State of stagnation: ho-hum, it’s time to hear the platitudes ...

Ideas

State of stagnation: ho-hum, it’s time to hear the platitudes yet again

Age-old tradition of leaders plying us with platitudes to placate us is still alive and well in the national assembly

Columnist

Imagine a small village, entirely and hopelessly in the grip of an untouchable criminal cartel.

Perhaps this village is a huddle of homes and rice paddies in medieval China, tormented by a local warlord, or a row of dusty shop fronts in the American Old West, their blinds drawn and doors locked as the local gang of outlaws walks, spurs jingling, down the deserted high street.

Perhaps it’s a crumbling little village in the south of Italy at the turn of the last century, its small bureaucracy and smaller economy entirely owned by the mafia, its back-alleys haunted by ambitious young men with sharp, quick knives...

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