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Michael O'Doherty: Kenny's pitch for Tubridy slot puts RTE bigwigs in a difficult situation

Some people may be surprised at Pat Kenny's apparent pitching for Ryan Tubridy's radio slot. There's an unwritten rule in the corridors of Montrose that you don't publicly pitch for shows, that if asked about any new post, you either keep schtum -- as Joe Duffy has done recently -- or you kick to touch with a few "I'm very happy with my own show" platitudes.

Pat seems to have gone further than this, however, declaring he could see himself taking the the place of Tubridy (right), even thinking aloud about how he would see a two-hour show with him at the helm panning out.

"I'm happy to serve if asked," said Pat, carefully using the language of a humble and loyal employee, but in so publicly stating his ambitions, he's left RTE in something of a quandary.

That so senior a member of RTE should state his ambitions, and do so in language that makes it seem like an easy and logical step for him to do, suggests he has almost laid claim to the show already, and has now put it up to RTE management to take it away from him.

It's almost as if he has effectively moved in on the slot, claimed squatters rights, and is putting it up to RTE to evict him.

None of which should come as a surprise. In so aggressively seeking to push out the borders of his own show, Pat is positioning himself as the Alexander the Great of Irish radio, gleefully coveting the neighbouring territory. And when it comes to expanding into a neighbour's patch Pat has, of course, a bit of history.

For his own sake, I hope his radio show expansion works out better than that pesky business on Killiney Hill.

Come off it Comrade Higgins, time to put a sock in this 'man of the people' clap-trap

Saturday marked the culmination of a week of protests against the injustices of the economic system, the redundant nature of our capitalist state, and provided the nation with a change to show solidarity with the 'ordinary people' of Ireland.

Did it pass you by?

Yep, me too ...

I became aware of it only because of posters close to where in live, calling for a mobilisation of Irish people to "oppose the cuts", and "end the dictatorship of the markets' as part of a Europe-wide week of "protest and solidarity".


The chief sponsor of this campaign in Ireland being Joe Higgins MEP, leader of the Socialist Party in Ireland. Joe is, I'm certain, a worthy and honourable man who believes passionately in social justice. But when he ponders why his much-hyped protest was such a damp squib, maybe he'll reflect on the fact that he's his own worst enemy.

I'm quite sure Joe is sick of the 'whingeing lefty' tag that's habitually applied to him and his followers, but there are two basic reasons why it sticks.


Firstly, they seem to be permanently puce with anger, screaming against the establishment, but have no solution to the financial crisis, other than to scream abuse at its perceived creators.

One of the centrepieces of their week was a protest that raged against a €1,200-a-plate dinner that Brian Cowen was attending with business leaders, and instead demanded that he instead meet the 'ordinary' people of Ireland face to face.

It's hard to see, however, how Mr Cowen's time would have been better spent with the likes of the middle-aged woman who was pictured 'giving the finger' to a camera man outside the Mansion House on Wednesday night...

Most pertinently, it's hard to take Joe Higgins and his one-dimensional polemic seriously. In a video to publicise the week of protest, Joe Higgins describes the current situation as "an economic crisis of, er, capitalism".

And Isn't there something faintly ridiculous about a grey-haired man, in the 21st century, still addressing his audience as 'comrades'? Joe Duffy, as leader of the Union of Students in Ireland in his youth, raged against 'the system' with the same language as Higgins does now.

But you get the feeling that Duffy, though still a man of the people, has realised that when you use phrases such as 'down with capitalism' and address people as 'comrade', most people just snigger at you behind your back.

Maybe it's time Joe Higgins and his ilk realised this ...

Crystal Swing -- best of luck with Leaving Cert

It is with little pleasure, and no small tinge of regret, that I feel compelled to announce the end of the Crystal Swing phenomenon. For three months, we've followed this family from Cork, as they amused us on the Late Late Show, astonished us with the way they secured a spot on Ellen DeGeneres's US chat show, and then, well, went nowhere slowly.

They were the main musical attraction at the Derby yesterday, and performed on a makeshift stage that brought to mind a dinner dance in Termonfeckin GAA club on a Tuesday night. It was impossible to shake off the expressions 'one-hit wonder', 'one-trick pony' and 'come in, your 15 minutes of fame are over' as they performed their set, which consisted of their signature tune She Drinks Tequila, and a few Country & Western tunes of bugger all merit.

After the 88th attempt by the lead singer to rouse the audience with his trademark "ah one, two, ah one, two, three, four" was met by total ambivalence, I realised that this act which had 'conquered the US' had used up their time in the sun, and were now just another cheesy, giddy, slightly high-on-sugar party band.

The truth is, we're over Crystal Swing. Best of luck with the Leaving Cert guys -- it's now your best hope.