Climate change for Enda
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh, as Oscar Wilde once said about the tragic death of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop.
There Enda Kenny was, on the other side of the world, bravely sorting out global warming at some grandly titled and very important UN Leaders' Summit, when suddenly he was facing a little bit of climate change of his very own back home as the political air turned decidedly chilly over one small Seanad seat.
Be reasonable, people. The Taoiseach's trying to save the planet. He can't be expected to bother with these piffling, insignificant local details. Except, well, he did, jumping in to give the nod and wink to John McNulty as nominee for the forthcoming Seanad by-election caused by the departure of MEP Deirdre Clune.
Some cried nepotism. Others detected sexism. Still more saw the spectacle of good old-fashioned "stroke" politics rearing its ugly head once more. Enda batted away criticism by declaring that this was just how the Blueshirts had always done things "down through the years".
"Yeah," replied the critics, "that's the problem." But by then Enda was a busy man again, off saving the world in another very important meeting with other very important people like President Obama, who responded with the timeless words: "Oh Jeez, is it St Patrick's Day again already?"
This latest row may look bad, but think of the bigger picture. If there really is going to be a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition after the next election, Enda needed to start showing the Soldiers of Destiny that his party could be just as dismissive of women as they are.
Say what you like about the Taoiseach, but you can't deny he's definitely done that. And more to the point he's done it very well. Credit where credit's due.