The up-the-hill and down again manoeuvres of the Government over the Budget are something to behold. You don't sense any long term vision of where we are going and what needs to be done - now - to get us there. An absence of that old-fashioned virtue called leadership. Still, maybe that's a good thing: pity the land that needs a hero and all that.
But it does point to the corrosive impact of our dysfunctional governance: as Marc Coleman points out in his book The Best Is Yet to Come, we don't have one government in Ireland, we have 100 governments. Made up of local authorities, regional structures and national government.
And it is the perpetual fear of giving offence to someone - anyone - that results in the extraordinary gridlock now gripping the government. Maybe we're better off without heroes or leaders, but I still think we deserve better - and rather less government, come to think of it.