Ministers of sound: choose a ringtone for your Irish politician

Politicians’ gadgets with ‘jazzy’ jingles interrupting meetings are in the news

British prime minister David Cameron stopped a recent cabinet meeting to give his chief whip Michael Gove a bit of a dressing down.

The former minister for education was behaving badly in class, it was reported. He was broadcasting Beyoncé, while he should have been paying silent attention to serious matters of state.

Of course, none of the assembled cabinet members correctly identified Ms Knowles or her tune. It was "jazzy" M'Lud, they noted.

Writing in her column in The Daily Mail, Sarah Vine, who is married to 'Mr Whippy', clarified matters. "Just as the chancellor of the exchequer was explaining a particularly complex piece of fiscal policy to Her Majesty's assembled cabinet, my husband mistakenly instructed his watch to play Beyoncé's latest oeuvre.


“Try as he might, he simply could not silence her warblings. The more buttons he pressed, the more effusive she got.” Poor Michael.

Cameron is said to have asked Gove to switch his mobile phone off immediately, before reminding him that mobiles are banned from the cabinet meeting room.

Witnesses to the incident described Cameron’s intervention as a “public b******ing”.

It turned out that Gove had indeed been following cabinet rules and it was a smart watch he got as a Christmas present that had done the damage.

In the US, President Barack Obama has members of his cabinet leave their mobile phones outside the door of the meeting in a basket. Francoise Hollande has deemed them a big "non, non".

In Ireland, rules are a little less strict. Mobile phones are allowed into the Cabinet room. If a major issue is being discussed, Ministers may be asked to leave their phones in the middle of the table or turn them to silent, a source said.

National governments may have to move with the times now and mobile phones might need to be joined on the “things to watch” list by, well, watches.

If she were a boy, Beyoncé would have known that.

Ministers of sound

We set the tone for politicians by choosing the ringtones we think they should have.

Michael Noonan: Gold Digger (Kanye West)

Alan Shatter: I Fought the Law and the Law Won (The Clash)

Leo Varadkar: Titanium (David Guetta)

Lucinda Creighton: A Horse with No Name (America)

Gerry Adams: God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols)

Ged Nash: Down Under (Men at Work)

Heather Humphreys: Too Much Too Young (The Specials)

Ronan Mullen: Take Me To Church (Hozier)

Mary Lou McDonald: Stand by Your Man (Tammy Wynette)

Clare Daly: Independent Woman (Destiny's Child)

Micheal Martin: Back to the Start (Coldplay)

Enda Kenny: Nokia ringtone

What do you think? Let us know your ideal ringtone for the politician of your choice.