Dynamic Duo's Spring Statement gets a wintry welcome in Dáil
Any political animals emerging yesterday from a protracted hibernation may have understandably ended up feeling most confused. Inside the Dáil some class of a yoke called a Spring Statement was under way, but to the casual observer the whole palaver looked and sounded suspiciously like a Winter Budget - with unseasonably gelid temperatures outside.
The Spring Statement is a new addition to the calendar of political set-pieces, and nobody was quite sure how to approach the semi-exotic beast. Because it was neither fiscal fish nor financial fowl - nobody was going to be either richer or poorer as a result of the pronouncements by the coalition's economic Batman and Robin, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin.
Therefore a just-awakened political animal may well have been moved to enquire why on earth there was a need for a Spring Statement at all, at all. The answer was simple enough - as Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty observed beadily to the Dynamic Duo across the chamber, "You needn't be a bloodhound to smell an election in the air".