Wednesday 23 January 2019

I am part of the resistance inside the Leo administration


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Getty Images
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Getty Images


The Sunday Independent has taken the rare step of making up, sorry, we mean publishing, an anonymous Page One article today. We have decided this is the only way to deliver our perspective, sorry, we mean an important perspective, to our readers.

Leo Varadkar is facing a test to his Taoiseachship unlike that faced by any other Taoiseach. How does he force an election before his initial popularity wears off? I am a senior official in the Leo administration and, together with like-minded colleagues, I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda. We are the quiet internal resistance to the Government. We are called the civil service, and we have been doing this to every administration for as long as anyone can remember. We work from within to frustrate parts of the Government's agenda. When I say parts, I mean all of it.

We work tirelessly behind the scenes to frustrate their misguided impulses, their half-baked, ill-informed and reckless decisions, what they call their programme for government. Don't worry, Ireland, there are adults in the room, and we don't just mean Paschal, and we adults will make sure that nothing bad happens. In fact, we will do our damnedest, in your interests, to make sure that nothing happens at all.

Some of our work is barely noticeable. For example, we sometimes hide Murph's swimming trunks after Cabinet meetings, or we will suggest that he should put a shirt on for important announcements about housing. Often we will make sure, when a foreign dignitary is coming, that Leo's novelty sock drawer 'accidentally' becomes jammed. We will do little things, like when the Pope comes and Leo says to him that he feels like he is in The Da Vinci Code, or when he suggests to the Pope that they might go for a jog in the Phoenix Park, we ensure the translator is one of our people, who translates these idiotic comments as, 'Welcome to Ireland Holy Father. Let's hope you can enjoy the weekend in between everyone haranguing you about the crimes of your church'.

This is an administration that believes that the press is the enemy of the people. We thwart their attempts to say this all the time, though we did drop the ball that time Leo was in New York at the private lunch.

We in the civil service believe our first duty is to our country. We believe this Government, and indeed all governments, are detrimental to the health of our republic. But we have yet to meet a government we can't thwart and frustrate. We assure you, our fellow Irish citizens, that we want this administration to succeed. We just don't want it to change anything, and every civil servant takes that solemn secret oath very seriously. I have to go now. We are busy right this minute arranging a little surprise for Shane Ross.

Sunday Independent

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