Posted on 7th August 2021

Slane Castle

So “The Bash” in the Merrion, as the Archbishop of Dublin described it, was legal as defined by the Attorney General.  That conveniently gets the Tánaiste off the hook.  It is so easy to draw the conclusion that Leo was in a spot of bother and hey presto its legal and Leo is blameless.  So what are we to make of Zappone-Gate ?  First, the Tánaiste and Simon Coveney have expended an enormous amount of political capital over what appeared to be the appointment to a makey-up job.  It has damaged both of their reputations.  Second, they must have made their relationship with the Taoiseach significantly more difficult and that is not good for the stability of this government.  I happen to think the Taoiseach is doing a reasonably good job in very difficult circumstances, and whilst I think he should have rejected the makey-up job of Envoy outright, I can only presume that he judged that to do so would destabilise the government.  As for “The Bash” in the Merrion, it exudes privilege and entitlement by sending the message that there is one rule for them above all others.  Finally, what has happened to the old fashioned premise of leading by example ?  Gone out the window wrapped in a blue shirt.

There is another aspect to all of this and that is the rules, regulations and guide-lines applying to the hospitality sector.  As I put pen to paper they are clear as mud.  Government has to understand that businesses have to plan.  People have to know what they can and can’t do.  All of these decisions have financial consequences and what is most unhelpful is when the goal posts are moved.  Leo is Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment so perhaps he might focus on securing the jobs in the hospitality sector who need certainty to survive.

Now to something that has brought joy to my heart.  The thousands of young people who queued last week to get the jab.  They have ignored the anti-vac garbage on social media and instead listened to the collective wisdom of their friends.  They will enable us to move towards herd immunity and ultimately to get this awful virus under control.  I take my hat off to every one of them.

Finally, our Blue Shirt Prince from Cork Simon Coveney obviously considers Ireland’s seat at the UN to be very important and I agree with him – it is a big deal.  So considering one of its primary functions is promoting international peace and security, I wonder how he is going to deal with the belligerent and aggressive behaviour of one of its permanent members – China.  I happen to think that China’s behaviour towards Hong Kong is an international disgrace and its expansionism in the South China Sea a threat to global security.  The British have just sent their brand new aircraft carrier, the Elizabeth II, out there, literally to test the waters.  However, the real threat to global peace is China’s attitude to Taiwan.  They want to invade it.  Ireland should show by all means possible that we support this independent and vibrant democracy.  Will our government use our seat accordingly


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