Monday 22 December 2014

Floating Voter: Alan's new digs far cry from former splendour

Published 17/05/2014 | 02:30

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter

THE pre-election somnolence that has settled on Leinster House was shattered this week by an unusual sighting.

A slightly shell-shocked looking Alan Shatter was spotted moving from the splendour of the Justice Department on Stephen's Green into his new, humbler quarters in the Fine Gael wing of LH2000.

He has been given a billet next to the offices of (gasp) mere backbench TDs such as Jerry Buttimer, Regina Doherty and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, and Senator Jillian van Turnhout. His new office had stood empty for some time, having formerly been occupied by the party's Meeja Maestro, Tom Fabozzi.

One observer who saw an ashen Alan inspect his new digs remarked: "It was like seeing a man move from a mansion to a housing estate."

Oh dear. One hopes he won't be shunned by his new neighbours. Alan dwelling in a housing estate is one thing, but languishing in a ghost estate would be sadder still.

MARTIN REELS IN VOTES WITH VIRAL VIDEO

Independent candidates don't have the big guns of party support and funds to help them in the fight for a European or a council seat, so a few extra weapons are needed to even up the battlefield – such as that deployed by Cahir man, Martin Lonergan.

The 32-year-old Independent has in his arsenal a jolly campaign video, 'Vote Martin Lonergan No 1', which has many shots of him and his political guru, local TD Mattie McGrath, posing in various spots about the town. And it contains many unforgettable lyrics, too, such as "The Troika came and went/we must pay back the bills/to support our pillar banks/and some grabbing villains".

"Some people said it was a bit of PR genius," reckoned Martin this week. He may be right. It's racked up over 26,000 hits on YouTube. Lady Gaga must be raaaging.

PERHAPS SOME HUMBLE PIE FOR DESSERT SIR?

Oops. The hated 'Era of Austerity' may be crawling to an end, but it's an unwise politician who publicly hobnobs with anything reminiscent of the old days of champers and posh nosh.

Fine Gael's Simon Harris has been an avid user of social media on his campaign. However, his tweet thanking chef Paul Smith for the "tasty lobster sandwiches", along with a shot of Simon and Enda enjoying the food was too much for some.

One follower of Simon tweeted back: "ENJOY... THE PARTY WILL BE OVER SOON... THE PEOPLE WILL LET YOU KNOW IN THE FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS."

SIGN OF THE TIMES FOR LABOUR

The Labour Party spin-machine may have thought it had come up with a spiffing pithy slogan to remind the ungrateful electorate of how many jobs had been created by the Coalition. However, this sarky addendum – which was spotted outside UCC and posted on Twitter by James Cussen – suggests that at least one voter believes that it's not so much Frankfurt's Way as Toronto's Way ...

Irish Independent

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