Orwellian Ireland: wake up and smell the slop

WHO remembers Hall’s Pictorial Weekly on RTÉ television? That was long before they scrapped Scratch Saturday and delisted Bull Island.

Those TV classics made the politicians look somewhat stupid. Nowadays they do a very good job of making themselves look completely foolish without any outside help. We would laugh if it were not so serious. The reality is funnier than the parodies. Bluff and bluster masquerade as competence. Image is more important than substance. Truth is stranger than fiction.

History repeats. We never learn. We are back to the days of printing billions of Weimar money. Soon we will be paying our taxes and our bills with tiddlywinks. Wake up and smell the slop. The economy is a tragic comedy. Government departments swan about with grandiosely Orwellian misnomers. The Department of Finance has become the Department of Debt. The Department of Agriculture has lost the plot. Who will protect us from the Department of Social Protection?

Then we have the Department of Ill-Health. The Department of Education does not know how to get our children to learn mathematics (It really should try to teach the Department of Finance).

We must never forget the Department of Sitting on the Fence. At least we have a Department of Sport. When all else fails, try making it up.

We also have the departments with the very long names. By the time I’ve written them down, I’ve forgotten what they are supposed to do. They seem also to have forgotten. As a general rule, the importance of a department varies in inverse proportion to the length of its name. Who wants satire when we already have the real thing? Who’s running this institution anyway? Coming soon at a polling station near you ‘Payback: The Final Showdown’. It will make Armageddon seem almost hilarious. Election night will be the best TV entertainment in years.

We need a new political show in Waffletown. By any sketch of the imagination, we could call it ‘Fawlty Powers’. Who says the Irish can’t write proper sitcoms? Maybe we are all so much in denial we cannot see the joke.

It’s on us.

Michael Mernagh



Co Cork

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