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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 28, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

    Hungry Kenny Raises the Roof

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Shattered must be the only way to describe the feelings of England and Dubs supporters today, after the crushing defeats they suffered at the hands of Germany and Meath respectively.

    What’s this got to do with politics? Well, I’m sorry, but everything is political and politics isn’t confined to political parties and their competitive interaction.

    One imagines the Richard Bruton wing of Fine Gael understands how the England and Dubs supporters feel. They looked to have a better chance than either the soccer or Gaelic football teams in question.

    But they underestimated the Man from Mayo. Beneath that calm and courteous exterior there is a lot of passion. He won that vote because he wanted to keep the leadership more than Richard wanted to take it away from him.

    I saw some more of that passion at a gig in Carlow during the last week. Kenny was addressing a selection convention for the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency and yours truly was assigned to report on it.

    Fine Gael has only one out of five seats there and is running three candidates in the general election – Phil Hogan TD, Sen John Paul Phelan and Cllr Pat Deering.

    Kenny had quite a good script about the internal advice given to the Government by the Department of Finance in relation to the economic crisis. It was a Richard-type speech and would have been discussed next day on the airwaves, culminating perhaps in a Prime Time appearance for the FG leader.

    But no, Kenny tossed it aside and launched into a lengthy oration aimed at the party grassroots. The underlying theme was: Get your finger out and win at least two seats next time, I mean, just look at us in Mayo where we have three out of five.

    Kenny lifted the roof off. It wasn’t a speech for the annals. Ph. D. candidates will get very little out of it. It was pure gut-politics. But it was about power, the attainment of same.

    At the end of the day it’s a numbers game. If the numbers are right, Fine Gael will get into government next time and even be the majority party. It’s probably safe to assume that they will have more seats than Labour, given the existing balance of forces, but a key question could be: how much bigger than Labour they are when the votes have all been counted.

    That could make the difference between a “real” Fine Gael-led government and a compromise administration where Labour’s priorities have more or less equal weight.

    I wish the late John Healy could have been alive for the Fine Gael heave. He would have made great play of the contrast between the “snipe-grass” of Mayo and “lush plains of Royal Meath”. A gross over-simplification of course, but it would have made entertaining reading.

    Anyway, as if you didn’t know, Enda Kenny is hungry – real hungry. So, too, is Eamon Gilmore. It must be a West of Ireland thing.

    • Steve K says:

      Who cares if Kenny is hungry? He should have a Weetabix, and let a politician with a dedication to public service as opposed to politics by the numbers lead his party into the next election. That’s if such a politician exists in Fine Gael, or Fianna Fail.

    • Kynos says:

      I think the football authorities need get their heads out of their wherevers and get with the programme. Microchips in balls and video evidence and suchlike. Football is now a game of such consequence it has geopolitical strategic impact. For example, how many French tourists will not be coming to Ireland this year and next and for the next four even, and same same with irish tourists going to France, because of the enmity sparked off by a sporting encounter. Of course the numbers are incalculable, but I’ll hazard significant and material nonetheless.

    • Liam says:

      could the impossible happen and we get a FF FG government in the event that Labour get ahead of FG? If the PS sector and welfare classes want to vote in a party that will send us down the route of Greece thats fine, but a significant number of working people will be voting on the basis of anything but Labout or SF and hence FF and FG voters will be voting with the same idea in mind. If the Conservatives and Liberals can form a gov. in the UK then FF and FG can. Their history is of no concern to me any no combination of parties fills me with any particuar hope but the Idea of a labour led government will mean that the tough decisions will not be made and it will be the worst outcome to the extent that it matters.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Liam,

      Cast your mind back to when we were last in Government from 1992 to 1997 and tell me what Labour policies that were implemented that you particularly objected to?

    • Liam says:

