Oh dear. Has Varadkar caught the Martin virus? Since the formation of the most recent Dublin government, it’s been Micheál Martin who’s been experiencing a fever, nausea, a pounding headache and a loss of the sense of smell (yes, Virginia, handy if you’re heading up the FFers, but still.)But now his Tánaiste has been found to have been contaminated – he’s passed a document marked ‘Confidential’ to an old chum. Which he admits himself he shouldn’t have done – at the same time saying he’d done nothing wrong.
The document was the pay deal agreement Varadkar had reached a year or more ago with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO). He passed the document to an old chum within the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), a rival group of doctors. Varadkar is going to face questioning in the Dáil tomorrow about sliding something confidential to an old chum.
Smoke-filled back rooms, brown envelopes, whatever you say say nothing – isn’t that nod-and-a-wink supposed to be the exclusive domain of Fianna Fáil? And here is Varadkar, apparently elbowing in on the customary worst practice of FF. No wonder he has echoed the words of Queen Elizabeth II, about doing things differently or not at all, if one could go back and rejig things.
But we can’t, and it may well be that at this moment Fine Gael’s Phil Hogan (he is still in the party, isn’t he?) is rubbing his big manly hands and muttering “Well, hell rub it up ye, Varadkar!” Before you start throwing stones, it’s always best to make sure your own house has been well boarded up.
Personally, I don’t think the passing of the document is a hanging offence; but like it or not, it’s as if a soft-boiled egg had been splattered across the Tánaiste’s until-now open and flawless features.
Listen. Who’s that? ….Ah. It’s only Micheál Martin quietly humming “How does it feel?”