Tuesday 28 February 2017

The reckless pursuit of votes left a huge mess in its wake

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

THE former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who died recently, once delivered the greatest stop-em-dead line I ever came across in a broadcast interview.

There was furious opposition to Schmidt's plan to allow the USA station short-range nuclear missiles on German soil. "If you persist with this," the interviewer said, "you will lose the next election."

"What makes you think I care," replied the Chancellor. There is no answer to that. It stunned the German interviewer into silence; it might have silenced an Irish one for ever. We might, however, want to ponder why it is so shocking as we look at the damage the opposite attitude has done, and the mess it has left behind.

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