Recent opinion polls have indicated that there is a resurgence in support for Fianna Fáil. Now, it's no surprise that there is a small section of Irish society (the so-called "core vote") that will always hanker after the Soldiers of Destiny. It probably shall be thus for years to come no matter how many feck-ups the country is subjected to at their hands.
What is worrying is that recent poll figures suggest that the party is starting to outgrow this core vote. At current trends, they stand an excellent chance of becoming the most popular party in the run up to the next general election.
Is this what we want? Do we really really desire back in power after a few years' hiatus the party that wreaked such horrors on the national economy? Are our memories that short?
Perhaps they are. Lately, we've become focused on certain issues that have only arisen in the last few months and Fianna Fáil spokesperson have not been hesitant in speaking out critically regarding the government's performance. So, for example, they have harsh things to say regarding the Halappanavar case even though they sat for 14 years on the abortion legislation issue
And they're getting away with it.
Other parties on the opposition benches should not be making common cause with Fianna Fáil on anything. FF has pretty much the same irredentist support base that it had in the mid-noughties and if the party shows signs of revival, it will easily outstrip the likes of Sinn Féin if the SFers only train their attacks on the government. It is incumbent on the likes of Sinn Féin (and the SP etc.) to attack Fianna Fáil as often as it attacks the coalition. Do the Sinners believe that FF in government will offer anything different? Surely not.
As for the government, I think they need to realise that the message that FF caused this mess is not past its sell by date - at least not in the context of debates with FFers. It's simply not acceptable for Fianna Fáilers to be criticising government performance in the resolution of a crisis caused by Fianna Fáilers.
The hope will be that various trials relating to the banking and property collapse will have been given a good airing well in advance of the next election. That should give ample scope for reminding the public that the "Soldiers of Destiny" can not be trusted ever again with the destiny of 4.5m people. As well as being in the interest of ever other party to repeatedly ram this point home, it's also in the interest of the nation.