Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl must eventually combine

It’s hard to escape the feeling that the game is up and that the Irish electorate have grown tired of the artificial distinction between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl. For that matter, if you were to press die-hard supporters of either faction, you would probably fail to get a clear explanation of the difference between them, for the very good reason that there is none.

Both are right-of-centre ideology-free ad-hoc parties, with a focus on the next election and no discernible core principles to tell them apart from the next right-of-centre grouping that might happen along. Both are Middle Ireland and both have been trading for generations on a failed narrative of what this country is and what it should become.

Fianna Fáíl and Fine Gael are both failed expressions of an outdated understanding of Ireland and it’s about time they did the decent thing by combining into a single party, but of course that’s the last thing either of them want to do, because if they ever acknowledge the fact that they are identical, they’ll lose a huge amount of support.


Because right now, their support is based on irrational tribalism. Right now, each party commands a certain amount of support based solely on its name, and if that artificial distinction ever falls, as it surely will, the two factions will end up competing for the same voters.

When that finally happens, Ireland will mature into a modern European democracy, not divided along artificial tribal lines like the United States, but along social distinctions. Call it Left-Right if you want. Call it Conservative-Progressive if you prefer. It doesn’t matter. Ireland will finally throw off the silly Civil War distinctions between political factions, distinctions that mean nothing in the modern world, and begin to create a form of politics with some meaning.

That will be revolutionary for this country. A form of politics based on conviction instead of tradition. When that happens, it will sweep away not only the drab, tired old parties like FF and FG, but also the Labour Party and Sinn Féin, all of which have been peddling the same tired old messages rooted in the past.

I don’t know when that will happen. I don’t even know if it will happen soon, but the signs are that people are getting tired of sad old platitudes.  People are no longer willing to be fooled by empty rhetoric from either end of the shockingly limited Irish political spectrum. The time is coming when Irish voters will demand evidence of a meaningful vision from those who seek their support, and that time is coming very close.

The first sign of change will have to be a combination of Fianna Fáíl and Fine Gael, and not before time for two entities that should never have sold themselves as different things in the first place. Let’s be done with that nonsense and then let us examine very closely those who claim to be of the Left.  Let us be done with demagogues of the Left and of the Right, and let us adopt a body politic that has our interests at heart.

It can be done, and eventually it will be done. Not this time, perhaps, nor the next, but sooner or later, that change will occur.

I hope I’m still here to see it happen.


Fianna Fál or Fine Gael – what’s the difference?


Fianna Fáil Tops Popularity Polls

fianna_fail_logoRemember Fianna Fáil, the party that destroyed our country?

The crowd that screwed all of us?

Yep.  Them.  The party who were so wrapped up in cronyism and election-buying that your grandchildren will still be paying for the consequences fifty years from now.

That’s the crowd.

In a normal country, this party would now be no more than an entry in the history books, but Ireland is no normal country, and that’s why Fianna Fáil now find themselves the most popular party in the land by the simple expedient of keeping their heads down.

That’s all they had to do – keep their mouths shut and watch their sister party, Fine Gael, doing exactly the same things they themselves would have done if they had been reelected.

Is there any hope for Ireland when we maintain a political system based on two centre-right parties with almost no difference in their outlook?  Aren’t we doomed to repeat this folly over and over again with one bunch of clowns continually swapping places with the other?

It really is depressing that people have such a short memory.  There has to be something seriously wrong with this country when people forget so quickly what a spectacular disaster Fianna Fáil made of their stewardship in government.

Is there any hope for us?  It’s hard to see where.



Éamon Ó Cuiv Wrestling With His Conscience and Winning

So Dev Óg wrestled with his conscience and won.  What a strange and faintly nauseating sight it was, also somewhat pathetic to see his dreams of importance fade.  I guess however Irish history would have been brighter had his grandad had the same degree of intestinal fortitude as he had.

