If lies win votes, a 'rough beast' has been unleashed
To understand what is happening in Irish politics now, we need to set aside the old labels of Left, Right and Centre
'Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world' - WB Yeats
To persuade us of the wisdom of their recent budget, spokesmen for both Government and Fianna Fail evoked the words of the poet by way of reassurance: "the centre has held", they said. They were spelling out that for now and into the future things could be much worse if the anarchic parties of the left, among whom they include Sinn Fein, were to be in charge.
The message was that good sense had prevailed and a balance had been struck between the left-wing utopia of a free lunch paid for by other people's taxes on the one hand and the trickle-down economics of the right, whereby all boats will be lifted if we reduce taxes and cut government spending.