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DAMIEN LANE Bullyboy Russia knows we’re stuck in neutral – the ­reason why we’re so wimpish with evil

It’s like peeing from a helicopter over a raging volcano, hoping to calm it down.

Provocation, especially aggressive provocation, requires a firm touch and a stern voice to be effective.

This week, Russia, the world’s number one arch adversary, announced live-fire training off the Irish coast.

They did so knowing the Irish authorities’ response would be inadequate. And so it was.

When asked about the Russian plan to launch missiles within our territorial seas, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney cried in Brussels.

No sir. It’s as inviting as wading in sewage.

He should’ve told the Russians in less diplomatic terms.
But despite the need for undiplomatic action on many occasions in the past, and presently, many Irish foreign ministers and leaders have never taken it.

Neutrality, a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy since the 1930s, explains our aversion to evil.

When Hitler was blown up near his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, Irish neutrality permitted then Foreign Affairs Minister and future President Eamon De Valera to fly to the German embassy in Dublin to express Ireland’s condolences.

Many have called De Valera a Nazi for the gesture. History shows otherwise. Throughout the war, he was not pro-Nazi.

NEUTRALITY AND RULE
In fact, he aided the Allies in their struggle against fascism.

He had to offer the crumbling Nazi Reich and the recently deceased Hitler the Irish hanky.

Dev’s actions that day were widely denounced, and Ireland and its people were shunned for decades. It cost us a generation, if not more.

The scarce resources left over from WWII weren’t flowing to Ireland. And so it was.

That was in the mid-1990s when we re-embraced the world.

DIPLOMACY
Dev’s still tops the charts as a diplomatic blunder, tough to surpass. After that, he kept defending his condolences to the world’s most despised leader since Genghis Khan.

“To have refused to call upon the German representative would have been an act of unpardonable discourtesy to the German nation,” he wrote to the Irish envoy in Washington.

Denials that his conduct “implied any issue of approbation or disapproval or judgement on the German people” were made in the Dail.

I did it out of respect for a neutral country’s diplomatic niceties.

Ireland’s prized neutrality put us into problems then and it has gotten us into danger now, as Russia threatens to start a third world war.

‘NOT WELCOME’
Nowhere near Dev’s level is Coveney’s response to Russian assault off our coast. But it shows how the rest of the world sees us as weak.

And they know it. Ireland is a global security risk. It is neutral and thus can be walked on.

No one can ignore dictators, tyrants, bullies, and lunatics. Even Ireland must stand up to them.

Russia is the new Nazis. Over 100,000 troops, paramilitary units, artillery pieces, tanks and anti-aircraft batteries are ready to invade Ukraine.

That’s why I applaud our fishermen who will stand up to the Russian Bear without a government. Rods.

SO COVID? NO WAY
NOW that the Covid pandemic has ended, the threat of extended Covid looms.

Our healthcare system may not be able to handle the influx of patients with lengthy Covid
It came for Christmas. My dose was mild in terms of respiratory effects, but once the virus cleared, I started having strange back and leg symptoms. Symptoms that refuse to go away.

Doctors are baffled by lengthy Covid because the long-term repercussions of being infected with such a virulent virus are unknown.

My physiotherapist indicated she sees many post-Covid patients with symptoms like mine.

She added that while your body is fighting the disease, you may experience joint and muscle symptoms that last weeks or months.

She compared it to lactic acid buildup in muscles after a marathon.

I fear I have a long way to go. If you have a long Covid storey, please contact me via email. Please contact me.

PULL THE FEET UP LATER
I’VE had a long list of things to do. None done.

In the 1980s, Mr Motivator wore a leotard to get the Brits fit as Cindy Crawford.

If there was a 2020 remake, he’d be known as Mr Procrastinator, and I’d be the star.

I’d make millions. Stay on the couch and make lofty ideas that will never come true with me, Mr Procrastinator.

Weeding flower beds? Sit back, put on your slippers, pour a cup of tea and watch that box set you’ve always wanted to see. Flowers? Meh.

Bins to empty? Close the curtains, turn off the lights, and sit quietly for a while. Surely your neighbours will believe you’re away and put them out for you.

Obese from eating takeaway and drinking beer for two years? Relax, you’ll die regardless. A minor point.

Want to change the station but don’t have the remote? Relax, take a nap, and let someone else find it when you wake up.

Mr Procrastinator: Just don’t do it.

SURVIVING ON THE DANCE FLOOR
My swollen leg and aching back didn’t stop me going to a busy club last Saturday.

After a few pints, I stopped to pick up a friend who was headed to a 50th birthday party.
To finish my drink, grin at the assembled partygoers, then leave after an hour or two. Five hours later, I’m still dancing like a Travolta star.

Owing to the threat of Covid, it was a thrill to be back in a crowd after two years of isolation.

A joyous feeling hung in the air like the aroma of fresh flowers.

But I’ve suffered since. Sedentism is not my middle name. Remind me? My age Repeat to yourself: You are not immortal.

EMPLOYERS ARE LUCKY NO13
Workers ‘have the right’ to work from home, but the Government’s law makes it nearly impossible for them to do so.

When refusing a worker’s request to work remotely, an employer has 13 options.

b-day
The person can work from home. Great. But the employer has all the tools to dispute it.

So your boss needs to justify your refusal? Close your eyes, put a pin in the list of 13 exemptions, and the bossman wins.

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Employment, believes the workplace has altered since the pandemic.

He’s right, but the bill they drafted to allow workers to work remotely isn’t worth the ink.

If you’re a worker, you’re weak.

insisted I join.

It’s not on. Feck offski lads would be better.