On another level however it’s deeply worrying.  Here is a man who, whatever one might think, at least had some courage, to say “I’m not sure”.  All right he has now decided to toe the party line but we know him to be hypocritical.  Clarity is good.  How many other Irish messengers of the people, Teachtaí Dála, have deep qualms of conscience on an issue but who keep said qualms firmly out of the gaze of the very people they represent?  How many troop through lobbies, baa-ing piteously about the whip system, voting in exact opposition to how they feel?  How many make a cold calculation that the prospect of advancement up the greasy pole of the cursus honorium is more important than their conscience?  How many are going slowly mad from the cognitive dissonance that such causes, or from the drink needed to calm the still inner voice that insists “but you don’t believe that do you?”

A very large number I would imagine.

On the flip side when was the last time a senior politician took a stand of personal principle, any principle, to his or her own detriment? Resigned because they didn’t believe in a policy? A long time ago

Proponents of the whip system suggest that freedom to vote as TDs wish would cause chaos (or at least a different flavour of what we have at present). Maybe but the reductio ad absurdum of that is to have no parliament for fear of dissenting voices and for fear of a government not getting its way on all issues no matter how trivial.  It’s the same attitude that castigated the Greeks for the temerity to be publicly confused about how, where and under whose whose guidance they wish to proceed.

Let’s try something: let’s have some free votes in the dail. Let’s see what TDs really believe. We might be horrified or delighted but we would at least see them as less a set of interchangeable Lego figures endlessly mutable and interchangeable and more a reflection of the protean nature of Irish society.


(Previously published on Brian Lucey’s blog)


Micheál Martin’s Speech at Fianna Fáil Árd-Fheis 2012

It was fascinating to hear Micheál Martin apologising at the Fianna Fáil Árd-Fheis, although precisely what he apologised for  is open to debate.  Martin has a gift for appearing sincere while simultaneously talking utter tosh — a great asset in any politician, but by no means an essential skill.  Bertie Ahern had a gift for sounding like an illiterate corner-boy while talking nonsense, and yet the entire country voted for him.  Charlie Haughey was a repulsive little lizard with a basilisk stare, and yet some people thought he was wonderful, despite his Irish solutions to Irish problems, a phrase so riddled with his innate dishonesty that it came to epitomise his entire leadership of Fianna Fáil.

Therefore, when a man like Martin appears, with a face like a liberation-theology priest, his party is doubly blessed.  For once, they can say that they are led by a man who is neither a drunk nor a chancer, but unfortunately, it isn’t possible to say the same about the grassroots.

His speech starts out fairly well, acknowledging the state of the country and the pressure people are under.

As we meet tonight, there are people throughout our country who are experiencing very hard times. They are struggling with finding a job, paying their mortgage or losing a loved one to emigration.

The problems facing people are too serious for tired, old political games. I believe that people in public life have a responsibility to chart a way forward and to work to find solutions to the challenges facing Ireland.

We won’t disagree with him on that.  The problems are too serious for tired old political games, but perhaps Micheál might consider the possibility that the very existence of his party constitutes a tired old political game.  I’ve made the point before that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are anachronisms and that, since their policies are identical,  they should both be dissolved and combined in one new party.  They have the same origins and they represent the same sort of people.  They have ridiculous titles that mean nothing and they have no underlying beliefs, although on balance, Fianna Fáil have tended to be the more corrupt of the evil twins, as Claire Ryan illustrated when writing here about Fianna Fáil’s involvement in corruption.  The rot didn’t start yesterday.

Unfortunately for Micheál Martin, as his speech goes on, it starts to sound suspiciously like the political waffle of old, and increasingly delusional.

This party is determined to play a constructive and central role in Irish public life. And our focus is very clear – we will do all we can to promote credible solutions to promote growth and job creation. This government of broken promises must be held to account for its bad decisions. But we will tackle them responsibly.

When something is right for Ireland, we will support it, when it is wrong we will oppose it.

Let no one be in any doubt about where Fianna Fáil stands – we believe that politics must be about solving problems not exploiting them.

When something is wrong for Ireland they’ll oppose it?  Clearly, the Fianna Fáil he speaks of has been abducted by aliens and replaced with identical doppelgangers.  Greetings.  We mean you no harm.

According to Micheál,

I first got involved in Fianna Fáil because we were a party of community, of integrity and of decency. We stood for social solidarity and were on the side of people trying to make ends meet.

Micheál Martin was born in 1960, when Taca was at its height.  Already, when he was but a babe in arms, Fianna Fáil cronies had been given control of vital infrastructure.  Todd Andrews had destroyed the railways so that his quarry-owning pals could make vast profits.  The McGrath family had been facilitated in running the biggest gambling scam the world had ever seen.  Dev had scammed thousands of Irish-Americans with his Irish Press shares swindle.  By the time Martin joined the FF party as a student, Des Treanor was already running an illegal bank on behalf of tax-dodgers like Charlie Haughey, who believed Ireland existed for his own pleasure and enrichment.

With the very next sentence, Martin falls into absurdity.

When Europe was falling to fascism, our founding leader Eamon de Valera introduced a democratic republican constitution for this state.

Correction.  When Europe was falling to fascism, this state was excluding Jews from asylum.  Ireland was sending demented Catholic ideologues to fight for Franco in Spain, and when fascism was finally defeated, de Valera paid his respects to the German embassy on the demise of Herr Hitler. After the fall of fascism, de Valera’s government welcomed the murderous head of the Croatian Ustasha, Artukovic,  and gave him sanctuary in Dublin.  Likewise, when Europe was falling to fascism, de Valera was consulting the Archbishop of Dublin about the wording of his proposed constitution for a so-called republic.

This is delusional stuff out of Micheál Martin, although I realise that it was crafted for the footsoldiers.  I know he’s an intelligent man and he can’t possibly believe this kind of guff, but if this is the grassroots of the party, what precisely are we dealing with and do we need such an organisation claiming the right to manage our country?

And so we come to the apology:

… we have a clear duty to admit our mistakes. It’s not enough to point to the worst world recession in 80 years and the euro zone crisis. Nor to point to the fact that other parties were demanding policies which would have made things worse – that’s for them to answer for.

We were in government and we should have acted differently.

We made mistakes.

We got things wrong.

And we are sorry for that.

No equivocation.

No half-apology.

Just the plain, unvarnished truth.

Last year the people did what they were right to do – they held us to account. People were angry and they showed it, delivering a historic defeat for us. We fully acknowledge the scale of the defeat.

I don’t accept this.  Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, but Fianna Fáil went far beyond that and this is where Micheál Martin has failed.  It’s not that his government got things wrong.  The problem is that they were in the pockets of bankers, developers and builders.  They were on the payroll.  They were bought and paid for, and it was no mistake.  No failure of policy.

Fianna Fáil were the property of big business and they did as they were instructed to do.

Let’s have no more talk of getting things wrong.  If this is Martin’s understanding of what really took place then he has no business leading any party, big or small.

In March 2010 I argued that Ireland needs vision and focus, and I haven’t changed my opinion on this.  In fairness to Micheál Martin, although he was a member of the  Fianna Fáil cabinets that destroyed Ireland, he didn’t personally gain in any way from the corruption that attended the party of which he was a leading member, but he was one of those who completely failed to display vision and focus when setting out domestic public policy.

I once argued that much of the country’s problem derives from the passive and supine behaviour of the Irish themselves, and again, I haven’t departed from that view.  I made the point that the Irish had deliberately been infantilised by both church and State as a means of exerting control, and that it’s time to promote critical, independent thinking if we’re going to find a way forward.  Fianna Fáil is a party of true believers, and therefore the very antithesis of such thinking.   It has nothing to contribute to a new Ireland.







Eminem Takes Over Efinef

Fianna Fáil Split



Disconnection from the State

An acquaintance whose career is in psychiatry once provided a useful working definition of a deranged person : someone holding fixed false beliefs who is impervious to reason.

Looking at the actions of our leaders since 2008, in particular their decision to beggar the country in order to protect criminal conspiracies that could only loosely be called banks, I think there’s no escaping the conclusion that they are, by this definition, insane.

We were led by madmen, and the madmen were led by an idiot.  Furthermore, when the idiot jumped ship and went to live in a cupboard, the madmen began to display other worrying signs, including clear evidence of a severe personality disorder.  Brian Lenihan, after all, announced to a stunned nation that he wasn’t simply robbing the citizens in order to pay the gambling debts of billionaires.  His budget of 2009 was, in his own staggeringly self-important words,  nothing less than a call to patriotic action.

