I CAN SEE THE FUTURE – ITS FULL OF GLADIOLI


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!

WE NEED A HERO

Regular readers of my blog will know that one of my all time heroes is Michael Collins. I have written about him before here. For my overseas readers, Michael Collins was the man who gained Ireland her freedom after 800 years of occupation by Britain.

Many of you will also be aware of the competition currently running on RTE to find Irelands Greatest. The contenders are Michael Collins, Bono (yep, I kid you not), Mary Robinson, John Hume and James Connolly. Each of these great Irish people is being featured in an hour long documentary outlining why they should be voted Ireland’s Greatest. I watched the Michael Collins one (a repeat of the original broadcast) on Sunday night.

I have read widely on Collins and so although I didn’t learn much I didn’t already know, the old news reel footage was wonderful and confirmed most of my opinions about him. Here was a man, a farmer’s son from West Cork, who went to London at 16 to work in the Post Office Bank. He returned to Dublin in time for the Easter Rising and went on over the next 6 years to achieve Ireland’s freedom from the most powerful empire on Earth.

He strode around my city and this country with confidence, vision and a seemingly huge amount of charm and charisma. He managed (in the days before mass media) to sell The Treaty he negotiated with Britain to the Irish people whom he addressed at mass rallies all over Ireland. He was a gifted communicator, a visionary, a soldier, an intelligence expert, a politician, a statesman and a celebrity. His work rate was huge. He was passionate, committed and determined. For me, there is no competition. He is Ireland’s Greatest.

On the same night as I watched the documentary on Collins, millions of people across the US were watching Jay Leno, who began his show by displaying a very unflattering photo of our Taoiseach asking his audience to guess who this man was. Was he a bar-tender, a politician or a night club comic? To huge roars of laughter, he announced that this man was in fact Ireland’s Prime Minister. He finished up by saying “at least we aren’t the only ones with drunken morons”. It was cringe making watching the clip back on YouTube the following day. And who can blame Jay Leno? Our leader, Brian Cowen has left himself wide open to such ridicule by his recent behaviour. But even before the hungover interview on Morning Ireland, Brian Cowen has managed to give the impression that he is weary of having to lead this country. He often comes across tetchy and irritated during interviews, as if it is a real nuisance to have to answer questions about the economy etc. He may have said it is an honour to lead this country, but you would never deduce that from his usual demeanour.

One wonders how Ireland could have gone from having a leader such as Collins to having a Taoiseach such as Cowen. I am angry that he has reduced our country to a laughing stock and a financial wreck. But trying to stay positive I am holding to the old adage that the darkest time is just before the dawn. Perhaps somewhere on this island, a new Collins is about to come into focus; someone who will lead Ireland forward to a new day. I really hope so!