Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Done an’ Dusted.

As the man said, “It’s all over bar the shoutin”. And about time too, we’re all a bit hung over from an overdose of election speak. Only the most dedicated are hanging in awaiting the final outcome. The way it looks at time of writing we’ll get a bit of the Julie Andrews song “ All kinds of everything” in our next government. That mightn’t be a bad thing, though there’ll be a few u-turns taken before agreement is reached. The need for power and the need to hold onto it at any price is a powerful aphrodisiac. It makes for quare bedfellows betimes. The insults you hurled at your fellow man across the Dail chamber before the election is all forgiven and forgotten and sweetness and light prevails now that he or she may now be on your side. That’s politics stupid!
Before I leave the election and it’s outcome, can someone explain one or two things for me. How come someone on the election register for donkeys years and hasn’t moved house is suddenly wiped off the slate. That happened to meself and the missus, also son and daughter-in-law, yet down the road not four miles away a near neighbour and her mother got there’s. Nothing strange about that you say except that the mother in question is dead for nine years! We weren’t the only ones; at the Brannockstown voting station there was a total of forty of us in the same boat, all alive and kickin’ and anxious to register what was our democratic right. Phone calls to higher authority were to no avail. All we got were sniffy answers and certainly no apologies for the cock up. Mindless bureaucracy at it’s very best. It reminded me of that old saying; “Send them for a Herald and they’d come back with the Press”. Still on questions and answers, can someone give me a simple explanation of how proportional representation works? I noted that one fellow in Dublin got 6oo odd votes and got elected. In the same constituency another guy got over a 1000 votes and was knocked out. The transfer of votes got the first guy elected it seems, but my logic tells me that the guy who got knocked out was twice as popular with the voters as the guy who got elected. Riddle me that! And riddle something else: the voter gave the PD’s a hammering at the polls, almost a wipe out, yet with all the manoeuvres going on at present it is quite possible that what’s left of them may be back in power! Hardy the democratic process at it’s best.
And what does the election tell us about ourselves? Well if you want to get a head in politics your voter will like you better if you have a Tribunal chasing you for some misdemeanour, real or imagined, and if you can’t arrange that, fix up your house and put the costs down to some business or other. Failing that, try a bit of financial advice to customers who are looking for foreign fields to put their money to bed. Any of the above mentioned will make you a poll topper. It beats Banagher, but it’s fact!
Another point to ponder on. Do politicians really believe all they say and expect us to take it as gospel? Take two examples; one was the final talks on the peace process, remember that ‘historic occasion’? Listening to Tony and Bertie patting each other on the back one would get the impression that it was all their own work. Correct me it I’m wrong but I never heard either of them give a mention to those who went before them, more or less laying the ground work on our behalf: Albert Reynolds, Garret Fitzgerald, CJH, and last but by no means least John Hume and Shamus Mallon. Eaten bread is soon forgotten we’re told. And recently we had to listen to Brian Cowen, the man who had so much money to play with on his last budget that he missed out on a million or two, presenting us with the myth that all our present wealth was due to careful management by himself and his comrades over the last ten years. Get real Brian. No Irish government, and that includes your party, has any control over our financial affairs. Since we joined Europe Brussels is the paymaster, that, and global economics. We have no say in interest or exchange rates; we handed that over to Brussels years ago, and these are the two big factors that control our welfare. Where would we be Brian if Mother Europe suddenly cut off all the financial largesse that she has handed us over the years? We’d be stagnating, like we were before we latched on to her coat tails. She has left us in control of internal things: roads, health, good schools, space to breath in our new housing estates, and dare I say it, proper control of our electoral registrar, are we proud of the management of these that we have been left to manage?
And finally, back to the election. Some won seats, some lost seats, and some went home with their tail between their legs. I thought it rather ironic, that Jerry with a well paid Westminster salary at his back, should come down here and instruct us how to get our house in order. Just imagine, if you can, that at the next general election in England some of our politicians were to go over there and tell the English people how to put their house in order what would the reaction would be! They’d get short shift. Sorry Jerry, but the nationalist whinge down here, is bottom of the list of things to do. Read the election results if you don’t believe me. Our newfound wealth has adjusted our thinking. The man who ate his dinner at noon is now Mr Breakfast Roll Man and has enough on his plate without getting indigestion thinking about what to do with our fourth green field. A new house, two cars at the hall door, a couple of holidays a year in the sun concentrates his mind on his mortgage and increasing interest rates, and that’s enough to be going on with as far as he’s concerned.
And that’s enough from me to be going on with, here’s to the next five years of ‘duckin’ an’divin’. Yrs Jeffers.

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