This week it was all about the weather and damn dangerous it was too. With so much leaf on the trees, in some instances it literally ripped trees apart and two enormous branches came crashing down on our driveway. Thank God nobody was underneath. My son, taking my grandchildren to school, encountered part of a farm-shed in the middle of the road. Listening on the radio to talk about the chaos inflicted on the attendees at the Ploughing Championship made me think about another storm that received some publicity this week. It was a solar storm that took place in 1859 and was called the Carrington Event. The earth is due another one and when we get hit it will bring a whole new meaning to chaos. It could shut down the national grid, do God knows what damage to mobile phones and severely disrupt the internet. The consequences of such an event in our 21st century world are hard to contemplate.
Getting back to the Ploughing Championship brings me to the race for the Aras. Michael D. and the Dragons were there trying to whip up support. The President in his tweeds and Gavin Duffy sporting a pair of leather boots of which he is immensely proud. On the drive home from hospital I was listening to the radio as we went through the Phoenix Park and lo and behold the row over the Public Accounts Committee decision to look into the expenses of the President came up for discussion. Investigating it is unconstitutional say some. Bringing it up as the election is about to kick off is inappropriate. Even one of the hopefuls, Senator Joan Freeman, said “desist” on the Tonight Show on Thursday evening. Micheal Martin’s wailing struck me as particularly amusing. The chairman of the PAC is Fianna Fail T.D. Sean Fleming. Fianna Fail didn’t have the balls to put up their own candidate. A blunder they may well live to regret. Incidentally, I spoke to a very senior member of Fine Gael during the week who reckoned the Taoiseach had made the same mistake. There is, of course, a very simple way to resolve this. The President should open the books. It is quite simply balderdash to argue that opening them now is inappropriate. This is exactly the time to do so and have proper debate on the issue. Aren’t we supposed to be living in an era of Transparency and Accountability ? The President is our Head of State. He is the highest paid of our elected representatives. He is funded by us the taxpayer. He is supposed to lead by example. Surely Michael D’s expenses like Trump’s tax return should be made available for all to see.