“A political class that is by and large congenitally unwilling and unable to devise and implement policy”

30 July, 2009

There was a incisive and outspoken opinion piece in Monday’s Irish Times by John McManus, about the Government’s reaction to the publication of the McCarthy Report.  It’s worth reading in full, but here’s a flavour:

“…..There was an implicit bargain that tax increases and pay cuts were the immediate first aid to stabilise the patient, while the cure was the reform of the public sector ……Instead, we got the nonsense that passes for politics here. The report is finally with us, and instead of taking ownership of it, the Minister for Finance and the rest of the Cabinet are engaging in all sorts of manoeuvring to try and limit the damage to a Government and maybe a party that is already beyond saving…… despite the hard lessons of the recent past, we are engaging in the same sort of of gutless dysfunction politics that got us into this mess….We still have a political class that is by and large congenitally unwilling and unable to devise and implement policy, and bizarrely doesn’t really think that such is the job of Government.”

Well said, John.

The “political class” in Ireland is now held in such contempt by the majority of the population, that it’s surprising there isn’t a greater sense of crisis.  Perhaps the reason is that such a large proportion of the population has been “bought off” over the past 5 to 10 years by being awarded pay and conditions that are not justified by the circumstances?

I fear that, in the absense of a change in approach by the Government, starting with a meaningful cut in pay and perks for politicians, much greater anger will become manifest throughout the country.  A “tipping point” might not be far away.  The trough is empty, guys, so perhaps you might raise your snouts and give us some real leadersip.

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2 Responses to ““A political class that is by and large congenitally unwilling and unable to devise and implement policy””


  1. […] but unpopular, but I fear not (not in the current administration at any rate).   As John McManus so eloquently put it back in July, referring to the publication of An Bord Snip report: “….despite the hard lessons of […]


  2. […] itself capable of making a decision and getting on with it.   It’s over three years since John McManus wrote the following (about the Government’s reaction to the publication of the McCarthy Report): […]


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