Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Bleating and blather

There must have been much mirth in the Fianna Fail ranks last Friday night when Paul Gogarty TD decided to use his Dail speaking privileges to plug the campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to Number One in the …

Mon, Dec 14, 2009, 10:30


There must have been much mirth in the Fianna Fail ranks last Friday night when Paul Gogarty TD decided to use his Dail speaking privileges to plug the campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to Number One in the Christmas charts. What better than a grown man yelling “fuck you” at another grown man to take attention away from a tough, uncompromising budget? What better than a Green Party TD attempting to speak out of both sides of his mouth (and failing) to make people forget about cuts in social welfare payments and public sector pay? To be sure, that petulant, childish and immature performance meant no-one would wonder why such august government figures as Bertie Ahern (the man who supervised this mess we find ourselves in) and John O’Donoghue (ex-Ceann Comhairle) didn’t even bother to turn up to vote. Or ask if the proposed domicile tax was yet another case of government optics?

Naturally, the whole Gogarty storm-in-a-teacup quickly became a massive hit on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. While other countries would take to the streets to protest against a budget like this, we either call Joe Duffy or tweet about it. Sad, really. Here’s a budget which attacks unemployed youngsters, other social welfare recepients and public sector employees (many of whom are providing vital frontline services) and it’s all chortling and guffaws at a Green Party TD losing the rag.

Worse, Gogarty’s immaturity disguises the remarkable nonsense he was saying before he went postal. Here is a government party representative trying to worm his way out of standing up and being counted. Some of the belly-aching from him is just pathethic – “yes, it is hard for me, and I would hope for any other God-respecting humanist republican – you name it – to support measures that hurt the vulnerable. Of course, it is hard for me. It is hard for me to gratuitously insult many of my constituents who are public sector employees and tell them: “Listen, lads. It is necessary. I feel your pain, but it is necessary”.”

Such baloney goes on for another 1,141 words as Gogarty tries to distance himself from the measures which he will later vote for. In fact, there’s never any dount that he will actually take heed of what he is saying and vote against this budget. There’s no chance that he will actually take the side of his constituents and ask why his party were so quick to bail out the banks. Instead, he withers on about being proud to be Irish, rebel bands and everyone “pissed” out of their heads (may be a reference to the Budget reduction in excise duties on alcoholic drink, just what a heavy-drinking, depressed nation needs right now). He drones on and on and on like a broken record. Look, someone had to read his speech.

While Gogarty’s pathetic attack on a fellow TD was a welcome relief in some ways to the rubbish he was spewing, it unfortunately became the story and meant his previous remarks were largely unscrutinised. In truth, he knows that he and his colleagues in the Green Party have become mere Dail fodder for the senior party in government. They can squirm away like worms on the end of angling rods all they like, pointing to minor policy changes which look out for the mink or sending in wannabe Malcolm Tuckers in Birkenstocks at Green Party HQ to do some spinning, but they’re just there to keep the numbers straight. That, more than any heckles or snarky remarks, is what Gogarty is vexed about. Just a pity he didn’t address his “fuck you” missile to his own party or their bedfellows in government.

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