We are blessed to have a Taoiseach who is very good at impressions. Word is the current incumbent was up ‘til the early hours in The Ardilaun mimicking Micheal O Muircheartaigh. He follows in a long line of Taoisigh who are adept at doing impressions. The previous officeholder used to do an hilarious impression of a socialist, while his stand-up routines about loo-las and economists hanging themselves are the stuff of legend. While The Squire Haughey did a fantastic impression of a porn star, screwing the entire country and its gossip columnists at the same time, saying ‘take it baby.’ Ah, they’re a gas lot, the FFers when it comes to entertaining us with an auld camalya song or versions of Phil Coulter songs. But back to Biffo, the man of the moment. His star impression is that of a drunk. In fact, he’s so good at it, he doesn’t even know he’s doing it, and that they say is the sign of a class act (no, not you Bev, you’re a different class act ). Brianeen can sound so drunk and be stone cold sober. The Clara Amateur Drama Society must be wondering how they let him slip through the net and into politics. Niall Toibin, Frank Kelly, Eamonn Morrissey have nothing on this man when it comes to playing a drunk. He can slur the words and do the walk like a star. The secret about playing a drunk though is not to flail arms and stagger around the place. On the contrary, drunks are mostly upstanding people, concentrating very hard on their next step, their next word. So hard in fact that they miss that step or confuse the words Croke Park with the words Good Friday and then top it off with a bit of a laugh.
Ah, Brianeen, you’re a star with the dramatics. I loved the little theatrical cough you gave during the press conference, just to emphasise that it might have been your sore throat that made you sound pissed in the morning. The cough had all the hallmarks of the phonecall to the boss where you say “Sorry boss, I’m as a sick a a dog (cough ). I won’t be in today. It’s nasal congestion.”
Do I think he was really drunk? Well of course I don’t, cos the good people in Fianna Fail said he wasn’t and their word is good enough for me (cough ).
However, there’s one impression that poor Brianeen is no good at and that’s his impression of a Taoiseach in control or even a Taoiseach who gives a damn. This is one party trick that he hasn’t yet mastered, no matter how he tries, no matter how sincere he tries to come across, he still fails to convince me that he’s An Taoiseach. When he does that impression, I don’t see a leader in front of me at all. I just see your typical smalltown solicitor who being of silver spoon background, likes to ingratiate himself with the little people with the auld song, the auld guff, and a few pints.The sort of fella is probably a decent skin, but who cannot disguise his disdain for the fundamentals of the job, leading and communicating.
And that is what came across in this week’s episode. It’s not that he was or wasn’t pissed. It was that he thought he could rhyme off the same auld shite to us in his sleep, so there was no need to go to bed early, to prepare, to have the cold shower. And rhyme it off to us in his sleep, he did, but this time he sounded asleep, and to top it all, he had to go and throw in his impression of a drunk on top of it.
But do we feel any better for discovering this week what we already knew. No, we don’t because the alternative is equally dire. Enda Kenny came out this week saying he’d need the guts of three terms to solve the economic crisis. Three terms of Enda Kenny(cough ). And Eamonn Gilmore is, as they say here in the west, just milk’n’water.
So what is the alternative? Is there a third or fourth way, an option other than these. Is this the best this country has to offer? Is it too late for each constituency to throw up a relevantly-educated non-party person who is more than a serial funeral-attender, someone who can offer more that those sycophants who currently represent us. These fools with their think-ins are laughing at us all the way. And they will continue to do so while we sit here and take it like we did when we were the extras in Haughey’s porn film.