Parliament silenced for summer: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

POLITICIAN after politician, in response to the latest difficulty befalling the gardaí, has spoken about the need for reform, for a new culture, for a new way of doing things. 

Every discussion on our dysfunctional health service runs along the same lines. All would be well if only we could embrace — never impose — change.

Reform is held up as the great elixir, the precious lubricant for recovery, the catalyst for excellence. Yet, at the very first opportunity to show that our parliamentary system is at last marching to a more contemporary drum our parliament trips over itself to show how deeply ingrained the principles of another time, another world, remain.

The 32nd Dáil has barely been formed and already, because of renovations — how convenient — it is proposed that TDs begin holidays earlier and return later than normal this year. The Dáil is usually in recess for three months each summer.

A final decision about the recess has not been made but the usual guff about TDs and Oireachtas committees working away will be offered as if that was adequate compensation for not being able to use the latitude offered by the Dáil chamber to pursue pressing issues like, say, the widening whistleblower saga undermining confidence in the gardaí.

Sadly, and despite so many promises to the contrary, it seems that far more than the Leinster House building is in need of renovations. But, the more things change ...


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