The excellent Tom Hodgkinson expounds many sensible theories that cut deep into our generally accepted view of life.  One is a complete dismantling of the idea that party politics is somehow indulged in by people interested in what is good for the country/state/island.  

Take democracy.  The idea is that all parties try to capture the votes of the electorate based on their respective manifestos, those policies that they believe in.  They agree to abide by the wishes of the majority.  Right so far?  You’d think then that the losers would graciously accept defeat and put their weight behind those policies which the electorate have voted for.  But instead, the next day they start plotting the downfall of their victorious opponents.  

It is a rare politician that puts principles above the pursuit of power and privilege.  Look at the shambles in Ireland right now – and I’m not saying it would be any better elsewhere under the same circumstances.  With the government and the government-owned banks on the brink of financial collapse the EU, IMF, the UK and others step in with offers of support that can hardly be refused.  An austerity budget is about to be delivered (and would have been anyway without outside intervention.)  In the national interest then politicians of all colours would surely lay off the fragile coalition long enough to at least line up the rescue package and to debate the budget?  

Of course not.  Everyone sees an opportunity to scramble ahead in the race for the trough.  The junior party in the coalition, the Green Party (only in Ireland etc.) bail out and call for a General Election early next year, closely followed by Fianna Fail’s traditional rivals Fine Gael.  Sinn Fein, marginal these days, sense blood.  It’s no wonder that the international markets are nervous.  And with Ireland’s proportional representation system of voting there is no chance of a stable government in the short or medium term.  Soon the posters will be up on every available lamppost again – sexy-looking chicks and earnest-faced chaps who, in real life, are only interesting in grabbing your vote to further their own careers.  ‘Can I have your vote?  Thanks.  Now f*ck off.’ 

The present Taoiseach is a hard man to like but at least he’s manning up and doing the dirty work before he inevitably falls on his sword. 

Tom’s got the right idea.  Ignore it all and go play a ukulele.

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