It's our fault really. We are enablers in all this. And we aren't helping the situation. We are making it more difficult for them to transition, because we aren't making the transition ourselves.
For clarity, let's just state one clear fact here. Leo Varadkar is not the Taoiseach anymore. I know you know that, and he knows that. But do you really, really know it? While Micheal Martin finally gave the real capital a real Taoiseach again after all these years, there's a slight blockage in everyone's heads that is making people think Leo Varadkar is the real Taoiseach.
It came home to us most clearly at last Wednesday night's press conference. After the almost celebratory nature of the recent Covid press events, where pubs and holidays and all kinds of congregating were on offer, this one was back to the sombre tone. Congregating was a dirty word again. Young people needed to cop on, and there'd be no pubs. But the niggling question in the back of our heads was: "Where's Leo?" We even found ourselves missing Simon Harris. We'd become used to being talked down to by Leo and Simon about the evils of dickying up. But who were these new people, pretending to be our parents?
While we got the message last Wednesday night, we were still slightly discombobulated. But then last Thursday, Micheal made the mistake of going up North for the day, which seems to leave Leo, the alleged former Taoiseach, in charge down here. So Leo told us that not only would the pubs not open before August 10, they might not even open then. Simon Harris was out and about, too, backing up what Micheal and Stephen had told us the night before. It was as if Simon and Leo knew that we needed to hear it from them to accept it. Of course, they are careful always to refer and defer to the Taoiseach, as if they are just his subordinates. But you can almost see them making quotation marks in the air when they refer to the "Taoiseach".
You'd nearly think there was a bit of mischief making going on. Leo and Simon Coveney, for example, were both out early in the week to say that holidaying in countries on the 'Green List' would be as safe as staycationing in Ireland. Even when an incredulous Miriam O'Callaghan asked the Tanaiste, sorry, I mean Simon Coveney, if Nphet would be happy with that, Simon assured her they would. And, meanwhile, the poor killjoys who are allegedly in charge have to keep stressing "No non-essential travel". It's basically a version of dad saying, "Look, kids, you know if it was up to me, I'd let you stay out all night, but your mother, you know what she's like. I'd let you go, but you better ask her".
Having booby trapped the office before he left, Leo is now enjoying a weird kind of power without responsibility. Micheal, meanwhile, has got what he so desperately wanted. He's Taoiseach, or one of them anyway. And, after Brussels, it seems he won't be coming into the Dail for two weeks. So presumably Leo will be standing in for him. That's not going to help matters, now is it?