Dáil report. November 23, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
For my sins I’ve only been in the Dáil chamber to watch proceedings once, an unedifying spectacle it was too at the height of the Bertie Ahern years, bar Joe Higgins delivering some excellent points. And let’s just say he’s missed and not just by SPers. Anyhow be that as it may, I did smile at this from Miriam Lord talking about a Chinese delegation to the Dáil last week.
Its few short rows afford a sideways view down into the gladiatorial pit where Ireland’s sharpest political minds engage in rhetorical battle, their thrilling clashes regularly imbuing citizens with immeasurable pride in the democratic process.
That’s what the programme notes would say if TDs wrote them. The gallery, while hardly providing the best seats in the House, nonetheless allows its patrons an enchanting view.
If they look straight ahead, they can gaze all the way along the magnificence of the back line that is the press gallery, which is sometimes nearly almost fully occupied.
Those times during Leaders’ Questions, when the courtly ushers gently squeeze another delegation of overseas parliamentarians into the special space reserved for notables, it’s always entertaining to watch their expectant faces as they settle in for the Irish parliament’s daily white-knuckle ride.
Some of us remember when Dáil and Seanad proceedings would get, what, a page at least in the IT. These days… well. Times change I guess.
She notes that Dáil proceedings are dull. Well, perhaps that’s no bad thing. Still, a more important point to be made is that complaints that legislation is not being processed through the Dáil are gathering pace. And this isn’t a new phenomenon. Talking to a TD late last year they noted that legislation was being parsimoniously dealt out leaving the elected chamber remarkably little to do.
The suspicion is that the government is playing for time, keeping bit ticket issues out of sight or on the long finger as best as is possible.
For them a dull Dáil is extremely useful. Very very useful indeed.