ALTHOUGH never in the history of Fianna Fáil has so much been owed by so many to our Great Leader, Mickey, the national response to his achievements has been pathetic. Outside Cork, the mob sinks their teeth into the noble hand that feeds ’em; that’s what!
And whenever the opportunity arises, they turn on Mickey, our very own champion who, like the great Thady Quill, surpassed all rivals in ramblin’ and rovin’, in football and sportin’!
For instance, the veteran TD and Fianna Fáil ‘grandee’, Willie O’Dea, launched a blistering attack on Our Mickey for having insulted the people of Limerick. You see, nobody from Limerick city got a job at the Cabinet table, either in a senior or junior ministry – and that included Willie himself; that’s what!
All of which obliged him to proclaim to the high heavens that the decent people of Limerick had been ‘grossly insulted.’ Which goes to show that in politics there’s nothing so unkind as ingratitude.
How, whatcha mean?
Well, as Willie explained, ‘the third city of the Republic, the economic impulse for the Mid-West, and the people of Limerick, were overlooked completely for either senior or junior appointments. They were let down and grossly insulted.’
Oh, dear, oh dear, we exclaim in response. Do we detect the resurrection of ancient Cork-Limerick rivalry? As a client in Limerick’s Ma Hogan’s bar aptly put it the other night: ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.’
Because, it isn’t fair! Our Mickey currently has his hands full and, really, he doesn’t deserve the Limerick criticism, nor the biting comment from Cork North West TD, Michael Moynihan who warned that he would be ‘a thorn in the side of the government’ as a result of his constituency and other rural areas being overlooked by the government.
The plain people of Ireland listened incredulously to the ‘thorn in the side’ complaint. Was this really happening? Had politics reached a new low?
Was it possible that a deputy could promise to be a persistent cause of annoyance and frustration to his own political kith and kin? Cripes! What was happening to Fianna Fáil?
So we looked up the ‘thorn in the side’ expression to see if it had any Biblical symbolism. Maybe we were getting it wrong?
To our surprise, the saying comes from the Book of Numbers (33:55) which warns: ‘those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.’ Wow! ‘Pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides’! Dem boyos certainly knew how to get a point across!
But we’re sure Mr Moynihan didn’t intend his Biblical rhetoric to be taken seriously and that he was … well … merely using a poetic turn of phrase.
After all, King Saul angrily referred to his son as ‘the male descendant of a motherless goat,’ which also was a naughty thing to say!
Yes, the political / biblical language referring to Mickey was somewhat over the top, but no harm done or intended. Indeed, we suggest that FF would find solace in the Bible, thanks to its many accounts of roguishness in everyday life. At least that’s what a famous bishop once told us. (Sadly, the good man now lives half-way up a mountain!)
On the other hand, perhaps our political analysts have no explanation whatsoever for what seems like a Fianna Fáil implosion? What’s certain is that the party is going nowhere, riven by bitterness and despair at having to act for years as a mudguard for Fine Gael.
But is it all due to Mickey’s inept leadership? If so, isn’t it time he got the chop?
And now for something different! Perhaps Deirdre Clune MEP, Fine Gael’s much-respected aviation expert, should tell her constituents how serious is Ryanair’s plan to close its bases in Cork and Shannon airports?
The city’s Rt Hon Lord Mayor, Joe Kavanagh (FG), recently broke the news that Ryanair planned to end its connection with Cork and Shannon if pilots refused to take a 20% pay cut and that about 120 pilots would lose their jobs.
The lads and lassies who drive the airplanes argue that it’s part of a Grand Plan by Ryanair to leave pilots temporarily on zero-hour contracts and provide no guarantee that job losses can be avoided.
Here’s a good one: Will Tánaiste Simon Coveney solve the Matelot crisis at Haulbowline?
Of course not!
Last year, because of the rotten wages, the Naval Service hadn’t the manpower to take its ships to sea because young men and women couldn’t be arsed to join up. Unable to find enough people for crewing purposes, the Minister and his Haulbowline admirals consequently had to mothball two of the ships.
And, although the government’s pay commission recommended pay hikes for personnel such as radar controllers, the bomb squad, and those in other high tech areas, so far no moolah has crossed the palms of the skilled jolly Jack tars. Which isn’t fair!
And Coveney, certainly, is not a corvette of good news. He expertly kicked the controversy to the coastline, announcing that another commission would have to examine the pay situation and that, sadly, it would be take some time before the report was completed.
It seems the government would have to benchmark any increase in pay against what’s being done in other countries which also were experiencing a steady depletion of military and naval staff. Oh yeah? Pull the other one, will ya!
By any standards, it was a deft avoidance of the issue: classic, like, to internationalise it!
Cha and Miah joke
John McGuinness, a leading Fianna Fáil TD and expert political analyst, tore strips off Mickey Martin’s plan to reward those who ‘kissed ass’ rather than acknowledge the contribution of those with political ability.
He reminded the plain people of Ireland that no sooner had Martin become a half-term Taoiseach than the discussion began about who would replace him. (In other words, Mickey might well be in a sort of ‘dead man walking’ situation) .
That aside, the ‘kissing ass’ metaphor, vulgar and all as it was, reminded us of an ancient Cha and Miah joke. It’s this: A woman looks out the window as her neighbour is leaving for work. She is impressed by the neighbour planting a kiss on his wife’s cheek.
So, as her own husband is leaving, she points to the neighbouring husband kissing his wife and asks, ‘Why don’t you do that?’ The husband drily answers: ‘Why? I barely know her!’