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Savage i: Has Varadkar got the poisoned chalice? Yes Minister

IT WOULD be a better country if typos in the papers this week were accurate -- The New York Times, for instance, wrote about 'Edna' Kenny taking office and said that 'Ms' Kenny led a centre-right government.

That's nothing though, compared to The Irish Times, which told us Joan Burton was hotly tipped to be put in charge of 'pubic' service reform. Joan would have had her work cut out for her, as it's been really difficult to get good pubic services recently.

Imagine how much better life would be if we could fix our pubic services and then get a decent pubic health system. At the very least it would be a tremendous boost for the Government's pubic relations.

NGOVERNMENT strategy is clearly being developed using old scripts of Yes Minister. For those under 40, that was the award-winning UK comedy about a freshly appointed MP and his relationship with his civil servants.

It began with him arriving to a new department, The Department of Administrative Affairs. In the show, the DAA was created to cut waste in Government and was therefore regarded as a total irrelevance and a bit of a joke by the civil service.

Some 30 years later, our Government has created the exact same entity and called it Public Expenditure and Reform.

The version in the show added cost and bureaucracy, so we can only hope life doesn't imitate art, although it looks like that imitation has already begun in some departments, particularly transport.

In one of the early episodes of the show, the minister announces that he's been given a very important job; creating an integrated transport policy.

The civil servants go pale, ask him why he's being victimised and then explain that no such thing has ever been possible and it's the task that ends ministerial careers.

Leo Varadkar must have missed that episode, because on his first day in the Department of Transport he announced, on air, that within a year he'd have brought in integrated ticketing across all public transport.

Somewhere, a civil servant is now gift-wrapping the box set of Yes Minister and preparing a briefing document for Leo on what's possible and what's a poisoned chalice.

PTHE gardai have let the media know they've been cracking down on people tailgating to avoid the tolls on the M50.

This has resulted in huge coverage, all of it explaining that if you drive within four feet of a truck, you avoid the toll. Isn't telling people that a bit counter-productive?

Surely giving a tutorial on how to break the law is not a good way to stop people doing it? Every teenager in the country is now praying for a Garda crack-down on methamphetamine so they can learn how to turn their bedrooms into crystal meth labs.

NTHE first day of the Dail introduced the nation to a clutch of maverick, edgy, rebellious Independent TDs.

We know Richard Boyd Barrett, Ming Flanagan and Mick Wallace are mavericks because none of them wore jackets and ties in Leinster House (and one of them wore an earring. A big, dangly, girly earring).

Some might say that their failure to wear a jacket or tie in the Dail is evidence of a naive, selfish lack of respect for the Parliament, but nothing could be further from the truth.

It used to be that you dressed to express respect for others; if you were going to a funeral you'd avoid Hawaiian shirts, if attending a wedding, you'd leave the runners at home.

Clearly, those rules no longer apply.

Now you dress to make a statement about how anti-establishment you are. So, next time you go to Mass, arrive nude, people will admire your courage and self-reliance.