Elizabeth O’Malley argues that politicians are wasting all of our time as we reach more than a month without a government.
If there is one story I'm sick of, it's 'who will form a government?'
 
We've all seen or heard the stories. 'Fine Gael to hold talks with independents today'. 'Michael Healy Rae has said Minister for Rural Affairs a deal-breaker.' 'Fianna Fáil rules out grand coalition.'
 
I understand that if you are a political journalist you probably don't have much of a choice but to write these articles. But I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I’m fed up with what is one of the most meaningless, vacuous stories in Ireland currently.
 
I'm not saying this because I hate politics. Far from it. My friends are well used to my diatribes on who should be the next leader of the Labour party or on why the representation of young people in mainstream politics is important. I eat, sleep and breathe politics. 
 
So why do I hate these stories? Because they're nothing but speculation and gossip. They might as well be writing "Emma is flirting with Michael, but everyone thinks she should end up with Dan." 
 
The only difference is the entire country’s future doesn't hang in the balance if Emma goes with one boy over the other.
 
To be clear, nothing has actually happened. Nothing has happened for the last month. And nothing will likely happen next week when we have another vote on who will be Taoiseach.
 
While we're reading stories about what people are saying, and stories about people talking, and stories about people saying they're going to talk, we're sitting here without a government. 
 
There's no one trying to tackle our rising homelessness, or planning for the current shaky conditions in the global economy, or trying to figure out how to make our country better.
 
We can function without a government. We can drift aimlessly and endlessly, but we can't expect anything to get done. 
 
Instead, we have to watch our parties bitch about each other and court each other in what has been billed as the worst soapbox drama of the year.
 
The worst part is, this is all theatre. No one expects that a government will actually be formed. If Fianna Fáil refuses to go in with Fine Gael then no magical arrangement of independents and small parties adds up. 
 
We could have a minority government relying on the support of a lot of individual people, but the odds of that lasting past a few months are slim. 
 
No one wants to admit that the people have spoken, but they haven't said anything that makes sense.
 
Unfortunately, this means there will be another election. Whether that will be in a week, or less than a year from now, it's going to happen. 
 
These discussions between the parties are only putting off the inevitable, at the expense of the public. The reason is a selfish one: they are tired from the last election, and they're low on funds. 
 
Even Leo Varadkar seems to believe that these talks with independents are useless. The latest public spat involved Michael Healy Rae (who is all of a sudden the most important person in the country) giving out about Varadkar "not listening" during round table discussions. 
 
I'm now going on strike. I refuse to be drawn into discussions about who might go with who. I refuse to read any more speculative articles. 
 
I’m going to adopt Leo’s approach, and stop listening. When our politicians start doing something meaningful, then I'll pay attention.
 

 

Photo: Independent.ie