Tuesday 6 December 2016

Stephen Kinsella: Reforming Coalition must ensure its next report card doesn't read 'potential wasted'

Published 11/02/2014 | 02:30

Enda Kenny’s government is drifting back into the mire of the coalition politics of the past.
Enda Kenny’s government is drifting back into the mire of the coalition politics of the past.

Report cards are cool. Small pieces of paper with grades for little Johnny or little Jane, with a nice little line at the end for the parent to tell other parents and smile inwardly about, usually something saccharine like 'a pleasure to teach', unless Johnny/Jane has been swinging from the light fittings for the term.

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Ireland has a report card. Written by the mandarins in the Department of Finance, Ireland's report card is actually a very smart marketing tool for international investors, documenting the country's progress across a range of measures.

The report card is actually a powerpoint slide deck, full of charts, all of which tell one small part of a larger story – Ireland has had a really, really rough time of things and is making headway into growth, fiscal sustainability, and good times for its citizens. This report card, you see, isn't written by the teachers, but by the prefects. So it is a bit biased. The little line at the end might read: after a horrible start to term, beginning to get up to speed. Hopeful for next term.

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