LOOK IT, why not let Mickey D serve another seven years as President of All He Surveys? He’s doing no harm. He oozes honesty and integrity and, we’ve been told, he is fluent in at least one language. What’s more, himself and the Missus make an engaging pair representing Éire abroad and, most importantly, when people wave at him they use all their fingers!
Indeed, President Mick was well able to dismiss Blueshirt carping at his funeral tribute to Fidel Castro, describing the criticism as ‘both unsustainable and unwarranted.’ So why not let him have another stab at the job?
Because just sprung from the traps is the weirdest bunch of ‘wannabees’ this country has ever seen, all indecorously selling their wares as if they were the greatest thing since sliced pan.
For the first time ever, the presidential hopefuls are not composed of eminent lawyers, distinguished academics, teachers, medics, world-renowned journalists, or politicos who genuinely believed their activities had changed for the better the lives of the people of Ireland.
The prospect we’re facing is that our presidential candidates are famous for just one thing: for being famous! In other words, they are ‘celebrities’ whose media persona was artificially created on trashy TV shows such as the Dragon’s Den, otherwise known as the den of dashed hopes.
Or, to put matters another way, they came to public attention through appearances on TV shows of such unmitigated drivel that the payment of a TV licence by rational human beings became ethically questionable.
These media-savvy aspirants – and they’re all male – boast of the piles of cash they’ve made as successful entrepreneurs. They then go on to lambast us, the public, with twaddle about the need for a president to have ‘a fresh approach.’ Other banalities that they throw about include the following: ‘it is my intention to use the soft power exemplified by Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese in their work with the disenfranchised and in the North’ – meaningless, worn-out clichés and platitudes of cloying condescension.
Or this horror: ‘If I am voted President, it is my intention to dream to make a difference by harnessing the strength of Ireland’s diaspora.’ Another stated: ‘I’m standing here because I want to lead the country into a better way of life.’
Interestingly, the employment of such vomit-inducing slogans is not confined to the Dragon’s Den contingent. Another chap believes he should get the job on the basis that he’d be the first Irish black president – which, one could argue, has shades of reverse racism!
And let’s not forget the onetime Indo/Sindo reporter who threw her hat in the ring, God bless her, because she believed Ireland was ‘broken’ and she ‘despaired for her country and what it had become.’
A musician wants to be president in the expectation he’ll have the power to sack ‘badly-performing’ ministers, while a farmer said he was ‘fed up with well-heeled’ people continually securing the top job – a comment that delightfully ignored the fact that the farming class probably is the best equipped in the country and has the most powerful implement of all: money.
But the lady who takes the biscuit, and hopefully wins an electoral majority, is the Marilyn Monroe impersonator. She declared herself to be very much pro-life and ‘sick of all politicians because they do nothing and are paid too much.’
She’s the one to watch; and don’t forget her shoes, if for no other reason than for what the real Marilyn once famously said: ‘Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’!
FG’s blind eye
And now for something different: Human Rights Watch has condemned the abysmal conditions in migrant detention centres in Hungary. It said: ‘The detainees are held in filthy, overcrowded conditions, hungry and lacking medical care.’
The concentration camp circumstances and the systematic abuse of refugees, carried out with the connivance of the Viktor Orbán’s quasi-fascist government, which is led by the Fidesz Party, have shocked the world. In August, the Hungarian government stated there was nothing in law that obliges authorities to provide food to people in the ‘aliens policing procedure in the transit zone’ and it effectively criminalised anyone who helped asylum seekers and refugees.
Orbán referred to immigration as ‘poison,’ making it a criminal offence, punishable by up to a year in jail if people tried to provide services, advice or support to migrants and asylum seekers.
The Fidesz Party is Fine Gael’s sister party in in the European Parliament and, although Hungary’s treatment of refugees has been compared to the tactics employed by Nazi Germany against the Jews, our home-grown Blueshirts fail to criticise the actions of the Hungarians. Nor have Fine Gael MEPs Deirdre Clune, Brian Hayes, Seán Kelly and Mairead McGuinness given any indication that they are unhappy at remaining within the grouping to which Fidesz belongs.
Orbán has had legislation passed that curtails the freedom of the press and he intends to erect a razor sharp anti-migrant fence. The re-reintroduction of the death penalty also is on his political agenda – even though it would be an action in contravention of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
And, as far as the FG lads and lassies that represent us in Europe are concerned: a deathly silence!
Somewhat high-spirited political activity broke out on the north side of Cork city when Deputy Dara Murphy announced he would not be standing in the next general election. Last year, with the arrival of Vlad as leader, the dumping of Dara took place which, in poetic terms, was a dastardly deed that depressed dear Dara. (That’s terrible. You’re fired! – Ed)
Last year Murphy claimed that Vlad didn’t want him any more as a Mini-Minister for European Affairs because he had backed the wrong horse in the Taoiseach stakes. The Impaler, he grumbled to anyone who would listen, only looked after those who supported him – and he didn’t include Dara Murphy.
In like flint went the Labour’s Kathleen Lynch who announced with brisk and cheerful readiness that she wanted back her old seat (fat chance of that!). Legal eagles Julie O’ Leary and Colm Burke, who represent the Blueshirts, said they too were targeting Murphy’s seat (Oddly enough, one of them on a good day might stand a chance).
Meanwhile, all agog at the development is Fianna Fáil’s Ken O’Flynn, son of retired TD Noel ‘Clutch and Brake’ O’Flynn. He too is likely to be a contender.
So, exciting times ahead when we find out (generally to our cost) what the wannabee politicos stand for, and the politicos find out what the Cork people will fall for! Which is, of course, the name of the game.