Still waiting for courageous leadership

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.

4 thoughts on “Still waiting for courageous leadership”

  1. I would disagree.

    With great courage and determination Messrs Haughey and Ahern, together with their accomplices in FF, have struggled for years to acheive their vision of an Ireland dominated by a (non-tax paying and often non-resident) New Ascendancy centred around the party leadership.

    Unfortunately, 41% of the electorat seem to want them to succeed.


  2. On the contrary, a group of courageous members of Fianna Fail, during the Haughey era, had the courage of their convictions and the vision to leave Fianna Fail and to set up the Progressive Democrats.
    Just as the opposition recveived little thanks for their criticism of Bertie Ahern recently, the Pds never received the level of support that would have allowed them to make a real impact. They were always hostages to fortune and it is little surprise that they have at the position they have today.
    Its the Irish people who lack vision and courage.

  3. Gearoid,

    I don’t think you should have used the term “on the contrary” THe PD’s showed courage and vision in opposing Haughey, even if I find their politics distasteful.

    My point, heavily laden with irony, is that FF has had a visionary project that they have stubbornly and persitently contiued to work towards… a vision of an Ireland dominated by a super-rich minority who pay lavish tribute to the FF leadership and keep said leadership in the style to which they have become accustoumed. Succesive FF governments have, with the conivence of the PDs, organised a massive redistribution of wealth in this country, in favour of a small band of by now ageing businessmen to the detriment of lower earners, non home owners and PAYE tax payers. THis is not an accident in my view, but a carefully thought out policy. The legacy of the FF/PD governments will be seen as a great wasted opportunity to establish solid economic foundations for the continuing well being of the majority of the population.


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