Friday 9 December 2016

Can Enda dispel air of autocracy around him?

A leader who can't debate at a time when debate is becoming all the rage is fatally flawed, writes Brendan O'Connor

Published 13/10/2013 | 05:00

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to the media about the failure of the referendum to abolish the Seanad at Dublin Castle, yesterday.
Photo: Tony Gavin 5/10/2013
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to the media about the failure of the referendum to abolish the Seanad at Dublin Castle, yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin 5/10/2013

ENDA is no doubt hoping that last weekend's awkwardness will be forgotten quickly, that we can all move on and not mention the whole Seanad thing again. We'll have a bit of lip service to reform, find it's not really do-able, and we'll all forget it ever happened.

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Already the focus has moved on to the fact the good times are rolling again. As Chauncey Gardner would say, "There will be growth in the spring." The ESRI has given growth and export predictions for next year that are far more optimistic than even the Government's predictions.

John Fitzgerald has the good grace to preface his predictions with the assurance that they are definitely wrong, but he is talking about GDP up by 2.6 per cent in 2014 (the Government says 1.8 per cent), and exports up 4.5 per cent (the Government is predicting less than half that). If there is a bit of growth internationally, the ESRI thinks we could be looking at 3 per cent growth next year. Unemployment has peaked and is going to go down to 12.6 per cent next year apparently. Indeed, Joan Burton says that in the coming weeks we will see it go below 400,000 for the first time since 2009. This will, of course, save us fortunes in social welfare money. In short, a rain is going to come and wash away all our problems.

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