Does this deal really depart from old ways?
The notion that politics is a battle of competing interests masquerading as a contest of principles is very much in evidence in the plan hatched between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to put a government together.
There has been much talk of 'new politics', but for something to be new, the old must first be cast aside - and the agreement bears the paw-marks of much good old- fashioned pandering to cheap populism. But at what price?
Both parties have softened the harder edges of previous commitments: thus Fine Gael will not abolish the USC entirely, while the details on what precisely will be done on Irish Water are as murky as ever.