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SOAPBOX: Our Fanny Was Right About Politicians

by Jimmy Rhatigan

The sham that is our Government is cruelly borne out by the disgraceful way it abuses our frontline workers.
We have a great, albeit undermanned army of nurses, doctors and specialized teams of brave medical warriors who are fighting a war on our behalf and yet our hapless and incompetent politicians refuse to reward them for their Herculean efforts.
Yes, we have heard praise and promises from various public representatives including our worryingly weak Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly but everyone must now be fully averse with the value of a politician’s promise.
The latter is about as genuine as a hen’s tooth.
As winter beckons, hospital workers all over the country are bracing themselves for whatever scenario the deadly Covid-19 continues to throw at us, along with the vomiting bug, ‘flu and myriad medical, mental and orthopaedic challenges.
We know how the emergency ward warriors were rewarded after winning their first battle with Covid.

Some politicians thanked them from the bottom of their hearts; make that their arses; others, so generously accorded them a round of applause.
What pitiful insolence.
Under pressure from our people, pledges, verbal ones only we suspect, were made to reward the men and women of war who risked their own lives in the trenches to save the rest of us.
At this stage a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse as hospital teams know full well that, surprise, surprise, public praise and promises represent nothing but the bluster and bluffing of politicians as they plan the next reward for themselves, a la the Katherine Zappone disaster.
As taxpayers who pay the wages of our politicians at all levels it behoves us to ensure that the people we profess to love to love are not let down.

We spend a lot of our time barking about the evil of homelessness, the brutality of banks and vultures who turf families from their homes but at the end of the day, what do we do?
Very little is the honest answer.
Okay, we should not have to fight for the rights of our frontliners. Our Government should do the decent thing.
But we know full well that a majority of politicians spend much of their time powdering their own backsides, staring into mirrors to ensure their hair is coiffed for the next photo shoot and spewing out rhetoric.
Every hour of every day we have Facebook warriors lashing into politicians, condemning them and calling for a General Election.
Unfortunately, the thousands of words, although admittedly well meaning, are, we believe, more often than not, even read and certainly not heeded by well-heeled public representatives.

A politician’s neck is a rival for the thick skin of a crocodile and after years of ducking and diving and feathering their own nests they are now at the stage where most don’t give a damn whether or not we know their fingers are in the jam pot.
The only way to hit politicians is in their pockets.
As citizens of Ireland we should sign a petition stating that we want all their wages and expenses frozen until the time when they realize who they are working for.
The latter, by the way, is us.
But, politicians are not acting like employees.
Nor are we behaving as responsible bosses.
It is time we called public representatives to task.
If we don’t, Government will continue to let our frontline heroes, our homeless and our evicted families stew in their own misfortunes.
It is high time that we evicted our uncaring if elected representatives from their cosy shelter in Kildare Street.
The late Fanny Treacy (nee Ryan) of Nore Terrace in our city, a one-time public orator, was right in her appraisal of our politicians.
“When, they are elected they are green; then, like a crate of bananas, they soon turn yellow.”
How right you were Fanny.

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