Not before time, let’s turn our attention to the world outside Ireland’s borders.
Party On, Boris
In the darkest days of the first of the UK’s Covid surges, people were dying at a rate of about 1,000 a day. They frequently died without the comfort of their families near them, and were then buried or cremated in similar isolation, leaving wells of traumatic grief in families who were denied a natural goodbye.
Meanwhile, in Number 10, people were partying hard. Booze fridges were installed, staff drank until they puked in the office and the Prime Minister was photographed toasting one party with a drink of his own, the Dionysius of Waitrose wine in a box.
The report into it all by civil servant Sue Gray was published this week and the UK Govt urged everyone to move on. In fact, if possible, they wanted the moving on to happen so quickly that nobody actually had time to read the long-awaited report. It went from being talked about as the necessary precondition for action to being a historical coda- a full stop on a long-gone time.
But even while the menagerie of the maliciously incompetent and the incompetently malicious that Johnson calls his Cabinet urged the public to stop dwelling on the distant past, like 2 years ago, their Tory backbench colleagues were fretting about the future.
The window for replacing Johnson as leader opened after the UK local elections were finished and will close approximately 9 months before the next general election.
This gives them only a few months to move against him before he is locked in as the face of their hopes of keeping their jobs.
And that, more than any finding of police or officials, is the real threat to the remainder of his profitable and ignominious political career.
Those Tory MPs know all those families of the dead may relish a chance to see them depart too, unmourned.
Guns kill children
The United States experienced another of its reoccurring nightmares when a school was attacked by a single armed man, leaving infants and teachers dead.
The proximate cause of this is a broken electoral system, weighting all states’ representation alike, regardless of population, creating rotten borough-style senators.
This has seen one party, representing minority views, block legal protections the majority want- financially incentivised by a gun lobby which has previously been shown to act as an agent of Russian influence.
That local, armed, police waited around in a corridor for over an hour, letting the shooter continue to murder children rather than intervene is just a bleak rebuke to the concept of solving gun violence with more guns (or police, for that matter).
The bigger problem is that, under the current system, the US can’t find a way to solve this horror show with votes, either.