Professor Gary Murphy was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so what he says is usually solid gold.
Last Friday, he gave Fine Gael a reality check on behalf of Irish democracy - and had some wise words for the Labour Party.
On RTE, he reminded Leo Varadkar there had been a general election, Fine Gael had come third, and the current caretaker government had no mandate to continue indefinitely.
Murphy argued that Irish democracy cannot be cocooned and that government needed to be accountable to both opposition and media.
Whatever about the opposition, the media shows little sign of wanting to note mistakes or look at what lies on the far side of lockdown.
One columnist, also a lobbyist, even hinted Fine Gael should go for a second election and take SF in.
This is suicidal stuff. Sinn Fein, currently fighting with every other party in Northern Ireland, shows that it's Sinn Fein's way or the highway.
Leo Varadkar, high on plaudits for curating the campaign against Covid-19, seems somewhat reluctant to relinquish power in a faint if farcical echo of Viktor Orban in Hungary whose party, Fidesz, like FG, is a member of the European People's Party group.
But whether the media want to face it or not, mistakes have been made, there are limits to the lockdown, and at the exit we will need a strong government to stand up to the EU and ECB and demand they help us pay the butcher's bill.
First the mistakes. We should have curbed travel from Italy in February and prohibited people from going to Cheltenham.
Furthermore, the hyped €200m order of PPE from China that arrived in Ireland last week was not fit for purpose. George Lee added this information, almost like an afterthought, at the end of a long-winded bulletin last Thursday, but it was so buried by then that blink and you missed it.
To his credit, Lee rectified this on Friday's Morning Ireland, and fleshed out the Chinese story properly.
Second, there is a media reluctance to face the fact that a long lockdown could cause as many, if not more, deaths than Covid-19.
Mark Paul, of The Irish Times, was tougher than most in the media in pointing out it should not be taboo to talk about an exit strategy.
Lockdowns, he said, only buy you limited time - and at appalling cost.
"Lockdowns destroy economies, they create human misery, they destroy lives and eventually they will lead to a lack of tax revenues. They'll just ruin everything. The way out of that is to test - and to test we need reagent."
Finally, Leo Varadkar and the incoming Irish government will soon have to tell us the terrible cost that waits for us at the far side of lockdown.
But, so far, the media, and even economists, are giving Fine Gael cover by playing down the terrifying size of that butcher's bill.
The government and its media mouthpieces are getting away with it because right now people are more concerned about losing their lives than losing their jobs.
That's fine for public sector employees in permanent and pensionable jobs, who, by and large, can cocoon in relative comfort.
But lockdown is a double nightmare for working people in the private sector whose sufferings in often cramped living conditions are compounded by worries about money and jobs.
In the absence of an opposition or media to ask any awkward questions, let me ask just three.
What happens to our economy if the lockdown lasts much longer? How can we cope with the enormous economic cost? How will we pay for it?
First, we must get a rough idea of the likely condition of the economy if the lockdown lasts until summer or longer.
Food, pharma and supporting services will recover fast. Which is nearly all the good news.
That's because massive employers like the retail and hospitality sectors will be left in rag order.
Right now we face the immediate unemployment of over 400,000 retail and hospitality workers - without the pay and pensions safety net of the public sector.
What will it cost to bandage up our badly wounded economy after lockdown?
Here are some rough tots.
Economists think the budget impact in increased social welfare and reduced direct taxes will cost us about €10bn. This is a deficit we will carry into next year.
On top of that, VAT will fall by about a third at minimum. That's another €5bn. To which we can add up to a €3bn fall on excise duties. Total €8bn.
Add to that the loss of a third of our take on corporation tax, at least €3bn, and possibly more. Add all that up and it's an appalling deficit of €21bn.
We also have to find a once-off payment of at least €13.5bn to pay for coping with Covid-19. The job subsidy is budgeted at €3.7bn. You can double that if it's needed for more than three months, say €7.5bn.
And who can tell the cost of medical services. Let's conservatively say €6bn.
So merely paying for the current cost of Covid-19 alone means we need to find an extra €13.5bn.
Where are we to find these huge sums? Cutting spending and raising taxes will deflate an already damaged economy. It's not the way to go this time.
The bottom line is that we shall have to borrow big. Just to get through the next two years alone and pay the Covid-19 bill will require €55bn, close to the figure for the banks in 2010.
This will bring our national debt to a numbing €250bn. That is a colossal sum, which, let's face it, we will never be able to repay.
That means we will be looking to the European Central Bank for a massive €100bn debt write-down.
But here, let us face facts. The EU and ECB have been bad in this crisis.
Leo Varadkar, during Brexit, bigged up what we now see was the hollow promise of EU solidarity. He does not strike me as the party leader best fitted to get tough with the EU.
In contrast, Micheal Martin showed no starry eyes about the EU in drilling home on RTE last Thursday that a "significant radical approach" would have to be taken by Europe to provide funds for us in this crisis.
Add to that Martin's radical call for a single-tier health system and Prof Murphy's case for Labour in government is even more compelling.
Like me, Murphy believes Labour will not be punished for doing its duty in a crisis - but will certainly suffer if it dodges the column.
Surely Labour can feel the change in public mood in favour of a government with a strong majority?
Wise trade union officials tell me Prof Murphy is right in believing the electorate is in the mood to punish parties who don't step up to the plate in this national emergency.
Ask anyone outside the lefty cocoon and they tell you they are disgusted by the servile march of the Soc Dems and Greens towards the swallowing mouth of the Sinn Fein Moloch.
Going into either government or opposition with Sinn Fein is a political bourne from which no fellow-traveller returns.
Alan Kelly, the new Labour leader, has a good feel for the majority private sector. Kelly and Martin, in government with FG, could ensure that exit from the lockdown, however hard, is equally hard for all.