      Joanna, I was out of the country at the time but for example Labour didn’t cancel the property tax breaks including hotels etc. The introduction of universal free third level was a mistake when the money could have been better spent on expanding medical schools (which would have helped the Health Service). The middle class savings went straight into property and now the Irish university system is looking very shaky with high drop out rates even in quality institutions like DCU.
      The Irish economy was very different back then but I dont believe the Labour party are fiscal conservatives so even if Labour had been in power after 97 they would have taken advantage of the property boom like the other parties did. Maybe we would have had more new schools over decentralisation but in the bigger scheme of things we would have had an expansionary public service and an erosion of competiveness compared to the setup in the early 90′s.
      My worry is what a Labour led government would do going forward, I’m assuming we are going to have a double dip recession which may be worse then the first, what will Labour do? raise taxes and borrow more based on some convenient or misrepresented Keynesian type arguments? I find it difficult to believe that Labour would keep the size of government consistant with the underlying productive side of the economy, Labour is going to be more prone to union and PS demands which are stuck on stupid as far as I am concerned. Europe does not owe us a living and Labour will need to figure out how to bring us back to where we were in the early 90′s when Ireland was a good place to invest in.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Nor has a single Labour elected rep be they TD, Senator, Councillor or MEP published and provided actual receipts for the expenses they claim (just because you don’t ‘have’ to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide them Joanna), nor is Labour open about how it is funded and by whom, nor has Labour made a commitment that the very first piece of legislation which will be ready and waiting to be passed on the very first day of a new government is the one to extend the FOI to every single thing the government is involved in without exception – just like they do in Sweden.

      We saw how useless Labour were by the vote against a stag hunting ban – people in 2010 who think it is normal to get a thrill out of murdering an animal for ‘sport’ are sick in the head. I suppose Labour would like to develop Ireland’s seal population so we can start a tourist trade of people coming to literally beat a seal to death like they do in Canada. Why not bring back bear baiting and all the rest of it as they were ‘normal’ once and weren’t Magdalene Laundries and the like ‘normal’ too?

      We all get the rush of galloping over fences and the social aspect etc but the vehemence of those who defend the murdering of a terrified animal at the time of the process is what indicates you don’t need to dig too deep to see the old backward Ireland hasn’t gone away.

      So Joanna, while we all know Fianna Fáil is the problem, there’s little evidence Fine Gael or Labour offer the solution yet they appear to be the only alternative people will have to pick and as I say above Labour can’t even be open enough to provide receipts for expenses – what hope is there of Labour bringing in a transparent political system when it does return to office – it’ll be jobs for the boys again like in 1992.

    • Liam says:

      Just to add, I think it would be more useful to look at the 1980′s and ask , did Labour ever baulk or kick the can down the road when it came to making fiscally difficult decisions? as I think the answer is yes, what’s changed now in the context that now is a more difficult time for an Irish government than the worst the 80′s ever had to offer?

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Liam,

      Building of hotels that now remain vacant was not a problem until recent years. Labour have not been in Government since 1997.

      On the fees issue – at the same time that we abolished third-level fees, we abolished the use of tax covenants that were being used by those with the resources to those tax covenants to write off the cost of third level tuition fees and Labour saved the state up to €50 million a year in the process. I disagree with you that an alternative would have been to increase places in Medicine. Places in college courses have increased hugely in recent years to take increased numbers going to college and there is no reason why places in Medicine could not have been increased too. Perhaps this is something Labour should have dealt with at the time. Personally I think Medicine should increasingly be something studied at postgraduate level and more people should go into medicine after having taken science and other undergraduate courses. That would get rid of the pressure to achieve 600 points in the Leaving Certificate for all who wish to be doctors. The University of Limerick has initiated this type of postgraduate course in recent years and I think it was a good idea, similar to how people can go into medicine in America and to the scenic route long available to those that go the scenic route into the legal professions.

      Other than that you don’t seem to have much to ground your fear of Labour. We left Government with the legacy of the first budget surplus in the history of the state, If anything our caution about spending meant that we lost the election (remember the headline ‘It’s payback time’ premised on our caution to buy the election with that surplus).

      Desmond,

      Labour introduced the Freedom of Information legislation that made expenses accessible in the first place to journalists and private individuals. The publishing of expenses in newspapers in turn led ultimately, because of the controversy engendered, to the new system of expenses, whereby the overall budget for expenses has been reduced and there is much more accountability and transparency. Under the new system of expenses TDs’ and Senators’ expenses are published online and if a TD or Senator opts for unvouched expenses the amount they can claim is reduced by several thousand euro. Numerous allowances previously available to those with positions of responsibility on committees have been reduced or cut, and rightly so.

