Ruairi Quinn: Loyalty to party and leader above all?

One of the reasons why people have little faith in our political system is the order of priorities adopted by politicians.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, defending his party leader, provides us with a typical example of how the good of the country comes in a poor third after loyalty to the leader and the party.

In the following interview Minister Quinn seems to be completely unaware of the hypocrisy of claiming that a party should have a public face and a private face. Neither does he seem to be aware of the dangers of absolute loyalty to a party leader, no matter what happens.

Quinn: When parties start to argue in public about leaders and start to have heaves against leaders they lose votes like snow off a ditch.

Fine Gael is the classic example; they shot themselves in the foot in relation to the leadership. There has to be a public face and a private face in any organisation and loyalty to the leader.

We have a leader who’s track record is unparalleled, his achievements are brilliant.

Interviewer: But that was then.

Quinn: No, this is now and we’re weeks off mid term elections and in those circumstances you don’t think out loud.

Interviewer: So no matter how badly Labour do, if you get no MEPs, if you lose half your councillors, you would still say the same thing?

Quinn: There is no vacancy. Eamon Gilmore will lead us into the next general election.

Interviewer: Irrespective of how bad it is.

Quinn: Yes, as far as I’m concerned.