All aboard gravy train
Sir -- Finding myself stuck in a train in the Simplon tunnel, I fell into conversation with a Swiss and a Belgian, both gentlemen.
The conversation came around to the woes of Ireland, and I was asked about the bailout and the political situation. When I told them we had 166 TDs and another 60 in the Seanad who were for the most part full-time politicians from dynastic families, they were amazed.
Mezzeo from Switzerland said they had 200 alright, but they all had full-time jobs outside the parliament, only sat four times a year, and had hardly any staff. I replied promptly that all ours were highly paid, enjoyed colossal pensions, and put in for serious expenses. Granted some of these were hardly credible, but they helped our people with planning permission, jumping hospital queues, and getting tarmac on their driveways etc.