Thursday, April 03, 2008

EDW: Taoisigh Past, Present (and Future?)

Patrick Bartholomew Ahern, the "most devious and cunning" of them all (according to Charles Haughey) resigns after his increasing elaborate explanations for his finances started to test the patience of even the average Fianna Fáil politician. A good thing, too, if he was being given thousands of pounds from his friends, the very least he could have done was spend some of it on a bit of decent tailoring.

His predecessor and mentor Haughey may have been pretty venial, but at least he knew how to spend the money he was given in the grand style: £700 shirts and the best of tailoring, country houses, fine food and wines. No wonder he was nicknamed the Squire, while Bertie was nicknamed the Anorak.

Whereas Bertie, despite receiving thousands of pounds from his friends in the Nineties and coming up with the sort of preposterously unconvincing explanations as to where it had all come from (and where it had gone) that would not convince a more than usually gullible nine-year-old clearly never spent a penny of it on decent clothing. One might forgive a politician who took money from his wealthy chums and played on the soft-hearted credulity of his supporters to get away with it. One could even stomach his defence that he'd pocketed all the cash but, the ungrateful sponger, did nothing for those who'd given it to him. But it's hard to think kindly of the sort of man who turns up to summit of world leaders dressed like an ice cream waiter.

As for the succession, it's hard to think of any Irish politicians who have any sort of elegance about them (Micheál Martin is about as good as it gets, I'm afraid); and the likely winner of the FF leadership contest is Brian Cowan, a man nicknamed Biffo (Big Ignorant Fucker from Offaly). There are other options, though, if the soldiers of destiny want to eschew the obvious and plump for a man with a particular style of his own.

I was struck by Dave Hill's recent advice on how Ken Livingstone should turn around his mayoral campaign: take the piss more. If there's one thing the Irish are superb at, it's taking the piss, and the choice of a new leader should reflect this. It's probably too much to hope that our particular favourite, Jackie Healy-Rae, will be readmitted to FF's warm embrace to bring his particular talents on the world stage, nor do we have much confidence that his fellow south KerrymanJohn 'The Bull' O'Donoghue will vacant the Ceann Comhairle's chair to lead his party to new glories.

Only one man, then, remains, who can meet our criteria: Willie O'Dea. Not only would his bonsai stature (he's about 5 ft 2) allow him to meet world leaders such as Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy on equal terms, the photo on the right shows what a forceful and effective leader he would be. Does he not ooze authority? Does not the reek of power fill the room? Is he not the only possible contender who could match the EDW credentials of the likes of Haughey or Seán Lemass?

UPDATE: Yup, Biffo it is (link includes picture which shows off his keen stylistic sense).

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5 Comments:

Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Actually, he looks more like he'll knock on your door and ask if you've any odd jobs need doing. What? Come on, I am English.

Puss

9:59 am  
Anonymous Mortdecai said...

I'm still giggling uncontrollably about the derivation of Biffo. Even better that it lends itself to Yorkshire, will remember next time I am retreat there to visit relations and other irritants...

10:08 am  
Blogger dominic said...

Och, the poor boy's gonna be down on his luck and living on what he can scrape together come next month. I mean it's not as if he is so well paid at the moment (some might say that it's odd that the leader of a country the size of Ireland and with all the international commitments that she has gets paid more than the President of the USA, which is just a wee bit bigger, but what do they know)

Why don't we boys fecking well have a dig out (the girls can have a whip round) to help old Bertie a bit once he's out of his post. Cash only - no cheques, no funny business.

9:01 pm  
Blogger bill said...

Is that going to be a collection in sterling or euros, Dominic? Important to be clear about that.

Biffo it is then, ah well.

9:20 pm  
Blogger dominic said...

It's definitely not gonna be in dollars - let that be absolutely clear.

10:15 pm  

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