Games Without Frontiers





According to the former Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, now the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (although he seems to be firmly opposed to all three) this is vital to stop ‘unfair’ competition. The police – to show they are determined to get tough on anyone taking advantage of the crisis by, say, selling children’s toys or books – were reported to be out in force this weekend to ensure compliance.

But hold on. This is completely crazy. For the moment, let us leave aside the issue of whether it is a slight overreaction to a virus which, while infections are rising, killed

between zero and thirteen people a day over the last month in Ireland. Let’s leave aside as well how complex it will make the border with Northern Ireland – given that presumably anyone from the Republic will be able to drive across the border to buy garden equipment or a new T-shirt (I hope someone has broken the news to Michel Barnier so he can work out what the heck that means for the backstop). The important point is this: it has turned into a terrifying abuse of government power.

Ireland’s lockdown war on the economy (Matthew Lyn, The Spectator)

39 thoughts on “Games Without Frontiers

  1. Micko

    Absolute madness

    Let’s ban these nice family items while also keeping these other highly taxable items (that are also addictive) on sale


    Also, great title Bodger. – I love me an aul PG reference ;-)

    1. Ragamuffin

      But why should the large multinational retailers be allowed sell anything and everything they can fit under their roof, meanwhile the locally owned toyshop/ boutique has to close? We run a real risk that Ireland’s small independent shops wont survive 2020. I think it’s better to restrict what the large retailers can sell during lockdown, to try and even the playing field again when the restrictions ease.

      1. Micko

        That is a good point Ragamuffin. I hope they have that insight, but I don’t think the gov care that much for small retailers.

        The reality probably is that people will just shop online. From Irish shops hopefully – to stop making Mr Bezos and Amazon even richer.

        The whole thing is a disaster. But the government knows that for every small independent retailer that folds – another one will just take its place.

        Shame for the family, as you say, who might own that small independent shop :(

        1. Cian

          The government cares about tax. It is losing 21% VAT on all those toys bought from amazon. They *do* care about that.

          1. Micko


            Anyway I must dash. ‘ Tipping Point’ is on de telly and I do love it as the simple questions make me feel hyper-intelligent.

            Toodle pip

  2. paul

    so the items that are pawed by multiple people and children and then put back, potentially harbouring dangerous micro-organisms and virii for the next person to pick up are locked away while the items that are typically only handled by the staff facing off stock and then by the person purchasing the item are still available? Yeah, shock horror, we’re all alcoholics glug glug glug.

    1. Nullzero

      The issue with that statement being that not many kids are to be seen anywhere near shops, particularly when you factor in Tesco having a one person per trolley policy in place.

      People pick things up and put them back all the time in shops, even these days.

      It doesn’t slide under the radar that a lot of our current predicament is down to people gathering at house parties and drinking the booze they’ve been buying in supermarkets.

      1. SOQ

        You would swear people are house partying every night of the week. The vast majority of people have families and do not have other people around to party- EVER.

        Apart from anything else- the neighbours wouldn’t put up with it so I would love to know where all of these mad parties are happening- apart from in your imagination that is.

        1. Micko

          I’d say they’re not. At least not around by me. And you’re right – neighbours wouldn’t put up with it.

          There is no stopping this virus. It’s a natural progression.

          It peaked and fell in April around the same time all over Europe – even when different countries brought in restrictions at different times. What a coincidence.

          It’s now peaking (and will fall again) at the same time all over Europe – even when different countries were at different stages of lockdowns or none at all. What a coincidence.

          The idea that our restrictions have any real effect on this virus are laughable.

          The only thing we can really do is hide from it or face it.

          1. Cian

            @Micko- it’s peaking you say?
            So it won’t continue to get worse?

            How do you know this? And are you willing to bet on this?

          2. SOQ

            Yes it will- but nowhere near first time around and also- in places where it finds lots of hosts- just like up north right now because they never had it bad last time.

            It will behave like other coronas do- imagine that?

  3. Hank

    Slightly misplacing your anger there Alan. Maybe start thinking more along the lines of ‘why the hell are clothes and toy sales banned?’ rather than ‘why aren’t the sale of other items also banned?’

  4. Bruncvik

    “What are we becoming” implies some kind of gradual change, but this is not the case. It’s more like a mirror to what we already are. It’s the same as with the calls to open the pubs and close the schools. There is a substantial group of loud people who’d rather be boozing than allowing for a good future of children, through education and social and emotional growth. Personally, I would very much like to see children clothing and shoe sections open, while keeping the booze section open. But the situation as it is now just accurately reflects the society we already are.

