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26 November 2009 Edition

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A Few Good Men

(and a quarter of a million strikers)

WHAT does the average Sinn Féin member and Lucinda Creighton – the blonde Blueshirt, mini-Thatcher of Dublin south-east – have in common? Neither of them, as Lucinda revealed in an exclusive interview with the Star on Sunday, would have a drink with Enda Kenny.
“I wouldn’t go for drinks with him,” she said. “I suppose it’s the whole boss thing.”
Oh really? Is that it?
Referring to her storming out of a Fine Gael parliamentary meeting earlier this year, she said:
“I felt let down by Enda Kenny. It was a very, very heated discussion and things were said that shouldn’t have been said. There was a comment made and I felt upset. I’m not made of stone.”
This is true. Lucinda is actually made of a mimetic-adhesive poly-alloy like the guy in the second Terminator film. Not Arnie, the other one who changes shape. But I reckon Lucinda’s dislike of blonde bombshell Enda Kenny might be based less on his role as her boss and more on the fact that she doesn’t think he’s a very nice boy if she’s storming out of meetings having been upset. It’s hard to think of things that would upset Lucinda outside of public sector workers not being fired or unemployed people having heating.
She told the Star on Sunday the reason for why she left is that, “I expressed my views and maybe some people don’t like to hear the truth.”
You can just see her channelling Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men can’t you?
“You want answers?” says Lucinda. “I think I’m entitled,” responds the dashing Enda Kenny as Fine Gael TDs look on in horror. “You want answers?” roars Creighton, snorting in that particular Jack Nicholson manner. “I want the truth,” declares Kenny in that shrill, girlish voice he has when he gets excited.
“You can’t handle the truth,” sneers Lucinda. “No truth handler you! Bah! I deride your truth-handling abilities!”
Something like that anyway.
I’m only guessing since I’ve never been to a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting but I’m told they’re great craic altogether. Ireland’s greatest minds wrestling with the thorniest problems facing Irish society or something. 

ANYWAY, Lucinda’s big problem is, like Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello, thwarted ambition.
“If I was pushing 40 and I haven’t achieved a minister’s portfolio that would be the cut-off point for me.”
Now Lucinda is 29 so what she’s basically saying is that - assuming Fine Gael get in at the next election and you could certainly see them throwing it away - if she doesn’t get a ministerial car within the next ten years she’s gone.
As deadlines go, I can’t see it frightening even as weak a reed as Enda Kenny.
“Seriously, Enda, promote me or I swear I’m gone about ten years from now.” Don’t see it working. Lacks punch. All talk and no action, Lucinda. Your Terminator ancestors would be dismayed.
There. Shakespeare, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons and the Terminator films all referenced in 500 words analysing internal Fine Gael divisions.
And the editor told me it couldn’t be done.

THE paper’s deadlines mean I’m writing this on the evening of Tuesday’s public sector strike so it’s impossible to tell what the reaction of Wednesday’s papers is going to be.
Maybe they’ll praise over a quarter of a million men and women for standing up to prevent their pay and conditions from being undermined and public services from being savaged?
Perhaps they’ll acknowledge the genuine commitment to serving the public that brought thousands of public sector employees back to work to deal with the aftermath of the flooding? If Ryanair ran the public service they’d have been charging people to be rescued from the house and making them row the boats while they were at it.
More likely, however, we’re going to get a litany of the kind of comments that have appeared from borderline Neanderthals on, composed 90% of borderline Neanderthals, which accused public sector workers of being heartless Nazis and of undermining the economy by sending people to shop in Newry.

THE most novel stick to beat the unions with emerged at the start of the week when journalists had to put on their most outraged expressions when they revealed that, because of the strike, 55,000 social welfare customers would get their entitlements a day late.
Okay, let’s be clear, that’s more than unfortunate and these are people for whom a day’s delay can make things difficult. But where on earth did this sudden concern for the unemployed come from? Or for people using public services? Fine Gael want to purge 17,000 people from the public sector, more even than Fianna Fáil. What do you think that would do to frontline public services, Enda and Lucinda? Almost every journalist in the country has been singing from their IBEC and Department of Finance hymn sheets for months about the need to cut our ‘generous’ social welfare payments.
Spare the crocodile tears from people with six-figure pay packets. They didn’t care about unemployed people on Sunday and they didn’t care any more about them on the Monday other than they realised they could use them to bash the trade unions.
It’s low-paid, public sector workers, of the types that work in our social welfare offices, that know the hardships being faced in their communities. They don’t need lectures on it from people campaigning to rip off the unemployed.  

An Phoblacht Magazine


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