Monday 26 September 2016

Mediocrity out, media-cracy in

Published 13/03/2016 | 02:30

'I suggest we start with Ivan Yates as Taoiseach, given he not only knows the terrain, but he knows everything.'
'I suggest we start with Ivan Yates as Taoiseach, given he not only knows the terrain, but he knows everything.'

We are all agreed now that someone needs to step up to the plate. Little enough gets done here when there is a Government. We certainly can't afford to experiment with not having one.

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But we have a quandary. The Left is agitating for the Right to go into Government so the Left can focus on protesting. After all, how can you demand the overthrowing of the status quo if there is no status quo?

And the so-called Right, who are actually the Centre, are having trouble conning each other into going into government, despite the media, who egged people on to get rid of their last two governments, insisting they need to get in bed together.

The media, much like the Left, need a government to try and get rid of. But so far, nobody is willing to accept defeat and go into government,

It makes you think. If only we had some bunch of people who actually know more than the politicians about how the country should be run. Or even better, if only there were a bunch of people who know everything about how everything should be done and who are also deeply committed to the formation of a government.

And then it struck me. I have the answer. We in the media know it all. We spend our time hectoring and lecturing politicians about everything they do wrong.

Those of us in print hold forth every week, some of us every day, on how the country should be run. Those of us in broadcast spend our days catching out politicians and tut-tutting at them.

And, let's face it, if anyone has shown a commitment in the last two weeks to the formation of a government, it has been the media. Hardly a day has gone by that editorials and columnists haven't thundered at the two political parties the people threw out in the last two elections to do what the people have now apparently told them to do, which is to form a government.

I know you're having difficulty getting your heads around this, but bear with me. The media decided that Fianna Fail was dead and buried five years ago. They decided that Fine Gael was roundly rejected by the people this time out. But we in the media are so deeply committed to stability and government that we are willing to put all that aside and encourage them both back in to government. These are the sacrifices we make.

But when you think about it, with that level of commitment to the formation of a government and the level of specialist knowledge that we in the media have of how the country should be run, it is clear that it is the media that should now step up to the plate and form a government.

This will require an ending of the civil war between various media outlets and it won't be easy for us. But I think we should end our differences in the national interest. A rotating Taoiseach between RTE, TV3, Newstalk, INM and the Irish Times is probably the easiest way to get agreement. I suggest we start with Ivan Yates as Taoiseach, given he not only knows the terrain, but he knows everything. I bags minister for telling everyone else what they are doing wrong and suggesting better ways of doing it, without actually having to implement any of my daft ideas.

Sunday Independent

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