Thursday 8 December 2016

Coalition must not lose courage

Published 12/04/2015 | 02:30

'Brendan Howlin has made it clear there will be no return to the old Bertie Ahern style of social partnership which evolved into the public sector equivalent of crony capitalism'
'Brendan Howlin has made it clear there will be no return to the old Bertie Ahern style of social partnership which evolved into the public sector equivalent of crony capitalism'

Fear and desire can have curious effects on the most experienced of politicians. In 2007, against all wise advice - even from his Cabinet - in a pre-election speech drenched in fear, Bertie Ahern announced a vast list of promises in a desperate attempt to secure the confidence of the country.

  • Go To

Though it won Ahern a pyrrhic victory, the promises made wrecked both country and party, as the attempt to seize control of the agenda saw Ahern and Fianna Fail losing it instead.

For the moment, the Coalition's eye is very much on their experience in 1997. As they wrestle with the different challenge of managing prosperity, it might be more in the Coalition's interest to learn from 2007 as distinct from 1997. It will be difficult to marry political self-interest with their obligation to create a State that is not set up to fail. Though already they face strong headwinds against that objective.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice