Remember Bertie ? The Progressive Democrats? Even prosperity ? A 2007 election poster in Galway.
Dear, oh dear. There was a bit of a fuss today when Brian Cowen (Taoiseach/Prime Minister) did an interview with RTE Radio early this morning sounding a tad ‘under the weather’. The Fianna Fail party, of which he is leader, are having a 2-day conference in Galway this week and last night, Cowan and his fellow ministers were socializing late into the night. An opposition politician opined, on Twitter, that he sounded halfway between drunk and hungover, an accusation that Cowen denied. The point that our esteemed leader seem to miss, as did his other ministers who defended him in the media today, was the concept that a midweek piss-up while you are supposed to be working might not be the most professional example to give – especially as the purpose of the conference was to discuss the country’s economic crisis. To bowdlerise the Minister for Health’s phrase, it seemed a lot closer to a Berlin beer festival than a Boston tea party. Better still, the Minister for Science, Conor Lenihan pulled out of a commitment to launch a book about evolution called “The Origin of Specious Nonsense” – needless to say, the author doesn’t believe in it even a little bit. Minister Lenihan, according to the Irish Times, ‘remained to be convinced by the book’ but ‘…diversity of opinion is a good thing’. Now, I’m all for keeping an open mind on things but occasionally, you just need to plug the hole in your head thats causing your brain to leak out. This is the same Conor Lenihan who was appointed Minister of State with special responsibility for Integration [i.e. immigration issues] despite referring to Turkish immigrant workers as ‘kebabs’ in a parliamentary debate a few years earlier.
It’s days like this that make Fr. Ted seem like a epic of gritty realism.