The Gist: Purgatorial consistency

Things are still the same, but differently.

The Gist: Purgatorial consistency

What day is it? Is this my still my first egg, or my third? Can my children hear me breathing in the wardrobe?

There are some questions I can’t help you with, no matter how important they’ve become. But I can do my best on one question at least- what’s going on?

This is the Gist.

Parties and other irrelevances

Good news everyone! The two civil war parties have agreed to agree to go into government together if only they can persuade some others to loan them some votes to do it. Bad news; nobody cares.

We’re stuck in our houses, 15% of the population is on some financial support since the beginning of March and everything has an ongoing veneer of unreality. Fine Gael have been presenting themselves as the safe pair of hands who should be left in charge. Poor Leo Varadkar’s copy of Soundings is worn thin from being ransacked for uplifting speeches.

Fianna Fáil, the party with narrowly the most seats  in the Dáil have been left in such a weak negotiating position by their leader’s preemptive rejection of the only alternative government that they’ve apparently conceded the ole ‘rotating Taoiseach’ ask.

Meanwhile, they’re still short of a majority, even combined, and so are screaming at other parties to Give Them Their Votes Dammit, an approach in keeping with both leaders’ displayed social skills and about as effective.

There will be Independents, Government and then a series of policy errors and personal animosities to look forward to.

Meanwhile, the clock to the voters’ next reckoning will continue to tick.

Boris Johnson, the body politic

The UK’s Prime Minister leaves ICU, and the UK press switch from assuring their readers that their leader is only slightly inconvenienced to telling them he was at death’s door days ago.

In more significant news, the UK’s herd immunity policy disaster continues to exact its toll in lives and lost love.

But the focus of the UK press, who have never seemed as alien as now from outside the country, continues to be their PM and his health. Some have gone so far as to revive the Medieval idea that the health of the nation is a reflection of the health of its leader.

We can presumably look forward to a spate of further approving headlines if Boris Johnson steps out into Downing Street to announce “L'état, c'est moi” on his return.

Money, it matters some

Every nation is spending money it doesn’t have to fight the Coronavirus emergency. The Bank of England is funding UK govt debt directly. The US Fed is printing dollars. The ECB knows what it needs to do but is having trouble getting its board made of each Euro nations to agree to do it.

This isn’t sustainable. So, working on the basis that things that can’t go on the way they are have to change, we can expect some fireworks in a short few weeks.

In the meantime, Europeans are trying to get stimulus where they can.

Thanks for sticking with me.