Anyone thinking that the anger was dissipating would need a rethink having watched any of the series of Vincent Browne/TV3 debates in advance of the election. I was particularly interested in the Dublin Bay North one, given that was one of my former political areas of activity (or at least the DNE part of it). And interesting it was too. A couple of observations. Even if those in the hall (Clontarf Castle Hotel no less) were those most exercised by matters it was clear from the expressions on the Government TDs that they were now well used to this. And speaking of them, what is it with Labour TDs in the current period where they immediately run to abstractions rather than addressing direct questions? When repeatedly asked about cuts in assistance to single parents allowance and the lack of complementary childcare services Aodhán Ó Ríordáin started talking about ‘labour activation’ (I paraphrase but not too much) processes to bring people into employment. Thin stuff. Thin. Very thin. And received as such. Indeed there was a wince inducing glibness about the responses. This was prior to the Deirdre Heney issue so a certain Haughey was there. And the small controversy over supposed threats wasn’t screened. Terence Flanagan’s contributions were… unique.
But all in all the picture is one of an embattled government, a large opposition, and… well, no clarity at all as to the outcomes. I’ve no better sense of who will win seats now than I did before. Bruton, I suppose. SF, presumably. Broughan and McGrath I’d guess more rather than less likely. And after that?