As Varadkar continues his publicity tour in the run up to his confirmation as Fine Gael leader, his rhetoric has become increasingly off-putting for those of us concerned by the economic inequality which has become a hallmark of Fine Gael’s Ireland.
The latest headline is that landlords need to be “treated like any other business.” Apparently it’s “almost a bad thing” to own multiple properties in Ireland today.
It seems misguided to be speaking like this in the context of the housing crisis. Most observers would probably consider landlords to be fairly down the list of groups that need help, preceded by homeless people and the working and middle classes who can’t afford to rent in cities anymore.
You need €700 now for a half decent room in the wider Dublin area with good access into town. Wages have not increased across the board to compensate for this.
Fine Gael appears to be uncomfortable being labelled the 'landlord party,' but sometimes there's a reason for labels. If this isn’t who you are, then show us.
It seems that Leo's jogging hobby and sexuality/coming out narrative are his most relatable points. Meanwhile, Coveney's family thinks that what the public needs to warm to Simon is stories about their glam lifestyle. It doesn't seem that either potential leader isas in touch as they like to present themselves. Weren’t Varadkar and Coveney meant to be young, dynamic, forward-thinking leaders?
Maybe it's just a PR or semantics issue. I’d like to see them learn from Michelle O’Neill’s example. A lot of people won’t go near Sinn Féin because of the history but you can’t deny O’Neill’s charisma, vision, and excellent and aware command of language.
FG may be able to score well in the general election amongst the upper middle class, who are an important voting group, but if they truly want to lead us then they need to take stock and reconsider the message, and perhaps their policies. Maybe a listening tour? I’m open to either, but I need more convincing.