Saturday 21 April 2018

Dogs in the street know an insult from an idiom

The latest victim in the battle between the Government and the Opposition over water charges is the English language, with members of the Coalition apparently declaring a fatwa on idioms.

In the Dáil yesterday, Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger decried this week's arrests in West Dublin in connection with the infamous Jobstown water charges protest. Pointing out that former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Charlie Haughey had been trapped in their cars by protestors, she said: "Neither of them, for all their sins, went and called out the dogs and called on an oppressive police response."

The reaction from the Government benches was apoplexy. Not to the accusation of political policing, one of the most serious charges that can be levelled against any government, but to the use of the phrase "called out the dogs".

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