    • Liam says:

      Joanna
      I accept that in the normal run of things, Labour would not try to turn Ireland into a people’s republic a la Atlas Shrugged but I do not think quoting 92-97 is relevant. It’s a typical and flawed argument that politicians use that, if things work out in a benign global environment, they were responsible and if they go south globally it’s not their fault. All Labour and FG had to do from 92-97 was carry on from where the previous administration left off, the private economy was growing faster and voila! balanced budgets, Labour was not going to have a bad term in office. I need a history lesson on the 80’s but I believe Labour was wanting when it came to taking tough fiscal decisions when it mattered like it would face going forward? My fear is that if Labour do very well it will be a mandate to leave the PS and government spending alone and to heap the pain on private sector workers in the form of higher taxes and interest rates.
      Although I am unlikely to vote Labour under any circumstances I believe you will need to demonstrate that working and middle class families will not have their futures endangered so that the wider public service can have their T&C’s maintained. I look forward to seeing how Labour will get Ireland’s Debt to GDP back well below 100% while at the same time allowing Mr & Mrs middle Ireland have enough after tax income to pay back their mortgages?

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Joanna – are you actually stating it is right that because the unvouched / vouched maximum amount claimable is X or Y that all TDs who take whichever option should claim the maximum up to that X or Y amount – regardless of whether they incurred that cost. Are you really defending that?

      If TDs published the actual receipts for what they claimed we could see if they were telling the truth and it is simply not possible that every single TD who went for the vouched or unvouched has the exact same expenses as we have seen.

      Receipts should be based on the actual cost incurred and not on the maximum amount set for that category of expenses.

      Of course the right answer is that no TD gets any expenses – no one on €100k from the public should be bleeding more money by expenses.

      Let’s not even begin to ask where TDs get the money to pay for their campaigns and which crony they conveniently rent their local office from …

      A TD who wants real honest and transparent politics would publish receipts for every cent they claim (because it’s the right thing to do regardless of whether you ‘have’ to) and would also publish full accounts of donations.

      Maybe you’d like to lead by example Joanna – no?

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond,

      I prefer the low moral ground. But my expenses are a matter of public record.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Joanna, you can hardly claim the high moral ground could you given you do not publish the actual receipts for those expenses – it’s no good breaking down the figures if the actual receipts to back it up are not provided.

      If you genuinely incurred the costs you claim then why do you have such a problem publishing receipts.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond,

      Because for me what matters is not whether one, or all politicians, publish each and every receipt, but rather that the amount that can be claimed is capped.

      Under the new system those that choose the unvouched expenses might not meet your requirements in terms of transparency, but they cost the exchequer less.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      @13: that’s very interesting Joanna, that you believe it is right for a TD to claim up to the maximum allowed regardless of whether or not they incurred those costs. The whole issue of expenses was supposed to cover legitimate costs incurred by a TD/Senator/MEP/Councillor etc, when what you are saying is that that is not the case and the expenses system is a smoke screen for politicans to bleed more money – on top of the disgusting salaries you get anyway, I mean it doesn’t matter that a TD didn’t incur X amount in costs but have claimed X amount because X amount is the limit the cap was set at?

      Why is a TD on €100k claiming for petrol or lunch or overnight accommodation when the Dáil doesn’t sit long enough to warrant anyone even needing a permanent home in Dublin and that’s before you get into the whole ‘flipping houses’ issue and the capital profit made by TDs on homes paid for by the taxpayer.

      So much for Labour being different. God,what a grim choice people have – the likes of Fianna Fáil or the likes of Fine Gael & Labour who can’t even confront the abuses of their own colleagues with expenses – what hope is there for any reform.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond,

      I didn’t say in my comment @13 what you are suggesting I said. Some TDs have spent more on the rent of an office for example, that the amount claimable under the unvouched expenses that heretofore have been available for that purpose. The unvouched system requires TDs to return what they don’t incur, and to make a declaration that they incurred what they did incur, and believe it or not, that happens already, cross party. Like a lot of sytems including the tax system you comply with, the system requires people to be honest, and assumes the vast majority of people are.

      You and I start from very different places in terms of our outlook and that is quite evident from whenever you comment on Irish politics. In my view, most people, in all walks of life, generally act in good faith and that includes politicians accross the political spectrum.. If Labour is different, I am glad to say, it is not on grounds of being on a higher moral plane. We just have different policies.

    • rubyrubes says:

      @11 Surely you’re not a woman of low morals…Depitty…?
      I wouldn’t get into it with ‘Dynasty Des’ you’re likely to get light in the head goin’ round in golden circles…!

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Joanna, that is exactly what you said – you said you didn’t care if a TD claimed up to the maximum limit because setting a limit cost the taxpapyer less – that is not true if the cost was not incurred in the first place.

