Fawlty Powers: ‘Basil’ Martin's lockdown ‘plan’ would be comedy gold if it wasn’t so serious


It’s all becoming a little bit too much like Fawlty Towers over in Government Buildings – but less funny. Let’s call it Fawlty Power. You have Basil Martin bumbling from one media appearance to the next, trying to keep his Coalition afloat, while Sybil Varadkar is rolling his eyes to heaven at the mess but doing little to help.

Meanwhile, Major Ryan is in his office insisting to anyone who walks by that he won the Great War over a road in Limerick with Willie O’Dea. Down on Baggot Street you have Manuel Donnelly desperately trying to put out fires in the Department of Health.

This week’s episode of Fawlty Power started off with a particularly hilarious scene involving Justice Minister Polly McEntee taking to the airwaves with a cunning plan to distract everyone from the blundering in Government with an announcement about the nation’s favourite pastime – drinking. The minister had a lightbulb moment and believed it was a great political ploy to announce she was extending the opening hours of pubs so people can party from dusk to dawn. She would be the Minister for Martinis and would never have to buy a drink on a night out again.

The papers were briefed, a press conference was planned and all she had to was make it through an interview on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland without mentioning that pubs are still closed with no sign of reopening. “This is about giving as much cultural offerings as possible when Covid ends,” she said before rambling on about the “night time economy”. But then Dr Jennings, with excellent comic timing, pointed out the glaringly obvious unspoken fact that pubs are closed and have been for almost a year.

“You will forgive people for being confused minister, maybe infuriated by the Government’s communications policy, when for example will pubs be able to open?” he added. “I, I, I know people want clarity and we want to be able to give them that clarity but this Government wants to ensure this is the last lockdown,” the minister rambled.

What did the Taoiseach mean by pubs opening in the middle of the summer, Dr Jennings interjected.

“Tomorrow we will set out that clarity,” the minister stuttered.

“But you can’t do it today?”

The Minister for Martinis rattled out some speaking points before revealing it will be another three weeks before we have quarantine hotels. Once off air, she turned to Varadkar and said: “I mentioned pubs are still closed once but I think I got away with it.”

Scene ends.

Today, the cast of Fawlty Power will relaunch their Plan for Living with Covid-19 after being forced to ditch the last one when it resulted in the country being locked down for four months because they put Manuel Donnelly in charge of the health system.

Now, Basil Martin has drafted up a new plan which will give people no indication of when the Government will ease restrictions which have them confined in their homes for the best part of a year. He has convinced Varadkar and Ryan that the public won’t notice that the new plan is almost identical to last one.

Basil Martin and the gang will unveil the plan live on television and it would be comedy gold if it wasn’t so serious.

Source: Irish News