Sunday 19 November 2017

Eoghan Harris: Taoiseach's inaction tips us towards Hate/Love

Empathy, entering the emotional life of others and experiencing it through their eyes, is essential to politicians and writers. Essential to Enda Kenny dealing with abortion and the downtrodden private sector; to Clare Daly dealing with Israel; to Stuart Carolan dealing with his fictional creations for RTE's riveting crime series, Love/Hate.

This weekend, Enda Kenny needs to empathise with Irish women rather than with his nervous backbenchers. He needs to come up with clear solutions to the problem posed by the death of a beautiful young Indian woman who entrusted herself to the Irish medical service. But his remark about not being being "rushed" come across as code for more of the procrastination which has marked his handling of major political conflicts.

Procrastination is the thief of political character. And I believe Kenny's preference for putting things off is deeply damaging the dialectical love/hate relationship between politicians and public that has dominated our public life since the start of the State.

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