The perils of canoeing


Did you cheer? I’m  afraid I did. What’s more , I resented the way RTÉ had fiddled with the editing of the event. One minute we had a shot of Joan Burton in her very own canoe going up the flooded area; then someone walked across the screen; and immediately after Joan is beginning to rise out of the water into which she has tumbled. Clearly RTÉ felt that a shot of the Tanaiste actually tumbling into the water, let alone what she may have yelled as she tumbled, was more than the  public could take. Fair play to Joan, though. She quickly turned her back on the camera as she helped the person at the front of the boat – who didn’t appear to need help –  to her feet, which gave Joan a little time to compose herself and give a clenched-teeth smile to the cameras. “I’m grand” she announced. “I’m very fast on my feet”.

But here’s the thing. If Joan had been a normal punter, would we have been tempted to cheer? I don’t think so – more likely felt sympathy. Getting your rear end suddenly soaked is not a pleasant experience, I imagine. What made Joan’s case different was, here was one of the movers and shakers, one of those we have been taught to defer to, being dunked big-time. Schadenfreude, yes, not worthy of us as sympathetic human beings, yes, but the best bit of TV on New Year’s Eve for a long time. And I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t help wondering about the logistics of J fresh dry undies being rushed to the spot to rehabilitate the Tanaiste.

But is there a pattern here? Hands up if you remember Joan’s last truly-big public moment? Right, when she was ‘imprisoned’ for several hours in her chauffeur-driven car by a group of noisy – that’s right – water charges protestors. Could the gods of water be sending Joan some sort of message about her party’s possible fate in the general election?




22 Responses to The perils of canoeing

  1. PaulK January 1, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    I think this is a case of Irish water sinks Labour. lol

  2. neill January 1, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    Jude a gentleman would never gloat over a woman falling into water try to remember that.

    Would you have laughed if it had been Gerry Adams I suspect not.

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2016 at 10:59 am #

      You’re probably right, neill – about the second part. But I would never attempt to pass myself off as a gentleman – and I thought I had explained that we like it, to our shame, when the mighty fall…Lighten up a bit, neill, in any case. Let’s go into 2016 with a spring in our step and a smile on our lips…

      • neill January 1, 2016 at 11:04 am #

        Just felt the story was a bit of a non story woman falling into water dog biting man now if it had been man buys dog that would have been good.

        As a matter of interest you should watch the film man bites dog a very telling film.

        • Jude Collins January 1, 2016 at 11:18 am #

          Don’t agree, neill. It was the fact that she was Tanaiste/leader of the Labour Party that made it a story. If something happens to you or me, most people don’t give a monkey’s. But if it happens to Arlene or Martin etc, it’s big news.

          • neill January 1, 2016 at 11:26 am #

            Its not really news falling flat on our arse is a talent we all have indeed we spend more time on silliness like this than on core matters.

          • Jude Collins January 1, 2016 at 11:27 am #

            True, neill. But hey – we’re weak human beings, remember…

          • pointis January 1, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

            I remember the trapped in the car incident and there is a common theme – change of underwear required after both!

    • Jack Jameson January 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

      I was wondering that too if it was Gerry Adams falling out of a boat but, in contrast to Joan Burton, Gerry isn’t afraid to have a laugh, even at himself (have you seen his Twitter feed?).

    • Ceannaire January 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

      I think what people find funniest about this is less the arse soaking and more about Joan’s silly PR stunt going horribly wrong.

      Let’s face it, she sat in a canoe which was in around 6 inches of water. She had wellies on also. Why did she not just wade through it? Because Joan wanted something dramatic looking for the news. It backfired on her. That was the main laugh.

  3. Jim.hunter January 1, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Ha.ha ha

  4. Paul January 1, 2016 at 11:24 am #

    The words up shit creek without a paddle come to mind. As labour are sunk below the water line. Happy new year Jude

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2016 at 11:28 am #

      Thanks, Paul – you too ( happy new year, I mean, not that you too are up shit cr- oh, forget it…)

  5. Belfastdan January 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Just a pity Enda wasn’t in the boat with her as we could have had a beautiful Kate Winslet/Leonardo DiCaprio moment.

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      So who gets to sing the song “I Will Go On” – P Rabbitte??

      • Ryan January 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

        Ruth Dudley Edwards, she has a beautiful voice….

  6. Iolar January 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Is ciúin iad na linnte lána/still waters run deep

    People/voters were left to bail out their homes with little or no support from the incumbents in Dáil Éireann as floods destroyed homes and communities. People are not fooled by politicians arriving late in the day for a photo opportunity. There is a need for a national flood defence policy. Floods are no laughing matter and there have been serious casualties. Voters want action, not promises. Voters will take action in due course.

  7. Ryan January 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Labour will be sinking far deeper into the watery mud than Joan’s backside after the Irish General Election next year. I hope keeping Enda as Taoiseach and ripping off tens of thousands of people over the past 5 years was worth it….

  8. Sarah January 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    The shark is a nice touch!

  9. Perkin Warbeck January 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    If the Cap Size fits…….

    Yawnaiste Joan B. be the one I do adore
    Oh, for one’s oar to be in her press corps !
    One’s own v,wet dream
    Let go a roar, a scream:
    ‘From this day on let it be known as S. Nore*’!

    * S, = Swollen.

  10. Mark January 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Irish Labour sinking, and not only in the poll’s, they’ll do all they can to ‘improve’ their lot, even recruit a former RNU officer.
    Please, please, let’s not be bought off with outright lies come spring by this dastardly bunch of liars.