That pot Kenny show on Newstalk. All right, well, those new guidelines are raising a bit of a storm, Afenifere, G.D. for Sliger, Leitrim s Jungleland, North Roscommon, Mark Maheshwari is on the line.
And Mark, good morning. Good morning, Patty.
Now, you have described these measures as Stassi like. And I heard Minister Harris this morning saying that was completely over the top.
Well, of course, that's a matter for Minister Harris himself. I can't account for for him and he doesn't have to for me. But what I would say is the cumulative impact of some of the rules that we've had are reminiscent of the level of surveillance by the long gone by the East German secret police. So I call it, as I see it pass you normally to do that. That's how I sort many agreed. And of course, it wasn't a private communication which was leaked not by me within 30 minutes of me sending it to our ministers and teacher.
And well, it is rather colourful.
You have to admit, you know, I mean, an Irish politician of a former time would have referred to it as the squinting Windows policy, as portrayed in Brinsley McNamara's novel, The Valley of the Squinting Windows. But you took a probably a rather more colourful way to describe your view. Well, I suppose we each have our style. I'm pretty consistent with mine over the last 18 years in politics, it's not designed to cause people offence or anything like that.
As I said, it wasn't designed even for the public domain, though I'm glad that the issue is getting the level of attention that it requires, in my view.
Now, the rules themselves, there seems to be a bit of confusion. I mean, Mary Lou was suggesting that, you know, keeping records of that jelly and ice cream. And I was saying, you know, Mary Lou, at a prawn cocktail and a pizza, that that record would have to be capped. The department has been telling us, though, that restaurants don't have to do that. They just have to keep the normal records, which they're obliged to keep of sales for six years for VAT purposes.
That's all they have to keep. That's what they said, no, I said the department are splitting hairs there. I don't like the the impact of this guideline, OK? There's an added administrative burden on while some may be fine dining restaurants, it's quite easy to dealing with small numbers for high prices for the gastropod for most of us to be more familiar with. It is an an added administrative burden. Some people have a personal issue with additional details being given.
For example, Mark McSherry is the prawn cocktail and Pat Kenney had too many chicken wings. Some people have issues with that. I myself probably wouldn't, but many do. And that's not the requirement.
That's all they're telling us now. That's not the requirement. You know, Attell receipt indicating that presumably there was food as well as alcohol sold.
I presume it would have to be maybe related to the table and the person whose contact is there. But I'm not even sure because they're maintaining that this is to protect at restaurants and food pubs against the pubs that are chance and their arm. So they go into a pub and they've heard a report that Kenny's pub, in whatever it is, is only serving drink and is taken the message about food. So they go in and they say, show us your hotel receipts with food on them.
That's, I presume, what they're talking about.
No, absolutely. And, you know, there's no issue with facilitating Gardy with the need to enforce sensible laws and sensible guidelines that are needed for Corven. This one just isn't.
I mean, we know that if we want to do it, I mean, how we've all portrayed it, including me, is that they want to know whether you've had a problem cocktail or jelly and ice cream. That's not what they want. They just want the receipt, which indicates our food, so much to drink, so much, VAT so much, and maybe even gratuities so much. That's all they want the receipt, which they're obliged to keep anyway for six years, according to the department.
But I'm wondering why then issue a guidance about 28 days if they have to keep it for six years?
Yeah, no, I'd say that's the cover story for what has been a very negative reaction publicly to the guideline. What the actual statutory instrument says is make a record of the substantial meal or meals ordered pursuant to the regulation, the no to each member of a party of persons and each sole person. So no, you're not talking. Don't read it again for me.
Mark, will you read that again for me? Because I just want to get the detail of this.
It says, to make a record of the substantial meal or meals ordered pursuant to regulation. And of course, the reference by each member of a party of persons and each sole person permitted or otherwise granted access to the premises. Oh, okay.
Now this this is the rub. And this is where we have a little bit of obfuscation by perhaps the department who sent us this information because it says each member of the party, I can understand the solo. If someone goes in and has a pint and a pie on their own, there's a receipt for that and they can be identified. But the rule says that each member of the party.
Yeah, that's what it says. So, I mean, it's just it's just a step too far. Nobody wants to remotely risk any of the hard fought for gains on Corvet. And the T-shirt said the other day, quite rightly, that he wants to protect lives and livelihoods. And but we're not getting the balance correct. We can do better. And that's what this is about. I mean, the anger from publican's restaurant owners, tourism members of the public, the issue itself is one issue, but it's the cumulative impact of a lot of restrictions that for many people don't make sense and that there isn't the adequate balance.
You know, we've had lockdowns, very successful ones. And kildea, the public health people tell us and are insisting that that they worked. I appreciate that. And I listen to that advice, you know, is the converse that if parts of the country are doing particularly well, why not try a pilot program to say, well, look, let's start letting a few people go to the football match, let's let those rural pubs open in that particular county and review in two weeks?
If it works great. If it doesn't, we close them down again. And so that kind of balance, common sense and the enterprise voice needs to be at the table as well as the health professionals.
Well, Mark, I will say this because we've had, if you like, one version of the rules from the department and how they see it being interpreted and what is written in the order which you have read to us seem to be at odds.
We're going to have to clarify this with the department. Do they mean what they said to us or do they mean what you said to us?
What what is the intended result anyway? Yeah, great stuff.
Look at this one last thing before I let you go. Listening to Jim Callaghan was on with us yesterday and I heard John McGuinness on the hard shoulder. You're with us this morning. And it would appear maybe to our listeners.
Is that the three of you, perhaps a few more are kind of disgruntled Ron Paul, Fianna Fail, who want to make trouble for your leader?
No, not in the slightest. I'm 18 years old and in your experience and interview me and indeed many of your colleagues, all the political correspondents can tell you there's been a consistency to my approach with the over and government are not in government, if I call it as I see it goes badly and gets negative publicity for me at times. But it doesn't change the approach. So vengeful backbenchers have a responsibility to their constituents and indeed the nation to identify issues, highlight anomalies when they occur.
We're not all clones, nor should we be. And the whole mountain respects to.
All right. On that note, Mark McSherry, funeral today for Slagle, Leitrim s Jungleland North Roscommon. Thank you very much for joining us.