I love this time of year

I love this time of year.  Nature’s colours seem that more intense.  Birdsong fills the air.  Butterflies flit around and hares go running past my window.  Everything seems so green and fresh.  This brings me on directly to one of the party’s of our government, the Greens.  So Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello have been expelled from their party for 6 months because they voted in favour of a Sinn Fein motion on the National Maternity Hospital.  The question then arises – does this undermine the stability of the coalition government? Not really, although I would have to say it’s not entirely helpful.  Neasa Hourigan has form when it comes to this kind of behaviour.  On the last occasion she was even Chief Whip, so whilst they rocked the boat no water got in.  I have watched and listened to the debate over the National Maternity Hospital and from my perspective I think the Taoiseach has shown leadership and the government has made the right decision.  I see no danger of a catholic ethos being imposed on the institution and any further delay in proceeding with the project does a disservice to the women of Ireland.

So Vlad the Bad’s rampage in Ukraine continues and apart from the destruction and carnage he has inflicted on the Ukrainian people we have to consider the wider implications of the war.  He is not satisfied with the anguish and pain caused by the mass displacement of people and the disruptive effect of this on many countries in the European Union that he is now seeking to weaponise that most essential of commodities, food.  Ukraine together with Russia is considered to be the bread basket of Europe.  This week the UN estimated that approximately 25 million tons of wheat is in danger of rotting in storage instead of being exported to countries, particularly in Africa, which are crying out for grain.  It is no exaggeration to say that to add to his awful crimes, starvation could join the list.  By disrupting the global food supply Putin achieves other dangerous results.  He is driving up the cost of food and adding fuel to the engine of inflation.  This in turn impacts most particularly on the less well-off who spend proportionally more of their income on food.  Inflation on the scale that is now starting to hit many economies will cause serious unrest to such an extent that governments may fall.  The expression “ you ain’t seen nothing yet” leaps to mind.  Hence one can understand our own government’s wanting its backbench TD’s to behave themselves and not throw shapes over the National Maternity Hospital or, indeed, other issues that may arise.  Sinn Fein will use every opportunity to stir up trouble so expect marches as the inflationary pressure builds.  We may very well face a winter of discontent.

So is there hope ?  Putin looks sick , certainly he is increasingly bloated, and there are rumours that he has Parkinsons.  He is apparently attempting to involve himself in the minutiae of the war which can’t help his mental state.  The Kremlin is trying to keep the reality about the war from the Russian people but some commentators are now telling the truth.  Things may start to crumble.