      The damage caused by politicians either supporting bad policies actively or standing idly by is all around us – and before you mention Labour wants to do this and that have a look at your colleagues who had to be shamed into giving up pensions. The fact of the matter is there isn’t a single elected politician I can think of who has ever provided proof of doing the right thing at the cost of political capital – look at the mental gymnastics of those who fought Enda Kenny as they justify accepting a front bench position. Then we see the farce over stag hunting where no one has the guts to stand up and call to task anyone who defends the practice of killing a terrified animal (the bill doesn’t ban the social aspect of galloping across the fields, just the end act) as they are too scared to ask those in RISE and elsewhere to explain what is it they think is right about killing an animal. Then there was the civil partnerships bill – in the orgy of self congratulation (missing the point that as usual Ireland didn’t have the guts to bring in a proper full equality bill like say Spain) it was missed that there are 4 TDS that I personally know of who are gay (perhaps more) and yet not one of them has the decency to be honest and use their position as an elected rep to tackle the stigma gay people in Ireland still face – where’s the nobility in that? And the list goes on.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond,

      I did not say what you are saying I said. I never said someone should take expenses they did not incur, which you are now suggesting I said. What I said is those opting for the unvouched expenses under the new Oireachtas system are the ones that will claim the least expenses, by several thousand euro each a year.

      On the gay issue – Many public reps have used their position, over the years, as elected representatives to tackle the stigma gay people face. They might not reach your standards, but they have done so. Two of our Oireachtas members are openly gay, a statistic that is surely comparable with any parliament in Western democracies. But in my view you can take a brave stand that does not need you over others having to declare whether you are gay or straight. At least one Gay and Lesbian organisation in Ireland thinks that the passing of the Civil Partnership Bill shows politics, cross-party, working well, and so do I .

      On your point about no politician doing the right thing at the cost of political capital. History, include recent history, shows otherwise, and I can’t even be bothered to list some examples, because I know that you will just dismiss anyone I mention out of hand.

    • rubyrubes says:

      Told ya not to go there Joanna…it was always a lose lose situation from your point of view…He ain’t called ‘Dogged Des’…for nuttin’…

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Now you’re being a typical politician by playing with words to avoid being honest about the issue.

      Without receipts for expenses being published we are still none the wiser as to which politicians are defrauding the taxpayer with their expenses claims and please don’t insult my intelligence by saying there are none doing that.

      It is simply not credible to argue fraudulent claims are not being made. Look at the expenses that were published – are we really to believe it is a happy coincidence so many TDs incur the exact same amounts in expenses which are conveniently just at the tip of the maximum limit they were allowed?

      The rot in the expenses system is but an extension of the rot of the fabric of governance in Ireland – another great article by Fintain O’Toole about it today – and Labour offer nothing new. At least Fine Gael have their New Politics document, even if it doesn’t go nearly far enough. I would expect Labour support to go the way of the Lib Dems in the UK once people have to focus their minds and make a choice – Gilmore won’t be long wilting under the heat of the spotlight.

      Why don’t you call my bluff and publish the receipts for your own expenses then but of course you can’t do that can you … as your colleagues in Leinster House would lynch you.

      I believe a gay person who is elected to any public office has a moral duty to use their priviledged position to tackle the stigma others less fortunate then they are face daily. So I’m curious why a certain Labour TD who is gay has not been honest about the issue and as far as I can find this person has never been involved in any proposal to tackle the stigma gay people face.

      I won’t dismiss your examples of politicians doing the right thing at the cost of political capital (Alan Dukes springs to mind but then that good deed is cancelled out by his involvement in Anglo and how quickly he turned native there).

      Recent history? Hmmm did Labour promise that all pension tax relief should be scrapped for a few years or that no one in the public sector should be paid more than €150k no matter who they are or that all manner of pensions paid to former public servants should be cut – and the legislation to do it passed etc etc. No? How much do the union heads pay themselves from member funds?

      However, I don’t happen to accept the argument that ‘most’ TDs do the best they can (or rather they may be doing their best but their best isn’t good enough). I find it hard to believe I grew up in the same country as those who think people like Mary O’Rourke or Beverly Flynn or John Ellis or Jackie Healy-Rae, to name a few, are suitable members of a national parliament.

      Labour was in government before and didn’t do anything to reform the Dáil then, or extend sittings, or spread transparency, and it offers nothing new now – is there a Labour policy to spread Freedom of Information to every single possible dark corner of government. Expanding FOI and banning post it notes in the civil service will do more to reform Ireland than 100 consultant reports.

