OUR CHILDREN and grandchildren will see us as a weak and inept generation.
They will wonder how we blew the boom, why we put €30 billion into Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, how we gave up our economic sovereignty without much of a fight. They will feel bitterness at the way we pushed them, as children, to the top of the queue for so-called austerity.
And unless we act now, that bitterness will turn to contempt. They will hate us for the way, as well as leaving them with a legacy of unpayable debt, we also gave away something that might have been of real use to them, the chance to use our natural gas and oil resources for their benefit.
I’m returning to this issue because it seems to me to be a touchstone for our entire political culture. We can use it to address three big questions: have we learned anything? Is there really a shift in the way we do politics? And have we any capacity for the kind of radical thinking we need?
23 August 2011