    1. SOQ

      Sorry but what is the correlation between schools and pubs being open- why has it to be one or other other?

      1. Bruncvik

        Very good question. I’m also wondering why many of the same people who call for pubs to be open also call for schools to be closed.

  5. Daisy Chainsaw

    Tesco have an area at the end of the clothing section open with baby clothes and underwear.

  6. Eoin

    Face facts folks. The objective is to destroy the economy. Just need to figure out the ‘why?’ now.

    1. ian-oh

      Leo reckons he’d look great in a leather spiked halter top and @ssless chaps on the back of a converted Massey Ferguson with a big morning star (spiked ball on a chain).

      THATS why.

        1. ian-oh

          Lord Humungus? I thought you were still in Oz?


          But yes, you are correct m’lud, I only use @ssless as it does grabs ones attention. And leaves other things open to a grabbing.

    2. Micko


      Well, you could argue that wealth and power is relative.

      So for me to get richer (relatively) I don’t need more money, all I need to do is make you poorer.

      Soon we’ll have an even bigger divide in the middle classes.

      Between people whose wages haven’t changed, are still paying the mortgage, comfortably working from home, with no commute, ye know – civil servant office(y) types.

      And the others, who’s careers are going down the toilet, can’t pay the mortgage, will soon lose their homes and businesses, who are watching their savings get smaller and smaller, ye know – business entrepreneurs and creative types.

      Sure, it’ll be grand…

  7. broadbag

    Toys clearly aren’t essential, but clothes should be available, alcohol has to be sold or Paddy will riot (or head to the local shebeen)

  8. SOQ

    Not often I say this but poor guards- not only are they being told to bog off at front doors, harassed because they are deliberately holding everyone up on the roads but now they’ll be checking that Mrs O’Leary is not buying new double gusset panty hose in Dunnes.

    Sure what else would they be doing with their time eh?

    1. Redundant Proofreaders Society

      That which is a luxury to Mrs. O’Leary could be an essential to Alan O’Reilly.

  9. Janet, dreams of warm feet

    they have restricted female hygiene products in Tesco’s in Wales.. not essential apparently

    1. Micko

      Get the dinkypoo!

      That is mental – what the hell is going on?

      Are they just seeing what we’ll put up with, so at the end of it we’ll do as we’re told?

      Charger made the point a few weeks ago that the UK population “would be begging for a vaccine and every other hoop to jump through after Boris was finished with them”

      Am starting to think he might have a point…

      1. f_lawless

        I think my Sept 10th prediction is still holding up ;)

        ‘the case for “digital health passports” coupled with on the spot mass testing will start to be touted as the only realistic route out of the ongoing nightmare and to get society functioning normally again’

        These latest restrictions are not evidence-based and are only going to do further damage to an already ravaged economy. My guess is they were thought up by the ‘Behavioural Insights’ experts who have been steering public health policy during the pandemic. Continue to grind us down; take away all the things that make life enjoyable, deprive everyone of their creature comforts, to get us to the point that we’ll readily opt in to the blockchain digital identities as the way out. These are seen as a necessary cornerstone to the “Great Reset”.

        The financial elites of this world must have a new mechanism to circulate their ever more concentrated wealth and ‘human data capital markets’ will be the new game in town

      1. MME

        I can’t help but think Judge Barrett is going to wipe the smile off your and their faces SOQ. Obergefell will go within 2021. Wait and see.

    2. Oro

      I believe it was one Tescos and they have already acknowledged that that was a mistake on their part, and the Welsh government have since clarified that it would be incorrect to stop the sale of such items, and only one customer was affected. But don’t let that stop you! It also seems the reason the area where said products was closed off in the first place was because they had been investigating a break in in that area of the shop.

    3. Ok

      A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle Janet!
      Looking forward to my own impending ban on sale

  10. Cian

    Where and when is all this? I was in Tesco in Saturday doing the weekly grocery shopping and the whole store (clothing/homeware) was open. Have things changed since then?

  11. SOQ

    Ok looks like certain links are banned from the underlying Broadsheet platform-

    Search for Dr. Judy Mikovits: The BioSecurity State Illusion That Led To Your “New Normal” on bit a choo bless you.

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