Monday 5 December 2016

Moral mentors and not moral floddlers are what we need

Published 10/07/2011 | 05:00

PATRICIA Redlich once told me that most of the trouble in the world is caused by weak people. Since then I have habitually tested her theory and found it holds firm. Srebrenica was caused by the weakness of the Dutch troops who handed over 8,000 men and boys to be murdered by the butchers of Bosnia.

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But the trouble is not confined to high history. Weakness works like woodworm at much lower levels. The wicked can only flourish with the help of the hand-washers, the turners of the blind eye, and those who prefer the social comfort of silence.

Ireland is particularly partial to emollient silences. So one of the duties of a political columnist is to lay into those who lie low and salute those who stand up. Here is my short list for the past week.

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