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So you had a great night out on New Year's Eve? Nope, didn't think so...

In a week when we're mercifully free of the waffle and bluster which passes for political life in this country, Lucinda Creighton went and ruined our collective reverie by taking to the stage yesterday and announcing her long-heralded new 'party'.

Or did she? In a move which was waffly and blustery even by the debased standards which we're only too well used to, the fearless Fine Gael renegade stepped forward to announce a 'party' without an actual name, no apparent members and no funding.

Amid the torrent of corporate wishy-washy aspirational soundbites which could have been cobbled together using any other party's manifesto from the past four decades was precisely ... nothing.

guff

There was the usual guff about 'openness' and 'returning politics to the people' (as opposed to saying 'we'll tell ye feck-all' and 'we'll do what we want' - which would at least have had the novelty of actually being interesting), while one chap who did actually appear to have signed up to this nebulous new alliance went out of his way to mention just how important the GAA was in the overall scheme of things.

Oh great, a Catholic Church and Gaah-centric group looking for your votes - haven't we had a couple of those knocking about the place for the last 70-odd years?

Quite aside from the frightening sight of Creighton sharing the platform with none other than Eddie Hobbs, the sheer 'pie in the sky' nothingness of this 'party's' mind-meltingly bland excuse for a manifesto would nearly send me screaming into the arms of the Shinners. Nearly. Well, not really.

Elsewhere, 2015 got off to a pretty predictable start. Actually, for the people next door to where I spent the evening it got off to a raucous start bang on the stroke of 8pm, as a group of Polish emigrants timed their celebrations to coincide with the bells back home.

It was a quite touching sound, truth be told, although the efforts of one of them to play the bodhran recalled the legendary statement from the late, great musician Seamus Ennis, who noted that the instrument was 'best played with a penknife'. Honestly, no-one emerges the better from any close contact with that combination of wood and goatskin.

I hope those of you young/foolish enough to brave the elements in search of some imaginary Great Night Out (been on that hunt - it doesn't exist) managed to stay safe, as emergency services disclosed that there were no less than 34 assaults and 23 drug overdoses in the city on the night, far surpassing previous levels.

Even by teatime in the city centre a seasoned observer could sense the madness levels ratcheting towards the danger zone, as people who don't usually go on the rip were hitting their stride and starting to get messy.

insipid

You'd have to ask yourself is it really worth your while being out and about with amateurs or, God forbid, standing in the lashing rain to be driven demented by the wailings of James Vincent McMorrow or the dreary blandishments of Kodaline, a band so insipid they make Coldplay sound like Carcass, when you could be doing something far more exciting like staying at home.

You could call it a sign of getting old - I rather prefer the term 'getting sense' myself - but once you hit a certain marker on the years front there's really no beating closing the door by 8pm, battening down the hatches and spending New Year's Eve in the company of Jools Holland and his annual Hootenanny.

It can be a bit predictable betimes but there's a cosy comfort in knowing what you're likely to get and it being delivered without fail. Have a happy and safe 2015.


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