A is for An Taoiseach , Our Glorious leader Inda Kenny. Mayo Man, Cyclist, Leader of Fine Gael and our little Island. Take your pick of which is his forte. Seeing as I am biased he has not done too bad a job at all. Not the most inspiring to some , but he sure as hell wont embarrass us like Cowen did. Although when in the company of Angela Merkel he does appear to be fresh meat to her.
B is for Brian Cowen, The nasally congested Iar-Taoiseach who was the unluckiest man in the history of Irish politics or the most incompetent , depending on who you speak to. Either way his place in the Annals of Irish History is assured as Dairymaid Mac Murchada (the guy that invited The Normans over you Philistines). Rumour has it he regularly checks above his head for anvils such is his belief one is about to drop on him any minute.
C is for Clare Daly , The Belle of the ULA . No, they are not a Unionist terror group. It’s the grand left alliance of Socialists , Peoples front of Judea and Judean Peoples front. Apart from being a firebrand Socialist Deputy Daly has been in the news most recently for her soirées with Mick Wallace . One of the stronger media performers for the people’s front of Judea.
D is for Dana , No not the airline or the Eurovision winning transsexual , but our bible thumping , constitution waving Presidential candidate . Apart from claiming the forces of evil attempted to assassinate her , providing much mirth for political anorak’s. She had an iconic breakdown during one of the live debates which her political career will always be remembered for.
E is for Eamon Gilmore , As soon as the Gilmore for Taoiseach posters went up , the media turned their beady eye on Labour and savaged them. The more Gilmore insisted he could be Taoiseach the more he became ridiculed. Hopefully the bright spark that came up with that idea has been sent to Gulag in Siberia ….More likely though that person is probably an advisor to someone.
F is for Fianna Fail , Hell hath no fury than a voting public with a lighter wallet , scarcity of jobs , children emigrating on a level not seen since the 1840s and an easily identifiable target of their ire. Wiped out in Dublin apart from Lenihan (r.i.p) . It’s about time the leadership listened to the grass-roots again which Bertie so deftly sidelined.
G is for Gerry Adams , The Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead . Now a TD for Louth. Baron Adams has been eclipsed by younger stronger media performers within his own party without the whiff of sulphur. Constantly being slapped down by Enda in the Dail must grate. His cause not helped that he sounds like a cow mooing when he speaks and revelations he claimed €1 million in expenses for a seat he never took.
H is for Hustings, Nothing must fill TV producers hearts with glee than the sight of some hapless politician get in the neck from a random punter , who insists on getting their point across. Poor Mehole Martin got a terrible savaging from an irate OAP. Our TV screens were filled this year of politicians getting savaged on the electoral hustings.
I is for Independents, GE11 was certainly the year of the Independents in the Dáil. This motley crew have by and large been more impressive than previous classes. Unfortunately largely irrelevant due to the size of the coalition majority. Stephen Donnelly being by a Dáil mile the most impressive of the bunch.
J is for Jail time, GE11 saw a number of people who spent time in Jail elected to the Dáil. Joe Higgins and Clare Daly spent time in jail in relation to bin charges. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan spent time in jail for non-payment of fines in relation to the litter act. Gerry Adams and Dessie Ellis spent time in prison for membership of the Provo’s .
K is Kathryn Reilly, The youngest member of the Houses of the Oireachtas at just 22 years of age. She was elected to the Industry and Commerce panel. Senator Reilly has a long career ahead of her in Irish Politics.
L is for Live, Yes the Houses of the Oireachtas are live whenever sitting. This has been the case for a while but this year more than ever it appears people are watching. You can tune in to see your local TD or Senator pick their noses , scratching their backsides or having a quick power nap.
M is for MeHole Martin, Leader of whats left of the opposition and Fianna Fail. He is faced with the enormous task of rebuilding a party that has become a byword for all that s wrong in Ireland. He will do well to heed grassroots input. Maybe Enda can give him a few tips. For Joe voter though he is also synonymous with the “Old” Fianna Fail. The Parliamentary Party are probably going to have to jettison him before any real revival can begin.
N is for Norris, His campaign torn apart by his classical greek comment. Then his hokey pokey will he or wont he run left the voters feeling like they were partaking in the Norris soap opera. His shouty demeanor didn’t endear him to many either. Finally sunk by his letter writing activities on behalf of an ex-boyfriend imprisoned for having sex with a 15-year-old boy. His reputation battered beyond repair.
