Enda and Arlene: separated at birth?

I wonder in what detail – if at all – Arlene Foster is following political developments south of the border these past few days. Is she, as an integral part of the UK, devoid of interest as to the goings-on in the foreign country to the south of her fiefdom? Or is she watching with palpitating heart as Enda Kenny digs the hole he’s in ever deeper?

I’d suggest the second, because while the case of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe is very different from the extremely odd RHI scheme, if you are First Minister there are some scary parallels.

At the heart of the pickle that Enda Kenny finds himself in is, what did his party know about the smearing of Garda McCabe’s reputation, and when, and what if anything did they do about it? Here in our little north-east nest, the heart of the Cash-for-Ash scheme is what did Arlene and her party know about the Cash-for-Ash scheme, and when, and what did they do about it?

In the south, a number of Fine Gael TDs are bending their backs to put as much clear blue water between them and the beleaguered Taoiseach as they can. Fine Gael TD John Deasy, for example, says that way back in 2014, very senior garda people told him stuff that smeared Garda McCabe and that he went straight to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and told him about these smears, and told him that as far as he was concerned they were lies. “The Taoiseach listened” is Deasy’s cryptic comment on Enda.

Here in the north-east, you may be sure there are a number of DUP politicians feeling a bit jittery about Arlene and what she knew about the Cash-for-Ash scheme. One DUP MLA, Jonathan Bell, has rowed clear of his party,  and spoken of encounters with the First Minister in which, he alleges, she tried to bully him into keeping the scheme going. Arlene Foster firmly denies this and says Bell tried to bully her. Somebody is making stuff up.

And it goes on. Enda Kenny gives details of meetings which never happened and then goes on to contradict himself at least once or twice. Arlene Foster gives accounts of meetings with Jonathan Bell that are directly contradictory of Mr Bell’s accounts of said meeting. She hasn’t reached the stage of contradicting herself. Yet.

As always with these things, it’s hard to know which is worse, the initiating action or the response to that action. Was it ghastly that malicious claims of child abuse should be linked with Garda McCabe, or was it even more ghastly that politicians and policemen, knowing what was going on,  should have failed to act? Was it nightmarish that a scheme giving £1.60 for every £1.00 should have been cooked up and implemented, or was it even more nightmarish that it wasn’t stopped in its tracks the instant it was seen to be financial hara-kiri?

There’s a lot of talk about how long Enda Kenny will be able to hold onto his position as Taoiseach; most commentators are now saying it’s only a question of time. There’s considerable belief among the public that, barring a superb performance in our coming election, Arlene Foster’s days as First Minister may be numbered.

Just think: if the border were abolished, we wouldn’t have this sort of wasteful duplication.

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5 Responses to Enda and Arlene: separated at birth?

  1. Perkin Warbeck February 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

    Perhaps the saddest aspect of the contrite cúpla focal in the guise of a mea (gulp) culpa uttered by Edna the Errorist in the Doll House yesterday, Esteemed Blogmeister, was the perpendicular (think Cliffs of Mohair) drop from the Heady Days.

    Ah, yis, the dear, dead Heady Days of High Dudgeon beyond recall.

    One is thinking in particular of the Headiest Day of all, 19th July 2011, of the holier than thou homily which Enda the Endurable delivered in the same venue at the expense of The Bishop of Rome, aka, The Pope .

    The homily in which Enda endeared himself to The Unionist Times and other Manifestations of the Morally Superior (honed over a thirty year spell of M.S.in the Free Southern Stateen during the Thirty Year War) even as he tore into and the red sox offa the Great Satan of the Papal Peyton Place.

    Hark, the Sir Oracle of Sanctimoniousness speaks, and so, let no dog bark:

    – The law of the land should not be stopped by a collar or a crozier !

    That was the off-the-shoulder straight right from the Straight Man called Enda.

    Later that heady day, the Straight Man’s comedic side kick Charlie Flanagan – this was long before the ‘Je suis Charles’ era – thundered for the expulsion of the papal nuncio, on the basis that:

    -The Vatican has broken the law in Ireland !

    The only explanation which one can excavate to explain the chasm between the two diametrically contarsting (a darling phrase, Joxer) performaces in the Doll House by Enda the Endurable / Unendurable is the (gulp) gulf in guff between the scripted and the off the cuff.

    Could it be that the Spin Doctor who put his illigible signature to the Robotic Rome-bashing oratory of Enda six years ago was on leave yesterday and that his locum was stuck in the cloacal chambers of the Doll House due to a bent penny in the slot?

    Curiously, or perhaps, not, the background mood music six years ago and the News at Six last night has been the same Thomas Moore (not to be confused with Big Tom) classic:

    -The Meeting of the Imprimaturs.

    More colloquially known as:

    -A.V.O.C.A. or A Victim of Child Abuse.

    Equally curious has been the reaction of the Manifestation of the Morally Superior (see above).

    No way, they were heard to say, or even, erm, snarl , should a Minister or a Commissioner or an Honorary Spin Doctor itself be expected to stand aside for fear it might be seen as an admission of guilt.

    Compare and contrast with the same M. of the M. S. (see just above) golden silence on the question of the standing aside of – let’s see, ah, yes – the Catholic clergy against whom alligators have been baring their molars, while an Investigation is Conducted.

    Why then the difference in the two approaches, between the Snarl and the Silence, between mere guilt and (gasp) gilt-edged guilt?

    Whatever the tuppence worth of truthiness at play there, one thing is sure: the presence of the Three R’s so far in this Pretend Game of Enda’s End:

    -Road Kill, Robots and Roos.

    The Roo was introduced by Timmy Dooly (the TD who is a TD) of the less than ruly Fianna Failure Party when he, as a guest of the Sean O’Rourke programmer on RTE Radio 1, got to, erm, harass the SF with his accusation of:

    -Kangaroo Courts.


    The planks’ plank is to tank the Shinners
    We’re goners, y’r honor, if SF are winners
    Learn so to parle
    Like Arl the Snarl
    How to Lip Curl for Complete (?) Beginners ..

  2. Ryan February 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Arlene is finished as First Minister.

  3. Sherdy February 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm #

    It seems like Fianna Fail will hold their noses, cast off any principles they may allegedly have held, and support the forked-tongue Enda.
    The independent alliance, again showing a complete lack of principles, have decided, on foot of an apparent guarantee of an investigation which had already been granted, not to vote against him and guarantee his survival.
    And we thought politics in the north was sickeningly dirty!

    • paddykool February 16, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Yep…RJC…I read that some time ago.I seems to have slipped by largely but it makes fascinating reading all right.