no surprises there

Leo compares Enda to Michael Collins and smaller parties to a Monty Python sketch

No word on whether silly walks will be introduced at Leinster House.

LEO VARADKAR PULLED no punches when speaking at Fine Gael’s Dublin West selection convention last night.

The health minister took aim at several political opponents – including independents, Sinn Féin and smaller parties.

International Silly Walk Day - Czech Republic Fans of Monty Python pictured on International Silly Walk Day in Brno, Czech Republic. PA Images PA Images

Varadkar said “the ‘all you can eat’ buffet of independents and small parties” agree on nothing.

Those from the left, those from the right, and those who want to represent everyone but end up representing no-one. Ex-Fianna Fail, Ex-Fine Gael, Ex-Labour and Ex-PD. They agree on nothing as a bloc. The ULA, the United Left, the Triple A, PBPA – it’s reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch.

He described Sinn Fein as “a party than cannot be trusted – not just because it will not trust us with the truth about the past, but also because of its rank hypocrisy opposing in the South what it defends in coalition in the North”.

“As historians can attest, Sinn Féin as a political party had nothing to do with 1916, and we need to make sure that they have nothing to do with government in the Republic of Ireland in 2016 either.”

26/3/2015 Future of Health Care Assistants in Ireland Leo Varadkar (File photo) Photocall Ireland Photocall Ireland

Varadkar said these groups and individuals “can influence governments, make them unstable, and even hold them to ransom”, but added: “They can never lead the country in a particular direction, in the way that we can.”

Only a Fine Gael-led government can protect and sustain the recovery. Only a Fine Gael-led government can offer stability. Only a Fine Gael-led government can ensure that the sacrifices we have made as a people were not in vain.

“Employment is rising again. There are 90,000 more people at work since unemployment peaked in 2012 and we are delivering on our promise to create 100,000 jobs. But our work isn’t finished yet.”

The health minister said if Fine Gael is returned to power, the theme of its second term should be ‘restore’, stating: “We will restore a higher standard of living for all of our citizens.”

Taoiseach Responds To Media Question Reg Enda Kenny (File photo) Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

During his speech, Varadkar also spoke about Michael Collins, saying: “Fine Gael continues to encapsulate [his] idealism and realism.”

Repairing the damage of the last government required a heavy dose of realism. But the next government needs that mix of idealism and realism embodied by Collins a hundred years ago, and today by our Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

“Now that the recovery is underway, we can afford to take stock and look at the sort of society we want to shape. That’s why I think our focus should be on creating a stable and prosperous economy, but also a more secure, more gentle and kinder society.”

Varadkar was selected to run for the party at the convention last night, as was Senator Catherine Noone.

Leo understands the distress that hospital overcrowding causes you

‘Vote for Alan Kelly or you’ll get a wedgie’ – Paul Murphy won’t let Simpsons reference go…

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