Monday 22 January 2018

Stuck in parochial rut

Sir -- When this country's ATM machines stop dispensing cash, when we go completely belly-up and return to a 19th century subsistence existence, with no oil, electricity or modern means of communication, I fear we will continue to hang on to gombeen politics.

Fianna Fail will, in all probability, make a deal with the chicken farmers and water pail manufacturers, to screw the desperate, huddled masses. Yes, I know, this isn't nearly as cynical a condemnation of our politics I could have conjured up. Perhaps I'm going soft.

But even more seriously, this is perhaps the biggest of all of our big problems; there is something wrong with the people of this country. In every other European country they learned some time ago -- I believe as a direct result of suffering proper, catastrophic wars -- that it is never a good idea to use your drinking well as a toilet. This is exactly what we do every time we think that politics is only about extracting local advantage. We should indict people like Michael Lowry, Jackie Healy-Rae and Mattie McGrath for politically blackmailing a blackmailable government. Instead, far too many of us give them a proverbial slap on the back.

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