Sunday 18 February 2018

There's a Pecksniff of Dickens to be found in the Twist and Heep of politics

Willie O'Dea casts an eye over the Dail and finds some Artful echoes

Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea Photo: Tom Burke

The events, characters and great issues, from the tragic to the comic, that played out through the year just ending would not feel out of place in a Charles Dickens novel.

The characters Dickens created are real, not just for the 19th century, but for today. As a contemporary critic said of Dickens: "Every word said by his characters was distinctly heard by him."

So many of those words and voices echo into today's Dail. Listen to Transport Minister Shane Ross and you may as well be listening to the fast-talking Jack Dawkins - the Artful Dodger. Ducking and diving as he tries to evade capture, forever seeing himself as the victim.

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