Politicians’ planning objections - Doing their job

Property developer Michael O’Flynn has made many contributions to public debate. In his latest offering, he has helpfully pointed out that buying a house is still beyond the reach of many people and he blames Central Bank regulations for this socially destructive reality.

In his latest public intervention, he also suggests that politicians should be banned from objecting to housing developments. 

This suggests two things: Mr O’Flynn may not fully appreciate how we rely on democracy to champion the common good, and that he may have spent far too much time in the developers’ echo chamber where such absolutist views might have a certain we-know-best currency.

Just as Mr O’Flynn is free to express his views, undoubtedly helpful as they are, politicians are free to express theirs, especially when they do so on behalf of their constituents. 

There is a difference though. Mr O’Flynn has legitimate business ambitions but our politicians have a democratic mandate they must be absolutely free to exercise irrespective of consequences.

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