Lenihan made two fundamental misjudgements with that statement.  The first was the assumption that anyone listening had the slightest respect for him personally, and the second was that propping up a bunch of crooks had anything to do with patriotism, but yet perhaps we can’t blame Lenihan entirely, and I’ll explain why in a minute.

The patriotic action gaffe was, in my opinion, a manifestation of narcissistic personality disorder, which is characterised, according to the standard definition, by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.  Lenihan’s ludicrous call to patriotic action echoed, in a pathetic Irish-backwater way, the absurd, if apocryphal, statement attributed to Louis XIV: L’État, c’est moi. In a sad echo of the Sun King, who could forget Lenihan’s subsequent squirm-inducing moment when he reminded us that he had spoken to Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, In French? French, of all things, as if we thought they might have conversed in Urdu, or Serbo-Croat.

Even if we only had this to rely on, I think Lenihan’s behaviour conforms very well to the definition of narcissistic personality disorder.  His need for admiration is as pathetic as it is obvious, and his grandiosity is beyond question.  After all, what else would you call it when a man commits €460 billion on behalf of such a tiny country, expects the rest of Europe to believe he can back up this bluster with action and then calls what he has just done the cheapest bailout in the world?

Even that very phrase, the cheapest bailout in the world, carries within it an ignorant, small-town arrogance that presumes everyone else in the world was too stupid to come up with the smart-aleck stroke he had just pulled, when in reality, everyone else in the world knew it was bullshit.  And now that everyone else in the world has called Lenihan’s half-witted bluff, we, the Irish taxpayers, are called on to pay the price for the likes of Quinn, Fitzpatrick and Fingers Fingleton.

I’ll leave it to the crucified taxpayers to decide whether they think the man possesses any empathy.

How did we get to this?

I think the entire country is disconnected.

Lenihan himself was raised in an atmosphere of stroke-pulling.  Bred in the bone.  His father was a consummate chancer, liar and Fianna Fáil apparatchik.  Some readers will be old enough to recall his cringe-making moment on the Late Late Show when he invited the audience to chuckle at his hilarious story of how he intimidated a policeman who had the cheek to raid a pub he was drinking in after hours.

Will you have a drink or will you have a transfer? he claimed to have said, and the whole crowd, including the dreadful Gay Byrne, yukked.  One law for Brian Senior and his crooked cronies.   Another law for the rest of us.  I still don’t understand why the audience laughed instead of taking off their shoes and flinging them at the self-satisfied old liar.

Was there any hope for Brian Junior when raised in the hothouse of distortion that was the Lenihan clan?  I don’t think so.  His father and grandfather were both members of our parliament, as were his aunt and his brother.  Like all the Lenihans, he was raised to believe that he had an entitlement to get his hands on the levers of power, and of course, with a sense of entitlement comes arrogance.

There are many kinds of disconnection.  The Lenihans are disconnected from the reality of our country by their position, their privilege and their money, but I’d like to say one thing now.  This is not solely about Brian Lenihan.  He simply happens to be the public face of a much deeper problem in our society, a problem I touched on before, which goes to the very heart of what exactly constitutes the Irish State.

It seems to me that Lenihan and his kind are the ones who ended up with all the loot after the civil war.  And when I say his kind, I also refer to the people who occupied the other side of that divide.  It seems to me that these two groups were never really fighting about principles at all, but about position, influence, money, property.  Ownership and oligarchy, in fact.  From what figures I can muster, the distribution of wealth in Ireland is what one might expect of a third-world country, with a disproportionate concentration in the hands of a very small few.

Right from the foundation of the state, the small people did not matter.   Emigration and TB were the friends of the rich, invaluable for thinning out the irritating underclasses who otherwise would have to be fed and housed.

Those who did not take the emigrant boat or succumb to tuberculosis, settled into the sub-standard public housing estates grudgingly supplied by the State.  Many worked and struggled to improve their lot, and that of their children, but some began a long journey into the alienation and nihilism that today produces random street violence, gun crime and what is anaemically referred to as anti-social behaviour.

