Tuesday 17 October 2017

Anne Harris: Humiliation and isolation – the cost of a conscience

The wilderness is wild and lonely. Face that, and you will emerge with your soul intact, Anne Harris tells Lucinda Creighton

D-DAY: Former junior minister Lucinda Creighton and her husband, Senator Paul Bradford, at Leinster House on Wednesday, ahead of the vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill that saw her expelled from Fine Gael.
D-DAY: Former junior minister Lucinda Creighton and her husband, Senator Paul Bradford, at Leinster House on Wednesday, ahead of the vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill that saw her expelled from Fine Gael.

Dear Lucinda, "There is no consolation." That was the novelist Doris Lessing's verdict on loss. Accept this bleak message at the outset and things will be a lot easier for you. It will save you energy and unnecessary grief as you confront your new life. The life in which your lack of power will be amply made up for by an abundance of time.

Hold on, you are thinking – time is the one thing you haven't got right now.

Because this is your weekend of political obsequies. Like a person faced with a funeral, you reel from decision to decision (interview to interview), and find yourself hugging people you never laid eyes on before. People will really want to press the flesh – and this matters. But you will eventually face the fact that some of the people who say they're behind you all the way may be saying the same thing to the people that you've taken a stand against.

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