Politicians need to speak with heart

Off the fence
Politicians need to speak with heart

Off the fence
Padraig McLoughlin

We all know we are in the midst of a General Election campaign where candidates will be knocking on our door, asking for our vote over the next few weeks.
But how many of the candidates will tell us exactly who will be calling the shots once they are elected?
Will it really be their advisors, programme managers and a plethora of spin-doctor?
These faceless, unelected spin-doctors seem to be the ones in real control but  do not know who they are. We do not elect them.
They do not stand before the people. They are paid salaries between €100,000 and €135,000. They are the new growth industry in Irish political life. They take precedent over back-benchers who have stood before the people.
The Dublin media write that Brian Cowen was a star pupil in school.  They describe him as intelligent and witty. Yet the man was a rambling, incoherent wreck in the Dáil chamber. He was forever reading from a prepared script words he did not believe in. Why? Because his advisors had petrified him from articulating his thoughts.
Similarly with Enda Kenny. Each day we read that ‘his handlers are trying to rein him in’. What does this mean? Enda Kenny is educated and a former teacher. He is able to speak. I am sure he has his own thoughts and vision. Why does he need handlers and spin-doctors?
Watch Prime Time where the politicians on the panel spend an hour saying nothing. One can visualise when the programme is over the said politicians mobbed by their handlers and praised for saying absolutely nothing.
This falseness is the disease at the heart of our political system. Our politicians are afraid to articulate and think for themselves. It is interesting to note that Vincent Browne described Eamon Ó Cuiv as an interesting politician ,‘‘because he had a mind of his own’. What does this comment say about the rest of Dail Éireann?
No  doubt when the next administration is formed the first and most pressing job will be to create a team of advisors and spin-doctors on inflated salaries. The control of their influence would be a major reform.
The ordinary man  who stands on a sideline at a match, who writes a bet in the bookies and  who drinks in a pub knows the score.
The ordinary man is able to articulate his feelings about our society without a script in his hand from an advisor. The ordinary man knew Anglo Irish Bank should have been closed down immediately.
Our politicians need to speak from the heart. They need to articulate truth and honesty at the heart of government. If they have the courage to do this the people will respond and apathy will disappear.

Padraig Mc Loughlin is a resident of the The Demesne, Carrowholly, Westport.