Editorial from Thursday 9 September

Bertie Ahern might be our next President. Ivor Callely is a victim. There’s no need to be concerned at our international credit rating being downgraded. Not only are we expecting a royal visit, but Queen Elizabeth is going to move into Blackrock Castle with Gerry Adams, as they have always secretly had a thing for one another.

Cork is going to be made a Republic in a matter of months, giving Brian Cowen his wish of making Offaly Ireland’s ‘real capital’, and taking some expensive items off his shopping list for Cork (M20, Cork Docklands Project, North City Ring Road, and giving Micheál Martin an opportunity to be Taoiseach sooner rather than later, without letting him near Merrion Street).
Let me see. What else?
A vibrant, viable Opposition party with ideas and fresh thinking is actually there, it’s just been invisible for a little while. Cork won the All Ireland Hurling Final, they were just wearing blue and yellow jerseys to psych out Henry Shefflin. The world is run by elected representatives, and not by faceless investors who control everything from your mortgage repayments to how much money you’ll have to live on when you’re old. Parking is free at hospitals, and if you’re entitled to social welfare, you might get it without a seven-month delay.
All of these statements fit, I think, into the broad category of ‘delusions’.
Most of them I made up – sadly – but the first two came, independently, from the minds of the protagonists.
Bertie Ahern believes, apparently, that the biggest mistake of his 11 years as Taoiseach was not building the Bertie Bowl.
Ivor Callely is going to court to, er, ‘prove’, that he’s been victimised by the Seanad committee that found him guilty of falsifying his expenses in a most incredible way.
Medicine.Net defines a ‘delusion’ as ‘A false personal belief that is not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and is not explained by a person’s usual cultural and religious concepts (so that, for example, it is not an article of faith). A delusion may be firmly maintained in the face of incontrovertible evidence that it is false.’
Now, the whole idea of ‘article of faith’ may be questionable where applied to Bertie and Ivor. I don’t want to tar all politicians, all Fianna Fáil politicians, or even all former North Dublin Fianna Fáil TDs with the same brush, but perhaps self-promotion is an ‘article of faith’ in all politics, and not just in Fianna Fáil?
I suppose it’s a necessary evil in some jobs. My photograph is at the top of this article, after all, and what is that but a form of self-promotion?
But when self-promotion evolves into self-adulation and delusions about one’s importance, popularity, and general relevance to the world, there’s a problem.
Both Callely and Ahern – like Haughey before them – seem to see themselves as tragic Shakespearean figures. Great men, wronged by those they have done so much to help.
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless electorate!
King Lear wouldn’t have a patch on them.


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