While walking down the street one day, a Government Minister we'll just call ‘Himself’, is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St Peter at the entrance. Welcome to Heaven, says Peter. Before we let you in I must explain that there appears to be a little problem. We seldom see any member of your party much less a minister around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you.
No problem just let me in said Himself. Well I'd like to but I have orders from God said Peter. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity. Well I've made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven I have gotten rather used to the good life and want to keep it that way said himself.
I'm sorry but rules are rules, said Peter and he promptly escorts Himself to the lift and he goes all the way down to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a very green golf course in glorious sunshine. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it drinking champagne are many of his former party friends and other hangers on who had worked with him over the years. Everyone is very happy and so is Himself because these were his kind of people. They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at expense of the people. Someone even told the NAMA joke. They play a friendly game of golf and then enjoy a sumptuous meal with much fine wine and brandy. Many stories are told about all the strokes pulled by himself over the years and the fun they all had on the gravy train. They just couldn’t understand how the people could be so gullible. It was all a great laugh.
The Devil is organising everything, he seems a very friendly guy who has a good time as well drinking pints, singing songs and telling jokes. They all promise Himself that he will have a great time if he votes to stay with them. They are having such a good time that time passes quickly and soon it is time to go. He returns up the lift and the door reopens on Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. Another 24 hours is spent with himself joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. These were all good people and surprisingly they too have a good time. Himself does not feel truly comfortable, it is as if he does not fit in. Soon he realises it his time in heaven is up. Peter then told him that he had spent a day in hell and another in heaven now is the time vote for where he wished to spend his eternity.
Well, said Himself heaven has been really good, but I think I would be better off with my own people. I think I am more suited to hell. So Saint Peter brings him to the elevator and he goes down to Hell. Suddenly the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a large barren rocky unproductive field covered with waste and rubbish and many many cracked and potholed roads. Badly designed houses with leaky roofs and dirty walls are everywhere and the sense of desolation and decay is palpable.
He sees all his former friends dressed in rags and picking up the rubbish and putting it in black plastic bags. They look old, defeated and hungry. The Devil shouts at himself - Hey big-shot get back to work, that is if you can remember what work is!"
I don't understand, he said, yesterday there was a golf course and a clubhouse and we ate delicious food and we had pints and danced and had a great time all for free.
Now all there is a wasteland full of rubbish, everyone is miserable and it does not look like it will recover for a long long time. The Devil looks at him and says, I have taken a leaf out of your political manifesto. Yesterday we were campaigning for your vote but today we have it. It was all an illusion now get back to work!
Pearce Flannery, founder of acclaimed business advisors Pragmatica is widely regarded as Ireland's premier business consultant, business coach and motivational speaker. He is a board member of Autopolis, leading international automotive consultants. His blog www.grabbingtheoyster.com is hugely popular having a reputation for straight talking and innovative thinking on socio-economic and political matters.
Contact Pearce: [email protected].