HOW long more can Mr Michael Martin survive as leader of Fianna Fáil when, once again, he’s gotten into another fine mess, Laurel and Hardy style?
Here’s the background: Last January Mickey firmly and publicly stated that sitting TDs would have to abandon any ambitions they might have of boarding the MEP gravy train. Brussels, he declared, was a non-runner for Dáil deputies who wanted to stock the larder before their inevitable retirement from politics. In the interest of the party, the duty of long serving TDs was to remain glued to Dáil Éireann at all costs.
It was an authoritative order that Northside TD, Billy Kelleher, didn’t exactly agree with, letting it be known that he kinda fancied the prospect of standing in the European elections and finishing off a sparkling political career by becoming an MEP.
Immediately, Mickey informed the Plain People of Ireland that Billy had a very significant role to play in Cork politics and, as a notable vote catcher, he was crucial to Fianna Fail’s plan to get a second seat in Cork North Central.
The message was clear and concise. Mickey was not going to permit the Cork North Central deputy to depart for financially warmer climes and, in the process, risk the loss of a key seat. Kelleher, however, was not for turning.
So, moving with the a alacrity of an electrocuted hare, Mickey announced that an unknown Wexford councillor, Malcolm Byrne, would contest (after due electoral process, of course) the Ireland South MEP constituency for Fianna Fáil.
Grinning clients of the Cork Arms asked if that meant Billy would have to remain in situ as a Tee Dee, forever defending the fort up in Knock-a, now that The Boss had scuttled his euro ambitions?
Far from it! On the basis that, if brains were dynamite, Fianna Fáil wouldn’t have enough to blow its nose, senior officials – the chaps – added the ‘Billy the Kid’ to the election ticket as another Fianna Fáil Ireland South candidate. The application was accepted and, amazingly, Mickey was unable to do anything about it.
The MEP selection process turned out to be a contest between Kelleher and the unknown Wexford councillor, Malcolm Byrne. Sensationally, Kelleher lost by eight votes!
The unknown Malcolm turned out to be Mickey’s and the party’s Chosen One for Brussels. Question is: did that mean the forces supporting the wannabee Taoiseach had put the recalcitrant Kelleher in his place forever?
Nah! Senior officials – the chums – quickly added Kelleher to the Euro election ticket on the basis that the size of the constituency required a south west presence in Brussels.
For the impartial onlooker, something not-nice had happened. A sort of Leeside mini-putsch directed at Our Mickey had taken place and, it seemed, the leader had no answer to the successful defiance of party instructions.
Where was Martin’s authority? Where was party discipline? And was Cork Fianna Fáil a credible organisation as it tried to give the impression that everything was hunky dory?
All of which made Martin’s declaration that the party expected to win three seats in the EU Parliament somewhat fanciful. Hope, it seems, springs eternal in Fianna Fáil’s battered breast!
No Sleeping Beauty
Holland’s Leiden University and the editors of a prestigious scientific journal were somewhat concerned at an allusion in an academic essay to ‘The Sleeping Beauty.’ The storyline of the children’s fairytale did not adhere to an ideologically correct concept of feminist sexuality.
According to the author of the essay, a leading expert in science, the problem for the university was the allusion that he made between the fairytale and renewed interest in his scientific work. It was, he said, like the prince awakening the sleeping beauty and his article, as it were, was being kissed awake.
The university suggested that terminology such as ‘hibernator’ for the sleeping princess and ‘awakener’ for the prince would have been more suitable descriptors.
In Britain, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ also caused problems and some wimmin’s rights groups have been advocating the removal of the fairytale from primary school curricula. They say that it is not proper sexual behaviour for a total stranger to kiss a woman in her sleep, even after 400 years!
The balm-pot campaign prompted the revival of silly schoolboy jokes, such as these: ‘if the prince really loved her, why didn’t he let her sleep?’ Or the one about the prince not having the ‘cop-on’ to know that a person should never sleep with someone crazier than oneself!
Or the comment that got the biggest laugh: ‘the fairy tale reinforces gender stereotypes by promoting inappropriate ideas about sexual consent.’
And, if the reader thinks that’s a sad example of political correctness gone mad, listen to this: Last month, officials at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire, announced they were introducing a ‘gender neutral interpretation’ of ships. The museum would stop calling ships and boats ‘she’ and ‘her’ because ‘activists’ had been vandalising signs that carried the offending words.
A perplexed official who did not want to be identified remarked: ‘Amazingly, no vessel has ever been recorded as possessing either set of genitalia. Surely that means something?’
Meanwhile, the American university Massachusetts Amherts (not as old or as prestigious as our own Uneee in Cork city, but getting there!) is having its problems with correct
According to an undergraduate currently visiting West Cork, the university has issued guidelines for first year students. ‘Hard femme’ is ‘an identity term for queer women.’ ‘Hard femmes,’ the student told us, ‘generally are feminists’
On the other hand, ‘boi’ describes ‘masculine-presenting queer black women whose gender presentation can be more fluid and/or androgynous than completely masculine.’
Or this: TERF – Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist – denotes ‘feminists who reject trans women because they were once boys.’ This view has been rejected by most queer and trans communities.
On the other hand, ‘homonormativity’ is where ‘members of the LGBTQ+ community subscribe to heteronormative approximations of intimate, romantic and sexual lives that are the product of white, neoliberal (capitalist), sexist, transmisogynistic and cissexist norms.’
Oh, and students are advised not to use the term ‘sex change.’ The proper term is ‘Gender Affirmation Surgery.’
Don’t worry if the above gobbledegook makes no sense. It won’t be long before cringe-inducing Indo-Sindo commentators stuff the trendy significance of it all down the nation’s collective throat.