Tuesday 27 June 2017

It's not only men who can be dinosaurs, Ms Zappone

We need to have proper conversation about our children, without consensus and without name-calling

Katherine Zappone demonstrated last week that some old feminists can be outdated too Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Katherine Zappone demonstrated last week that some old feminists can be outdated too Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It is amazing that anything in the Budget came as a surprise to anyone. What is even more amazing is that anything in it came as a surprise to any Fianna Fail politician. But the truly amazing bit is that some aspects of the Budget, and the consequences of it, seem to have come as a complete surprise to people in Government.

Pretty much everything in this Budget was flagged in the weeks running up the actual Budget announcement, that quaint bit of theatre where the country shudders to a halt to watch the Dail in action for a brief few hours. We were sketchy on some of the detail of some things, but we pretty much knew the thrust of everything.

But the people who formulated the Budget weren't sketchy on the detail. For example, Katherine Zappone, despite allegations in the last few weeks that Fine Gael were coming up with an alternative childcare strategy behind her back, knew exactly what was being announced about childcare. And indeed, she was portrayed as one of the big political winners in the Budget. And indeed, most people welcomed at least something being done about childcare. Even those of my generation, who are largely through the intense childcare years and who never got a thing, and who now vaguely resent having to pay for other people's childcare, grudgingly accepted that it was a good thing that hard-pressed families would get a bit of help.

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