AS was right and proper, our perceptive and clued-in politicos, all exhibiting the gift of great political wisdom, recently took it upon themselves to inform the Plain People of Ireland of some earth-shattering occurrences.
Top of the list was the concern expressed by Fine Gael MEP, Seán Kelly, who declared to all and sundry that he was ‘worried.’
Kelly is a distinguished and acclaimed member of the European Parliament for Ireland South and even won the Euro-Parliament award of ‘MEP of the Year for Digital Agenda’ (the wha … ?).
But while commenting on the outcome of the FG convention to select contestants for the Euro-elections, he sounded as edgy as a cat on a hot tin roof. Why? Well, possibly because his running mate, Cork’s Deirdre Clune, secured about one-third more delegate votes than he did. And that was serious stuff!
So, in somewhat convoluted FG-speak, he told the meeja that he wouldn’t say he wasn’t worried about the development (whatever it was!) but, yes, he was nevertheless perturbed about it (Clune getting more delegate votes than he did!).
‘I’m the only person from Kerry ever to be elected. People on the periphery of any boundary are going to find it more difficult than people in the centre,’ he moaned.
And that was it in a nutshell. Clune is in the ‘centre’ – Cork – while Kelly is obliged to operate from the ‘periphery’ – Kerry. (‘Ah, Jasus,’ we cry in sympathy and sorrow for his misfortune, ‘that’s awful. Pass the onion, Dympna!’)
Onion aside, the eminent member of the Euro-Parliament whose fate is to live ‘on the periphery’ was quite correct to inform us of the odds that could endanger his re-election chances; and we understand the reason for his perturbations (Wretched things, those perturbations!)
Nonetheless, we are sure Mr Kelly will redouble his efforts to act on behalf of his constituents, once reminded that his bailiwick does not only consist of Kerry but also Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Ennis, Kilkenny, etc where the denizens love to root for him.
Indeed, typical EU-parliament issues that continue to require collaborative participation from the Fine Gael MEP-squad include safe pesticides, mobile phone costs, and toys that don’t strangle the childer. But also very important are the sewage problems in West Cork and the horrors of Castletownbere where raw sewage is released directly into the sea.
And, there are other knotty issues to tackle: human rights, climate change and, er, Brexit which, as everyone knows, threatens the very future of mankind. Really important things!
Question is, has Kelly anything to report on those matters?
Deirdre Clune, to her credit, possesses a more sharply-defined MEP persona than Seán Kelly, largely because of the efforts she put into getting North American flights for Cork Airport, only to see her efforts sabotaged.
But, at least, she tried and, on that basis, she deserves a second shot at Brussels.
To help the ‘periphery’ man on his way, here’s a Bobby Bare song (slightly adapted ) that might invigorate his re-election campaign and win a few votes beyond the ‘periphery’ – for instance, in Ballinascarthy, Clonakilty and other music-loving areas of West Cork.
The virtues lauded in the song – camaraderie and sport – are similar to those noble qualities that lie behind the Kingdom’s county bounds. So, here goes:
‘Dropkick me Jesus through the Euro-goalposts of life
And over end neither left nor the right
Straight through the Euro-heart of them righteous uprights
Dropkick me Jesus through the Euro-goalposts of life!’
No meat – only ham
And then there was the statement from Our Leader, Vlad the Impaler, that he was an ‘omnivore’! The matter arose when angry beef farmers in Cork accused him of failing to help their ailing industry on the grounds that he was a vegan.
Question is, who really has the low-down on the Taoiseach’s eating habits? Is he a omnivore a carnivore, a herbivore, a vegetarian or, as the farmers claim, a vegan?
The question is relevant because on his way into Cork’s City Hall he was met with a peculiar form of Leeside heckling: ‘Where’s the beef, ya vegan?’ the protesters roared.
Well, we knew that a vegan is a person who consumes no food that comes from animals, such as meat, eggs or dairy products (the best definition of a vegan is a vegetarian on steroids).
But we had to look up the meaning of the word ‘omnivore’, although certain that the word had nothing to do with the wearing of those tight suits of the type recently exhibited in the US by members of the Irish government.
So, off with us to purloin our esteemed editor’s much thumbed copy of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species,’ whose theory of evolution is required reading for anyone who comments on Ireland’s politicos.
We discovered that an omnivore was a feeder that consumes both animal and vegetable substances. Even more interesting was the fact that some are scavengers who eat dead matter.
Which, of course, in no way implies that Varadkar might be a sort of cannibal although the description of being a political omnivore is applicable in the sense that he’s someone who collects things discarded by others, namely votes.
At the same time he appeals to both the artichoke-chomping voters (the vegans) and the flesh-eating Blueshirts (his fellow omnivores), thus keeping most sides of the FG political equation happy.
Which reminds us of this old chestnut: ‘The best-selling cookery book entitled “Cheap and Easy Vegan Meals” is perfect for my girlfriend, because not only is she vegan…..”
Hammer and tickle
And the biggest political joke of recent times? Mickey Martin’s one about Sinn Féin being ‘soft on Russia.’
Having absolutely nothing of a humorous nature to say about the right-wing government that Mickey’s crowd amazingly keeps in power, the ‘soft on Russia’ joke fell very much flat as nobody had a clue as to what he was talking about.
So too did the ‘folly-up’ side-splitter: Sinn Féin, he said, ‘had not adequately criticised Russian efforts to undermine the European Union.’
Worse still, the party was ‘fermenting’ anti-EU sentiment (surely he meant ‘fomenting’?) – now that was funny!
Could it be that Mickey and the lads are keeping so sharp an eye on the imaginary Russification of Sinn Féin that they’ve utterly lost the plot and everything has become a bad joke?