Another pointless week of faux politics in Ireland.

The Labour Party activist Michael McLoughlin once described most Irish politics as “all theatre now”, and it was a phrase which stuck in my head, especially watching the last week.

Take the whole James Reilly thing. Firstly, the primary care centres “scandal” is a load of nonsense. You won’t find a single TD willing to say that he or she will not try to get their constituency the services they “deserve”, that is, everything they can grab.

The truth is that this is the usual play the man bunfight, where a minister is bullied into resigning, and his successor carries on with the exact same policy. I’m not a Reilly fan, because I remember him trying all this crap with Mary Harney, but it’s all nonsense and FA to do with health policy.

Fianna Fail are continuing to retreat to their worst populist instincts, doing a John Hurt “Bird Flanagan” to the Irish people’s Bull McCabe, bowing and scraping and nodding in agreement at every slight and grievance. There is nothing wrong with FF opposing cuts. What’s wrong is their point blank refusal to use the 20 parliamentary researchers funded by lifting money from my pocket to offer alternative cuts. Like Shakespeare’s witches, even having one spine to pass around its TDs would be an improvement.

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