News Brendan O’Connor

Friday 28 October 2016

Leo is now our new columnist

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

Newly appointed social protection minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Newly appointed social protection minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath

Now that Leo Varadkar has been moved out of Health, he's going to have more time on his hands, so he's agreed to write a weekly column of his musings on things for the Sunday Independent. Here is his first, and possibly only, column.

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Hello and welcome to my new column. So I'm now, like, Minister for Social Welfare or whatever they're calling it now. The lads are all calling me Dr Dole. I've been reading the brief and I have to say it's mental stuff. So basically, people get, like, a couple of hundred quid a week and they're supposed to get by on it? Apparently they can barely afford a good bottle of Cab Sauv.

And then there's all this other totally mental stuff where if you've got kids we give you money as well. And then we seem to be giving people money for, like, something called a Bugaboo, and Communion dresses and all kinds of other crazy stuff. The lads say those people all spend it on giant TVs anyway.

Anyway. I'm sure it'll be grand. Not my problem, is it? People seem to think it's a demotion but I'm seeing it as a move sideways. Let's face it, it hardly makes any odds to me what department I'm in. I'm not defined by any department, or any party, or any government. I'm a free spirit. I tell it like is, stick it to The Man. And the civil servants can look after the dole scroungers for me. This column will be as critical of the Government as any other newspaper column. I won't be bought with a ministerial salary.

Though being a minister does mean I'll have to go to Cabinet meetings with all these randomers we seem to have taken into Government. Enda certainly has opened the door to all kinds of muck-savages. We had to hold up everything at one point for some turf-cutter with hands like shovels. And there was nearly some dude called "Boxer" in the Cabinet. I mean, hello? What kind of guy gets a nickname like Boxer? I suspect most of these people wouldn't know a Malbec from a cheap Chilean Syrah.

Still, at least we were spared those two dudes from Kerry. The one with the cap seems marginally brighter than the other one. I think five years of Dublin during the week has knocked the edges off him. But, seriously, what's with the cap on all the time? Who does that dude think he is? The Edge? But he's like a rocket scientist next to the brother. You know the guy who thinks the weather is like God's punishment or whatever? What is he? Some kind of medieval peasant? Anyway, dude, if you don't like the weather, like go on holidays. Never heard of Florida? Honestly, who elects these guys?

At least the people in my constituency have taste. Although the lads are saying I'll need to be a bit more man-of-the-people now that I'm Dr Dole. So it's put away the Pinot this summer and get with the pints of cider.

Anyway hope you enjoyed my first column. If you didn't, well, it's not my problem. Anyway, it wasn't great in fairness, was it? Someone should do something about it.

Sunday Independent

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