Tense words in the FG bunker as Herr Kenny foresees his downfall
Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30
Generalissimo Enda Kenny paced forwards and backwards as he surveyed his war cabinet, deep in the bowels of the Fine Gael bunker. "The news from the front is not good. Not good at all," he told his assembled heavies.
"Whoever thought up that bloody slogan - 'keep the recovery going' - needs to think again and fast," he warned.
"I was told the slogan was going to be our Panzer Division. But it's become a boring cliché, bogged down in a sea of apathy, by all those plebs out there who don't give a hoot one way or the other.''
"So what the hell are we going to do with only a week left to try to ensure we remain top dogs?"
Only one voice answered, that of an ambitious junior officer sitting at the back of the room: "We might start by cutting out a lot of the crap - and accepting we could be snookered when all this charade is over in a few days," he suggested.
"And what exactly do you mean by that?" replied his increasingly agitated leader.
"For one thing we should learn one of the big-time lessons of history before it's too late,'' said the junior officer.
"Remember when Hitler was in his bunker during the dying days of the Third Reich. Nobody could tell him the truth - especially the fact that Germany had well and truly lost the war. All the guys around him continued with the make-believe, pretending there was still a chance of final victory."
"I'm not so sure I like where you're coming from. And I certainly don't like being compared to Hitler," replied an even more flushed Generalissimo.
But the young man was not cowed.
"Well, the way I see it is that some of the senior ranks in this room are just playing it a bit too cute. They are telling you what they think you want to hear,'' said the officer. "As you know, some of them can't be trusted. Remember, it's not all that long ago when they tried to stab you in the back and install General Bruton as our new Fuhrer."
Emboldened, the officer continued: "We've got to face the facts. We're in deep trouble. Just like Hitler, we have made the terrible mistake of being dragged into a quagmire where we have to fight a war on two fronts.
"We have Smarmy Martin on one side, and Adams and the Shinners on the other. And that's no to mention all that pain-in-the-butt sniping from various headbanger Independents.
"Somebody has to tell it as it is, Generalissimo. We are being squeezed on all sides. The way things are going we could be down to around 50 Fine Gael seats - with Burton and those Labour losers struggling to make a measly 10.
"When you think about it, Labour are about as much use to us in this battle as those useless Italians were to Hitler.''
The Generalissimo replied: "I don't want to hear any more talk about this guy Hitler. Remember how things panned out in the end for him.''
But the junior officer continued undaunted: "Numbers wise we are on the back foot and things could get even worse. For Labour the game is up."
"Well, then," countered the Generalissimo. "It looks like we will have to start stroking some deals with Lowry, that awful woman Creighton, the know-all Shane Ross, and a few hillbillies like the Healy-Raes.''
"And at least Martin and the Fianna Fáil crowd, plus Adams and the Shinners will have fought themselves to a standstill when all this is over. Whatever happens, they are going to be even more snookered than us," he continued.
"Don't be too sure, Generalissimo. Underestimate the Exocet Option at your peril," warned the youngster.
"And what the hell is the Exocet option?" growled his boss.
Suddenly the junior officer became all animated. "The Exocet option,'' he explained, "will involve the Shinners reinventing themselves after the election. And who does the born-again trick better than that crowd?"
"The first thing is that Adams will do is step down as leader. He will be given a new ambassadorial role linked in with 1916 and all that kind of stuff.
He went on: "Mary Lou with her carefully cultivated Dublin 4 radical chic will get the top job. She will immediately ditch most of their off-the-wall ideas, to make things more amenable to Smarmy Martin, and especially those wannabee ministers around him. It will be sweet reason all over the place. Mary Lou will be telling everybody she wants to move Sinn Féin into the centre ground, in the national interest of course.
"Martin and his gang will scent power big time. You know, Generalissimo, power. The ultimate and only aphrodisiac for any self-respecting Fianna Fáiler. Then Fianna Fáil will begin to think the unthinkable - in the national interest of course."
"If they wheedle what's left of the Labour Party into a deal that includes Sinn Féin and get some of those madcap Independents on board, there you have it. It's a new Rainbow Coalition. It will leave us out in the cold - all on our own - just like the bad old days for Fine Gael."
The party leader paused to think. "Stranger things have happened," he muttered. "What can we do? Time is running out," he wailed.
"We should bury the 'keep the recovery going' lark," said the junior officer. "Then, why don't we publicly admit that - of course - we will, if necessary, do a deal with the Fianna Fáil crowd, to keep you and all of us in power. We can, of course, hype the old national interest line to sell it to the plebs," he added.
The Generalissimo went very quiet. "You don't really think Micheál Martin and Mary Lou would hatch a deal. Do you?" he asked.
But all had gone quiet in the bunker. "That's the problem these days - you really can't trust anybody in the ould political game any more," muttered the Generalissimo to nobody in particular.