Wednesday 25 April 2018

The number's up for statistics in lying game

For our leaders, politics begins and ends with getting elected. Which is why the figures are rigged, writes Gene Kerrigan

In January 2006 this column claimed: "The current government is the worst in the history of the State."

Today, that's a commonplace belief. It's generally accepted that the government of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern smugly presided over a debt bubble, undermining the tax base. And that his hapless successor Brian Cowen bailed out the bankers and bondholders and sent the bill to the rest of us.

In January 2006, though, Ahern was considered some kind of political genius. His government was in its tenth straight year in office, the Celtic Tiger was roaring its loudest. It would be another 20 months before the bubble burst.

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