They have finally revealed their hand. Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar met yesterday and have started negotiations to form a government.
Before the election, Martin said he would never share power with Fine Gael. He said that real change implied the removal of Fine Gael ministers. Now he is talking of a government of equals.
After the election, Varadkar said that he wanted to lead the opposition. Now he says he wants to join Martin in government.
The two right wing leaders lie repeatedly and regard politics as a game of organised deception. They are at ease saying one thing and acting differently. Their latest excuse for their U turns is the Coronavirus.
Yet both these parties are directly responsible for a health crisis that is looming. They have both cut the number of hospital beds. They have demoralized nursing staff by pushing up their hours and forcing them to work in terrible conditions. Today, for example, there are only 255 Intensive Care Unit beds when nearly double that are required – even before the Coronavirushits.
The two conservative parties will also put the interests of private business before proper health care.
If they were serious about tackling the Coronavirus, why have they not already taken control of the private hospitals and demanded that they be used to tackle a health emergency?
The reality is that the Coronavirusis just a convenient excuse for doing what they always planned – getting back into government.
Martin says that he wants a government that will last five years. He knows that a FF-FG government will have little support from the public – and he wants to drive through measures that are deeply unpopular. He hopes that after five years the people will have forgotten the anger they expressed at the ballot boxes in February 2020.
To get his long-term government, he will probably need the support of the Greens. This is a party that claims to be ‘neither left or right’. But if they enter this stitch up, they will not be forgiven.
Now is the time for all Green members to come out and tell their leader, Éamonn Ryan, that they will not join this right-wing alliance.