Budget climbdown - Self-inflicted humiliation

IT MIGHT be stretching it just a little to suggest that the crowd of protesters — estimates vary between 12,000 and 15,000 — who protested outside the gates of Leinster House yesterday laid siege to our parliament.

However, it is not in any way an exaggeration to suggest that the incumbents of Kildare Street were not under any misconception about the deep anger felt by the protesters.

The unrestrained, incandescent hostility shown towards politicians by pensioners and their supporters at Tuesday’s meeting at St Andrew’s Church in Dublin’s Westland Row left nobody in any doubt about how the budget proposals were regarded. The bewildered, dumbfounded reaction of the politicians showed just how out of touch they are.

Last night’s vote copper-fastened the Government’s humiliation. It is difficult to have any sympathy for its members as it is a mess of their own making.

The medicine has been administered and we can only hope that our Government has learnt its lesson.


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