Is the Irish political process deliberately structured to ensure we are governed no better than we deserve?
WITH Ireland not yet having recovered from the sight of our Taoiseach obsequiously brown-nosing, grovelling and fawning before Donald Trump (one of the greatest buffoons in American history), the question has to be asked if we really deserve leaders like Leo ‘Vlad’ Varadkar?
Or, as Bernard Shaw succinctly asked many years ago, is the Irish political process deliberately structured to ensure we are governed no better than we deserve?
Shaw may well have hit the nail on the head. Because, on the basis that our wretched destiny is to elect fatheads, it’s not too difficult to understand why Vlad behaved in such a toadyish manner in the White House.
Despite the vomit-inducing revelation that he had intervened in a Clare County Council planning application regarding Trump’s objection to a wind farm close to his Doonbeg resort, the Taoiseach’s meddling taught us a valuable lesson: it conformed to Shaw’s definition of what a skewed democracy can be.
What’s more, Varadkar had no reservations in telling the world that the US President had given him ‘credit’ for his intervention.
Here are the details. In his Capitol Hill speech, Our Taoiseach revealed that he had helped Trump resolve a planning permission issue for the Doonbeg Golf Links resort, and that a windfarm was never built after he, Vlad, personally rang Clare County Council on the President’s behalf.
Said Varadkar: ‘The President has very kindly given me credit for that, although I do think it (the planning permission) probably would have been refused anyway but I’m very happy to take credit for it if the President is going to offer it to me.’
Needless to say, in Ireland the doo-dahs immediately hit the fan and Varadkar found himself up to his oxters in a thunderstorm of serious public censure for allegedly influencing a planning procedure.
At that point Our Leader realised that he had made a dreadful mistake. So, on mature reflection, he later issued another statement in which he stressed that he had never, never, engaged in backchannel negotiations with Clare County Council. Never!
Linguists attributed the bruahaha to a contrasting usage of speech sounds between Varadkar and Trump in the White House. But it wasn’t until the following day that Vlad realised he had ‘mis-spoke’ when conferring with Trump – which we take to mean that Vlad’s words, thoughts and an entire set of mental faculties for retaining and recalling past experiences, got jumbled-up during the excitement of the visit!
In fact, as Vlad explained, his involvement with Trump’s planning application had been with Fáilte Ireland, the Tourism Development Authority, not Clare County Council’s planning officials.
So that’s all right, then! And, sure, look-it, why not give the man a break? A bit of dialectical confusion easily could happen to you or me if we were chatting to Mr Trump, never mind the Taoiseach of a great little country.
In view of the circumstances, let’s all agree that it’s easy for a very busy person, such as Vlad, to confuse Clare County Council with Fáilte Ireland. Don’t they both kinda sound the same and do the same sort of thing: tourism and stuff like that?
Of course, we are in no way suggesting that Vlad did something sneaky on behalf of his new chum. Certainly not! Mr Varadkar is a highly respected European statesman, a mature leader in national and international affairs and a disinterested promoter of the common good. We’re very proud of him.
What’s more, his wisdom, astuteness and integrity have won him worldwide esteem, even if he does wear a suit a size too small.
And there’s another reason for holding Vlad in high regard: the alacrity with which he endorsed the wise decision of another good friend, Mistress May, the British PM. As we all know, she told a bunch of Russian Embassy spies, whom she accused of poisoning an ex-spy (wink, wink), to shut up and get out of Great Britain.
Indeed, thanks to the close relations between our Vlad and the British Prime Minister, we were forewarned that the Russians had another deadly substance up their sleeve, and that they might be prepared to use it on this country.
Commonly known in the spy trade as ‘the snow,’ it is manufactured in the clouds over Siberia and then deployed in the UK to cause maximum disruption. Some of it can drift over here in the form of deadly hexagonal crystals of ice that form directly from water vapour freezing in air.
As well we know, a few weeks ago ‘the snow’ paralysed daily life and brought the country to a complete standstill; for which the Russians were entirely responsible.
Thankfully, after Mistress May informed our lad of another imminent threat to Irish life and limb, he threatened to feck out the Ruskies should they try to release any more snowflakes that had the capacity to float like Soviet parachutists down on us all!
The Commies got the message – which goes to show that Mr Vlad certainly knows what’s what and that he’s well able to let Mr Putin know who’s boss in this country! Oh yes!
So, we say: ‘Well done, Mr Vlad, you’ve got really good friends in high places; and please, please, take no notice of those nit-pickers who say you behaved like an idiot in the United States!’
Sad to relate, although Vlad’s political reputation is high in the charts, the same can’t be said of his comrade and close supporter, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Ó Máirtín, the kind politico who loyally keeps Vlad and the Blueshirts in power.
Celebrated for his lofty political character and outstanding acumen when he served under Don Berto and Brian ‘Biffo’ Cowen as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Enterprise, Trade, Employment, Health, Children and Education, his later political career has been a damp squib. Crucially, he’s failed to energise his party and make it a political force to be reckoned with.
Political analysts argue that, among the plain people of Ireland it’s the nightmarish memory of the FF government gang (Mícheál was a prominent member) and its capacity to destroy the country which is now doing our hero in. Consequently for him to try to breathe energy, pep, sparkle and high spirits into a still discredited party is a lost cause. He’s the wrong person for the job.
But the shock of his career was the sight of 21 Fianna Fáil TDs voting against the Bill facilitating an abortion referendum. And this happened despite Ó Máirtín having painstakingly sniffed the way the trendy wind was blowing, and coming to the conclusion that the correct political route was the pro-abortion one.
In the circumstances, I offer congrats to local FF Teachta Dála, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, who stuck to her guns and voted against the Bill. Well done!