Colette Browne, ultra feminist, ultra liberal and cheerleader of the pro abortion campaign in Ireland seems worried – although she is trying to hide it.
She is not alone.
Deep down the “monstrous regiment” of men and women which manipulated the Irish political system to legislate for abortion on demand with the formula “I-demand-an-abortion-and-I will-kill-myself-if-you-don’t-give-me-what-I-want” know that they have awakened the conscience of a nation – and they fear the consequences.
Enda Kenny is widely seen as having betrayed those who elected him by wilting under the pressure from Ireland’s left-liberal league and put a very flawed – even from a purely legal point of view – abortion act on the statute books. The medical profession is is now telling him that his act is unworkable. No Irish politician in living memory has been looked on with such distaste or has been spoken of in such hostile terms as this man has.
After his perceived betrayal of the electorate Kenny then mercilessly punished his political party members who refused to go along with his folly. These have since begun to talk to each other about reform of the Irish political environment and in a language which is music to the ears of voters who for the life of the current Government, and longer, have experienced wholesale disenfranchisement. This group now stands poised to put together a political option for these disenchanted voters. At a conservative estimate this group probably now constitutes more than 40% of the Irish electorate.
With an admirable strategy the reformers are not rushing to set up any definitive structure but are simply setting up a stall to attract politicians of any and all parties who are sick of the deceitful and self-serving politics which Kenny and his rump is now identified with. Just now, the water is being tested to find women and men for whom principle, integrity and decent human values come first. Policies will follow but will follow in a mould consistent with those values.
Kenny is currently trying to garner credit of Ireland’s tentative economic recovery. But Ireland’s relatively competent permanent public servants, the International Monetary Fund , the European Central Bank and the European Commission are the ones who have rescued Ireland from its notorious bailout. All the Irish political parties were complicit in the creation of the economic melt-down which necessitated the drastic measures which corrected it. Whatever party was in power when the bailout was forced on Ireland would have done what Kenny’s coalition government has had to do. No choice, no credit. The Irish people are not fools. They know this.
So what is the problem for Browne et al? It is this. They see an embryonic political movement which has the potential to set at naught all their political scheming to turn Ireland into a “progressive” and “modern” society made to their own image and likeness. They want to kill off this embryo before it has a chance to complicate their lives and their dream. Browne’s chosen tactic, employed in a recent column in the Irish Independent, was cynicism and abuse.
Other than a love of spouting meaningless banalities about the need for unspecified change and reform . . . what does the Reform Alliance (the provisional designation of the new movement) stand for? She asks.
Rhetorically she wonders why we are so convinced that we need a new political party when no one knows what it will stand for. Something of a non sequitor there?
In her response to the case for a new party put by an independent member of the existing Dáil (parliament) she retorts: “Sounds great doesn’t it? A thrusting new young party to enter the political fray and shake up the cosy-consensus politics that has come to dominate Leinster House.”
She asks: “Where does it stand on economic issues? With none of its members voting against the Government on any money bill, can we assume that they support the Government’s economic policies?
“What about social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage? We know that the members have a very conservative attitude to abortion but does this conservatism also seep into other areas?”
She knows full well that at this stage this movement is not about policies because there is no party yet to have an articulated policy. What she and others want is that these individuals might act prematurely so that they could then be slaughtered. She knows full well what some of them are thinking but she and others cannot properly begin their attack until policies are articulated. This is very frustrating.
Ms Lucinda Creighton, Browne reminds us all, has previously stated that she is against gay marriage and another member, Fidelma Healy Eames, has railed against the “scale and pace” of social legislation undertaken by the Government. Lucinda Creighton, formerly a Kenny government minister was the most prominent member sacked by him for her disobedience to the machine. She is clearly the driving force behind the new movement – and consequently the number one target that the liberal left want to get their teeth into. But she is too wily for them.
Browne then goes on to moan about the sameness of Irish political parties and analyses the problem pretty well: Irish voters now have no meaningful choice when they go to the polls. She does not put it this way, but the truth is that in recent elections Irish voters were presented with a range of politically corrected puppets of the liberal and equally monolithic Irish media to chose from. But clearly Browne does not like what she sees coming down the tracks and her strategy is to shout to us all, “Don’t be fooled – this is just more of the same.” That is where a great number of Irish people hope she is wrong. There is now an expectation that the local and European election in a few months time will show the true state of Irish political opinion. Some see these elections and the national elections due in over a year’s time as an opportunity for the biggest shake-up in Irish politics in 80 or 90 years.