Gifted a hybrid car and a bit of plamás

March 2nd, 2020 11:40 AM

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Greenies’ suggestion that the Lord Mayor should use a bicycle, or a bus or walk, wouldn’t seem proper.

COVER your ears, now, if you’ve heard these auld chestnuts, but the jokes (harmless) came fast and furious when carmaker Henry Ford graciously presented the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan, with a brand new, shiny Ford Mondeo Vignale Hybrid. The Rt Hon will have six month’s free use of the vehicle. After that, he’ll get the ‘lend’ of another shiny Ford Vignale Hybrid for six more months (a hybrid car has a dual fuel system that allows it to run on either electricity or petrol).

And the jokes? Ah, yes the jokes. For those we can thank the genuine Corkonians (a small few) who gathered to see the current Rt Hon accept his free car in return for the advertising benefit that the gesture brings to Henry Ford and pals.

Someone quipped: ‘Have ya heard about the poor eejit who got an electric car and couldn’t get very far … He didn’t have a long enough extension cord!’ Which quickly led to this riposte: ‘Naw! He didn’t have a current licence and was arrested for battery.’ Only to be joined by another quipster: ‘Those are re-volting jokes.’ And so on.

But while the bystanders aimlessly observed the charming event, someone asked why the First Citizen didn’t use an electric car?

Back came an officialese-type answer which sounded like something from a press statement: ‘Electric cars are not suitable for mayoral purposes. Their range is too limited and they’re too small. Besides, Ford currently (there’s that word again) does not sell electric cars on the Irish market whereas the Mondeo HEV is synonymous with the high opinion and deep admiration that the Ford company has for the office of Cork’s Lord Mayor.’

It was a bit of plámás that some Greenies didn’t swallow. They wanted the Rt Hon. to use a bicycle, a bus (there’s a bus stop and a bike-share station outside City Hall) or walk.

But, as was pointed out, it wouldn’t seem proper to have the Lord Mayor cycling around Cork City on a high-nelly, his chain of office rattling in the wind, a copy of a speech stuffed in his back pocket; then, arriving at his/her destination red-faced, covered in sweat and, wheezing like a chronic rollie smoker, being whisked off by medics for a burst of oxygen in the South Infirmary! Not on, like!

‘A car,’ it was explained, ‘is a practical prerequisite with which “to traverse our newly-extended city”.’ Makes sense, one supposes.

Nonetheless, Greenies and other environmentalists are opposed to the First Citizen lording it around in a ‘large, free, fossil burner’ (a motorcar), which is as noxious as a year’s supply of fags!

In the past, such practices might have seemed normal but in today’s environmentally-aware world, it showed how much City Hall was out of touch, they said.

Political car crash!
Who knows, but perhaps Cork’s Rt Hons with their fondness for darting around the city in motorised transport shed no tears on seeing the less than amusing Transport Minister, Shane Ross, being booted out of office?

Ross, had been absolutely certain that a ‘climate apocalypse’ was on its way and, to ameliorate the disaster, he intended to use his political clout ‘to force motorists from their cars.’

Under his Climate Action Plan, 2019, excise duty on diesel was to be increased and all fossil fuels were to be slapped with monstrous increases in carbon taxes. Such a course of action, he argued, would push skywards the consumer price of petrol and diesel. This, in turn, would make electric vehicles the only option for those foolish enough to want to drive a car.

Car dealers dismissed Ross’s plan to ban petrol and diesel cars as balm-pot stuff and advised the public that the effect of such a proclamation would be zilch. ‘Even people with hybrid cars aren’t charging them, they use petrol,’ they said.

Electoral fall-out
Ruth Foley of the Life Institute made an interesting point in the wake of the general election. Here’s what she told us:
‘In the final Dáil vote on legalising abortion in 2018, fifteen TDs voted against this Bill. Each and every one of them was re-elected in this general election. Several topped the poll and not one of them lost their seat.

‘However, for high profile TDs who had been most vocal in favour of legalising abortion, the story wasn’t too good. Those who lost their seats included Kate O’Connell, FG; Lisa Chambers, FF; Ruth Coppinger, PBP; Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, FG; Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, Ind; Senator Catherine Noone; Joan Burton and Jan O’Sullivan, Lab, Timmy Dooley, FF, and Noel Rock, FG.

The pro-life TDs who voted against the abortion law and successfully held their seats were Michael Collins, Ind, Cork South West; Michael Fitzmaurice, Ind, Roscommon-Leitrim; Peter Fitzpatrick, Ind, Louth; Noel Grealish, Ind, Galway West; Michael Healy Rae, Ind, Kerry and his brother, Danny Healy Rae, Ind, Kerry; Michael Lowry, Ind, Tipperary; Mattie McGrath, Ind, Tipperary; Carol Nolan, Ind, Laois-Offaly; Seán Canney, Ind, Galway East; Peadar Tóibín, Aontu, Meath West; Mary Butler, FF, Waterford; Eamon Ó Cuiv, FF Galway West; John McGuinness, FF, Carlow-Kilkenny, and Marc MacSharry, FF, Sligo-Leitrim.

Shadowy figures
Who are those ‘shadowy’ figures in Fianna Fáil who signed up Our Mickey to a feminist manifesto that committed election candidates to ‘key demands’? These referred to public childcare, ending violence against women and a rent freeze. According to a report in the, the people responsible were from Mickey’s own headquarters.

But it was the ‘rent freeze’ that shivered Mickey’s timbers. On learning that a possibility existed that such a course of action might be unconstitutional, he backed off pronto, leaving his poor ole ‘staff’ holding the baby!

Ah well, to err is human; and to blame it on someone else is even more human! It reminds us of the chap crushed by a pile of FF election manifestos. He had only his shelf to blame!

More of the same?
Like the ghost of Christmas past, Éamon Ó Cuív, occasionally emerges from the political shadows to which Mickey cruelly consigned him and warns the FF faithful of the skewed direction his grandad’s party is taking.

Last week, Young Dev alerted the rank and file to the likelihood that a confidence and supply agreement was not on the cards. Instead, a fully-formed Coalition, including Blueshirts and Greenies, was approaching with the force of an exhausted typhoon.

Ó Cuív was spot-on: Much to the surprise of the Plain People of Ireland who voted for ‘change,’ Mickey’s proposed metamorphosis of the political scene amounts to nothing more than a palsy-walsy alliance with Fine Gael, a party that some citizens see as the most reactionary outfit in Europe!

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