Eyes on the prize

Sir, – Miriam Lord's end of year prize-giving fails to include a category for most overrated politician ("Miriam Lord's Political Awards 2020", December 23rd).

Undoubtedly the clear winner would be Leo Varadkar.

Indeed, Lord herself overrates the current Tánaiste.

Your columnist exaggerates by calling Mr Varadkar’s competent Washington coronavirus speech outside Blair House, “spine-tingling“; and the St Patrick’s Day oration in front of Government Buildings, “superb . . . so right at the time – pitch perfect, powerful, inspiring and reassuring”.


However, Miriam Lord isn’t alone in mistaking Leo Varadkar’s unusual success for uncommon ability.

In fact, the former taoiseach is an over-confident, complacent politician whose hubris renders him prone to making very big mistakes.

For instance, in late 2019, Mr Varadkar’s rash decision to trust the serially unreliable Boris Johnson over the Brexit withdrawal agreement could easily have led to calamity for Ireland.

Without Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the US election, and the president-elect’s commitment to peace on this island, the UK government might well have gone ahead with breaking international law over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Also, more recently, Mr Varadkar publicly humiliated Dr Tony Holohan by inappropriately accusing Nphet of going on a “solo run” in recommending more stringent Covid-19 restrictions.

Needless to say, within weeks, the Government had almost entirely implemented the same Nphet recommendations.

Leo Varadkar is well able to congratulate himself. For all our sakes, the media doesn’t need to give him any encouragement. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.