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Covid & Irish Politics

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  • #2


    FF were silly to take the health portfolio.
    FG seem to get a much easier ride from social media and journalists

    FF can't be complaining about easy rides from journalists. They had a fair amount of apologists over the years too.

    With the current politicians I think it's just down to smelling blood from the journalists as Martin and Donnelly seem much easier to rattle or flap about in interviews


  • #2


    FF were silly to take the health portfolio.
    FG seem to get a much easier ride from social media and journalists

    It was probably a quid pro quo approach. FF & Donnelly wanted it and to an extent running the DoH is a lot easier in a pandemic than dealing with the daily questions about the HSE and health system. Donnelly is really not an overwhelming success but if Reid does turn the HSE around the Minister will get the praise. There will be a reshuffling of seats at the end of next year if they make it that far.


  • #2


    Not discussing what happened over the weekend because thats for the covid form but if they government actually went through with this i believe we would see scenes of mass civil disobedience and they would lose their mandate to govern. I think its incredibly dangerous and stupid to make a threat like this that you realistically cannot follow through on.


    https://twitter.com/Independent_ie/status/1399251561575026688?s=19


  • #2


    VinLieger wrote: »
    Not discussing what happened over the weekend because thats for the covid form but if they government actually went through with this i believe we would see scenes of mass civil disobedience and they would lose their mandate to govern. I think its incredibly dangerous and stupid to make a threat like this that you realistically cannot follow through on.


    https://twitter.com/Independent_ie/status/1399251561575026688?s=19

    A problem I foresee would be that the emergency powers granted by the health act are in respect to a health emergency! Another lockdown implemented as a punishment is absolutely not what those powers allow. Would it bring down government? Maybe!


  • #2


    It's the mixed messages that must surely be frustrating those trying their best. Or indeed those at the end of their tether. The authorities pedestrianised parts of the city centre for the explicit purpose of facilitating outdoor socialising - then publicly shamed people for taking advantage of those blatant signals to mingle. Fair to speculate many out over the weekend don't have back gardens to facilitate casual meets.

    Ok, technically the Gards were merely applying the law against drinking in public but it's clear enough from the government's comments afterwards, this was more about wrapping knuckles that people might have dared to relax. To then dangle a Sword of Damocles of restrictions restored is just cruel and IMO, truly failing to read the room. It may come back to haunt the government.

    Anti government sentiment is clearly increasing based on recent polls and you'd wonder if this discontent will manifest at the ballot box. SF are unlikely to vocalise support for flouting CoVid guidelines but you'd imagine internally they're ready to make hay once the sun shines, quick to remind how muddled Martin ran things.


  • #2


    I think the mistake the Gov have made since last Summer is to be too prescriptive.

    They should have put out the message that it is up to the public - that is each individual - to be mindful of the risks and act accordingly and rely on personal responsibility. That is, if your destination is too crowded then either look for somewhere else or go home.

    It was a mistake to close the hairdressers because hair continues to grow and hairdressers deal with it - and closed hairdressers results in a black economy of home visit hairdressers. Which is worse - a controlled hair salon or a black economy hairdresser making home visits?

    It was a mistake not to control off-licence alcohol sales - particularly below cost selling. Where are the cheap pints to be consumed? Also, take away pints? Who is kidding who?

    It was a mistake to allow pubs to pretend to be restaurants. Restaurants should have been defined as those establishments that did not sell draught alcohol, and that food had to be more than 50% of the bill. It has been seen that alcohol is a massive vector in the spreading of the virus.

    But being too prescriptive was the biggest mistake. They should have relied on peoples own responsibility. Those that do not have any do not do as they should anyway. Having a church that can hold 1,000 strong congregation only allowed to have six mourners at a funeral was ridiculous, and that undermines the sensible restrictions.

    The message should have been -

    'This is a horrible disease that is extremely contagious - you do not want to catch it - and you will not know you have it until it is too late.

    If you get it, you will likely infect a lot of you relatives and friends, and some will be very ill and some will die.

    Treat your self as a carrier and everyone else as a carrier. Wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep your distance.

    Stay away from crowds - you can always go home.'

    Saying you can do this but not that does not cut it.

    Meaningful Christmas - my ****!


