Honestly, you should all watch this video, a leftover from yesterday, if you haven’t already. It really makes you wonder: Where would Ireland be, without Simon Coveney?
Probably in roughly the same place, is the honest answer. As widely predicted, he survived the vote of confidence tabled in him last night, as, absent Marc MacSharry, who had enough and threw in the towel, Fianna Fáil TDs trooped sullenly through the lobby to vote for him. So now he is free to continue the good work.
The question about this video, and strategy, really, is why Fine Gael have chosen to make Coveney, as a personality, a virtue at a time when they are trailing Sinn Fein in the polls. Is there really an audience out there of people who are thinking “well, I was opposed to the Government and leaning towards Sinn Fein, but then Fine Gael reminded me that Simon Coveney chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council recently, so that’s given me a whole new perspective on him?”
No, that’s not the point. The video is a base-rallying exercise: the objective is to remind hardcore Fine Gaelers who may have been going a bit wobbly on Coveney something to point to in private conversations with family and friends. “How can you possibly defend the cronyism?” their friends ask. The video gives them the answer: “well, he did a good job on Brexit”. That’s why the video makes no mention of Coveney’s time as Housing Minister: There’s not much positive to say about it.