Analysis & Comment

Brendan O'Connor: 'Ireland: A picture of happiness'

We do not say this lightly, but today, the Sunday Independent is calling for this country to leak a picture to some online news websites of all of us together, sitting around a table in a beer garden in rural Ireland, looking happy. We need to send a clear message to the world that despite anything our neighbours or anyone else thinks they may have heard, everything is in order here and the people of Ireland are very happy together. We are united on the domestic front.

If someone has a suitable picture already, maybe one taken six weeks ago, then we could use that. I mean, who in the serious media is going to get hung up on when the picture was taken? Otherwise, we should take such a picture this weekend, when the whole country, is, conveniently, in a beer garden.

Such a picture would be a good idea, because frankly, there has been talk that things may be slightly chaotic on the domestic front. People have heard, for example, about the fact that we are now living in two alternative realities. They have heard that our finance minister has developed a split personality. No-Deal Paschal and Managed Exit Paschal. Word has got around that each of these two Paschals has developed a budget for the alternate reality they inhabit. But the really worrying thing is that the two budgets seem to be the same, just that one has stabilisers for the economic cycle. One of the two Paschals is pro-cyclical, while the other counter-cyclical. But Pro-cyclical Paschal usually wins out.

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People are a bit worried as well that we are getting a new head of our Central Bank who not only has no central banking experience but who seems to have made a massive error of judgment in his last job. The Opposition, who in an alternative reality are part of the Government, are concerned about this. But Paschal says it’s fine, although he’d rather it hadn’t happened. This is Acceptance Paschal, who believes the past is in the past, unless you’re Fianna Fail, who are the Opposition and also kind of the Government. We must never forget their errors of judgment.

And here lies another bit of domestic strife. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are ostensibly in a marriage of convenience and supply, but they are both out on the dating scene also. And it’s leading to a lot of sniping in front of the children. And we don’t want the neighbours to know about it right now. Because right now it is important that we keep up a united front against the neighbours.

So a nice photo it is then. And in the front row, Leo and Micheal looking loved up, just one of the Paschals, and all the rest of us in the background… And maybe Maura from Love Island, just to make sure the picture gets in the papers.

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