  • #2


    It was a mistake to allow pubs to pretend to be restaurants. Restaurants should have been defined as those establishments that did not sell draught alcohol, and that food had to be more than 50% of the bill. It has been seen that alcohol is a massive vector in the spreading of the virus.

    Plenty of restaurants have draught beer taps; and as there are some limited advantages to pubs having a restaurant certificate - the only legal definition we have - the genie was out of the bottle on that one as plenty already had them.

    Food being >50% of the bill would ruin some premium restaurants where they make their profit on the wine too.


  • #2


    L1011 wrote: »
    Plenty of restaurants have draught beer taps; and as there are some limited advantages to pubs having a restaurant certificate - the only legal definition we have - the genie was out of the bottle on that one as plenty already had them.

    Food being >50% of the bill would ruin some premium restaurants where they make their profit on the wine too.

    Your points are valid, but so is the point of some pubs providing empty pizza boxes and fake receipts for a €9 meal.

    The daft beer taps is a simple test as to whether the drink sales are the business or whether the sale of food is. Other tests could be arrived at with a little research. The 50% ratio could be varied, like having a minimum food value or maximum amount of alcohol on the bill.

    I am against being prescriptive, but the pub issue was abused bigtime - as was supermarkets selling alcohol (slabs) below cost.


  • #2


    Its absolutely the norm for an Indian restaurant to have a draft lager tap even though their business is solidly based on selling food and they don't make much off alcohol at all. I don't think there is any test you can define that wouldn't either close some restaurants or open many pubs.

    Michael Martin removed the ban on below-cost selling when he was the relevant Minister quite some time ago.


  • #2


    L1011 wrote: »
    Its absolutely the norm for an Indian restaurant to have a draft lager tap even though their business is solidly based on selling food and they don't make much off alcohol at all. I don't think there is any test you can define that wouldn't either close some restaurants or open many pubs.

    Michael Martin removed the ban on below-cost selling when he was the relevant Minister quite some time ago.

    As I say, it is difficult to devise a system, but tying up the draft lager taps to stay open is hardly a hardship compared to locking the front door. The empty pizza boxes on the tables so that the real business of selling pints could continue was a disgrace. As for 'take away pints' - well . . . .


  • #2


    I think the mistake the Gov have made since last Summer is to be too prescriptive.

    They should have put out the message that it is up to the public - that is each individual - to be mindful of the risks and act accordingly and rely on personal responsibility. That is, if your destination is too crowded then either look for somewhere else or go home.

    It was a mistake to close the hairdressers because hair continues to grow and hairdressers deal with it - and closed hairdressers results in a black economy of home visit hairdressers. Which is worse - a controlled hair salon or a black economy hairdresser making home visits?

    It was a mistake not to control off-licence alcohol sales - particularly below cost selling. Where are the cheap pints to be consumed? Also, take away pints? Who is kidding who?

    It was a mistake to allow pubs to pretend to be restaurants. Restaurants should have been defined as those establishments that did not sell draught alcohol, and that food had to be more than 50% of the bill. It has been seen that alcohol is a massive vector in the spreading of the virus.

    But being too prescriptive was the biggest mistake. They should have relied on peoples own responsibility. Those that do not have any do not do as they should anyway. Having a church that can hold 1,000 strong congregation only allowed to have six mourners at a funeral was ridiculous, and that undermines the sensible restrictions.

    The message should have been -

    'This is a horrible disease that is extremely contagious - you do not want to catch it - and you will not know you have it until it is too late.

    If you get it, you will likely infect a lot of you relatives and friends, and some will be very ill and some will die.

    Treat your self as a carrier and everyone else as a carrier. Wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep your distance.

    Stay away from crowds - you can always go home.'

    Saying you can do this but not that does not cut it.

    Meaningful Christmas - my ****!


    You make a very good point about the government being too prescriptive, but you then destroy it by introducing your own different prescriptions.

    Ultimately, that shows up how difficult the current situation is. The Swedes adopted that common sense approach, personal responsibility, with limited restrictions, and ended up with far more per capita deaths.

    Our culture does not lend itself to personal responsibility - take a look at the litter problem in Dublin City Centre last weekend. If people don't have enough personal responsibility to take their own litter home, respecting the rules, they won't do the same with Covid.


  • #2


    blanch152 wrote: »
    You make a very good point about the government being too prescriptive, but you then destroy it by introducing your own different prescriptions.

