Home Thoughts While Abroad

I spent most of the week in London.

From what I saw in newspapers and on television while there, Gordon Brown seemed preoccupied by the ongoing row over MPs expenses. He lost another minister on Wednesday, though Kitty Ussher was keen to say in her resignation letter that she had done nothing wrong, and was resigning to save the government embarrassment.

Now there’s a striking cultural difference. In Ireland, our politicians seem to be beyond embarrassment. Here, the words ‘I did nothing wrong’ would not be a parting comment from a disgraced minister, but a statement of defiance.

The only other news I heard from home during my time away was a text message from Donegal, letting me know that a Fianna Fáil / Sinn Féin / Labour coalition was in control of the local council following the local elections.

In recent years, a powersharing deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil led to the two major parties sharing control.

The newly elected Mayor, Fianna Fail councillor Brendan Byrne, laid the blame firmly at the feet of Fine Gael, saying the party’s refusal to recognise Sinn Fein’s mandate was the sticking point.

I wonder what Frank Flannery made of that?

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.