I’ve often said that writing letters to the paper is the lowest form of political expression, other than voting for Sinn Fein. Writing ironic letters to the paper brings letter writing one step closer to the bottom.
Ireland is getting a new Taoiseach, chosen from two candidates within the Fine Gael party. They were lionized by the press coverage, particularly the ultimate winner – Leo Varadkar.
Let’s say my view is less glowing.
The FG leadership election is finished and we’ll shortly have a new Taoiseach. It’s time to celebrate the uniquely high level of the two candidates.
Leo Varadkar, a lifelong politician, really cut his teeth in fixing Ireland’s broken Health System and brought us from the bottom of the international health league tables to a point where the Irish health system is the subject of both domestic and international admiration. No-one in long queues for orthopedic surgery or old people in pain on trolleys in corridors any more thanks to Leo. And not for Leo a strategy of merely surviving his time in Health. No, he focused on real change and achievement irrespective of any personal political risk. If he has the same positive attitude as Taoiseach we can expect a transformed nation.
And as for Simon, though he won’t immediately be Taoiseach his time as Minister with responsibility for Housing has seen Ireland finally eliminate the scourges of homelessness and high house prices, and has seen policy recommendations from as far back as the 1970’s finally implemented to the benefit of the whole nation rather than just a handful of landowners and developers. His ability in driving real change and not just in releasing aspirational soundbites in time for the 9 o’clock news marks him out as a man that Leo can depend on to held further transform Ireland.
We’re so lucky to have such inspirational leaders to depend on.