William Campbell on why Mick Martin was a Bog Standard FF Minister – fairly crap!

Fine Gael is winning this election campaign.

It’s a pity that they are winning against Cowen and Ahern, who aren’t candidates. If Fine Gael want to win the election, and not just the campaign, they must focus solely on defeating Micheál Martin.

Attacking Martin by association is weak, because Fine Gael has spent years pinning rightly the blame on Cowen and Ahern.

Attacking Martin by association is foolish, because it portrays Fine Gael as out of date, with Martin as the new force going forward.

Attacking Martin by association is just plain stupid, because there is so much to attack him for directly:

• PPARS, the payroll software for 30,000 health service workers was budgeted at €9m; it eventually cost the taxpayer was €220m ie €7,300 per worker. Martin could have had the payslips delivered by ministerial limousine for cheaper.

• Illegal nursing home charges continued right through Martin’s health ministry, costing the state in excess of €2bn. His officials tried to tell him. He never noticed.

• Every single working day that Martin was health minister, he hired 20 new administrators for newly-created posts. The number of doctors and nurses barely changed.

• As enterprise minister, Martin created the FÁS monster, spending €1bn per year, over €12,000 per year per unemployed person at the time.

William Campbell


February 2011