika and funded by the short term, emergency USC of course.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    Carville: “Are you feeling threatened by the quality of their contributions?”


    Of course FF and FG are teaming up again. Of course they’re trying to silence the left wing of the house. Of course they are proving themselves to be, again, unscrupulous, undemocratic scam artists. Of course the bootlickers will justify it.

  4. Kenny U-Vox Plank

    Hey Bodger, why are you driving traffic to / doing PR for RTE?

    RTE should be shut down – a pile of overpaid Labour/Sinn Fein luvvies with trimmings of FF around the edge. We have enough state propaganda from the Irish Times, Independent, and the rest without this stuff being added to BS.

  5. MoyestWithExcitement

    Get’em, Catherine! Good jayzus, I hope her party will be able to field a decent amount of candidates next time out. She’s our Corbyn/Sanders.

    1. bisted

      …whatever about Catherine, some of her hangers on are questionable…her closest ally, Anne Marie McNally, would be more Blair/Mandelson…no thanks…

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “Anne Marie McNally, would be more Blair/Mandelson”

        I don’t really have an opinion about you so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re taking the widdle there.

        1. bisted

          …my comments are based mainly on her few contributions to Broadsheet…her appearances on Vincent Browne and her Twitter feed. To me she is another opportunist politico that has jumped onto a passing bandwagon…
          …but thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt…you know your opinion is important to me…

  6. Sheik Yahbouti

    Well said, Catherine Murphy, the whole rotten situation set out clearly and succinctly – and we tolerate this?

  7. Fergus the magic postman

    Without the left wing parties they are attempting to silence, we’d know nothing about the corruption among the highest levels in Gardaí with the treatment of whistle blowers, or the special deals with Dinny, and the Siteserv debacle.
    Sure it’s no wonder the two main parties who hardly differ at all would rather not have the inconvenience of ordinary people being made aware of shenanigans like these.

  8. Truth in the News

    Since FF support the present Government and keep them in Power, how come
    they have not occupied the seats along side them, as they are not in opposition
    since they prop them up.

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