THE Taoiseach and the Sinn Féin leader have exchanged insults and compared themselves to the works of author George Orwell in the Dáil.
Icheál Martin accused the Mary Lou McDonald’s party of “doublethink” on the concrete levy, urging the construction industry to help pay for construction defects, while now calling for the new 10 percent levy to be scrapped.
Doublethink is a concept first expressed in Orwell’s book 1984, first published in 1948, which depicts a totalitarian state continually spying on its citizens.
“You make that up over time,” the Taoiseach said after reading aloud previous Dáil calls from Sinn Féin to levy a levy on the industry to pay for the pyrite and mica scandals.
“And I’ll put it this way – God help us if you ever get anywhere near the state treasury,” the Taoiseach added, drawing gasps and whistles.
To which Mary Lou McDonald – who studied English literature at Limerick College – replied that the coalition government was “more animal farm than it was in 1984”.
This was because she considered some to be “more equal,” she said.
Orwell’s most famous novel, Animal Farm, sees a cattle riot at Manor Farm, whose name is changed when people are evicted. Originally, all animals are declared equal, but when the pigs take over, a new maxim is proclaimed: that some are more equal than others. The book is considered an allegorical critique of communism, particularly in Soviet Russia.
“No one is treated more unequally than that [younger] generation that I have described to you. These are barred from home ownership,” Ms McDonald said.
She added: “All of you on opposite benches are responsible for the regulation of the light touch or no regulation that led to this nightmare. So therein lies the blame.”
Ms McDonald said the Society of Chartered Surveyors said the 10 per cent levy on concrete blocks announced in the budget last week would add four thousand euros to the cost of a new house. “I beg you not to do this. That’s it. Do not do it.”
But the Taoiseach said Sinn Féin takes both sides all the time. “And by the way, Animal Farm counts for your party more than any other party in this Dáil — every day, no question,” he said.
“Ask a lot of dissidents and a lot of people who have left your party over the years and they can check to what extent Animal Farm is true.
“That’s why Animal Farm should always be a core part of the second-level curriculum — just to prepare us for it.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/god-help-us-if-you-ever-get-near-the-national-finances-micheal-martin-and-mary-lou-mcdonald-trade-george-orwell-jibes-in-dail-42039443.html “God help us if you ever come near the state treasury” – Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald swap in Dáil George-Orwell-Hansen