Thursday 18 October 2018

Leo's new politics sure looks a lot like the actions of the old guard

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his newly-appointed Cabinet at Áras an Uachtaráin – but the new Cabinet closely resembles the old one. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his newly-appointed Cabinet at Áras an Uachtaráin – but the new Cabinet closely resembles the old one. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

Upon being elected Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar promised to create a "Republic of Opportunity" - but failed to clarify that the primary beneficiaries of this glorious new era would be his friends and colleagues.

It's gas really. After all the talk of reform, all of the commitments to new politics and all of the finger-wagging moralising about Fianna Fáil strokes, it took less than 24 hours for the sheen of probity to evaporate from Mr Varadkar's administration.

While international media ooh and aah over our youthful new Taoiseach, casting him as the personification of a liberal Ireland that has escaped the clerical shackles of our theocratic past, the more mundane reality is that it's business as usual in Leinster House, with baubles dispensed to wizened loyalists.

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