Monday 24 June 2019

Time for our own Tea Party

Our politicians best put on the kettle, says Pat Fitzpatrick

Pat Fitzgerald

Anyone for tea? Every savvy Irish politician watching Sarah Palin's Tea Party pals sweep up seats across America last week must have had the same thought. It's time to change our name. Let's face it, most of those Tea Party candidates thanking God in their victory speeches Wednesday night were the kind of Republicans that American booted out two years ago because Obama seemed nice on telly. People are quick to forget, so why not help them out with a brand-new name?

Every political party here would benefit from a new name. Fianna Fail is such a damaged brand at this stage that the Thierry Cromwell Nama Nazis would be an improvement. Fine Gael sounds silly; the Greens seem naive; Labour doesn't work; try and say Sinn Fein without thinking IRA.

There's no need to reinvent the wheel here. First-mover advantage goes to the party that can register themselves as the Irish Tea Party. Let's face it, the first thing we Irish do when things go against us is put on the kettle. An Irish wake is run on tea. If it can cope with death, then surely it can deal with debt.

Unlike its American counterpart, this new Tea Party can't be anti-tax unfortunately, or a mob of bond-market vigilantes in hoodies will gather outside its HQ. Actually just like the drink, the Irish Tea Party should steer clear of policies and go with a vague sense that they can fix everything. Just like Labour.

Any party that effectively says "there you go now, everything is going to be grand" with this new name will be onto a winner. And it's not like they have to search too far for a campaign theme. Just put up posters of Mrs Doyle from Father Ted saying "Go on, Go on, Go on, Vote for a nice cup of Tea Party" and you'll hoover up the votes.

Sunday Independent

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