The first day of this campaign has confirmed yet again that this is a government which has no real plan for our country’s future. From their first days in office they have put spin first and sought to avoid real debate.
The decision of Enda Kenny to refuse to attend the RTE Six One interview and to send Leo Varadkar at the last minute capped off an arrogant display where their core message was that there is no choice in this election – that we have to just let them carry on.
Five years ago Enda Kenny said that “Paddy likes to know” – yesterday he said “Paddy can’t understand”. His statement that “The arguments about money are economic arguments” and are therefore too complex for ordinary people is insulting and arrogant.
The mess that Fine Gael is in about their economic policies has been built up over time. They spent months briefing a constantly escalating series of promises on tax cuts and spending. Every time Fianna Fáil took the initiative on issues like a rainy day fund they reacted with panic and are now contradicting themselves.
If the new position, announced yesterday and repeated this morning is true, then Michael Noonan himself misled a national newspaper and in turn the Irish public when he outlined plans for a rainy day fund.
But even more important than this is the fact that both government parties have confirmed that they simply do not understand the problems faced by the people of our country.
In their various speeches, videos and interviews the one thing which was completely absent was any acknowledgement of the major problems which have arisen during their term.
There are 1,600 children in emergency accommodation and all Enda Kenny and Joan Burton had to say was “keep it going or put it all at risk”.
Fianna Fáil believes that we don’t have to choose between a strong economy and a decent society – we can and must have both.