Tuesday 16 January 2018

The Punt: Yes Minister's pacy delivery

Breakneck speed: Minister for Jobs,Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton
Breakneck speed: Minister for Jobs,Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton

The Punt

Richard Bruton can cover some ground when he needs to.

The Jobs and Enterprise Minister was seen around the Dublin suburb of Clontarf on Saturday, clutching his jacket in one hand and leaflets campaigning for a Yes vote in this week's marriage referendum in the other.

Bruton, below, whizzed from door to door, stuffing leaflets through letter boxes at breakneck speed.

But it was clear that he wasn't in the mood for talking to any of his constituents.

Perhaps he didn't want to get embroiled in any debates about water charges or the various other issues rankling voters. He didn't look as if he was in any mood to debate the issues, and he appeared to be doing his level best to ensure he wasn't going to be caught and have to get tied up.

But, kudos to him for doing so on a Saturday afternoon.

We criticise ministers and TDs a lot, and often times with good reason, but they give up a considerable period of time to their jobs. Perhaps he just wanted to get home to watch a bit of TV.

New Boris out, loud and proud?

Boris Johnson's potential successor knows how to sell himself. Tory-supporting businessman Ivan Massow, founder of Massow Financial Services, which offered insurance and mortgages to people discriminated against for being gay, announced he wanted to secure the Conservative Party nomination for the top job.

And how?

With a video describing himself as a gay, ex-alcoholic, dyslexic activist.

Massow said yesterday that he wants to succeed Boris as mayor and appealed for voters to tell him what they would want him to do in the job.

"I'm Ivan and I want to be your mayor of London; I'm gay, I'm an ex-alcoholic, I'm dyslexic, I'm adopted, I'm an activist, I'm a businessman, I'm a disruptor, I'm a doer," Massow said in the video.

That's quite the sell. But he's evidently ambitious and has achieved considerable success. 'The Guardian' reported that he joined his local Young Conservatives and became chairman aged 14, left school with one O-level, and set up Massow Financial Services, which grew to be valued at more than £20m.

Other competitors have already declared.

It will be an interesting race.

Harry pottering about docks

The Punt was wandering around the Dublin Dockland's festival over the weekend.

A kids' merry go-round was almost the cause of a near riot as irate parents waited for 15 minutes for the blasted thing to get going, while the young operator checked and rechecked the tiny passengers. It was too much for one American, whose pride and joy was among those waiting for take-off. "Jesus!!!" screamed the dad as take-off was postponed once more.

But this is all an aside. The Punt spotted Harry Crosbie breezing through the crowd. The developer was, of course, partly responsible for the massive reinvention of the capital's docklands.

Among his projects was the landmark Bord Gais Energy Theatre, which provided a backdrop to the weekend's festivities. He also, of course, built the Point.

But like so many property moguls, he fell on hard times.

In tow with Crosbie at the weekend was an unidentified, bespectacled male.

"Can you believe how many people are here?" Crosbie asked his companion, as they repaired to the trendy Café Bar H, which of course is owned by... Harry Crosbie.

Last year, Crosbie objected to conditions, including a maximum of €5,000 in monthly living expenses being sought by Nama for not enforcing a €77m judgment against his home and other assets pending further legal proceedings.

The Punt can see the point, no pun intended. Just two hours there with two kids and the wallet was empty.

Irish Independent

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