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Well-known member
Sep 29, 2009
As FF contemplate their fate, and the inexorable heave against Cowan readies itself for the Christmas break, how many of the big beasts of the party are tonight on their knees praying "Charlie, let this chalice pass from me?!" These are no ordinary times. A new leader pre-election would most likely be a leader solely for the election, in that there would be nothing else to do as Taoiseach - presuming that the coalition partners supported him or her as Taoiseach - other than call an election. Then it would be a damage limitation exercise, with the party hoping a fresh face would ease them to 40 seats or north of it, which would be seen as a victory. Then opposition - humbling, humiliating opposition. After ten, twelve years as ministers, would they go back to being ordinary TDs again, not even in government? Who wants that! And for how long? Who has the energy to drive the party any more?

For FF itself to think about its future, it needs to demonstrate that it has genuinely changed. Hannafin, Ahern, and Lenihan are relics of the past, scions of Bertie and Biffo, themselves spawn of CJH. John McGuinness, on the other hand, is the anti-Biffo, consistently calling for his resignation, aghast at the state of the party (yet loyal, always), charismatic, relatively young and camera friendly. He smacks of decency, honesty. Even FG and Lab would probably accede to that, notwithstanding his voting support for the government.

The big beasts may let him stand, thinking they can take him down once he loses the election. The stalking horse might win! Then...with a decent showing in the election, a party re-invigorated, a new beginning, a new hope, a shining new dawn bursts through the clouds of fear and despair.

Behold Saint John, the Anti-Biffo! Fianna Fail is reborn, Ireland is renewed!

(You can see the narrative...I won't labour the point :)

Tomas Mor

Well-known member
Feb 22, 2010
McGuinness seems to be too much of a maverick for leadership. All the present ministers are tainted also so they must be ruled out. Next leader may come from younger generation, Peter Power, Michael McGrath,Daire O brien etc

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