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If singing doesn't help you cope, then try one of these hairshirts

Needless to say, like the rest of us this sainted individual was fully expecting to be crucified in the Budget

There was only one way of handling yesterday's Budget, and that was to sing your way through it.

Unorthodox Church of Ireland priest Stephen Neill yesterday urged his flock in Tipperary to "sing your way through Budget Day''.

"Drown out Lenihan's words of woe,'' advised the worthy Rector of Cloughjordan," and in the words of Monty Python -- always look on the bright side of death!''

Sound financial advice indeed.

The Reverend Neill told me yesterday he had stuck to his commandment and spent the Budget speech singing Credit Crunch, a little known ditty by the Corrigan Brothers.

In case you want to join in, the lyrics are printed on his web blog, Paddy Anglican:

"The repo man took your TV

He's coming back for the SUV

Enlargement done on your wife's breasts

May someday be repossessed.''

Call me old-fashioned, but religion ain't what it used to be.


There was the usual rabble of protesters outside Leinster House yesterday. But it was good to see one gentleman dressed suitably for the occasion.

A figure trundled along the street dressed as Jesus of Nazareth, complete with a large wooden cross. (This was fitted with a castor wheel, one observer noted, for ease of transport. No need to overdo the hardship.)

Needless to say, like the rest of us this sainted individual was fully expecting to be crucified in the Budget.

Is it not time to have a best dressed protester award at these political bunfights?


I am happy to report that a company selling cut-price hairshirts has had a surge in interest from Ireland as a result of the Budget.

The itchy chemise, woven from the hair of a goat, is the height of fashion at all the best soirees this season for just €38.

As a special Budget offer, Cilice.co.uk, which specialises in uncomfortable religious attire, will throw in a cat-o'-seven-tails whip with every hairshirt. So you can lash yourself merrily as you absorb the Budget pain.

"We would be happy to give your finance minister a free hairshirt if he wants one,'' a mysterious spokesman known as Jaroslav told me.

The company can also supply a cilice -- a chain with an inward facing spoke --for those who require something extra painful for Lenten penance (as seen in 'The Da Vinci Code').

As if listening to Brian Lenihan was not penance enough.


Now that Brian Lenihan's latest cunning plan is out of the way it can only be a matter of weeks before the next one.

Here is a sneak preview of what to expect:

  • CHAT SHOW INHERITANCE TAX -- Supertax on overpaid, insufferable RTE windbags
  • CAPITAL STAINS TAX -- Eco-friendly tax on laundry. Special incentive for 'aul fellas who wash garments irregularly.
  • P.A.Y.P. -- One-off metered charge at pub urinals.
  • MEGADETH DUTIES -- Tax on middle-aged followers of uncouth heavy metal bands.
  • LIKE,YOU KNOW, LEVY -- A charge to be levied on dimwitted South Dublin teens, who ... like, you know ... use unnecessary phrases.


You really have to hand it to smokers.

They are they ones who keep this country going.

Ireland's persecuted puffers were choking even more than usual yesterday when Brian Lenihan announced in his Budget speech that he was introducing a 25pc rise in cigarette prices.

That would have brought the price of fags to well over a tenner.

But happily, the minister misspoke. He meant to say 25 cent.