The function of a politician is to represent constituents.
That obligation is, however, more nuanced than is convenient for a politician making a special case for a small group.
Principle, collegiality, party commitments and the idea of the common good limit options available to a politician pressed to satisfy a local need.
So too does that troublesome imperative: What is best for all of society?
How a politician resolves those conflicts seems one reasonable way to judge them as a public representative.
Are they a champion of sectional interests — as too many of our politicians have been — or will they hold the social equity line despite forceful lobbying?
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan’s call for lower property tax rates in affluent areas means she fails that basic we’re-all-in-it-together test spectacularly.
She wants lower property tax in areas like her South Dublin constituency.
Ms Madigan may not have noticed but one of the characteristics defining the zeitgeist is a growing intolerance of privilege.
France’s gilets jaunes revolt reaches the two-month mark this week.
Twelve people have died, thousands have been injured.
This is just one way surging demands for social and economic reform are expressed. There are many others.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must quickly nip this divisive and utterly out-of-touch idea in the bud or be seen, as Ms Madigan will be for ever more, as a lobbyist rather than a leader.