Sunday 15 September 2019

The very stamp of an awful excuse

Eilis O'Hanlon

JUST as there are some films so bad they're actually good, and certain jokes so terrible you can'thelp but laugh, so thereare some excuses so pathetic they almost seem touchedby genius.

Step forward An Taoiseach, whose explanation that the stg£30,000 he receivedfrom his landlord was "a stamp duty issue" has shot straight to the top of the Bad Excuses Chart.

The only explanation is that Bertie must have been thinking vaguely about stamp duty when he was asked the question and this was the first thing that came into his head.

We can only assume that the poor Taoiseach's words come blurting out of his mouth without making any of the usual detours via the brain.

Suffice to say that Bertie's new slogan is bound to become the excuse of choice for people under pressure everywhere. Has your wife caught you in bed with an entire camogie team? Just tell her it's 'a stamp duty issue'and that you'll deal with all her concerns at the 'appropriate' time.

Meanwhile, could she shut the door behind her when she leaves because you're a bit busy at the moment . . .

Saddam Hussein should have tried that one when they put him on trial for genocide. "It was a stamp duty issue, Your Honour."

"Oh well, fair enough, off you go then and sorry for bothering you about it."

It makes you wonder: Is the real reason Bertie hadn't reformed stamp duty because he doesn't actually understand what stamp duty is? That would explain a lot. Just don't expect an answer from Fianna Fail any time soon. Like monks, they've taken a collective vow of silence. As for the other vows of poverty and chastity, presumably they got an opt-out . . .

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