Friday 2 December 2016

Nama's critics spoke too soon but questions are needed now

Published 13/08/2015 | 02:30

The rising property market has reaped big profits for those that bought Nama loans recently.
The rising property market has reaped big profits for those that bought Nama loans recently.

Did you know that the idea of a constitutional opposition to government originated in a family bust-up between Britain's King George I and his son? No, neither did I.

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One lot sided with the king and another with the son. The point was that, after a century of dynastic wars - ending in the Battle of Aughrim - nobody could accuse the prince's lot of treason, since he was the Prince of Wales. They were just being troublesome.

So what, you may say? I hasten to add that I have little interest in Hanoverian family squabbles as such. But it did strike me that the theory fits with the problem of opposition in modern parliaments. A "loyal opposition" is merely waiting to become a government, just as the prince's lot were merely waiting for him to become king, and receive the rewards for their loyalty.

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