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Thursday 24 August 2017

Key factor is TV3 knows just what we love to hate

In a dream week for the political class good sense prevailed, says Declan LynchAddress to the Nation RTE1

Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

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In a dream week for the political class good sense prevailed, says Declan LynchAddress to the Nation RTE1

IN retrospect, given that the Taoiseach's speech was useless, the decision of TV3 to show it after The X Factor seems wise. Though, of course, some of us didn't need the luxury of retrospect to figure that the speech might be somewhat less than excellent and that they were right not to fight the Factor.

And even if the speech had been magnificent, or even quite good, there wasn't much in it for TV3. Unlike RTE, it is not part of the civil service, so it is not locked in with the political class and its media collaborators into these stately dances.

Nor is it regarded by that class as being part of the ritual -- the speech went out at 9.30pm, which fits perfectly into RTE's schedule, whereas at TV3 it would have to break in to prime time entertainment in order to facilitate Enda and his team of untalented spin-monkeys.

Again, we could hear the bizarre condescension of the political hacks, as they murmured knowingly that the X Factor and RTE's Love/Hate may be providing us with drama and action and so forth, but if we wanted something serious, it had to be the Taoiseach's speech.

Ah, they will never get it.

It was particularly poor

to hear them putting Love/Hate on their list of trivia, because Love/Hate is an Irish production which, unlike anything in the Address to the Nation, is full of talent and energy and the sort of seriousness we need to get us out of the morass created by the clowns of Leinster House.

In the space of a few weeks, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, who plays Nidge in Love/Hate, has become one of my favourite actors of all time, and in general there are quite heroic efforts being made by the cast to somehow pass themselves off as members of the Dublin criminal underclass.

To see all this good work straight after Kenny's speech, is to be reminded that Kenny himself is an actor, passing himself off as a statesman, but giving a performance you would expect at the lower end of the amateur dramatics scene.

HE fancies himself too.

Indeed that is probably Kenny's main weakness as an actor, that feeling you get that he is loving his own performance a bit too much.

And the lines that were written for him, were perhaps intended to be simple, which is no bad thing, but ended up just being banal. With their banalities, the spin-monkeys like to think that they are "reaching beyond Dublin Four", when they are merely justifying their own limitations as thinkers and writers.

But clearly they fancy themselves too. And in a week of two Budgets, how could they or Enda Kenny or anyone acting for the Government not fancy themselves?

Even when there is just one Budget, they receive the sort of attention from their soulmates in the press box that the gods themselves might regard as too fervent. On a week with two Budgets, it can all become dangerously hysterical.

How are these people supposed to control themselves when they are getting not one, but two Budgets to be defended on the Pat Kenny Show? For the political hack, life's most beautiful dream is not to be a train driver or a rock'n'roll star, but to be talking to Pat on the morning after the Budget, and to be seen in the studio in that little clip they always show on the RTE news.

These days admittedly, the morning-after ritual must seem a bit like one of those schemes they have in America, where the fellow who robs your house and defecates on your floor is introduced to you in person, the perpetrator forced to explain himself to the victim.

But they don't see that, when they dream.

Not that the pol corrs would have got much sleep at all last week, on the nights before the Budgets, waking up intermittently like children on Christmas Eve, looking at the clock and thinking: can we get up yet?

WE assume that the men who signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty were a nobler kind. But there was a chilling resonance to The Treaty 1921, directed by Andrew Gallimore. When news of the agreement came through, apparently "the Dublin Stock Exchange reacted positively".

Leaving aside the Civil War and the 70 years of skullduggery that followed, it was another great call by the money-men.

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