Grim times, folks; and getting grimmer. So first of all let’s have a smile with the Green Party. Not two things that normally go together – smiling and the Green Party – but last night (16th July) their leader Eamon Ryan contributed to the gaiety of the nation by very visibly dosing off in the Dáil. Not in the Dáil Bar either. And during a vote at that.

His name was called but no answer did there come, Eamon being deep in a dream of walking hand-in-hand through the trees with a Celtic Goddess of the Forest, telling her of his plans to tax the bejeepers out of the chumps who had voted him in.

Alerted by the snores coming from his rear, Jack Chambers of Fianna Fail gave him a holler, telling him to wake up before the cameras zoomed in on him. Too late!
“Huh? Whuzzat - ? Where the -- ? What time -- ? Oh be the hokeys, what’s the vote for again?” “It’s a motion on lower paid jobs and unemployment rights.”
“Oh thanks be…! Nothing important then! Now, how did I say I was going to go on this one? I know I’ve got it written down here somewhere…”

Well, obviously I’ve made the dialogue up out of sheer maliciousness, not to mention the dream, not being in on Eamon’s sleeptime fantasies. But yes, he did join Little Nemo in Slumberland and it was during a vote.

Mind you, after listening to the usual windbags droning on I can’t entirely blame him – and it did give me a laugh, those being thin on the ground at the moment.
As with… We were asked to do one simple little thing. It wasn’t a difficult thing, like Lex Luthor having to find a way to kill Superman. It was a simple little thing: stay reasonably sober. And many of us couldn’t even do that. And now those same people actually have the nerve to whinge and whine about the bars in Ireland not opening on July the 20th after all. Not opening until August 10, in fact – and as Taoniste Leo Varadkar has just informed us, maybe not even then.

You would think that given my track record this would be the perfect time for a major bitching session against the Government; but you’d be wrong. Not when we have no one to blame for this but ourselves. And of course it’s only a small minority, that’s the unfortunate thing; a small minority of clowns who can’t see farther than the end of their own noses. And the rest of us are affected.

Some of the shove-back is to do with the ongoing Covid figures, but much is because certain segments were let out of wherever they’re normally caged up and went absolutely Ape – and that is certainly one of the factors that contributed to ordinary pubs having to remain shut.

How often have I banged on about the rising growth of the ridiculous Nanny State?

I’ve had a hang-up about authority my entire life. I had a hang-up about it as far back as my schooldays. I detest being told what to do.

But when the restaurants were given –after months of being closed -- the go-ahead to serve people a drink with a meal, that was the point where we could have taken the decision to behave like civilized people, to police ourselves – but no, the Usual Suspects were straight out of the traps like a pack of demented greyhounds. And yes, they may be a minority but they are a big, loud, obnoxious, drunken minority. And in any case it only takes a minority of one infected person to help keep this damnable virus around the place.

When the pubs that were allowed to double as restaurants were able to open again, both the proprietors and their customers were given a set of guidelines to follow. They were to observe social distancing, be there for around 105 minutes and have a drink only with a meal.

And we really have been pretty compliant in trying to prevent the spread of this virus, going back to March 14th, when everywhere shut down. But instead of taking it easy…well, by now we’ve all seen the images of drinking to excess in the streets. And of course distancing goes out the window when booze is involved.

Of course the same beauties go ahead and boast on social media that they were in the pub/’restaurant’ all day and had seven pints whereas normally they might have had three. Like bold bloody school kids showing off. Or telling their mates about the establishments that will give you a fake receipt saying that you’ve eaten.
The decent, law-abiding publicans will suffer because of the sheer foolishness of the few.

I don’t know the answer to whether or not things should be opening up again. In fact there have been times lately when I’ve felt that I’m the only person in Ireland who isn’t an expert. God knows everyone else seems to be one.

Yet overall this is one time when I am going to listen to the Government; because they are listening to the medical experts. And given the choice I’m going to listen to them over some social media warrior spouting the latest conspiracy theory any day of the week, despite my serious misapprehensions about the tourists being let in.

Before I go, I have to take back something I said just before all this took off. People had voted for a political change in Ireland and that change seemed to include giving Sinn Fein a real chance for once. Well, the Coronavirus outbreak changed everything and one of the unfortunate fallouts of it was that we’re pretty much stuck now with the same old pitiless and corrupt regime. And I don’t know that SF would have been any different but I’d like to have found out for myself.

However, I had shown quite a bit of unrepentant glee in seeing Regina Doherty being told once and for all that she was not wanted by the voters.

But that was before Micheál Martin – who was NEVER going to make deals with certain other parties under ANY condition – suddenly realised that he wanted to be Taoiseach, even if it was by default, more than he wanted to retain a shred of honour.

One of the first things he does…? He appoints Doherty, who should by all rights be on her way out the door at this point, as Leader of the Seanad.

Now get this: only seven years ago Doherty led the campaign to ABOLISH the Seanad, and in fact said at the time that it was ‘undemocratic and elitist’. Now she’s leading it.

There’s our politicians’ sense of honour for you. It can be bought for something that’s not even worth much in the scheme of things.

And can I just remind American readers once again that saying you’re an Irish senator is very different to what it means in the States? As you can see from Ms. Doherty the Seanad is by and large a retirement home, based on cronyism, which rescues failed politicians from oblivion and keeps them endlessly on the Gravy Train.

And they’re not even bothering to hide the fact that they are chancers and opportunists anymore.

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