Miriam Lord: McGrath warns about appalling vista facing nation

It’s like ‘Germany in 1933’ all over again but Mattie’s not falling for the ‘scamdemic’

Deputy Mattie McGrath compared the extended Government controls for Covid-19 to what "happened in Germany in 1933" in a debate in the Dáil. Video: Oireachtas TV

 

The New Nearly Normal is just around the corner.

We should be noshing indoors by July, the Tánaiste told an Oireachtas committee. Six to a table. Eat and drink whatever you want. For as long as you want, all going well.

Toilets once again.

It’s mad.

But despite 14 months of overuse, the New Normal hasn’t gone anywhere yet, you know.

It’s merely migrated to the Dáil chamber, the only difference being that every day is a housing crisis day now.

Hardly a peep out of them on the Covid crisis, apart from Mattie McGrath’s half-witted wailing about “an existential threat” to our democracy because the Government is proposing to leave Covid-19 emergency powers on the books for another six months, just in case.

“Control! Control! That happened in Germany in 1933 and that’s how it started,” he squawked.

“In Germany. That happened!”

We know it happened. The whole world knows what happened.

But it seems Mattie, who has form for tickling the tin-foil stove-pipes of the conspiracy brigade with Dáil references to “the scamdemic”, has a different understanding of what passed for “control” under the Third Reich.

The entire Rural Independents Group says the Government has become ‘an existential threat’ to democracy

His remarks comparing the Government’s handling of a public health emergency to the depraved actions of the Nazi regime indicate a worrying disconnect with history. Either that or he was shamefully grandstanding for the anti-lockdown, scamdemic, fake news, I-do-my-own-research community, which wouldn’t be like him.

Earlier in the day, the Rural Independents Group issued a press release “slamming” the Government” for its “extreme” targeting of “individual freedoms” as it “forcibly moves to control society”.

Bloody hell. It’ll be tanks in Tipperary next.

Indeed, group leader McGrath was abducted from the Dublin Convention Centre by men in leather coats shortly after he exercised his freedom of speech in the Dáil and hasn’t been seen since.

Sorry. Correction. Not a bother on him. Still speaking his mind when the mood takes him.

Having listened to the Clonmel TD’s tirade about the proposal to extend emergency powers (a right pain if exercised, and go too far, argue many) being rammed through without discussion, the Taoiseach wearily told him there will be a full debate in the House on extending the legislation.

“No Government wants to be introducing the kind of measures that we have had to introduce for the last 12 months but we do it on public health advice to protect people’s health and to save lives,” he said.

But Mattie is sure something much more sinister is going on.

“I honestly believe Taoiseach that you and your Government have become an existential threat now to our democracy.”

Honestly. He does.

And it isn’t just him. The entire Rural Independents Group says the Government has become “an existential threat” to democracy. Time to start stockpiling the lavatory paper again. You can never have enough tins of beans.

“That you can push this in here to control people, to deny them their rights and freedoms and to literally destroy people’s very will to live…. This is shocking,” fulminated their leader.

(The housing crisis, which dominated proceedings for the seventh Dáil day on the trot, doesn’t really do it for the Rural Independents.)

Literally destroying people’s very will to live, says Mattie.

Literally shocking.

You see, he knows how these things happen and how Ballinlough’s answer to Hitler operates.

The Tánaiste was doing his best to be upbeat about the Great Reopening

No debate and no communication with anyone.

“So you’re stonewalling everything. Stonewalling is your new mantra. And stonewall when you’re asked a question – you put it back on someone. You’ll give me a lecture, you probably will now in a minute.”

He knows what’s coming next. Remember Germany 1933. He knows what is coming next.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was doing his best to be upbeat about the Great Reopening. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was doing his best to be upbeat about the Great Reopening. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

“This is outrageous that you contemplate doing that for a further six months. We’re meant to be coming out of the crisis and we are meant to be opening up and this is what the Government are at. Control! Control!”

And so on.

He mustn’t have heard about Leo Varadkar’s stint before the enterprise, trade and employment committee. The Tánaiste was doing his best to be upbeat about the Great Reopening. The plan is for indoor dining to resume in early July even though “case numbers seem to be rising again”.

And outdoor dining and drinking is set to return in just under three week’s time. Table service only though. And no standing.

“A metre or a metre-and-a-half between tables. No more than six at a table. They can come from any number of households… There won’t be a requirement to buy a substantial meal – that’ll be gone. And we don’t anticipate there will be a limit on the time you can stay so it will be a lot more practical than what existed before, but that’s not finalised yet.”

But don’t be fooled. Micheál Martin’s totalitarian regime now has the country where he wants it: on the brink of the slippery slope about to slide into Nazi-style dictatorship. Deputy McGrath warned us before about the appalling vista facing the nation.

Mattie huffed and puffed from the cheap seats. The Taoiseach winced

You could just about hear the groans from TDs scattered around the Convention Centre auditorium. Mattie, at it again.

“I think it’s unfortunate in the House of late that politics, politicians get compared to Nazi Germany,” sighed Micheál Martin. “This is the second time now in a number of weeks that Deputy McGrath has articulated that…”

Articulated? And some say the Taoiseach doesn’t have a sense of humour.

The leader of the Rural Independents let out a defiant yelp.

“YES. And happy to.”

Micheál was disappointed.

“I think it is bringing the Parliament to a low level, to be frank.”

“Call it as it is!” roared Mattie.

The Taoiseach, speaking slowly, told him: “Public health is about saving people’s lives and the only reason for the public health Act was the pandemic”.

It’s not the sort of thing any government wants to do. There is no conspiracy and the measures will be debated in the Dáil.

Mattie huffed and puffed from the cheap seats. The Taoiseach winced.

“I ask the Deputy to refrain from using that kind of language. It’s wrong. I think it’s unparliamentary and it’s a slur on our Parliament.”

“It’s clear to be seen,” brazened Mattie, sticking to his belief that Ireland is now like Germany in 1933.

And it’s clear the Taoiseach feels this was no way for a member of Dáil Éireann to talk.

“And I don’t think it should be allowed.”

Tyrant.

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