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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 10, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    President Michael D: A Day is a Long Time in Politics

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    RTE’s “Naked Presidential Election” was a lively piece of work – and great free publicity for what the late Bernard Levin* would have called “The Irish Another Newspaper”!

    There will be near-universal good will towards Michael D. Higgins as he takes up office following tomorrow’s inauguration. The chattering classes will try to shut out of their minds the fact that he owes his victory to the intervention by former IRA leader Martin McGuinness and an anonymous figure in Twitterland.

    Labour folk have told me that, the day before the “Frontline” programme, the Higgins campaign was in despair: all seemed irretrievably lost. But as Harold Wilson** ought to have said: “A day is a long time in politics.”

    *Bernard Levin was a columnist with The Times of London and referred to its great rival, The Daily Telegraph, as “The Daily Another Newspaper.”

    **British PM Harold Wilson said: “A week is a long time in politics.”

    • Kevin says:

      What IS this, and what is it doing here? The increasing anglicisation of the IT is worrying.

      *Bernard Levin was a columnist with The Times of London and referred to its great rival, The Daily Telegraph, as “The Daily Another Newspaper.”

      **British PM Harold Wilson said: “A week is a long time in politics.”

    • Kynos says:

      What struck me most watching ”The Naked Presidential Election” (for I watched virtually none of the coverage during the elections nor read more than an article or two so I waited til it was all over before casting a colder eye across the entire masque. Really, it’s such a sideshow and an exercise in Irish self-delusion I was too embarrassed for ye to watch it ”live”) was just how closed and tight a little circle of luvvies the whole Irish meeja circus is. Everybody thinks they’re ‘somebody” whereas the reality is outside this damp rock on the westernmost edge of Europe, they’re nobody. But anyway, some day the Irish will awake from their fantasies and delusions of grandeur and realise that once again they’re a wandering bunch of Israelites, strangers in their ”own” land as it were, to which second rate gauleiters who’ve displeased Caesar will be appointed from Rome or Brussels and Washington if you like to wash their hands and keep an eye on the rabble. But anyway. Going on what I saw in the Naked President ye’re already getting quite good at crucifying the innocent and the guilty alike. Sure what am I saying ”getting” good. Crucifying the innocent has long been a national sport here. Good luck to President Higgins. All he needs now is a real Republic. Wonder will he do anything about the fact that ye can’t even control your ports, and thus, according to Childers, ye’re no real nation at all? He’s one of about three no four Irish public figures I actually have any respect for. Maybe he’ll get some respect back for Ireland too. God knows I haven’t an ounce of it left anymore and that is bloody sad when I think about it. Yeah. Sad. Tch.

    • @1: What a narrowminded, provincial outlook. Appalling, truly appalling. If you are so worried about Anglicisation why don’t you call yourself “Caoimhín” agus scríobh tré Ghaeilge?

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      How ironic Mr Higgins goes on about greed when he finds it fine to accept a €274k salary plus a whopping pension and saw nothing wrongi n taking the obscene Oireachtas pension he’d been claiming on top of an Oireachtas salry for years, not to mention the expenses.

      Mr Higgins is a small man in all sense of the word, the best choice from a bad lot – a sad reflection that the 7 were the best we could come up with.

      Given every speech he makes is vetted by the government I can’t see him saying anything controversial and that means all he can do is lead by example and he could start by requesting full FOI coverage of his office and publishing receipts for all the expenses he’ll be claiming and cutting his salary to €100k and capping the pension he’ll get after at €60k – to include everything. Not a cent more.

      Until then all his talk about transformation and ethics and morals and integrity is just that. Talk.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Deaglán

      What’s your take on this move by FG for TD’s to use formal titles rather than first names when addressing each other in Leinster House?


      It sounds absolutely ridiculous to me, is it really an idea that FG are putting forward?

    • BB says:

      Wed. 16th Nov., 2011
      I think a combination of all these trips to Berlin and the ghost of Berlin Past is giving Enda ideas.
      What next? A formal coalition salute to go with the new formal protocol for Dáil td’s, senators and their staff with regard to meeting & greeting each other in the (air quotes) corridors of power (lol)…
      “Good Afternoon, Minster/Deputy/Tánaiste,” arsa an Taoiseach…
      (Sound of clicking boots, etc.)…
      “Oh…agus Hail meself,” arsa an Taoiseach..

      What are they like????????

    • Jules says:

      When I see our Taoiseach, as recently in Berlin (is it Berlin that all roads lead to now?), virtually whimpering for the affections of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, while at the same time causing such insult and effrontery to another city/state just over 700 miles from Berlin on the EU landmass, which occupies such a precious place in a world (Western World, in particular) which appears to be going to Hell in a handcart, not least economically, and with which Ireland has very special historic connections. I speak, of course, of the Vatican (Holy See). The soul of Ireland is at stake here. What kind of message is our current government giving to our young people, who have a natural spirituality, when Catholic parents (in particular) now expect to hear “the cock crow” every time our current government shows ignorance and immature petulance towards our spiritual leader Pope Benedict XVI, much loved by Catholics and especially young people all over the world; and not least, also, when the Minister for Education has to be questioned on live tv by a (very intelligent and articulate) young student leader as to lies and broken promises with regard to student fees. Not good. Not good at all.

    • @5: All the auld dacencies are fast disappearing! Personally, I like to see a bit of respect shown to people and the positions to which they have been elected but this seems a bit OTT.

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