Zappone-Gate has spawned a potentially more serious scandal – the leaking of information from the Cabinet. Under Dail Privilege during the debate on confidence in Simon Coveney, Sinn Fein TD Matt Carthy accused Fine Gael of running “ a sting operation to expose that Simon Harris had leaked the appointment from the Cabinet meeting”. Interviewed on RTE News at One, he admitted he had no evidence to support this claim. Simon Harris has said it is untrue. Rumours about leaks from Cabinet have been circulating for some time. This is, as they say, getting down and dirty. The problem for Fine Gael is that their leadership had been seriously bruised by the Zappone-affair and that their party leader had already acquired the nickname “Leo the Leak”. We are still awaiting the outcome of a Garda investigation into his leaking of a confidential government document. This issue really does need to be knocked on the head. The principle of cabinet confidentiality is an important one in the functioning of our democracy. Leaking information from Cabinet is a criminal offence. The Taoiseach should take what measures are available to him to uncover the truth. Such an investigation should start with all the Cabinet Minister’s mobile phone data on the days the leaks are thought to have taken place. The culprit, whoever it is, has no place in government. Over to you Micheal.
Now over the whole Zappone-Gate affair, much has been made of our seat on the UN Security Council and, indeed, by inference what a good job Minister Coveney has been doing. Well how about our government having the courage to champion a global injustice, the continuing exclusion of Taiwan from the UN. It is absolutely absurd for the People’s Republic of China to represent Taiwan in the UN system. To quote Joseph Wu the Foreign Minister of Taiwan “ The PRC has never governed Taiwan and the Taiwanese people can only be represented on the international stage by their popularly elected government”. Taiwan is a country with a population of 23.57 million and it is quite extraordinary that they are excluded from the UN just because China has its expansionism eye both on its people and its territory. Joseph Wu argues that Taiwan’s exclusion “ contravenes the UN founding principle of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”. I totally agree with him. To illustrate how crazy this is, Taiwan will be excluded from the upcoming Cop26 UN Climate Change Conference which takes place in Glasgow in November. I’m sure Taiwan would have much to contribute.
Now from the serious to the faintly absurd. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex making the front page of Time magazine, because in the words of Editor in Chief Edward Felsenthal “ Their actions this year prompted deep re-appraisals of British Society”. What tosh. Prince Harry and his overly ambitious wife’s popularity with the British public has taken a nose drive. The idea that they have prompted a deep re-appraisal is frankly ridiculous. I may be wrong but I have a feeling that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will hit a sell-by date as people tire of their circus.