    Ultimately, that shows up how difficult the current situation is. The Swedes adopted that common sense approach, personal responsibility, with limited restrictions, and ended up with far more per capita deaths.

    Our culture does not lend itself to personal responsibility - take a look at the litter problem in Dublin City Centre last weekend. If people don't have enough personal responsibility to take their own litter home, respecting the rules, they won't do the same with Covid.

    Well, yes - being against prescription but the proposing some prescriptive rules does appear to go against me.

    However, the rules I was suggesting are less prescription as more definition.

    When is a pub that sells food a restaurant? Well, it is not sufficient to say that it is a restaurant if it sells a bag of crisps for €9 or it buys in a take away pizza from next door and say that it sells food, or worse, it pretends to buy a pizza and proves it by leaving the empty box on the table in the middle of the empty pint glasses.

    Now, drawing up a 50 page book of rules was never going to work, and it didn't. The correct approach was to have clear rules that were simple and easy to follow, and to make them obviously well founded. The nonsense of using counties as the unit of travel where someone who lived in Ballinasloe could travel to Clifden but not Athlone must have been obvious to all.

    Make it simple, and obviously well founded, and enforce it.

    Test, track and trace should have been the major plank of the defence against Covid. When did the pop-up testing centres start up?


  • #2


    A problem I foresee would be that the emergency powers granted by the health act are in respect to a health emergency! Another lockdown implemented as a punishment is absolutely not what those powers allow. Would it bring down government? Maybe!

    I think there are bigger issues. For example the housing crisis something we already had pre Covid has been worsened as a result of Covid(the rights and wrongs of the restrictions are for a different thread as far as I am concerned). This will have a long term impact for the current government probably for the worse. There is also the issue of easing Covid supports and dealing with the reality some businesses are now unviable and will go bust as a result. The issue of long-term unemployment is also going to be a problem. I think these long term issues will be a bigger problem for the current and future governments. The government isn't going to impose a new lock down that it doesn't think people will obey. That's political suicide and the government aren't that stupid. It's the longer term impact of the restrictions imposed over the last year or so that will have a big impact on politics going forward the housing crisis being just one prominent example.


  • #2


    I honestly believe if they delay indoor dining past the 5th then neither FG or FF can win this seat, I'd guess this is why we've started hearing rumblings about them supporting transfers between each other.


  • #2


    FF had virtually no chance from the off, and that became zero chance with their candidate selection.

    But yes, a delay is likely to lead to a protest vote to anyone-but-Government which would be Boylan and Bacik as most likely beneficiaries.


  • #2


    The assumption that a big block of voters in DBS are in agreement with the reopening of indoor dining in any event, irrespective of any well evidenced reason to delay it, is just silly.

    Need I remind people that only weeks ago the Govt got a 70% approval for their handling of the situation, hardly surprising when voters look at some of the cack handed nonsense going on in other Countries. In a middle class constituency like DBS, that approval rate is probably even higher.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    The assumption that a big block of voters in DBS are in agreement with the reopening of indoor dining in any event, irrespective of any well evidenced reason to delay it, is just silly.

    Need I remind people that only weeks ago the Govt got a 70% approval for their handling of the situation, hardly surprising when voters look at some of the cack handed nonsense going on in other Countries. In a middle class constituency like DBS, that approval rate is probably even higher.

    When you consider that some members of the opposition are still clinging to the nonsensical zero-Covid position, the actions of the government look more reasonable every day.


  • #2


    Whatever about the current government i think that's holohans presidential bid definitely DOA now


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    The assumption that a big block of voters in DBS are in agreement with the reopening of indoor dining in any event, irrespective of any well evidenced reason to delay it, is just silly.
    I think you underestimate the level of demand out there for a big bowl of Tribeca chicken wings.
    VinLieger wrote: »
    Whatever about the current government i think that's holohans presidential bid definitely DOA now
    That's surely sarcasm? It actually wouldn't surprise me if people were seriously talking about 'Tony' for president, I'm afraid.

    I see a minority of people constantly fawning over the guy on the likes of Twitter. I don't get it. There was a big political story in the UK about the shambles they made when transferring elderly hospital patients to nursing homes and the subsequent excessive rates of death in those nursing homes. Barely a miog about it here, although at one point nursing-home deaths constituted one-third of all Covid deaths here.


