'GUBU' entered the lexicon of Irish politics in 1982. It stood for Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented.
These were the words used by the then Taoiseach, CJ Haughey on discovering that a murder suspect was found by the police hiding in the home of the government's own Attorney General. The late Conor Cruise O'Brien felt GUBU summed up the regime of Fianna Fail under Haughey. It was indeed strange times.
But that was 1982 and the Republic of Ireland was caught in the battles between Garret (Fitzgerald) - The Good and Charlie Haughey - an Irish version of Flash Gordon's Emperor Ming! Now it is 2020 and strange times are upon the country again.
This time in the form of Covid-19.
Until recently, it truly was a case of "us all being in this together."
There was common cause, shared pain, external threat and an uncertain future.
But it's times like this which test the character of a nation. Ireland unlike many countries in Europe has never experienced totalitarian oppression or been clobbered by the iron fist of communism, Nazism or fascism.
Following rules doesn't come easy to those who have a silent but often sneaking regard for the rascal. And yet, when faced with the threat of Covid-19, the people, their politicians and the nation did rise to the meet the occasion. It was heartening.
Last week on the 18th and 19th of August - all that collective effort and spirit was rained on from a high height. A very high height indeed.
And of all things to smash the community cohesion was a round of golf with a clumsy finish at the 19th hole.
Of course, the protective cage of "us together" was well and truly rattled on June 30 when during the Bobby Storey funeral the Sinn Fein leadership, from the Republic and Northern Ireland decided to give a massive two fingers to ordinary law abiding citizens by flouting en-mass the Covid-19 restrictions for funerals.
But that is the way of Sinn Fein - 'ourselves alone' does not mean 'we the people' - it is simply means Sinn Fein alone. Rules for other people are not applied to 'their' people.
But what held things together in the fight against Covid-19 was the rest of political Ireland standing shoulder to shoulder.
Mainstream parties in Dail Eireann were at one with their counterparts in the Stormont Assembly. Sinn Fein's selfishness and loss of credibility would not ruin the fight against the common enemy of Covid-19.
Then came what is now referred to as 'golfgate'. A wholly avoidable, needless, irresponsible and idiotic event which only served to display how self-absorbed, self-indulgent and egocentric the political classes have become.
To describe the attendees at the dinner at Clifden as moronic would be an understatement. Their excuses for being present were not only laughable and lamentable but as my granny would say about tea "weak as dishwater".
To paraphrase an expression from the late and much respected, Fine Gael TD John Kelly - these politicians, present and former acted like a mob of footloose carefree teenagers. Only this does a disservice to teenagers who are finding out their mistakes for the first time.
Michael Martin, the Taoiseach must now be regarding his coveted role as a poisoned chalice. His personal anger and demonstrable commitment to public service at the thoughtless actions of his colleagues will not assuage the general public.
Administrations are usually defined by their early months - usually the first one hundred days.
Despite the promise of a competent government led by the combined best talents of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party, any good work to date has been overshadowed by pettiness, pointless squabbling, sham rows and now, by at best a thoughtless (or at worst reckless) sense of entitlement by some political elites.
The Taoiseach and Tanaiste need to act collectively and decisively.
The Irish EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan appears to have lost their confidence. It seem impossible for him to remain in post when the administration of the country which nominated him to the EU has lost faith in his conduct. Mr Hogan shows no sign of resigning.
But an obvious way forward is for Mr Varadkar to replace him in Europe.
Playing second fiddle (even as lead violinist) when he once led the orchestra is clearly not a comfortable role for the former Taoiseach.
Varadkar would be much more at home in Strasbourg and Brussels. It would also unshackle Mr Martin from the sulking shadow of his predecessor. Mr Martin is hampered by the presence of his would be nemesis and needs the government to have an injection of new life.
The succession of Mr Coveney to the leadership of Fine Gael would bring more stability to the Coalition government, though a new combined role of Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs may not enthuse unionists.
A weakened administration and an angry electorate are not a good combination but Sinn Fein will rue their hubris over the Storey funeral. To pardon the expression, they have been wounded by friendly fire from their own side. There is no moral or plausible basis for calling for an election at this time.
Mary Lou McDonald, the President of Sinn Fein shattered her own well won credibility as a Covid-suffer who could look at people in the eye and sincerely claim that Covid rules are for all, until she partook in what was a essentially political rally for the late Bobby Storey.
GUBU could well be resurrected to describe the shenanigans in the Republic of Ireland at the moment but this writer thinks it's uniqueness demands a new acronym- HOBO - Hypocritical, Offensive, Brazen and Outrageous.