Tuesday 28 March 2017

Panic grows when we're left in the dark

Drip-feeding the public contradictory information on the economy merely tightens the grip fear has on us, writes Celia Larkin

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." -- Franklin D Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

IF I were to sum up in one word the key, ever-present emotion in the country it would be 'fear'. Fear seems to have gripped us from the top down. Frozen us in place. Locked us into a shocked paralysis.

Fear and panic set in when uncertainty is allowed to thrive. For the past several months, that's been the reality. We the public have been left in the dark. Or worse, every now and then there's been a chink of light, we are told one bit of information, or someone -- usually Brian Lenihan -- tells us we've turned a corner and things are looking up. The next thing, we're told something quite different and we don't know who to trust or if there is anybody, anywhere supposedly in charge, in whom to vest the smallest bit of trust. It's not that we have no information. We have a superfluity of contradictory information. Like prisoners in a damp cell, we're driven mad by the drip, drip drip-feed of information on the extent of the crisis we face.

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