Sunday 21 January 2018

We need a 'council of war' to defend Ireland

The one useful thing the Dail could have done last Wednesday was to vote itself out of existence, writes Brendan O'Connor

It has often been noted that we live in a two-tier society. On the evidence of last week, we certainly live in a country where there are two distinct realities at play. There is the reality in Leinster House and the reality for the rest of us. The kamikaze cement truck on Wednesday was a fitting metaphor, when the reality on the street threatened to burst into the cosy bubble of Leinster House. But of course, it failed. It just bounced off the bubble and later that day a motley crew of TDs turned up to resume business as usual after their summer break.

It is quite simply bizarre to think that our Government has just returned to sitting after a three-month summer break. No doubt if you ask any of them, they will tell you that they work very hard in the summer, looking after things in their constituencies and whatnot. And maybe, just maybe, they did go home this year to try and frantically curry favour in their hinterlands, what with the fear of a general election looming. Because the TDs know that in this country politics is still local and the only hope they have of clinging on to their seats in the maelstrom that is to come is by trying to look after as many people as they possibly can locally.

So while the country teetered on the brink of oblivion for the past three months, that's what they were at. It is the starkest sign yet that our political system is not fit for purpose. It is certainly not fit for its current purpose.

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