Monday 20 August 2018

The wilful ignorance of our political leaders

The Taoiseach's lack of knowledge of the Kerry Babies scandal was hardly an isolated example, writes Gene Kerrigan

Tom Halliday
Tom Halliday

Like every job, politics has a basic set of skills, a body of knowledge built up by earlier practitioners. Those who enter politics are supposed to acquire that body of knowledge. Senior civil servants, too. And journalists who deal with politics.

They're all supposed to become as familiar with this body of knowledge as writers are familiar with the alphabet, as builders are with the limitations of bricks and mortar.

Last week, as the Kerry Babies controversy re-entered the headlines, the Taoiseach cheerfully admitted a surprising ignorance.

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