The Budget and the Merits of Boredom

On Tuesday, the 11th of October I got to sit in on the announcement of Ireland’s 2017 Budget. I left school early, took the drive in to Leinster House and after taking my seat in the gallery, it wasn’t long before Michael Noonan’s address began. He went through all the motions, new housing grants, cigarettes are more expensive, sugary goods tax. No revelations. Some time into Paschal Donohoe’s address,a TD (who has yet to be named) responds with a bleat to the mention of a new welfare program for farm animals such as sheep. The chamber lights up in hysterics, at least from where I was sitting. (I can only hope that out of my view, Gerry Adams was sitting with an untwitching scowl). Then it hit me, I already knew House of Cards wasn’t how it worked, but turns out, neither was The West Wing, in fact, it was barely The Thick of It. Irish politics are quite mundane and boring. That’s something that likely won’t change anytime soon, and that’s not something bad. As someone who’s followed politics for only a few years, it’s become incredibly clear to me that when politics are at their most entertaining it only leads to bad things. I remember laughing along with the UK election where David Cameron compromised with a Brexit vote, it was prime comedy. I remember most people having a hysterical time looking at what Donald Trump was saying about a year ago and now look at us. We’re a very boring nation, politics wise. That’s a good thing though. It means things are working fine.

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