Sea Squirts & Blue Shirts

Consider the life-cycle of the Sea Squirt and what we can learn from these colourful creatures. As the baby Sea Squirt larvae (more like a tadpole) swims about, unable to eat, the struggle for life begins. Its single eye fervently seeks out a safe haven. Its rudimentary brain works overtime, selecting a suitable patch for its future permanent residency. It thrashes about frantically, looking for Safe Harbour.

When it settles on a location (without the help of, the PRTB or Former Minister for Power Alan Kelly) it sinks to the bottom, using its head for ballast. Over the next few days, the larvae transforms from libertarian tadpole into ultraconservative filter feeder. Where it once had gills it develops siphons for feeding. It absorbs its tail and eye. Finally,(and most fascinatingly) the tiny creature, no longer having need for it, “eats its own brain”. It dissolves the driving force that helped locate the seat it now occupies. Devouring the thing that helped get it where it wanted so badly to go!

So what knowledge can we gain from these remarkable Tunicates?

Well, they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They are sexless. They all start life as free wheeling idealists, but once seated become stuck in the mud filter feeders. Once seated they suck in everything around them, drain out any nutritional value and spit out the waste. Once they’re rooted they are not for moving.

Any ideas on how we could use this information?

For a start, we could draw parallels to the new Dail. We could talk about how, just over 40 days ago, candidates for elected office were energetic, free wheeling idealists. We could think back on how they were full of promise and ambition. How they seemed to be everywhere, their two eyes fervently searching the political and social landscape for a beneficial angle. We can discuss how their mouths hung constantly open, desperately seeking a microphone to peddle their pleas into. We can recount to each other how they had vision (and taglines) about a better future.

Some of us (malcontents like me) might reminisce about the Election Posters littering the landscape in all shapes, sizes and colours. I might even get misty eyed thinking back on the slogans, “Keep the Recover Up Going”…

Or, we might think of the stuck in the mud filter feeders and scream! You have been elected to serve the people of this country! You are currently not serving anyone but yourselves! Our limited democracy is not a play thing! You do not have the right to question our vote! You are drawing a salary TODAY for not working! You are not fulfilling your promises!

You are stuck. Once your arse touched the elected official seat you lost your vision, your energy and your ambition for this country. You have been given a soft ride by the media. Allowed space to enjoy junkets, appoint family members to your staff and pontificate on everything from Michaella McCollum to Dublin GAA fans.

Enough, I say. Your phoney war of historical differences is over. Your disregard for democracy is clear. Your Enda & Micheal Date Night charade is intolerable. You have a mandate to Govern, so Govern. Or Resign. Whatever you do, do it now. Don’t obfuscate any further. Don’t think the public are fooled by your nonsense and spin. It’s been less than 2 Months and we are nearly as disillusioned with you as we were with the previous 5 years of corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

Get on with creating the fairer society we want, or get out. Those are the only options. Sea Squirts are wonderfully diverse and stunning little creatures. But you could easily squish one between your fingers and thumb. If you drag this out any longer, stay stuck in the mud, sucking the life out of our Democracy, we will squash you little squirts as well.

Tony Groves April 2016






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