The article below is by Sam Smyth in Monday 23rd June's Indo.
One thing has me thinking: the article has a lot of similarities, to the contents, posted on P.ie
Coincidence, are we all thinking alike.....or what?
By Sam Smyth
Monday June 23 2008
THE mood among Fine Gael lifers is somewhere between muffled desperation and quiet resignation.
Another drop in another opinion poll and further speculation about the leadership offers no hope to supporters. And, more ominously, it gives succour to their enemies.
A three-point drop to 25pc, the fourth decline in support in as many months in yesterday's "Sunday Business Post", confirmed their decline in "The Irish Times" poll ten days ago.
Nor is there a white knight waiting in the wings to lead the party out of Opposition and into Government Buildings. And, to add to their despair, there is no realistic prospect of Enda Kenny and Fine Gael triumphing at next year's mid-term test for the government.
Fine Gael insiders acknowledge they will have difficulty retaining their five seats in the European Parliament. And because Fianna Fail did so badly in the last local elections, Fine Gael cannot expect to show them up in next year's.
Most political parties would take a long hard look at a leader who offered them no serious hope of achieving office. But there is no mood for a change even among the gloomiest Fine Gaelers.
Five leaders in 15 years only added suspicion and rancour to disappointment, according to one veteran, who added: "And no one is convinced that any candidate on offer would do any better than Enda."
And that will further depress party supporters who will see that fatalism as defeatism and only add to the perception of Fianna Fail as the natural leader of future Irish governments.
It is also bad news for a robust democracy where a vibrant Opposition should offer an alternative to an incompetent and tired government in its third term.
Yet Fianna Fail retains its 40pc standing in yesterday's poll, confirmation that the electorate will not punish the Government for losing the 'Yes' argument on the Lisbon Treaty.
The slogan on the wall of Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters in 1992 -- It's the economy, stupid-- will dominate public debate for the next couple of years.
And as the economy nosedives, unemployment soars, public services are cut and taxes are increased, it will offer an opportunity for the Opposition to show leadership.
Yet Enda Kenny has never appeared comfortable or even competent dealing with economic issues
According to one senior party figure, the polls will get worse and morale in the party will get lower in the months to come.
It is the second largest political organisation in the State and its leader the only possible successor as taoiseach, yet they offer no credible threat to the Government or Brian Cowen.
This lack of ambition in Fine Gael suggests their own party's well being is more important to them than the public interest. And the public interest demands that Fine Gael provide a competent Opposition.
What, the electorate will ask, is Fine Gael for and why is it not currently a realistic contender to lead the next government?