When Gerry Adams spoke to RTE Radio last weekend he was keen to make a distinction between Sinn Fein's stated policy on universal healthcare and an individual's right to make a choice to go private if he, or she, so wished.
He was making the point in reply to those who took him to task for availing of expensive medical care in the United States, when he could have done what his party avows and gone public at home.
Implausible though his reasoning is, he certainly seems to believe it himself.
It's the rest of us who have a problem understanding his rationale. The notion that – all are born equal, except those who are more equal than others – is not something you will read in a Sinn Fein manifesto anytime soon.
Mr Adams was subsequently taken to task for not declaring the cost of this €30,000 procedure – paid for by a US benefactor – in his Dail statement of interests. We await the outcome of that stand-off with interest.
Now we discover that Mr Adams flew business class from Dublin to New York on that trip and the cost of the flights was borne by Friends of Sinn Fein. We wonder how the President of Sinn Fein defends this extravagance, or whether he has belatedly decided that this is a good time to stop digging.
Because for a party, which prides itself on representing the underdog in Irish society, to condone this level of privileged treatment a continent away – and the first class air travel to get there – is, pardon the pun, a bit rich.