Lise Hand: Loose-lips Lucinda ruins Dear Leader's day with 'FF light' barb
THE Blonde Ambition tour rolled into Donegal yesterday. On Monday, the menfolk had spent the day at the MacGill Summer School rending their pinstriped garments and keening over the body of the Celtic Tiger. On Tuesday, the women roared into town, kicking ass and taking names.
The audience in the hall was still digesting the breakfast fry-up when Fine Gael's very own Madonna (singer, not religious figure) walked demurely to the podium to give her views on the morning's topic for debate, 'Standards in Public Life and Accountability'.
Now, Lucinda Creighton is a rebellious lassie who is inclined to live by the motto "Express Yourself" -- something that she does regularly and vocally, much to the chagrin of her leader, Enda Kenny.
Since the Dublin South-East deputy found herself on the losing side of last month's Bruton Blitzkrieg, Lucinda has been unusually mute.
But if Enda thought that all the long grass had been cut, then he was sadly mistaken.
For he missed a patch and his dissident deputy sprang out of it with a vengeance yesterday. And by golly, she went in with stilettos flying.
Lucinda's wrath had been sparked by reports that one of the property developers currently in the clutches of NAMA had attended a Fine Gael fund-raising golf classic with various TDs, including Enda.
Before she had even reached the hall yesterday, she was railing to the media from her soapbox, plonked on the moral high ground.
"I don't believe it is appropriate that we accept donations from developers involved in NAMA," she stated firmly.
So the Norman Rockwell-style portrait of domestic Blueshirt bliss in the aftermath of the heave may be overstated?
"I think that it would be a little bit of a fallacy to say that everybody has moved on and that there aren't certain wounds yet to heal," said Lucinda.
But there were no punches pulled when she launched into her speech, which was serendipitously taking place at the same time that Enda was out and about in another part of the country. Lucinda made like Catwoman, minus the eye-popping outfit.
"There can be no room in Fine Gael for the cute hoor politics which has defined and tainted Irish public life like an incurable cancer. Fine Gael in government must be much more than simply Fianna Fail Light," she proclaimed.
KAPOW! Holy Insult, Batman! It's hard to think of even arch-insulter Eamon Gilmore topping that super-sneer. But Lucinda was only warming up.
"We cannot on the one hand condemn Fianna Fail for entertaining developers in the Galway tent, while on the other hand extending the biscuit tin for contributions from high-profile developers who are beholden to NAMA," she declared.
BIFF! Take that, Enda! And the barbs just kept coming.
"Very few politicians want a radical shift from the crony politics of the nod and the wink. Our system is rooted in creeping, obsequious advancement and preferment," she sniped.
She spoke of the "apathy" in politics and railed against "our entrenched and archaic party whip system", adding: "For politicians with no scruples, no values and no backbone, a political party is a wonderful hiding place." Having thoroughly ruined her Dear Leader's day, loose-lips Lucinda headed back to Dublin to pack for her holidays. But she left a memorable put-down behind her in Glenties, and one which will certainly come back to haunt Enda and Fine Gael. Fianna Fail Light just might stick.
Remember the slogan about that other infamous Light -- Guinness Light. "They said it couldn't be done." And they were right. The citizens of Ireland couldn't get a taste for it at all.