herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Eoghan Corry: Most incapable, least electable - they're all a load of muppets...

RTE1's radio parody Green Tea, the nearest thing we have heard to Scrap Saturday for over a decade, had a Muppet Show theme on Saturday, complete with the Lenihans singing Nama Nama, and Doctor Phil Hogan with his hand up Enda Kenny's sock-puppet exterior.

The rhythm of the theme song lent itself to delicious derogatory parody, a quest for the 'most dysfunctional, most incapable, least electable'. How the truth hurts. Listen and weep.

The real Phil Hogan emerged blinking into the studio lights late last night, after a weekend when, in effect, nothing happened.

Sean O'Rourke's TV plaything, The Week In Politics, finished with a montage of 'politicians and babies' shots.

What is it about politicians and babies? Why won't they go away? In an election that promised to be about new tactics, it was the old ones that prevailed.

Promises, potholes and parish pump all crept back in when it seemed that the big debate would be about renegotiation and leadership.

And babies, babies über alles.

TG4 offers political parties a chance to be a little more creative than normal, in common with the theme of the station.

Most of the parties passed the opportunity, and chose to voice over their English language productions in that officialese gaeilge that nobody actually speaks. FG's was no exception, but it was a curiosity.

The FG intro, the black-and-white doom and gloom bit, is truly poetic, one which all junior cert honours students should encounter at least once -- a requiem for an island in distress:

'Tir a bhfuil gearcheim inti

Rialtas ata ina chireib

An gnathduine ata thios leis'

Then up pops Dame Edna Kenny with: 'Taimid tuirseach de', the poetry stops, and the civil service Irish takes over.

A metaphor, methinks, for how the next five years will work out.

Leaderwatch:

MARTIN: Level. Performances on the News At One and Week In Politics not his strongest, but now an irrelevance.

KENNY: Up. Safely off the airwaves and unscathed by the row over his teacher's pension.

GILMORE: Up. Went off to bear Micheal Martin in Cork. Labour does well on days Pat Rabbitte is sent in to bat.

Catchphrase of the Day: "Core principles." When you hear politicians uttering the words, you know we are all in trouble. Micheal Martin wants Fianna Fail to go back to them.

Too late, Micheal.

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