Yesterday I tweeted something reflecting my frustration with the man who may well be our next Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. His reluctance to engage in the leader’s debate tomorrow night on TV3 with the bulldog of Irish journalism, Vincent Browne leaves me breathless…. with anger. He is looking to be elected to the most powerful job in the land at a critical time in Irish history and he won’t go into a TV studio because he has a problem with Vincent Browne.

Vincent Browne’s interviewing tactics can definitely be suspect at times, but he often is reflecting the anger that most of us, the people of Ireland feel at the moment. His late night programme is also now one of the pillars of Irish Current Affairs viewing.

We desperately need to feel that our next leader will have balls of steel and a natural drive to place the good of this country above all else, during their term of office. If the polls are right, we are about to elect Enda Kenny into this office. A man who at best is holding a grudge and at worst is afraid of what Vincent Browne may expose.

Last week this photo of our leader in waiting appeared in all the national papers. It is a brilliant photo and at first glance gave us all a great laugh. But take a close look at it again. Enda is wearing an expression that is vaguely familiar. Yep, it is one worn by President George Bush. That same unsure, rabbit in headlights, shifty look that Dubya often exhibited. The look that says “I’m about to be found out any minute.” It’s a look that inspires hilarity not confidence. And I am not going to even begin to analyse the look on the unfortunate dogs face. That dog is capturing the emotion that many of us are feeling… the sense that it all is going wrong and we are powerless to stop it.

I have no doubt that we will entertain the world if Enda becomes Taoiseach. George Bush did provide plenty of laughs. It’s all very funny when it’s the leader of another country, even leader of the most powerful country in the world. But we are depending on our next Government to lead us back out of this black hole of recession and debt as quickly and painlessly as possible. It therefore it most definitely not at all funny for the electorate.

Which brings me back to Twitter. One of my British twitter friends (@whyjay99 should you wish to follow her), on seeing my Enda tweet enquired if I meant Edna as she had never heard of the name Enda. There followed a lightbulb moment when I glimpsed our future.

That’s where we are going I’m telling you. Our next Taoiseach shall be christened Dame Enda Kenny. The man who, like the antipodean character who describes herself as a Superstar Housewife, thinks he’s a superstar politican! A misguided man who very possibly will sweep into power on wave of votes the likes Fine Gael haven’t seen in years. And he will think it is because we love him. Get your gladioli ready people!

p.s. I should point out that I am not affiliated with any political party! I have yet to decide how I will vote!

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers. Debut book out in Spring 2022


  1. There's a lot to ponder on in your blog, Barbara. And you're correct. We must get it right in this election. And it comes down to being really familiar with the manifestos of each political party. At the moment, and it's not “final answer” I think I'd go for FG but with Gilmore as taoiseach which I suppose can't happen. Enda is coming out very badly with this debate refusal. His excuse now is that he hasn't time! That says it all. Also the campaign needs a shot in the ??? as it has all lost its fire.

  2. Hi B. Great post. I think it reflects the confusion in which we all find ourselves. Traditionally a Labour supporter I am hugely underwhelmed by their (lack of) policies. I am attracted by the FG policies but underwhelmed by their candidates. I may end up voting FF for the first time in my life but I might canvass for the Greens. Talk about being confused…. Hasta luego. P

  3. Barbara, I've been beating my head off my desk for days at Enda Kenny's conduct.

    Yes, for years I dreamt of the masisve snubs I would deliver to people who 'crossed me' in school – but there is a time and a place for these things and most of the time, it's in your head. I'm sure Enda dreamt of someday refusing to participate in all Vincent Browne-centred events but life is just not like that, and right now the common good of the country must come first.

    His comment that the empty chair at the debate would symbolise the emigrants forced out the country by FF's economic mismanagement embarrassed me more than Bertie's canary yellow trousers at the G8 summit. And that was very embarrassing (http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/the-irish-male-and-his-many-fashion-disasters-1449220.html)

  4. Agree, agree!

    How can he negotiate with world leaders on our country's behalf if he's afraid of vincent browne?

    The thought that he'll be a our leader at all makes me shiver…the alternatives chill me to the bone. I just dont know. No one else seems to want to put their head on the chopping block this time round.

    Great post.

  5. Well you've just summed up what most of us are thinking! It's a scary thought that a man who's either afraid of Vincent Browne or 'doesn't have time' for a leader's debate may soon be leading our country! Great post as usual. Mx

  6. Hi Barbara. Love the post.
    For me, the political well of choices has become so parched that Enda has progressed to the “Best” of the bunch. It's that sad.
    I'm telling myself we've had our fill of politicians who can “talk the talk,” Enda has a good team (I think) & for the sake of having a set of fresh faces at the helm, I'll probably (emphasis on the probably) vote FG.

  7. Hi Barbara,
    many may agree with you on your opinion about Enda, equally many would disagree. If Vincent has asked you to commit suicide at one point, I don't think you would like to be involved with anything he is involved in. Enda has agree to participate in other debates and thousands would be eager to hear him. We all know the party Vincent like most top earners in Ireland would support. To me Vincent has lost his neutrality and his debate should not be seen as credible. RTE debates would be a better platform Enda and the FG.

  8. Thanks all for the great comments. Glad you enjoyed the post which was somewhat tongue in cheek but with a serious core.

    Anoymous – why not use a name – I am sure that many may disagree with my point. But I have to take issue with you on one point – Vincent most definitely didnt tell Enda to commit suicide. He used a colloquilism. And as someone with a very intimate experience of suicide I don't consider his remark offensive. Either way he apologised and Edna is clearly using it as an excuse. It should be the people Enda is worried about and not Vincent Browne.

    But thanks for taking the time to comment – debate is good!

  9. Love the post and the passion therein – of course I wear my political affiliation on my sleeve (or in my blog!) but nonetheless I can agree with a lot of what's said here – although Padraic might take heart in seeing Labour's policy docs on the various topics of their campaign – they are firming up but not giving it all away pre-launch – the Shinners have nicked their former policy of 48% tax for > €100K earners – Labour dropped in when the USC came in and prefer to revamp that. Anyway this isn't a polemic nor do I want to hijack your post to rant. Not fair! But that analogy with Dubya is spot on! And the dog is an unfortunate victim! Agree about the spurious offence he took at VinB who offends everyone in equal measure – anonymous should come out with an ID and declare his/her credentials. If you wanna say it in public don't hide behind the cloak of anonymity. Even if it is a different opinion – room for all civil exchanges!

  10. Great post. People feel so short of choices. I've been canvassing, I'd rather not say for which party (not FF!), and so many people at the doors are saying they just aren't going to vote. Old people that have voted in every election say they won't vote this time around. I've experienced a lot of negativity at the doors for canvassing – it's sad. The answer is not to step back – it's never been so important to get involved.

  11. Barbara – There's an award for you over at my blog – hope you enjoy doing the task it involves. I enjoyed it and only passed it on to non-award-free blogs. Give you another chance to vent spleen at things that bug you!Have a nice Sunday – I'm enjoying relaxing and a break from the Canvass trail!

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