Politics is as low as a snake’s belly

by Jimmy Rhatigan

ARGUABLY, our world war against the killer Coronavirus is one of mankind’s greatest challenges since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, a
contradiction often referred to as Paradise.
It would appear that the politicians of the world in tandem with their medical mates have all guns blazing.

But have they?
In our beloved country we have a war council called NPHET, our National Public Health Emergency Team and then we have a motley crew of politicians with little or no medical nous but with lots of opinion and oodles of nudge and wink.
That we have a struggle within a conflict is no exaggeration, and naturally, it has no official status.
Coronavirus is a matter of life and death.
Yet it is often maligned as a political football.
Ludicrous shenanigans would
suggest that if death and illness do not directly affect our public
representatives then they are not really interested.

Pick up tab
In front of a TV camera politicians can be excellent actors, good at making us believe that they would give both arms to put a bullet in Covid’s head and accept acclaim on their
white horses.
Fairy tales begin and end in front of a lens. Taxpayers, as usual, pick up any tab.
Brazenly, politicians use the enemy virus to tickle public tummies, a tactic they may believe will curry them favour with Joe and Josephine Citizen.
Despite official news bulletins, they insist on splattering daily deaths or new cases on Facebook as if to do us a public service.
Hopefully, the culprits may reconsider as learned medics call for weekly rather than daily figures in the interest of our mental health.

Greed and selfishness
As we battle to keep our people alive, try to keep our distance from more positive cases, politicians are playing hide and seek, three card tricks or whatever game that serves their causes, inevitably ones of greed and selfishness.
We have said it before and we now believe it more than ever. Varadkar is by far the cleverest of the three leaders, arrogant and with a hue of D4, but cunning and cute.
Martin has achieved his aim, ensured that a cash satchel will be filled for him as he retires
and saved him the embarrassment of being the first FF
leader to miss the gravy train of Taoiseach.
Ryan is the Dáil’s Rip Van
Winkle, given the mic only
because it is his turn to waffle.

Bluster sessions
Cocooned in Dublin’s National Convention Centre a maximum of 20 keep-your-distance Ministers and TDs conduct regular bluster
sessions, at times rounding on each other in an atmosphere where it is Green, Blue and FF against the rest.
But, don’t be fooled, all is not cosy on the coalition couch.
And without throwing them a buoy in any troubled water, it might be fair to say that not all of the latter may have wanted to give the thumbs down to a basic wage hike for the real workers of Ireland.
They boxed us in the face because they were told to do it.
But a plea by a soldier that he shot an enemy only because his officer told him to has never been accepted at any war tribunal.
And while Sinn Féin, usually through their best oratorical warrior, Pearse Doherty have put on the boxing gloves, yet they spare any knockout blows.
That is disappointing as we expected fire and brimstone from SF.
Is the party playing a waiting game?
Maybe, but as the main opposition it is its duty to fight for a sharp Government that is now more akin to a blunt instrument.
So where is the coalition going?
Depending on your point of view you may utter nowhere, to greater things or anywhere at all as soon as possible.
Body language tells us that Green doesn’t matter and that its leader will never be promoted, not because he would not want any top post but because others would not want him there.

As Taoiseach, Martin is now hogging the limelight, not because he has any tidings of great joy or positive pronunciations but because Varadkar may believe that he will eventually self-destruct on centre stage.
FG is content to keep its head below the parapet as FF scores own goals, something that it has become quite adept at.
Three Ministers for Agriculture, Golfgate etcetera.
Any school report would hardly be accompanied by stars from teacher.
In contrast, a few bungles apart, principally its blind eye to meat plants, FG would probably get good exam results, albeit with teacher’s reservation, ‘must do better’.
FG will envisage themselves in power next time without the baggage of FF or the Greens.
It is a dream that could end in a nightmare if SF ups its game.

Dirty game
The big shame is not that there is continuing if not always obvious in-fighting between the Civil War Parties with the Greens as lenient referees, swinging whatever way the pendulum requires.
Politics has always been a dirty game.
But when its arrogance reaches the stage where it puts its pockets before the lives of our people then it finds itself as low as a snake’s belly.
God forgive them all for they know not what they do.
We are jesting of course.
When it comes to maths, they are some (maybe spell sum)
tulips as they add up their
lenient expenses and send us the invoices.
Meanwhile, our medics are, with some notable exceptions, displaying a united front.

Other killers
Most will admit that they are scrapping with a virus that they know very little about.
A vaccine is seen as the key that could perhaps save millions of lives.
That leads to another debate. Even the most knowledgeable of physicians will admit that they would be in two minds as whether or not to swallow any vaccine.
The medics of the world have a huge task as they grapple with cancer and a string of many other killers.
There are no doubt right and wrong roads but the big question is who erects the signposts.
The worry is the ever presence of lurking pharmaceuticals.

Previous Workhouse Boy Wonder is tailor-made
Next TDs are abusing us as their servants