Coalition must not lose courage
Published 12/04/2015 | 02:30
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.
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.