Thursday 23 November 2017

Who will leave next? It's time to place your bets

Goodness, you have a face like a smacked bottom. What's up?

I just lost a packet betting on who'd be turfed out of the Big Brother house.

What are you on about, you utter blockhead. Thankfully that television series has been axed by Channel 4.

Nope. You're wrong there, bud. There's a new one set in the roundy room. All the inmates are losing the plot and climbing over the wall. It started ages ago when the fella off the telly threw his rattle out of the cot and stormed out.

Now I'm with you. It may seem like ages, but in fact it's less than three weeks since Fine Gael's blue-eyed boy George Lee sensationally resigned from politics and threw his party into turmoil. And indeed it did seem to trigger a lemming-like stampede for the cliff-face among other members of the Oireachtas.

They all went balubas. No sooner had Look At Me I'm George Lee headed for the hills, when up reared that lassie from the tree-huggers crowd. She's a grand-looking girl, but a bit feisty. She gave her boss a right lash on her way out the door.

Yes, indeed. Deirdre de Burca did depart rather spectacularly, having penned a vitriolic Dear John missive to party leader John Gormley. Luckily, as she failed twice to get elected to the Dail and also failed to secure a seat in the European elections last year, Deirdre's departure from the Seanad discomfited the electorate not a whit.

That's true. But what about the unmerciful scrap surrounding the third inmate to leave the Big Brother house? You wouldn't see the like of it in my chipper after closing time. And who left that little fella in charge of the Army in the first place?

Yes, the eviction of our Defence Minister was quite extraordinary.

But there's one thing I don't understand. Why did a big number of the other inmates vote to keep Wonky Willie in the House, but then he had to sling his hook the next day?

It's a murky tale. But he brought it on himself. Instead of displaying genuine contrition for his sins, Willie O'Dea stood up in the Dail and took swings at the Blueshirts and then popped up on the radio complaining about how he was "a victim". This got up the collective noses of the Green Party who promptly swapped their sandals for samurai swords and went looking for his head.

At least Wonky had one good mate. It was nice to see that other fella, the hard chaw from El Paso, offering to hold his coat.

Well, I'm afraid most people took a dim view of the sight of our Justice Minister egging on Willie and taunting the Opposition during the bunfight in the Dail chamber. But in a classic example of instant karma, Dermot Ahern was in the spotlight himself a few days later.

Yeah, wasn't he fingered as the hit-man who took out not-so-Clever Trevor, as a tit-for-tat revenge for the tree-huggers stiffing poor Willie?

Yes. As soon as the bombshell news hit the papers that the junior Minister for Food had been writing iffy letters to the gardai, conspiracy theories flew about that Dermot had somehow leaked the letters to the media.

It wasn't true, was it?

It seems that he's entirely blameless, a victim of his own reputation as a tough guy. But whoever leaked the information now has a ministerial scalp, though most people in Leinster House are genuinely sorry to see Trevor Sargent step down.

So who'll be next? The sandy-haired chap who's suddenly taken to shouting a lot, or the grumpy fella who runs the show?

Who knows. Fancy a flutter on it?

Irish Independent

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