Tuesday 12 December 2017

The head says Simon, the heart Leo, in this visceral business of politics

Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are seen as favourites to succeed Enda Kenny. Photo: Collins
Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are seen as favourites to succeed Enda Kenny. Photo: Collins
John Downing

John Downing

You know when the radio sports pundit is put on the spot to call the big match in a matter of seconds. Often the answer is something like: "The heart says Kildare - but the head says Dublin!"

Let's not get too bogged down here. After all, we have a Taoiseach to unseat and another to pick and install, along with other big affairs of state. You get the idea, and you can choose your own current underdog team, and match them against the current "unbeatables".

The point is that politics is often compared to sport for very good reasons. But it is very different in one key respect: politics is a visceral business - very often ruled by the heart. In politics, if the heart says something, it is often the outcome.

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