First published in the Western People on Monday.
Well, no more. Sometimes, if a thing needs doing, you have to do it yourself. Personally, I am not at all interested in public life. There is nothing I enjoy better than sitting by the fire of an evening with an apple and a good book – a Blasket island biography in the original Gaelic, ideally, or else a calfskin-bound copy of the collected works of Fintan O’Toole.
However. Could I hear my country call and not respond? Could Cathleen Ni Houlihan, who stood alone against the perfidious oppressor for eight hundred years, raise a cry for help and have me not respond?
Not while there is life in my body. As such, I put down my educational volume, shoe myself in strong brogues, worthy of the canvass, and make my bid for power.
The first issue, as has so long been the issue over the many hundred years of blood and tears, is that of Irish sovereignty. Whereas for years the leash was held by the British, it is now held by the nation who gave the British their current royal family – the Germans. We may be out of the bailout but we are still ruled by the Reichstag.
As such, it will be my first duty as Taoiseach to fly to Berlin and face Angela Merkel with a few home truths. “Look here,” I’ll tell her. “It’s all very well you talking about Germany’s history of philosophers like Hegel, composers like Wagner, writers like Goethe and footballers like Karl-Heinz Rumminegge.
“We’re delighted that you have low inflation, excellent public services, trains that run on time and two genuine economic miracles achieved in the past sixty years, the recovery from the war and reunification, but what about us? What about us? We’re the Irish, and that means we drink porter and everyone in America thinks we’re charming. How about them onions?”
“Gott in Himmel,” she’ll say, “you could be onto something there. Is there anything at all I can do to make it up to you?”
“Well,” I’ll say, “you can let us write our own budgets for a start. And we’ll have that Mesut Ozil’s name changed to Maurice O’Zeal and he’ll be the midfield general for Ireland from here on in. Keano and that buck with the specs will need all the help they can get.”
I fully expect to be chaired all the way home from Berlin on the shoulders of delighted citizens after that bit of work.
However. My platform will not just be European-based, mostly because the nation couldn’t give a fiddle-dee-dee what goes on in Europe, even though they really ought to. Like the proud son of the heather I am, I will also address the great issues that concern rural Ireland – turf and pylons.
Turf-cutting was one of the great issues of the last election, and what to do about the giant pylons that belong to Eirgrid (no, I never heard of them until lately either) will be one of the great issues of the next election. In summary, the people are for the one and agin the other. How can this be solved?
Why man dear, it’s staring you right in the face. Eirgrid tell us that the wires for the pylons can’t be placed underground because the process of digging is too expensive. But anyone who has ever cut turf will know the actual act is more like digging a hole than cutting a cake.
As such, my government will be more than delighted to kill two birds with one stone. The wires will go underground, and the turf-cutters can cut as much turf at they like – along those zip-lines where we’ll be burying the wires. Don’t mind the fact that earth is a much better conductor of electricity than air, or that you can see broken wires on a pylon to repair them. Underground is what the people want and, under my government, what the people want the people will get.
I will respect this year’s democratic expression of the people to reform Seanad Éireann. Under my leadership, the panels will revert to their original function – the IFA and ICMSA will be on the Agricultural Panel while the public sector unions will make up the Administration Panel.
The teachers’ unions will be on the Cultural and Education Panel, whatever builders who aren’t behind bars will be on the Industrial and Commercial Panel, and Mr Brendan Ogle, our latter-day Big Jim Larkin, will be the sole member of the Labour Panel.
Then, instead of perpetually gassing, moaning, whining, squealing, squawking and likewise getting on my nerves ever time I sit down to watch the Nine O’Clock News, that pack of jokers will have to finally, for once and for always, do something constructive instead of just lowing at each other like cattle by the river.
Enda Kenny won the country last year with a five-point-plan. Reflecting the continuing era of austerity, I shall have a two-point plan – the two points of a pitchfork, and anyone who comes along wasting public money, lying to the sovereign people or building a nice feather nest for him, her or itself out of the public purse will get a root of that same pitchfork that they’ll remember for quite some time.
People of Mayo – we have nothing to lose but our grants, our freedom and possibly our lives! Rally to the flag, and vote early and often for the only real reform candidate in 2014!