  • #2


    Leaving DBS aside, I think what Micheál just announced is more than a bit naive.

    Indoor dining is being delayed and a system of admitting only vaccinated people to it from July 19 (actually that date wasn't even specified).

    There are several problems with that. Resident's dining indoors in hotels continues. Outdoor sporting events are seeing much bigger crowds than ever this weekend (8,000 in Croker). And considering that in employment settings, Employers may not in any circumstances ask employees about their vaccination status, I hardly expect a huge buy-in from Joe Public to disclosing that to pub and restaurant staff. And we're talking about a public that have had their civil liberties bent considerably in the last 16 months.

    I would by nature be conservative and compliant about these restrictions in that time, but I foresee a strong liklihood that the hospitality sector may well face down the Government and go ahead and reopen en masse anyway this Monday and at this stage I don't think I'd blame them one bit.

    I've also no doubt that there is not unanimity in either the cabinet or the Government benches and could easily become the biggest threat to the coalition in its year of life so far.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    And considering that in employment settings, Employers may not in any circumstances ask employees about their vaccination status, I hardly expect a huge buy-in from Joe Public to disclosing that to pub and restaurant staff.
    The employer has a right to ask. It's just that the employee isn't obligated to tell them the answer.

    The same protection doesn't apply to the patrons of a restaurant or a pub. Owners are entitled to limit admission on grounds of public health, say by requesting sight of a green certificate/ vaccine passport.


  • #2


    I think you underestimate the level of demand out there for a big bowl of Tribeca chicken wings.


    That's surely sarcasm? It actually wouldn't surprise me if people were seriously talking about 'Tony' for president, I'm afraid.

    I see a minority of people constantly fawning over the guy on the likes of Twitter. I don't get it. There was a big political story in the UK about the shambles they made when transferring elderly hospital patients to nursing homes and the subsequent excessive rates of death in those nursing homes. Barely a miog about it here, although at one point nursing-home deaths constituted one-third of all Covid deaths here.


    Never forget he also has cervical check still hanging over him, its gonna take a lot for the women of ireland to forgive him for that one


  • #2


    The employer has a right to ask. It's just that the employee isn't obligated to tell them the answer.

    The same protection doesn't apply to the patrons of a restaurant or a pub. Owners are entitled to limit admission on grounds of public health, say by requesting sight of a green certificate/ vaccine passport.

    Considering the system hasn't been developed yet, I'm not sure how you can say that with such certainty. (and by the way you're wrong, no, an employer may not ask your vaccine status any more than your marital status or sexual orientation)

    In any case, the question them becomes, how much trade will be lost to those who either aren't yet vaccinated or are, quite reasonably, unwilling to volunteer the information.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    Considering the system hasn't been developed yet, I'm not sure how you can say that with such certainty. (and by the way you're wrong, no, an employer may not ask your vaccine status any more than your marital status or sexual orientation)
    .
    Vaccination isn't a protected status like gender, sexual orientation or disability. There have been countless experts on current affairs radio and TV pointing out that whilst an employer may ask, an employee is not obliged to answer.

    In practice, most employers will probably ask and most employees will just answer.


  • #2


    Vaccination isn't a protected status like gender, sexual orientation or disability. There have been countless experts on current affairs radio and TV pointing out that whilst an employer may ask, an employee is not obliged to answer.

    In practice, most employers will probably ask and most employees will just answer.

    I'm not interested in talking heads. My advice, and as an employer I have asked specifically, from one of the larger Dublin legal houses is that the grounds of disability, be it illness or vulnerability, temporary or permanent, provides protection to the employee in that regard and that the employer even asking is discriminatory.

    We may not ask, we may not attempt to find out serrepticiously and we may not segregate work spaces in any way based on vaccine status, known or deduced.

    You feel free to test it if you'd like.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    I'm not interested in talking heads. My advice, and as an employer I have asked specifically, from one of the larger Dublin legal houses is that the grounds of disability, be it illness or vulnerability, temporary or permanent, provides protection to the employee in that regard and that the employer even asking is discriminatory.

    We may not ask, we may not attempt to find out serrepticiously and we may not segregate work spaces in any way based on vaccine status, known or deduced.

    You feel free to test it if you'd like.

    This is the advice I've been getting as well, we can't ask.


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