Miggledy is going to win.
Let’s get that out of the way before we say anything else.
Miggledy has this wrapped up and the clown show that’s opposing him can do nothing about it, so what’s left to talk about?
Well, I suppose we could talk about the assorted no-hopers who somehow persuaded themselves and various county councillors that anyone would care what they had to say. We could talk about what drives people like Sean Gallagher, Peter Casey and Gavin Duffy.
Is it cynicism? Is it as tawdry as wanting this on their CVs next time they go hustling for business in the USA? Presidential candidate.
Or is it something else? Something that might be called ambition but should probably be called crass stupidity.
It’s hard to know which of the three male candidates is most irritating.
Sean Gallagher seems to have a natural gift for looking annoying, like some overgrown chest-burster who’s just gnawed his way through a crew-member’s ribcage in a spray of blood and offal, screeching empty platitudes at anyone foolish enough to stray too close to those razor teeth. Will he grow into a nine-foot killing machine with molecular acid for blood? Only time will tell.
Sean hand-delivered a letter of complaint to Miggledy in the Phoenix Park the other night, dripping saliva in the bushes outside the Áras as Miggledy paced his study floor, reciting stanzas from his favourite Inuit poet in an impressive assortment of accents. A candelabra cast his heroic flickering shadow on the blinds while Sean chewed on a small furry mammal, grunting foul imprecations as he hefted the half brick his letter was wrapped around.
What a shame nobody told him about this thing called a postal service. But Sean believes his own bullshit.
Gavin Duffy, on the other hand, doesn’t quite carry such an air of tight-sprung menace. He looks more like that genial guy you used to know in school. That lad whose father put up the money to buy him a pair of record decks because books weren’t really his thing and it was either that or get a real job. The next time you met him, he was fronting a night-club for some rich alcoholic, leasing a second-hand BMW Z4 and sporting a brand-new accent that he caught in a tanning parlour. Nowadays he does some sort of property consultancy and he mixes with the social elite, or what passes for a social elite in your town: auctioneers and fast-buck money advisers. They all have the sunbed accent too.
Gavin would remind you a bit of that guy. The grin, the patter and most of all, the fact that he believes his own bullshit.
Peter Casey is harder to figure. He seems to be a genuine businessman and he seems to have made actual money for himself, which isn’t an indicator of anything in particular, I realise, except some primitive instinct to make money. But on the other hand, he seems to be as ill-informed about the nature of the Presidency as his two fellow Dragons, and equally prone to mouthing aspirational nonsense about what he would do if elected.
Casey, apparently, doesn’t believe in feminism. He spent a long time in America and thinks we have somebody called the First Lady. He says that when he’s in the Áras he’ll put his wife in charge of women’s things while he gets on with the important man-things, presumably things like jump-starting the presidential limo and whipping the flunkeys for failing to polish the silver.
Peter doesn’t like being challenged. He’s quick to tell interviewers how insulted he feels at their impertinent questions, which would lead you to give thanks for two things. First, our President has no power to have anyone lined up against a wall and shot, but second, and more important, Peter hasn’t a snowball’s chance of getting elected, which at least gives him something in common with the other two bozos.
And just like the other lads, Peter believes his own bullshit.
I don’t know what drives Joan Freeman. She founded Pietà House and seems like a well-meaning soul, although it is a bit strange that she can’t remember ever having had anything to do with the Iona Institute, despite the fact that half her family seem to be members, two of them prominent campaigners for a No vote during the Eighth Amendment referendum campaign. Joan believes she was once miraculously cured of eczema at the Knock shrine. Joan also seems to believe that the Presidency should be about supporting mental health, thereby showing the same level of understanding as the three lads, though at least she does believe in something, unlike them.
Worryingly, Joan is Mattie McGrath’s preferred candidate and yes, I realise this is very shallow of me, but if Mattie McGrath was in favour of apple pie, I’d be ordering the rat salad.
At least Liadh Ní Riada of Sinn Féin has a coherent political agenda, even if it isn’t one that unites all of us. Liadh says she’d wear a poppy, for the common good, even if some of her fellow party members don’t approve, which is very decent of her, though one uncharitable thought did cross my mind. Isn’t it a pity those Sinn Féin members who hold seats in Westminster didn’t take a similar view on the common good and use their votes to sink Brexit?
Without that economic and political calamity hanging over us, maybe we’d have more patience for the seven-year shit show that the presidential election cycle has turned into.
As we speak, the also-rans are at each other’s throats over some empty-headed tosh Casey uttered about Travellers and there are of course the predictable calls for him to drop out of the race, which would be a shame. After all, they’re diluting each other’s votes nicely here, although Casey’s 2% will hardly make much difference one way or the other when he’s ignominiously kicked out on the first count. He can go back to his millionairing, Gallagher can go back to eating people’s rib-cages, Duffy can go back to selling tickets for debs’ balls, Joan Freeman can go back to Iona and Liadh can go back to pretending we still have Articles 2 and 3 and wishing she’d never heard of the HPV vaccine.
Miggledy can go back to the Áras he never left and we can go back to pretending this didn’t happen.
[Seven years ago, this was the official Bock view on presidential elections.]