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David Norris gets right up people's noses and that's why he'd still get my vote... scandal or no scandal

I LOVE the way David Norris gets up people's noses. I think I love it more than I love the man himself and I love him so much that I don't particularly like him and I still love him.

I particularly love telling people that 'yes I would still vote for David Norris even if you showed me a photo of him sharing a bath tub with the entire Castro district of San Francisco dressed only in angel wings'. I don't care: he's my man.


It does help that the political establishment (including image consultants and 'pol corrs') wish he would just go away and leave all this stuff to the professionals. Nothing to do with his gayness per se (although that does come into it) or even the scandals.

No, it's his non-partyness, his genuine independence, perhaps even his sense of fun that disturbs them. And for for a political community which often feels the need to to show us it's seriousness, this is serious.

Despite wave after wave of bad publicity, the desertion of his campaign team and his abrupt exit from the race Norris's support still hovers somewhere between 30 and 40pc.

Sure, a lot of people simply want to vote for the person most able to annoy the political establishment. And Norris, through his dominant presence in a race he left weeks ago, annoys them a great deal. But, if anything. his support seems to be growing.

We -- the 30-40pc -- are like Andy, of Little Britain's Andy and Lou, pointing at Norris and saying: "Want that one."

We will be told again this week by serious people that the presidency carries with it these enormous constitutional responsibilities not befitting an unserious man like Norris.

To which a look at the history books or indeed President Mary McAleese's diary shows it to be patent nonsense.


Last week, President McAleese met representatives of the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland, the Migraine Association and a Mr Zhang Gaoli, Party Secretary of Tianjin City, China.

She officially opened the Multiple Sclerosis of Ireland's 50th anniversary conference, the National Famine Commemoration and the Cancer 2011 International Conference.

She welcomed the new Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague to the Aras and attended a 9/11 tribute.

Whatever constitutional grappling she did it was done in the privacy of her own living quarters or during the interval of the National Concert's 30th anniversary show.

You see? That's the job. Don't let them tell you any different. You are a Maitre d' for Ireland.

You are no more likely to be called up in the early hours to patch up a constitutional crisis than I will be called up to play tight head prop for the All Blacks this week.

And, I'm sorry but if this wasn't a job that was created for David Norris's skills then I don't know what is?

In fact if there is a person alive in Ireland today who could entertain the members of the Contract Bridge Association and keep Mr Zhang Gaoli of Tianjin City amused better than David, they would have my vote.