Isn’t it great? While the country, and possible all of Europe, slides towards the abyss, our public representatives are getting worked up about what?
Well, apparently, unless Mick Wallace swaps his pink t-shirts for a sober jacket — with a collar!! — our democracy will collapse and mutants will rise up from the sewers to terrorise us all on their badly-made three-wheeled motorcycles. What do you think of that? A joke parliament, whose members should all be wearing Noddy outfits, thinks it will have more dignity if its male members, so to speak, put on a jacket with a collar.
It used to be the rule that a tie was also a prerequisite, but the late Tony Man-of-the-People Gregory put paid to that when he did a deal with Haughey that would have allowed him to turn up in a jockstrap if he wanted, and anyway that tie business is, and always was, a load of bollocks.
But what’s this about a collar on your jacket? Why? Who decided this should be the uniform? This rule descended to such farce that when Pól Ó Foighil tried to wear a traditional Conamara báinín jacket in the Dáil, he was refused entry because it lacked collars. Never mind that he was there to represent his constituents. Some stuffed-shirt decided that his jacket wasn’t up to scratch and locked him out.
Meanwhile, in one of the most ludicrous examples of farce dressed up as news, the same Mick Wallace finds himself in hot water for referring to a fellow TD as Miss Piggy. Wallace fell victim to one of the oldest errors in the book : not checking to make sure the mike is switched off, before you mutter anything.
In certain quarters, this gaffe is being held out as an outrageous sexist attack on women when of course it was nothing of the sort, but simply a rather unkind reference among three people having a private (or so they thought) conversation.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who was reported to have left the chamber with tears in her eyes, compounded the absurdity of it all by announcing on national radio that
women should be treated with respect, not just me, but women in general.
What? Just women? Not men?
And since when has it been a crime to make unkind remarks about a fellow parliamentarian, male of female? I’m sure Mick Walllace has been called a muppet more than once by his colleagues, but I doubt he ever burst into tears or went on national radio to talk about it.
It’s a bullshit issue for the silly season. Turning stories like this into news items only succeeds in trivialising women by portraying them as children who need to be protected from name-calling.
Grow up, folks. We’re all big boys and girls now.