Friday 19 January 2018

Shane Coleman: It's up to us to demand brave policy choices from leaders

Enda Kenny, in opposition, condemned taking medical cards from the elderly, but his promises to pensioners have proved worthless.
Enda Kenny, in opposition, condemned taking medical cards from the elderly, but his promises to pensioners have proved worthless.

GUESS who said the following? "To take away your rights to have a medical card beyond the age of 70 years – I reject it! The cheek of them. Shame on them. Shame. On. Them!" They were the words of Enda Kenny, the then leader of the opposition, to pensioner protesters five years ago. And they sum up the depressing uselessness of Irish politics probably better than anything else.

Here's what happens. In boom times, the government of the day gives away as many goodies as it possibly can to expectant voters. The opposition berates it for not doing nearly enough.

In bad times, the government of the day is forced to make tough decisions (albeit "politically proofed" ones to attempt to limit the electoral fallout) to correct the mess made during the good times. The opposition bitterly opposes the cutbacks.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss