Wednesday 28 September 2016

Politicians making a mug of middle Ireland

Published 05/03/2016 | 02:30

Those who have paid their water bills did so out of a sense of citizenship. (stock photo)
Those who have paid their water bills did so out of a sense of citizenship. (stock photo)

The search for a government has taken on all the purposefulness of trying to shovel smoke with a rake. As the 'leaders' continue in ever-increasing circles to assert some form of 'authority', the voters are pushed further into the margins.

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Traditional 'certainties' like taxes can be dismissed on the grounds that they are unpopular. The logic is that what people don't like they won't vote for; so can it really be that before we have even established a government, parties are already focusing on the next election cycle? Nothing must halt the wheels of the chariots hurtling towards power. Certainly not the needs of middle Ireland.

In the new political 'order', middle-income earners are left scratching their heads at how a General Election could have catapulted us into a new age of surrealism. If you pay your tax, you are a mug. If you protest and hold up the traffic, you can be smug: you will be rewarded. This would be all well and good if the coffers were overflowing and if our national debt was not costing €7bn a year in interest repayments. We have a political establishment that has been splintered due to the public's lack of trust. Between them, the two main parties have been unable to garner as much as 50pc of the vote; and yet, they haggle and bicker, oblivious to their responsibilities.

It was the middle-classes that paid their salaries and powered the economy back to some degree of stability. All this hard work is now being imperilled by parties who would put their own agendas ahead of what is best for the nation. Today, it is all right not to pay your water bill. Tomorrow, will there be no need to pay your USC?

Those who have paid their water bills did so out of a sense of citizenship, and a recognition that if we are to get people off trolleys in our hospitals, children out of emergency care, and the homeless off our streets, then we all must do our bit. Honesty, decency and fairness are not negotiable.

Irish Independent

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