Wednesday 22 February 2017

O'Dowd's green prism distorts his vision of the Aras

The old-school Anglophobe's respect for Gerry Adams is a liability at this time, writes John-Paul McCarthy

Published 26/06/2011 | 05:00

THE candidates for the Presidency might all take a moment some day and have a look at the late Tony Judt's enthralling book Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945.

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Judt includes a remarkable quote from another presidential candidate, a Czech one named Vaclav Klaus.

Very much the Thatcherite yin to Vaclav Havel's soft-hearted yang, Klaus opened his presidential term in 2003 with these words: "I am a bit like all of you. Neither a former Communist nor a former dissident, neither a henchman nor a moralist, whose very presence on the scene is a reminder of the courage you did not have: your bad conscience." Irish politicians generally lack that kind of abrasive tone, but our presidential debate could do with a dose of Czech candour.

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