Why?  Could it be that the poor don’t see any connection between their lives and the country at large?

Yes, it could.  When you spend a lifetime being condescended to by petty officials, jumping when some doctor snaps his fingers at you, worrying, staving off the money-lender, it’s hard to have a sense of civic pride.  A sense of belonging to a State that has never shown you any respect.

I’ll agree that the political correctness of the 90s produced a mendicant class that feels entitled to be given whatever it demands, but that mentality didn’t come from thin air.  It was bred through generations of low-grade skirmishes between poorly-fed, poorly-educated people, and the slightly-better-fed but still poorly educated people who looked down their noses at the underclass as they pushed their dole money through the hatch once a week.

Of course, there was a different underclass as well, wasn’t there?  An underclass far more demanding than any tracksuited, hoop-ear-ringed chain-smoking teenaged mother shouting at an official in the dole office.

I’m talking about the underclass that had three Range Rovers in the drive.  The underclass that had the prime minister’s mobile phone number handy, and in a bizarre symmetry, this underclass was just as disconnected from the State.  As we have seen in the last couple of years, this underclass cared as little for Lenihan’s call to patriotic action as did some  sixteen-year-old single mother in a Health Board flat with junkies shooting up in the stairwell.

I’m talking about not only the property developers who did so well from McCreevy’s little boom, but also those who inherited the State when it was founded out of blood.  The doctors and the lawyers who for generations knew that they could grow rich by charging the poor large fees that would leave their children hungry.

That’s the legacy of our Freedom Fighters in 1921.  Not some idyll of comfort and safety, but a harsh reality that our people would pay through the nose to keep the cosseted elite in continuing luxury.  Unlike the UK which we left, there was never a comprehensive national health service.  Never an independent school system.  Never a proper public transport system. We kept the abusive industrial schools open long after the Brits shut them down.

And now, finally, we’re left with the one sector of society who believed in Ireland.  The middle ground.   These are the people who ultimately are being forced to pay for the dishonesty, criminality, greed and incompetence of the very wealthy.

The poor never saw themselves as part of this nation, apart from some absurd Celtic Twilight fantasy dreamed up by the wealthy and peddled by the  Wolfe Tones to keep them compliant.  The wealthy never saw themselves as part of the nation either, but simply believed they deserved to live off it in opulence.

This weekend, people in Limerick will be taking part in a run to raise funds for the Mid-West cancer unit.  Why?  Because the government has no money for anything except the banks.  Only today, we learn that all our insurance premiums will be taxed to pay for Seán Quinn’s greed.

People no longer pay their taxes willingly because they feel the money is going to an immoral end.  And if the middle ground has also lost faith in State, what’s left?

If the one remaining section of society that used to believe no longer has faith, the game is up.  We no longer have a country, if we ever did, and if it wasn’t all an illusion since 1921.



The Real Ireland

Reinventing Ireland

The Non-Fighting Irish

Time for Change

Let Ireland Grow Up

Time For A New Electoral System

Ireland Needs Vision and Focus

Queen’s visit

New Easter Rising

What Has Independence Given Us?


Libyan Revolution, Irish Apathy

Muammar Gadaffi and his family are plainly thieves and parasites who have wasted the vast resources of their country and enriched themselves in the process.  For his 37th birthday, Saif (Sword of Islam) Gadaffi held the most lavish party ever seen in the Adriatic, in Montenegro, attended by several billionaires, a crown prince, a prime minister and a huge assortment of wealthy hangers-on. Six Learjets ferried the guests into Tivat airport and the bay was filled with giant luxury yachts.  Meanwhile, despite the fact that Libya has huge reserves of oil, his people had no adequate hospitals, and the schools were primitive, crumbling hovels.

Finally, inspired by the wave of revolution sweeping across North Africa, the Libyan people rose up and, facing machine-guns and rockets, are now on the brink of deposing the brutal dictator Gadaffi.

Fianna Fáil and their cronies are plainly thieves and parasites who have wasted the vast resources of this country and enriched themselves in the process.  Every year, they held a lavish party at the Galway races, and guests were ferried in by a fleet of helicopters.  Meanwhile, despite the fact that Ireland has huge reserves of gas, its people had no adequate hospitals and its schools were primitive, crumbling hovels.

