Posted by: whatkindofweekhasitbeen | September 24, 2010

Guest Column: The Boy Dan Good – My Good Colley-gue, Dan Colley

A very happy Arthur’s Day to you. Sorry we didn’t send cards this year, it really crept up on us. It only seems like a year or so since we last celebrated the centenary of Arthur Guinness signing the lease on James’ Gate. Silly us!

 In the same week that the marketing forces behind Ireland’s most famous export try to persuade us to drink more of the black stuff, two of their best customers will be probably be telling themselves to give it a knock for a while. Mr. Cowen was declared to have survived, what analysts are calling, politics’ longest hangover since Churchill’s “Battle of the Bulging Eyes”.

After his…*grumble*gurgle*…casual attitude to a Morning Ireland interview last week. Everything that followed was text book; a less-than-spirited comment of support from Michael Martin, a low grumble from a wronged backbencher with nothing to lose, followed by Opposition calls for an election, support from Cowenites, silence from Michael Martin and finally, with a photo opportunity of solidarity with his most popular party rival, Brian Cowen silences the chatter and can finally sit down with his slanket, an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and a cup of tea. Though the formula of Cowengate was perfectly balanced and gave all the sustenance needed to feed a slow news week, it’s probably safe to say that An Taoiseach won’t be a stranger to the mother’s milk for much longer.

By contrast, Paddy Sheehan’s drunken mistake, which I’m sure he thought of as well forgotten, showed up this week with a paternity claim and a three-month-old bump – metaphorically speaking, of course. This is the leaked Gardai report which said that Paddy Sheehan, Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, was prevented from driving home from the Dail by a Garda on duty on 8th July on the grounds that he was too drunk. As one does when one’s full of the black magic, he acted up. So invincible did he feel, that not only did he think he could drive with a pub inside him, he thought that he, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson for Agriculture, could actually affect this Garda’s promotional opportunities “when we get into power”. The grim scene was ended by Enda, who was also leaving the Dail Bar, and persuaded Paddy to get a cab and advised that what he was saying be ignored – just stopping short of saying “I know I always do”.

Both Brian and Paddy exemplified an image of Irishness which Diageo will ostensibly do their best to suppress this hallowed Arthur’s Day, though it’s a culture they’re more than happy to go on.

Though if we were worried that our politicians were embarrassingly conforming to stereotype, we need not look very hard or far to make ourselves feel better. The upcoming November elections in America have eked out the very cartooniest of flag-waving gun-wielders who have united (or something) behind the banner of the Tea Party movement. While not a party, but more of a support group for people who like to make signs saying things like “Tax is Murder”, compare various people to Hitler and Stalin and think Eisenhower was a hippy-hugger, they vote Republican.  While many of the liberal bend may say that this sharp lean to the right by the party’s base in the primaries is a cause for optimism for the general in November, one can’t help but wonder how the Democrats will make an absolute balls of it anyway.

One way they might do it by making a straw-piñata of Christine O’Donnell, the Tea-Party backed Republican nominee to take Joe Biden’s Delaware seat in the Senate. Maybe they might completely miss the point behind the choice of language in the phrase “taking back our country” and rather then strive to assuage uncertainty by making an appealing and clear argument for government being the only way out of certain economic problems like collapsing banks, maybe instead they’d do something stupid like focus on the revelations that came out this week that O’Donnell dabbled in witchcraft in her youth (or thinks she did. There’s no such thing as witchcraft) even though she is a devout Christian to the core (or thinks she is. There’s no such thing as witchcraft), Oh, oh right. They just went ahead and did that. Ok.

This Tea-Party movement has an informal figure head in Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin who, you might remember as the Republican nominee for Vice President in 2008. She visited Iowa this week. Can’t think why I thought to mention that.

Paddy Duffy is away. AA Gill is back. Take from that what you will.


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