Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dame Enda leads dance at the Ballroom of Romance

John DrennaN/Dail Sketch

PAUL Gogarty once compared coalition with Fianna Fail to "like lying bollock naked" and being "screwed" before he added the hopeful rider that the Greens might "roll FF over" in the bed "to get what we want".

Sadly, when the terrible moment finally arrived where the Greens plucked FF's cherry and told them to roll over, poor Mattie McGrath immediately fell out of the FF bed.

Amid all of the fuss, some of our faux intellectuals were quite sardonic about the failure of Mary "Braveheart" Wallace, Bobby "The Boxer" Aylward and Mad Mattie to create a similar fuss over the budgets or our KGB of an HSE.

But to the lads, these are vague incomprehensible concepts over which they have no control. In contrast, when it comes to the ferrets, greyhounds, coursing, shooting and fishing, they at least understand these things.

The Sketch does believe, however, that when it came to selecting its front-of-house person, RISE and the stag hunters made a critical error.

Mattie, the boy who cried wolf, tried hard but if they wanted to turn the FF back-benchers then Beverley riding a white horse in a pair of jodhpurs would have been far more effective.

Still, the entire spectacle did remind us of Dermot Ahern's scathing dismissal in 2007 of a putative post-election coalition of FG, Labour the Greens, the Progressive Democrats, Sinn Fein, and Independents as an unstable political dolly-mixture.

After last week, the current collation of pro- and anti- Biffo FF, Independent PD, the Greens, Independent FG, Independent FF and genuine Independent TDs doesn't look any better.

Happily, the ongoing FG civil war swiftly diverted our attention from serious issues like Mad Mattie's claim that the Greens would soon be "stopping the pussy cat from chasing the mouse".

Of course the naked knives in the room still came as a bit of a shock, for we are more used to nice, polite FG where leadership contests used to consist of Enda saying, "You first, Richard, you're so clever," and little Richard chirruping, "No, you first Enda, you're so much prettier."

It was all very different last week as Enda the Conqueror received the submission of his rebellious chieftains.

They may once have been high and mighty, but as Richard the Timorous and Leo the Lion-hearted tip-toed back, all that was missing was a grinning Cute Oul Phil Hogan waving a searing hot branding iron for use on the posteriors of the rebels.

Mind you, as we looked at Dame Enda's almost all male Country and Western-style team, the scene was eerily reminiscent of some Fifties- style Ballroom of Romance where the men were lined up on one side of the sweaty location while the women . . . well actually there weren't a whole lot of those to be seen at all.

We had hoped that Lucinda in that cotton dress would

add a bit of glamour, but Dame Enda obviously decided it was too much of a risk to allow Creighton to become Biffo's Broom Hilda.

Instead Enda's new Capello-style "attacking quartet" is to consist of Bulldog Reilly, Basher Noonan, Cute Oul Phil the Enforcer and Varad the Impaler. Oh, and Little Richard is still there flitting around harmlessly at the edge of things. He'll be a wonderful Minister of Defence if young Enda ever takes power.

Amid all of the gummy smiles within Dame Enda's sparkling new front bench of old age pensioners, there was one flash of steel as a grinning Kenny noted, "There's no long grass in FG now, we cut it all down two weeks ago."

Back in a Dail, which now resembles the set of Big Brother minus the intellectual content, when it comes to Enda's triumph the one thing we will say to Labour is: keep that smirk off your faces. You may still have to go into coalition with these guys, and no one knows who will be the Steptoe and who will be the son.

As for poor Ireland, when it comes to our current choice between the moral hazard posed by re-electing Biffo's blunderers and the alternative dolly-mixture of opportunistic spoofers crossed with happy idiots, one can only ask what we have done to deserve a choice like that.

Sunday Independent

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