More Evidence that the Dail is Just a Drinking Club for Misogynists
Did you hear the sound of the latest set of knuckles to drag their way across the floor of the Dail last week? It is of course a familiar one to any person who has had the misfortune to spend any significant amount of time with the cavemen that grunt and groan their misshapen way along Ireland’s Corridors of Power. And if you looked at a blueprint of those corridors I’m pretty sure that you would find that all roads lead to the most important place in the entire building: the Dail Bar.
Now we are all aware that beneath the expensive suits of the average politician there beats a venal heart and a mentality that would not be allowed at the dinner table of most civilised countries; but, when it comes to our choice of elected representatives, Ireland could hardly consider itself to be that.
The latest Anthro to climb down from the treetops in order to make a show of himself was the Cork businessman and Fine Gael backbencher Tom Barry. Tom thought it was great craic altogether to grab a hold of his colleague Aine Collins and drag her down onto his lap. Apparently she had made the innocent remark that it was a little cold; and with the Wildean wit for which our politicos are not renowned Tom let it be known that he’d warm her up. All in good fun, supposedly.
I’ve mentioned before that our Beloved Leaders seem to have a tough time coming to terms with modern technology. Enda Kenny, for example, was badly caught out when a journalist used a tape recorder on him. To be honest, my heart almost went out to him. I could just imagine him pointing at it and saying: “Jaysus, that’s some queer looking yoke ye have there, all the same. A tape recorder, is it? Whatever will they think of next?”
And so we can only picture how stunned Mr. Barry was that within hours of his 3.00 a.m. grab DURING THE ABORTION DEBATE the footage of it had gone viral. Who would have thought that such a thing could happen in this day and age?
How proud we all were that Ireland was once again being shown as being represented by such a sober and serious bunch of people. Yeah, the drunken Irish were at it again. It’s a hell of a stereotype to be living up to but we seem to be doing a fairly good job of it. And everybody got to see it. Well…almost everybody. Enda Kenny didn’t:
“I have not seen the incident and therefore I am not going to comment on it. [I told you that accessing youtube would confuse not only him but his advisors as well.]
“I didn’t see it and I have no comment. It is a very serious debate and obviously we have had more discussion about the Bill in question than any other Bill in probably the last 40 years.”
Yes, Enda; but in the light of this I wonder how many discussions were above the level of the ones in my local? Because of course, despite an initial reluctance Mr. Barry admitted that he had drink taken. And it was easy for him to have as much drink as he wanted because—just as it was when it stayed open late for the banks bailout—the Dail Bar was open last Thursday until five that morning.
Still, it’s not as if he was legless. As he says himself he ‘wasn’t drinking excessively’. He doesn’t say what he means by ‘excessive’ but I have to wonder. I mean, my ‘excessive’ may not be his…and why the bloody hell are levels even being discussed in the first place? They were supposed to be working—and voting on Enda’s most serious Bill ‘in the last 40 years’.
Nor was it confined to Fine Gael. Just as they don’t have a monopoly on cronyism, greed and corruption, so they don’t have one on drunkenness.
United Left Alliance’s Joan Collins says that several of them were ‘a bit wobbly’. A bit freaking wobbly; as if this is acceptable behaviour by those that have been put into their privileged positions by voters who expect them not to be half-cut at such a time.
Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen says that he didn’t have anything ‘out of the ordinary’. Again, what does he consider to be ‘ordinary’. These guys are downing heavily subsidised booze so I would think it likely that their tolerance levels may be higher than the ordinary punter WHO DOESN’T ACTUALLY HAVE A BAR IN HIS PLACE OF WORK! And his fellow party member Dara Calleary says that he only had ‘one or two’.
Dara, seriously; how do you think we feel at hearing you being so damned dismissive when we were under the impression that this was an important vote?
The Men Who Own Mirrors that Don’t Work.
I wonder how many of you chancers DROVE home when the Dail Bar FINALLY closed at five in the morning. After all, you weren’t drinking ‘excessively ‘ or ‘out of the ordinary.’ And why, whilst I’m on the subject, was it necessary to continue on until such a time? Given the tiny attention span of some of you overpaid thicks, couldn’t you have just finished it the next day? Or would you have been too hung-over?
Between the drinking on the job and the sheer disrespect for women I’m just more convinced than I ever was that the Dail is just a Big Boys’ Club for Misogynists. And we don’t have to go back into the archives to find proof of that. There is much more recent fare with the unbelievably crude comments of Phil Hogan; or how could anyone forget Mick Wallace and his naming of Mary Mitchell O’Connor as ‘Miss Piggy’ whilst his colleagues Ming Flanagan and Shane Ross looked on in amusement.
And have you seen the cut of just the few mentioned there? By God, they’re some bloody beauties to be commenting on the looks of anybody. I would love to know where these oil paintings buy the mirrors that they look into before they come out in the morning.
Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein has been consistent in his criticism of the drinking culture within the Dail. Several months ago he appealed to the Ceann Comhairle:
“Could I honourably suggest that if you want some order from the Government TDs then perhaps you should close the Dail bar? That may be a useful way to get some order here.”
Here is what I wrote at the time:
“I’ve never been the biggest fan of Adams or his party but I do find myself complimenting them more often than not these days. Disconcerting for me, and that’s for sure; but I will always give credit where it is due. And Adams was quite right to comment, not even that obliquely as a politician normally would, that many of the TDs who were there that night were drunk. And don’t let’s be saying that they were a little rambunctious, that the atmosphere had raised their spirits. Come on, if you watch proceedings in the Dail of an afternoon they’re behaving like overgrown schoolboy idiots even when they are presumably halfway sober. No, let’s call this what it was: some of them were bladdered; they were polluted; they were three sheets into the wind.
“They were drunk. At such an important session, they were drunk. Which will tell you a little about how much respect they have for Ireland’s citizens.
“For his pains Adams was mocked and ridiculed. But let’s be honest, this is a hard guy who has had worse than a few jeers from drunken apes thrown at him in his time.
“In fact, so unperturbed was he by the mockery of louts that two weeks ago, during a debate on the Finance Bill he thought perhaps ‘the bar be closed or that breathalyser tests be introduced for Teachtai entering the chamber’.
“Last week he was asked about his earlier remarks and said:
“‘There were, in the chamber on the night, members of other parties who were intoxicated and other people knew that as well.’
“He added that whilst he felt that most TDs were there to do the job they were elected to that ‘…I do think it’s an anomaly that you have here a bar, you actually have two bars—in a work place.’
“I’ve always wondered about that myself. And these are heavily subsidised bars, paid for by the taxpayer. Drink is sold at a price that has we poor sods standing outside with our Oliver Twist noses pressed against the gates wondering why we put up with it. And to add insult to injury it appears that, despite being heavily subsidised, a lot of our gougers still run up tabs! This shower has never minded telling the peasants to take cuts right, left and centre but when it comes to them dipping into their own pockets it’s a horse of a different colour.”
And this week he reiterated his stance:
“It is the intention of Sinn Fein to ensure that the sale of alcohol in these establishments is subject to the same licensing laws as every other establishment.”
Well, he certainly won’t make many friends with that attitude. There are fellas in there that couldn’t get through the day without a drink. That’s the real reason that they have that handy, cheap bar. You weren’t really buying that old guff about privacy, were you?
The only sensible thing to do with the Dail is to boot a good 80% of our elected representatives out and burn it to the ground. Or leave them in it and burn it to the ground, it makes no difference to me. Or take it apart brick by brick and start from scratch; because the rot is just too far gone in there. In truth, if it were a horse it would have been put out of its misery years ago.
Ach, I can dream, can’t I?