For the first time in my political life, I find that I’m on the opposite side of an issue from the great majority of my (political) friends, because let’s be clear about one thing: the political establishment is AGAINST Seanad abolition. Yes, Enda is in favour, because he sees it as a personal commitment, but even his ministers see this as all a load of unnecessary hassle. Just ask a load of Seanad retainers (Sorry, “reformers”) how many of them who have not already been Oireachtas members would not rule out being Senators in the future? Cue more interest in shoes than at a Clarks sales conference.
Still, it’s all great fun, being involved in a political bunfight about something, unlike, say, an EU treaty, that doesn’t really matter. In particular, I’m really enjoying the arguments being used by the No side about what’ll happen if the Seanad is abolished. These include:
1. Possible dictatorship caused by the government having control over things in the Oireachtas it doesn’t control at present, like, eh…control over the Time-Space Continuum?
2. The inherent evil within the Dail will be unleashed. All of a sudden, the Dail is now a threat to democracy. All this from people who had no problem with the Dail their entire political lives. What did they find? Rows of undead zombie TDs buried under the chamber, ready to rise up? “I’m calling on the minister for…human flesh!” as they shuffle mindlessly through the chamber…wait a minute…
3. The current bang-up job being done in terms of legislative review, with its Gladstonian/Disraeli level of debate, will cease. Cue coughing, wheezing fit. Who knows, Sean Fleming might even be forced to read legislation before telling us what’s wrong with it. It’s an outrage.
4. David Norris, John Crown, Gillian Van Turnhout et all will be forced to take an oath of silence with regard to commenting on Irish society. Like Vincent “Never says a word” Browne does. Or Fintan O’Toole. as a non-senator, we never get to hear from him on anything.
5. Fidelma Healy-Eames will no longer be a senator, thus harming Youtube’s future growth opportunities.