A World of Negativity

Maybe it is that I am ageing, but I find myself having less and less tolerance for all the negativity being churned out by various media outlets about life generally in Ireland, and especially about people in positions of authority.
A classic example was the much hyped Prime Time programme on corruption in politics. How many phone calls did they make to politicians, assuming false identities and trying to get people to act corruptly. In the end they managed to ‘catch’ three councillors, – though significantly no money was seen to be passed across the table, no actual brown envelopes appeared. And yet the programme was widely presented as proof that all politicians are corrupt.

So I was pleased to see this letter in today’s Irish Times:

Time for more positive politics?

Sir, – “Our job is to hold the Government to account.” We frequently hear this refrain from Opposition politicians and increasingly from political journalists. At first sight the proposition is plausible but, on closer examination, it is a shallow analysis of political opposition and frequently a licence for self-serving negativity.
The past few years in Irish politics has seen the emergence of a relentless negativity. More and more Opposition politicians from across the political spectrum are searching for the little that is wrong without any acknowledgment of anything that is right. They do so knowing that the media will usually give more attention to a negative commentary than to a more positive contribution. It is nigh impossible to envisage this negative approach bringing about the kind of change we require to build a well-functioning and more equal society in 2016.
Is it too much to dream that some politicians would acknowledge the good which they are hearing from across the floor of the Dáil, and that some political commentators would take a lead in rewarding politicians who positively build on what is good, regardless of which party or individual it originated? – Yours, etc,