Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where are the Alternative Rottweilers?

When FG's Nora Owen was Justice Minister in the last Rainbow Coalition Government, she was attacked on an almost daily basis by her FF counterpart, John O’Donoghue. He would roar and rant across the chamber, holding her personally responsible for every bicycle theft and sweet-shop break-in. However boorish and despicable his behaviour was, it did succeed in rattling Minister Owen.

Now, however, we have a situation where a search of the country's maximum security jail, Portlaoise prison, has turned up 17 illegal mobile phones, five Sim cards, eleven chargers, eight batteries, three plasma TV sets, a DVD player, ecstasy tablets and two budgies.

Where are the rottweiler attacks on McDowell and the current administration from the opposition parties? The Bull O’Donoghue would, by now, have eviscerated the Minister for Justice if he was sitting on the opposing benches.

Which brings us round to the current election campaign and the uber-aggressive style being adopted by the selected Fianna Fail attack-dogs put up for media “debates”.

On Monday (RTE News at One) last we had Finance Minister Brian Cowen ranting at FG's Richard Bruton. On Tuesday (RTE Drivetime) Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern barracked FG's Dr Liam Twomey while, on Prime Time, Defence Minister Willie O’Dea initiated the shouting match with FG's Brian Hayes.

The common FF strategy in these “debates” seems to be full frontal attack, throw mud, make them deny it, shout them down, rubbish their record, or the lack of it. If they’re making a solid contribution, interrupt, barrack them, throw in any accusation that comes to mind, there’s never sufficient space to get out a coherent rebuttal. Something negative will stick.

Things must be getting fairly tense in the Fuhrer Bunker (aka FF election HQ in Treasury buildings). I’ve seen something similar in the movie Downfall. I wonder who’s playing FF's Bruno Ganz? Hardly Bertie, he doesn’t seem to have the hysterical bit in his make up - could it be the Bull O’Donoghue? I haven’t seen much of him so far, though they may be saving him for the last leg next week. Scary thought.

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