Saturday 21 July 2018

Not even the recession could radicalise the Irish

Only time will tell if the dramatic political changes brought about by the financial crash 10 painful years ago are permanent or not, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

'Recessions are not times, personally or politically, for new thinking. The key need is for consolidation'. Stock picture
'Recessions are not times, personally or politically, for new thinking. The key need is for consolidation'. Stock picture

Eilis O'Hanlon

Imagine that the financial crash had never happened. It's easy if you try, as John Lennon would almost certainly not have said.

No credit crunch. No recession. The Bertie boom had simply kept on getting "boomier".

Irish politics would look very different. Which is to say, different than it looks now, though perhaps not so different to how it looked back then. Fianna Fail was flying high, winning 78 seats in 2007, and Fine Gael, whilst having risen to a satisfying 51 seats in Enda Kenny's first election as leader, was still looking at another prolonged exile from real power. There's no reason to believe that FF would not have won a fourth election in a row in 2011, and why not the one after that as well? Voters tend to conclude: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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