Savage i: 'Dreams-reality-diagram'
One of the most memorable episodes of Father Ted is the one where Ted takes Dougal through the 'Dreams-reality-diagram' to explain the difference between what's in his head and what's in the real world.
Watching journalists interview Gerry Adams, you get the sense it would be so much easier if they had that diagram to keep themselves grounded. Without it, even the most savvy and competent interviewers find themselves flummoxed by the sheer kookiness of Sinn Fein's policies.
On several programmes, Gerry Adams has said the economic equivalent of 'we'll follow a rainbow to the pot of gold and as long as we don't get caught in a fairy ring we should be fine'.
And the interviewers, being used to policies that are on the 'reality' side of the diagram, have ended up asking questions about what threat the Leprechauns might pose.
It's the same effect achieved by the UK magician Derren Brown. He has a technique that one suspects Adams is subconsciously using in interviews. It's called shock-hypnosis and it works like this; you say something deeply incongruous and unexpected to someone, they become locked in stunned confusion by the bizarreness of what you've said and while they're in that state, they are effectively hypnotised and controllable.
Derren Brown uses the technique to make bookies pay out on losing dockets. Adams uses the technique to prevent otherwise competent interviewers saying, 'hang on a minute Gerry, your policies are mad as a bag of hangers'.
Sinn Fein's economic policy is so amazingly, stunningly beyond the bounds of anything even resembling reality that it renders even the best interviewers incapable. This is where the dreams-reality-diagram would come in handy. Although, when Father Ted explained what was in Dougal's mind and what was in the real world, it came as a revelation for the young priest. That wouldn't be the case with Adams. He's too smart not to know that Sinn Fein policies operate only inside his head. But he's also smart enough to know that they're selling really well.
Political reform is trendy at the moment. Well, it's trendy with political commentators. I've yet to hear a real human mention it. But in all the talk, the one reform that people really want has been overlooked.
From now on, all outgoing Cabinet members should be forced to run for re-election whether they want to or not. This would solve a significant current problem.
We've had a few weeks of beating Micheal Martin up and down the country and frankly it's been disappointing. He's like Fianna Fail methadone. Yes, he takes the edge off our craving, but it's not the full-body rush that we were expecting. We wanted a big syringe of Brian Cowen.
So, from now on it should be in the Constitution that when the nation wants to deliver an electoral punishment beating, we get the main man, not the new guy.
A Fine Gael government with the support of Independents would be a recipe for instability. So says John Gormley.
That's the same John Gormley who spent the past four years in a Government maintained with the support of Independents. A Government which was made unstable not by those Independents, but rather by the Green Party declaring that they'd hump off out of Government at some indeterminate time in the future.
The Greens now offering advice on how to structure a stable Government is the equivalent of a guy going home to his wife and saying, 'I'm going to divorce you, but not just yet', before setting himself up as a marriage counsellor.