Beware vacuum of leadership
Published 02/09/2010 | 05:00
IT SAYS much about the quiet dignity of the hundreds of thousands of people living in so-called "Middle Ireland" who are now suffering in silence that we rely on statistical bulletins to know they are there. They are not marching in the streets in angry demonstrations, nor is there any evidence of mass revolt.
Yesterday, we learned that while unemployment is beginning to stabilise in most of Europe, Ireland has seen a dip for the second month running. The jobless figure now stands at 455,000.
Two new disquieting trends emerged yesterday. One, there has been a 27pc increase in the number of professionals who have been laid off; and two, more women have lost their jobs than men. The bad news does not stop here. There are now more than 36,500 people who are three months or more behind on their mortgage payments. Any government that thinks it can remain in office and fail to respond to the emotional and financial stress being borne by so many risks, at the very least, a shrill wake-up call.