On mature reflection, Micheál decides

Comparisons, they say, are odious. But as I watched Micheál Martin appear last night at the top of the carpeted stair and twinkle-toe his way down to the microphone, I couldn’t help but remember a moment in THE TRUMP SHOW ( it’s on BBC TWO) where Trump, a showman to his cuticles, strode along a verandah in North Korea while Kim Jon-Un did likewise, with the two meeting in the middle to shake hands. This was Micheál as the Dear Leader, bringing news of strategy in the war against Covid.

While it took him a matter of seconds to trip lightly down the stairs to the microphone, it took Micheál and his government some two weeks to get themselves and the state (no, Virginia, not the country, much less the nation) to this point.

You must remember Claire Byrne two weeks ago, getting Leo Varadkar to bad-mouth Nphet and Dr Tony Holohan. The good doctor Holohan had urged the politicians to move to Level 5 pronto, or there’d be bad stuff happening on the medical front. The dodgy doctor Leo made it clear that Holohan and Co. hadn’t reflected on what they were saying and the government clearly saw the need to stay just where it was.

Now, two weeks later, here we have Micheál telling us that the government has decided to move to Level 5. Question: how many people contracted the virus and/or died during that two-week period of delay? Micheál didn’t mention that. In fact he didn’t utter a peep of apology for ignoring medical advice for two weeks. Would it be fair to say that Leo and Micheál got it wrong two weeks ago, by not following the medical advice ? Don’t be asking silly questions – of course they got it wrong – they abandoned the following-medical-experts line and. replaced it with listening-to-medical-advice-but-ignoring-it-when-we-want to. Politicians like Micheál and Leo can make this shift because, years ago, they underwent a medical procedure which fitted them with brass necks, guaranteed as 100% durable until they retire or until the public get round to booting them out.

One of the big questions unanswered last night was, of course, what  happens after the six-weeks lockdown? What’s your exit strategy? The way Micheál tells it, we’ll all climb out a December window and have ourselves a merry little Christmas. And in January, Micheál? Um, er, glad you asked, aw, eek, ask us again in two months time.

This Dublin government attracts disaster the way a cow-pat attracts blue-arsed flies. Only we don’t pay the   pat or the flies.

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