Forsaking the obvious political undertones in what he is saying, and forgiving the fact that he is also rather obviously reading off of cue cards, (Which I can forgive because his delivery, annunciation and pacing was spot on so he had obviously practised the speech before hand and he is talented enough a writer that I can very well imagine he wrote it himself anyway), that I have to say I approve of much of what he is saying in this address, especially as he appeals to the Nation's sense of identity and extending solidarity to Irishmen and our extended family in the diaspora who will be less then joyful this Christmas season. Something I very much appreciate as I myself know a few families who are not going to have a joyful Christmas with the loss of loved ones.
The tone of the message was positive and encouraging trying to reassure the population of the economy will recover safely while acknowledging it has fallen. This is good statesmanship and I am glad to see it in our President even if I firmly oppose him politically and socially, and I can well imagine Higgens being remarked upon fondly even if his presidency does end up reigning over a dark time of Ireland's existence, (its not like he'll be responsible for our Government's failings to begin with unless he makes some kind of diplomatic faux pas that damages our prestige, but his party is doing that already so we cant really blame him for such a thing), one of the benefits a Politician in Ireland enjoys in such a figurehead position.
I will judge him more viciously however, in the coming months. What with this abortion debate seemingly trying to crop up, such as that ludicrous claim made in newspapers recently that over 50% of Irish Gynaecologists supported Abortion, which was thoroughly and rightfully dashed by an outcry from the public and members of medical professions. The secularist push for acceptance of Abortion will be hard in Ireland, because while the Irish public is becoming increasingly apathetic when it comes to lifestyle choices, there is a stringent anti-abortion streak in the Irish consciousness that will be hard to crack, (doubly so in the North as it is one of the view topics that will unite the two traditions here so vigorously that any and every cultural, political, social and historical difference and grievances are completely pushed to the side so that unity in pro-life opinions will shine through). How higgens responds, or what his opinion will be on this matter if it does become a constitutional issue (the Europhiles want Ireland to legalize abortion and the secularists desperately want to oblige), will be key in determining my final opinion on the man, even a socialist can do the right thing every now and again, when the moon is blue and the goats walk the opposite direction around a mountainside, lets hope he is such a man.