when you hear a politician talk about ‘tough decisions’ don’t forget to laugh.
There is a key difference between making a tough decision (like the dilemma a coyote has to take between chewing his own paw off to get out of a snare for instance) in the real world, and of doing so as a politician, because it represents a false pretence.
No politician has ever had to close their business (of politics – and by that I mean underwrite all contingent claims upon their decisions) or give up all future income as a result of their decisions.
So in future, if you talk to a politician who says ‘we have to make a tough decision’ then ask them this ‘Are you willing to give up 10% of your future pension if your decision doesn’t work out?’. I’d love to see if the likes of Brian Lenihan would be willing to forgo all retirement benefits if NAMA doesn’t work.
Naturally – like every person who evades true responsibility – he would say ‘no, sure I have bills to pay/family to raise’, but for everybody else who works in the real world that is precisely the level of risk you tend to take, if you make a really bad call you suffer for it.
Instead, when a politician makes a ‘tough decision’ that goes wrong the bill is dumped upon somebody elses shoulders, namely: taxpayers.
When anybody in the body politic talks about ‘tough decisions’ ask them ‘how tough? Like, tough enough that you’d be willing to take a hit personally if it doesn’t work out?’, if they don’t agree to it then it’s an instant litmus test that they are spoofers.