Government kicks to touch as big decisions loom

Good intentions in relation to key areas such as housing are no substitute for decisions

“We’re not out to coerce people, Leo Varadkar says. But if the climate crisis is as serious as he says it is, why not?” Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

“We’re not out to coerce people, Leo Varadkar says. But if the climate crisis is as serious as he says it is, why not?” Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Politics moves on the tide of great forces such as urbanisation, mass education, globalisation and economic growth. But its course also hinges on individual events and decisions, on women and men and their measures.

The biggest decision made by Irish politicians of the last decade (and perhaps the last few) was to avoid the juddering shock of an uncontrolled national bankruptcy in the wake of the economic crash in favour of a planned and managed process that saw a slow and painful rebuilding of the economy and the public finances. (Former Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has been having his say on all this in a recent book.)

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