Saturday 24 March 2018

Irish lessons for odd couple

Cameron can learn from the Cosgrave coalition, writes John-Paul McCarthy

THE great Victorian historian Thomas Babington Macaulay used to say that there was no such thing as change in British politics, only the periodic re-enactment of past great events.

He was an MP when Britain debated the Great Reform Act in the 1830s, and he told his sister that witnessing the bill's ratification was like seeing Caesar get stabbed, or Oliver Cromwell picking up the mace when he dismissed the Long Parliament.

The extraordinary scenes from Britain last week, capped by that luminous prime ministerial press conference amid the flowers of Downing Street, came down to us similarly freighted with historical echoes.

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