Aoife Moore: Politicians should know better than to waste public's time

Aoife Moore: Politicians should know better than to waste public's time
Party talks and meetings today as efforts to form a government continue. File picture.

It's the millennial nightmare, and it happens to the best of us, and yesterday we learned that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, was left "on read" by Mary Lou McDonald.

We have all been there, we've sent the iffy message and we put the phone down. You know you are not getting anything back soon, but maybe later, then ... nothing.

You go back to your messages. They have seen it. They have read it. They have actually chosen not to reply. Impending doom descends.

This is hypothetical of course, we do not know if Mary Lou has read receipts or an iPhone.

She did let us know yesterday however that Leo Varadkar had sent her a text, and a letter to organise a time to sit down and discuss policies as Ireland tries to form a government.

Ms McDonald assures us she has drafted her reply.

Most notably however, the Sinn Féin leader queried why Leo Varadkar wanted to talk shop about government formation with her party just days after he penned an article in a Sunday paper, in which alleged that someone should "investigate" members of her party, who are supposedly "living beyond their means".

This, he says, is one of the long list of things why he believes Sinn Féin should be shut out of government.

Mr Varadkar notes that some Sinn Féin TDs say they do not take the entire exobrant €96,189 per year salary, "yet their salaries are not returned to taxpayers or donated to the party".

Mr Varadkar queried the "lavish" fundraising events in America where money is "routed through Northern Ireland", and claimed that the party bought office space using "front companies" and queried expenses claimed from Westminster.

A long list of very serious concerns and allegations, and if we're to take Mr Vardkar at his word, he is very concerned about.

Which does beg the question, if Mr Varadkar really believes the party who engage in "bullying and intimidation", the party who "do not respect law order", who "route money to Northern Ireland" and are "not a normal party", why write to them at all?

Why waste precious time that could be better spent mid-Coronavirus outbreak by talking to people who you would consider government formation with?

On the other side of the message, Mary Lou McDonald says she will "talk with everyone because that's what grown ups do," but if we're to believe every one of her utterances about Fine Gael, "talking to everyone" is wasting time.

Sinn Féin believe Fine Gael have driven health and housing into crisis, who use Northern Ireland's problems "cynically for electoral gain", and called for an independent review into the government's housing figures.

Their parties are diametrically opposed on everything from taxing the wealthy to hiring nurses.

Ms McDonald appears to believe that if she repeats she is "talking to everyone", when her party is more than likely excluded from government by the two traditional parties, she can put her hands up and claim no fault, which won't be wrong, but whether we have to bother with the pretence is up for debate.

Political posturing will not help families in the midlands bucketing water out of their living rooms, or schools looking for assistance as they keep pupils in quarantine or the almost 4,000 homeless children.

Government formation is long and tedious, we heard yesterday that we could be eating our Easter eggs before we know who the Taoiseach will be, wasting time in front of the media helps no one, and our politicians should know better.

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