Saturday 24 March 2018

Eilis O'Hanlon: Sadly, Massive-Majority Syndrome has led to Kenny ruling, not leading

Instead of being bold or imaginative, the Taoiseach has simply used his majority to make life easier for himself.

Eilis O'Hanlon

No tyranny is ever as complete as the tyranny of the majority. When Ireland was a reactionary Catholic hegemony, liberals were isolated and put in their place. Now that it's a liberal secular hegemony, it's conservatives who are expected to mind their Ps and Qs and sit quietly at the back of the bus. This latter state of affairs is supposed to be superior to the first, but it isn't really. It's just different. More insidious too, because it isn't even recognised as tyranny half the time. It just comes to seem normal.

Political majorities are equally corrupting. It's fascinating to wonder, for example, what sort of leader Enda Kenny might have become had he not been gifted with the largest majority in an Irish parliament since Sinn Fein commanded the shortlived first Dail.

In some alternate universe, there may be an Enda Kenny who's thinking on his feet to keep together a coalition of Fine Gael and like-minded independents to build the leaner, fitter country he claims to want. Unfortunately that's not the universe in which we're trapped. In this one, he is lord of all he surveys. He is Captain Picard on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. He only has to give the order: "Make it so." And made so it is.

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