There are mandarins in each government department who think of ways to wind up the general populace – ‘the Biro Boys’ I call them. Their task is simple – where common sense should prevail make sure that you put an almighty spanner in the works, preferably an administrative one.
Everyone hates writing up things, keeping records and filing them before the fateful day when they are retrieved. It’s just one big boring, draining cycle. But, and there is a big but, when it has anything to do with the bureaucracy that is all too well associated with government departments then you know that you’re on to a loser. You won’t beat the Biro Boys.
Misunderstandings, misapprehensions and misconceptions are the bread and butter of the Biro Boys brigade. They thrive on confusion. It’s their lifeblood. And the more people they wind up the happier they are and the broader is the smirk that settles on their smug faces.
Publicans must now keep records of all meals consumed on their premises for 28 days. Gardaí are the new health inspectors with the Justice Minister becoming the new Chicken and Chips Minister. The Junior Minister will have responsibility for Sandwiches. Next they’ll be asking the traffic wardens to ask for fuel receipts! What a galactic stew of nonsense from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Greens, also known as ‘Anyone But Sinn Féin’.
This is about compliance, according to Damien English, the Minister of State at the Department of Breastfeeding. He said it was about ‘proof that they did eat’. He went on: “This is to enable public health teams as well as the Gardaí to monitor compliance with the regulations.” Somehow this will ‘protect people, help reopen businesses and ensure a level playing field’.
All this kind of government-backed tomfoolery is grist to the mill for the likes of the Healy-Rae Bros in Kerry. Michael Healy-Rae rightly challenged the Ceann Comhairle some weeks ago to explain how a €9 pub sandwich had become the great Covid saviour?
How can ‘food’ pubs be Covid safer than ‘wet’ pubs? Where is the scientific evidence that the €9 meal reduces the risk of Covid? How will the 28-day data retention of food bills help matters? So much for the great data protection god, GDPR. Imagine Gardaí knowing that some of the Wine O’Clock lovers prefer red wine with their fish! Calamity of calamities!
These new guidelines are promoted by Fáilte Ireland. This is the outfit that cannot see fit to reopen their office in Westport, a tourism capital, while volunteers man tourist offices in Newport, Mulranny and Achill (two offices!). It appears that Fáilte Ireland is currently cultivating a Fascia and Gutter Garden Nouveau on their closed Bridge Street office.
Meanwhile, Rosaleen Heraty, Paul Dunning and the Town Hall crew are acting as Tourism Ministers assisting numerous visitors, along with Dermott Langan and staff on Bridge Street, free gratis and for nothing.
You can see the Biro Boys arriving into their little government-sponsored hubs, complete with air conditioning, heaters and spare biros amidst thoughts of ‘Who will we wind up today?’ Look what they’ve done to those who wish to attend sporting fixtures (apart from Clifden golf gigs of course). Even with gale force winds gouging out the football nets it’s still not safe to attend a match.
And then we have the very important people like MEPs. They do not to wish to quarantine when they travel home from Brussels or Strasbourg if they test negative, because they do ‘important work’. At least that’s the way they see it. Representatives of the three government parties in Europe had the gall to seek derogation on this from government. When will they ever learn?
Let’s not forget the Stay and Spend scheme. Spend €625 on your restaurant, hotel or B&B staycation bills and get €125 in tax credits. But you must present your receipts, drinks not included. It will be renamed the ‘Stay and Pay Scheme’, because of the fleece merchants. A voucher scheme is too complicated to administer, claim the Biro Boys.
It’s time to tell the government that Ireland doesn’t have a space programme. And time to quieten the Biro Boys!