WATCHING Gerry Adams discuss the day-to-day politics of the Irish Republic brings to mind Dr Johnson's famous quip about a woman preaching being like a dog walking on its hind legs: "It's not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all."
After decades when all he needed was a few stock phrases about "the reality of the situation" and "the politics of condemnation", the Sinn Fein president suddenly faces trickier questions about child benefit and VAT rates. There are times that he's looked less well-briefed than a streaker. Then again, Enda Kenny probably doesn't know one end of a Kalashnikov from another.
Not that Gerry would know about such stuff either, of course. As he keeps repeating, the Sinn Fein leader was never a member of the IRA.
Adams accuses his opponents of throwing up the past because they're scared of the Sinn Fein surge; but to be honest, it's a bit rich to be told to move on by a man who still seems a tad upset about the outcome of the Battle of the Boyne...
He's not exactly helping us forget with some of his more colourful rhetoric either.
On Newstalk last week, he actually referred to the Universal Social Charge as "an act of gross terrorism", prompting some wags to wonder why he wasn't making excuses for it then.