Saturday 22 October 2016

Saying a goodbye to grumpy old men

Published 11/07/2014 | 11:38

The Grumpy Old Men of the cabinet, being grumpy old men might think we are laughing with delight at their passing.

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In fact when it comes to today’s disappearance of Eamon ‘the Invisible Man’ Gilmore, Pat ‘the smirk’ Rabbitte and Ruairi Quinn our feelings are more mixed.

There can be no doubt that the three faithfully departed – and Enda, Brendan Howlin and James for that matter – set the image of the government in stone.

Intriguingly the lads took the Grumpy Old Men line as representing an insult.

One supposes that being Grumpy Old Men they would.

It was strange in one sense for being designated as Grumpy Old Men is not the worst fate that politicians could suffer from.

Often Grumpy Old Men are viewed with affection ... so long as they do not spend too much time in your company.

Like Victor Meldrew they, in an age of spin can evolve into noble truth speakers who with an increasing level of decibels continue to proclaim the Emperor is naked no matter how anxiously they are told to shush.

And our poor crew were definitely in ‘I don’t believe it’ mode after their first day in government buildings.

Our Grumpy Old Men could also have adopted the Captain Mainwaring and Dads Army mode or the ebullient honesty of a Churchill.

Sadly it didn’t work out that way. 

Instead too swiftly it became apparent the Grumps were out of tune with the spirit and the needs of a young country.

It wasn’t an ageist thing either as the status of spritely young seventy something Micheal Noonan as our national Grandfather and Joan Burton as the new Queen Mum proves.

The problem was though that a young nation needing optimism and hope too often found it appeared to be the case the Grumps were perpetually in their flowers waiting to be needled by the slightest real, perceived or accidental insult.

Too often too it appeared there was no consoling or convincing the Grumpy Old Men that life was not so bad.

They may have been where they always wanted to be but no amount of Mercs, Perks or future pensions could console them.

Instead having finally got on the pitch all they could do was complain about the ball, the pitch, the referee and the truculent nature of their opponents.

Still we will miss our Grumpy Old men for cantankerous plain-speaking is a dying political virtue.

It was just that like nurse with the castor oil they were too fond of it ultimately for their or more important still our good. – Ends -

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