Simon Harris: Today's politicians competing 'to be tomorrow's trending celeb'

Simon Harris: Today's politicians competing 'to be tomorrow's trending celeb'

Health Minister Simon Harris has said politics is now “less respectful, reflective, inclusive and inspirational” than in the past, writes Irish Examiner political reporter Elaine Loughlin.

Speaking at the Parnell Summer School this afternoon Mr Harris compared current day politicians to the leaders of 1916 who he said were “dreamers and poets in uniform.”

Mr Harris praised all those involved in the Rising celebrations this year adding that it had engaged communities across the country.

“One of the great things about this country is how surprised we are sometimes when we get something right.

“Ireland's 1916 commemorations fell outside that habit of cynical resignation. They went beautifully.”

Turning to the leaders of the rising Mr Harris admitted that they were “rainbow chasers” who sometimes were filled with “irrational generous hope”.

But he added that this is in contrast to today where politicians “are competing like side-show performers for tomorrow's headline, to create tomorrow's controversy, to be tomorrow's trending celeb”.

Mr Harris added: “I'm not sure politicians should be celebs, gaining their public credibility by personal attacks on others.”

Instead the Wicklow TD said politicians should aim to seek the best and disregard the worst in their political career.

“It's the only way to survive modern politics, in my view. It's the only way to deliver the dreams and hopes owned by each and every citizen in this great country,” he concluded.


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