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Monday, May 21, 2007

Back from the Orient

I'm now back from the far east, and have quite a number of observations to make about China. But I'll do that next week, as it's impossible to ignore the small matter of a general election this week.

It looks like Bribeable Bert's in real trouble over the small matter of receiving free houses and maintenance buy-offs from shadowy businessmen in Manchester. This doesn't exactly fill me with hope for the nation, since he's still neck and neck to form the next government.

What does it actually take to convince the rump 35% or so that the current batch of Fianna Fail are a ragbag of crooks and incompentants? Do they actually need to see them exiting the Bank of Ireland wearing stripey pyjamas and masks carrying bags with 'Swag' written on them before they understand?

Anyhow, there is at least cheering news that the neo-cons who've actually been running the country for the past decade, while the Fianna Failures were busy lining their pockets, are set to be wiped out.

At least the nation seems to have copped on to the PDs at long last. Perhaps it was Harney's presiding over ever deteriorating health services, while trying to sell off the best bits to her mates, or perhaps it is the perennial frothing mouthed anti-democratic insanity of McDowell that has led them to this pass.

But since those two are the only ones likely to be returned to the Dail, it's more likely that the public have finally copped that there is no PD party. It's just a flag of convenience flown by a truly bizarre bunch of right-wing fellow travellers, each with their own personal reasons for wishing to be a big fish in an ever-evaporating pond.

On the other hand, the Shinners seems set to consolidate a lot of gains, perhaps even enough to force a hung Dail or minority government. In which case, the question is will bribeable Bert be persuaded into bed with the gunmen?

Labour are continuing to insist that they won't assist a Fianna Fail coalition, but that rather depends on them making up the numbers with Fine Gael and, perhaps, the Greens. Which it's looking dubious that they will.

The bookies still like the look of a FF-Lab coalition despite Rabbitte's rantings, and if that does transpire, you can expect to see Pat hoist by his Mullingar petard, leaving the way clear for Brendan Howlin to become Tanaiste.

In short, it's the most exciting, and crucial, election held in Ireland for well over a generation.

Make sure to play your part by casting a vote this week, even if it's only for the Christian Solidarity or Immigration Control candidates.

Actually, I'm joking. If either of those appeal, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Coming soon: why Irish builders should move to Tibet.


Annie Rhiannon said...

I'm sorry I'm not going to be in Ireland for these elections. Thank god for bloggy updates.

JC Skinner said...

Don't be sorry, Annie. Despite it being too close to call, it has been, as I feared, one of the most tedious ever, Bertie's finances notwithstanding.
That's why I took two weeks out in China. It narrowed the scope of the damn thing deliciously.