      It can’t just be that Ireland is a small island that explains why it is so badly governed. Maybe it’s like oil and water – in politics the weakest type always gets separated from the decent ones as by the stage of facing a selection convention anyone with an ounce of decency will have offended enough people by their honesty that they won’t be selected whereas the weak candidate will have sat on the fence on every issue speaking out of both sides of their mouth, kind of like Labour, that they have offended no one and get selected by default rather than on talent.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond

      You just dismissed your own example of a politician that did the right thing and not for political capital. At least you’re consistent. But I think your own example is a good one.

      I can think of Mervyn Taylor who brought in major reforms in relation to equality, divorce and other issues before retiring, so it could not be argued it was for political capital, plus Labour lost seats in the subsequent election. I can think of many other examples and will come back with a list that is cross party later and I look forward to you not dismissing them.

      Politicians are like everyone else, human beings and a mixed lot both as a group and as individuals.

      Really what you need to do is run for election yourself so that at least one politician will meet your own very high standards, hopefully.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      It’s Deaglán’s blogging birthday so I’ll leave out names – except yours.

      Every single TD of whatever party or none has either actively or passively supported policies that are not in the national interest. Perhaps if Ireland got rid of the 19th Century parliamentary instruments it inherited things might be better.

      We have to watch the farce of some TDs resigning the party whip so they can vote against a bill that aims to stop animals being torn limb from limb – it does not ban the social gathering of a hunt or the galloping over the fields but those same TDs stood by and allowed cuts go ahead to services for the disabled or elderly and the people who elect them are going to cheer them on for ‘making a stand’ against the stag hunt bill but don’t want to know that same TD voted to cut the services of their disabled son or daughter or elderly parent.

      Why is no Irish party advocating a conprohensive line by line audit of departments when it gets into government?

      When I run for office, which I fully intend to do when my PhD is done, the very first thing I will do is make sure my expenses are published online and that means anyone working with me will have to accept their salary details will be published as will mine and every meeting I have will be available for public record so people will know exactly who gets to meet me and whisper in my ear.

      I will also publish accounts of every penny spent on my campaign and where it came from and also the full details of any property or offices I rent and all the people working on my team, who they are where they come from. Oh I feel a song coming on …

      But more importantly if I am asked to speak on something I know nothing about I will decline the offer and if I don’t know the answer to something I will say I don’t know and I will also say no when asked to do things I either can’t do or that the person asking is perfectly capable of doing themselves.

      I don’t think my standards are any higher than a large % of the population – it’s just that there is an almost equally similar % of the Irish population who have very low morals – we all know them, even people in our family and friends who we care for but who we know we would never trust fully. They type who vote Fianna Fáil or Labour :) Remember when Labour, like the Greens swore blind they would never put FF back in power …

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Desmond,

      I think it is great that you are considering running for election. But if you are serious about being elected you need more than your standards and publiishing this and that (much of which has to be done anyway under the electoral acts anyway – brought in by Labour to boot).

      Politics and winning elections is about the power of one person persuading another to run for them and their empathy with others, and their belief in what politics can achieve, and has achieved. As a candidate you will need to learn to empathise more, and be less judgemental.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Isn’t the problem Joanna, that too many people in politics empathise too much instead of having an actual opinion or actual knowledge of what they are talking about. You’re of the younger generation I believe (younger in terms of TDs and yet you have the exact same mentalty as those who have been there 20 or 30 years – the instant defence of a system that is rotten to the core. What do you think would happen if you refused to do the bidding of someone wanting a passport or medical card or if you admitted the system of governance in Ireland is rotten to the core from corruption and everyone, public and politician, played a role in causing that and if the public want certain things to happen then the public have to choose who they elect more carefully – are you afraid they’ll be too careful in your own constituency!

    • rubyrubes says:

      @22 ‘When I run for Office…’ followed by a mission statement or rather a statement of a man on a mission…? it’s hard to tell…
      Is it necessary for Candidates to be so er candid or are you assuming an election shoo in…on the dynastic principles you purport to abhor…
      Your only prospects other than by association with a ‘golden circle’ is as an independent …bit too much of a loose cannon otherwise I suspect…

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      I can’t help the name I have anymore than anyone else and others want to expect me to live up to the great standards set by so many of those who share my name over the centuries, yes we’re no fly by night Norman invaders types we’re here to stay – as our family gathering in Carton in a few weeks will no doubt attest – I wonder have the Great Earls horses hooves been worn down yet so we can return and rescure Ireland or was that Silken Thomas …

      Then ‘when’ I am elected to something (anything I’m not fussy) I’ll do my very best not to disappoint and that will be easy as I won’t claim to have the solution to everything and I’ll set people’s expectations realistically. More importantly I’ll know when to leave the stage and say sorry and mean it. A skill so many seem to lack.

