Tory boy’s mask slips

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By Pat Flanagan (for the Daily Mirror)

Will the real Leo Varadkar please stand up, please stand up, please stand up.

Actually the real Leo Varadkar did stand up in the Dail last Tuesday when his Sultan of Spin mask momentarily slipped allowing us a brief glimpse of our Tory boy Taoiseach.

He said there’s no way he was going to sign a “blank cheque” for elderly people who wanted extra heat in their homes during the snowstorms.

There may be sub-zero temperatures and 110kmh blizzards but there was going to be no additional OAP fuel cash.

A few hours earlier his Minister for Older People Jim Daly advised pensioners to keep their heating on all day if necessary during the cold snap and not to worry about the bill. But Tory boy was having none of it claiming “if we tell people [elderly folk]” they can keep their heating on and the Government will pick up the bills it “will send out the wrong message”.

It’s all about the message with Leo’s government that can’t build homes for a few thousand people but can spend [euro]5 million annually on a spin unit.

Within hours of the Taoiseach’s “let them freeze” speech the Social Protection Minister said she was doubling the heating allowance to [euro]45 for the week of the cold spell.

It wasn’t that thoughts of our old folk shivering in front of a one-bar electric fire pricked Fine Gael’s conscience, Leo’s spinners realised his true Tory self had been exposed. This is one example of Mr Varadkar’s spin doctors going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the public sees only the good stuff.

The real role of the Strategic Communications Unit has been exposed in recent days over promo articles in the Irish Independent, Irish Times and many regional newspapers relating to the national development plan, Project 2040.

What has been taking place is the government has been using taxpayers’ money and the Civil Service to promote Fine Gael and those who keep them in power.

What Leo has created is the Strategic Propaganda Unit and it’s even been using cinemas to target young people.

The Sunday Times has revealed the ad agency hired by the SCU sent out instructions to the newspapers that the articles were to give the impression they were “normal editorial”, in other words real objective news stories.

This blatant attempt to hoodwink the public with an advert masquerading as a real story praising the government paid for by the taxpayer and facilitated by civil servants is pure propaganda.

What Leo would like is a highly-tuned lying machine that would brainwash the public into believing life in this republic of inequality is not as bad as it seems. This “if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it” is a tried and technique used by some of the world’s most successful dictators.

But how could people take seriously government plans to virtually rebuild the country when the imbeciles behind them couldn’t construct a few thousand homes during seven years in office?

Imagine the nonsense of gobshites, who preside over a health service with almost 700,000 people on waiting lists, promising to build up to a dozen new hospitals when the current ones are clogged with patients on trolleys.

Leo would have us believe we are living in an egalitarian Shangri-la when the reality is if you scratch the surface you’ll find a land where up to a million workers live on wages and benefits that hardly keep families alive.

If you look beyond the propaganda you see a republic of haves and have-nots where ex-British solders are allowed to evict people from their home on the orders of a vulture fund invited into the country by Varadkar’s government.

The Taoiseach has a record when it comes to spin for didn’t he squander hundreds of euro of taxpayers’ money on the bogus “Welfare Cheats Cheat us All” campaign that helped win him the Fine Gael leadership?

The real Leo Varadkar was the one who stood up in the Dail last Tuesday and the public would do well to remember that when his party comes looking for votes in the near future.

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