Monday 18 December 2017

Don't expect too many bright ideas

What did Portlaoise and Waterford do to deserve such an awful fate? Did they both lose a bet over the summer and then discover their joint punishment was to play host to so-called think-ins for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael in recent days? Or did they actually go into this thing with an innocent feeling of excitement and hope, only to see their dreams collapse into a nightmarish farce, like Katie Price before each wedding?

The politicians were joking, right? Please say it's so. For Irish political parties to have a think-in is like Trapattoni giving lectures on how to win the World Cup. If anyone who does his or her own thinking had turned up at one of these shindigs, they'd have been as welcome as a pork chop at a vegetarian barbecue.

In fact, there were rumours going round at one point that an original idea had indeed been spotted close to the Labour bash, but was hunted and brought down by tranquilliser dart, before being released back into the wild where it could do no harm.

These annual think-ins are like Electric Picnic for political nerds, only, instead of sleeping in a tent and going to the loo in a field, ministers and TDs get to stay in a nice hotel at someone else's expense. With mini-bars to remind them of the Dail during important debates.

Though if FG keeps expelling deputies for having a conscience, next year's event may be switched to a B&B in Salthill. For Salthill's sake alone, let's hope not.

Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

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