What Enda and his merry band must now do


1. Enda and his not-so-merry men – not forgetting Maid Joan – must somehow get ‘reasonable’ people to sign up for the water charges. At present around half of the population have signed up. The rest at present appear to be adopting the position of those who demonstrated some weeks back: I’ve paid already. What to do?

2. What is vital is that Enda divides and conquers. He will do this if he can convince ‘reasonable people’ that his water charge package, unveiled by Alan Kelly yesterday, will persuade these reasonable people to peel away and sign up.

3. To convince them he has two weapons: one is the drastically-reduced charges outlined yesterday. “Sure it’s only a couple of euro a week” is the  central message. And it certainly is a small price to pay for a modern, efficient provision of clean water to the houses of the south. The only snag is, it doesn’t begin to pay the price for such a system. Which confirms what some have been saying: there will – there will have to be – a drastic hike in the price after all the hoo-ha has died down. Like about 2019.

4. The other weapon is to convince reasonable people that in protesting, they’re associating with a lot of corner-boys. In this they will, it goes without saying, have the support of the Irish Independent (although to her credit, Martina Devlin has an article in said organ this morning saying the end is nigh for Enda). They’ll also have the support of The Irish Times, who this morning had an article by…No, not Stephen Collins, another Stephen…yerra check it yourselves, I’m rushing. Anyway, this other Stephen called on all and sundry, especially the media, to call a spade a spade: the water protest was a violent movement. And he listed the water balloon and the death threats to Alan Kelly and Maid Joan being caught in her car. If this weapon – demonising those who demonstrate – is successful, an exhausted government will set aside a special fund for blessed candles to be lit between now and Easter 2016, by way of thanks for divine intervention.

5. When I was studying A Level History, we had a teacher who in many ways was right-wing and narrow in his thinking. But he also made the subject interesting – so interesting that some fifty-five years later, I remember a dictum that he repeatedly offered as we studied European history and the fall of many rulers in the nineteenth century: if you have a government that rules without mercy, it’s probably safe enough; but once it shows signs of softening, of offering the people reforms – that’s when it’s doomed.

So is my old teacher right? Is the bell tolling for not just Labour but Fine Gael as well? Or will the Irish people of the south disgrace themselves again and accept a final broken promise by the coalition and cough up the required water charges? My money is on the first.

6 Responses to What Enda and his merry band must now do

  1. Perkin Warbeck November 20, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    To take up where you ended up, Blogmeister, one finds oneself yet again – mirabile dictu !- in tentative agreement with your Esteemed self.

    Yes, indeed the electorate will definitely disgrace themselves yet again in Endaland.

    In fairness (soccer-speak) to the jaded, jade-green electorate (sucker-speak), there are reasons for this, and dam good reasons they are too. Hoover dam reasons.Two reasons, in fact : the unfortunate unavailability of both the Deus and the Diva ex Machina to make their ropey descent upon the political stage, thereby saving the the haven’t-an iota voters in their hour of being kneed.

    First: that tragic fall of Bonio the Dawg-food cum Fridge Magnate from his trike when a barking tyke ran across his uptown path in Central Park. Bonio, of course, is famously infamous for pumping up the volume and dumping his Dawg-food Lite on the Dark Continent. Do they know this is the Crystal Meth of canine food?

    Mastering the tricky art of trike riding is a lot more difficult than it might seem for the Self-Deprecatory one (S.D., those initials again). Seemingly a deal trickier than mastering the mike of self-publicity.

    It is not that He was not gawking where He was going in New Yawk, but rather that He had somehow failed to comply with the first rule of the rustic roadeens in Central Park: He had NO BELL on his trike.

    So? So those bad-minded begrudgers (from whom the magnanimous Perkie is automatically excluded) are insinuating that far from being an accident waiting to h. it was in fact a craftily hatched ploy so that He, after hoovering up all those sympathy votes of the brain-scrambled, will hobble home on crutches next year, the clear winner at last of what He has most desired.

