herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Tennis is Greek to me as Sinn Fein MEP loses run of herself in Brussels

High blood pressure. What's that about?

OK, I know. Half the country is on ACE inhibitors and who can blame them when we're being bombarded with mad stuff in the news, day in, day out.

This past week or so there seems to be no end of stuff to get your goat.

If that isn't being politically incorrect about the little nannies and billies who got unfairly sidelined when some sharp-eyed PR hustler came up with the Christmas crib scenario. Sheep, cows, an ass and a camel are seen to breathe on the baby Jesus in the stable. What about the goat? Was the poor misfortunate animal who kept the people of Killorglin going through the Famine years considered too pagan by those who got to write the history books?

committed

History can indeed be bunk. If you're not awake, you can be blindsided with Stalinist revisionist zeal. We're getting it every day. You know the sort of thing. "Sure, he was a gentle full back, but fully committed. Never intentionally hurt a soul."

A deep-seated mistrust of politicians should have prepared me for the grandstanding in Brussels this week of a Northern Ireland MEP who went all gooey-eyed at the sight of Alexis Tsipras. It doesn't bother me that Martina Anderson failed to get elected to Westminster for the Foyle constituency before being lifted into a Sinn Fein seat in Europe but who asked the lass to speak for me and my neighbours? Steady on.

"Irish people, from Kerry to Derry, stand with you," she stridently informed the Greek prime minister. Perhaps she should have added the people of Latvia, Spain and Slovakia to that list. Because, after all, Martina doesn't represent them either. To check on Martina's office in the European Parliament you have to look under the Information Office in the United Kingdom.

I'd prefer if she'd butt out and let us worry about our local ministerial pension top-ups and TD pensions without dragging the, and I quote, "brave and dignified Greek people" into the equation.

That'd be the dignified and downtrodden hairdressers, TV presenters, car-washers and steam-bath attendants who were forced to retire at 55 on a full State pension, which, should a fatal tragedy strike, can be inherited by an unmarried daughter?

If, or when, push comes to shove, those grasping bankers and stock market freebooters and politicians will expect the rest of us to fork out. Ah here.

At least Martina has the street smarts not to put herself about at Wimbledon. That's what might be termed the seventh level of hell.

Thanks be to the Divine, the weather hasn't been disastrous this year. Otherwise we could be in for another impromptu shang-a-lang-a-ding-dong singalong performance from Cliff Richard. Although the British Knight might not be larging it at Centre Court this year. He has other pressing concerns, like the grape harvest in his vineyards, to detain him.

examine

That doesn't mean that the English media don't go bananas for a snap of any former rugby player, child model-turned-actress, clapped-out rapper or minor Royal that turns up. It's an easy gig for the paps.

You don't get that sort of thing at Croke Park where Christy Moore, Chris De Burgh or Christy Burke can scoff a batter burger or hot dog, with or without onions and tomato sauce dribbling on their chin, without having a telephoto lens examine their nostril hairs.

But still, wouldn't you like to be paid to point your camera at some eejit off the soaps (do eejits off soaps do Wimbledon?) who necks a few tumblers of champers and then has to sit in the sun for hours without crashing out and drooling with the gob open catching flies?

If you got bored and were Greek you could dream of your early pension. I like the Greeks. Honestly. They're great craic. And Leonard Cohen too. Even though he's really from Canada where they actually pay taxes.

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