The more things in this country change . . .
* In the grand tradition of our republican ideals as a nation the scandal of "top-ups" is currently being vented and, as ever, there is more heat than light. The sense of being shocked and horrified that is being voiced in the media and in the public sphere in general will be, I am afraid, subject to Mary Harney's shrewd encomium that "the people have short memories".
The same shock and horror was expressed at the publication of the many reports dealing with child abuse scandals, and mental reservations, and the consequences for the role of the church in the public sector were negligible.
There was shock and horror that we had to bail out the banks and the bondholders; but we were told that now that we own the banks things would be different and there would be caps on salaries and bonuses. As we have seen, the cap has been thrown to the wind, while the banks remain bullish and conveniently forget how badly they managed their own debt.