Wednesday 17 January 2018

This is not mere apathy, it's anger

TODAY'S Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll reveals that no Irish political class since independence has forfeited the confidence of the citizenry so comprehensively as this one. Like the terrible age of stagnation of the 1950s, an iron curtain now lies between the Government and the electorate. Significantly, the opposition is equally as unpopular, for the voters do not just want Mr Kenny and our invisible Tanaiste to go; instead, in an unprecedented consistency of distaste, they are equally dubious about the respective merits of Mr Adams, Mr Martin and, for that matter, a troika of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour, who do not command the support of even 40 per cent of the voters.

It is often the fashion to rebuke the public for the sin of laziness if they dare to turn their backs upon their 'betters'. However, the Berlin wall that exists between the citizen and the State is, on this occasion, entirely justified. The political classes have been warned on countless occasions of a gathering wave of existential disgust with the timorous, focus-group-driven, unimaginative, regurgitated, burnt offerings they deliver to us. However, the response of our mostly old men to the needs of a young country continues to be as disconnected from reality as the ageing Russian politbureau in the dying days of Brezhnev.

As a thousand voters a week pass judgement on our political elites via the ballot box of the emigrant ship, the chasm between the public and the private discourse of the State is epitomised by the Troika exit. A Government which implemented the terms of Fianna Fail's surrender to the Troika, to the letter, is understandably pleased that Ireland is no longer 'a programme country'. But the citizenry, who are enslaved subjects of the licentious excesses of private- and public-sector buccaneers, see the departure from the bailout as representing a triumph of the insiders, which is utterly disconnected from their lives.

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