But for 87 votes in 2002 he might now be leader of Fine Gael and Enda Kenny would be an MEP in Europe. In fact, Higgins was some 400 votes north of Kenny going into the 8th count but Kenny got a bounty (for geographical reasons) of 600 votes from FF's Frank Chambers, narrowly squeezing Higgins out.
Small mercies. Yes, Higgins was brave on the Donegal garda scandal. But some of his offerings since then have been of the worst reactionary 'hang them. flog them' kind. He sullied all travellers with his comments during the Padraig Nally case.
Now, he's at it again saying that child welfare should be withdrawn from the parents of errant and out-of-control teenagers and kids. When he was challenged by Sean O'Rourke that children would go hungry, Higgins made a spurious argument that in Limerick when child benefit is paid it's known as karaoke week. The evidence? One caller to a local radio station.
So no evidence for his humbug. Only the populist top-of-the-head stuff on no more karaokes to be replaced by children having to sing for their supper.
Makes Enda always seem like a wet and soppy liberal!