The population of Libya is not much bigger than the population of Ireland, but Libya has a far bigger security apparatus to crush dissent.

Nevertheless, unlike the Libyans, the Irish people did not rise up when Fianna Fáil sold them into slavery.  Instead, they simply grumbled and accepted the theft imposed on them by the Party of Corruption.

Why is this?


Eminem Takes Over Efinef

Micheál Martin hasn’t yet seen a wet week as leader of the worst party this land has ever known, and already he’s as delusional as the very worst of Biffo.

Eminem has proposed a three-way debate between the leaders of the main parties, as he regards them, forgetting that he leads a party smaller than the National Weasel-Fanciers Association.

He didn’t want the Shinners involved, even though more members of the Irish electorate are likely to vote for them than for his own party, thus showing exactly what his democratic credentials are.

I don’t have much time for a political movement that still has TNT under its fingernails, but it’s a political reality that the Come-All-Ye Party might well be larger than Fianna Fáíl in the next Dáil. This isn’t something for SF to be proud of, but a measure of how abysmal Fianna Fáil’s behaviour has been, and at least I can say this for Gerry Adams: he’s able to talk in complete joined-up sentences.  I might not like the ideology, but I can still admire a politician capable of speaking, which is not something we’re used to in this country.

This reality has yet to dawn on Eminem, it seems.  And on Efinef.

They still think they matter.

Party workers on the ground are under no such illusions as they approach houses under cover of darkness to slip leaflets through letter-boxes.  I hear stocks of night-vision goggles have sold out in the army surplus stores.

On a personal level, I’m told Eminem is a decent enough fellow, and one of the more capable members of the Fianna Fáíl cabinet, but let me just pause there for a second while I stop laughing.

Capable? Fianna Fáil?  Cabinet?

No.  Sorry.  Just one more second.  Thanks, and sorry for the coughing.  Jesus Christ, sorry.  Fianna Fáil.  Capable.  Jesus that’s one of my best yet.

Eminem was one of the less incompetent ministers under Bert and Biff.  B&B.  I agreed with some  things he did, including his decision to visit Gaza and face down the Israeli blockade, but his obvious intelligence and principled approach to matters of importance simply confused me because I keep wondering how this ordinary human being could remain a senior member of the Troglodyte Party.

It’s a mystery.  Isn’t it, Toyah?

A mystery.

And now, witness the same intelligent, reasonably-decent man talking utter shite, as if his party has any relevance in post-crash Ireland.   As if he isn’t tainted by association with the crooks and the backhanders and the stroke-pullers.

As if the shattered and discredited rabble he leads have anything to offer in the world we face following Lenihan’s insane bank bailout.

Let me offer you a confession.   I like Micheál Martin as an individual.  I don’t like the organisation he heads, or the fact that he was an integral member of the cabinet that presided over a complete disaster, but I like him as a person.  I think he was one of the few in a cabinet of fools who had a clear insight.

On the other hand, Micheál Martin remained in cabinet when he knew that their decisions were unprincipled and cynical.

Therefore, by definition, he has no credibility as a politician and anyway he has no party, so what difference does it make?

I don’t know why people like Martin cling to outdated, superannuated concepts such as Fianna Fáil, or for that matter, Fine Gael.  Make no mistake, I don’t support the other side either.  I think both Civil War parties are equally irrelevant, and it’s about time they amalgamated to form a new, right-of centre party, taking the best from both of the old bullshit parties.  Meanwhile,. with a rejuvenated Labour and provided the Come-All-Ye Party has finally pissed on its hands enough to remove all traces of cordite, we might end up with a proper, grown-up, European political landscape.

I don’t know, and who does?  Strange days indeed.


Time For Complete Change in Irish Politics

Is it any surprise that both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been knocked back in the latest opinion poll?

At last, it seems to me, the Irish public is beginning to realise that there is no fundamental difference between these two 90-year-old relics of the Civil War.  Finally, people are starting to understand that FF and FG are two wings on the same vulture, with the same worn-out policies and the same tired, old-man, baggy-suited, beer-bellied lack of imagination.

