Water charges would be a red-line issue for Fianna Fail harrumphed Cowen on Prime Time, alarmingly sounding more and more like the brother. This despite the fact that Fianna Fail had not yet met to agree on any red lines. What’s more, he confirmed to the Irish Independent, that those who had paid their water charges would not be recompensed.
This from the party which planned to introduce water charges pre Troika at a cost to households of €500 a year. FF changed its mind later when it consulted its inbuilt populism monitor (remember the abolition of rates and the mess that caused?). Cue middle Ireland wondering whether they should pay the next water bill and being mocked by a non-payer on Joe Duffy’s Liveline that they would be naïve if they did.
The resentment caused by this will make the medical card debacle look like Pyjama Day by comparison
Meanwhile Simon Coveney in his car crash interview on Prime Time appeared to leave the door open to water charges being abolished if it helped FG get back into Government. What will also alarm and infuriate middle Ireland was that when asked if FG would talk to Sinn Fein he did not, as he should have, kick the ball into row Z, but said they (SF) would not talk to them. This perhaps due to his dear leader’s earlier ambiguous statement that he would talk to anyone.
So we have the situation that law abiding middle Ireland faces the prospect of being screwed again while FG and FF play power games to position themselves not so much for this Dail but the next.
Barry Cowen as well as FG are playing with fire. If either, in the raw pursuit of power, causes water charges to be abolished without compensation then the great silent majority will be crouching in the long grass with sharpened machetes. The resentment caused by this will make the medical card debacle look like Pyjama Day by comparison.
Due to cynical political failure from the beginning of Irish Water, we face once again third world water provision. Meanwhile pensioners lie unattended on trollies and the poor and well as middle income earners are being priced out of accommodation.
What a country. New party anyone?