I think this rural vs urban stuff is nonsense, Mark Coughlan of another parish noted that it seemed to be in areas where the PDs had once had a foothold or seat that the FGers were opposed to the confidence motion. I would expend that and incorporating my previously expressed and rather simplistic notion of tribalists versus policisits slightly. I would suggest that TDs and Senators from places where FF are the only enemy (and I would include places where a personal vote has gotten Labour TDs elected), these are for the most part ideological free zones and have been for the last 30 years or more and they tended to back Enda because they saw this as an internal party matter and assault on the chief. But in places where FGers have had to battle Labour, the PDs, SF or the Greens or some other shape of ideologue then they saw this as being about reaching out way beyond traditional FG territory by the force of our ideas and so were backing Bruton. In those places, they are tend to FG more by choice than by birth and what the party actually does is more important than who does it. Those they are places where the PDs gained votes from FG during the 80s and 90s.
That divide still remains, and if those who think it is more important what your family did in 1922 than what you’ve got to offer yourself have the upper hand and use it to secure their position then the party is going to find itself struck around 30% for the foreseeable future with Labour and FF snapping at their heels. But if they realise that what was being said in criticism of the performance at the top table was valid and that we still require a change at the top, even if that change is to be in what the top is doing rather than who it is that is doing it then we could really make some headway and leap well ahead of both FF and Labour. For me it is noteworthy that no one has addressed my Bloomsday questions to date, and I think that’s because they are still current and no one particularly wants to give voice to the answers.
Those questions are.
1. Do they accept there is a problem with the public’s perception of his abilities – not with his actual abilities but with the public’s perception of them? I think most people will answer yes.
2. To those who accept there is a problem with that perception, what do we do about it? There are three options: i) demonstrate immediately a convincing plan to right the public’s misconceptions of Mr Kenny and explain why this has not happened before now, ii) accept stagnation of the party’s support, or iii) remove the perception problem entirely by removing the very man who is the subject of the incorrect perception.
We appear yesterday to have rejected option (iii) and surely we can’t as a party be planning on living with option (ii) so the question remains when will we see movement on option (i)?