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Rage against quarantine We are living in the Republic of Nphet - and the future is bleak

"Tayto, batter burgers, brown sauce and coddle are to be banned because Nphet gets off on banning things that the population enjoy"

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The shape of things to come... What O’Connell Stree might look like

The shape of things to come... What O’Connell Stree might look like

The shape of things to come... What O’Connell Stree might look like

"Citizens of the Dystopian Republic of Nphet, I am here today to crush the very last of your hope."

So begins the latest scolding proclamation - Pulping all Confidence: Surrendering to Covid - to be unveiled by the marionette formerly known as Micheál Martin.

Ignoring the clocks going forward, the puppet Government and its under-the-thumb Taoiseach has chosen to rewind. All the way back to the Dark Ages.

Martin will deliver news of our official capitulation to Covid - and the unelected medical-scientific politburo - while curled in a foetal ball atop the steps of the junta's new "Skip the Queue HQ" at a posh fee-paying school.

Lending medieval authenticity to proceedings, Stephen Donnelly will be whipped by leather stethoscope-wielding figures each time Martin veers off-script.

Rather than excavating another Seamus Heaney quote, Martin has been ordered to drone a solemn version of the joyless tune chosen by Nphet to replace Amhrán Na bhFiann as national anthem.

A reworking of English Ska band The Specials' 1980s Number One "Do Nothing" featuring a topless Leo Varadkar on backing vocals and a snoozing Eamon Ryan snoring to the rhythm as he dreams about window boxes.

"I'm just living in a life without meaning

I walk and walk, do nothing

I'm just living in a life without feeling

I talk and talk, say nothing

Nothing ever change, oh no

Nothing ever change."

Among the major announcements:

The Spire on Dublin's O'Connell Street is to be demolished and replaced by a 500-foot tube of sanitiser. George Lee is to be appointed Minister for Fun.

Smiling is to be banned, amid concern that happiness is a major source of Covid transmission and because Nphet get a kick out of being miserably prohibitive.

Anybody seen talking to another living being while ordering a takeaway latte is to be immediately entombed for all eternity in an oversized jar of Maxwell House.

The Ministry for Hollowing Out the Will to Live will permit all citizens to take three seconds of exercise per month: This will consist of a quick scratch of your own rear end.

The buildings formerly known as pubs are to be converted into re-education centres where those who defy the regime will undergo electric shock treatment while a lone Guinness tap drip-drips in a Celtic take on the Chinese water torture.

A Chernobyl-like exclusion zone is to be set-up around the rebel stronghold of Copper Face Jacks. Full-sized replicas of the cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal are to be wedged in front of every football pitch in the country to end all debate about a return to sporting activity.

A Nphet version of the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale The Emperor's New Clothes will be published. In this absurdist fable, it will be deemed safe to squeeze 30 children into a claustrophobic classroom for eight hours, but a grievous threat to humanity to allow them to kick a ball for half an hour on a field the size of the Vatican City.

Internet connections are to be frozen and news broadcasts censored so footage from London and New York showing the delirious masses frolicking in beer gardens, dancing at music festivals or packed into sporting events do not reach these shores.

Fair City will be replaced by a nightly 30-minute broadcast of a bar of Palmolive - a symbolic reminder that soap is designated for hand-washing and not for entertainment.

Every citizen will be obligated as their first act of each day for the rest of their lives to repeat 20-times the new one-line National Prayer: "The next two weeks are vital."

The vaccination programme is to be urgently scaled back to the point that only one-legged 187-year-olds with a pair of pet hummingbirds and a Luke O'Neill tattoo on their left-buttock will be included in the next cohort.

All leftover vials will be rushed to a fee-paying school 130 miles down the road.

Liveline will be replaced by Hymns to Lockdown, a programme dedicated to the new religion of total compliance.

HSE boss Paul Reid is to receive a pay rise each time a scheduled shipment from AstraZeneca fails to arrive.

This has less to do with supply issues than Nphet's conviction that lockdown is essential for the purification of your soul.

Tommy Tiernan is to be removed from the airwaves for the crime of giving people hope.

Tayto, batter burgers, brown sauce and coddle are to be banned because Nphet gets off on banning things that the population enjoy.

Anybody weighing more than Ruby Walsh or Rachel Blackmore or caught consuming more than a baby-sized portion of chickpea salad will have to do a thousand press-ups an hour with Gordon Elliott sitting on their back.

A fatwa is to declared on the Stanford professor who describes these eternal lockdowns the "greatest public health mistake we have ever made".

And so we fast forward to 2075: Where The Republic of Nphet, Covid-free but stripped of all hope and joy, locked down for decades, cut off from the rest of the civilised world, sails onwards toward its self-inflicted doom.

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