The best laid plans of mice and men, Eh? Well, the mice have certainly been to the fore this week with the news that the beautiful people, the chosen ones, those doyens of the media, those apostles of the commentary box, those Ivorians of the ivory tower have decided that after much bleating, beating of chests, gnashing of teeth and scratching of arses, that they could not be bothered to take part in the forthcoming election and save Ireland for the rest of us.
We were charging them with the responsibility of protecting us from the gobshite, the gombeen, the funeral man. With their academic brains, the beautifully designed and framed columns, their sharp poses and sharp proses, they would have made the 31st Dail a super Dail, a sort of Seanad for Irish superheroes. It would be a great Dail not just a good Dail.
It would have exposed Irish politics for what it is. This infatuation with expenses would be gone forever, because we know journalists are very honest about their expenses. The discourse would be of a high standard. No more would we have parliamentarians using unparliamentary language to one another across the hallowed turf of Leinster House. Oireachtas Report would become sexy. It would be porn for those with a finer taste in discourse.
And with all these fine and wonderful upstanding men and women ensconced in Leinster House, imagine all the openings there would be for the young journalists who are being turfed out on the streets by closing newspapers. It was to be a wonderful plan.
Our Dail would be the Manchester City of Dails. We would have who we want. No more journeymen deputies. But then, it just went puff into a ball of smoke-filled rooms.
These commentators, these influencers of thought woke up to the fact that being a TD would not be the paradise they imagined it to be. It might involve (gulp ) interacting with the general public. It might involve getting down and dirty. Imagine the horror of being called away from the Horseshoe Bar to take a call from Mrs Tuohy whose boiler has just burst to whom the local council is not replying.
And when asked why they were changing their mind, these purveyors of fine words and paragraphs became tongue tied with “ahms, sort of it doesn’t really suit me personally, like, it’s the logistics of it, ya see, not at this stage. kind of , ya know,” I’m not free on Tuesday.”
And with that these heroes of the liberals, these people to whom we all looked with hope were shown to be wearing not Louis Copeland or Lainey Keogh or John Rocca but clothes belonging to the emperor. And so the candidate lists up and down the country are filled once again with more of the same. TDs in the next Dail will not be any different. They won’t be any more or less honest or competent.
They’ll be there because they after all are the only ones who really want to do it. They know that to enjoy the bubble of power, they must take the calls from Mrs Tuohy and Mrs Tuohy in return will give them her vote. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.