Sunday 11 December 2016

Bruce Arnold: Greens must get off knees and stand up for principles

Bruce Arnold

Published 20/02/2010 | 05:00

Politics cannot be divorced from principle and principle has to be shaped and guided by certain moral precepts, the first and most important of which is the distinction between right and wrong. Politics only works on the basis of those in power doing what is right, saying what is right, making laws to ensure that this and other principles are followed. The opposition is there to ensure that such standards are kept.

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In too much of the coverage of the Willie O'Dea affair, a quite different approach has been evident in the reporting and commenting, as though Leinster House operated on the simple basis of what you can get away with.

More than once, senior commentators treated the matter as done and dusted without a comment on the gravity of the misdemeanour, the dishonesty of the motion of confidence. The critical comment came lamentably late, and was concerned with the principle of survival, not with the interests of the State in having integrity preserved or protected.

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