      Now where’s the Pimms as my guests arrive soon to melt on the patio – that’s how hot London is now that my footwear actually melted !!

    • rubyxcubes says:

      When you’re elected…? To what…? The Monster Raving Loony Party perhaps..?
      I believe the name FitzGerald is of Hiberno-Norman or Cambro-Norman (Welsh) origin parachuted in to Ireland in 14 century and now extinct since the last of the FitzGeralds of Desmond in 17 Century…
      Or do you claim kinship with the flighty Geraldines who abandoned Ireland to it’s fate…
      A gathering of the Clan… ? how very infra dig…

    • rubyxcubes says:

      If we’re getting in to the bragging rights over ancient Irish names then I guess I can trump any Hiberno/Cambro Norman blow in, being able to trace my lineage back to the Celts and the ultimate Irish surname of the High Kings of Leinster…!
      ‘Fortis et Hospitalis’…!

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Awww Ruby Ruby Ruby …

      14th century? I think you’ll find you have lost out a few centuries – we were already at the top of the tree by the 14th century where we’ve remained ever since. Ahhh those Celts, as stupid as they were corrupt or is it as corrupt as they were stupid and to think there are some people who genuinely believe there was a country called ‘Eye er land’ before the big bad Brits came over. Bless ‘em.

      But the more things change the more they stay the same. I dare say a former Gaelic/Celt (although Celt is the generic term, doesn’t it actually refer to the Scots?) wouldn’t find being a member of Fianna Fáil too much of an adjustment – as long as you can dish out the goodies the locals will give support and the moment you can’t do that then you’re doomed.

      But don’t worry your pretty little head Ruby (of course I say pretty in a rhetorical sense but I say small in an empirical sense) my route to world dominance was mapped out from birth when someone noticed I coped well with that Kryptonite someone gave me a gift. I’ll add you to my list.

      Viva Espania and did one notice how the Queen of Spain jumped from her seat when the goal was scored and how the players gave her a hug and a kiss when collecting their medals …. can you imagine Liz Windsor being so spontaneous and openhearted? Then again she is German and Germany winning the World Cup as as near as she’ll ever get to presenting anyone with a medal at a World Cup final.

    • rubyxcubes says:

      Fitz by name and Fitz by nature…you are imdeed well named…
      I assume you underdstand the meaning of the patrynomic prefix…Still if the cap Fitzzzzz
      BTW it’s Espana…the bigger headed (I use the term advisedl) they come thew harder they fall…Schadenfruede my favourite dessert…

    • rubyxcubes says:

      That vicious little homage to sexism won’t do your pretensions to political office a lot of good either. In case it’s escaped your notice women are now enfranchised !

    • rubyxcubes says:

      Actually I am generally considered to be pretty and I don’t have a particularly large head…
      However I’ve always been led to believe it’s not the size that matters but what you do with it…
      It matters little whether you blew in with Strongbow or Gerald of Wales…the native Irish tribes were long established…before the invasion of the Feral FitzGeralds…
      I expect that prehensile tail comes in handy all the same for those still occupying the tree tops…
      Your notions of ever holding Political Office are as delusional as your depiction of yourself as a Super hero…
      I’ll concede you are quite comic/al…

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Oh rubychops, bless. It’s not Espania unless you are speaking Spanish and if not then it’s Spain. Just like Paris is Paris in English not Parh-ee.

      I know it’s easy to be intimidated by the success of the FitzGeralds, be they Desmond or Kildare, as our legacy is all around us, we even built the White House!

      Ye Geraldines Ye Geraldines
      How royally ye resigned
      O’er broad Kildare
      And palace filled Adare
      … not to mention Glin and Askeaton and Maynooth and Kilkea and Johntown and and and and

      To think in 2010 Enda Kenny’s success is still judged by the standard set by a FitzGerald – who we all scoffed at as a failure because he balanced the books and cleaned up the mess left for him the last time the ‘native’ Irish were in control. Yet look what, the last decade of native control has been such a success it will take even longer for the next Fine Gael government to clean up that mess and they don’t even have someone of the calibre of FitzGerald to reply upon.

      So perhaps the moral of the story is the Irish are best advised to leave governing to those who can ie the non natives.


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