Fianna Fail TD Martin Mansergh has been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance. Despite this elevation, however, we are unlikely to hear much from Mr. Mansergh in the way of robust political debate.
This is because Mr. Mansergh cherishes quaint Victorian views on respect for seniority; he believes that junior public representatives should not speak until spoken to.
On 22nd February last (Morning Ireland, 1st report 3rd item), Mr. Mansergh lost the run of himself in a discussion with Fine Gael senator Eugene Regan regarding Bertie Ahern’s amazing stories at the Mahon Tribunal.
“I wouldn’t dream, even after six years being a member of the Oireachtas, I wouldn’t dream of making personal attacks on the leaders of FG and Labour in the manner that Senator Reagan has been doing for months.”
Later in the discussion while senator Regan was trying to make a point, Mansergh screamed:
“You should have respect for your betters; it’s totally improper.”
Neither was this just an emotional outburst in defence of his leader. Over a week later on the Marian Finucane Show (Sunday, 2nd March) when Mansergh was questioned on the matter he was quite clear.
If, for example, the Fine Gael party want to criticise the Taoiseach then that criticism should be done by the leader or a front bench person.