Gene Kerrigan: The parties have become so alike that elections change nothing except the personnel
The general election campaign is under way, yet the election date remains undeclared. It might not happen - God help us - for the best part of nine months. We're in suspended electoral animation - the engine is revving up, but the brakes are on.
As the weeks pass, there will be repetitive speeches, pitiful gaffes and premature ejaculations, shameless lies and the occasional heartfelt plea. The level of sheer incompetence and duplicity will - despite our experience - occasionally surprise us.
Throughout this period, we're doomed to suffer the usual range of election-related nonsense.