Monday 24 October 2016

TDs setting new record for going nowhere slowly

Published 16/04/2016 | 02:30

Photo: Maxwells
Photo: Maxwells

It was indeed humbling to behold the full majesty of our democracy unfold over the past seven weeks. It has taken our 158 elected representatives 48 days to circumnavigate the copious space between their own ears. On completion of this epic political odyssey they have set a remarkable new precedent for adding darkness to darkness.

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Thus the incumbents of the 32nd Dáil are to be congratulated for expending the maximum amount of energy to achieve absolutely nothing, in the interests of getting nowhere. In years to come, a suitable monument to their unstinting efforts to stultify, suffocate and otherwise paralyse the political process will be set in place.

One thinks of a colossal figure with a head fashioned from the most seasoned oak taken from the depths of the Bog of Allen, with a neck of burnished bronze. One's eyes can only brim full of tears at the gratitude of generations yet unborn, who will prostrate themselves before this memorial to mark a milestone event in reaching inertia.

Fianna Fáil deserve special mention towards this end. Their inexhaustible ability to confound was once more demonstrated as it dismissed all entreaties to form a government, despite having run the electoral race and spent millions. One of the party's negotiators, Barry Cowen, yesterday insisted that his party would not be guided by any deadline in its determination not to be in Government, saying: "It is up to Fine Gael to build a government and the Independents will have to buy into it. The Independents can't be in and out of government." As to whether they can be in and out of government at the same time, in the manner of Padre Pio, remains unclear.

Mr Cowen is a true exemplar in the art of not forming a government. In the same week that astrophysicist Stephen Hawking revealed his plan for 'Breakthrough Starshot', which will see a light-propelled nanocraft - a spaceship just a few grams in size - fly through space like a ship in the sea, with sails pushed by the physical force of light particles instead of by wind, our politicians came up with their own plan which was also off the planet, but which was propelled by wind instead of light particles. And so to surmise.

We are where we are, going forward...

Irish Independent

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