Monday 5 December 2016

Just because you were in Davos, Enda, doesn't make you an economist

Shaun Connolly

Published 06/02/2016 | 02:30

Mr Kenny may be blessed with a fragmented and unfocused opposition in the form of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Indy- Bendy-Pendents, but the real opposition – the one inside Fine Gael – is already deciding what to get him as a well deserved leaving present. Photo: Getty
Mr Kenny may be blessed with a fragmented and unfocused opposition in the form of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Indy- Bendy-Pendents, but the real opposition – the one inside Fine Gael – is already deciding what to get him as a well deserved leaving present. Photo: Getty

Sarah Palin once again put her finger on the pulse with another weirdly scripted remark in which she said: "Usually polls are only good for strippers" - before going on to insist she did, however, believe the ones predicting Donald Trump would storm Iowa.

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Enda Kenny was clearly on the Palin wavelength as he appeared to be practically bursting out of his anorak in his indecent haste to bolt from Government Buildings and race to the Áras after a bizarre teaser announcement in the Dáil before his ratings began to slide down what Disraeli described as "the greasy pole of politics".

But the over-choreo-graphed start to the campaign fell flat as Mr Kenny haughtily brushed aside the multi-billion euro black hole in his financial plans by insisting the little people did not understand economics anyway, so why bother discussing it when it goes over their heads?

Just because you've been to Davos, Enda, doesn't mean you understand economics better than the rest of us.

Mr Kenny was pedalling another fallacy yesterday by insisting he could magically serve five full years as Taoiseach and then hand over to a successor for the three weeks of the next campaign.

Even a master of the political arts like former British PM Tony Blair could barely hang on two years after making a similar claim - despite delivering his party a third successive thumping majority. And David Cameron, who has also pre-announced his standing down, is likely to quit later this year if he wins the In-Out EU referendum - or on results night in June if he loses.

Mr Kenny may be blessed with a fragmented and unfocused opposition in the form of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Indy-Bendy-Pendents, but the real opposition - the one inside Fine Gael - is already deciding what to get him as a well deserved leaving present at a time of their choosing during the next 18 months.

Boss Kelly's ego on tour

Who is the boss of bosses? Bruce Springsteen may be able to sell out Croke Park, but Alan Kelly has been accused of selling out everything, everywhere.

It is believed Alan, who modestly claims personal responsibility for every single job created in Ireland in the past five years, has already been on to the Springsteen management asking to introduce the singer on stage ahead of his 'Born In The USA' track, 'Working On The Highway' - so Kelly can tell the real story behind the song: "I got Bruce that job on the roads when I was junior transport minister, he's a grand fella."

The obscenely ambitious Mr Kelly, who insisted no one was the "boss" of him before Joan Burton had to deliver a public happy-slapping by describing him as an "obedient employee", was most put out by the cutting comment because Joanie did not even give him the 'Employee of the Month' title he so richly deserves.

And it is true the human job-creation machine has certainly done his bit for the SME sector, but sadly not the small, medium enterprises in need of recovery; rather, as when Mr Kelly launched his verbal one-man assault on the Newstalk election bus, he is more a walking showcase for Spectacularly Misguided Eejits.

Still, after her years of loyal service to Eamon Gilmore, Joan got the deputy she so royally deserved in Keystone Kelly, who even managed to make the reality-averse Fianna Fáil fleer Mattie McGrath sound like the grounded one in the ensuing on-air Newstalk tussle, which came across as a kind of 'Jeremy Kyle does the Dail'. High-brow debate between the two parliamentarians centred on whether Alan had hid in the back of Mattie's van or not.

But no wonder the strain is showing for poor old Alan - it's not easy being the self-proclaimed saviour of Ireland on the one hand, while desperately scrambling for the fifth and final seat in Tipperary on the other.

At least he can take solace in Luke, Chapter 4, verse, 24: "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown."

But Alan need not worry. His destiny is secured because when Bruce plays 'Radio Nowhere' at Croke Park it will be specially for him.

Dr Do-little wants out

Does Enda Kenny have a sick sense of humour? Why else put Laurel and Hardy - sorry, Leo and Reilly - in charge of the health service for the past five years otherwise?

James Reilly handed the bedpan post of Cabinet somewhat reluctantly to Mr Varadkar, but as both are trained medics, it turned out to be Dr Delusional swapping shifts with Dr Despairing.

Though Dr Do-little might be a better name for Leo as he counts down the sleeps left to polling day and his chance for escape from the health hellhole that was Enda's belated revenge for that old heave-ho-a-go-go unpleasantness of 2010.

Varadkarologists will have noted a subtle shift in his stance in recent months when asked if he would like to remain health minister after the election.

Rather than take the usual line and meekly insist there could be no greater honour, Leo shuffles his words and adds the crucial caveat that he would love to - as long as he gets the necessary resources.

That's not going to happen, and Leo is clearly itching to discharge himself from this particularly duty as soon as is decent.

Irish Independent

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