It’s time to let them go, and not with a fanfare.  These two dinosaur parties have not served the country well as they vied with each other to gain wealth and power for their insiders, at the expense of the vulnerable, the weak and the poor.

FF and FG are not mirror images of each other.  They’re not even identical twins.  They’re the two red-nosed old cousins at the end of the bar — the ones you avoid as you arrive in on a freezing winter’s night.  Two flat-capped old bores with BO and bad teeth.

Unfortunately, the alternative isn’t exactly sparkling.  Our Labour party is bedraggled, more a centre-right party than left wing, but maybe that’s not a bad thing either.

Maybe at long last we’re beginning to realise that politics in Ireland is broken, that it doesn’t work, and that all the cynics need to be thrown out on the side of the road.  For now, Labour is the only alternative available, and although I can see much to find fault with, it seems to me the only hope if we are ever going to reconstruct Irish politics.


Because Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are both utterly irrelevant.  Fianna Fáil, as anyone can see, is responsible for the massive corruption that has destroyed our country’s economy, while Fine Gael is so moribund that it is unable to provide an alternative.  I know personalities shouldn’t come into it, but unfortunately they do, and Enda Kenny is arguably the most uninspiring politician in history. Fine Gael would do better in the polls if it was led by a bar of soap.

These two outdated, irrelevant parties, which have no distinguishing features, need to be dismantled, and amalgamated.  For that to happen, there needs to be a third party in government, and that party can only be Labour.

When the two Civil War parties have been wound up once and for all, and replaced with a proper right-wing organisation, Labour can move to the Left and Irish politics can finally grow up and start to be something done by adults, instead of the cavorting buffoons we’ve had to endure up to now.



Eoghan, would you come in here a minute an’ close the door.  That’s right. Come in, I want to talk to you, going forward.

What’s up, Boss?

Jesus, Eoghan, don’t call me fuckin Boss.  You know I hate that name.

Sorry Boss — I mean Brian  What’s up?

Eoghan, do you believe in reincarnation?

Mhac a’ Deo orainn, a Thaoisigh!  Why do you ask such a thing?

Here.  Have a shot of this stuff.  500-year-old Tullamore Dew.  Old TD, we call it.  Go on. It’ll sharpen your pencil, going forward.  Isn’t that what a good press secretary needs?

Clink.  Glug.  Glug. Wubble.  Wubble. Wubble. Goaarrraaarrrhhh!!  Wuh!!

Jesus, that’s better.  Listen, do you believe in reincarnation or not?

Well, Brian, I never gave it much thought.  Did I ever tell you about the time I was commanding a company of men in Lebanon and —

It’s a simple fuckin question, going forward.  Do you believe in reincarnation?

Níl fhios agam, a Thaoisigh.  You seem very troubled.

I am Eoghan.  Very fuckin troubled, goin’ forward.  Eoghan, I’m afraid I’m afraid Haughey came back to life an’ he’s takin’ me over.

Dheabhal!  That’s not good.

No.  It isn’t.  Everywhere I look, I’m surrounded by gobshites, just like Haughey.

Well, Brian, it is Fianna Fáil after all.  One time, in Cambodia, when I was in charge of —

I know. I fuckin know that.  I know that, but there’s more.  Here.  Have another Tullamore Dew.

Clink.  Glug.  Glug. Wubble.  Wubble. Wubble. Goaarrraaarrrhhh!!  Wuh!!

You see, Eoghan, I’m starting to see things in the middle of the night.  Awful things.  Lenihans everywhere waving their livers at me.  Last night, I had a nightmare that Kebab Lenihan was launchin’ a book denyin’ evolution.  Mind you, Kebab is livin’ proof that evolution is bullshit, but still.

Eh, Taoiseach —

Seriously.  I’m not fucking jokin’.  Everywhere I look, fuckin’ GUBU.  There’s another fuckin eejit sendin’ in fake invoices for mobile phones or some fuckin thing.

Eh —

Just as well I have plenty of this TD to keep the shite blotted out.  Fuckin Ahern flyin’ to fuckin Donegal in the government plane.  No, not that prick.  The other fuckin eejit in Justice.  Here.  Have another shot.  Helicopter view me arse.