    And which will fill the second last remaining gap on his marble mantelpiece: the No Bell Prize for being all over the place and in Pieces. They Oslo win, who only stand and prate.

    Second last remaining gap? Check out the cheque-is-in-the-post Sir Bob Gelding who featured on the recent Free Southern Stateen video where he gave his whinnying take on the losers of the risible Rising, roish. Using the GPO as his Dort-board of choice he announced that 1916 was being earmarked for the general release of his next come-back single: ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’. Who said Geldings are not up to covering?

    And then there will be the non-availability of the Diva ex Machina.

    No, not that particular one (my, but how the supply of this commodity is beginning to overtake the demand) but rather the one who sets Perkie’s inner party animal’s pulse a throbbing: the moonlighter from Mayo herself: Lucinda Creighton.

    LC aka Elsie, it will be recalled stormed out of the frilly wing of the blue shirted Fine Gael party in High Dudgeon (or was it a Low Backed Car?) some twenty odd years ago now (oh, the sheer fugitity of tempus!) with the express intention of …Setting up a new Party with the sole intention of Breaking the Mould. (Or was is, Making some more Mouldy Old Dough. So long ago now, tis not easy to recall at all, at all).

    A birdie has whispered Perkie’s fine tuned right wing ear – let’s just call him Lieutenant Pigeon and leave it at that – that a (gulp) Return to the Fold of the Folding Money may well be…. on… the…Tarot… cards. Making up, as the song says, is such an easy thing to do:

    Lady in Waiting

    Like Mayo for Sam, the FS Stateen a.k.a the nation
    Has long been a-waiting for a heroine like Creighton
    Like her fellow Mayoist, Lucinda
    Rhymes now with mellowed Inda
    Fine Gal, y’are ! guess who’s she been a-mandating?

    Speaking of Limerick, as a quick refresher course in Compulsory Google reveals, twas Stephen O’Byrnes who fetched the retch, otherwise known as regurgitating the technicolour yawn of his fellow Stephen, the one called Collins (no relation). It had all the recognisable carrot specks like ‘the deputy Prime Minister’. ‘Pontius Pilate’ etc.etc

    Let’s hope that Stephen 2 had the permission to filch Stephen 1’s up chuck of let’s get the Chuckie’s but one suspects he had; after all both are alumni of the Cult on Middle Abbey Street. Saturday, of course, is Stephen’s Day. Should no permish have been given – shudder the v. thought ! – Stephen’s Day may well have to be renamed Boxing Day.

    Speaking of Yawnaistes, that refresher course (see above) reveals the surprising tidbit that Stephen (as in S.O;B.) had the tough job once of serving under the Tonaiste, oops, the Deputy Prime Minister. Now, there was one lady politician who never, ever Pontiused below her weight. Not where the Sinn Fein cult was concerned, at least.

    Turns out that Stephen (as in S.O.B.) not once but twice stood for election as a Pee Dee: the first time for Sinister House and the second time, for that Gravy Tain for TDs n training: Dail na hEorpa.

    Alas, so devoted to the dam-burst of Democracy was Stephen (as in S.O’B) that he finished so far down the Gold Mine on both occasions, so shafted at the polls was he, that it will require Perkie’s inner rescuer, with canary in one hand, and flashlamp in the other, to descend into the inner darkness to discover just how far down Stephen the Irrespressible Candidate finished, after first standing, and then, falling down, and of course, out..

    Pray for Perkie’s inner non swimmer, it is not waterlogged down there.

    Splash !

    • Jude Collins November 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Perkie – of the many, many jewels that you toss towards us so regularly and without the hint of reward other than art for art’s sake, this I love:
      “Alas, so devoted to the dam-burst of Democracy was Stephen (as in S.O’B) that he finished so far down the Gold Mine on both occasions, so shafted at the polls was he, that it will require Perkie’s inner rescuer, with canary in one hand, and flashlamp in the other, to descend into the inner darkness to discover just how far down Stephen the Irrespressible Candidate finished, after first standing, and then, falling down, and of course, out..

