If we'd started in 2000, there'd be no water mess
Europe wants us to save water, yet there's no incentive to do so by capping the charge until 2019
Like Alphonso X of Castile, one is always tempted to declare: "Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe".
So for the past year, I've been saying to Fine Gael politicians of my acquaintance - of which there are considerably fewer than you'd think - "Why don't you just keep saying, 'WaterFrameworkDirective, WaterFrameworkDirective, WaterFrameworkDirective'?"
This EU Directive from 2000 contains the core principles behind water charges. I will now quote from this directive. Do not panic. It took me a while to get my head around it, but once you see what it's trying to achieve, you'll understand why we have landed ourselves in such a mess. And when I say "we", I don't mean you and me, but primarily the civil service, and then, politicians from successive governments.