Wednesday 20 September 2017

'Special' status may be the undoing of Shatter

Being the court favourite can be a risky business for both king and subject

Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
John Drennan

John Drennan

THE Fine Gael TDs and ministers may have been happy habitues of the Dail bar after last week's defeated motion of no confidence in Alan Shatter. However, before they and Enda celebrate too long, and not at all wisely, they might do well to quell their Bourbon tendencies and remember that history tells us far greater troubles were caused by court 'favourites' rather than famine or wars or pestilence or taxes.

Of course, it was often a risky business being the king's favourite, but, discontent over favourites – and wives for that matter – has lost many a king his head as well.

In the case of Louis XVI, for example it was Marie Antoinette and the lethal 'let them eat cake' remark that did for that particular beheaded king rather than his fiscal policies.

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