Monday 24 October 2016

The only insult levelled at Dail gate protests was one to voters' intelligence

Gardai at the water protest outside the Dail last week
Gardai at the water protest outside the Dail last week

Much has been said in recent days about the constitutional rights of Oireachtas members to be allowed go to work in an unimpeded fashion.

Weighty statements have been made about the shocking denial of those rights by protests outside the Dail last Thursday, which saw some TDs having to postpone going home and one, Alan Shatter TD, being held up for a period by the assembled mob.

And to those elected members who remind us if their constitutional right to go to work, and slam the shameful tactics of those who curtailed that right, I can only say the following: sod off.

Never has the pompous self-entitlement of some TDs been better illustrated than by their absurd over-reaction to the kerfuffle outside their place of work last week.


Not only is it a place of work that they attend with less regularity than just about any other class of employees in the country, but it's also somewhere that they require travel expenses to travel to and from. To hear Alan Shatter compare the protestors to fascists was baffling. Yes, he has a right to go to work. But everyone has that right.

Of course the former Minster, accustomed as he was to having a private driver, would possibly be unaware of this, but delays in getting to work are something ordinary workers experience every day. We get held up by traffic, even by protests, but we don't equate that with the rise of Nazi Germany.

And at the heart of Shatter's outburst is the suggestion that the work that he and other Oireachtas members do is somehow more important than us regular workers, and any delay in their coming and going is an insult to democracy.

Whereas the only insult that's being levelled is one by Shatter himself. In equating protestors to fascists, he's insulting our intelligence.

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