The Green Light
A scene from George Orwell’s 1984 that has stayed with me since I read the novel as a teenager is when Winston Smith asks a friend does he have any spare razor blade as he has been using his own one for months.
Bertie Ahern broke his leg yesterday. It could have been worse: he could have ended up having his reputation shattered into smithereens like Brian Cowen did.
The former Taoiseach’s mí-ádh brought him back to public attention and prompted questions about how he would have weathered this particular storm. Over the weekend, his brother Maurice made an intervention saying that the Anorak’s political smarts were such that he would never have allowed the medical card measure through in that form.
RTE broadcast a documentary in the past few weeks about Ireland’s student ‘revolutionaries’ of the late 1960s. Once they finished university, three of the four (Ruairi Quinn, Una Claffey and Kevin Myers) began a journey that is all too familiar in the west… from left wing to centre (and to the right in once case) and from outsiders to pillars of the establishment. Anyone who flicked through at the CVs of the New Labour frontbench during Tony Blair’s first two terms would have discovered a rag bag of communists, hard-left student politics leaders, Marxists and Trotskyite (Jack Straw, John Reid, David Blunkett etc) who had back-flipped totally.
Where do we begin? Do we begin today and make a call on if Brian Lenihan’s Budget debut was good or bad? Do we ask if he went far enough? Or if he went too far?
Or do we begin in July when somebody down in the hull discovered that the boat was leaking? Cap’n Cowen and First Mate Lenihan went down and investigated the damage, decided that they would have to throw some of the valubale ballast overboard to keep the ship afloat? Or in the months since then when leaks have sprung all over the place making the ship of State list to almost the horizontal? (more…)