As sure as the swallows migrate to warmer climates during the winter, and as easter and christmas come around once a year. It is that time of year at the moment that comes around once a year also, those last two weeks of November and first week in December which are known as kite flying season.
This long and
noble bullshit tradition was started by Fianna Fáil in the 80’s and has been continued by subsequent governments since.
Kite flying season, are those 3 weeks leading up to the Irish Government budget. Different stories are “officially” leaked, the media will report cuts to funding are being made in health for men that need treatment for being over sexed or women with shopping addictions and ear plugs for parents with noisy children.
Junior Minister’s and backbench TD’s are usually hauled out of their departments to appear on the Last Word with Matt Cooper or RTE’s Drive time to defend the leaked stories.
Sometimes they get the worst gig of all and have to appear on Tv3’s, The Vincent Browne show, where they face a barracking by far lefties with rudimentary knowledge of finance. The Peoples front of Judea leader, Richard Boyd Parrot can usually being seen fumbling under the desk with an abacus during these shows.
Usually said junior minister or backbench will get harangued and have faces made at him or her by Vincent himself. Vincent’s various faces appear to be surprised, bewildered, angry and sometimes he just looks constipated or has some foul and painful disease that causes his face to contort into something grotesque.
The death-blow is dealt by the shouts of Vincent “show him the clip”. Which is reminiscent of calls to “bring out the gimp” in the film Pulp Fiction, This is where the politician in question is shown a previous utterance of theirs the last time they appeared on the show, which sometimes contradicts what they just said. There is something of the christians being fed to lions about the Vincent Browne show when watching these TD’s.
Someone should really remind Vincent about that time he ran up and down Dublin like a scalded cat in a previous incarnation seeking election for Fine Gael.
This is also the worst time of the year for hard pressed commuters around the country. Dublin’s M50 motorway resembles something like Dante’s ninth circle of hell during this period. Not because of the Christmas commuter traffic. It is because they have to listen to the morning breakfast shows that assure us that a budgetary apocalypse is upon us. People sit in their cars listening grimly as Christmas is cancelled and little Tommy is going to have only seventeen presents this year instead of the usual twenty, all the while enduring the commuting hell that is the M50 and its exits.
The radio station to avoid during kite flying season is Newstalk Breakfast with Norah Casey and Chris Donoghue. It is like listening to the Sunday Independent. Such is the doom laden excitement of Chris Donoghue, the more doom that is being predicated the more turned on he sounds. He will usually start a segment by broadcasting “and now some more bad news” and by the end of the segment he will sound like he has been ravaged by a harem of doom laden maidens. He sounds like a man who lives for doom. Doom is his mistress and nothing will ever turn him on, like her.
So in the next two weeks we will see numerous kites flown. Stories will be leaked and the Government will wait and see what the reaction is, if it don’t look like it is going to ruffle some feathers, then it is on the table like everything else to be cut.
There is more than an element of whistling past the graveyard when it comes to this time of year for Governments. They know if they can get over the budget without it blowing up in their faces then they are safe till the next minor crisis comes along. Which in this Governments case will be legislating for abortion.
The trick for Minister’s and the backbenchers who fly these kites ? Don’t get electrocuted…