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An bhfuil cead agam dul amach? I'm glad you asked me that

My friends and fellow citizens, the election is approaching, and I want to take a moment to ask for your vote. Normally, I would do this opening paragraph of my speech in Irish, because it's always good to tack on a bit of the national language while the reporters are still settling down,

We urgently need a new kind of politics for Ireland. We must stop abusing our opponents and pretending we have all the answers, as I am worn-out explaining to the opposing party, the shower of puppy-kicking, spineless, alcoholic traitors; but do you think they'll ever listen, the frauds?

I hold out the hand of cooperation and patriotic friendship to these geek-headed dullards, and I say to them, in all sincerity, as one Irishman to another, in the new spirit of grown-up maturity required for these difficult times: 'Na na na NA na, your mum smells.'

We are very, very different from all the other parties. Our vision is the only one that can save Ireland. We believe in truth. Truth AND justice. Truth and justice and prosperity and peace, and all the other things to which the other parties are staunchly opposed, the Satan-worshipping half-witted swamp-donkeys.

Going forward together, in a forward-going sense, that will not hark back to the past. Harking back to the past is not what the great founders of our party would have wanted.

Yes, they proudly stood up for Ireland when the other crowd were tearing her down and trying to sell The Book of Kells to the English for two pound ten, but the past gets you nowhere, and we look to the future, because the today of tomorrow is yesterday.

We believe in fairness. We believe in tolerance. Under the leadership of my party, intolerance will NEVER be tolerated. And I can't say fairer than that.

There are those who feel we talk in meaningless clichés and waffle. But this negativity from the media is going to have to stop. We must put our backs to the wall, our shoulders to the wheel, our noses to the grindstone, our bums on the seats, and when all is said and done, it's a game of two halves, and I'm sick as a parrot, in fairness. We're ticking the boxes. We're out of the envelope. A terrible beauty is born.

I have a special message today for younger voters. Facebook, internet, twitterfeed, new technology, patronise, smart economy, U2. And to women voters I say, we will never be sexist. You are grand girls entirely, and we need you. This election is the most important in our country's history. We want the best for your children. And your children's children's children. Personalities aren't important; it's policies that matter. That's why my party has come out bravely in favour of love, and we are developing radical policies on affection as we speak.

I ask for your trust. I ask for your support. I ask for your vote when Election Day comes, because the main thing is to structure your sentences into groupings of three, since that's what I learnt on my recent public speaking course, which was useful, important, AND meaningful.

Will I speak in rhetorical questions? Indeed I will. Have I developed the annoying habit of talking to myself? Yes. Do I think the voters are a crowd of gobdaws who can't see through what I am doing? I'm glad you've asked me that question. Now, let's talk about me.

I have a vision for this country. And I also have a plan. A vision, a plan, and a roadmap. I have been to many funerals, removals, and First Holy Communions, working hard for the betterment of Irish society, and I believe in protecting the poorest in our country, which nobody else in politics believes.

I have a record. Yes, I do. It's He Drinks Tequila by Crystal Swing. And I play it very often when I am driving in my car, to the opening of a supermarket or a charity golf event, and, on a part-time basis, to the Dail.

Anyhow, my friends, I must take leave of you now because my researcher forgot to find a phrase from one of Seamus Heaney's poems with which to finish my stirring remarks.

Slan agus beannacht. An bhfuil cead agam dul amach? Oh, don't forget to give my running-mate a preference.

If you must.

Joseph O'Connor's Wednesday radio diary is broadcast on RTE One's 'Drivetime with Mary Wilson'.

Sunday Independent