Home » OPINION: Dáil protests gone to the dogs

OPINION: Dáil protests gone to the dogs

by Jimmy Rhatigan

ISN’T IT amazing how politicians are so quick to jump to their own defence when somebody or indeed somebodies ruffles their feathers.

They remind me of Murphy’s dog that patrols a neighbourhood sniffing at the bottoms of other pooches.

Then when some other mongrel decides that our friend from the last paragraph is fair game for a bit of what we might call hanky panky he barks in anger, screeches and appears to be utterly disgusted that a stray cur has taken a fancy to his nether region.

It is a kind of do unto others what they would do to you scenario.

Following a feisty protest outside Leinster House earlier this week there were immediate calls to ban all protests at the entrance area to the Dáil.

Like the prowling dog it seemed they were just waiting to pounce at the first opportunity.

Admittedly the protest was dodgy at times with hardy boys and girls determined to scare the you know what out of public representatives, some Leinster House staff and press by running at them and hurtling insults.

It was perhaps a case of a body of men and women exercising their democratic right to protest, albeit with a good helping of what we might call rough play and nasty language thrown into a mix that could have edged towards being dangerous and could so easily have got completely out of hand.

Some TDs jumped on a bandwagon that is so often pushed out to shoot Foxy before he has lunch with his chicken friends.

In cases like this there is often blind hysteria on one side, semi-tolerance on the other and in between a possible solution that would not drive a wedge into anyone’s heart.

I seldom find reason to give credit to Fine Gael chief Varadkar but on this occasion his expression on cautions or clampdowns, if any, was quite sensible, maybe sensitive too as he cautioned what he might have termed any knee-jerk reactions.

At this stage of a ball game between two parish sides when tempers tend to reach boiling point, politicians generally must know that they are not the flavor of the month with thousands who are suffering badly as they are chased for mortgage arrears by vulture funds, savaged by the hikes in groceries in supermarkets and tortured by the high cost of petrol and diesel and home heating fuels.

Hurting parents, normally calm and law abiding people have been put to the pin of their collars and naturally, some might agree, politicians who at times don’t seem to be too bothered how much suffering is foisted on the electorate will more often than not be in their line of fire.

Families are also finding back to school expenses quite crippling and they are well aware that the wiles of winter will put more pressure on withering wallets.

To say that thousands and more likely millions of our people are not in the best of form at this time would be a rather obvious conclusion.

In contrast politicians have just returned to work after circa two months of holidays, in sunny climes perhaps and their backsides won’t be well settled into their cosy Dáil seats when they will down tools for Yule.

Yes, you have guessed it there are two Irelands and those who believe, with arguably good reason, that they are forever left holding the short straw just might be justified as they moan and groan at their misfortunes and fart at the smugness of public representatives who would appear to hold all the aces in a tense game of poker.

It is in that scenario that any decisions to make drastic changes or otherwise on protests outside the Dáil will be made.

Sometimes it is most sensible to let a blazing fire fade and die rather than risk pouring petrol on any already threatening conflagration.

Unfortunately not all public representatives seem to know the meaning of the word ‘sensible’.

Sensible is defined as ‘done or chosen in according with wisdom or prudence; likely to be of benefit’.

Oh dearie me.

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