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Not the time for deaf ear to reason as problems pile up

Editorial


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Stock photo: PA

Stock photo: PA

Stock photo: PA

There ought always be a place for the incorrigible non-conformist in politics, but not necessarily in government formation talks during a national emergency.

Maybe, having been disconnected for so long, group activity is still proving problematic.

The entire nation is on message when it comes to: "We are all in this together."

So it should not be beyond paid politicians to find cause in setting our country back on its feet.

Those whose job it is to do so have developed a deaf ear when it comes to listening to cold reason.

The nation has just demonstrated extraordinary solidarity fighting the pandemic, yet some politicians are still struggling to find sufficient motivation for the task at hand.

A proposal that would see carbon emissions reduce by an average of just under 6.5pc was rejected by the Greens, despite an economic crisis of historical proportions. They are holding out on their red line for an average reduction of 7pc.

They have a unique chance to shape policy for generations.

They might also have three ministers, which would be remarkable, yet they are not for turning.

The virtues of proportional representation offer them the keys to substantial power.

In the context of ideological bridges being crossed - and the murky waters that flow under them - the choice for the Greens should be far less difficult than that faced by Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.

Yet they seem locked in a futile struggle to fashion the circumstances to fit their ideals, instead of re-purposing those ideals to fit the circumstances.

As Henry Thoreau put it: "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

But away from "the castles in the air", we find that the Central Bank is warning banks will need to book "significantly more" provisions this year relating to the Covid-19 financial impact on borrowers.

We also note some 140,000 mortgage holders have sought payment breaks of up to six months to keep the roof over their heads.

There are families lying awake at night fearful of the future.

Newly opened businesses are doing less than half their usual level of trade, a survey has found.

And bearing rapidly down on us, another Brexit storm is brewing.

Small wonder Fianna Fáil has expressed alarm the talks are fast running out of road.

The chance of cobbling together a deal could now be frittered away as the problems the country faces pile higher.

As they see it, agreement must be reached in the next 24 hours.

If the Greens feel the future can be better, they have an unrivalled opportunity to prove it.

They say character is doing what you don't want to do, but know you should do.

With so much at stake, on so many fronts, there can be no ambiguity on what must be done.

Irish Independent