Clink.  Glug.  Glug. Wubble.  Wubble. Wubble. Goaarrraaarrrhhh!!  Wuh!!

I’m gettin’ a strong urge to buy a yacht and a horse.  I even hired a bloke from WAAMA to stock me a library and make a list of the good ones, just like Haughey.  I paid another bloke to give me a quick run-down on what artists I should like.  Make it fast, I said.   Pluck the low-hangin’ puppies.

Taoiseach.  If I may suggest.  Have you considered an exorcism?

A wha’?

Well, back in an Spidéal, when I was a buachaillín growing up, the old people were very aware of these things.  Did I ever tell you about the time in Ethiopia when I was commanding  —

Listen Mara, I mean Eoghan, you need to get on top of this story fast.  Here.  Have another TD.

Clink.  Glug.  Glug. Wubble.  Wubble. Wubble. Goaarrraaarrrhhh!!  Wuh!!

As I was sayin’, you need to get on top of this an’ make the party look good.

Eh, Taoiseach, I’m the government press secretary, not the Fianna Fáil press secretary.

Your MY press secretary, Mara.  Now get that gobshite Dunne in here and tell him to bring a million quid.  And make sure all those fools are back at their desks.   When my great grandfather, Aureliano Cowen was founding the Brazilian navy …

Taoiseach.  There is one small problem.  With our finances in their current state, we might not be able to pay the exorcist.


Well then Taoiseach, I’m afraid you’ll be repossessed.

Banking Politics

Dear Deputy O’Keeffe

Hello Ned.

You might not remember me, but I was the guy desperately trying to prevent himself from punching you in the smug, self-satisfied, crooked Fianna Fáil face last year when you turned up in my local pub.  It was a Saturday morning at the market, when I like to enjoy my coffee and my read of the paper, but you, Ned, invaded my space with your Fianna Fáil cronies out on the stump.

You have no idea how close you came, Ned, to a kick in the crotch, as you wearied the entire pub with your tired old jokes and your cringe-inducing false bonhomie, you despicable, back-slapping old bore.

Now, Ned, let’s not mince words here.  You are an idiot.  A cunning, self-regarding, rat-faced, greedy, overbearing, loudmouthed, gombeen idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.  Ned, have you ever read a book?  I doubt it.  In fact, Ned, can you read at all, or would you be able to see the point of it?

Probably not, Ned, you fucking cretin.

Now, Ned, you’re probably wondering why I waste this invective on a superannuated, inbred, Fianna Fáil hillbilly, and the truth is I wouldn’t normally devote valuable seconds to vermin like you, but, Ned, this week you stepped over the mark.

I wanted to give you an award.

No seriously, Ned.  I wanted to give you this medal that I had specially minted for you.

Ned, thanks, you moronic old gobshite, for exposing the dishonest heart of Fianna Fáil for the whole world to see.

Ned, I want to thank you for speaking out against financial regulation in such an impassioned way.  I know it’s a subject close to your heart — money — and I want to compliment you on speaking from that shrivelled old heart on the only thing that touches you and makes you human.  Money.

Wasn’t it good of you, Ned, to attack the financial regulator for his nationality, you miserable, xenophobic old prick?

And wasn’t it a fine national service you did, Ned, you despicable old bastard, to oppose more staff for the regulator, for fear he’d find out about the criminality in the banks?

Well done, Ned, you pathetic old waffler.  We couldn’t have those foreigners finding out how crooked we Irish are, could we Ned?  And especially, we couldn’t have that regulator exposing the dealings our elected representatives have in the banks and related companies that brought about our country’s downfall.

You wouldn’t happen to be financially involved in any of those dodgy banks, would you Ned?  What exactly did you mean when you defended our former failure of a financial regulator, Neary?  Did his incompetence suit you and your cronies, Ned?

Ned?  You despicable old bastard?

God, how I wish I’d punched you right in the middle of that smug, insincere grin when I had the chance.

Yours Sincerely


PS.  By the way, Ned.  What exactly did you do in the Dáil bar?


UPDATE.  December 2014

Ned O’Keeffe convicted of fraud.