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Envy, class war, our simmering low-level hatred of D4 types, and bank holiday nostalgia

Brendan O'Connor


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Gardai at a checkpoint ensure passengers are adhering to strict travel restrictions.

Gardai at a checkpoint ensure passengers are adhering to strict travel restrictions.

REUTERS

Gardai at a checkpoint ensure passengers are adhering to strict travel restrictions.

Let’s face it. We needed a good old-fashioned Irish barney. Things had all been too nice. We were all on the same page, in it together, behind the Government, even though they got a hiding in the election. Life was monotonous. There was only a collective destiny.

Of course it was nice that everything was happy-clappy, and all about people doing nice things for each other. Even social media had become a largely pleasant place. A certain amount of resentment simmered around social distancing etiquette, but it was a resentment that dare not speak its name, that we shared quietly with our nearest and dearest. There were sporadic bouts of shaming particular groups: teenagers at one point, over-70s refusing to cocoon at one point. But we really didn’t have the heart for it.

So by the time a properly divisive issue came along, we were more than ready to kick off. We had a lot of pent-up outrage in the tank. And when it came, it ticked all the boxes — not just outrage, but envy, class war, our simmering low-level hatred of D4 types, and bank holiday nostalgia.