With few exceptions, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cowardice are the hallmarks of Irish political life.
In today’s Irish Examiner, Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny accuses Bertie Ahern’s cabinet colleagues of cowardice because they will not stand up and say that what he (Bertie) did was wrong.
Before the election Kenny and Rabbitte scurried for cover when polls indicated that Irish citizens were not bothered by the low ethical standards of their Prime Minister.
Pat Rabbitte made his position crystal clear. (1st question)
“I asked some tough questions on the Bertiegate affair and I was down five points in the polls and Mr. Ahern went up five. In politics, especially coming up to a general election, you tend to learn lessons from that.”
In common with the majority of Irish politicians, Kenny and Rabbitte have not the slightest notion of what it is be a leader. It is not, as they seem to think, to slavishly follow the crowd, to pander to the lowest common denominator.
It is to state clearly where you stand, especially on the question of ethics in government and stand by that position no matter what the polls say.
Courageous leaders will attempt to persuade citizens that honest and visionary leadership will ultimately produce a fair society.
Eighty five years of independence and we’re still waiting for that courageous and visionary leadership.