Five things we learnt from last night’s ‘Prime Time’



  1. Miriam O’Callaghan is no Pat Kenny.  While Pat Kenny was awful as presenter of The Late Late Show  but very good presenting Frontline,  Miriam O’Callaghan is a blonde waste of space on any programme (and no, Virginia, I’d still say that even she’d snuggled up to Martin McGuinness and given him a big kiss a couple of years back). She spent most of her time  last night saying “Wait ‘til he finishes” and “I’ll let you come in after” as Richard Bruton and Micheal  Martin ignored her and went on shouting stuff across her.
  2. They don’t build lecterns like they used to. First Micheal Martin dropped his notes and tried surreptitiously to paw them back within grabbing-distance, using his foot. Richard Bruton dropped his notes as well but pretended not to notice, but came within a whisker of sending his pen pinging across the studio.
  3. The referendum for the abolition of the Seanad is a ferocious waste of public money. They’re printing and delivering a pamphlet about it to every single home in the twenty-six counties, including the tens of thousands of families who don’t know how they’ll keep a roof over their head. Even if the decision is taken to abolish the Seanad, it won’t kick in for two years or more.
  4. The best metaphor of the night came from a man opposed to Seanad abolition. He said that because a fire-escape wasn’t used didn’t mean you broke it up and sold it off as scrap metal. Which is true. If irrelevant.
  5. The Seanad is and always has been an anti-democratic waste of money. It represents 1% of the people in the south; and it pays senators over €60,000 a year for aping Britain’s House of Lords. It’s about as much use as a fire-escape on a bungalow and should be sold to a willing scrap-metal dealer, not in two years’ time,  but within twenty-four hours of Friday’s referendum which will (I hope) consign it to the scrap-heap of history.
Footnote: I say all this as part of the 1% who actually has a Seanad vote.
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