A nice juicy sex scandal could give FG the boost they need
CHRIS Lee may be the key for Fine Gael to take an overall majority in the election.
If you missed Chris Lee, he's a Republican US Congressman who resigned after it was revealed that he'd been sending topless pictures of himself to a woman he met on the craigslist website.
Sending semi-clad pictures of oneself to a random internet lady may be naff, but it's usually not a resigning issue.
Unless, like Congressman Lee, you're married, and campaigned on family values.
This is important for Fine Gael, because of an odd quirk in the Irish electorate.
We love a good sex scandal.
Things that ruin political careers in the US and the UK make us Irish think "tee hee, fair dues to your man, I never knew he had it in him ... "
It is why a lot of our randier politicians have topped the polls after they've been caught with their pants around their ankles or after it's been revealed that they've been chasing anything in a skirt.
According to one political correspondent I talked to, FG need a decent silk-stocking and rubber-gloves revelation to push them over the 80-seat mark.
The difficulty they face is picking which TD should post their pics on Craigslist. I've given this a lot of thought, and I'm suggesting Leo Varadkar. He seems slightly too holy at the moment, so a bit of scandal would do him good.
Plus, one decent image of Leo wearing only his stethoscope and a leather baseball cap might just give us a single-party government.
JOE Higgins is back. Joe Higgins would say he never left. But you get the point. He and all of his invective are back in campaigning force.
This is wonderful. Irish politics is not the same without him. If Labour get their way after the election and the constitution gets reviewed, one change should be that Higgins should also be automatically returned to the Dail after every election.
Don't immediately reject this. Joe is great craic. Nobody gets giggles in the Dail like Joe, and the next term will be awful hard work, so a bit of wit will ease the stress.
Joe is also a bit like the national gallery; you might never want to spend time with it or pay it any attention, but it allows us all to feel a bit posher and better educated because it's there.
When Americans say "what makes Ireland so special?" we can say "Look at Joe Higgins! He's over there eloquently challenging the capitalist establishment! Isn't he cute?"
And there's no harm in Joe, so we don't risk anything in giving him a permanent seat.
Every time he makes a point about capitalist exploitation which makes you pause for thought, (like pointing out that the Labour movement in Europe, set up to champion the cause of workers, is now delivering cuts to rescue big business), he follows it with something a bit nutty to make sure you don't fall totally in love with him (like that we should increase the tax on multinational profits, 'cos they'd still have profits left over, and wouldn't they be happy with that?).