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Spats show just how out of tune politicians can be

'PEOPLE don't want to hear these continuous spats," Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny told Aine Lawlor on yesterday's 'Morning Ireland', adding piously that his party had "not gone down that road".

So it was Labour's fault that, as John Murray put it 30 minutes later, the two main opposition parties were "going at each other like Rottweilers".

Then John played Satchmo singing 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off'' in honour of the occasion.

Meanwhile, over on Newstalk, Fine Gael's Leo Varadkar and Labour's Roisin Shortall were tearing lumps out of each other, Roisin having described Leo as "the Irish Maggie Thatcher", though I doubt if Leo will ever be a pin-up boy for the troops and probably mightn't look too good in a twinset and pearls.

Anyway, they were at each other's throats, leading host Ivan Yates to comment wearily that people who were looking for a stable government "deserve better than this bickering".

Indeed they do, though on RTE Radio's 'News at One', Labour's Ivana Bacik, battling for a seat in Dun Laoghaire, tried to play down the spat by dismissing it as merely the bracing "cut-and-thrust" of election politics.

Mary Hanafin, also struggling in the same constituency and, in her own words, "fighting for every single vote", found the Hanafin name more welcome on the doorsteps than the link to Fianna Fail.

And the Greens' Paul Gogarty was experiencing much the same reaction: the way Paul told it, if he were an Independent, he'd get a zillion votes.

Earlier, on Pat Kenny's show, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore was asked by a caller "Is Ireland ready for an atheist Taoiseach?"

Apparently Eamon had confided his godlessness in a 'Hot Press' interview, but as he's unlikely ever to become Taoiseach, except in his own mind, the question seemed pointless, unless Enda's a closet atheist. Anyway, who cares?

The vexed matter of Gerry Adams and the IRA was debated by Pat's Friday Gathering, but nobody mentioned that Micheal Martin may have been unwise to reopen this particular can of worms.

After all, the way things are going for Fianna Fail, he'll probably end up in years to come furiously denying he ever belonged to the party.

Back on Ivan Yates's Newstalk show, they were playing various political songs being used in this election, including a rap number from independent candidate Mannix Flynn that began "I think, therefore I am" (very highfalutin stuff) and a ditty in aid of Limerick's John Dillon to the tune of 'Jailhouse Rock'.

"Quite catchy, that," said Ivan, betraying his age.

There was also a Labour candidate's revamp of 'Horse Outside,' the cynical poaching of which has apparently annoyed the Rubberbandits.

None of them, though, was a patch on the Dundalk band we'd heard about on Pat Kenny's show a couple of days earlier.

They'd reworked Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall' into an anthem entitled 'Another Prick in the Dail' and it was going viral on YouTube.

Well, as I always say, give the public what they want . . .

Irish Independent