Voters must look to painful lessons learned

Kathy Sheridan: Ask hard questions but beware of dangers of change for sake of change

That we should never cling to nurse for fear of something worse but that change for the sake of change is what landed the world with Brexit and Donald Trump.  Photograph: Alan Betson

That we should never cling to nurse for fear of something worse but that change for the sake of change is what landed the world with Brexit and Donald Trump. Photograph: Alan Betson

During the 2007 election campaign, a reference by me to Fianna Fáil campaign headquarters as “Meltdown Manor” so galvanised its occupants that they put a spread bet of €3,500 on Fianna Fáil to win 68 seats, the odds rising for every seat won after that. FF won 80. It was a stunning turnaround. The backroom guys scooped €49,000.

The trouble is that to this day, some deny they were ever in meltdown. It’s not just pointless but damaging. It airbrushes the role of strategists and others from the picture but more than that, it denies important truths about our own behaviour. In public, we rail against cronyism, corruption, complacency, the health system, housing, indifference to the poor and vulnerable. But in the privacy of the polling booth? We do what we deem necessary to our survival, just as politicians do.

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