Posted on 13th April 2019

Slane Castle

Brexit really has become the ultimate political horror show, exemplified by the latest development, an extension to Halloween.  A zombie Prime Minister, now despised by great swathes of her party, trying to pilot her thrice rejected Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons.  Maybot is a robot in desperate need of reprogramming.  A Dalek-like machine set to wander the landscape uttering such drivel as “Brexit Means Brexit”.  A vicar’s daughter now reliant on the Marxist leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn to give her support as she looks over her shoulder to see which of her Ministers are sharpening their knives.  This is the stuff of nightmares and, of course, the real problem is that it is our nightmare as well until the threat of a No Deal Brexit is eliminated from the horizon.

Brexit has had the effect of smothering normal political discourse and it is about time Fianna Fail started to bare its teeth.  Everybody knows an election is ahead and if the truce between the Soldiers of Destiny and the Blue Shirts collapsed, Fianna Fail would be looking for Minister Harris’s head.  Circumstances recently have meant that I engage with many people working in the Health Service.  I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t think he is out of his depth.

Frankly, the latest idiocy to come from our inexperienced Minister is his proposal for introducing legislation to require restaurants to publish a calorie count for meals served.  Has he any concept of how difficult and onerous this would be on individual restaurants that have their own unique style ?  Does he have the remotest idea how much it would cost to implement such a rule ?  How does he propose such rules would be enforced ?  If he has concerns about increasing levels of obesity, does he not realise that the most effective way of getting people to change their habits is through education ?

I know a lot of people in the hospitality industry and one could be forgiven for thinking that this government has a vendetta against us.  We provide serious employment and a lot of it is local.  We have already been hit by a VAT increase, the scale of which was unwarranted.  Now to have an inexperienced and inept Minister trying to inflict aspects of the Nanny State upon us is frankly galling.  I look forward to members of Fine Gael knocking on my door during the European and Local elections.  It seems we will have a lot to talk about.

Speaking of the European Elections, it seems we are going to have a bit of excitement with the news that Peter Casey is going to enter the fray.  He wants to limit immigration “ to the numbers we can accommodate properly”.  Now that’s going to open up a lively debate !  Less controversially he thinks Ireland should be a world leader in banning plastic bottles.  I’ll drink to that.  The bottom line here is that winning in the European elections is all about building a national profile and Casey did that in the Presidential Election.  We may well see him in the European Parliament, and with the expenses on offer, earning more than the Taoiseach.

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