They say all politics is local. Time and time again that has been proven. However, in recent years it's also true that all politics is national and what's going on locally is dictated by what we do at a national level.
I have always been a firm follower of politics. I am an unapologetic supporter of our political system and while reforms are needed, the introduction of a completely new system is not in the people's interest in my opinion. But then I was relatively lucky.
When I was introduced to politics the economic scene was as bad if not worse than now but the politicians were different.
I had the opportunity to see that the system is no block to a person who has the courage of their convictions and is unafraid of decisive action.
Ray McSharry laid a foundation in this country for a boom, by being the first politician in nearly 20 years to fearlessly face up to the problem of public spending.
If it had happened sooner we might have come out of recession a lot quicker. Unfortunately his predecessors of all parties had been swayed by a misunderstanding of a 'stimulus', believing this would be an easy way to growth, but they made matters worse, particularly in 1977. McSharry could have been a Taoiseach, but his tough stance was probably what led him to Brussels as introducing cuts is never popular.
Alan Dukes had experienced the problems of government. He saw the need for national action and to stop playing politics in the manner all previous oppositions had. He led his party through serious policy issues and played a major role in that economic recovery by doing so.
Again it was not electorally popular so he lost his position as leader, but he did leave with his head high in any future assessment. Then there was Albert Reynolds.
There are few politicians that you can point to that had such dramatic and immediate impact on every single post they were appointed to.
As Minister for Finance he continued sensible spending policies while introducing a perfectly timed stimulus when the finances were stabilised. He cut taxes by more than any other finance minister in the state.
As Taoiseach he negotiated mercilessly on many issues but particularly with the EU. It is difficult to imagine Reynolds taking the same deal offered by the EU last week.
Reynolds too paid the price for his decisiveness and approach. However, if the last few years have taught us anything it should be that we need men and women who act out of genuine belief, who have the courage of their convictions, who take action and think not of electoral consequences or their career but of the future.
Many politicians with longer and more illustrious careers than those mentioned cannot stand the thorough, searching assessment of history and come out on top. We need politicians who are honest and unafraid of what that honesty means.
The system cannot block any person from doing the right thing. Democracy is not perfect, we are often only thankful in hindsight, but better that than trying to appease all. The IMF bailed out Britain in the 1970s; it was not the end of their country.
This crisis is not the end of ours. We will return, we will grow again, we have overcome greater challenges but we do need action and honesty. But you know what they say 'cometh the hour….'
Jonathan Fallon from Newtowncashel runs EPS Consulting. His blog is johnnyfallon.blogs.ie.