Tuesday 12 December 2017

Red tape and pettifogging hinder nation's drive to recover

Energy should be put into enterprise-driven revival, not wasted in mean-spirited diktats, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Read his lips: "No new regulations." That's the message which Minister for the Environment John Gormley delivered last week when he went on Today With Pat Kenny to defend himself against accusations that the Greens were vindictively targeting farmers and other owners of small commercial vehicles who also used their cars for private purposes.

"There's been no new legislation. No new regulation. No new initiative by a minister or the Green Party" -- in other words, it was all "just complete nonsense" dreamed up, presumably by the media, to damage Ireland's most self-righteous political party. Though whether it's half as damaging as this airy, dismissive, patronising, patrician attitude of Minister Gormley to the legitimate concerns of a large number of ordinary people -- voters -- taxpayers . . . well, time will tell.

The soundbite worked for George Bush Snr in the 1988 American Presidential election. "Read my lips -- no new taxes." Six words that won him the White House. What Bush found to his cost was that four words would lose him the next election to Bill Clinton: "It's the economy, stupid."

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