Detachment and inertia - Housing plan deferred

ONE of the few pronouncements that Bertie Ahern made that might still win universal approval was that it “takes far too long to get anything done in this country”. 

Mr Ahern was expressing a frustration, usually felt with the greatest consequences by the weakest, that the wheels of State grind far too slowly. As WB Yeats warned us about peace, change comes dropping slow.

Yesterday this cultural malaise, this lack of ambition and game-changing energy was seen when Housing Minister Simon Coveney admitted that the deadline attached to the Action Plan for Housing will be missed.

It is intended to publish the plan in September rather than August when Government will take its annual break.

If this plan was concerned with proposals to change the typography on road signs or a new studbook for greyhounds such a delay would be immaterial, but our response to the greatest social crisis of the day needs more ambition and urgency.

All breaks should be deferred until real progress has been realised.

Were benchmarking a two-way mirror this response would be recognised as a common, everyday answer to a crisis.

As Bertie Ahern fades into history it is sad that so early in this Government’s life the idea of “new politics” has become a part of history too.

Deferring a response to this human crisis is just not good enough and shows that inertia and detachment remain powerful forces in public life.

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