And although the ancient writer was not thinking of the current Fianna Fáil/PD Government, he would be hard pushed to find a better phrase to sum them up at the moment.
Take the Government’s callous and cavalier attitude to human life at its earliest stages. In recent days it has emerged that a now-separated Irish couple will go to the High Court to dispute their competing claims to control the future of frozen embryos created during an IVF procedure. The wife wants to implant the embryos; her estranged husband is opposed. The case could have implications for the right to life of the unborn child in this country if, as is possible, the matter ends up in the Supreme Court for a decision about when life begins. The Government could have prevented all such controversies by legislating, as it had every right to do, to prevent the creation of surplus human embryos by fertility clinics and to prevent the use of embryos for research. But it did nothing.