To quote former British PM Harold Wilson, ‘a week is a long time in politics!’ Firstly, (and unsurprisingly), little was achieved regarding Brexit, other than the six-month ‘flextension’ farce. This means we now have a scenario whereby the UK will continue to be a full EU member state, retaining all of the associated rights until, of all dates, Hallow E’en. Are yez ‘avin’ a larf? I hope readers will forgive me for saying it, but the phrase too many freaks and not enough circuses springs to mind here.
Now, okay, I suppose the longer the whole mess goes on, and the further down the road the can is kicked, the better it is for us because hey…they may not even leave at all, as, (in my opinion), the move for a second referendum appears to be gathering pace.
However folks, and I do hate to rake up old wounds, (no, really, I do), especially as we’re all so palsy walsy now, but, given our lovely neighbours over-stayed their ‘visit’ to us by eight hundred years, I’m going to assume that, come Hallow E’en, the rest of the EU will still be pulling all-nighter-crisis-talks with auntie Theresa, (if she hasn’t been deposed beforehand) – simply because the UK just don’t seem to be able to grasp that the whole Brexit thingy is not really all that difficult to achieve.
I mean, if you want to be Euro-free lads, all you have to do is agree a withdrawal deal that puts an arrangement in place regarding the whole ‘Irish issue,’ and then leave, and we can all live happily ever after…simples!
Meanwhile, talking of kicking the can…when someone brazenly hides behind their lawyers as an excuse to refuse to answer questions, my paranoia shoots straight through the roof. Then, as the seeds of doubt begin to take root, my suspicious mind suddenly switches from wondering if that someone is simply just trying to titillate and tantalise us, or worse…if they’ve actively gone to this much trouble to avoid responding to what were reasonable questions, then how harrowing are their answers going to be?
You see folks, as the unravelling commenced and the buffoonery progressed, I was half-expecting someone sitting at last week’s Oireachtas Sport Committee proceedings to swiftly whip out a ukulele and compose a melancholy Country ‘n’ Western ditty called, ahem, The Dirge of John Delaney…or something like that, because, quite frankly, I was amazed by the man’s total refusal to ‘walk the line,’ and not only decline to answer TDs’ questions regarding the €100,000 loan he gave the association, but, worryingly, at that sitting, he didn’t even go so far as to clarify issues relating to FAI governance. Look John love, if there had been nothing to see, you should have just explained that, and then politely pushed off. I mean, why the need for a so-called gagging order? Sure the whole drama was akin to trying to unravel the plot of an Agatha Christie whodunit!
Now folks, dubious as Delaney’s behaviour was, I have to comment that Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae’s incredible defence of him was equally puzzling. I mean, talk about ‘standing by your man’. Healy-Rae’s geeky fan-boy reaction, pledging that Delaney would be afforded “the mother of all welcomes” the next time he came to Kerry, was so farcical, I swear to God readers, it actually broke my cringe-o-meter! Will yez ever get a room lads, ‘cos this is possibly the biggest bro-mance since Batman met Robin! Holy heap of boot-lickin’ Batman…I mean Michael!
Look, I’m not a footie fan at all but, for me, it seems the entire episode has raised more questions than it has managed to answer. However, as a bystander, I’m now wondering if perhaps John Delaney, (and the beleaguered association) really believed he was untouchable, and, given that he has run the organisation for fifteen years, I would imagine his backers and dedicated soccer fans alike, must have viewed him as being the ultimate, the faultless, Mr. FAI!
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Teachers are not substitute parents
A report that a primary school in Walsall in the UK has been forced to hire a ‘dedicated nappy changer,’ because some of the students attending have not been properly toilet trained is, in my opinion, very worrying.
Now okay, I do understand that these kids are in the four and five year age group, meaning they’re very young, and of course some little ones may have an issue or two when it comes to doing their business in a strange place; I do get it. I’m an adult who carries a pack of antibacterial wipes and a hand sanitiser 24/7 in the unlikely event I may need to use a loo other than my own!
I find this very interesting. We live in an age where toddlers as young as two years’ old are able to master a smartphone or a tablet, which I believe is fantastic when it comes to their future digital/technology preparation, their hand-eye coordination development, and in enhancing their problem solving skills. In addition, (and I’ll bet child development experts are rolling their eyes right now), I also believe it’s great for a parent/grandparent to be able to hand the ankle-biters these devices when they’re sitting in their car seat whinging with boredom, or climbing out of the supermarket trolley throwing a tantrum! Sure isn’t the aul mobile a Godsend. However, I would assume that when it comes to a child’s personal development, not to mention their individual hygiene practices, teaching them to be independently capable of using the loo is also vitally important.
Look, I’m always supportive of time-poor, over-stretched parents, (I was one), but school teachers are not employed to be substitute mammies and daddies; they’re educators! And while of course any decent school will work with families regarding addressing certain needs their child may have, as far as I would imagine, changing nappies just because someone has neglected to potty-train their little darling in preparation for big school should not be one of them.