Madam – Thank you Gene Kerrigan for reminding me that The Great One was in fact alive and well. It took a budget that would put a first world nation to shame to flush him out, but Gene's article recalled some of his words for us... most of which trailed away when The Great One went off script.
I treasure The Great One's words. "You look like a man who could do with a day's work" – uttered to a citizen in Athlone who dared question his Eminence – will always have place of pride in my heart. I think of other Great Ones from my past. Men like the various Kims, Sungs, Jungs of Korea, Leonid Brezhnev of the beautifully titled CCCP, or Mr Mao from China before it discovered the free market.
My younger years were speckled with rumour and innuendo about those fine men. It revolved around whether they were actually dead or alive. Imagine my delight when Leonid would appear on the rostrum as half the military of Russia steamrolled by on their return from Czechoslovakia or some other eastern European country.
At home our ancient wise men and their 10 shades of grey rule the nation whilst the Great One still has his golden locks. Says it all, free from worry, strife and pain that, dear people, is the preserve of the little people who also carry the cross of the debt of our betters. The Great One will now prepare himself for Christmas, and we hope to see him reappear in spring when flocks will gather on our shores for craic, ceoil agus comhra. He will come forth and tell us what a great little nation we are, and let's all put on the green jersey.
In the meantime as Santa delivers presents to various bond holders, the humble citizens will pray that Santa might have a little voucher for butter or cheese for them.
All hail The Great One, long may he reign. We are truly blessed for having him within our midst.