19 May 2011

Fine in practice but will it work in theory?

Very sad today to wake up to the news that Dr Garret FitzGerald has passed away. Growing up in the 80's in a Blueshirt house, Garret The Good loomed large over my politically formative years and although my own path took me well away from his own centrist philosophies it is impossible not to rank him as perhaps our best Taoiseach, not our most effective, most charismatic or the greatest communicator, but certainly blessed with two qualities so sorely lacking in most of the others, intelligence and integrity.

Indeed maybe it is better to see him as the platonic ideal of a Taoiseach, as opposed to measuring his actual accomplishments as Taoiseach, for watching highlights of the Queen's Speech last night on the news with the rogues gallery of Biffo, Bertie and even poor Albert Reynolds lining up to shake her hand, you realise what a giant Garret was standing head and shoulders above the scoundrels and incompetents that followed him.

The ideal political representative should be smarter and more capable than those who elect them, and act in an utterly selfless manner for the betterment of the citizenry, otherwise we would all be better off choosing names out of a hat Athenian style. Garret was that rare politician who, almost uniquely, lived up to that ideal.

He will be missed.

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