      Pray for Perkie’s inner non swimmer, it is not waterlogged down there.

      Splash !

      • Perkin Warbeck November 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

        GRMA, E.B.

        Actually, one was stretching it a little there. Perkie’s inner D’archivist while no swimmer can at least float.

        As befits a floating voter.

        No other real choice in this Milk and Water stateen.

        Beir bua !

  2. Iolar November 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Tá an t-uisce ag púscadh isteach i ngach uile áit. The water is penetrating everywhere.

    Anyone wishing to form an opinion of life in Ireland at present would have had an opportunity to do so by tuning in to ‘News Talk’ today. An item just before the ‘News’ featured an entrepreneur with a sales pitch for tanning products. This was followed by an advertisement for a motor vehicle, which did not mention the cost of the obligatory vehicle registration tax. A ‘News’ item featured the current Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party (?) and her priority for the day. The Tánaiste, in deference to the IMF-EU Troika, shared her weltschmerz, once more, about the fact that she was delayed by protesters at the weekend. However, listeners needed to know that she also had been exposed to foul language from protesters.

    I would have thought that the Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party might have used the air time to address more pressing issues such as migration and unemployment. Some people in Gaoth Dobhair have just been informed of pending redundancies. Perhaps the Tánaiste did not wish to think about Gaoth Dobhair, given the word dobhar as Ghaeilge means, water.

  3. paul November 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    As some sage posted on facebook a few days ago and I paraphrase” in America, people sleep out all night in the cold to be the first in line to purchase a reduced price large screen Tv and we applaud them, if the same person protested for human rights or against unfair taxes, we label them a radical, a subversive or worse.

    Kenny and his boys( and girls) can call the protesters anything they want, they can demonize them in the media on state controlled Tv etc, however, most of the footage I’ve seen shows complete overeaction by the gards, (including throwing a women into a pole) . I support the protetsters 100% Doesn’t it seem a bit incongruous to expect an overtaxed population to pay for in many cases water that in not of high quality while the management of Irish water gets ready for bonus checks. Not much austerity there An taoiseach. To paraphrase again” I guess some Irish were created more equal than others”

  4. John November 22, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    I have a feeling they’re doomed (and there was i, thinking that no-one worse could have followed the FF Government). But, as they say – a week, let alone a year in politics – is a long time. As regards S.O.B’s ‘piece’ (read – ‘rant’), i felt compelled to write a riposte (luckily enough to be early enough in the queue, as i was on-line to the I.T / U.T when he delivered his shambles of an article.
    It would take up too much space Jude, to quote my post verbatim – but the gist of it was that “Recently, i’d read some crap in this paper (and plenty, plenty of it over the previous 3 weeks), but this stinking pile of manure really takes the cherry, and places it on top….That finally, finally – the people of this Country had had enough of lies, spin, continued austerity, stealth charges and taxes – and come out in their tens of thousands all over the Country to take their democratic right to voice their anger in the best and unmissable way possible – by taking to the streets……and this failed shyster calls us anarchists!…And by the way O’B – don’t let the door hit you on yer arse on the way out”.
    The next time i read through the comments – there was a host of ‘likes’ to my comment – but a couple of amusing ones underneath. The first from someone decrying “People of this Country? You mean a small sector. Don’t include us in your little, childish Trotskyite Club” ( Which brought quite a chuckle from myself, and friends, when i passed that little ‘zinger’ on) – Underneath that (1 ‘like’) post – was another, in reply to the aforementioned – in which a new poster had commented “You are Stephen O’Byrnes – and i claim my five pounds”.

    All in all, an amusing end – to (yet another) Times column (possibly an Editorial even) – that had my blood boiling, and steam coming out of my ears!