O is for Oireachtas report, once the late night TV show of choice for insomniacs , political loons and other types of unsavory characters , it is now just one more political program for people to give out about on twitter…… and it’s still shit…
P is for Parliamentary assistants, please take note ye are PA’s on behalf of the parish pump. Leinster House is not the West Wing and ye are neither Toby , Leo or CJ . Some of the current crop are truly self-righteous this year.
Q is for Queen, The political highlight for many this year. Lizzie and Mary patching things up on behalf of our respective countries with great pomp and ceremony. So smitten were the people of Cork with Lizzie we briefly considered rejoining the UK and Lizzie promised to buy an overpriced holiday home in West Cork.
R is for Recession, Yup we are smack bang in the middle of one. Famine ships are once again sailing from Cobh . TD’s suits are looking a little more disheveled. People have the fork in the sugar bowl when you call to the house for a cup of tea. The kids need shoe’s ….. and the black market is booming , anything can be bought and sold… a kidney , smokes , booze and if you need one probably a soul…
S is for Sean Gallagher, Former Fianna Fail man and Presidential hopeful is another who’s reputation took a battering. His business practices called into account which he weathered . It was his membership of Fianna Fail though that was his undoing and a subsequent tweet purported to be from an official Sinn Fein twitter account that forced his hand live on air. Moral of Presidential elections is don’t bother running unless your happy with your dirty laundry being aired and picked over in a forensic manner.
T is for Twitter , All of our presidential candidates had a twitter account , a good chunk of our TD’s now have a twitter account that they use to varying degrees of success and hilarity. From Lenihan claiming he was defamed following an argument over a tweet from former Senator Dan Boyle. Then of course there was the media eccentric Paul Gogarty tweeting “Expect collective decision soon. Then its up to Taoiseach to see sense or go” Full marks to the Green Party for practically bringing down the Government by tweeting. Fine Gael Head Quarters get full marks for the most embarrassing use of twitter with their Twolicy .
U is for Unparliamentary attire, much mirth was made this year of Mick Wallace’s trademark pink clothing, Richard Boyd Parrot’s and Luke Ming Flanagan’s jeans and t-shirt off for a game of Darts down the pub attire. Eventually a dress code was issued and Sinn Fein had to put away the balaclava’s.
V is for voting, 70% of the population turned out for GE11, which dropped back to 56% for the Presidential election and both referendums. Which would seem to suggest that people are not overly bothered with who they have in the Park. President of Ireland is a great title for job that essentially requires someone to shake hands, kiss babies give hugs and not to try to make a baboons arse of themselves while representing us abroad.
W is for Women, Gender Quotas is on every academics lips, we don’t have enough apparently . I agree , there seems to be a theory though based on some obscure scientific data that suggests we would not be in a recession if Leinster house was a penis free zone. So the only way forward is gender quotas to prove female politicians can be as equally stupid when it comes to policy. On a more serious note there is not gender equality in Irish politics and it would seem this Government is intent on rectifying that at least.
X is for X on the ballot paper, The voting public gave a big X to the referendum on enquiries to the Oireachtas . Minister Shatter came across as arrogant. People were scared witless at the thoughts of giving power to allow Michael Healy Rae rummage around your underwear drawer , well that’s what the no side implied. Badly worded and rushed it deserved to be voted down. Lets see the Government come back with something better and have a more sensible debate.
Y is for YouTube, Yup the incorrigible YouTube is where it is at , where Joe Voter and his iPhone are storing politicians ham-fisted efforts at tackling Vincent Browne , Botched speeches and of course numerous videos of Brian Cowen singing.
Z is for Zappone, Senator Zappone was nominated by An Taoiseach to the Senate. An impressive CV, Senator Zappone is a member of Irish Human Rights Commission former CEO of the Irish Women’s Council and first open Lesbian member of the Oireachtas . Unfortunately unless effective reform of Seanad her talents will be largely irrelevant there.
So ends 2011 a memorable year for politics in Ireland I could have added numerous others to the list the IMF, any number of politicians that lost their seats.
The sad passing of Brian Lenihan is another that immediately comes to mind. But I am a firm believer of De mortuis nil nisi bonum and he was a man with many admirable qualities namely is bravery in the face of the most dire adversity in all aspects of his life.
2011 will undoubtedly will be remembered as the year of political and financial upheaval on an unprecedented level. Reeling in the years will have to do a whole box set on 2011 alone…….
As always feel free to leave to comment or heckle…..