While the Government decision to “postpone” re-opening of the hospitality sector was the talk of the country, where was the main “opposition” party?
That would be Sinn Féin, in numbers at least. But the party whose press office is a veritable incontinent atm of statements on everything from how much people ought to stake on the Grand National, to what pronouns to use over a bottle of Buckfast, was curiously silent.
If you were watching the Dáil reactions on Tuesday you would have been under the impression that Alan Kelly of Labour was the main opposition spokesperson, and that the only others were independents like Mattie McGrath, Michael McNamara, Carol Nolan and Peadar Toibín of Aontu. Padraig Mac Lochlainn was there but threw in several issues to deflect from the fact that the Shinners hadn’t a baldy what to say about the decision to further delay opening up the country.
Their jibbering was not of course aided by the fact that an opinion poll for the Dublin Bay South bye-election the day before had candidate Lynn Boylan on 13%. The poll might be wrong, of course, but it wasn’t a great result after an entire week of love bombing the liberal bourgeoisie with Woke stuff and even picketing a Romanist Chapel. What to do, what to do….
What to do of course was to watch social media for a day, to see what way the wind is blowing. Having done that, Mary Lou was in a position to launch a strong rebuke regarding the government’s neglect of “the young people.”
Their social media techies had taken time off trying to get people banned from Facebook and Twitter and had discerned that the demographic most likely to be deluded into voting for Sinn Féin was highly pissed-off at the extension.
That, however, conflicts with Sinn Féin’s ongoing and well-established support for restrictions. Remember that they were the ones along with the other lefties whose only critique of hotel quarantine and travel bans were that they were “half baked.” More stringent restrictions is what they want – other than when considering whether to fly in workers for low-paid jobs during a lockdown, obviously.
Indeed, a little bird tells me that Sinn Féin’s equivocation over the lockdown extension is also linked to the strong possibility that they are going to support a reintroduction of similar restrictions in the north, where they are London’s satraps and will in any event be bounden by whatever the dispensers of the Queen’s shilling decides over the next weeks.
But, don’t take my word for it. In the Dáil on Wednesday, Mary Lou was in prime position to question An Taoiseach and urge him to lift the restrictions that are spelling doom for ordinary hard-working, small businesses.
Instead, she once again reached out to the “young people,” and lamented that they have suffered greatly under the restrictions – the same restrictions that her party has consistently supported. However, nowhere in the course of Mary Lou’s 1,000 word contribution did she indicate whether Sinn Féin supports the extension or not.
So if you were a young people who saw a sound bite your impression would be that Mary Lou must be against the continued closure, because she is for “young people.” However, when Micheál Martin asked her was it her view that the hospitality sector ought to re-open on July 5, she declined to answer.
Opting instead to say exactly the same thing as the government and NPHET, of whom she was careful not to make any criticism, which is it should be “reopened, and safely.” With the hint that this would be tied to fuller vaccination and even more testing.
Indeed it was more than a hint as she concluded with a parting question: “How will the Government deploy these measures to ensure that when the sector is reopened everybody, including the young, who run these services to an enormous extent, can also avail of them?”
So, to summarise, Sinn Féin are not against the extension. They have supported the restrictions from day one, and regularly criticised them for not being harsh enough.
What Mary Lou was saying, all the condescending references to young people aside, was that Sinn Féin share the Government’s view that any return to normality will have to be postponed until they get the nod from NPHET, the one’s whose own model has now been revealed to be based on flawed data inputs.
Apparently, there are Government TDs kicking up over the subservience to the men in white coats and the fantasy football maths boffins. You may be full certain you won’t hear any dissent from with the so-called Opposition. On the lockdown, Sinn Féin and the left are running with the fox and hunting with the hounds.