Sunday 25 August 2019

Anger we have heard on high

'But by now voters really should cop on to the con job perpetrated on them in the 2016 election.' Stock picture
'But by now voters really should cop on to the con job perpetrated on them in the 2016 election.' Stock picture
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It is surely the greatest sign yet that we have matured as a nation. When did the Irish ever not want an election? People losing their seats, lads on fellahs' shoulders, long TV programmes full of people having rows, we loved it all.

But somehow, this time, the mood isn't on us. Somehow we can't rouse ourselves for a bit of sport, a chance to forget reality and all our troubles for a while, and to talk politics. But we just can't get worked up for it. Even the prospect of Leo having to go out and walk awkwardly among his people, making small talk with old dears around the country while having to simultaneously pretend he is a human being, isn't doing it for us. Even the media, who love an election, don't seem to be that into it. We're actually beginning to worry that there's something wrong with us all that we can't rise to the occasion, a kind of electoral dysfunction.

But it's OK. Relax. There are perfectly logical reasons why we can't get excited about an election right now: Firstly there's the reason. You know when all the newspapers need to carry long explainers about why there might be an election every time they mention that there might be an election, that there shouldn't be an election. When you have to print elaborate time-lines, you're losing. A good election is like a high-concept movie. You need to be able to pitch it in one sentence. And "pleasant-seeming woman may not have looked properly at convoluted email and possibly forgot it or didn't realise the significance of it" just isn't a catchy enough hook to get us salivating for an election.

In fact, the idea that you can lose your job for not reading an email properly is making us all a bit nervous. Like handsy bosses all over the country since #MeToo started, we are all guiltily examining our past and the many, many emails we ignored until the person re-sent it for the sixth time with a tense/polite message like "Hi guys. Just checking you got the below email. Look forward to hearing from you". Nope. There's none of us throwing the first stone on email ignoring.

And then there's the whole Christmas factor. Most of us have enough unwanted guests calling at Christmas without adding those canvassers to the list. And most of us like to spend December semi-drunk so we don't need strangers turning up unexpectedly to discuss housing, health and abortion.

And finally, there's the simple fact that we don't feel we have the measure of Leo properly yet. We'd like a bit more fun with him before we kick him out. We'd like to see what else he has to give in terms of gaffes and sock-related cringiness before we dismiss him.

We will be ready, sometime next year maybe. But for now, stand down ladies and gentlemen.

Sunday Independent

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