Politics Past, Politics Present

‘The appointment of a multiplicity of officials at local and national levels exacerbated the problem, so it hardly surprising that before long some […]began to voice criticisms of a ravenous bureaucracy which   devoured a major proportion of available resources.’

Any guesses for the context and date of the quote above? How’s about hazarding a guess at the Croke Park Agreement and Irish public service wages being the topic under discussion and Ireland of 2012 the time? Seems reasonable and relevant?

Actually the words do relate to Ireland and a new government trying to manage an unprecedented crisis in a world gone slightly mad.

But the year was 1642. An uneasy coalition was trying to steer Ireland through political turmoil and a plethora of demands and threats from outside parties. Familiar enough ground in spite of the four hundred year gap.

Reassuring to see some things don’t change very much at all – despite the upheaval and catastrophic conditions generous rates of pay (for some at least) were deemed vital then and are deemed vital now.

The 1640s policy ended with the arrival of Oliver Cromwell. Here’s hoping the latter day strategy has a happier conclusion.

[The quote is from Micheal O Siochru’s excellent Confederate Ireland 1642-1649 – a political and constitutional analysis (Dublin, 1999), p. 54.]

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