Friday 24 November 2017

Varadkar is taking on the Turner's Cross corner boy

The Taoiseach used the wrong issue to mark out his territory and has ended up going too far - and getting too smart, writes Brendan O'Connor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins Photos
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins Photos
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

We're probably entitled to expect a little bit more than this from our politicians. A lot of us were certainly expecting a little bit more than this from the Varadkar era, what with a straight talker from a new generation getting the reins of power. This was supposed to be the real new politics.

Admittedly the "new" Cabinet didn't exactly inspire, but we were prepared to overlook it. He was compromised, after all. His hands were tied. He was going for evolution over revolution.

And then he announced the junior ministers, and we discovered that our new leader, a giant of liberal values, who was going to modernise the country, felt that a country that is 50pc female should be run by a Cabinet that is 80pc male. But, again, it wasn't a deal-breaker. We were even prepared to put that cringey performance in 10 Downing Street behind us. Beginner's nerves, and the Brits didn't seem to mind it.

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